UTECH Europe

Covestro, Recticel and Vita triumph in product and innovation categories, Cannon Group’s Volpato honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award

16 November 2021: Winners of the UTECH Europe Awards 2021 were announced today at the UTECH Europe global polyurethane conference and exhibition, taking place at the MECC in Maastricht, Netherlands. Covestro, Recticel and Vita were announced as winners of the product and innovation awards, while representatives from Ravago and Cannon Group were honoured as the industry’s Rising Stars. Cannon Group’s CEO Marco Volpato was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award and inducted into the UTECH Hall of Fame.

UTECH Europe Awards Winners

Winner in the UTECH Europe Automotive Award is Recticel, Belgium for OBoNature: a family of flexible foam systems with a large renewable component. Designed for use in modern vehicle interiors, OBoNature products are based on sustainable raw materials, are very low in emissions and odours and have excellent hydrolytic stability and mechanical properties.

Winner in the CASE sector is Covestro, Germany for its Bend Restrictor powered by CO2-technology for offshore wind farms. Covestro Elastomers developed a PU system by using its innovative CO2-based polyol to obtain high mechanical performance, an improvement of hydrolysis resistance and an easier casting process with a longer pot life.

Vita Group won the Innovation award with two innovations: Orbis a commercially available foam made using raw materials from the Renuva mattress recycling programme and the Vita Rest Origin pillow made with castor-oil derived polyols. VitaRest Origin’s open-cell viscoelastic polyurethane foam responds to body heat and pressure points, maintaining the right balance between support and comfort.

Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Marco Volpato delivered this year’s UTECH Europe conference’s keynote address. He took over the ownership and management of Cannon in 1974, giving him close to 50 years’ experience as a leader in the sector. He oversaw Cannon’s growth to become a premier global supplier of machinery for polyurethane foam manufacture before expanding into wider industrial automation. In addition to receiving the UTECH Europe Lifetime Achievement Award, Volpato was inducted into the UTECH Europe Hall of Fame alongside four other distinguished industry colleagues:

  • Olivier Chapelle, CEO of Recticel
  • Grazyna Mitchener, Director, Polychemtech,
  • Tony Hankins, CEO Asia Pacific & Division President, Polyurethanes, Huntsman
  • Gene Murtagh, CEO, Kingspan

They join existing Hall of Fame inductees Patrick Thomas, former Chairman and CEO of Covestro; John Televantos Senior Partner at Arsenal Capital Partners. The Hall of Fame recognises leaders who have made a significant contribution to the polyurethane industry and have spent at least 25 years in the polyurethane industry.

Two individuals were presented with UTECH Europe Rising Star Awards, which salute emerging leaders making a difference in today’s polyurethane marketplace. They were Luca Campi, Industrial Automation Engineer at Cannon Group and Zeynep Çetin, Research & Development Leader at Ravago.

Industrial Automation Engineer Luca Campi joined Cannon in the R&D Lab and in nine years has developed polyurethane technologies that have introduced innovation and solved multiple technical issues. His work has resulted in no less than four patents that Cannon has filed in recent years.

Zeynep Çetin joined Ravago Group in 2018 and recently became Research and Development Leader for all polyurethane activities. She has been working in the field of polymer chemistry, polymer structure and characterisation, polyester synthesis and process for 10 years, most recently working on bio-based, water-based and recycling environmentally friendly polyurethane systems.

“Congratulations to all our winners in our inaugural UTECH Europe polyurethane awards. We celebrate the achievements of the European polyurethane industry during some of the toughest times that the industry has faced, and we honour the achievements of our individual Hall of Fame inductees and Rising Stars,” said Brennan Lafferty, Vice President at Crain Communications which organises UTECH Europe. “The winning products and projects are a testament to the industry's commitment to develop the use of polyurethane materials to meet the demands of the industry's downstream clients and to rise to the challenge posed by the environment.”

The distinguished panel of judges for the inaugural UTECH Europe Awards comprised Michel Baumgartner, Secretary General, Europur; Jörg Palmersheim, Secretary General, Isopa & Alipa; Per Henning Vaagen, General Manager/CEO, Laader Berg; Tony Ryan, Technical Director – UK & Ireland, Kingspan Ltd; Mike Murray, CTO, Vita Group; Ulrich Liman, Senior Vice President, PU Business Unit, Covestro and Grazyna Mitchener, Director, Polychemtech. The awards are generously sponsored by Haltermann Carless.

UTECH Europe is uniquely placed as the only truly international exhibition and conference for the polyurethanes industry and typically attracts visitors from around the world. Unique to Europe is the sheer breadth of the applications of polyurethanes technology from automotive interiors, medical devices, textiles, furniture and footwear through to insulation, adhesives and coatings.

For more information on the UTECH Europe Awards visit: https://www.utecheurope.eu/awards

Upcoming UTECH Events Calendar

UTECH Middle East/Africa & Polyurethane Expo, Dubai World Trade Centre, 22-24 February 2022 https://mefpu.com

UTECH Southeast Asia, Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 26-28 April 2022 www.utechseasia.com

UTECH Las Americas, Centro Citibanamex, Mexico City, Mexico, 24-26 May 2022 www.utechlasamericas.com

UTECH Asia, Poly World Trade Centre Expo, 5-7 September 2022 https://www.puchina.eu/2022-guangzhou


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For more information:
Debbie Hershfield, Trade Show Director
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