The major transition taking place in the electricity and energy industry is stimulating a need for new skills. Visitors to ELFACK:TA, and its Programme Council, agree on this.
— We want to be the platform that brings the industry together to find new ways forward, says Anna Jarnö, Business Manager for the new event.
Although ELFACK:TA is aimed at the same visitor communities as the regular ELFACK, the new event has an agenda all of its own. The mid-year event was initiated by the industry itself and will be held for the first time on 3-4 May at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre in Gothenburg. It is focused on solving the growing knowledge needs in connection with rapid electrification and digitalisation and the transition to the circular society of the future.
—There’s a great need for skills development in the industry to meet the growing demand, says Anna Jarnö. It’s all about staying on top of new technologies and smart solutions, but also knowing what’s going on with new standards, rules and regulations.
Visitors such as electrical installers, electricians, electrical and technical consultants, project managers, builders, property owners and architects often have an urgent need to catch up and deepen their knowledge. This was clearly shown in a recent visitor survey conducted by the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre. A majority of visitors asked for more knowledge sharing, especially as, due to the pandemic, it has been three years since the last ELFACK (which will not return until 2023).
— A lot has happened in the meantime. Things that concern suppliers, that’s to say our exhibitors. But also when it comes to working together to make more rapid progress, as we could clearly see in the discussions in our Programme Council, says Anna Jarnö.
She hopes that ELFACK:TA, an initiative of the industry, will attract many people.
— Our aim is to plug the knowledge gap and become the hub needed for industry players to reach out to each other.
The open theatre programme is therefore the focus of ELFACK:TA. The programme ties in with what’s on display in the stands – and vice versa. The stands will showcase and demonstrate technologies, for example in the form of live assembly, with interconnected products and smart solutions. And of course visitors will be able to put questions directly to the suppliers, who will have their experts on site.
A number of leading suppliers are exhibiting, such as ABB, Siemens, Hitachi Energy, GARO and Hager. But there will be no big stands. Instead, all the exhibitors will participate in the substantial open theatre programme. Concrete case studies will be highlighted, showing how new technologies can be used to solve different types of challenges. For example, Schneider is offering a breakfast seminar on smart home solutions.
The guidelines for ELFACK:TA content have been drawn up by the Programme Council, which includes some 15 industry organisations and authorities.
— We saw, early on, the gap between what the visitors were asking for and what the organisations were offering in terms of electrification, installations and safety, says Annika Persson, Business Developer at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre.
— It became very clear that it is precisely skills development that is needed to take on the innovations and solutions that are available on the market. But so too is help and support to comply fully with laws and regulations.
She believes that ELFACK: TA provides the opportunity for both sides to cover these needs at one and the same time, united in dialogue.
— We can see the common threads in what visitors are asking for and what the Programme Council would like to see more of: safety in electrical installations, load balancing, charging infrastructure, solar panels and the digitalisation of buildings, for example.
With regard to solar panels, the new regulation on how to share energy between different buildings is one such hot topic. As is the wide range of installations for smart and more energy-efficient homes. A vital regulatory issue for electricity consultants:
— This concerns new laws and regulations on how to find the smartest solution when running projects. They need to keep up with the latest and most efficient technologies. Not least to save costs for the customer, says Annika. The same applies to project managers of local energy warehouses for industry, large buildings, housing communities and town houses.
Security issues are also high on the conference agenda.
— For example, the Swedish Fire Protection Association and the Swedish Electrical Board, which are both members of the Programme Council, have a lot of experience about what can go wrong and how accidents and fires can be avoided, Annika notes. We see a typical win-win situation here: it’s an area that many visitors want to know more about.
In addition to the focus on skills development, the organisers also emphasise the social aspect and are making room for networking, socialising and after-work activities.
— The vast majority have not had the opportunity to network and meet industry colleagues to such an extent over the past three years, says Anna Jarnö. Now that the restrictions have been lifted, it feels especially good to be able to welcome you to a fresh new meeting place in Gothenburg in springtime!
ELFACK: TA has been developed in collaboration with the industry as a new mid-year activity for ELFACK. ELFACK:TA takes place every year and focuses on skills development in the electricity and energy sector. Seminars and case studies will be presented on several different open theatre stages alongside a small exhibition featuring the industry’s leading players. The premiere takes place 3-4 May 2022 at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre, Gothenburg More information at elfack.com