• 19-22 September 2023
  • Milan, Italy


Moving towards sustainability through innovation


The congress program covers three days: September 20th, September 21st and September 22nd, plus an optional day on September 19th.


Tuesday, September 19th 


The UITIC tradition of offering the participants a complementary program of factory and institutional visits continues; three options will be available*, which will give an insight into the Italian shoemaking world and the best research and innovation infrastructures:

1- Suppliers

Industrie Chimiche Forestali, shoe material and adhesive manufacturer (Marcallo con Casone, MI)
Tessitura Langè, fabric wholesaler (Robecchetto con Induno, MI)
Tacchificio Villa Cortese, footwear component manufacturer (Villa Cortese, MI) 
TFL, tannery pilot plant (Buscate, MI)

2- Inspirational

Kilometro Rosso, innovation district (Bergamo, BG)
MADE Competence Center I4.0 (Milan, MI)

3- Shoe Factory

Calzaturificio Roveda, shoe factory (Parabiago, MI)
Calzaturificio SeymechamLou, shoe factory (Nerviano, MI)
CIMAC, test and certification lab (Vigevano, PV)

*Factory Visits are sold out.

Wednesday, September 20th  


Venue: Rho Fiera Milan

The SIMAC TANNING TECH trade show is the landmark exhibition for the most advanced design and manufacturing technologies; a one stop occasion to observe the latest technical evolutions and to discuss them with their creators with the support of the ASSOMAC team. A unique and convenient opportunity for all the participants.

LINEAPELLE is a world’s leading exhibition hub for leather, materials, accessories and components for the global fashion, design and luxury manufacturing industry. Innovation and research play a key role.The 1300 exhibitors from 45 Countries will present the Autumn Winter 24/25 collections.


Thursday, September 21st


Venue: NH Milano Congress Centre (Milanofiori, Assago)

Innovation and sustainable development have sometimes been considered as two antagonistic principles; they must now be fully associated to ensure the viability of the company. In this context, neglecting sustainable innovation when creating products, services and equipment would be a mistake that could lead to turning one's back on the future.

  • 8:30 AM Welcome coffee
  • 9:00 AM Opening ceremony
Yves Morin President UITIC (France)
Alessandro Spada President ASSOLOMBARDA (Italy)
Maria Vittoria Brustia President ASSOMAC (Italy)
Giovanna Ceolini  President ASSOCALZATURIFICI (Italy)
Carmen Arias Castellano  Secretary General CEC (Belgium)
Fabrizio Nuti President UNIC (Italy)
  • 9:30 AM Keynote Speech: Innovation
This keynote speech will address, from a broad and general perspective, the topic of innovation and of its importance for the success of modern companies, whether it is product or process innovation. Key takeaways will be offered to the audience for a smooth and effective adoption of “innovative thinking”.
Carlo Alberto Carnevale Maffè  Professor Bocconi University (Italy)
  • 10:00 AM  Session 1: Products, Materials and Consumers of Tomorrow

The objective of this session is to highlight innovations to better meet consumer needs, explore new design paradigms, conceive products with less environmental impact, identify and implement new materials, and propose methods to measure the environmental impact of products and materials.

Moderator: Elena Orgiles, UITIC Scientific Committee INESCOP (Spain)

TENCEL™ Lyocell filament as an innovative and biodegradable raw material for knitted shoe uppers Markus Pichler, Lenzing (Austria)
Strategies to reduce footwear environmental footprint - A quantitative approach Maria José Ferreira, Portuguese Footwear Research Centre CTCP (Portugal)

Fast fashion and sustainability for footwear industry, how to choose?

Matthieu Vicard, CTC Groupe (France)

Sustainability Integration through Connected Data

Linli Cao, BM Technology (Canada)
  • 11:00 AM Networking break and Innovation Showcase
  • 11:30 AM Session 2: Digital Transformation
To deal with major economic, technological, organizational challenges, companies must rethink their tools. New design and manufacturing technologies are fundamental means to provide improved, secure, flexible, reliable, competitive tools. They constitute a vast field of improvement in the overall competitiveness of the company. It is essential to reduce the innovation lead time and the design and production cycle duration, through the massive use of digital models and digital data exchanges.

Moderator: Ricardo Jaime Guerra Sanchez, UITIC Scientific Committee CIATEC (Mexico)

Feedback from biomechanics to robotic: an accelerator process for innovating products testing Valantin Louis, CTC Groupe (France)

Quality control and traceability in the production of footwear

Vittoria Brustia, Brustia Alfameccanica (Italy)
One Step Closer to Transparency: How Digital Product Passports are Revolutionizing Footwear production and storytelling Martina Schiuma, The IDFactory (Italy)
Last Engineers: Harmonizing Technology and Craftsmanship for Precision Fit in Footwear Benjamin Majster, Blue Ridge Logiciels (France)
Don’t just stay afloat: how to evolve digital product creation, without sinking into the impact of skills, processes and tools Guido Polcan and Matteo Pasca, Maize and Arsutoria (Italy)

Smart and Connected Machines to Deliver More Value to Customers

Pierangelo Dolera and Cesare Reina, Atom (Italy)
  • 1:00 PM Lunch break and Innovation Showcase
  • 2:30 PM Session 3: Human Capital for Industry 5.0
The new technological age in which we are entering, will impose deep evolutions regarding humans’ place in footwear companies. It needs a human-centred factory, to better consider collaborators’ expectations all along their active life and to better attract talents it needs. Digital revolution will strongly impact the skills required and it will define new jobs, new management methods or attitudes will emerge. Employee protection, as well as skills development, is a major issue in sustainability.
Moderator: Bhabendra Nath Das, UITIC Scientific Committee CSIR - Central Leather Research Institute (India)

