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Innovating to ensure competitive advantage

Feedstock prices fluctuation, new regulatory requirements and consumer demand have been driving companies' R&D and diversification to stay ahead of the competition in the European surfactant market. From feedstock selection to reduction of environmental footprint, it is important to understand the key factors shaping the surfactant industry and how this could affect your business going forward.


With changing consumer demands, what are the main challenges impeding innovation in personal and homecare formulations? Do today’s branched petrochemical alcohols meet biodegradability and performance requirements for detergent applications? How do REACH regulations affect biosurfactants coming into the market? Is growth predicted in oleochemical or petrochemical feedstock? Attend the 6th ICIS European Surfactants conference to hear in depth analyses of all these issues and potential scenarios for the industry in the coming years.

New for 2017

  • Join us at the new location of Amsterdam, the Netherlands to meet and do business with your peers
  • Innovation angle: examine trends that drive innovation in the surfactant industry and best practices of collaboration and R&D 
  • Get the latest information on new developments in bio-based surfactants
  • Opportunities in other markets: surfactants in Africa - a new growth frontier?



Conference Day 1: Thursday 14 September

Registration & Welcome Refreshments

Chair’s opening remarks
Neil A Burns, Managing Partner, NEIL A BURNS LLC
European chemical industry 2018: navigating in volatility and uncertainty
  • The global economy and factors shaping the chemical industry 
  • Oil market developments 
  • Brexit, Trump and the rise of Populism
  • Sustainability as a key driver for profit growth
Paul Hodges, Chairman, INTERNATIONAL eCHEM
Overview of the dynamics of the European surfactants market
  • Supply and demand balance
  • Market segmentation and competitive landscape
  • Overview of M&As in the market
  • Where investments are flowing and new opportunities are opening up?
Dr Joachim Krotz, Partner, OLIVER WYMAN
Networking break

Branched alcohols: Enabling high performance and biodegradable surfactants
  • Desirable product performance attributes of branched alcohol ethoxylates
  • Can branched alcohols be used for biodegradable surfactants?
  • Recent biodegradability test results from ExxonMobil Biomedical Sciences, Inc.
Gail E Bragin, Environmental Toxicologist, ExxonMobil Biomedical Sciences, Inc
Channel Management in Chemicals: How to structure and optimise the use of distributors?
  • Position and role of distributors in the (surfactants) value chain
  • Typology and European market overview
  • How to select distribution partners?
  • Best practises in day-to-day distribution management
Guenther Eberhard, Managing Director, DISTRICONSULT
Lunch and networking break

Bio-based surfactants – Innovative achievements and future outlook
  • Bio-basedsurfactants – sustainability fuels innovation
  • A novel bio-based surfactant platform - Glucamides
  • Bio-based surfactants - what’s coming next?
Dirk Leinweber, Director of Competence Center Surfactants , Clariant
Panel Discussion: Succeeding in the European surfactants sector: innovating to meet consumers’ `requirements
  • How are consumer trends influencing upstream requirements?
  • To what extent does the industry need to innovate?
  • Is sustainability fuelling innovation?
Chris Sayner, VP Customer Alliances, Corporate Sustainability, CRODA
Dirk Leinweber, Director of Competence Center Surfactants , Clariant
Dr Joachim Krotz, Partner, OLIVER WYMAN
Networking break

What’s on the industry’s mind: Results of the Surfactants Survey 2017
Neil A Burns, Managing Partner, NEIL A BURNS LLC
What’s happening in the European Ethylene Oxide market?
  • EO market outlook: volume capacity, supply and demand
  • Assessing impact of a potential increase of ethylene supply on the European market
  • Understanding EO economics
  • On-going investments in capacities expansion
David Brooks, Business Director, Ineos Oxide
Chair’s closing remarks
Drinks reception and close of conference day one

Conference Day 2: Friday 15 September

Chair’s reconvening remarks
Neil A Burns, Managing Partner, NEIL A BURNS LLC
Feedstock trends: Oleo - vs petrochemicals in Europe
  • Natural fatty alcohols demand in Europe – is growth predicted?
  • Oleo and petrochemical supply and demand dynamics 
  • Oleo vs petro products cost trends
Melissa Bartlett, Senior Editor, Manager, ICIS
Update on the European chemicals regulations and their impact on the surfactants value chain
  • Update on CLP and REACH regulations
  • Biocidal Product Regulation(BPR) impact on surfactants
  • How could regulations affect biosurfactants coming into the market?
Siobhan Murphy, Senior Regulatory Scientist, The REACH Centre
Morning break

Enabling ethical and responsible supply chains in the chemical industry
  • Identifying supply chain factors and complexities 
  • What do surfactant manufacturers need from suppliers?
  • Deforestation-free supply chains
Chris Sayner, VP Customer Alliances, Corporate Sustainability, CRODA
Opportunities for surfactants in Africa - a new growth frontier?
  • Africa market landscape and its growth prospects 
  • Large-scale plantation of palm oil in West Africa
  • Demand and supply projections 
  • Changing consumer trends: disposable income, demographics, lifestyle
Derya Lawrence, Industry Analyst - Home Care, Euromonitor
Chair’s closing remarks
Lunch and end of conference

 Great networking event with lots of good insight on PK/Palm sustainability. 
Keenan Gunzel , Procurement Buyer, Bayer AG
 A must have
Frederic Niola , Purchasing Director, L'Oreal
 The topics and the aim of the conference was perfect.
Okan Karbal, Regional Sales Manager, Sabic
 Representatives from the whole surfactant supply-chain sharing first-hand expertise and knowledge.
Sri Artham , Vice President of Consumer Packaged Goods, Fair Trade USA
 Good update of the different drivers in the surfactants business.
Steven Vandepaer , EMEA NAO Product Manager, Chevron Phillips Chemical
 Good place to meet with relevant people in the whole Surfactants supply chain as well as good place to understand surfactant's trends.
David Pros , Surfactants Product Manager, Barcelonesa de Drogas y Productos Quimicos
 Simply amazing
Nelson Juarez, ANZ Business Sales Manager, Ingredients Plus
 Very interesting event with good presentations giving useful information.
Kurt Koninckx, General Manager, Oxiteno Europe
 This was a well run conference and very informative.
Selim Erhan, Global Commercial Development Manager, Archer Daniels Midland

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