Is someone pulling my leg?

I actually wanted to write about the composites market and developments in lightweight construction, as well our PU Elastomer Trade Meeting, for which 75 participants have already registered and which has become a truly international conference offering 100 percent simultaneous translation English-German, German-English. If you are interested in joining us, registration remains open until 11th September 2015. However, too many other news items have been distracting me.

Yesterday I received an email saying the following:
Dear Mrs. Harreither,
we would like to cordially invite you to a press conference … the theme is Virtual & Augmented Reality.
Goal: to be a leading service provider for projects in the VR/AR arena and to generate a 10 percent increase in turn-over in the coming year with these projects. … Why is Virtual & Augmented Reality (VR/AR) the next big trend? What challenges face mid-sized or stock exchange listed enterprises with regard to Virtual & Augmented Reality? What should companies consider in dealing with virtuality both in their organisation and in production? What new markets do these new technologies offer industry and the service provider? What faults can we expect to see in the communications sector – from agencies to marketing departments?

I had to read this email 5 times to understand that I hadn’t a clue what they were talking about, not to mention if, or how, I can follow the „next big trend“ … but I remain hopeful that I’ll manage to reach old age without computer assisted virtuality and the intervening loss of reality. If not – then somebody may mention in time, that this is because I didn’t understand VR/AR.
The next couple of items were written in the ”Handelsblatt“ newspaper on two consecutive days:

1st Day:
The Economy needs 500 000 immigrants per annum
According to estimates by researchers into the employment market, the number of employees in Germany will drop 20 percent in the following 35 years. This forecast was made by the German institute for employment and professions research (IAB), which belongs to the Federal Employment Agency (BA) …

2nd Day:
The number of unemployed in the EURO zone increases
Unemployment figures inside the EURO-zone increased by 31000 to 17.7 million people in June. This first increase since September 2014 is mainly due to increased unemployment in Italy.

So what now? The EU has more than 17.7 million unemployed and Germany needs 500.000 immigrants for work … so please explain to an ignorant, political, non-dogooder like me – why can’t 17.7 million EU residents, who receive EU social support from EU tax money, not be appropriately deployed? Why do we need an additional 17.5 million immigrants over the next 35 years from Non-EU countries … I don’t understand this.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), to be negotiated between the European Union and the United States, is also under heavy discussion: Above all there are still a lot of environmental and health concerns – some of which sound very frightening to me … especially the food sector where the US is really no role model, as shown in the following press item:

The number of overweight Americans increases
More than two thirds of adult US-Americans are overweight or obese. This statistic comes from data extrapolated from the US-Health Authority (CDC), published in the trade magazine „JAMA Internal Medicine“. This means that almost 75 percent of US-males and 67 percent of US-females are affected – In 1999 the numbers were 63 and 55 percent.

So why am I compelled to be permanently happy –why am I only allowed to swim with the tide and have no involvement in the decision making?

This has absolutely nothing to do with the fundamentals of democracy!
Birgit Harreither

Unfortunately we made some mistakes in our July issue (FAPU 89 German and English) and would like to apologise to the companies affected. In mentioning the cover photos sources, we accidentally shortened the company name “Rühl Puromer“ by the last “r”.

The Filtech exhibition name was written incorrectly as “Filetech“ in the English issue– which occurred due to changing the text from capital letters to lower case... auto-correction played a mean joke on us there and no one had picked it up.


Composite Europe, BondExpo and FAKUMA: Please send us your press kit for the online preview!