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Specialty papers conference coming to Chicago

July 9, 2013

The AWA Specialty Paper Industry Conference will take place October 8-9 in Rosemont, IL, USA.

Specialty papers are today a focus for growth in the paper industry – a reflection of their diversity, profitability, and environmental credentials, which together make them a competitive alternative to petrochemical-based substrates. The AWA Specialty Paper Industry Conference – this year to be held at the Hyatt Rosemont Hotel, Rosemont, IL, USA, October 8-9 – is an opportunity to review current industry status, across the many and varied market segments that specialty papers serve, from packaging to decorative laminates.

"The global specialty paper and paperboard market exceeds 22,500,000 tonnes annually and accounts for approximately 7% of all papers and paperboards. It is growing, thanks to the increasing preference for renewable-source-based and recyclable materials, especially for packaging and food service applications," says conference chairperson Corey Reardon, president and CEO of AWA Alexander Watson Associates. "This is a significant opportunity to compete with the alternative substrates that have eroded paper’s overall market share as developments in raw materials and process equipment come online – improving quality and reducing manufacturing costs while maintaining paper’s environmental credentials."

The formal conference program will include expert market analysis and overview from Corey Reardon, signaling keynote presentations on various markets and applications from such luminaries as PwC’s European Leader, Forest, Paper and Packaging Practice, Ian Murdoch; Sappi’s Fine Paper’s Laura Thompson, director, technical marketing and sustainable development North America; and UPM Specialty Papers’ John Smedley, vice president, North America.

The program will include a broad platform of materials and processes, including a paper on the use of renewable nanotechnology to improve release base paper performance from Robert Hamilton, president, Stirling Consulting; and case studies on the acoustic drying technology for paper and film coating developed by Heat Technologies Inc., presented by HTI’s president, Gene Plavnik. 

Major market segments
Moving on to major market segments on the second day, the conference will hosts feature a presentation from Gorham Paper and Tissue, that examines in depth the extensive challenges and opportunities for paper in packaging and foods. David France, packaging research fellow at ConAgra Foods, will contribute an end user’s viewpoint. A review of current status in security papers and a panel discussion on new developments in the industry will complete the agenda.

Complemented by a tabletop exhibition and networking opportunities – particularly the cocktail reception on the first evening – the conference is sponsored by market-leading companies in the industry, including Platinum Sponsor UPM Specialty Papers and Silver Sponsor Heat Technologies Inc.

Full details of the Specialty Paper Industry Conference 2013 are available via the AWA website,, where it is also possible to register online.
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