The international conference Hemp & Industry with the subtitle Hemp materials and their potential for the development of local bioeconomy will take place in Prague on 16th of October. We asked Hana Gabrielová, the president of the organizer Czech hemp cluster, what is in store for its participants.
Why did CzecHemp decide to organize this conference?
We have committed ourselves to the organisation as part of the international HempClub project. The aim is to connect players in different areas of hemp production across Europe. An important activity within the project is the ClusterXchange, meetings where we invite representatives of SMEs to learn more about the unique properties of hemp, its environmental benefits and the bioeconomy that contributes to achieving carbon neutrality through mutual learning. By organising the Hemp & Industry conference, we want to give participants the opportunity to establish partnerships with the wider European hemp community and encourage the creation of new innovative projects.
What was the goal in creating the discussion panels, why did you design them this way?
The combination of panel discussions and short lectures gives the invited guests the opportunity to briefly introduce themselves, but also to respond to questions from the moderator or the audience.
The audience will include representatives of ministries and friendly partner organisations.
This gives us, as organizers, the opportunity to promote the individual topics of the conference and better communicate its content. I find this format interesting in that it is more interactive, and I believe it will also encourage the audience to engage in discussions.
Can you briefly introduce some of the main guests?
The first panel is dedicated to sustainability and will feature, among others, Nando Knodel from the German company Hemp Connect. He focuses on the valuation of hemp production using carbon credits, a popular topic today. Nando is one of the few people who have brought to a successful end paying farmers for hemp production through carbon credits. In the second panel on hemp seed as a superfood, for example, Florian Pichlmaier, founder of German company Signature Products, will present innovative ways of using hemp seed in nutrition.
The third panel focuses on building processing infrastructure and the use of hemp stalk. Michael Marchuk from Ukrainian Hemp, a company that grows and processes hemp stalk in Ukraine, will talk about the so-called decortication of the stalk, which separates the fibre. The final panel focuses on innovations in construction and the use of hemp materials. It will feature speakers such as Steve Allin, founder of the International Hemp Construction Association, and Tom Mathys, representing the American company Hempwood in Europe, which uses hemp stems to make flooring, furniture and “wooden” components for construction purposes.
The conference has two days – what will happen on the second day?
The first day of our conference is packed so we addded a half-day matchmaking event which would enable participants to meet one-on-one. There, after registering, they will be given the opportunity to arrange a personal meeting with another participant to develop ideas for cooperation or come up with joint business, but most importantly – to get to know each other personally.
The aim of the conference is also to kick-start the Czech cannabis sector and its cooperation with the industry. Are we going to see some important domestic guests?
The opening speech will be given by Filip Krůta from CzechInvest, where he is the head of the EcoTechHUB section, which deals with the use of natural materials in industry.
The conference programme is packed and a matchmaking event will be held on the second day to allow participants to meet each other one-on-one.
Panels will include Patrik Majringer, who is working on the application of hempcrete in the construction industry in the Czech Republic, Pavel Kubů, a doctor from Plazma4people, and Pavel Zedníček from the Institute for Circular Economy INCIEN. The audience will then include representatives of ministries and friendly partner organisations, who are also invited to this unique event. We would like the conference to become an annual meeting of all those interested in innovative and ecological hemp materials, their production and use.
Admission to the conference is free thanks to funding from the HempClub project! Registration is open on this platform. Interested parties can register for the conference itself (all day on Monday and Tuesday morning at the ÚZEI premises) as well as for the paid networking dinner. Seats are very limited and are disappearing fast, so if you are seriously interested, please do not hesitate to register!