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Whither the U.K. Chemical Industry?
10:00 AM MDT | June 25, 2010 | By LYN TATTUM
The U.K. chemical industry is alive and well, albeit in need of some care and attention during fragile economic times. Several hundred industry leaders, many representing U.S., European, Mideast, and Asian investors that have seized the opportunity to acquire U.K. assets, gathered last night in the august surroundings of St George's Hall, Liverpool for a glitzy annual awards ceremony and dinner, organized by the Chemical Industries Association (London).
As a major exporter, the chemical and pharmaceutical industry contributes more than £30 million/day (sic) to the country's balance of trade and can play a critical role in rebalancing the U.K. economy toward high-tech, modern manufacturing, CIA chief executive Steve Elliot said.
The most popular award was for innovation, sponsored by Glaxo SmithKline, won by Oxford Catalysts (Abingdon, U.K.), illustrating the fervor surrounding the nascent biofuels sector in which the U.K. plays a pioneering role.
The award acknowledges the succesful use and application of innovation within a business or across a supply chain, to achieve tangible business results with a clear societal impact.
Oxford Catalysts' novel technology combined with an innovative micro-reactor design and highly active catalyst allows small-scale production of liquid fuels from synthesis gas generated from waste. Plants can be built almost anywhere, avoiding the need to transport bulky biomass. The first demonstration plant is operating in Austria, helping power an eco-town.
The full, impressive roster of awards can be found at www.cia.org.uk