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RACI Congress 2017

RACI Congress 2017

Join several thousand Australian and international delegates from across the breadth of the chemical sciences and technologies, at the RACI Centenary Congress 2017.

Date: 23-28 July 2017
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

The 2017 Congress is a unique series of international conferences running in parallel with the RACI National Centenary Conference 2017. The program brings together leading international research scientists and young chemists for five days of in-depth exploration of the application of chemistry in research, academia and industry.

The Centenary Congress is an important opportunity to celebrate the vast contributions of chemistry in Australia, Asia and the world, and debate how to approach future challenges and opportunities.

Chemistry Australia is delighted to be a part of the centenary program. CEO Samantha Read will present industry perspectives on collaborative research. Chemistry Australia staff and member companies will be involved in other sessions. See further details and feature sessions below.

Delegates can attend any (or all) meetings from the nine concurrent conferences over the five days, with a single registration.

Celebrating 100 Years, RACI is the oldest scientific or technical professional society in Australia.


 RACI Congress 2017 logos


Program Highlights

Welcome Keynote:
Andrew Liveris

Sunday 23 July, 5.00pm
Keynote address in the plenary hall prior to the Welcome Reception

Born in Darwin, Australia, to the descendants of Greek immigrants, Andrew N. Liveris is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Dow Chemical Company, a materials, polymers, chemicals and biological sciences enterprise, with 2016 annual sales of nearly $48 billion. 

A recognised global business leader with more than 40 years at Dow, Liveris' career has spanned roles in manufacturing, engineering, sales, marketing, and business and general management around the world. During more than a decade as Dow’s CEO, Liveris has led the Company’s transformation from a cyclical chemicals manufacturing company into a novel enterprise – one powered by science, driven by innovation and delivering solutions to the world.

An international advocate for the criticality of manufacturing to the long-term health of national economies, Liveris is the author of Make It in America, a book which presents a comprehensive set of practical policy solutions and business strategies to achieve the Company's vision of an 'Advanced Manufacturing' economy. He has been tapped to lead President Donald J. Trump’s Manufacturing Jobs Initiative, which will identify new ways to spur innovation, revitalize the U.S. manufacturing sector and drive economic growth and prosperity. Previously he served as Co-Chair of U.S. President Obama's Advanced Manufacturing Partnership steering committee and as a member of the U.S. President’s Export Council.

In addition to his work at Dow, Liveris’ breadth of experience and expertise is broadly represented across business, government, academic and non-profit sectors. He sits on the Board of Directors of IBM, is Vice Chair of the Business Roundtable, an Executive Committee Member and Past Chairman of the U.S. Business Council, and a member of the Concordia Leadership Council and the Australian government’s Industry Growth Centres Advisory Committee. Liveris serves on the Board of Trustees for the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, California Institute of Technology and the United States Council for International Business. He is also a member of The B Team.


Chemeca: Academic Sharp Brain

Resourcing the Intelligent Minds for Tomorrow

Wednesday 26 July

The Academic Sharp Brain is a platform, to not only realise the potential of intelligent minds but to also brighten the future of our professions by bringing innovative ideas to marketplace. The Academic Sharp Brain provides Chemeca participants with the opportunity to pitch their innovative ideas to the invited experts and potential investors, to attract support and resources to develop business opportunities.

  • 8 intelligent minds will pitch their ideas
  • Panel of experts vote for the idea
  • Knowledge investors will compete by offering bigger dollars
  • Intelligent minds and knowledge investors will bring the idea to the marketplace


SCI - Where Science Meets Business

Tuesday 25 - Thursday 27 July 2017

SCI (Society if Chemical Industry) is a unique learned society established in 1881 to work at the interface of science and industry.

The SCI Seminar will appeal to scientists from industry and academia, who are looking to understand how to commercialise their technology and ideas and offers excellent case studies of how to succeed in taking lab discoveries to the marketplace. This three-day seminar showcases prominent speakers from industry, academia, patenting and publishing.


  • Global perspectives: global trends in the chemistry using industry and the impact of Brexit
  • Policy: how does policy affect innovation and entrepreneurship: a NZ perspective
  • Funding: the role of venture capitalists in start-ups
  • Where science meets business: a showcase of case studies
  • IP and licensing: IP creation, protection, preservation, licensing agreements
  • Patenting & publishing: the role of patenting and publishing in protecting and promoting innovation


Chemistry and Safety - Together for a Safer Future

Monday 24 July - Friday 28 July

With over 60,000 people employed the chemical industry is one of the largest within the manufacturing sector in Australia. It is also an area of risk as chemicals have the potential to pose a significant risk to the environment and society. The challenge heading into the future is to manage the various hazards and to reduce their risk. The RACI Health Safety and Environment Division Conference is aimed at bring together Chemists and Safety Professionals from all sectors, to learn from the past and look to the challenges of the future.


  • Effective Chemical Management - addressing the Health Safety and Environmental Factors
  • “Known unknowns” & “Unknown unknowns”
  • “From Red Tape to Best Practice”

The HSE Division will also be holding a number of joint sessions with Chemeca 2017 and the GSC8 conference.


Innovation: understanding supply and demand
Samantha Read

Part of the Organic Chemistry at RACI Stream
Thursday 27 July, 9.30am

Aligning industry needs with research and academic capability

What are the top skill and technology needs for the Australian chemistry industry to innovate? CEO of the peak industry body Chemistry Australia, Samantha Read will share the thinking behind the recent Chemistry Australia Innovation Survey of key industry investors in R&D. Hear about how a better understanding of supply and demand dynamics for R&D can help develop stronger innovation ecosystems bringing together industry, research and academia together to collaborate on projects of global scale. Samantha will also explore the question of talent pathways for graduates, and the broad opportunities that a STEM degree can deliver in an industry context.


Panel discussion - the Future of the Chemical Sciences

Monday 24 July

How might chemical sciences evolve in the next 10 years? How can we measure success of the research community in this world which is focussing on solving problems? What are the key conclusions and ideas in the RACI Decadel Plan?  Does education need to change to provide the necessary skills for future chemists to succeed in an increasingly interdisciplinary environment? What role will chemical societies play to support our communities and continue to be relevant to them? How can we improve the gender parity in academia?

Join us for this challenging and engaging discussion on the Future of Chemical Sciences. Panellist will tackle a range of topics with plenty of time allowed for audience questions and participation. 

Confirmed panellists:

  • Professor Paul Mulvaney, author of RACI Decadel Plan
  • Sir John Holman, President, RSC
  • Peter Bury, Chemistry Australia [industry peak body]
  • Prof Penny Brothers – President NZIC
  • Prof Frances Arnold


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