Chemical sciences and engineering grand challenges

In 2009, following consultation with the academic community and its Strategic Advisory Teams, EPSRC highlighted four new grand challenges in chemical sciences and engineering.

The grand challenges are:

  • Dial-a-Molecule - 100% efficient synthesis
  • Directed Assembly of Extended Structures with Targeted Properties
  • Systems Chemistry: Exploring the Chemical Roots of Biological Organisation
  • Utilising Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in Synthesis and Transforming the Chemicals Industry

Grand challenges are defined as significant problems that need a long-term, coordinated approach from researchers to overcome and it is a mechanism being used by EPSRC in a number of different research areas.

Chemical scientists and engineers identified a number of potential grand challenges in their research area at a two-day workshop in November 2008. This work was further refined by EPSRC's Strategic Advisory Teams, resulting in the four announced challenges.

EPSRC has funded networks around three of these grand challenges to build communities of researchers in each area. These networks will set the research agenda, develop new research strategies and address the societal and economic impact of the grand challenge.

The networks are: