Synthetic Chemistry Academic – Industrial Ideas Exchange
EPSRC Dial-a-Molecule Network and Chemical Synthesis Industries Consortium
Date: 25-26 September 2017
Venue: Imperial College London, Elec Eng 407A+B
The event on the 25thand 26thSeptember at Imperial College, London, brought together approximately 40 representatives from industrial and academic organisations and from funders of research in the chemical sciences. These included academics from Universities across Scotland and England and researchers from companies including Pfizer, GSK, AstraZeneca, Syngenta, Johnson Matthey, and Dr Reddy’s.
The overall aim of the meeting was to identify areas of strength and future direction in UK synthetic organic chemistry. This information is to be used to advocate synthetic chemistry to funding bodies, and target areas for collaborative programme grant funding. To enable the discussion, we heard from EPSRC, KTN and ChemSInC (Chemical Synthesis Industries Consortium) representatives, while Mimi Hii (Imperial College) announced the award of a strategic equipment grant to establish the UK’s first Dial-a-Molecule Institute, a research facility dedicated to Rapid Online Analysis of Reactions (ROAR), to be established at Imperial’s new White city campus in 2018.
Day 1 comprised a series of pitches from a range of academic and industrial speakers, showcasing the breadth of science that the Dial-a-Molecule grand challenge can influence and enable. Day 2 involved working in groups to develop programmes of research that can enable a step change in our synthetic capabilities and how we approach organic synthesis, and it is hoped that at least one of the 4 outline proposals will be developed into a successful funding submission.
The event was a great success, as confirmed by quotes from some of the attendees:
“Contributions to the discussion were made from attendees from all areas, and in particular it was great to get the industrial perspective on Dial-a-Molecule, collaborative projects, and the direction of synthetic organic chemistry in the UK.”
“The meeting was successful because it brought groups of individuals together to talk about science and encourage collaborative and inclusive research – something that organic chemistry has historically not been known for.”
“I could see how the industrialists approach research problems and what they really consider important”The event comprised discussion groups and workshops to identify research topics that are of mutual interest to industrial and academic partners and that could be developed into tangible projects. We aimed to develop funding strategies and identify project partners to develop viable proposals that are capable of attracting significant levels of research funding.