26 January 2016 - Borouge and Borealis, leading providers of innovative, value-creating plastics solutions, hosted on 26 January 2016 a number of young United Arab Emirates (UAE) students and representatives from the Emirates Foundation on a joint tour at the recently inaugurated Borouge Innovation Centre in Abu Dhabi. Borealis has a long-standing partnership with the Emirates Foundation, an independent philanthropic organization dedicated to empower UAE youth and positively impact their lives.
The joint delegation, led by Abdulaziz Alhajri, CEO of Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge), and Mark Garrett, Borealis Chief Executive, included Clare Woodcraft-Scott, Chief Executive Officer of the Emirates Foundation, and Mohanna Al Muhairi, Chief Operations Officer of the Emirates Foundation. The delegation also included a number of Abu Dhabi students who are currently participating in the Emirates Foundation’s “Think Science” programme and who were invited to experience polymers innovation in practice and first-hand.
The students participating in the Borouge Innovation Centre tour are currently taking part in the Emirates Foundation’s “Think Science” programme, an initiative developed to encourage Emirati youth to pursue science as a field of study and future career path. The programme seeks to develop and connect local talent, for example by way of national science competitions and creation of an interactive platform linking the would-be scientists with science-based industries. It develops young science “Ambassadors” who use the power of analytical thinking to propose solutions to global technological issues.
The Borouge Innovation Centre – a hub of Research & Development in the UAE
The new state-of-the-art Borouge Innovation Centre was inaugurated in late 2015 with nearly USD 150 million having been invested in it. Located in Sas Al Nakhl in Abu Dhabi, the Centre is a key driver in the Borealis and Borouge mission to deliver ‘Value Creation through Innovation’. With a Research & Development (R&D) focus on polymer development and application technology, the Borouge Innovation Centre boasts extensive laboratory and resource application facilities on grounds of approximately 23,000 m2. One clear indication of success is the number of patent filings submitted by the Borouge Innovation Centre which reached to over 200 patents in the past two years, accounting for nearly 30% of all UAE registrations in the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) database.
While the facility collaborates closely with other Borealis Innovation Centres in Europe and the Borouge Application Centre in Shanghai, the Borouge Innovation Centre is Borouge’s global headquarters for product development, advanced product testing and customer service support. In fact, around 15% of products currently produced by Borouge have been developed at the Borouge Innovation Centre. The Innovation Centre employs approximately 70 technicians, researchers and engineers, of whom 25% are Emiratis. The percentage of Emiratis among all staff is expected to grow to nearly 75% in the next five years.
“Now more than ever, the new Borouge Innovation Centre will play an essential role in developing and delivering the value-added plastics that help give our customers the competitive edge in an increasingly complex global marketplace,” says Abdulaziz Alhajri, CEO of Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge). “We are pleased to be able to share the excitement of innovation with the young scientists of tomorrow.”
Cultivating partnerships for the greater good
“A healthy environment and sustainable society are prerequisites for long-term business success,” says Mark Garrett, Borealis Chief Executive. “Education is crucial to a well-functioning and stable society. What is more, by stimulating interest among the younger generation for the natural sciences, we are cultivating the innovators of tomorrow.”
By way of its Social Fund, Borealis provides regular support for a range of humanitarian, educational and philanthropic organisations in the UAE, including the Emirates Foundation. Founded in 2005 by the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the Emirates Foundation works with partners from both public and private sectors to develop and implement a range of programmes and special projects in order to develop sustainable ways of helping young people in the UAE make an active contribution to the country’s development.
“An important part of our mission is to imbue young Emiratis with a genuine passion for science and technology,” explains Mohanna Obaid Al Muhairi, Emirates Foundation Chief Operation Officer. “Polymer innovations are important building blocks for the UAE’s future knowledge-based economy. It is especially fitting that the students from our ‘Think Science’ programme can experience this hub of innovation up close and personal.”
Borealis & Borouge CEO’s with Emirates Foundation delegates and Think Science Ambassadors inside the Borouge Innovation Centre