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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S023232/1
Title: EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Next Generation Synthesis & Reaction Technology
Principal Investigator: Hii, Professor KK(
Other Investigators:
Hellgardt, Professor K Yaliraki, Professor S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Agilent Technologies Ltd Almac Group Ltd APC Ltd
Astex Therapeutics BASF Calix (Europe) Limited
CatScI Ltd Dr Reddy's Laboratories UK Ltd ELI Lilly and Company
GlaxoSmithKline (Global) GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) Mettler-Toledo AutoChem, Inc.
MSD Ireland Pfizer Pfizer Ireland Pharmaceuticals
Polymateria Ltd SAS UK HQ SK Biotek Ireland
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 01 April 2019 Ends: 30 September 2027 Value (£): 6,170,245
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Analytical Science Catalysis & Applied Catalysis
Chemical Synthetic Methodology Co-ordination Chemistry
Gas & Solution Phase Reactions Reactor Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Chemicals Healthcare
Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
07 Nov 2018 EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training Interview Panel K – November 2018 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Chemistry is a key underpinning science for solving many global problems. The ability to make any molecule or material, in any quantity needed in a prescribed timescale, and in a sustainable way, is important for the discovery and supply of new medicines to cure diseases, agrochemicals for better crop yields/protection, as well as new electronic and smart materials to improve our daily lives.

Traditionally, synthetic chemistry is performed manually in conventional glassware. This approach is becoming increasingly inadequate to keep pace with the demand for greater accuracy and reproducibility of reactions, needed to support further discovery and development, including scaling up processes for manufacturing.

The future of synthetic chemistry will require the wider adoption of automated (or autonomous) reaction platforms to perform reactions, with full capture of reaction conditions and outcomes. The data generated will be valuable for the development of better reactions and better predictive tools that will facilitate faster translation to industrial applications.

The chemical and pharmaceutical industry is a significant provider of jobs and creator of wealth for the UK. Data from the Chemical Industries Association (CIA) shows that the chemical industry has a total turnover of £40B, adding £14.4B of value to the UK economy every year, employs 140,000 people directly, and supports a further 0.5M jobs. The sector is highly innovation-intensive: much of its annual spend of £4B on investment in capital and R&D is based on synthetic chemistry with many SME's and CRO's establishing novel markets in Science Parks across the UK regions, particularly in the South East and North West. The demand for graduate recruits by the Chemicals and Pharmaceutical industries for the period 2015-2025 is projected to be between 50,000-77,000, driven by an aging workforce creating significant volumes of replacement jobs, augmented by the need to address skills shortages in key enabling technologies, particularly automation and data skills.

This CDT will provide a new generation of molecular scientists that are conversant with the practical skills, associated data science and digital technology to acquire, analyse and utilise large data sets in their daily work. This will be achieved by incorporating cross-disciplinary skills from engineering, as well as computing, statistics, and informatics into chemistry graduate programs, which are largely lacking from existing doctoral training in synthetic chemistry. Capitalising upon significant strategic infrastructural and capital investment on cutting edge technology at Imperial College London made in recent years, this CDT also attracts very significant inputs from industrial partners, as well as Centres of Excellence in the US and Europe, to deliver a unique multi-faceted training programme to improve the skills, employability and productivity of the graduates for future academic and industrial roles.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk