Saint Gobain turns to R&D to continue global market dominance

saint-gobainSaint Gobain is keen to promote local talent, and eventually create a nationalised workforce. (Image source: Saint Gobain) Saint-Gobain has been celebrating 350 years of global operation at an event in Abu Dhabi

The company also held an exhibition alongside a series of seminars during the event in the UAE capital. Starting out as a glass manufacturer in France during the reign of Louis XIV in 1665, today Saint-Gobain is a world leader in the construction and habitat market, designing building materials that provide innovative solutions to energy efficiency and environmental protection.

The glitzy affair was woven around the theme 350 Reasons to Believe in the Future at Yas Island Rotana and saw more than 300 visitors in attendance during the two-day Knowledge Forum.

Partners firms and experts visiting the event on both days saw a plethora of seminars held on water, energy, environment and multi-comfort. Besides sharing of ideas, the event was also a platform for participants to share their challenges and experiences of the marketplace.

Carefully compartmentalised, but free-flowing in nature, the seminars gave attendees an opportunity to discover how far Saint-Gobain has committed is operations towards providing a better future for its customers.

Hady Nassif, regional managing director - Middle East, said, “Saint-Gobain wants to top the top. It’s like breaking your own Olympic record.”

Nassif said that the forum, held from 14-15 April, had presented delegates with an opportunity to learn their strengths and weaknesses, and work towards a common goal of strengthening the Saint-Gobain operation. He also said that Saint-Gobain was looking towards promoting local talent in the region and creating nationalised workforces.

Water supply, a major concern in the Middle East, was discussed in length during the event. Saint-Gobain PAM works with industrial firms committed to designing sustainable drinking water supply solutions. Speakers noted the problems faced in the region due to ethical concerns, such as not drinking water from recycled waste, which has proven to be a huge success in countries like Singapore. Industry partner Masdar also showcased technology tools that look for water via satellites and sensor technology.

Bruno Langlais, general manager for the Near East at Saint-Gobain PAM, told Technical Review Middle East that the company was committed to a sustainable future and was, therefore, devising sustainability-related projects in Jordan and Lebanon.

Meanwhile, Saint-Gobain Gyproc held seminars on topics that included insulated houses for energy efficiency, indoor sound and air quality to improve living quality, and glass solutions for the region’s climatic conditions. Saint-Gobain began trading in the Middle East in 2005 as Gyproc.

Besides the exchange of ideas, the forum also saw the introduction of a new product – concrete admixture by Weber Saint Gobain, which has been awaiting patent approval for the energy efficient insulation solution.

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