Cefic president takes part in morning events, discusses need for innovation skills for next generation of chemists and scientists
BRUSSELS, December 1, 2011 – More than 800 people from 70 countries descended on Brussels to attend the International Year of Chemistry 2011 (IYC) official closing ceremony, where Cefic president Giorgio Squinzi joined thirteen young professionals working in the chemical and science arena to discuss a vision for the world in 2050.
Squinzi gave his response to the vision presented by a group of forward-thinking young people who released their report titled “The world in 2050: Our expectations from the life sciences, chemistry, industry and governments to build a better world by 2050”. The “Young Leaders group” gave their view of how chemistry, life sciences, industry and policymakers can in future tackle major challenges such as climate change, resource constraints or drug resistant diseases at a time of population growth to create more sustainable societies.
Young leaders explained the vision of the project, which was supported by a group of organisations, including the Belgium National Committee for Chemistry and IUPAC, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.
At the morning press conference, Squinzi gave remarks about the need for better training for the next generation of chemists and chemical engineers.
Squinzi said: "The young people presenting today show how chemistry can play a central role of chemistry as a science that can make the next great breakthroughs.
"Europe’s future engineers and scientists will need a more broad-based education in order to speed up future innovations in the chemical industry."
Ada Yonath, 2009 Nobel laureate for chemistry and Jean-Luc Bredas, 1997 Francqui prize winner also had prominent roles during the event, responding to the Young Leaders presentations in the morning and afternoon sessions. Representatives from UNESCO, the OECD, and the Polish Minister Deputy Minister of Economy Hanna Trojanowska also took part in the event along with chief executives representing global chemicals and pharmaceuticals companies.
His Royal Highness Prince Philippe of Belgium opened the afternoon event and was followed by Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation & Science followed, who discussed the EU's proposed new Horizon2020 research funding programme announced this week. IUPAC President Prof. Nicole Moreau provided an overview of the success of the IYC 2011 in her own brief opening address.
Although the IYC is being held to mark the 100th anniversary of Marie Curie’s Nobel Prize and of the first Solvay Physics-Chemistry Council, the closing ceremony is about looking to the future and the role that chemistry can and must play in building a better, more sustainable world for future generations.
The IYC and its closing ceremony aim to show the essential role of chemistry in meeting world needs. All through 2011 and all over the world, the IYC has been a platform that helped increase interest of young people in chemistry in order to attract first rate minds to careers in chemistry and all the challenges this offers.
For more information, contact James Pieper, Cefic, on +32 2 676 7398 or via e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors:
The IYC 2011 is an initiative of IUPAC, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, and of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.