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Dear Leather Technologists and Chemists (IULTC) from the global leather world
For nearly 30 years of my professional career I have worked in R&D related functions in the chemical industry. After nearly 2 decades of passionate work relationships in the leather business, it is now of course a great honor for me to be elected to take over the responsibilities and duties as the president of the International Union for Leather Technologists and Chemist Societies for a period of 2 years. There is a long list of 33 famous and important former presidents in the archive. Especially in the last 10 years, when I was actively supporting the IULTCS, my predecessors have done a great job and have significantly further developed the roles and responsibilities of IULTCS in the global leather industry. Therefore, it is a great honor for me to take on this responsibility.
On my way to the last Congress in Brazil I was asked by a well-known and highly respected tanner, what are the most important topics on my agenda for the next 2 years; this made me think and here is a summary of my thoughts:
I am a person, who was and who is always fascinated by technology, science and new genius approaches to change processes to something better. I’m fully convinced that only through innovation the serious problems of today’s world can be solved and converted into truly sustainable solutions. Innovation is core in our modern world, and it is extremely important that an organization like IULTCS exists, which orchestrates and incentivizes R&D work in the field of leather. I will definitely support any effort which contributes in this direction.
I always felt it is important and supportive to have a professional network with experts in order to exchange the best available technologies. Our union can be proud of the long history of XXXIII congresses which are evidence of this statement. I am personally very thankful because I had the opportunity to participate in several of such events and I must say I have not only built up a fruitful network, I have even significantly further developed my own understanding of leather processing technology throughout these events. Each congress inspired me in my day-to-day work and has taught me many important lessons. So I believe there are several reasons, why providing a continuation of scientific global networking opportunities is one of the most important functions of IULTCS. I’m looking forward together with our friends from India to make the upcoming congress in Chennai in February 2017 another successful event.
I also feel that it is an important task for IULTCS to ensure the establishment, acknowledgement and maintenance of a decent level of science and best available technology for our industry. We all need to insist that sound science is always the base of the seemingly endless tightening of regulatory and non-regulatory requirements. Our well organized commission work delivers the input for our argumentation and defines the base for scientifically assessed specifications and ISO standards.
Finally another role I see as extremely important for our Union. Everyone knows the leather business is often in the spot light of bad media campaigns; this is not good for the image and reputation of our industry. Therefore, we have to observe the media actively and organize a correct, proportionate and scientific response to misleading or even false information. Here we are part of a team. Already several years ago we set up an alliance with the International Council of Tanners (ICT) and the International Skin, Hide and Leather Trading Association (ISHLTA). We all align in the Global Leather Coordination Committee (GLCC) for a quick and professional response. I’m a strong supporter of this and I will try to make sure, that we further develop this partnership
As mentioned before, due to the work of my predecessors, I take over the president role of a well-organized industry body. It is my wish to continue this important work and initiate some new activities. I sincerely hope that I can count on the support of all members, thank you.