EPNOE 2015 - Summary

Conference title: „POLYSACCHARIDES AND POLYSACCHARIDE-BASED ADVANCED MATERIALS: FROM SCIENCE TO INDUSTRY”

EPNOE 2015 – Summary

The fourth edition of the conference EPNOE (EPNOE 2015) passed into history. The conference was attended by representatives of the scientific community students, industrial scientists and business professionals  from all around the world, related to the theme of polysaccharides, biopolymers, bioplastics and their applications for medicine, chemistry, bio-economy, food, textiles and other sectors.

More than 350 participants from 47 countries met in Warsaw, in the conference Center of the National Stadium. Participating countries included France, Turkey, Russia, Egypt, Poland, Slovenia, Israel, New Zealand, Germany, Great Britain, Cameroon, Pakistan, Japan, South Korea, Nigeria, Spain, Australia, Sudan, Canada, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Serbia, Norway, Serbia, Portugal, Brazil, Belgium, Chile, USA, Lithuania, Slovakia, Ukraine, China, India, Uruguay, Algeria, Finland, Italy, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Austria, Denmark and Romania. More than 180 lectures and 130 posters were presented. Participants included scientists who already came to the previous EPNOE conferences.

Jerzy Witold Pietrewicz, Vice-Minister in Ministry of Economy, Patrick Navard, President of EPNOE Association, Kevin Edgar, representative of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Jacek Skwierczyński, the representative of the Marshal Office of Lodz, representatives of business patronage, Leszek Rafalski, Chairman of the Main Council of Research Institutes and Danuta Ciechańska, Chairwoman of the Organizing Committee and Director of IBWCh opened the conference and welcomed all participants.

The first two days of the conference began with plenary sessions given by Stanisław Bielecki (Technical University of Łódź, Poland), Kevin Edgar (Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA), Orlando Rojas (Aalto University, Finland), Artur Cavaco-Paulo (University of Minho, Portugal) and Vincent Bulone (University of Adelaide, Australia).

Invited and key-note speakers and other eminent specialists in the field of polysaccharides, biopolymers, biomaterials and processing and applications described their last results. Many presentations were dealing with the biosynthesis, isolation, extraction, physical and structural characterisation, chemical and enzymatic degradations, functionalization and modification of polysaccharide and polysaccharide-based products. Issues related to the use of polysaccharides in the food, health, medicine and pharmacy industries were also discussed, as well as bioeconomy issues.

EPNOE 2015 conference was also a discussion forum for representatives of business and industrial sectors. For the first time for an EPNOE  conference, two discussion panels aimed at exchanging experiences, establishing mutual contacts and increasing science- industry cooperation were organised.

The first panel, “From science to industry” under the auspices of the POLINTEGRA Centre was introduced by the Director of the Department of Innovation and Industry at the Ministry of Economy. Scientific-business lectures raised the questions related to the role of the chemical industry in Poland, development trends of carbon fibres and the future of bioeconomy.

The host of the second panel, “Innovation: Science and business – the key to success” was the Director of Innovation and Research and Development at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Panel discussions concerned the various issues related to innovation. such as the struggles of Polish and foreign companies with innovation, the need to support companies in their efforts to innovation in research and development and the need to appoint experts of innovation. Representatives of business, science, chambers of commerce, platform and technology parks presented their own experiences.

During the panel session, a Letter of Intent on cooperation between four Clusters: EPNOE, POLINTEGRA, Céréales Vallée (France) and Bioeconomy Cluster (Germany) was signed.

Best presentation and best poster awards sponsored by Carbohydrate Polymers (Elsevier) were respectively awarded to Radoslaw Wach (Technical University of Lodz, Poland) and Sabine Kugler (Technische Universität München, Germany.

The conference was an organizational and scientific success. It is undoubted the merit of the organizers of the conference: EPNOE, ACS, IBWCh and POLINTEGRA. Above all, the success was due to the enthusiastic and active commitment of all conference participants.