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“Technological innovation: the key to success”

Aldo Villa award: from Sacmi-developed innovation to “strategies for getting back to growth”

The new technological Continua line; a machine and a software dedicated to digital printing; a new ‘Eko’ kiln that reduces consumption and emissions. These, then, are the three main innovations produced by Sacmi during 2011 and presented at Imola during the “Technological innovation: the key to success” seminar last 19th  September. This key appointment was attended by over 200 Sacmi customers from 37 countries and ended with the prize-giving ceremony that saw the Aldo Villa award granted to Franco Stefani, the owner-founder of System, based in Fiorano.

So, just how can growth be promoted in the midst of economic crisis? This was the introductory question to which the seminar sought to provide answers. The first solid evidence that it’s still possible to grow and strengthen one’s market position despite an unfavourable economic situation comes from Sacmi-developed innovations, the fruit of Group R&D investments totalling – as pointed out by the Ceramic Division’s Managing Director, Claudio Marani –some 60 million Euros.

After a presentation of the individual innovations – given by Andrea Bresciani, Sacmi’s R&D Manager, Davide Medici, General Manager of Intesa, and Andrea Avallone, head of Sacmi Forni – the stand was taken by Tandean Rustandy, CEO of Arwana, Indonesia’s leading ceramic company. “The essential thing”, he explained, “is to continue investing in technology and human resources”. That philosophy is shared by Sacmi and Arwana, yet also System, founded by Franco Stefani who, after Rustandy’s speech, was presented with the Aldo Villa Award, established in memory of the first president of the Società Ceramica Italiana, who also served many years as Sacmi’s general manager. “As entrepreneur and observer”, commented Stefani on receiving this prestigious acknowledgement, “I’ve always thought of Sacmi as a company to be imitated. I met Aldo Villa when I was just 21 and since then have enjoyed mutually rewarding relations with the company”.

Two special guests brought the day to an end: the President of the Region of Emilia-Romagna, Vasco Errani, who underlined the need to safeguard a wealth consisting of “the capacity to cooperate and construct on the basis of shared passions and values”. Also speaking in support of the “desire to get on despite the difficulties” was the head of Confindustria, Emma Marcegaglia, who took the opportunity to underline the urgent need for “large-scale growth-oriented policies”. These same concepts were highlighted by Sacmi’s President, Domenico Olivieri, who, in drawing the day’s proceedings to a close, emphasised the need to “move forwards, with each and every one of us acting boldly and responsibly”. Only by doing so, concluded Olivieri, “can Italy get back to growth and Italian-made products continue being a symbol of excellence worldwide”.


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