Innovation will be key to addressing world’s sustainability challenges
Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Minister of Oil, Bahrain, inaugurated, the 6th R&I Summit, as chemical industry leaders called for greater focus on innovation

Dubai, 13 March 2019: Greater focus on innovation will be needed in the chemical industry in the GCC and globally to address the world’s sustainability challenges, said speakers at the 6th edition of GPCA Research and Innovation (R&I) Summit, inaugurated by H.E. Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Minister of Oil, Bahrain, today 13 March at ART Rotana, Amwaj Islands.

H.E. the Minister of Oil stressed in his inaugural speech that GCC countries must invest in research and innovation and ensure a steady supply of high-quality chemicals to meet the world's increasing demand driven by a rapid population increase. Regional chemical producers are witnessing fierce competition and challenges in the face of globalization and digitalization. To overcome these difficulties regional producers must focus on research and innovation to produce new products in line with modern international standards, the Minister added. He further highlighted the need for ongoing support from governments in the GCC to maintain the region’s competitiveness in this dynamic and changing market.

Speakers at the GPCA R&I Summit and 10th GPCA PlastiCon, held earlier this week on 11-12 March in Bahrain, highlighted the need to establish sustainable, end-of-life solutions for plastic waste to achieve economic, environmental and social benefits, and the role of polymer producers to invest in research and innovation to develop new application grades that further improve the environmental sustainability of plastic packaging and design innovative ways to recover and re-purpose plastic waste.

Greater focus on research and technology will revolutionize the chemical industry in the GCC by opening new opportunities to generate higher value, create new markets, design new business models and develop winning products, speakers said. Chemical companies need to create win-win solutions with rapid business impact through accelerating innovation and fostering strategic partnerships. They must focus their digital transformation on operational excellence by optimizing operations and supply chain, reducing capex and integrating pacemaking technology into chemical production like artificial intelligence, they added.

Digitalization and Crude Oil to Chemicals technology have the potential to propel GCC chemical players to leading positions in the global chemical industry. However, to move towards greater value creation and profitability, the industry must continue to invest in research innovation, grow its innovation output and create higher value products, concluded speakers at the summit.

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