Saudi Arabia’s hydrocarbon major Sabic entered into strategic partnership with India’s state-run Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology (CIPET) and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for research in multiple areas of chemistry for sustainable development and positive impact on global environment.
The twin agreements between Sabic and CIPET and between Sabic and CSIR were signed here by their senior executives in the presence of Saudi Ambassador to India Saud Mohammed Alsati and officials of the chemicals and fertilisers ministry.
“The pact enables scientists of Sabic, CIPET and CSIR to utilise each other’s research and development (R&D) facilities in Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Dehradun and Hyderabad to work on research projects leading to sustainable development of new applications for protecting the environment,” Sabic’s technology and innovation vice-president Ernesto Occhiello told reporters.
The Riyadh-based $50-billion Sabic (Saudi Basic Industries Corporation) is a market leader in producing polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilisers for domestic and overseas customers.
“Our partnerships with leading Indian scientific research institutes like CIPET and CSIR pave way for collaboration in multiple research areas and contribute to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India vision by strengthening the chemicals and plastics industries research ecosystem in this country,” Occhiello said.
Sabic’s pact with CIPET will leverage its expertise and infrastructure facilities to intensify research in specific areas of polymer processing computer aided design (CAD), computer aided manufacturing (CAM) and computer aided engineering (CAE) and mould design and plastics and allied industries.
“We believe that the ‘Make in India’ initiative, rooted in the two strategic advantages of research and human capital, will be the next growth driver for India. As our strategy is aligned with India’s economic growth plans, we endeavour to provide customers products, services and solutions they need in their growth path,” Sabic South Asia vice-president Janardhanan Ramanjula noted.
The agreement also supports skills development to drive industry growth through academic research partnerships, with annual scholarship for Ph.D students researching in the areas of the Sabic’s interest.
Lauding the partners for their strategic collaborations, Alsati said over the past few years, the strategic partnership between Saudi Arabia and India had grown remarkably, expanding in key areas such as trade and investments, energy, science and technology, education, culture and security and defence.
“Our bilateral trade has risen to $49 billion in 2014, making Saudi Arabi the fourth largest trade partner of India, while the kingdom is the sixth largest market in the west for Indian exports,” Alsati told IANS on the margins of the event.
The master research alliance pact with CSIR envisages collaborative research leveraging competencies of its labs across the country such as the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) at Pune, the Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP) at Dehradun and the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology in Hyderabad.
As Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar could not attend the event as he was away in New Delhi for a cabinet meeting, his department’s secretary Surjit K. Chaudhary, CSIR Director General M.O Garg and other officials were present on the occasion.
Sabic has research tie-ups with IIT Mumbai in India, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, King Saud University, King Abdulaziz University and King Abdullah University of Science & Technology in the desert kingdom, the MIT in the US, Cambridge University in Britain, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics in China, ETH Zurich in Switzerland and the National Research Council in Italy and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in Germany.