In 2019, the German Economics Ministry is organizing HANNOVER MESSE’s first-ever summit on lightweight construction. The summit for political, industry and R&D leaders, which will be held on 2 April, will look at lightweight design and construction as a competitive factor and explore strategies for fostering it as a key enabling technology. Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Peter Altmaier, will open the summit and give the opening address. Lightweight construction has been a key focus of HANNOVER MESSE for many years. The difference in 2019 is that it will be on center stage at the all-new Lightweighting Summit. Organized by the German government, the summit frames lightweight construction as a key part of Germany’s industrial policy agenda. “Lightweight means material and resource efficiency,” commented Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Peter Altmaier. “We want to promote lightweight construction as a key enabling technology and thus smooth the way for even broader industrial use of lightweight technologies. Our objective with the Lightweighting Summit at HANNOVER MESSE is to facilitate this by advancing the necessary dialogue between government, industry and research.” The inaugural Lightweighting Summit is expected to attract about 300 participants. Comprising keynotes by top-notch speakers and two panel discussions, it will open at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, 2 April 2019, and close three hours later, at 5 p.m. Deutsche Messe sees the summit as a major plus for HANNOVER MESSE. “Interest in lightweight design and construction is strong across all areas of HANNOVER MESSE,” explained the company’s Managing Board Chairman, Dr. Jochen Köckler. “At the moment, many industries and manufacturers are only just figuring out how they can benefit from lightweight construction. As well as using a diverse range of materials, lightweighting is also very much about innovative engineering and digitized development chains.” German industry has already made a name for itself with its know-how in lightweight construction, and part of the thematic focus of the 1st Lightweighting Summit will be on how to strengthen and build on that position. The use and combination of various different materials, such as plastics, fiber-reinforced composites, aluminum, wood, and even steel and concrete, are fundamental to lightweight construction, but they are by no means the whole story. Lightweight design and engineering are just as important. The Summit will focus on both of these aspects as being essential to achieving enhanced material and resource efficiency and improved functionality. Lightweighting is also playing a pivotal role in the introduction of digital value chains and thus has considerable cross-over with the other core theme of HANNOVER MESSE – Industry 4.0.