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Back by popular demand: Make a date in your diary for E-Waste World Conference & Expo – 18-19 November 2020

Back by popular demand: Make a date in your diary for E-Waste World Conference & Expo – 18-19 November 2020

December 10, 2019
Lloyd Fuller

The success of the very first E-Waste World Conference & Expo – which took place at the Kap Europa, Frankfurt Messe on 14-15 November – was such that its organizer, Trans-Global Events, has already announced its return in 2020, with more speakers, more exhibitors, more topics, a fourth stream and many more solutions and models to close the loop on the global e-waste epidemic

The second edition of E-Waste World Conference & Expo will take place once again at the much-acclaimed Kap Europa on Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 November and with 11 months to go already has 40% more exhibitors booked than this year’s event. This alone confirms how well the conference was received and why it has established itself as the must-attend event for 2020 for anyone involved in the circular economy for electronics and electric vehicle batteries.

“Overall we were very happy with what we achieved and especially pleased with the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received – not just at the conference itself but afterwards,” enthused Mike Robinson, CEO, Trans-Global Events. “We’re now looking forward to having almost a year to work on the second one,” he added, noting that the 2019 launch was put together in six months.

I think the biggest takeaway for me was that the delegates, speakers and exhibitors acknowledged the concept and benefits of bringing together the electronics producers and their supply chain manufacturers, the electric vehicle battery makers and raw materials suppliers, as well as the recycling sector under one roof

“I think the biggest takeaway for me was that the delegates, speakers and exhibitors acknowledged the concept and benefits of bringing together the electronics producers and their supply chain manufacturers, the electric vehicle battery makers and raw materials suppliers, as well as the recycling sector under one roof,” continued Robinson. “There were a lot of people from the ‘traditional’ WEEE industry participating in the electric vehicle presentations and vice versa. That was good to see.

“I’ve launched a lot of conferences over the years, but I have to say this was a particular highlight since the holistic approach we adopted hasn’t been done before but it really worked well and our delegates and exhibitors were constantly remarking that they were seeing fresh faces from a variety of industries and importantly up and down the value chain. We were adamant that we didn’t want to create a ‘me-too’ conference – from the outset, this was designed to be entirely new.”

I think that both the WEEE and battery industry branches have a significant number of touching points and the idea to bring both into one place is not only refreshing but very constructive

That sentiment was echoed by many delegates. Wassilij Weber from SIMPLi RETURN, for instance, gave a ‘thumbs-up’ to the format. “I think that both the WEEE and battery industry branches have a significant number of touching points and the idea to bring both into one place is not only refreshing but very constructive,” he commented.

Weber was one of the speakers in the ‘Electric Vehicle Battery Recycling’ stream, which was a resounding success with car-makers Audi, Renault, Ford, Mitsubishi, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, Honda and Toyota – to name a handful – keen to hear the many ways they can adopt circular economy principles to secure their future raw material supply chains and help achieve their sustainability goals. Second-life battery presentations were especially interesting. “As opposed to a lot of other conferences I am attending on a frequent basis, E-Waste World Conference & Expo proved to be a lot ‘younger’ and ‘fresher’,” Weber observed. “There were a lot of new contacts so I didn’t find myself talking to the same old crowd that you would see elsewhere.”

On the success of the EV stream, Matthew Lumsden, CEO of Connected Energy – which works with Nissan and Renault in the development of energy storage products for second-life electric vehicle batteries – commended the “excellent venue” and “exceptional professionalism”, while globally renowned EV battery expert Hans Eric Melin thought it was a “fabulous and well organized event”, adding that he has already put the next one in his diary. “It was a worthwhile and very well-organized conference,” according to Douglas Johnson-Poensgen, the CEO of Circulor, which has been collaborating with Volvo on blockchain to enhance transparency in the battery supply chain. “There were really good speakers and engaged attendees,” he thought. “A great and successful conference,” concluded Andreas Nolte from Aurubis, who has been a speaker and delegate at many events over the years, so has a sound basis for comparison.

I couldn’t find another event similar in scope – I liked the mix of industries and the 360-degree view of the topics

“I couldn’t find another event similar in scope – I liked the mix of industries and the 360-degree view of the topics,” suggested Ligeia Paletti, senior R&D engineer, Collaborative Engineering Systems, Aerospace Vehicles at NLR – Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre. Not having too much knowledge of the circular economy sector or WEEE, she found her attendance to be most beneficial.

“As a precious metals refiner, I attended because it was completely relevant for our company and I was keen to hear presentations from those who are active in the same sector,” added Eduard Stefanescu from Heimerle + Meule, Germany’s oldest gold and silver refinery.

