International Year of Chemistry Celebrations: The University of Pretoria hosted the 11th International Conference on Frontiers of Polymers and Advanced Materials (ICFPAM).
Posted on 31 May 2011
Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Naledi Pandor, addressing delegates at the opening of the International Conference on Frontiers of Polymers and Advanced Materials.
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has declared 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry (IYC 2011). The IYC 2011 commemorates the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to humankind, including how chemists and other scientists work to protect the environment, develop lifesaving new medicines and create cleaner, greener and more sustainable sources of energy, as well as design new materials for cars, buildings, electronics as products, medical implants and a host of other products.
In celebrating these achievements, the University of Pretoria hosted the 11th International Conference on Frontiers of Polymers and Advanced Materials (ICFPAM). The conference was held from 22-27 May 2011, and was officiated by the Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor.
The conference provided a unique scope involving a blend of science, technology and business. It brought together leading international scientists, engineers, top-level industrial managers and business executives for discussions on the status of advanced materials, new technologies and industrial and business opportunities.
More than 300 national and international delegates participated in the general plenary talks, tutorials, invited lectures, contributed talks and poster sessions.
In her opening address at the conference Minister Pandor acknowledged the fact that the prestigious conference has primarily been hosted in developing countries. She attributed the significance of the conference not only to its highly technical content but also to the fact that it provides students, scientists and engineers from the African continent with a unique opportunity to interact and share experiences with their counterparts from various parts of the globe.
Minister Pandor also said advanced materials and technologies is not just a critical area of research, but also an area that have potential for economic development, especially for developing countries like South Africa that are natural-resource rich.
“While South Africa is richly endowed with mineral resources, there is a pressing need for mineral-resource beneficiation – to unlock economic value and to create jobs. In this context, advanced materials and technologies are critical to the integral contribution of our natural and mineral resources to sustain economic development”, said Minister Pandor.
Minister Naledi Pandor and Prof Cheryl de la Rey at the conference.