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June : Lonza Applauds IRG49 As A Valuable Global Networking Platform

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20 June, 2018

Lonza Applauds IRG49 As A Valuable Global Networking Platform

Lonza Applauds IRG49 As A Valuable Global Networking Platform
RCA Award - From Left- right IRG Vice-President Dr Lone Ross Gobakken , Avtar Sidhu Lonza USA, 
Marta Petrillo, Charlotte Grosse both RCA Award winners

The 49th IRG Conference, hosted for the first time on the African continent from the 29th of April to the 3rd of May in South Africa, proved to be a valuable global networking platform for the wood preservation industry. This is according to the feedback received from Lonza Wood Protection's ("Lonza's") visiting international representatives and compliments from local customers who had the opportunity to attend the conference as guests of Lonza South Africa.

"This was a terrific opportunity for those that call Africa home to hear what the rest of the world is doing in the field of wood protection and just as importantly to dialogue with others from around the world," said Andre Siraa from Lonza New Zealand.

Commenting from a local perspective, Roy Smith from Mintroad Sawmills, said he found the conference very informative.  "It was most interesting to hear what our industry is like in other parts of the world and to exchange information on possibilities ahead. It should definitely be held in South Africa again in the future," he said.

Frans Beket from the R&B Group concurred, "It was an incredible experience and the papers and reports presented were very enlightening. Having rubbed shoulders with the scientists from around the world and knowing our people here in South Africa like the Lonza team, I believe we are right there in the mix with the best. I was impressed to see how huge Lonza and its variants are across the world. The underlying message that caught my attention the most was that we need to view ourselves as more than just singular participants within a world of timber preservation. We all form part of a global responsibility of preserving our planet".

Globally, Lonza Wood Protection has aligned itself with the International Research Group on Wood Preservation (IRG-WP) as a sponsor in providing intellectual and financial support to ensure the success of the IRG organisation. As an extension of this sponsorship, Lonza South Africa supported the South African Wood Preservers Association (SAWPA) and deployed Daryll Ehrke to serve on the Local Organising Committee hosting the 2018 Annual Meeting.

General Manager of Lonza South Africa, Doug Sayce, elaborated: "We understood the importance of local sponsorship for the hosting of an IRG conference in South Africa, and therefore did not hesitate to get on board as one of the 5 platinum sponsors alongside the total 22 local and international sponsors. As a global company, Lonza welcomes opportunities such as this to share its knowledge and learn from other industry experts with the bigger picture of disseminating scientific information on wood protection products".  

Sayce went on to compliment the SAWPA and its Local Organising Committee, led by Bruce Breedt and Sue Kindwater, on an outstanding hosting IRG49. "Our team is very proud to have had the opportunity to work alongside SAWPA at this prestigious industry event and we look forward to the positive outcomes that the conference will yield going forward".

Bruce Breedt from the Local Organising Committee shared his thoughts on the outcome: "Conferences like this and the exposure and interactions between international and local delegates can only hold positive future possibilities in engagement and collaboration with the IRG-WP and its members. We were very encouraged by the comment made by the President of the IRG-WP, Joris Van Acker, that IRG49 South Africa had raised the bar for those to follow".

Locally, Lonza was represented at the conference by Kesun Govender, the Operational Manager and Denise Conradie, the Compliance Manager - who are also both members of IRG. Also attending was Daryll Ehrke and Lonza's laboratory technicians. Internationally Lonza was represented by Avtar Sidhu from Canada, Andre Siraa from New Zealand and Francisca Latorre V from Chile.

"Having the conference in South Africa also allowed Lonza representatives from around the world the chance to discuss with their local colleagues the work they are doing and what new products being used globally might find a fit in South Africa.  We gained an appreciation for the South African market and the unique aspects of it, which will be beneficial in the future as we work together with the South African team to develop new markets, products and opportunities," Siraa added.

Among the awards within the IRG is the Gareth Williams Award, which acknowledges the best scientific paper and presentation at each Annual Meeting.  This year Lonza South Africa sponsored the award and Avtar Sidhu from Lonza USA presented it to the winner, Marta Petrillo from IVALSA Italy, for her ‘Best Innovation Presentation'.

Source: Lonza


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