This year's JEC will probably be best remembered for the travel chaos which ensued on the last day following closure of European air space due to volcanic ash from Iceland. But this year's event should also be remembered for its decidedly more upbeat atmosphere, in contrast to 2009's event (which took place in the depth of the recession). Everyone I met was optimistic about improved business this year, and there were numerous new applications and products on display.

The top 3 themes I came across were:

  • signs of improving business, but still some uncertaintly about how sustainable this is going to be;
  • going 'green' – new products based on renewable materials and companies promoting their sustainable business philosophies;
  • key markets: carbon fibre, aerospace, wind energy, and automotive.

New products/business ventures launched at the event included: