The Advisory Board sees the World Chemical Summit as an event of key importance

20 enero 2017

The International Advisory Board highlights the need for a forum like the new WCS.

The members of the International Advisory Board (IAB) for the new World Chemical Summit that took part in the second advisory board meeting in October last year were of one mind in tipping this Fira de Barcelona initiative as being "essential to the chemical industry at an international level," as the previously unprecedented event will bring international experts together to respond to the challenges posed by 21st century society.

The eight members of the World Chemical Summit (WCS) International Advisory Board are highly respected within the global chemical sector and are working with Fira de Barcelona to establish the scientific content of this new event, which will take place in October of this year and feature a broad representation spanning the sector's theoretical and industrial fields.

IAB president and lawyer, Josep Maria Gascón, who has an extensive track record in the chemical field from his time with the Solvay company and who is the current Strategy and Competitive Intelligence Director for the Government of Catalonia agency, ACCIÓ, believes that "the World Chemical Summit will become the leading global platform for the applied chemical industry, providing pioneering solutions on issues such as food, energy, health, water and air, digital society and industry." According to Gascón, "everything comes down to chemistry and there is no other event in the world right now that combines both inspirational insight from scientific experts and industry to demonstrate the ways in which chemistry is providing responses to the problems posed by modern society."

BASF Vice President for Plastics Additives for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Ricard Vandellós, stresses that "the World Chemical Summit will give visibility to the important contribution the chemical industry makes to everyone's quality of life, in which innovation, the environment and the preservation of resources, such as water and energy, are crucial." Current CEO of the Ricardo Molina Group and member of organisations such as the European Association of Chemical Distributors (FECC), Jorge Grande, says that "the chemical sector has become excessively specialized", going on to comment on the lack of a "homogenous and global response in terms of how chemistry and its solutions are contributing to tackling society's current challenges," and, as such, "a forum like the World Chemical Summit offers unique added value."

Engineering physicist and former vice president of the Rhodia group, Louis Neltner, is another member of the IAB, who sees "the chemical industry as being key in providing solutions to the majority of the challenges facing society today", adding that the World Chemical Summit represents "a great opportunity to share and publicise new visions and build bridges between all members of the sector, users and public administrations."

Engineer Cédric Denis-Remis, who benefits from extensive experience in the field of education in France and China, is the current vice president of the MINES ParisTech school of engineering in Paris. In his opinion, "chemistry is everywhere, but not in the same way it was 30 years ago because sustainable development is an inherent part of modern chemistry." Remis highlights the fact that "today's society is demanding a chemistry that is safe and transparent and the World Chemical Summit will bring the whole of the existing ecosystem together to discuss that new paradigm." The French engineer adds that "Barcelona has great organisational experience, which guarantees the success of the World Chemical Summit," concluding by saying that "we anticipate that the World Chemical Summit will be the Davos of the chemical industry in a few years' time,".

The creation of the International Advisory Board reinforces the global nature of the World Chemical Summit and of the three other parallel events (Expoquimia, Eurosurfas and Equiplast) that will take place at Fira de Barcelona in 2017. The 2014 event saw the launch of the WICAP Forum (World, Investment, Cooperation and Innovation Lab, Application Forum and Project Forum), an innovative initiative aimed at increasing both the degree of internationalization and the number of projects and investments presented to the exhibitors. In 2014, a total of 51 national and international projects were presented as part of the WICAP Forum, and it was attended by government representatives from countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Israel.

Barcelona is set to become a global capital for applied chemistry, with, in addition to the first ever World Chemical Summit, the Expoquimia, Eurosurfas and Equiplast events being hosted at the Fira de Barcelona Gran Via venue between 2 and 6 October this year. This status as a capital is further strengthened by the 10th World Congress of Chemical Engineering (WCCE), which is to be held in Spain for the first time and will bring together over 3,000 chemical engineers from all over the world. The event is held every four years, alternating between Europe, the United States and Asia.

Barcelona, January 2017

Eduard Pérez Moya

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