First Annual Meeting of Dial-a-Molecule Grand Challenge Network

The Dial-a-Molecule Grand Challenge held its First Annual Meeting on 2nd July 2012 at the University of Warwick, UK.

Around 65 people gathered to hear of the progress of the Grand Challenge Network made thus far and the opportunities resulting from the recently announced renewal of funding. The meeting also saw the Dial-a-Molecule Roadmap formally published on the day with a number of presentations outlining key outputs from the three theme areas as well as future perspectives. In addition to these, ten short presentations were included highlighting projects in the various focus areas. The afternoon was dedicated to group discussions and the participants were asked to share and discuss their thoughts on how to achieve progress in different focus areas and move them forward to the next level.


Some areas proved particularly popular such as:

  • Towards a national Electronic Laboratory Notebook
  • Developing automated, real time reaction analysis
  • Self-optimising reactors, reactions and catalysts
  • Non-precious metal catalysts or ultra low-loading precious-metal homo- and heterogeneous catalysts
  • Engineering and chemical solutions and tools for efficient phase-separation
  • Reactor/catalyst design for routine catalyst separation
  • Predicting the outcome of novel reactions
  • Predictable generation of useful complexity
  • Establishing a national service and regional centres for the high-throughput study of reactions
  • Developing chemistry industry needs and will use. Why is industry slow to embrace new chemical reactions?

Dial-a-Molecule is now working towards organising workshops and sandpit meetings to facilitate turning the ideas discussed in these group sessions into actual proposals.


 Presentations on the day

The Dial-a-Molecule Network. The first two years, renewal funding, and aims for today (Richard Whitby)

Key Roadmap outputs from the theme areas (Richard Whitby, David Harrowven, Steve Marsden)

Roadmap economic impact and funding opportunitites (Stephen Hillier)

EPSRC perspective and funding opportunities (Alex Berry)

The ‘National Electronic Laboratory Notebook’ initiative (Richard Whitby)

Towards freely accessible data: Automated extraction of reaction and spectroscopic data from thesis   (Peter Murray-Rust)

Dial-a-Molecule and Synthetic Biology (Joe Sweeney & David Hollinshead)

Next Generation Reaction Platforms (Harris Makatsoris)

Reagentless Synthesis (Andrew Russell)

Materials Science and Dial-a-Molecule (Mike Shipman)

Barriers to the uptake of new reactions by industry (David Fox)

Inventing new reactions with impact (Anne Horan)

The 3d-fragment consortium (Andy Morley)

National Centre for Reaction study (Richard Whitby)