Helsinki Chemicals Forum Starts Running Debate

The first Helsinki Chemicals Forum covered many topical issues during the two-day conference, which was held at the end of May. Most notably, there is a clear need for more global chemical industry regulation. Because everyone is in daily contact with a variety of chemicals, the communication and shaping of data between different stakeholders and appropriate regulations are relevant means for ensuring that chemicals are produced and used safely.

The speeches, discussions and panel sessions of Helsinki Chemicals Forum (HCF) will gradually develop the Helsinki Agenda. The agenda aims to define the full scope of the topical and critical issues related to chemistry and its interest groups identified by the panels and participants of HCF.

Some of the major topics that came up in the discussions are summarized here:

The panelists of Competitiveness and Innovation Session noted that in this challenging economic situation, the new innovations by the chemical sector should be based on customer needs. Value-chain clusters are needed for effective development work. Long-term development is possible only if short-term innovation have good financial return.

The European chemical regulation, REACH, was discussed in the Chemical Industry Regulation Session. “REACH definitely affects global trade policy because the EU is one of the largest importers of chemicals and end products”, said Klaus Berend of the European Commission. Even if similar chemical legislation is not applied on other continents, market forces will make countries outside the EU take into account requirements set by REACH.

The Helsinki Chemicals Forum is organized by the Chemicals Forum Association in cooperation with the EU Commission and its Chemical Agency ECHA, with partners that include the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, the City of Helsinki, Greater Helsinki Promotion Ltd, the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland and the University of Helsinki.

The entire Helsinki Agenda will be announced on the HCF Web page http://www.helsinkicf.eu on June 4.

Helsinki Chemicals Forum 2010 will be held May 20 and 21, 2010. The general theme will be Chemistry & Climate Change.

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