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Chemistry in France
Facts, figures and perspectives from the Union des Industries Chimiques (UIC)

FLORIAN WEIGHARDT
Chimica Oggi / Chemistry Today
florian@teknoscienze.com

Abstract

France, the birthplace modern chemistry, is oneof the leading countries in this science. Today chemistry, thescience of matter transformation, is facing worldwide one ofits most important challenges, i.e. becoming more and moresustainable and introducing novel innovative green solutions.Chemical industry has suffered in the last decades undera particularly negative public image: people are afraid ofchemistry and identify it with environmental damage andhealth threats. In doing this, the public forgets that chemistry isan integral and essential part of our modern life and our wealth.Today, one of the main challenges is to shift economy towardsthe use of renewable raw materials and sources of energy,employing more energy efficient processes and designing newproducts being safer for the consumers and having the lowestimpact on the environment. On the other hand, sustainability tobe successful has to go along with competitiveness: sustainablesolutions must necessarily produce economical advantagesand represent an investment rather than a sacrifice. Moreover,the recent financial crisis evidenced the most fragile sectorsof economy and underlined the strong need for innovation.French chemical industry, along with chemical industryworldwide, is strongly committed to the achievement ofthis result and the Union des Industries Chimiques (UIC) asits representative organism is coordinating and driving thisprocess. Also for this reason the French President of theRepublic Ms. Nicholas Sarkozy included Chemistry among thestrategic fields of action in France in his recent Etats Généraoux.


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