How can we make molecules in DAYS not YEARS?

Dial-a-Molecule is a Grand Challenge network funded by EPSRC to promote research aimed at step change in the ability to deliver molecules quickly and efficiently.  More information can be found  at .

Until now the network has organised a series of meetings that developed the initial ideas of Dial-a-Molecule into focus areas. They cover topics spanning from the use of technology (both hardware and software), the development of new reactions and methods (such as one-pot synthesis), and driving chemical transformation up to the creation of catalytic systems capable of processing multiple synthetic operations.

A “Focusing our efforts” advisory group  lead by Chemistry Innovation,  is a place for industrialists to meet and guide the development of Dial-a-Molecule in order to maximise commercial return. It also facilitates  crucial two-way flow of information between academia and industry.

Now, Dial-a-Molecule is organising  meetings to  develop community-inspired collaborations. Dates are:

7-8 July 2011 at AstraZeneca, Alderley Park, Cheshire, on Selectivity, Sustainability, Predictability: Multi-Disciplinary Issues for 21st Century Catalysis

and 28-29 July 2011 at University of Southampton, on The Smart Laboratory: Towards a national ELN

For more information on the Dial-a-Molecule Grand Challenge please consult the website at or contact the network coordinator at

4588 Reflectance Anisotropy Spectroscopy

“A solution seeking a problem”. Four Delta Consulting Ltd is collaborating with Mott Medallist Professor Peter Weightman of the Department of Physics, University of Liverpool in seeking industrial applications for Reflectance Anisotropy Spectroscopy (RAS). This spectroscopic technique can provide an exceptionally sensitive probe of surfaces and for materials on surfaces (see . Peter seeks funding from the University Knowledge Transfer Account to equip a laboratory with a custom-built spectrometer (not yet available commercially) and resident expert operator to provide a service free-of-charge to industry. Expressions of support have been given by Unilever Research and Development, Shell, and Element 6 (an off-shoot of de Beers). Professor Weightman’s initiative will be of interest to any company working with surfaces.
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