Responding to the Coronavirus emergency, together

Progetto Fuoco survey: the wood burning sector respond to the consequences of the coronavirus lockdown

This is the spirit in which in mid-April – in the middle of the lockdown to fight the coronavirus epidemic – Progetto Fuoco decided to launch an online questionnaire for its partners and exhibitors. We asked them some questions in order to gauge feelings in the sector, to understand the repercussions of this unprecedented situation, and to discover the strategies that are now being employed to cope with it, as well as the measures that may help us to recover from it. It doesn’t purport to be objective, but rather to keep people connected, pooling our thoughts on how to bounce back. The re-opening of manufacturing and wholesale commerce on the 4th of May – the so-called Phase 2 – is the first real test.

Urgent measures

Strengthening pre-existing schemes to support demand, like Ecobonus and Bonus Casa, but also supporting credit and unemployment benefits for companies: these are the most urgent measures according to the voluntary and anonymous responses to our questions. Out of every 10 companies surveyed in the wood-fired heating sector, 4 are involved in manufacturing and 6 in distribution. Uncertainty is the prevailing sentiment, reflecting the feelings of ordinary citizens, in Italy and around the world.

The results of the survey

With the help of some infographics, let’s examine the results of the survey, starting from the beginning.

How much have the Covid-19 crisis and the subsequent containment measures affected revenue? Almost half of all companies (47%) have seen revenues collapse by 75% or more in recent weeks, compared to the same period in 2019. For one in five companies the fall has been between 50% and 75%, and for 22% of companies the fall has been between 25% and 50%.

coronavirus survey

The crisis is hitting manufacturing companies harder: 52% of them have lost more than 75% of their revenue, a figure which among distribution companies falls to a still shocking 44%. These figures aren’t surprising, considering that 65% of manufacturing companies have come to a complete standstill during the lockdown, and 26% have been partially closed. Only 6% have been able to continue working while respecting the safety regulations imposed as part of the measures against Covid-19 agreed by the government and social partners.

Coping strategies

What strategies have our partners and exhibitors adopted to avoid their businesses coming to a complete halt, and to devise new development pathways? The answers tell a two-sided story. Few companies (9%) have invested in creating or improving e-commerce or home delivery systems. Many more companies report having increased investment in research and development aimed at creating new products, as a result of the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. 39% of surveyed companies think that this crisis will lead to the creation of new products and new market segments.

coronavirus survey

Which products will consumer preferences shift to? Our survey revealed numerous ideas and suggestions: cheaper products, at low cost and which guarantee high output and efficiency, modern fireplaces, wood-fired boilers, pellet stoves, small stoves, and eco-friendly systems.

In terms of commerce, we wondered in which directions Mass Market Retail will move in order to respond to the new needs created by obligatory social distancing. We asked our partners and the answer 71% of them gave is that large retailers will strengthen – as they are already doing – their online purchase and home delivery systems. Looking ahead to next winter, the uncertainty caused by the very real possibility that we may have to live alongside the virus, finding new ways to work and socialise, are reflected in an unclear view of the economic future. More than three quarters of respondents (76%), are unsure of what to expect regarding the future of their company. 17% were pessimistic, expecting negative consequences. Only 7% of exhibitors and partners were optimistic about the future, having positive expectations despite the current challenges.

What does the market need?

Moving on to the economic measures the market needs in order to bounce back after the novel coronavirus, the most popular among the options we presented to respondents was the strengthening of the Ecobonus and Bonus Casa for families, which 29% of respondents considered to be necessary. In second place is support for credit for companies, essential according to 26% of respondents. 14% think more support for unemployment benefits is an urgently needed measure. The enlargement of tax credits by the government met with the approval of 12% of respondents. One in ten of our surveyed companies thinks greater investment in research and development is necessary, while one in twenty thinks that mergers and partnerships between companies would make them more competitive in an ever-tougher market. The remaining 4% proposed solutions such as the government providing injections of non-repayable liquidity for companies, and a drastic reduction in taxes and bureaucracy.

coronavirus survey

The coronavirus crisis is connected to the collapse in oil prices, an event with the potential to destabilise the global economic balance. When asked how they feel the coronavirus emergency will impact on the wood-fired heating market, 38% of respondents said that the crisis will hinder the sector, with the fall in oil prices playing an important role. 37% feel that the sector will be hindered by factors unrelated to the oil market. 17% feel that the Covid-19 emergency won’t harm the wood-fired heating sector at all, while 8% think the emergency will favour the sector.

