Advances 2021

Advances 2021

20—21 October 2021, Virtual Conference

Digitalisation of the Process Industries

Advances in the Digitalisation of the Process Industries is IChemE’s biennial conference for experienced process industry professionals working in cybersecurity/safety, digitalisation, information management, process automation, process control, process modelling, process simulation and other related fields.

Following the success of 2019's Advances in Process Automation and Control conference, the scope and title of the event has been updated to reflect the changing nature of the profession and innovation currently taking place within the industry.

This year's conference will feature an international line-up of high-profile plenary speakers and more than 30 technical presentations and virtual round-table discussions on current issues facing industry practitioners. It will be delivered online as a fully interactive virtual conference, making the event more accessible than ever before.


The conference will explore best practice, emergent thinking and future implications of a dynamic and rapidly changing technology environment, with a specific focus and interest in the following areas:

  • Sustainability – how can digital technologies contribute to a more sustainable world, prevent environmental damage and mitigate the impacts that cannot be avoided?

    • How are digital technologies enabling novel approaches to sustainability and environmental protection?
    • Application of digital technologies to enable the transition to a decarbonised energy and production system
    • Consideration beyond carbon and climate change – how do we use digital technologies to feed and provide meaningful employment for a growing global population?
    • How is digital transparency changing global supply chains, promoting responsible sourcing and enabling circularity?
    • What are the opportunities for digital technologies to change corporate behaviour through the data-driven ESG movement?
  • Technology – how can technology be developed and deployed in ways that are manageable, economically viable and understood and accepted by the people involved?

    • Emerging architectures, MLOps, the cloud and the edge
    • Progress and implications of interoperability and open standards
    • Application of AI & ML – workforce augmentation vs replication/replacement
    • IT/OT convergence – what does it actually mean, is it a real, and why does it matter?
    • Change management, managing complexity and management of change – the need for new process models
  • Transformation – what will the digitally-enabled process industries of the future look like – how far can we go, and what will it mean for those who work within it?

    • Autonomous and remote operations – how far can we go?
    • Integration of manufacturing, supply chain and commercial operations – breaking down silos
    • How do we develop and maintain the skills and knowledge of the workforce?
    • What will our workers be doing in the future (and where)?
    • Ethically safe, secure and respectful – but how?

Presentations will be delivered as part of a live timetable with the opportunity for live Q&A, and will also be available to view on-demand for up to 30 days after the event.