I1. National Catalyst/Ligand Bank and Testing Facility.
Aim: The establishment of a national catalyst/ligand bank and testing facility for industry and academia.
A key barrier to advancement and uptake of new catalytic technologies, particularly with end users such as industry, is the lack of commercial availability of many published catalysts and ligands. Wider use outside the groups which developed them would improve reproducibility and avoid ‘false negatives’ and missed opportunities, and could provide the data (using PCA etc) to inform both predictive tools for best catalyst choice and areas for further development. There is a huge unrealised opportunity to use ligands on different metals, and catalysts for different processes than those they were developed for. Even when groups are willing to share catalysts/ligands the bureaucracy of Material Transfer Agreements stifles opportunity, particularly if a wide range of systems from different groups could be screened. We believe that there is the opportunity for a centrally curated collection of catalysts/ligands (possibly virtual) with standardised agreements for access. Siting it in a facility with the capability for high-throughput screening would be an additional refinement. The bank would provide rapid links to the academic ‘owner’ for high-value follow-up, and the potential for frequent hitters to be accelerated to commercialisation. The initiative will build on experience from the Ligbank project.