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180 students debate future of plastics industry at K 2007

  • Next generation of industry leaders discuss sustainability issues
  • Event marks the launch of the international Student Innovation Prize
  • Continuation of Campus Connect programme attracting top talent to Borealis

On Sunday, Borealis and Borouge, leading providers of innovative, value creating plastics solutions, hosted a student event entitled "Passion for Plastics." More than 180 students in polymer sciences from Europe and the Middle East attended the event in Düsseldorf, Germany. The full day programme offered the opportunity to learn about the two companies and their latest innovations, the plastics industry and the sustainability issues the industry is facing today. Also at the event, an international student innovation prize was officially launched.

The programme started with a guided tour of K 2007, the world's largest plastics fair that takes place every three years in Düsseldorf. The selected master's and doctorate students from Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Austria and The United Arab Emirates, also had the opportunity to discover future work opportunities with Borealis and Borouge and network with employees and other students.

In the afternoon, a workshop took place at which the future generation of plastics industry leaders debated the sustainability issues shaping the future of the industry.

The workshop built on the outcome of the Sustainability Issues Monitor, a qualitative and quantitative survey conducted by Borealis to measure how plastics converters respond to social, economic and environmental issues facing the plastics value chain.

In a parliament style set-up, attendees debated topics ranked by plastics converters as most significant for the future of the industry, including the cost of energy and raw materials, international competition, recycling and waste, littering, bioplastics as well as chemicals and health.

An international innovation prize for polymer sciences students

Wim Roels, Borealis Vice President for Innovation and Technology, concluded the day with the launch of the international student innovation prize for the two most innovative research papers in polyolefin or olefin sciences, one for master's students and one for doctorate students. In January 2009, an attractive prize will be awarded after a selection process by a specialist jury composed of independent academics and company representatives.

The international student innovation prize is a continuation of the Borealis' Campus Connect programme, which targets promising graduates at different universities in Europe, including Austria, Belgium, Sweden and Finland, and the United Arab Emirates to fill expanding and highly specialised personnel needs. The programme is also designed to raise the profile of the company at universities and establish strong, mutually beneficial relationships with key universities. Commenting on the event, Michaela Plank - University of Leoben - Institute for Chemistry of Polymeric Materials (Austria) said "Today's programme really showed us how plastics innovation can bring sustainable solutions to address the challenges our society is facing. I really valued Borealis and Borouge's initiative to allow students with different geographical backgrounds to contribute to the debate and gain more insight into the industry we will help to shape in the future."

More information on the Student Innovation Prize will be available early next year.

END

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Virginia Wieser
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, Brand & Reputation

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