Africa Lather and leather products Institute (ALLPI) participated in the 37th International Union of Leather Technologists and Chemists Societies (IULTCS) Congress that was held from October 17th to 20th , 2023, in Chengdu, China, known as the 'Land of Abundance”.
The IULTCS Congress is renowned in the global leather community as the 'Technological Olympics.' The theme of this year's congress is 'Innovations to Make Leather Irreplaceable,' and it has been elaborated deciphered by over 150 leather technologists around the world.
The conference was organized by the China Leather Industry Association (CLIA) and hosted by the college of Biomass Science and Engineering in Sichuan University This marked the second time that China had hosted the event since in 1949 (the previous occasion being in Beijing in 2009).
The General objective of participation in the mentioned conference were to continue the collaborative activity with IULTCS Executive committee which was started during the organization of 2021 IULTCS congress held in Addis Ababa Ethiopia by ALLPI. The participation also helps to represent Africa Leather sector development and to share the platform outcomes to MS in particular and Africa in General.
Over 400 participants, including scientists and technologists from 21 countries and regions such as China mainland, China Taiwan, India, Japan, New Zealand, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Romania, the United Kingdom, the United States, Ethiopia, and others, along with industry professionals, and media representatives, gathered to exchange ideas and research, and discuss the latest research achievements, technological trends, and developments in leather industry.
The congress began with a commemorative short film elaborately prepared by the organizing committee. In the melodious tune of the IULTCS anthem, Prof. Bi Shi from Sichuan University, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and the president of the Scientific Committee of the Congress, received the IULTCS flag from Dr. Luis Zugno, the Executive Secretary of IULTCS.
In the opening speech, Yuzhong Li, Vice President of the China National Light Industry Council, Chairman of the China Leather Industry Association, and President of the Organizing Committee of the Congress, pointed out that in the current environment where opportunities and challenges coexist, the leather industry must address the contemporary issue of how to achieve industrial modernization through technological innovation and collaboration.
Dr. Joan Carles Castell, the IULTCS Vice President of IULTCS, highlighted the significance of the congress in fostering global cooperation in leather technology. He spoke about the key objectives of the IULTCS, emphasizing the need for sustainable practices and the responsible use of resources within the leather industry. He commended the diverse array of research presented during the congress, showcasing innovations aimed at improving environmental sustainability, product quality, and the industry's competitiveness on the international stage. Dr. Castell extended heartfelt gratitude to the organizers and hosts of this remarkable congress.
Prof. Liangyin Chu, the Vice President of Sichuan University, conveyed his enthusiasm for hosting the 37th IULTCS Congress in Chengdu, China. He underscored the importance of academic institutions like Sichuan University in supporting interdisciplinary research and innovation in fields such as leather technology. He spoke about the university's history and dedication to promoting academic excellence and fostering partnerships with industry players.
This Congress featured one 'Heidemann Lecture,' 47 oral presentations, 14 fast oral presentations, and 95 poster presentations, covering eight distinct areas, including advances in leather science basic research, sustainable technologies for leather manufacture, novel strategies in high-efficiency and intelligent leather processing technology, innovations in leather chemicals, and comprehensive utilization of leather wastes.
The 'Heidemann Lecture' for this congress was delivered by Prof. Yujia Xu from Hunter College, City University of New York. Her presentation, titled ' advances in research of collagen-like peptides: from triple helices to fibrils,' offered a comprehensive and in-depth information. This lecture covered the unique structure of collagen proteins and advancements in their applications to the artificial replication of collagen proteins, protein design, genetic engineering, and the future prospects of biomimetic collagen fiber aggregates.
In addition to scientific discussions, the congress provided a platform for sponsor companies in the fields of tanning, leather chemicals, and footwear manufacturing to showcase new technologies and products, which facilitated close interactions among participants and created an international platform for advancing leather technology research and its practical applications.
At the award ceremony for the 2023 IULTCS Merit Award, Prof. Jianzhong Ma from Shaanxi University of Science and Technology, jointly recommended by the China Leather Industry Association and the Taiwanese International Leather Association, after IULTCS member’s voting, was awarded this honor, and recieved the award plaque from Dr. Luis Zugno and Dr. Joan Carles Castell.
ALLPI Made a contribution by chairing the six scientific paper presented during the second day of the congress and received a certificate for the contribution.
At the closing ceremony, the award ceremony for the sponsoring companies of the 37th IULTCS Congress was also held.
In the closing speech, Prof. Bi Shi, summarized the proceedings of the conference. He expressed gratitude to all parties involved in the preparation, organization, and services of the conference. He highly praised the 2023 IULTCS Congress for providing a crucial platform for enhancing the exchange of technological innovation achievements and fostering a consensus on sustainable industry development within the global leather industry. Through in-depth discussions, it effectively facilitated greater understanding, consensus building, expanded perspectives, and the exchange of achievements in the global leather industry. This plays a significant role in promoting sustainable progress in global leather science and technology.
During the closing ceremony of the congress, Dr. Luis Zugno announced that the 38th congress would be held in Lyon, France, in September 2025. A promotional video for the upcoming congress was played at the event. Accompanied by the harmonious IULTCS anthem, President Yuzhong Li officially passed the IULTCS flag to the representative of the next Congress's organizers, Thierry Poncet. This marked the successful conclusion of this year's congress in Chengdu, China, and the beginning of the new term.
After the Congress, the delegates visited the National Engineering Laboratory for Clean Technology of Leather Manufacture and the Sichuan University Museum.