Letter from NIPA Chair John Irwin

The Northern Ireland Polymers Association (NIPA) is the industry representative body for the Polymers Sector in Northern Ireland.

Letter from NIPA Chair John Irwin

New NIPA Chairperson, John Irwin has issued a letter to members updating on the focus of NIPA activities. It is seen copied here:

The Northern Ireland Polymers Association (NIPA) is the industry representative body for the Polymers Sector in Northern Ireland.8th July 2022


Dear Member,

Since taking on the role of Chair I have been working with a small team of NIPA members to review and refresh our strategy, in order to best deliver value for our members.

The NIPA Articles of Association outline high level objectives as follows:

  1. To improve the competitiveness, prosperity, efficiency and status of the Northern Ireland polymers industry
  2. To provide a representative forum through which the NI polymers industry can communicate effectively and authoritatively with Government and other influential bodies on all matters relevant to the industry
  3. To address specific needs of the NI polymers industry in relation to training, investment, marketing and R&D
  4. To advise on and seek comment on proposed legislative and policy changes, which may affect the industry, from the Government


On the basis of these objectives, NIPA strategy will be to focus on five key themes:

  1. The recruitment, development and retention of talent is a significant challenge. NIPA will support member companies with polymer training, from entry level to expert. Details below.
  2. Carbon reduction, recycling technology and the circular economy are critical elements of Environmental, Social & Governance Policy (ESG). NIPA will provide assistance, advice and signposting to help members develop and deliver ESG.
  3. Collaborative R&D is essential for improved productivity, efficiency, competitiveness and the development of exciting new technology and products. NIPA will act as a conduit for members to access funding and will help connect companies to create a valuable polymer R&D ecosystem.
  4. A Positive Polymer Message. NIPA will act as an ambassador for the NI polymers sector and at every opportunity promote the positive contribution made by plastics to society, locally and globally.
  5. NIPA will continue with quarterly breakfast meetings. The content will focus on the above themes and by gathering in various venues, will facilitate networking of members with each other and with other stakeholders such as government and academia.


New NIPA Offices

It was felt that to best deliver on our objectives that we should establish some key roles within the NIPA Board. As such we have the following offices:

Website Officer                Findhan Strain

Stem Ambassador            Gerry McNally

AMIC Liaison                     John Irwin

Events Co-Ordinator       Gerry McNally & Others



In conjunction with SERC, NIPA has been able to establish a Level 3 Polymer Apprenticeship. This has been running for 1 year. There are 18 spaces available for the September 2022 intake so please contact SERC if you wish to avail of this course.

Polymer Training:

In 2021 NIPA delivered the Advanced Polymer Academy training to 13 delegates from a range of polymer processing companies in Northern Ireland.

In 2022 NIPA has already commenced the process of securing accreditation for the Polymer Academy Diploma through the Institute of Materials (IOM3).

A range of half day and one day courses with IOM3 Continuous Professional Development (CPD) accreditation will also be available in 2023.

Bespoke courses for companies are already available.


27th July LG Energy Consultants – Recommended by the BPF this company will provide information and support on possible energy reduction activities. Venue TBC.

30th August Breakfast Seminar.

16th November Breakfast Seminar

Details of venue and content will follow. Please reserve the date.


The membership fee has not been increased and will remain at £750 + VAT and invoices will be sent out in July.

I look forward to seeing you at our next breakfast seminar,


John Irwin

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