The next edition of Progetto Fuoco il scheduled in February 23-26, 2022. Stay tuned for the next edition of Italia Legno Energia, Arezzo (IT) scheduled in February 4-6 February, 2021.

Italia Legno Energia – 4/6 February 2021 – Fiera di Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy

organized by Piemmeti SpA and promoted by Progetto Fuoco, dedicated to the production of heating energy with agro-forest biomass.

All the most important companies specialized in plants and equipment for wood and pellet heating are present.

Italia Legno Energia is the only nationwide event in 2021: it has become a reference point in odd years, when the bigger biannual exhibition Progetto Fuoco in Verona is not on schedule. 

The exhibition is also a strategic opportunity to further enhance the biomass renewable energy source in Central Italy, notoriously rich in forests and woods.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD APPLICATION FORM

“From the forest to the fireplace”

The entire wood supply chain is meeting in Arezzo for a three-day event open to operators and the public. 

From stoves, to fireplaces, boilers, large biomass plants, pellets, chips, components, accessories and items for the flue gas system. The most modern and innovative technological solutions for domestic, civil, industrial heating and mini-cogeneration.

Thanks to its invaluable technical partnership with AIEL (the Italian Agroforestry Energy Association), Italia Legno Energia will also provide opportunities to find out about all of the latest news in a packed schedule of meetings, conventions and workshops covering topics such as certification, incentives, the design process and choosing the right pellets. 

WWW.ITALIALEGNOENERGIA.IT

Facts & Figures 2019

  • 183 Exhibitors (including 62 from outside Italy)
  • 25.000 square meters of exhibition space 
  • 19.500 visitors and buyer from all Italian regions
  • Meeting and workshop in partnership with AIEL (Italian Association of Biomass Value Chain)

Reasons to join Italia Legno Energia

1. Progetto Fuoco’s experience and know-how

2. A complete and high-profile exhibition proposal

3. The benefits of the energy produced by biomass: sustainability, economy, access to incentives

4. An important communication campaign

5. Partnership with AIEL

6. Only trade show appointment in Italy for the sector in 2021

7. Contact with a targeted array of experts

8. The possibility of contacting the final consumer

9. Best convenience among the Trade Shows

10. A territory without equal, with a large wooded area

May 2020 PF Magazine is out

The new issue of PF Magazine, the only magazine entirely dedicated to the biomass heating market, is already being distributed to 20,000 Italian and foreign recipients.

In this number:

– facts and figure of Progetto Fuoco 2020

– how to restart after the Covid-19 emergency

– the new products of the companies

– when the showcase does business

Download PF MAGAZINE n.2/2020

Free Subscription

Blucomb wins the Progetto Fuoco Give Me Fire Award

THE LOW EMISSION PELLET STOVE WHICH OPTIMISES BLUCOMB CARBON, A PROJECT CREATED FOR AFRICAN VILLAGES WINS THE PROGETTO FUOCO GIVE ME FIRE AWARD 

The curtain comes down on the first edition of the contest dedicated to innovation in the wood and biomass sector, promoted by Progetto Fuoco and Blum in association with AIEL. The public prize is awarded to Belgian brand Sûti Design & Utility, which designs and produces attractive and technologically advanced heating systems. Innovation in the fire sector has a new rising star: Blucomb of Udine, the startup that has just won the first edition of Give Me Fire – Progetto Fuoco European Startup Award, the international prize dedicated to innovation in the sectors of heating and energy produced from wood and biomass, promoted by Progetto Fuoco and Blum, in association with Aiel – the Italian Association of Agroforestal Energy. 

What is Blucomb

Blucomb is a micro-gasification burner for pellet stoves which guarantees high efficiency and low emissions. How? By dividing the combustion in two parts: first it transforms the fuel into carbon and gas, and only subsequently does it burn them, all without needing to use energy. This is a story which has its roots in the laboratories of the University of Udine, from which Blucomb was created as a spin-off in 2012: for a project with Professor Alessandro Peressotti, improved culinary stoves were created to cook food in developing countries, an invention from which the current burner was created. In the field of international projects, Blucomb teaches the local population in several African countries (Ghana, Togo, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia) how to build the stoves with locally available materials and technology. The verdict was given by the panel of 10 experts, after the final which took place at the 12th edition of Progetto Fuoco at Fiera di Verona. The panel chose the best of the 12 innovative companies which had been selected from an international contest and then hosted at the first Give Me Fire Innovation Village at Pavillion 9. 

