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Dial-a-Molecule Grand Challenge Institute

I2.       Dial-a-Molecule Grand Challenge Institute.

Aim: To establish physical and virtual centres directed at the aims of Dial-a-Molecule.


Many of the technologies and practices we believe are important to the advancement of synthesis are both expensive and require a high degree of knowledge to use effectively. It is beyond the resource of individual groups to acquire all of these capabilities so a central resource is needed. Such support cannot be entirely met by the current mechanisms offered by EPSRC (e.g. a mid-range facility) as many of the techniques require a large amount of user-input thus a novel structure is envisioned. By establishing of a physical ‘Dial-a-Molecule’ Grand Challenge Institute (GCI) (possibly distributed over several sites) will provide a critical mass of equipment and expertise which will greatly accelerate progress and capability of UK synthetic chemistry enabling to take international leadership in the area. In addition to providing training and access to facilities, we envisage that GCI would also provide a platform for greater interaction between academic and industrial users to identify new tools and reaction platforms. Under this theme, we will aim to pursue specific activities to support a proposal and sustainable business-plan of setting up such a dedicated centre. This will include engagement with key stakeholders, including synthetic chemists in academia and industry, as well as potential beneficiaries of such a project. We will also learn from similar centres already established in the US (Caltech Center for Catalysis and Chemical Synthesis (3CS), Center for Selective C-H Functionalization (CCHF, Emory), and industrial labs (e.g. Merck and Pfizer)) to gain insights into practicalities of running such centres and their modes of operation and key to success.