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GPD 2013: focussing on development

This year’s GPD, held, as usual, in Tampere, Finland, in June, had a main theme entitled ‘Glass Technology, Design and Sustainability’, providing 150 specialist presentations and close to 20 special workshops.

The 2013 Glass Performance Days Conference in June continued its successful tradition as a world leading specialist forum. A total of 500 professionals gathered to attend 150 specialist presentations and close to 20 special workshops. The Conference theme ‘Glass Technology, Design and Sustainability’ covered a broad spectrum including some sessions particularly designed for architects.
“The GPD attracted a truly high level of attendants,” comments Jorma Vitkala, Chairman of the Organizing Committee. “The advanced technical programme and the opportunities for specialists to meet face to face with lecturers and other participants were the key success factors of the Conference.”
The value of the Conference was well crystallized in a comment from one of the workshop participants: “Personally I appreciated leading workshops, persons with experience of glass and open, enquiring minds enable the exchange of ideas and opinions going into considerable depth. I always come away from the workshops knowing more than when I went in,” says John Colvin, consultant and member of several British, European and ISO glass standard committees.
A survey conducted among attendants produced several interesting comments on the scope and development of the Conference.
“The opportunity for research, manufacturing and products to meet and align expectations is an important and fertile breeding ground for expectations. A focus on the future rather than on the past is a key message to get out to the audience,” comments one participant.
“GPD is an excellent source of information on the latest advancements in the glass industry. It is also an excellent resource to network with old and new colleagues and gain the necessary information to bring back to one’s everyday work,” states another participant.
“GPD Finland is the centre of the global glass industry and the essential event to attend if one wants to be taken seriously as a knowledgeable person in glass,” says a nine-time attendant.
“Very good for networking, good technical level and good combination of presentations and free time, not to mention the entertainment and good location,” says a seven-times participant.
The comments received in the survey among participants also included suggestions for development ranging from improving accessibility, ensuring a high-level of presentations, avoiding excess commercialism and adding a peer-reviewed scientific stream of papers alongside the essential streams that are more in the spirit of sharing experience and opinion among participants.
“The development ideas are very valuable to us as we want to develop the concept and create a conference that really meets the requirements of the delegates,” says Jorma Vitkala.
The Glass Training Network concept for learning was addressed at a special workshop. The general feel was that the concept is intriguing and offers many opportunities. It was also felt that there was a need for serious development of the idea and a great willingness to participate was displayed. It was felt to be particularly important as a way of transferring accumulated senior know-how within the industry to new generations of specialists.
“Ideally, the Glass Training Network would provide the arena for those participating to understand the fundamentals of glass as a material and how it is used. It should then provide access to the technology that surrounds the material in terms of potential specialist applications,” says Jorma Vitkala.
The GPD proceedings are documented in the specialist portal www.glassfiles.com and, as always, the organizers also publish the Conference presentations in an extensive special printed book. For access to this complete source contact the organizers at www.gpd.fi.
For additional information and comments, contact:
Jorma Vitkala, Chairman, Glass Performance Days, jorma.vitkala@glassfiles.com; www.gpd.fi.

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