TWO SHORT SEMINARS DURING THIS ONE HOUR: By Dr. Thierry Dupin: " Introduction to the Saint-Gobain Group , Focus on R&D Activities" Saint-Gobain started more than 3 centuries ago and for long was known as a major glass maker. Around 190 000 people are working in the group, sales are around 40 BEuros, with plants in 64 countries. Today Saint-Gobain's strategy is all about sustainable HABITAT. For that purpose, the group developed an aggressive R&D strategy to develop High Performance Materials. An overview of the 3 main corporate R&D Centers will be given during the presentation. By Dr. Thomas Szymanski: "Preparation, Properties and Selected Applications of Engineered Porous Catalyst Supports" As feedstocks become more diverse and difficult to process and energy prices increase, petrochemical producers struggle to balance the mandate that they simultaneously increase production while using less energy and producing fewer byproducts. These increasingly challenging conditions will often require new processes and/or new catalyst-carrier systems. The stringent demands placed on these carrier-catalyst systems will cause even more emphasis to be placed on quality issues. This presentation will survey various methods used to prepare engineered porous ceramic materials for hydrocarbon conversion processes and discuss some applications.