GPCA to boost industry dialogue on circular economy, innovation

GPCA to boost industry dialogue on circular economy, innovation
Winners on stage at the 7th GPCA Plastics Excellence Awards with Dr Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun (far left), secretary general, GPCA.
Published: 16 February 2018 - 10 p.m.
By: Martin Menachery

The Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) will focus on the circular economy and innovation during its 5th Research and Innovation Summit and 9th GPCA PlastiCon, taking place at the Oberoi, Business Bay, Dubai, during 11-13 March 2018 and 14-15 March 2018, respectively.

Both conferences are key to the advancement of the chemical and petrochemical industry in the Arabian Gulf region, bringing both regional and industry perspectives on issues of strategic significance.

This year’s edition of GPCA PlastiCon, an annual event that caters to the plastics segment of the petrochemical industry, will focus on the changing regulatory environment and increasing expectations that the plastics industry adopt more sustainable practices. Various sessions will draw from expert knowledge of the circular economy, and focus on recycling, regulation and export opportunities. PlastiCon will also host the 8th GPCA Plastics Excellence Awards, recognising innovation in plastics conversion industry and regional vocational and academic institutions.

In order to create a culture of innovation within the regional chemical industry, the fifth GPCA Research and Innovation Summit, under the theme ‘Capitalising on innovation: A growth imperative’, will address the theme from both process and environmental angles. This year’s summit will focus on opportunities within start-ups and technology incubators, while highlighting specific success stories within innovation in the Arabian Gulf chemical and petrochemical industry. Furthermore, experts will highlight advances in polymer downstream innovation that remains a key growth driver.

The opening address at PlastiCon will be delivered by Ahmad Omar Abdulla, CEO, Borouge, and chairman, Plastics Committee, GPCA, with keynote speakers on day 1 including Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh,  executive vice president, petrochemicals, SABIC, and Javier Constante, commercial vice president, packaging and specialty plastics - Europe, Middle East, Africa, DOW Europe.

Keynote speakers at Research and Innovation Summit include Dr David Hounshell, Roderick Professor, Emeritus, Technology and Social Change, Carnegie Mellon University, US, and the opening remarks will be by Dr Moayyed Al-Qurtas, chairman, GPCA’s Research and Innovation Committee.

Dr Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, secretary general, GPCA, commented: “The plastics industry is already moving towards sustainability and the pace of adoption must be accelerated to deliver real value to the business, environment and society at large. This year’s PlastiCon is specifically aimed at increasing awareness and educating the industry on reducing environmental impact.”

Dr Al-Sadoun continued: “Such an impact can be delivered only through meaningful innovation that is derived from an understanding of the unique needs of the region. The Arabian Gulf chemical industry must work towards maintaining a vibrant and sustainable innovation lifecycle to overcome any uncertainties, anticipate and surpass hurdles to achieving business impact, and maximise opportunities for future growth. These themes and more will be tackled at the Research and Innovation Summit.”

On 13 March 2018, day 2 of the Research and Innovation Summit, GPCA will host an exclusive student seminar as part of its ‘Leaders of Tomorrow’ initiative, which aims to build local human capital in the region, and bridge the gap between industry and academia.

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