Press release ¤ Information de presse

May 18, 2009

ACHEMA 2009 generates optimism: world chemical engineering summit ends on an upbeat note

  • Stable visitor and exhibitor figures
  • Unprecedented internationality
  • Upbeat mood - the focus is on the future

Chemistry and chemical engineering are focusing confidently on the future: this sums up ACHEMA 2009, which ended on Friday in Frankfurt. On five days over 173,000 visitors from all over the world visited the 3,767 exhibitors in the exhibition halls in order to catch up on the latest products and technologies from chemical engineering, biotechnology, environmental protection and adjacent sectors. Companies, institutes and research institutions displayed their cutting-edge developments from chemical engineering, pharmaceutical and food technology, biotechnology and related sectors over an area of 134,000 m². Here, development engineers and plant designers could find everything they needed, from a single gasket to a complete refinery concept. Moreover, in terms of exhibitors and visitors the 29th ACHEMA was more international than ever before. 46.6 % of the exhibitors and 25 % of the visitors came from abroad.

Both the exhibitors and the organizers were highly satisfied with the outcome of the event. “The high number of exhibitors and visitors sent out an unmistakable message that will resound far beyond the ACHEMA: our branches are going to tackle the challenges and leave the economic crisis behind them”, stated Prof. Dr. Gerhard Kreysa, Chief Executive of DECHEMA e.V.

But it was not only the figures that added up: the exhibitors unanimously praised the high standard of discussions and contacts. There was little hint of crisis at the stands and in the halls – “Everyone’s waiting for someone to press the Start button and then it will be all systems go”, is how one exhibitor described the prevailing mood. Experience shows that around 50 % of all contacts made at ACHEMA lead to cooperations.

This year’s overriding theme was process efficiency, i.e. the efficient use of energy and raw materials. Biotechnological processes and the application of renewable resources were also key topics. Many exhibitors displayed novel microstructured components, while nanotechnology and ionic fluids played a prominent role in the Congress programme.

After Germany which has 2,010 companies exhibiting, the strongest group was Italy, as it was in 2006 (300 exhibitors), followed by the United Kingdom (202), Switzerland (161), USA (156) and France (124). China (117) and India (107) come in at places 7 and 8 respectively. The number of Chinese exhibitors has doubled since 2006, while that of Indian exhibitors has increased by 23 %. The largest exhibition group were Pumps, Compressors, Valves and Fittings (960 exhibitors). They were followed by Laboratory and Analytical Equipment (659) , Thermal (437) and Mechanical (404) Processing and  Plant Engineering (343).

The share of foreign visitors was 25 %. Engineers accounted for the largest professional group (38 %), followed by chemists (17 %) and technicians (18.5 %). In 2009 visitors to ACHEMA work in the following areas of expertise: research and development, design and planning, construction and also production; over 60 % of visitors work in the chemical industry or chemical apparatus engineering. With approx. 34 %, the share of executives (owners, top management, department heads, group heads) is as high as ever. For these decision-makers ACHEMA is first and foremost an indispensable platform for catching up on developments, forging contacts and having in-depth discussions. Evidently these expectations were once again fulfilled in 2009, for over 85 % of visitors evaluated the quality of ACHEMA positively.  

The ACHEMA Congress was well attended. The 900 lectures attracted scientists and developers to the lecture rooms to discuss the latest market-ready research results. Current topics of general interest were the subject of four plenary lectures and four panel discussions. One particular attraction was the panel discussion on “Green Gene Technology”, featuring Federal Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel and BASF Executive Director Stefan Marcinowski.

When the halls closed on Friday evening the next countdown began for the organizers: the opening of the eighth AchemAsia, the foremost event for equipment suppliers to the process industry in Asia, on 1 June 2010 in Beijing / PR China



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