A new initiative in which to recognise excellence and stimulate investment in research and development (R&D) across the industrial gases industry has just been unveiled: The Global Industrial Gas Innovation (GIGI) Awards.
John Raquet, CEO and Publisher of gasworld, revealed the industry initiative during the Conference Dinner – the evening event closing day one of its Europe Industrial Gases Conference in Germany.
The GIGI Awards programme is open to any company associated with the supply or use of industrial or technical gases, as well as associated equipment or processes. It has been designed for the global industrial gases community, with an independent panel of judges to decide upon the winners.
Explaining the reasons behind the new initiative, Raquet signified, “Innovation is crucial to the continuing success of any organisation or business. The idea of the programme is to recognise excellence and technology development in our industry – to stimulate more investment in R&D and to recognise companies and individuals that are leading the way in generating new ideas, processes and methodologies.”
“In recent years, our industry has cut back on R&D expenditure as a relative percentage of sales. Part of this situation had been masked by the growth in our industry through globalisation during the 1990s, followed by higher sales revenues stirred by both demand for gases and higher pass-through energy costs in the 2000s.”
”The idea of the programme is to stimulate more investment in R&D and to recognise companies and individuals that are leading the way in generating new ideas…”
“However, we have seen a slowdown in growth in the global industrial gases business during the last five years. A combination of lower energy prices and weaker demand are the main reasons behind this, but it has also exposed our industry’s lack of investment in innovation over the past 20 years.”
Supporting the announcement, Raquet revealed that Dr. Aldo Belloni, former Executive Board member of The Linde Group and after dinner speaker at gasworld’s Conference Dinner, will lead the independent judges panel as Chairman. The rest of the international panel, which will be disclosed next month, will feature experienced industry executives from across the globe.
Raquet enthused, “You have just heard a fine speech by Dr. Belloni on innovation and our industry. In support of his comments, I am pleased to introduce the GIGI Awards initiative, which I feel will stimulate both future investment and innovation in our industry across the world.”
Categories for the GIGI Awards have been defined as the following four areas:
- Gas technology innovation, including compressed and cryogenic modes of production and distribution
- Application development across all end-user industries
- Operational developments
- Business models
The deadline for participant submissions is 31st December 2016, with applications then referred to the independent judging panel. The shortlist of entrants is set to be announced in February 2017, with the winners then awarded in late March/early April.
The initiative was unveiled at gasworld’s Conference Dinner (sponsored by Herose GmbH), currently being held at the company’s Europe Industrial Gas Conference in Düsseldorf, Germany. The announcement of the GIGIs echoes the conference’s theme of ‘Carving Out Growth.’
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