The AIGA week in Shanghai culminated in the 19th IHC Meeting from 14 to 15 September after the conclusion of the AIGA 2006 Meeting.

IHC is acting under the umbrella of the IOMA Global Committee and the initiative to work on the harmonisation of recommendations or standards for the gases industry started in the late 90´s.

The IHC is the council comprising representatives from the major regional associations, CGA for USA and Canada, EIGA for the area of Europe, North African states and Middle East (EIGA also reports on behalf of ANZIGA), JIGA for the territory of Japan and AIGA for the region from India to China except for Australia and New Zealand. Their task is to study and implement harmonised standard documents for the gas industry globally and also focus on UN regulations and ISO Standards.

There is a close, fruitful cooperation directed by the global industrial gases companies (Global Committee) also for the benefit of the local companies. That\\$quot;s why the regional associations co-ordinate with their national gases associations for the implementation of harmonized standards.

The council meets twice a year, with the spring meeting whenever possible in conjunction with the CGA annual meeting in the U.S. and the fall meeting in either Europe or Asia.

The first IHC meeting in Asia was held in Japan in 2003 and this was followed by a second meeting in Singapore in 2005 hosted by AIGA and now the 2006 fall meeting in Shanghai to support the progress of AIGA´s efforts in this important region.

Major items of this meeting were the discussion about the current status of open projects and the necessity for more joint working groups to fulfill the request of IOMA Global Committee for identical projects.

The need for common copyright regulations, the revision of the IHC work process as well as the decision for new proposed projects were some other topics which completed the agenda of the two-day meeting.

The results of the IHC activities are to be presented to the IOMA Global Committee at their forthcoming meeting in November 2006.

IHC comprises of representatives from the major associations - CGA, EIGA, JIGA and AIGA///

First Silane Safety in Hsinchu, Taiwan
AIGA co-hosted the first Silane Safety Seminar in Asia at the Hsinchu high tech park in Taiwan on 18 September 2006. The last such symposium was held in Europe in 1998. A record breaking 480 participants packed into the large ITRI auditorium from 8 am on the day.

The seminar was jointly organized by AIGA, the Taiwan High Pressure Gas Industrial Association (THPGIA) and the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) in Hsinchu.

The seminar was an industry project to promote the safe handling of silane and was targeted towards all users of silane. As a result, only a small nominal registration fee was charged for attendance, courtesy of financial sponsorship from ITRI.

AIGA through its Specialty Gases work group played the lead role of putting together the programme and Eugene Ngai, (AP), from the work group, in particular, was instrumental in working with the eleven key speakers for the seminar. The other partners, the THPGIA and ITRI were responsible for the local logistics in Taiwan.

Although the target audience was the large number of users working in the high tech industry in Taiwan, scores of overseas participants came from several countries in Asia as this was a rare opportunity to listen to so many experts in one meeting.

ITRI provided the excellent facility and management for this large conference, which was conducted with voice over translation in Chinese for the local participants.

The response to this first seminar in Asia was overwhelming. Given the scale of the silane activities in Asia, AIGA hopes to replicate one to two more such seminars in the other countries in Asia in the future to further promote better safety in the handling of silane.