The first ever convention of international glass associations
Vitrum, the Italian international glass trade fair to be held in Milan in October, has organized a convention of representatives of international glass associations in Murano, Venice as a preliminary to VITRUM – 2017, for the purpose of increasing communication and collaboration within the industry worldwide.
The Director of Vitrum, Laura Biason spoke to glassOnline about the Murano convention, and explained that the idea for a convention of international associations was proposed by the President of Vitrum, Zandonella Necca, in response to what he saw as a lack of any international umbrella organization which brought together all associations working with glass (independent of the nature of the individual association). The President invited about 50 glass associations ranging in character from manufacturing producers, building and architectural glass artistic glass, and even glass for military use, to meet in Murano on 21/22 June 2017.
The following international glass associations have accepted: Abividro, AGGA, AIHV – Storia del Vetro, AIHV, Assovetro, ATIV, CCS – The Chinese Ceramic Society, GIMAV, GlassAlliance/FEVE/Glass for Europe/EDG/ESGA, Glass Glazing Federation, International Commission on Glass, NGA – National Glass Association, Slovak Glass Society, Steklosouz – National United Council of Glass Industry, VDMA Glass Forum.
It is likely that in the past there have been no occasions to reunite associations or simply because there was no forum to discuss common issues. Vitrum 2017, Milan 3-6 October, was seen as a good venue for such discussions, so it was felt a preliminary meeting in Murano would break the ice and help to get the ball rolling. The aim of the Venice meeting is to bring together as many international associations as possible in a single place, help them get to know each other and begin dialogues that would continue at Vitrum 2017. It is hoped that such meetings will become a recurring feature of future editions of Vitrum and extend the development of areas of common interest.
The points of common interest will emerge out of the activity of the convention. There is a whole world that rotates around this wonderful material, glass, in all its manifestations. It can be used as a building and containing material, as a material to be processed by machines in the most diverse ways imaginable, and as an artistic medium. It may seem banal but it isn’t: the common point of interest is this extraordinary material which lends itself to an infinity of uses in innumerable environments.
The crucial point about this convention is that there will be an opportunity for personnel of 17 associations to meet and get to know each other face to face, all under the same roof in real time. Often people who have been working within an association for a long time know their international colleagues, the roles they play and the services they provide, in only a superficial way. This is even more true of communications between associations working in different environments, and with different contexts. The convention will be an opportunity for associations to learn about each other and to initiate contacts which will better define potential future discussions.
This first meeting is really a starting point, so the main theme is simply making direct contact with the other associations and finding common ground on which to collaborate and cooperate in the future; it’s an introductory process of finding out who is who. Later, points of interest common to all or as many associations as possible, will be found. There is already a list of possible issues, but this is not closed and can be changed as members are introduced and declare their interests.
The convention is being organized under the auspices of Vitrum, ICE Agenzia – Istituto per il Commercio Estero (Italian Trade Agency), and Stazione Sperimentale del Vetro (Glass Research Institute) and advantage will be taken of the venue and hosts to present the work of Stazione Sperimentale del Vetro and the services it provides. A visit has been arranged to the glassworks in Murano to show the activities of this site which has long been acknowledged as the pinnacle of creativity in the artistic field.
Laura Biason would also like to mention the support Vitrum has received from the Istituto per il Commercio Estero and to thank them for the help and encouragement they have given to this project.