After launching StoneCITI, the project partners organised the conference “Connecting Stone Knowledge”, held last Friday afternoon, February 7, at Centro Cultural Olga Cadaval. The speakers highlighted the importance of natural stone and defined the main strategy: the permanent cooperation between companies and nations.
James Hieb, CEO of the Natural Stone Institute (NSI), stressed the importance of this cooperation between companies and stakeholders of the natural stone sector worldwide. James Hieb shared the activities carried out at NSI and talked about sustainability and its importance. “Sustainability means doing the right thing for the economy and industry, in order to create a better world”.
James Hieb expressed his satisfaction regarding StoneCITI, which “links technology, university and encourages cooperation”. “Cooperation is a powerful tool. We have to be united and work together”, he stressed.
“Today we bring the industry closer to new technologies”, said Célia Marques, Quality, Environment and Territory Director at Assimagra. “The cooperation between several entities and companies allows to increase the efficiency and the economic and environmental sustainability of the sector”. “This sector has a permanent need to innovate and to have qualified human resources”, she added. “Increasing efficiency through innovation, being more efficient and having more qualified human resources is very important, and depends on this cooperation between companies”.
According to Seán Óg, representative of the Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR), “IMR was created to help SMEs and multinational companies growing through technological advances, not excluding or favoring any company or geographic area”, he explained.
Agostinho da Silva, Managing Director at CEI/ZIPOR group, shared his thoughts on Industry 4.0: “Industry 4.0 allowed customers and suppliers to be able to work collaboratively and helped to bring manufacturers closer to the market”. The Managing Director at CEI/ZIPOR group presented the new project “Projeto Mobilizador InovMINERAL 4.0” and shared some goals for the next few years: “We want to maintain the 2-digit level in annual export growth; we want to attract qualified staff and to increase the average wage; and to help mobilize the sector”.