Pilar Navarro: “The innovations in production processes will be the central theme of Expoquimia 2017”
In October 2017, the Gran Via Exhibition Centre will host the 18th edition of Expoquimia, Fira de Barcelona's International Chemical Industry Event. In this interview, Pilar Navarro, the event's director, explains the goals pursued by the edition, which will be held in October next year, and the new sections it will feature.
Question: 2017 will mark the 18th edition of Expoquimia, whose first edition was held back in 1965. What can you tell us about this new edition of the landmark event for the Spanish chemical industry?
At present, we are now entering the event's marketing phase. We started working on the design shortly after closure of the previous 2014 edition. That edition was a remarkable success and marked a turning point in its development, significantly increasing the exhibition's international visibility through implementation of the WICAP formula (World, Investment, Cooperation and Innovation Lab, Application Forum and Project Forum). In 2017, we will continue to promote this initiative with the goal of attracting international projects that can offer genuine business opportunities to our exhibitors. We will also host a new edition of the corporate Smart Chemistry, Smart Future project. Led by the Spanish Chemical Industry Employers' Federation (FEIQUE), it will be attended by leading companies and organisations from the chemical industry. Thus, Expoquimia will once again showcase the strength of a vital industry for the Spanish economy and for the wellbeing of society as a whole. The innovations in production processes will be the central theme of Expoquimia 2017.
Question: So is Expoquimia the chemical industry's best communication platform?
From the very beginning, Expoquimia had established two goals: first, to promote business contacts between supply and demand; and second, to provide a technical and theoretical showcase for an industry that, in spite of all that it contributes to society, was and still is very little known. Since then, Expoquimia has shown its usefulness as a tool for communicating to the general public the benefits that applied chemistry can offer us in our daily lives. Campaigns such as 'Chemistry is life' or the organisation of the Biotechnology and Chemicals categories of the Expoquimia R&D&I Awards, which are highly respected within the Spanish scientific community, are just two of the actions that the event has created to promote the industry's visibility from another viewpoint.
Question: Can you tell us something about Expoquimia's programme of activities, which is one of its main hallmarks?
Expoquimia provides a genuine meeting point between science and industry, with an extensive programme of activities that foster knowledge transfer through the presence of national and international experts who will present their latest scientific developments at the exhibition. For example, Expoquimia will host the 15th Seminars on Instrumental Analysis (JAI), whose primary objective is to disseminate the impact of innovation and knowledge development in both analytic techniques and instrumental analysis in solving the problems that society currently faces; it will host the 10th World Congress of Chemical Engineering (WCCE), which will bring together more than 3,000 chemical engineers from around the world in an event that will be held in Spain for the first time; and it will host a Seminar of the Association for the Defence of Water Quality (ADECAGUA), among other industry-specific events. In total, more than 150 activities related with the chemical industry will be organised as part of Expoquimia 2017.
Question: What has Expoquimia done to promote the exhibition's international reach?
Expoquimia's management has travelled around the world to bring the industry's decision makers to the exhibition and ensure a return on exhibitors' participation. We have visited high-potential countries such as Azerbaijan, for example, to persuade them to come to Barcelona as VIP buyers. It is a strategy that we applied in the previous edition and it was very successful.
Question: What sectors will make up the commercial offering of Expoquimia 2017?
Being a cross-sectional landmark event for a vital industry in the Spanish economy, Expoquimia will encompass all the segments that comprise the industry, including base chemicals, fine chemicals and pharmachemicals, new materials, analytic instrumentation, pumps and valves, measuring and monitoring instruments, and capital equipment and engineering. Once again, Expoquimia will showcase the industry's state of the art.
Question: One last question: is Barcelona the best venue for hosting the International Chemical Industry Event?
Barcelona and Fira de Barcelona are ideal venues for hosting this type of event. Because of its privileged strategic location in Southern Europe, because it is a knowledge hub with top universities, because it has been chosen by international companies for their head offices, because it has scientific infrastructures that are the envy of the world, and for its organisational know-how ... Quite sincerely, I don't think there's anywhere else in the world that offers so many advantages.
Barcelona, October 2016