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December Train-the-Facilitators Workshop Took Place in Serbia

Fall 2018 marks the half way point for the Yale-UNIDO Global Green Chemistry Initiative - funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) - which promotes the increase a global awareness of green chemistry in six countries around the world. The next phase of the project is providing 5-Day Train-the-Facilitators (TTF) Workshops where international green chemistry experts train and empower stakeholders to become catalysts of green chemistry in their countries and to disseminate green chemistry to their communities.

The second TTF Workshop was hosted in Belgrade from November 26 to November 30, 2018 by Dr Bojan Radak, Assistant Director of Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences, Prof. Vladimir Beskoski and Prof. Branimir Jovancicevic of University of Belgrade and Dr Branko Dunjić, Director of National Cleaner Production Centre (NCPC) of Serbia. The event was held at the Faculty of Chemistry at University of Belgrade.

32 participants attended the workshop and represented academia (University of Belgrade, University of Novi Sad, University of Kragujevac, Rudjer Bošković Institute), industry (Institut for Mining, ALHEM, Oil Industry of Serbia), consulting agencies (Victoria Consulting Co., Enova Consultants and Engineers) and the Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences. Participants represented Serbia, Croatia and Bosna & Herzegovina and were preselected based on their capacity to implement green chemistry in their workplace.

During the 5-day workshop participants were instructed on a wide range of topics to equip them with tools to become green chemistry facilitators. These topics included green chemistry and economic advantage, green chemistry and its role in sustainability, and benefits of green chemistry in different sectors: feedstocks, solvents, energy, catalysis, waste, and new molecules with reduced hazard. The workshop was delivered by Professor Tomislav Friscic from McGill University who was assisted by Dr. Karolina Mellor from the Center for Green Chemistry & Green Engineering at Yale. The workshop allowed participants to discuss green chemistry as a group and participate in several hands-on exercises that focus on green chemistry tools and practices.

The workhop ended with the presentation of green chemistry initiatives and technologies, which are currently being developed in Serbia. Inspirational talks and experiences were shared by Prof. Vladimir Beskoski, Prof. Branimir Jovancicevic, and Dr. Tatjana Trtic Petrovic. The entire 5 day event encouraged interactive engagement and networking among the participants and resulted in vigorous exchange of experiences and ideas among researchers.

“There is no doubt that the participants took home substantial knowledge and incentives, which are going to be applied and disseminated” said Dr Bojan Radak. He also added “The [..] contacts [at the workshop] will be invaluable in future developments and exchange. It will be an important asset of the Serbian Cleaner Production Center for further activities.”

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