The International Commission of Glass’s Coordinating Technical Committee (CTC) organised a workshop to identify the scientific and technical topics of most significance for future glass applications.

The workshop was held at the Instituto de Cerámica y Vidrio (CSIC) headquarters in Madrid, Spain. Participants included CTC members, additional participants represented the different hierarchical levels within ICG, such as younger Technical Committee (TC) members, TCs chairs, members of the Steering Committee, Advisory Board and the Management Board. The meeting was chaired by Klaus Bange.

As a preliminary step, materials from different sources had already been collected. Different documents and roadmaps on future glass R&D topics from various countries, glass organisations and societies and governmental agencies for funding had been collated, analysed and made available to the participants.

Four weeks before the event the participants began by preparing their presentations. Each was allocated a limited time slot to present three R&D topics of particular interest for the future of glass.

The presentations formed the core of the workshop and led to a structured discussion of the ideas presented. The starting scenario for each presentation was not to challenge the existing pattern of TCs but rather to initiate important new projects (TCs).

The focus was on scientific and technical topics and also considered questions such as:

What will be the three most important R&D topics when we have to built up new TC structure?
Which R&D topics will be most important for future glass applications? or
Which are important for your country/region or your society?

After the presentations and discussion, a headline from each suggested R&D topic was documented on a card. In the ensuing discussion the cards were categorised, evaluated and prioritised.

Clustering the individual ideas identified the following, mostly highly ranked subjects:

Energy & Environment aspects in Glass Production;
Glasses for Applications in Energy & Environment sector;
Process Innovations;
Multifunctions in Materials and Thin Films.

The outcomes from the workshop will be evaluated and analysed by the CTC as a basis for future actions.

The most highly ranked topics will be considered in greater depth and the TC most appropriate for such activity identified. If no suitable TC exists a new one will be initiated. The CTC must also consider if other important R&D fields are missing from the existing TC landscape.