The COCI regional workshop was held in Toronto in conjunction with the COCI Annual Meeting for 2012. The meeting was part of IUPAC project 2011-053-1-022.
There was unanimous agreement that the Great Lakes Regional workshop was very successful with good participation from local industry including SMEs and the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, who provided the venue. The theme of green chemistry helped focus on the relevant important local initiatives based on biological feedstocks and energy. The meeting provided an excellent insight into the challenges faced by industry in the region and also enabled a constructive debate on the ways IUPAC could contribute to these.
The meeting was held in the Ontario Government’s Investment and Trade Centre and Wendy Tillford, the Deputy Minister for Trade, opened the session.
The meeting highlighted the value of attracting presentations and attendance from those in industry deeply involved in the important local development issues. Personal contacts were very important to achieve this.
Topics covered in the meeting are set out below. An edited video was also made of the whole meeting and PDF copies of the presentations are available on request to Bernard West [ or Carolyn Ribes [ ].
Carolyn Ribes also compiled a summary of the presentations.
Results and Feedback
A number of important messages for IUPAC in support of industry emerged during the workshop. The theme of public promotion of chemistry was highlighted as an ongoing role for IUPAC. A specific emphasis was recommended relating to chemistry careers around the world to help students see how they could address the challenges facing the world and their countries. Help was also highlighted in the area of sustainability metrics, and in particular life cycle analysis, to ensure objectivity in policy decision making. This was seen as part of the role of IUPAC as an NGO for chemistry and the need for chemistry to have a say in policy considerations when appropriate.
This led to a COCI discussion on the importance of IUPAC to have the appropriate recognition i.e. NGO status in the key international agencies, such as the IUPAC’s status within SAICM and with OPCW. This is an important strategic issue for consideration by the Bureau and Executive Committee—when and when not to seek this status given the priorities of the Union, the resource implications, and consideration of the processes needed to gain support at national level for any application.
Potential Future Regional workshops
COCI members are invited to make proposals for the next in a series of regional conferences; proposing where to hold this, the important local themes, likely costs, and sponsorship options. A number of possible locations were suggested including Kazan, Kuwait, India, Budapest, China, Singapore, and Thailand.
It has also been suggested that we consider opportunities at other major chemistry congresses such as the Singapore Asian Chemical Congress or a Mendeleev Conference. These normally attract significant industry funding and might be approached in cooperation with CHEMRAWN.