Report on the Fourth Mitsui Chemicals International Symposium on Catalysis Science (MICS2011)

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The Fifth Mitsui Chemicals
International Symposium on Catalysis Science
Opening Speech

Toshikazu Tanaka

On behalf of Mitsui Chemicals, I am proud to say that the Fifth Mitsui Chemicals International Symposium on Catalysis Science, or MICS2011, was a great success.

The Mitsui Chemicals International Symposium on Catalysis Science was established in 2003 with the objective of furthering the development of catalysis science, a fundamental technology that is the cornerstone behind the company's corporate mission which is to “Contribute broadly to society through innovations and the creation of materials while keeping in harmony with the global environment”. Therefore, the fifth symposium had as its main theme, Catalysis Science and Its Contribution to Sustainable Development.

It is important to remember that the world has changed dramatically since the world economic crisis of 2008. Economic stagnation, global warming, environmental pollution, and energy, water and food shortages have become world problems.  Chemistry and the chemical industry must help solve these crucial issues for all of humanity, and thus one can say that the time of chemistry has come. In this respect, catalysis science is expected to play a key role in the development of technologies that save scarce resources, lower energy consumption, and in the creation of environmentally friendly high-performance materials.

It is also pertinent to mention that the year 2011 coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize awarded to Madame Marie Curie. It is also the International Year of Chemistry, a worldwide celebration of the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to the well-being of humankind. Events are planned for the whole year to increase the public appreciation of chemistry, to encourage interest in chemistry among young people, and to emphasize that chemistry is a science essential for sustainability. It is against such a backdrop that Mitsui Chemicals hosted MICS2011.

At the symposium we were fortunate to welcome 14 world famous scientists, four of whom are Nobel Prize Laureates in Chemistry. At the symposium, Professor Yuan T. Lee and Professor Sir John E. Walker delivered the plenary lectures, and Emeritus Professor Akira Suzuki and Professor Ei-ichi Negishi gave the special lectures. In addition, Professor John E. Bercaw, Professor Mitsuo Sawamoto, Professor Ei-ichi Nakamura, Professor Kazunari Domen, Professor Craig J. Hawker, Professor Ken-ichiro Itami, and Dr. Haruyuki Makio were present to deliver the invited lectures.

Mitsui Chemicals also held the Mitsui Chemicals Catalysis Science Award ceremony, and the winners, Professor David W. C. MacMillan, Associate Professor Kazuya Yamaguchi, and Associate Professor Hideki Yorimitsu gave the commemorative lectures.

I would also like to mention that the symposium would not have been possible without the six academic societies as well as the five local and regional governments who supported this symposium.
I wish you all, and especially the speakers, every success at the symposium.

Toshikazu Tanaka
Toshikazu Tanaka
Chairman of the MICS2011 Organization Committee
President & CEO, Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.

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Closing Speech

“Promoting World-Class Intellectual Exchange”

Terunori Fujita

At the outset, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all those who participated in the Fifth Mitsui Chemicals International Symposium on Catalysis Science (MICS2011) to make it such a great success.

It was indeed an honor to have received praise from all of the speakers including the four attending Nobel Prize Laureates in Chemistry; Professor Yuan T. Lee, Professor Sir John E. Walker, Emeritus Professor Akira Suzuki, and Professor Ei-ichi Negishi.

The theme of the fifth symposium was Catalysis Science and Its Contribution to Sustainable Development. As a result of this symposium, we have reaffirmed that catalysis science has made, and will continue to make, a huge contribution to sustainable development.

The symposium was attended by 1,600 people from industry, government and academic institutions worldwide. Of particular note were the more than 300 students who attended, 40 of whom were junior high and high school students.

Mitsui Chemicals is proud to have given young people the chance to have communicated with world famous scientists, and we sincerely believe that this will encourage them to continue studying catalysis science in order to be the catalysis scientists of the future.

Also important to Mitsui Chemicals is the fact that the Mitsui Chemicals International Symposium on Catalysis Science be seen as a symposium that provides a venue for an intellectual exchange of opinions on catalysis science among experts and young people in the field.

I wish to thank everyone who attended the symposium and Mitsui Chemicals sincerely hopes to see you all again at the next symposium.

Terunori Fujita
Board Director, Center Executive,
Research Center, Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.

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