EU Digital FabLab: a virtual Shoe Fablab using AR for practical footwear manufacturing skills Alice Marcato, Politecnico Calzaturiero (Italy)
Transforming footwear manufacturing: dexterous robotic shoe soles demolding to reduce the physical burden on workers and foster a sustainable workforce Carlos Vélez García, INESCOP (Spain)
SciLED Knowledge Alliance for comfort and sustainable oriented footwear Mariana Costea, Gheorghe Asachi Technical University of Iași (Romania)
Is your company ready for Industry 5.0? Key Competences for the successful implementation of i5.0 objectives in the footwear industry Rita Souto, Portuguese Footwear Research Centre CTCP (Portugal)
Capacity building of global footwear sector for sustainable development

Swarna V KanthCSIR - Central Leather Research Institute (India)

  • 3:45 PM Networking break and Innovation Showcase
  • 4:15 PM First panel - Innovation

In this first panel, footwear innovators and experts from high tech companies in the field of materials, automation, robotics, AI will discuss how they innovate their technologies and their business and how these innovations eventually may impact on the footwear manufacturing processes.

Moderator: Simone Cerroni, Journalist Class CNBC (Italy)

Luca Marchetti B&R Automazione Industriale (Italy)
Dirk Achten COVESTRO (Germany)
Antonio Vulcano ELMEC3D - HP (Italy)
Guido Cami Industrie Chimiche Forestali (Italy)
Gianmichele Piciocco Mitsubishi Electric Europe (Italy)

Asher Clark

Vivobarefoot (UK)
  • 5:30 PM Closure remarks day 1
  • 7:00 PM Departure by bus for the Gala Dinner in Vigevano from NH Assago
  • 8:30 PM Gala Dinner in the Castle of Vigevano: more info
  • 11:30 PM Return to the NH Assago

Friday, September 22nd


Venue: NH MIlano Congress Centre (Milanofiori, Assago)

  • 8:30 AM Welcome coffee
  • 9:00 AM Opening of second day
  • 9:15 AM Keynote Speech: Sustainability
The integration of sustainability in all its dimensions is no longer an option for the global footwear industry. It is a pressing and urgent necessity. It is also an opportunity for companies to find new sources of competitiveness and attractiveness. The keynote speech addresses this topic from general and specific perspectives.

Francesca Rulli 
CEO Process Factory and Ympact Società Benefit | Founder 4sustainability (Italy)
  • 9:45 AM Session 4: Successful Sustainability Stories

Beyond the will of companies to become sustainable manufacturers, they are often confronted with implementation difficulties and the definition of their priorities. This topic is vast and could be approached from the angle of products or of production equipment. There is also often the question of labelling systems to ensure that the approaches are recognised. This last session, based on success stories covering all aspects of sustainability, will allow to present global approaches. Its aim will also be to enlighten participants about the key success factors for implementing their project.

Moderator: Clara Florbela Silva, UITIC Scientific Committee Portuguese Footwear Research Centre CTCP (Portugal)

Footwear recycling pilot plant as sustainable solution and clean technology for the industry

Elena Orgiles, INESCOP (Spain)

Re_SHOES - Shoes recycling

Alex Marquoin, CETIA (France)

Polyurethanes are ready for circular footwear concepts

Felix Willenbrink, BASF (Germany)

A Practical Approach to Assess the Environmental Impact of Footwear using Life Cycle Assessment Principles

Andrew Hudson, BLC Leather Technology Centre Ltd (UK)

VCS: the sustainability certification mark for the footwear sector

Sabrina Frontini, ICEC (Italy) and Matteo Scarparo, Assocalzaturifici (Italy)
  • 11:00 AM Networking break and Innovation Showcase
  • 11:30 AM Second panel - Sustainability

In this panel technology suppliers, experts and practitioners will be asked to discuss their paths to sustainability through the adoption of targeted approaches and how these could be of inspiration for the audience.

Moderator: Simone Cerroni, Journalist Class CNBC (Italy)

Andreas Tepest DEICHMANN (Germany)
Klaus Freese DESMA Schuhmaschinen (Germany)
Mirco Prai MGT Italia (Italy)
Katie Kutskill SLF (UK)
Leonardo Bonanni Sourcemap (USA)

Giacomo Zorzi

UNIC (Italy)
  • 1:00 PM Closing ceremony
  • 1:30 PM Farewell lunch
  • Yves Morin

    Yves Morin

    President of UITIC

    “UITIC Members are very enthusiastic about the idea of organizing the “21st UITIC International Footwear Congress” in Italy, which is an undisputed reference in terms of innovation and technology for the footwear industries.”

  • Françoise Nicolas

    Françoise Nicolas

    President of UITIC Congress Scientific Committee

    “The congress will be an occasion to focus on important technological innovations that have helped footwear companies modernize and become more sustainable. It is therefore an event that is not to be missed.”
    Copyright © Loïc Benoit

  • Sergio Dulio

    Sergio Dulio

    President of UITIC Congress Organisational Committee

    "UITIC members are delighted to join forces with such a prestigious partner as ASSOMAC for their “21st UITIC Congress” which will take place in Vigevano and Milan, both cities of reference in footwear technology and fashion."

  • Maria Vittoria Brustia

    Maria Vittoria Brustia

    President of ASSOMAC

    "By bringing together representatives of the international footwear industry, the UITIC congress gives participants a valuable opportunity to pool vital information." Copyright Loïc Benoit

  • Roberto Vago

    Roberto Vago

    Managing Director of ASSOMAC

    "This UITIC Congress will be a remarkable event due to its simultaneous organization with the "Simac Tanning Tech" exhibition, the international event with the most qualified offer of machinery and technologies for the footwear, leather goods and tanning industries."