Towards a world chemical summit
From the 30th September to the 3rd October, Barcelona will once again be the Mediterranean capital for applied chemistry, after the last edition which was held in 2011. The simultaneous celebration of the Expoquimia, Eurosurfas and Equiplast fairs at the Gran Via site of Fira de Barcelona will bring together practically all of the commercial, technical and scientific aspects of three industries which are fundamental for economic and social development.
This edition will also mark a watershed in their trajectories as they seek to expand their international impact over the next ten years to become the future World Chemical Summit, a new landmark event in the chemical, plastics and surface treatments sectors.
The WICAP formula
To achieve this ambitious goal, which is expected to culminate in 2029, the organizers of these three shows have designed a strategic plan which is summed up as the WICAP formula (World, Investment, Cooperation, Application, Project). The aim is to increase the level of international participation, forge links between science and industry and attract foreign investment and projects being carried out anywhere in the world to be presented, as exclusives, by the exhibitors of the three events.
In the words of Pilar Navarro, the director of the three shows, “this restructuring is a response to the profound analysis that has made us break with the traditional paradigm and adopt a more international stance, as our markets are more global and less local”.
Expoquimia, Eurosurfas and Equiplast have had parallel lives. Expoquimia was launched on its own in 1965 and it was not until later, in 1984, that it was held jointly with Eurosurfas. Equiplast was added three years later, in 1987, and the fair has been held every three years in this format since then, as the Mediterranean Applied Chemistry Event.
Towards the future
Ignacio Grossmann, one of the leading experts in the chemicals sector, had this to say about Expoquimia after speaking there: “I believe it is a unique instrument that serves the chemicals industry. When I first came here in 2008, and last time in 2011, I was very impressed by the variety of exhibitors that were taking part. Expoquimia fulfils a useful function, which is that it attracts people from both the university and industry. I think that this event, with support from the industrial sector, will bring scientists closer to the real world, to industry”.
As Professor of Chemical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Ignacio Grossmann was named as one of the “100 chemical engineers of the modern age” for his work in the field of mathematical programming. He also advises several companies in the US on energy and the optimisation of their supply chains.
The largest exporter
Fira de Barcelona once more shows its support for a strategic sector of the national economy. With over 3,000 companies, the Spanish chemical industry has an annual turnover of 55,000 million euros, generates 11.5% of GDP and provides more than 500,000 jobs, both directly and indirectly. It is the leading export sector of the Spanish economy, selling some 28,000 million euros in international markets and is the most important investor in R+D+i.