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While the globe adjusts to unprecedented changes in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global steel industry also faces persistent challenges regarding the ecological environment, world economy, and both resource and energy bottlenecks. In order to study and discuss the future of the sustainable development of the steel industry, on October 19th 2020 the World Steel Development Research Institute in Beijing held its first plenary meeting, being jointly established by the World Steel Association (WorldSteel), USTB and HBIS Group Co., Ltd (HBIS). Academician GAN Yong and Academician YIN Ruiyu, from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Mr. YU Yong, President of WorldSteel, Party Secretary and Chairman of HBIS, and Mr. WU Guilong, Chancellor of USTB attended the unveiling ceremony. The general meeting was presided over by Prof. YANG Renshu, President of USTB.
Focusing on the relationship between world steel production and the global economy, the steel industry and sustainable development, and the future of steel and urban ecology, the World Steel Development Research Institute will conduct in-depth research on the development of the steel industry, and strive to address the common problems and methods facing steel production in the future, so as to build a harmonious ecosystem in which the steel industry coexists with human society and the natural environment. Preparations for the Institute began in early 2020, and received strong support from the China Iron and Steel Industry Association, China Society for Metals, China Iron & Steel Research Institute Group, China Baowu Steel Group, ANSTEEL Group Corporation, Northeastern University, and Tsinghua University, as well as renowned experts in the field of global steel research and production.
Academician GAN Yong said in his speech that the establishment of the Institute is a necessary and timely decision at this time, and is of great significance. The establishment of the Institute will help to explore the future development of high-quality steel, trace the history of steel development, and analyze the impact of steel on socio-economics, humanities and social sciences. He stressed that the Institute should look to the future and carry out top-level design from three aspects: what topics to study, what problems to solve, and what solutions to enact. In the era of new technologies where the industrial internet and artificial intelligence are prevalent, we need to think about the future changes in the structure of the steel industry, find ways to improve the competitiveness of China’s steel industry, and focus on the synergistic development of society and steel.
Academician YIN Ruiyu pointed out that iron and steel is the industrial backbone that supports national economic development, and is also an important symbol of the comprehensive strength of a country. The development of China’s iron and steel industry over the past 70 years has met the needs of national economic development, created a miracle in the history of the development of world iron and steel, and successfully solved the problems of scarcity (“have or not” and “sufficient or not”). In the future, the key will be to solve the quality issue of “good or not” and the environmental issue of “green or not”, those being challenges that China’s steel industry must overcome in the new era. The establishment of the World Steel Development Research Institute is an important step in the process of China’s transformation from a “big steel country” to a “steel power”. Its core research aim is the goal that China’s iron and steel industry must become an “iron and steel power”. It will seek to play an important role in the high-quality development of China’s industry.
Mr. YU Yong, Chairman of the World Steel Association, Chancellor and CEO of the HBIS Group, Dean of World Steel Development Research Institute said that the future development of the steel industry and the impact of steel on the earth’s ecology, world economy, and the development of human civilization are major issues that the researchers need to face and solve. The establishment of the World Steel Development Research Institute provides a platform for promoting research into the steel industry. Today, China has been the center of global iron and steel, and it can be inferred that it will continue to lead the development of the global steel industry for a long time. Chinese iron and steel must pursue sustainable development and aim to achieve the goals of realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, as well as increasing its economic and strategic values. At the same time, Chinese iron and steel must strengthen strategic research into the sustainable development of the industry in order to contribute to the national social development.
Mr. WU Guilong said that the Institute is a non-profit scientific research organization engaged in research on topics in the fields of steel and the economy, society, and ecology under the guidance of the World Steel Association. Its main research scope and future direction will include the sustainable development of the steel industry, its place in the global economy, green steel and global climate change, urban development, urban ecology and urban health, and promoting harmony between people, steel and nature. The Institute will provide intellectual support for governments and industrial organizations in terms of green steel research, sustainable development, and ecological and environmental protection. Meanwhile, it will contribute to research into the sustainable development of the global steel industry.
Mr. Edwin Basson, General Director of the World Steel Association, pointed out in a video speech that the steel industry needs to develop innovative processes to produce enough steel to meet the sustainable development requirements of modern society. China is the world’s largest steel producer and leader of the world's steel industry. The World Steel Development Research Institute aims to build an industrial ecosystem in which steel, human society and the environment coexist in harmony, and will support the sustainable and green development of the global steel industry. The World Steel Association is proud to cooperate with the World Steel Development Research Institute and is willing to use its resources to support the development of the Institute. It is expected that the Institute will achieve rapid development and fruitful results.
At the meeting, Academician GAN Yong, Academician YIN Ruiyu, Mr. YU Yong and Mr. WU Guilong participated the opening ceremony together.
Mr. LI Yiren, Deputy General Manager of the HBIS Group and Associate Dean of the World Steel Development Research Institute, described the preparations for the World Steel Development Research Institute and introduced the candidates for the Expert Advisory Council, as well as positions of president and vice president.
Prof. YAN Xiangbin, winner of the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars and Dean of the Donlinks School of Economics and Management of USTB, introduced the research projects of the Institute.
Academician MAO Xinping, from the Chinese Academy of Engineering and Associate Dean of the World Steel Development Research Institute, presided over the review of the research topics of the Institute.
The World Steel Development Research Institute will be governed by an Expert Advisory Council and managed by a Dean. At the first plenary session, Academician GAN Yong was elected as the first chairman of the Council, and Mr. YU Yong will serve as the first Dean. In order to ensure the high-quality operation of the Institute, an advisory committee composed of 11 academician-level experts from global and related steel fields was formed, with academician YIN Ruiyu elected as the first director of the committee.
Experts and guests attending the conference included Academician WANG Yide, Academician WANG Haizhou, Academician LI Wei, Academician YUE Qingrui, Academician LIU Zhengdong, Prof. ZHAO Ji, President of Northeastern University, Prof. WU Aixiang, Vice President of USTB, Academician LI Xinchuang, from the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, Vice Chairman of China Iron and Steel Association, Chancellor and Chief Engineer of the Metallurgical Industry Planning and Research Institute, Mr. ZHONG Shaoliang, representative of the World Steel Association Beijing Representative Office, Mr. TIAN Zhiling, Vice President of the China Iron and Steel Research Institute Group, Mr. LI Wenxiu, Deputy Director of the Chinese Society for Metals, Mr. WANG Xindong, CTO and Vice President of the HBIS Group, and Mr. MENG Jinsong, Vice President of the Angang Steel Group.