The stone industry looks to Nuremberg
Slated to take place from June 22 to 25, Stone+tec Nürnberg 2011 will feature a solid lineup of stone and machinery exhibitors - thanks to strategic agreements by the organizers and a general upswing in Europe’s economy.
Despite the weakness of some individual members, the economic signs for the majority of the European Union countries - as well as neighboring nations - indicate growth, according to show organizer NürnbergMesse. In Germany alone, experts estimated the gross domestic product grew by 3.6% in 2010, which would be the strongest growth since German reunification. The main factor for this growth is continuing demand from abroad. The forecasts for the euro zone are somewhat lower, but also clearly in the positive range.
“The importance of the European economic region as a reliable pillar of the worldwide natural stone industry against the background of individual boom regions is often forgotten,” said Elke Harreiss, Project Manager of Stone+tec at NürnbergMesse. “But nowhere else has stone such a long and varied history as here and for all the short-term trends still has great overall importance and stability to show.”
Additionally, NürnbergMesse has enhanced its relationship with Italy, with its advanced machinery construction and vast stone deposits. “The Italian manufacturers in this sector are undoubtedly among the key players throughout the world,” said Willy Viethen, Director of Exhibitions at NürnbergMesse. “We are therefore all the more pleased to have signed a cooperation agreement with the Italian association Confindustria Marmomacchine for the coming Stone+tec.” Its member companies will present their products on a total of over 1,700 square meters (more than 18,000 square feet) at Stone+tec Nürnberg.
“After exhibiting at Stone+tec in Nürnberg for many years, our association expresses its great satisfaction at being chosen by NürnbergMesse as a preferred contact for relationships with the Italian companies in the sector,” said Flavio Marabelli, Honorary President of Confindustria Marmomacchine. “This satisfaction is increased by the success of the initiative, as more than 30 of the Italian companies in Confindustria Marmomacchine want to use the exclusive opportunity to exhibit at the next edition of this important event. Our association regards Stone+tec as an exhibition of vital importance for stone specialists wanting to open up the German-speaking markets and the markets of North and Central Europe. For the Italian companies, Stone+tec is thus an essential orientation factor for the producers of material and especially for the manufacturers of machinery and other equipment.”
AwardsIn addition to the exhibition itself, Stone+tec prides itself on hosting an extensive extra-curricular program, including educational sessions as well as a number of industry awards.
One of the most notable awards presented during Stone+tec is the German Natural Stone Award, and the 2011 recipient will be Architect Max Dudler for his work on the new Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm Centre at the Humboldt University of Berlin.
The award is presented every two years by the Deutsche Naturwerkstein-Verband e.V. (DNV - German Natural Stone Association) in cooperation with the Bund Deutscher Architekten (BDA - German Architects Association), and it focuses on completed works that showcase natural stone as an exemplary building material in terms of environmental, sustainable and energy-efficiency properties.
The architecture awards program, which offers more than 30,000 euros ($42,500) in prize money has been organized on a European-wide basis for the first time in 2011 under the subtitle “European Architecture+Stone.”
The jury - chaired by BDA President Michael Frielinghaus - presents the award to building concepts in Europe that represent examples of high architectural quality, technically innovative applications and cost-effective construction using natural stone. From a record of almost 90 projects entered - including 20 from European countries other than Germany - the jury chose 12 impressive building concepts, including the top award winner as well as mentions in the categories of “Special Merit” and “Highly Commended.”
The award distinguishes products and production techniques and focuses attention on natural stone as a building material that contributes to overall design and is exemplary in terms of its environmental friendliness, sustainability and energy efficiency.
The award is presented in the categories: “Innovative Products of and with Natural Stone;” “Innovative Marketing and Communication Strategies;” and “Innovative Processes for the Manufacture and Processing of Natural Stone Products.” There will also be a Public Award chosen by the exhibition visitors.
The competition is eligible for natural stone contractors, stonemasonry and tiling contractors and their suppliers, along with machinery manufacturers from Europe that have developed an innovative product or a project-related solution associated with natural stone. Also eligible for indirect entry are architects, designers and developers in a cooperative project.
For more information on the event, visit www.stone-tec.com.