Why Blucomb is different

“Our patent consists of a reaction chamber which regulates the combustion reactions” says physicist Carlo Ferrato, co-founder of Blucomb. “We divide the combustion into two phases: first we transform the pellets into carbon and combustible gas, and in the second phase we transform the carbon into combustible gas and ashes. This allows us to produce inflammable gas which is then mixed with air to obtain a much cleaner combustion than with traditional pellet stoves, which don’t differentiate between phases and burn everything together. Another difference between traditional stoves and Blucomb is that Blucomb works without electrical current. We started off at the University of Udine: with professor Alessandro Peressotti from the Agrarian Studies faculty we created improved culinary stoves for the cooking of food in developing countries. We then adapted that technology to domestic stoves and small boilers. All our burners allow the user to burn while optimising emissions, and can be applied to traditional stoves, making them more efficient, thanks to the adaptability in terms of the length and power of the combustion”. 

Blucomb
Carlo Ferrato, co-founder of Blucomb

A first edition that kept its promises

“The first edition of Give Me Fire kept its promises” commented Raul Barbieri, general manager of Piemmeti, the company owned by Veronafiere that organises Progetto Fuoco, who continued: “by showing a sector in which companies compete increasingly in terms of product innovation, from the search for reduced emissions and increased performance, to a concept of design in line with contemporary trends”. “It was a great challenge” added Luca Barbieri from Blum, who continued: “which started with intense scouting, and was carried on through the schedule of the Give Me Fire Innovation Village during Progetto Fuoco. Even those who didn’t win anything can take something away from the experience: contacts with potential clients and industrial partners which could turn out to be precious, as could the exchanging of ideas with experts and fellow startuppers”. 

Public prize and podium 

The public prize, awarded by visitors to the stands, was awarded to Sûti Design & Utility, a brand of pellet stoves characterised by their unique design and high technology, created by the Belgian company Distri & Design.
Of the 12 startups in the contest, the panel selected three semi-finalists. As well as Blucomb, the following startups were awarded a place on the podium: Pyro & Tech – a startup from Villa di Tirano (Sondrio), which created the Hybrid system which combines the advantages of a micro-cogenerator with those of a biomass boiler, and Black Box Green – a startup from Fiorano Modenese (Modena), which offers a cloud- operated monitoring, analysis and control system for optimal energy efficiency in biomass combustion or gasification systems. 

Sûti
Sûti Design & Utility

Blucomb – profile of the winning startup 

Blucomb of Udine designs and produces patented pyrolytic pellet burners which do not require electronic controls, moving mechanical parts, or electrical current. Blucomb develops pyrolytic applications for stoves and boilers based on the needs and instructions provided by the client. For clients, mostly companies producing domestic heating appliances, the burners are installed in models already in production and are tested for efficiency and emissions to ensure they are ready for product certifications which currently require ever higher standards. In the laboratory, equipped with all the necessary tools for combustion analysis (CO, fine particles, NOx), the efficiency and modality of heat transfer into the environment are measured, new products based on pyrolysis are developed, and refresher courses are held for artisan heating engineers who want to take advantage of this new technology for their business. Investment in research and development is of primary importance and is also supported by consultancy work at the University of Udine and other international bodies that deal with capacity building and know-how transfer concerning appliances for water sanitisation and the cooking of food in developing countries. 

The storefront window: a powerful narrative to communicate your products

Communicating products

All brands communicate their products and values through multiple channels: from traditional forms such as printed paper and participation in trade exhibitions, to more contemporary forms such as social media management and customer profiling. These different languages have one main goal: to sell, bringing the end customer to the store. And what is the clients’ behaviour? They read magazines, they follow facebook threads, perhaps they are even on pinterest and instagram, they inquire, stroll and shop online and in actual shops. Customers live in a world of aesthetic solicitations and technical information that shape his imagination and which, in some way, they expect to find in the showroom. And what happens there? They park and get in. Between these two actions taken for granted, there is a huge communication opportunity: the storefront window!

