People in Print

FESPA Italia: digital and sustainable solutions

by FESPA Staff | 12/03/2024
FESPA Italia: digital and sustainable solutions

FESPA Italia President Nicola Posarelli on the continued spread of digital printing into new markets.

What does FESPA Italia have planned this year?

We are planning a “Waiting for FESPA” webinar on 14 March, exclusive to FESPA members and to the Association prospects registered at FESPA. We are also holding a FESPA Italia Day on 11 April, our annual one-day conference. We are looking forward to the FESPA Global Print Expo, of course, and are hosting an Italian community meeting in the Club FESPA Lounge on 20 March at 4pm.

How would you summarise last year for FESPA Italia?

The print sectors represented by FESPA Italia have experienced a couple of difficult years due to in person events being limited and cancelled. Normal business in the market finally resumed in the course of 2022, and I would say it returned fully in 2023.

However, in the meantime, digital visual technologies have changed the ways of communication at exhibitions or trade fairs. Looking at the FESPA Print Census, where research was conducted in over 30 countries worldwide, we can see that 2023 saw an acceleration in digital printing investments and an increase in investments in environmentally friendly solutions. The latter was driven by customer demand, with over 72% asking for eco-friendly solutions.

What have been the most important printing trends in Italy?

Digital printing remained crucial in all visual communication applications and printing dedicated to temporary installations in events, points of sale and retailers. Last year, FESPA Italia conducted research on the retail world and the choices that large-scale retailers are now making for indoor printing solutions.

The results highlight the search for increasingly sustainable solutions, which has shifted attention towards solutions with water-based inks or towards the use of printing materials that guarantee the best management from a circular economy perspective. Paper and cardboard have seen huge growth compared to solutions with plastic materials. There has also been an increase in printing demands in textiles due to their lightness and ease of management and transportation.

How do you see the industry progressing in 2024?

This year, we predict that digital printing will grow further, even in markets less connected to visual communication and more linked to industrial sectors and interior decoration. 

Decorative printing has been gaining ground in industrial production for some time now. Digital printing on wood, glass, aluminium, and ceramics is increasingly sought after by those who want to offer personalised solutions, modifying and adding value to their portfolio of industrial products. The implications of these solutions for furnishings or those on wallpaper, carpeting and interior fabrics are establishing an interior décor market that has numerous possibilities and popular among customers.

How has the PNRR (Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan) affected competitiveness in Italian printing?

In recent years, our companies have benefited from the implementation of the Industry 4.0 plan, which offered greater opportunities to support technological investments and training alongside the historic Sabatini law. [In 2023, the Sabatini law, which supports SMEs’ investments in machinery, technical instruments and digital technologies that can foster business competitiveness, was refinanced with an additional €150m.]

The Transition 5.0 plan put forward by the Italian government to the EU [which promotes digitisation and innovation, ecological transition and social inclusion] should benefit from the financial opportunities deriving from the PNRR. 

However, these kind of initiatives should not exist to support the development of struggling businesses. The uncertainty that still exists today about the real scope of the new 5.0 plan has effectively slowed down, if not stopped, some investments, and this, in an increasingly global market for our companies, makes us less competitive than foreign competitors. It would be better to have defined, structured, and medium to long-term support plans.

 

by FESPA Staff Back to News

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