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29 Jun 2016


NEPIC’s annual members’ conference has been hailed our ‘best yet’ as 450 delegates converged at Wynyard Hall on 22 June.

The Meet the Members Conference & Exhibition, which is now in its 6th year, not only showcases future North East investment projects and associated supply chain opportunities, but also connects regional companies through pre-arranged 1-2-1 mentoring meetings.

The conference agenda included investment updates and supplier opportunity announcements from SABIC, Amec Foster Wheeler, Calysta, AstraZeneca, Huntsman Polyurethanes, District Energy and AstraZeneca.

WH Partnership and Nortech Group shared inspirational business growth success, whilst Bob Cuffe of Trinity Mirror North East addressed the regional business outlook and IChemE’s David Brown, focused upon the chemical landscape and its skills needs.

Labour peer, Lord Mandelson, also joined the conference and shared with delegates his views regarding today’s referendum and the impact an out vote would have on the region’s chemical industry.

Out in the exhibition area, 84 exhibitors packed out Wynyard Hall’s Grand Marquee and included the likes of ABB, Tracerco, Northumbrian Water, Tomlinson Hall, Haden Freeman, CY Partners, Scarab4, Fraser Nash and Falck but to name a few.

The afternoon focused on business growth mentoring with 136 one-to-one mentoring meetings taking place with major North East manufacturers and established businesses. Mentors were on hand to assist with advice on becoming suppliers to the sector or enhancing existing relationships with clients.

John Bruijnooge, site director at SABIC UK Petrochemicals Teesside and event speaker, commented on the importance of supporting such events:

“I feel really honoured to participate in this important networking event for the chemical processing business and suppliers. SABIC is a major company in the region and has chosen to invest in its operation here on Teesside to create a longer-term future.

“It is important for SABIC as an organisation that more companies learn about the potential of the area and either establish or grow their presence to take advantage of the infrastructure and services that already exist.”

John concluded:

“The North East of England needs an active and well-respected organisation like NEPIC to assist in the success and development of our hugely important business sector in this powerful industrial location.”

Steve Pugh of Nortech Group, who sponsored, exhibited and spoke at the event, commented on his experience:

“Meet the Members 2016 was one of the best, and most professional events we have ever attended. An excellent balance of keynote speakers, quality exhibitors, delegates and the 1-to-1 mentoring sessions provided superb networking in an informal atmosphere. Superb! We will certainly be supporting NEPIC and the ‘Meet the Members Conference & Exhibition’ for many years to come.”

NEPIC chief executive, Dr Stan Higgins, said:

“The NEPIC Meet the Members Event has grown into a super occasion for the process sector in Northeast England and beyond. Delegates learn how the sector is developing while sharing ideas and opportunities across chemicals, polymers pharmaceuticals and biotechnology processing sectors.

“Our strategy of inclusivity for companies of all sizes has certainly led to new ideas and new business opportunities. More and more companies are sending several representatives along to cope with the networking and mentoring.”

Stan added:

“Companies from outside our region say they are envious that such an event does not occur elsewhere demonstrating NEPIC’s leadership in supply chain development in the UK chemistry-based industries.

“May I take this opportunity to thank our speakers and mentors, along with our sponsors – Wood Group, Veolia, Nortech and Frazer Nash – for their support.”

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© Copyright. North East of England Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC) 2015