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Professor Paolo Galli
is considered one of the most influential
scientists in the industry of plastic materials
and related technology.

He is one of the most successful figures in the
opening of new frontiers in the polymer
science and applications in the last 50 years.
Giulio Natta Award
Ferrara, May 2005, Palazzo Roverella :

Excerpts from the committee’s statement upon the grant to Prof Galli of the 2005 "Giulia Natta" award (in recognition of scientific developments which have contributed to improve quality of life).

The "Giulio Natta" Award Scientific Committee was composed of:
- Prof. Dr. Ludwig Bohem
- Prof. Dr. Rolf Mulhaupt
- Prof. Dr. Nicolai Plate'
- Dr. Dieter Freitag
- Dr. Giuliano Cecchin
- Dr. Ing. Anton De Vries


- Initiator of the scientific discovery, and then leader of the industrial development, of the high mileage catalysts for the polymerization of olefins:

"The leader of the high yield polypropylene adventure, considered one of the ten most important discoveries in the last 50 years, one of those that revolutionized man's way of living... and, among these, the only attributable to an Italian national."

- Leader of the technology development of the entire polypropylene adventure in the last four decades, which has resulted in the development of high mileage catalysts and the new generation olefin polymerization processes, elevating the basic scientific discoveries to the full commercial scale.

- Creator and leader of the new Giulio Natta Research Center in Ferrara, whereby he took an obsolete and peripheral research center, scheduled to be shut-down shortly, and turned it into a world-recognized center of research and innovation, and the undisputed leader in the chemistry and technology of the polyolefins.

Prof Galli has given a unique and outstanding contribution to the development and success of polyolefin materials, especially polypropylenes, allowing these materials to find a broad field of applications, with significant improvements in our daily life, as these plastic materials are nowadays found everywhere, in a myriad of useful and unique applications. They are used in packaging, films, house ware, furniture, textiles, hygienic articles, articles for sports, toys, in medical care, but also for technical applications such as pipes, geo-membranes, automotive parts and in electric and electronic components and machinery. The innovation which led Paolo Galli and his team to such success was the realisation of the need to focus on the "Knowing why" through basic research, in order to then develop proper "Knowing how". Following this principle, Prof Galli developed the Giulio Natta Research Center into a world class innovation center for polyolefin materials. This principle also became the fundamental guideline for such technology driven companies such as Himont, Montell and, later, Basell.

Prof Galli's main contributions to the impressive progress of the field of polyolefins field can summarised as follows:

- The identification of crystal water free magnesium-dichloride as the key support for high mileage catalysts for the synthesis of polyolefins led to the development of the first high mileage, high stereo-selectivity propylene polymerisation catalyst. Based on these catalysts, a new breakthrough technology (Spheripol) was brought on stream first at the Montedison's Brindisi plant in 1980 and eventually licensed worldwide, accounting today for a market share of over 50% of the total world propylene production capacity.

In the book "Breakthrough" by P.R. Nayak and J.M. Ketteringham (Rawson Associates, New York, 1986) Paolo Galli is referred to as: "the leader of the high yield polypropylene adventure, considered one of the ten most important discoveries in the last 50 years, one of those that revolutionized man's way of living... and, among these, the only attributable to an Italian national".

- Under his leadership, further and crucial developments in the field were achieved at Montedison's Giulio Natta Research Center in Ferrara, such as the invention and development of the Reactor Granule Concept, the introduction of PCMA (Polypropylene Composite Materials and Alloys) products into the market, the development of the Spherilene process for advanced polyethylene materials production, and the development of the new and unique Multizone Circulating Gas Phase Reactor, which came on stream in 2003 at the Basell Brindisi plant.

- Paolo Galli also introduced the "co-makership" model for generating new polymer materials for new applications, cooperating in an open way with polymer converters and polymer appliers mainly in Italy but also elsewhere. By combining the competences of these various partners, new polyolefin materials and new applications across various industrial sector were identified, in a process of steady innovation and properties improvement which continues to this day.Paolo Galli issued around 30 patents, among which 15 are key patents in the field of Heterogeneous Catalysis and Macromolecular Chemistry.

Prof Galli has also published over 70 scientific papers, and has given over 100 lectures at international conferences around the world, and continues to be a sought-after speaker.

The combination of these efforts, patents, publications, and lectures clearly conveys an image of Prof Galli as the originator and main engineer behind the impressive breakthroughs in the polyolefin sector. Prof Galli has contributed the key ideas to this process, and then assembled, motivated and sponsored a team of high skilled scientists, engineers and technicians,first at the Ferrara Giulio Natta Research Center,and then at the Himont's R&D Center in Wilmington (DE), the Montell's R&D Centers in Louvain la Neuve (B), Amsterdam (NL) and the Bollate (Mi) Center for the Polymer Application Development, with whom he managed to transfer these scientific developments into industrial and commercial success.

Under the leadership and vision of Prof. Galli Himont, later to become Montecatini-Montedison, then Basell, until today's Lyondell-Basell, rose to the position of, and to this day it remains, the undisputed world leaders in the development of the technology and the study of commercial application of Polyolefin materials.

Paolo Galli has combined high innovation skills in basic research and development with an outstanding instinct for technical realisation and practical applications.

Thanks to Prof. Galli's vision and efforts, the Giulio Natta Research Center at Ferrara is considered today as a leading center worldwide in the field of stereo-selective catalytic polymerisation of olefins.
The award was handed to Prof. Galli by Prof. Giulio Natta's own son, Ing. Giuseppe Natta, who stated: "I am sure that if my father had been here, he would have been very happy to see Prof. Galli receiving this award and would have endorsed the choice of Prof. Galli as its winner".