The storefront window: how we can enhance a great opportunity

Wherever your shop is located, it is itself a sales tool. It becomes part of the story started by the brands you sell in the most varied forms. So what do we need to do go on with the story? Let’s start by keeping in mind that the showcase has always been the store’s business card, the captivating incipit, to put it in literary terms. The showcase has three goals: to capture attention, to thrill and to bring customers into the shop. Fashion and design companies all over the world make use of professionals (called visual merchandisers) to take care of the storefront windows design. Each stage of the commercial calendar (Back to school, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, sales, etc.) has its own dedicated showcase. Attention to details and the originality of the result are the basis of sales success. These dynamics also apply to our sector. The customers are always the same, they leave a Zara shop, where the shop windows are renewed at a dizzying rate, they enter an IKEA shop and feel part of that emotional world, then they come to our showroom … and what do they find? To answer this question, I was inspired by the exciting visit to the last Progetto Fuoco exhibition, where the display solutions were inspiring and of great quality.

Why not use these tips for inspiration?

I am thinking of the minimal elegance and attention to detail of the Mcz stand, of the natural warmth expressed in Palazzetti’s showcases, of the skilful use of wallpapers and colour of Termorossi, of Nordica’s communication design, and to many other suggestions I saw during the exhibition. If your shop has two storefront windows, you have the opportunity to recreate two settings seen at the exhibition. One setting can be dedicated to the world of wood stoves, the other to pellet stoves. You can bring to your shop the emotions you have experienced. Keep in mind that your costumer is already accustomed to this type of language in other contexts, and he unconsciously searches for it when purchasing a product.

Thermorossi_storefront window

Fire evokes ancient emotions, no sector has such an attractive and meaningful ingredient at its disposal!

Nothing communicates more than a showcase with a working product, perhaps visible even in the winter evenings, in the dark, while, stuck in traffic, one thinks about being back home. A well-furnished lit fireplace, a stove with a small setting, inspired by the many solutions seen at the exhibition, should welcome your client. In this way you can arouse the emotions experienced by visiting the Progetto Fuoco stands, increasing the desire to belong to that world, through the purchase of the displayed product. 

Palazzetti storefront window

As an emotion must be kept alive by constantly restoring it, even the storefront window must be updated during the year.

It is important to provide for renewals, rotations depending on the commercial calendar: promotions, sales, Christmas, must find expression in the showcase. This will allow you to give a perception of renewal and to rotate the displayed product. Keep in mind that consumers are always the same, whether they buy a stove or a shirt, in store or online. You have to put in place all the strategies to meet their needs. You must create a contemporary and exciting shopping experience, which starts from browsing a website, goes through your shop window and ends with the enthusiastic review on Facebook of the new stove purchased in your shop.

nobis_storefront window


The 5 essentials for creating a beautiful showcase:

1. BRAND IDENTITY:

Contact the brand you represent. All the main brands have a business division dedicated to the study of product enhancement in the stores. You will find ad hoc solutions designed to strengthen the brand’s identity and recognizability.

2. GIVE ME FIRE:

Fire conveys ancestral emotions, expressing all the aesthetic potential of the product to the customer. Where possible, try to display products in function in the storefront window. If not, you can use flame effect bulbs hidden in the wood inside the stove or fireplace.

3. YOU NEED TO CATCH THE EYE:

The showcase should be visible from the street. So in the presence of multiple showcases, take care with a beautiful set-up of the showcase that is located in the most visible and on a passageway. If the showcase has a base, you need to place the product on a platform and move it back from the edge of the showcase.

4. TRY TO COMMUNICATE EMOTIONS:

Never forget that stoves and fireplaces in particular, as well as being heating systems, are objects of design. This should be enhanced: try to create warm settings that work on the emotional part of the purchase (the photos of Progetto fuoco published in this article can be of inspiration).

5. LET’S GIVE THRILLS OVER AND OVER AGAIN:

Remember that the customer is dynamic, immersed in a dynamic society. Plan a rotation of the storefront windows. You need to set an operational calendar with themes (in this case the support of the brands is very helpful). Renew your image with little expense, your store will be perceived as even more dynamic and attractive.

The next edition of Progetto Fuoco il scheduled in February 23-26, 2022. Stay tuned for the next edition of Italia Legno Energia, Arezzo (IT) scheduled in February 4-6 February, 2021.

Progetto Fuoco: facts and figures 2020

Progetto Fuoco 2020 – 12° Edition

Progetto Fuoco is the most important international exhibition of plants and materials for the wood-fired heating industry.

Read the presentation of 2020 final report

PF20 Final report

Progetto Fuoco 2020 ends with 60,000 professional operators, including 30% from abroad

WITH THE NEW BUSINESS-ORIENTED FORMAT, THE EVENT CONFIRMS ITS POSITION AS THE WORLD-LEADING PLATFORM FOR THE BIOMASS HEATING INDUSTRY

Blucomb wins the first edition of the Give Me Fire – Progetto Fuoco European Startup Award.  The Belgian Sûti Design & Utility wins the public award.


