With the alarming threats posed by climate change, “Sustainability” and “Net Zero” now sit at the top of the agenda of industries, governments, and communities alike. Global sustainability efforts were accelerated with the signing of the Paris Agreement, which charted a new course in the effort to combat climate change. Today countries are required to not only make commitments to the accord but to also take concrete actions. Given the steady increase in environmental pressure, it has never been more important to transition to a low carbon society.
The chemical industry, no doubt has a vital role to play in this transition. It is considered a cornerstone of the global economy, providing essential materials and technologies for 95% of all manufactured goods. As a crucial contributor to almost all sectors, the chemical industry is currently responsible for 6% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and this is projected to grow even further. However, the industry is taking substantial steps to change that; significant resources are being invested by governments, local and foreign investors in the GCC region to accelerate the development of new technologies, adopt new, circular business models, and transition to clean energy sources. This is to meet the ever-growing demand for chemicals and petrochemicals in a sustainable manner.
The chemical industry understands that net-zero transition cannot be achieved by one party alone. A collaborative effort is needed to help accelerate the development and upscaling of climate-friendly technologies. An important piece of that puzzle are research institutes and academia, start-ups and inventors, who bring a host of innovative ideas, but lack the capacity to upscale their technologies. The industry needs to engage and collaborate with these groups to foster fruitful solutions for societal benefits.
After a brief pause, the 7th edition of the GPCA R&I Conference is returning to Dubai to showcase the latest innovations in the chemical industry, and to cement a sustainable future with value chain collaboration at its heart. The conference will be held under the theme ‘Catalyzing a Sustainable Future through R&I’, and is scheduled to take place from 26-27 September 2022, at the Address Sky View Hotel in Dubai. This edition will feature a dedicated competition for undergraduate and postgraduate university students who will be provided with one-of-a-kind opportunity to present their innovative ideas to industry leaders. The second edition of GPCA Innovation Competition is designed to bridge the gap between the industry and academia and bring them closer together in line with GPCA’s advocacy effort in fostering an innovation culture in the Arabian Gulf region.