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15 March 2017

A delegation of the Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (GPIC), led by its President, Dr. Abdulrahman Jawahery, took part in the Fourth Research and Innovation Summit organised by the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) in Bahrain on March 8 and 9.

In a statement on the occasion, Dr. Jawahery spoke of the importance of taking part in such specialised events, which, he said, were a platform to meet and communicate to exchange knowledge, ideas and experiences between the Gulf companies and to enhance their ability to grow and prosper.

Speaking about the importance of research and development, Dr. Jawahery said the GPCA’s investment in the sector increased by about 38 per cent over previous years.

GPCA Secretary General Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun said the chemical industry was one of the first to have set up research and development centres, adding the GCC region’s petrochemical and chemicals sector had, over the years, shown itself as a promising and active contributor in achieving economic and social development through rapid expansion in the volume of production.

The event highlighted the importance of creating a culture of innovation and creativity and the pursuit of excellence. It also discussed integration of diverse aspects of the departments of technology, innovation and research and development to improve performance and ensure sustainable growth, while maintaining profitability. The forum provided an excellent platform for networking and gathering various stakeholders from industry, academia, governments and technology providers. It specifically focussed on best practices in expenditure management and guidance to maintain a competitive edge.

Delegations from the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology attended the forum and focussed on local technical capacity to raise business efficiency and achieve sustainable growth.

The volume of investments in research and development in the Gulf region’s petrochemicals sector has now reached $729 million, according to the latest GPCA report. This is the highest ever growth globally at a time when there is a decline in global spending on research and development in the chemicals sector.

The GPCA launched a report, "Indicators of research and innovation for the chemicals sector of the Gulf – 2016, during the conference, which is considered the most important event in the region in the field of research and development in the chemical sector.

The conference programme included, for the first time, a session dedicated to university students as part of which a seminar for technical institutes was organised. This was addressed by a group of distinguished academics and leaders of scientific research centres in the region, who spoke of the definition of research and industrial innovation as a catalyst.

The GPCA, the first union of its kind, represents the interests of this sector in the Middle East. It has succeeded in creating a forum for discussion and a platform through which manufacturers share concepts and ideas. Since it was established in March 2006, the GPCA acquired a reputation for excellence in guiding the sector in the region to a new level of fruitful cooperation at all levels.