(MENAFN Editorial) With technology and innovation identified as the key drivers of future growth across the petrochemicals industry, the Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association (GPCA), the region's longest-standing trade association, will host the inaugural Research & Innovation Summit in Dubai in March.
The Research & Innovation Summit will provide a regional platform on which to highlight and advocate the crucial need for the GCC's petrochemical industry to focus on the innovations and technological development that are critical for sector growth. With the petrochemicals industry currently the second largest manufacturing sector in the Gulf, representing 2.9% of the manufacturing sector's contribution to the GDP, the opportunities for growth are vast
"Today, the GCC petrochemicals sector is developing in a stable and successful manner. However, as this is a highly technical industry, GCC petrochemical producers must focus on research and innovation in order to stay relevant in an increasingly competitive global market," said Dr. Abdulwahab Al Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA
"In the global context, China is the ideal example of a petrochemicals market that invests in R&D technologies that result in tangible gains," notes Dr. Sadoun.
In 2012, the Gulf's petrochemical producers invested just US3 million on research and development, representing less than 1% of global spending in R&D for the year.
In comparison, China's petrochemical industry was the third largest investor in R&D after the EU and the United States of America in the same year, spending an estimated US10.2 billion. In the same period, petrochemicals output in China hit US1.4 trillion, representing 28.8% of global chemicals output.
"While the EU and US spend more on petrochemical research, China has managed to invest in research in a way that helps industry growth and significantly boost output," said Dr. Sadoun. "We in the Gulf should use this as an example of how not only to finance research, but to invest in research that yields considerable business growth."
The need for research will be a key focus of discussion at the Research & Innovation Summit, with experts from Borealis, McKinsey and Sipchem providing insights on the subject.
"The Research & Innovation Summit will provide a platform for stakeholders from the industry, academia and government to discuss ways in which to transform ideas from the laboratory into the field," said Dr. Sadoun.
The Research and Innovation Summit will be held from March 12-13 at the Ritz Carlton, DIFC.
For more information, please visit www.gpcaresearch.com/2014/