Looking back at NCT Middle East

By Ms. Selene Lentini, Analyst, IB Consultancy, The Netherlands

On February 8th, 2022, IB Consultancy and the CBRNe Society launched NCT Middle East 2022, in the welcoming avenue of the Abu Dhabi Radisson Blu Corniche Hotel, UAE. More than 150 delegates from the region attended the event, including specialists, academics, first responders, and highly ranked military representatives. The perfect formula: two days of conference with esteemed experts in the CBRN field accompanied by the industry exhibition that allowed exceptional networking opportunities and knowledge sharing, putting together exhibitors and representatives of a wide pool of organizations. The conference started in the morning of the 7th February and finished in the early afternoon of the 8th, with a total of 5 sessions where experts from the region -from UAE, Kuwait, Lebanon, Egypt, Pakistan and Jordan – and Europe too, took stage sharing valuable insights during the sessions devoted to CBRNe Terrorism and Asymmetrical Threats in the Middle East, to the Pandemic Response and CBRNe Medical Emergency Management, to Radiological and to Nuclear Safety and to Security in the MENA Region and during the opening and closely plenary.

The presentations covered different topics with attention to the regional perspective: "CBRN Risk management in Gulf Cooperation Council", "Safety and Nuclear Security in the Middle East: a 21st Century Perspective", t"he UAE National Arrangements for Emergency Preparedness and Response", "Specialist CBRN Units in Middle East", "Countering Biological Risks: Using Bio-Forensics to Strengthen Biosecurity in the MENA Region", "Public Safety Education Awareness", "Border Security at the Intersection of Humanitarian assistance and transnational threats", "IEDs Threats: Challenges and Countermeasures", "COVID-19 Pandemic in Lebanon: from Mitigation to Response", "Covid-19:lessons learned (…so far)", "Prevention of Illicit Trafficking of Nuclear and other Radioactive Material at International Borders", "Synergy of Nuclear Security, Safeguards, and Regulations", and "Psychosocial Response to Mass Casualty CBRN Incidents".

Such diverse programme was possible thanks to the wide pool of experts, representative of renowned high-level organizations such as the Center for Excellence in Biosafety, Biosecurity, and Biotechnology of the Royal Scientific Society of Jordan, Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, UAE, the Institute of Nuclear Fusion “Guillermo Velarde”, the EU CBRNE CoE, the Royal Engineering School of the Jordan Armed Forces, the Lebanese Ministry of Health, the Emergency Preparedness and Response Health Emergency Department of the Ministry of Public Health of Qatar, Trust International Institute for Public Training, KFPA, Abu Dhabi Civil Defense Authority of UAE, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police from Pakistan and the R&D Department of the Egyptian Customs Authority. The conference success was supported by the equally successful NCT Middle East industry exhibition that delegates and speaker could enjoy at its best thanks to the ad hoc Tech Tours organized to facilitate communications and networking. Exhibitors and sponsors had the chance to showcase their products in the charming expo area, where the booths were distributed to facilitate the interactions between the industry representatives and the delegates. The exhibition, as all the components of the event, took place in the respect of the Covid relations in order to guarantee the safety and security of all participants. Sixteen companies from around Europe and the United States presented their products to the wide audience enjoying the comfortable booths to meet, discuss, cultivate connections and new relationships, extending their customers networks. Not only the dedicated Tech Tours, but also the coffee and lunch breaks have been praised by both the industry representatives and the government sector as valuable experiences to get to know new realities and companies, to cultivate new opportunities and gain insights. Despite the challenges of a world emerging from a worldwide pandemic, NCT Middle East proved to be a success and showed once again the power of in-person events.