The IULTCS Congress in Florence, organised by the host country’s Associazione Italiana dei Chimici del Cuoio (AICC), introduced a new format for the congress which replaces the Heidemann Symposium with a Heidemann lecture and gives more prominence to the visual displays, previously referred to as posters, giving the authors a five minute opportunity to introduce their ideas the congress audience.

The main presentations were extremely varied, as by their nature they have to be, covering as they do the beamhouse, environment, tanning, finishing, practical and analytical aspects. The congress also included a splendid gala dinner and a trip to the very impressive common effluent treatment plant for Santa Croce sull’ Arno, Fucecchio and Castelfranco di Sotto.

The level of professionalism of the presentation is not necessarily an indication of the value of the papers which ranged from ground-breaking research, through inconclusive studies to work which offered little that was new. But, all in all, there was something for everyone.

The next IULTCS Congress is scheduled to take place in Washington and is being organised by the American Leather Chemists Association (ALCA) for June 2007. However, next year a second European conference will be staged, this time in Istanbul, May 24-27, 2006. More information about II Eurocongress can be found at [] or []