These are industry figures you don’t get to meet frequently so meeting them all in one place was great. I’ve been seeking meetings with OEMs to develop business opportunities and you had Dell, HP, Epson, Lexmark and Xerox speaking, which was superb

“The list of speakers was key,” assessed Adrian Clews, managing director of Hinckley Associates Nigeria. “These are industry figures that you don’t get to meet frequently so meeting them all in one place was great. I’ve been seeking meetings with OEMs to develop business opportunities and you had Dell, HP, Epson, Lexmark and Xerox speaking, which was superb for me. I have since requested one-on-one meetings in their offices. As a WEEE recycler in Africa, E-Waste World Conference & Expo was beneficial for our company’s future strategic planning and growth.”

“The most interesting thing for me was the focus on circular economy and new technologies to treat WEEE, which has been lacking in other similar events,” felt Bjørn Arild Thon, CEO of Norway’s Renas. “The program showed interesting and very relevant speakers and topics, and in a place that was easily accessible. It was a good location and layout – the food services and break areas worked very well. The sessions were also kept short, which makes speakers get to the point quickly.”

“Electronics is a focus sector for Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE) and this event was recommended by several colleagues in my network,” revealed Ke Wang, knowledge lead with PACE, part of the World Resources Institute. “There was a good coverage of topics and you successfully convened many key players.”

There were excellent speakers and an appealing program – a good mixture of pressing topics, parallel sessions with a nice value-chain integration. As the first edition of the conference was highly interesting, we booked a booth for next year and we’re looking forward to it!

“E-waste is of high interest for EIT RawMaterials and many of our partners were represented via talks or with a booth,” explained Nora Groth, business development manager at EIT RawMaterials, Innovation Hub CLC Central. “There were excellent speakers and an appealing program – a good mixture of pressing topics, parallel sessions with a nice value-chain integration. I learned some updates on regulations and got a deeper understanding of the battery value chain. As the first edition of the conference was highly interesting, we booked a booth for next year and we’re looking forward to it!”

Having moved around the e-waste sector between developing, developed and semi-developed countries since 2010 – and having been to many conferences related to e-waste – I must say that this was one of the most informative ones I have ever attended in many years

“Having moved around the e-waste sector between developing, developed and semi-developed countries since 2010 – and having been to many conferences related to e-waste – I must say that this was one of the most informative ones I have ever attended in many years,” remarked Malcolm Whitehouse, risk and compliance manager from African Shades Trading, who traveled all the way to Frankfurt from Johannesburg in South Africa. “Congratulations to all who made this possible!”

The stars of the show, the speakers, also seemed happy to have taken part in this inaugural event, with Marta Jakowczyk from HP stating, “they were a very fruitful few days”, adding that she left the conference “with plenty of new insights”. Michelle Wagner, research associate at the United Nations University agreed. “It was such an insightful and wonderful conference! It was my pleasure to present in such a venue and to share what we have been doing and the importance of quantifying, mapping stocks and flows of e-waste as well as presenting informative results. I look forward to participating in next year’s event. Keep up the amazing work!”

It was good to find companies and people across both Europe and worldwide all trying to do the right thing when it comes to e-waste, be that manufacturing the right stuff so it’s more circular in design, to re-using it again in the same form, or using the parts, to the final recycling of the item in the best way possible

“The whole conference was very professionally staged,” believed Cris Stephenson, CEO of Environcom, the UK’s largest independent recycler of WEEE and a leader in the area of re-use. “There were some great speakers, so I learned among many things that full electric circuits can be printed in paper/on paper and that data security looms large as ever-more electrical items become ‘smart’. It was good to find companies and people across both Europe and worldwide all trying to do the right thing when it comes to e-waste, be that manufacturing the right stuff so it’s more circular in design, to re-using it again in the same form, or using the parts, to the final recycling of the item in the best way possible. All very enlightening!”

A big thank you to Trans-Global Events for their successful global E-Waste Conference and for hosting GEC’s Circularity Procurement Workshop. I wouldn’t hesitate in attending any of their future events and highly recommend others to do the same

Of course, much of the success of the program content was down to the members of the Advisory Board, who supported the concept from day one and were instrumental: Pascal Leroy from the WEEE Forum; Nancy Gillis from the Green Electronics Council; Corey Dehmey from SERI; Professor David Peck from TU Delft; Elisabeth Smith from the StEP Initiative; and Hans Eric Melin from Circular Energy Storage. “A big thank you to Trans-Global Events for their successful global E-Waste Conference and for hosting GEC’s Circularity Procurement Workshop,” said Gillis. “I wouldn’t hesitate in attending any of their future events and highly recommend others to do the same.” Professor Peck also believed there to be “great delegates” and “new knowledge shared”.

The final assessment of this very first E-Waste World Conference & Expo goes to Pascal Leroy, who rather succinctly concluded, “please repeat the success of this event”.

‘WEEE’ will certainly try.

If you are interested in speaking at the 2020 conference, please get in touch by emailing ewaste@trans-globalevents.com or telephone +44 1483 330018. A call for speakers will be issued in early 2020.

E-Waste World Conference & Expo 2020 takes place from Wednesday 18 November to Thursday 19 November at the Kap Europa, Frankfurt Messe, Germany. To register for this highly focused, solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email peter@trans-globalevents.com

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