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General Director of MVC, Gilmar Lima was reelected president of the Latin American Composite Materials Association (ALMACO) for the biennium 2013-2015. He assumes the division of the new term on three main fronts: qualification of the sector, dialogue with the government and support for innovation.
Qualifying companies, says Lima, necessarily involves increasing the number of professionals postgraduates in composites. In 2011, ALMACO and Universidade Positivo created the first course of its kind in Brazil. “We will have at least one hundred students postgraduates by 2015”, he estimates. Caxias do Sul and Curitiba, the latter with two classrooms, and Joinville, starting in March, are the cities where the postgraduate program is offered – classes in São Paulo should begin later this year.
“We will also encourage the creation of the course about the material in the undergraduate courses of engineering and architecture. In parallel, we will expand the number of trainings to improve the operational workforce and the management practices”. Over the past four years, jointly with the Composites Technology Center (CETECOM), ALMACO promoted more than 200 courses and workshops throughout Latin America – approximately 5,000 people attended. The association has also published six books, one yearbook and two newsletters covering JEC in Paris, the largest trade show of the global composites industry. “ALMACO has the obligation to be the best source of knowledge of the market it represents”.
With regard to the government, Lima claims that the competitiveness of the composites industry depends on the strengthening of actions, such as the Program Investing in Brazil. Created by ALMACO in 2012, the initiative seeks tax equality with competing materials, the revision of tax rates and increased access to credit facilities. “In addition, large part of the demand in the upcoming years will arise from federal works, hence why we have to be present in Brasília (federal capital) during the decisive moments, such as the publication of rules that could possibly exclude composites from certain biddings”.
Lima’s strategy tripod closes with the incentive for innovation. For example, he says that ALMACO will include in this year's Top of Mind edition – traditional award organized by the association and audited by Destaque Business Research – a category to reward the most creative companies. “This is another action to boost competitiveness. Those who refuse to innovate will find it increasingly difficult to survive”. Innovation, for the president of ALMACO, also involves the issue of sustainability. “Only talking about recycling is no longer enough. What the market wants are solutions that combine respect for the environment and creativity”.
Located in São Paulo, ALMACO has an office in Santiago (Chile) since 2011. Over the next two years, Lima plans to start operations of the association in Argentina, Colombia and Mexico. “We want to exchange experiences and strengthen us for the competition in a region increasingly disputed by players from the U.S., Europe and Asia,” he adds.
More information: www.almaco.org.br