The 12th edition of Progetto Fuoco ended today with 60,000 professional operators, 30% of them foreign, and an increasing number of visitors from France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Russia. This impressive result was accompanied by a high degree of satisfaction for the 800 exhibitors at the Veronafiere trade fair centre who presented their 3,500 products. The international trade fair dedicated to plants and equipment for producing heat and energy from combustion, therefore confirms its position as a world-leading platform for business and innovation in the industry. This was made possible thanks to the undisputed quality of the offer and a conference programme that saw the main trade associations in the forefront, including AIEL – Associazione Italiana Energie Agroforestali (technical partner of the event). 

 “The extremely positive result of this 12th edition of Progetto Fuoco together with Eco House Expocommented Giovanni Mantovani, general manager of Veronafiere confirms the decision made by Veronafiere to focus on developing sustainable business models that are in keeping with the European goals of the Green New Deal. From a business point of view, the new business-oriented format, concentrated over four days, along with training events, the promotion of startups and investments for incoming buyers in collaboration with ICE-Agency, allowing us to welcome to the trade fair more than 30% of professional operators from abroad, proved to be successful.”

 Raul Barbieri, general manager of Piemmeti the Veronafiere subsidiary that organises Progetto Fuoco – commented, “During these four days of the trade fair event, the sector showed great vitality, providing concrete responses with regard to environmental, economic and innovative aspects while indicating that it is ready to invest in new strategies for the future. In the face of the distorted visions that still affect our sector, companies have promptly provided cutting-edge solutions in line with the growing demand for increasingly sustainable and energy-efficient products and savings. Furthermore, with the first edition of the Give Me Fire – Progetto Fuoco European Startup Award, we launched an additional challenge based on researching and developing state-of-the-art projects and ideas that focus on further improvements in air quality and the performance of equipment. Finally, internationalisation, promotion, communication and business were the other four assets we worked hard on to make Progetto Fuoco, once again, the crucial platform for the sector on a global scale.”    

And precisely in terms of innovation, a special focus was given to young enterprises in Europe, the protagonists of the new Innovation Village, which made its debut this year together with the Give Me Fire – Progetto Fuoco European Startup Award. This award, promoted by Progetto Fuoco and Blum, in collaboration with AIEL, saw some of the best startups compete in the field of heating and energy produced from wood. Blucomb of Udine won first place overall with its patented pyrolytic pellet burners that do not require electronic controls, moving mechanical parts or even electricity. They significantly reduce polluting emissions, ensuring much lower levels of CO and particulate matter than any other traditional form of combustion. The smart stove equipped with an app, designed by the Belgian start-up Sûti Design & Utility, won the public award for its user-friendliness and special design.

The next Veronafiere Progetto Fuoco event, promoted by Piemmeti, will be in 2022. In the meantime, dates have already been set for Italia Legno Energia, scheduled to take place at the Fiera di Arezzo from 4 – 6 February 2021, also organised by Piemmeti.

Info: Piemmeti S.p.A.

Via San Marco 11/c – 35129 Padova

info@piemmetispa.com

Alegranza is the new “Palazzetti in Giardino” barbecue

Alegranza is the new “Palazzetti in Giardino” barbecue. Featuring patented technology “Warm Sitting” that favours conviviality and cooks in a healthy, natural way while its warm seats convince you to stay outdoors.

Heated seats deliver a pleasant feeling of warmth Patented technology results in pleasantly warm seats that invite you to use the Alegranza all year long.

The strength of the “Palazzetti in Giardino” range has always been its modularity: endless combinations are possible, all of which are achieved using top-quality modules that are weather and wearproof as well as being practical, functional and easy to take care of.

Girolami – Gran Sasso

Gran Sasso by girolami

This barbecue features colored refractory hearth, hob made with cement and red refractory aggregates.

The remaining coloring can be customised by the customer.

For more information download the technical data sheet on the Company Website: www.girolami.eu

Fontana – wood-burning barbecue

The Fontana wood-burning barbecue extends the calorific power of the embers thanks to the brazier covered in refractory stone. The continuous embers production system and the separate cooking grates, that allow you to cook different type of food at the same time, are just some of the functional features requested by barbecue enthusiasts.