The SAE 2009 international congress closed a few days ago. The feeling I have returning to France is that it was, in lighting, a European congress.
In lighting, of the 20 or so papers presented, two thirds were from European companies and the most interesting papers were from Europe — See news on BiHalogen and Darmstadt papers. It is not very different from last year’s show, but what was different was the weak American attendance and the weak American involvement in questions and discussions. Indeed it was a European congress. The question is now, why a “European congress” in US?
We have in Europe ISAL, a fantastic congress with the next sessions in September this year. We have VISION and DELRIS congresses which in 2008 have had a great success. Is the SAE congress still relevant for the automotive lighting industry? Year after year, the SAE congress has a decreased activity with less and less American involvement. What is the point?
I am in favour of strong involvement by industries in the congresses, but with the condition of an activity level sufficient to make the congress a going concern. SAE used to be a fantastic congress many years ago. To avoid its total decline into utter irrelevance, maybe is it preferable in the future to have such a congress every 2 years as for ISAL and VISION.
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