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Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 71 | 21. Dezember 2009

ERA-Chemistry, the network of national research councils of European countries, would like to announce the 6th Flash Conference that will take place on 28 February to 4 March 2010 in Roscoff, France, and will be dedicated to "Extreme Chemical Efficiency: Driving To The Limits".

Chemical manufacturing systems involve the implementation of synthesis schemes to transform one composition of matter to another on scales from micrograms to billions of tons each year. Such materials and processes, designed by chemists and chemical engineers, enable modern life. They involve an integrated system approach of complex multidisciplinary, non-linear, non-equilibrium processes and phenomena occurring on different length and time scales of the supply chain, that is a good understanding of how chemical, biochemical and physical phenomena at a smaller length-scale relates to properties and behaviour at a longer length-scale (from the molecular scale to the production macro-and mega scales).

The way biologically, pharmaceutically and functionally relevant molecules and materials are produced has pervasive effects on the costs of biomedical research, healthcare and development of new technologies. In spite of impressive progress achieved in the past several decades, the state of the art of chemical synthesis and manufacturing remain at an early stage of development. Several grand challenges remain to be solved by synthetic chemists and chemical engineers. There is great need for new reactions, reaction sequences and synthetic methods to permit any substance or material, of any complexity to be synthesised with highest possible efficiency, in the smallest number of steps, and with minimal cogeneration of any waste products. New reactions, methods and manufacturing processes must be designed in a safe, compact, flexible and energy efficient manner. Of great importance here is the implementation of environmentally benign catalytic processes for meeting the human needs with the production of crucial chemicals by methods that are harmless to the earth and its inhabitants.

In order to maximise efficiency, minimise waste and increase profitability, the close earlydesign-state combination of green chemistry and green engineering stands out as the major means for overall synthetic design, feedstock and reagent selection and pollution prevention.

Here, the acceleration of chemical reactions with substoichiometric quantities of highly chemo-, regio- and stereoselective catalysts will play a central role. Currently, a paradigm shift is taking place in chemical synthesis technology with unprecedented opportunities for combining and incorporating such catalytic systems into various one-pot sequences, tandem and cascade-type reactions, and process intensification either in using operation hybridation, or new operating modes of production, or in using microengineering and microtechnology, i.e. microstructured reactors. Such processes will in the future permit more efficient production of industrial and biomedical products.

This conference will bring together chemists and chemical engineers to discuss and further develop the current state in driving chemical manufacturing methods towards extreme chemical efficiencies in terms of reactivity, selectivity, reaction and reactor design, energy and waste management.

The ERA-Chemistry Flash Conferences are based on high-level lectures by invited internationally renowned specialists in the domain. The following speakers have confirmed their attendance:

  • Prof. Carlos M. Afonso, Instituto Superior Tecnico Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal

  • Prof. David Agar, Technische Universität Dortmund, Germany

  • Prof. Matthias Beller, Leibniz-Institut für Katalyse, Rostock, Germany

  • Prof. Carsten Bolm, RWTH Aachen University, Germany

  • Prof. Carmen Claver, University of Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain

  • Prof. Darren Dixon, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

  • Prof. Leon Lech Gradon, Warsaw University of Technology, Poland

  • Prof. Karol Grela, University of Warsaw, Poland

  • Prof. Amir H. Hoveyda, Boston College, USA

  • Prof. Angel Irabien, University of Cantabria, Santander, Spain

  • Dr. Sophie Jullian, French Petroleum Institute (IFP), Solaize, France

  • Prof. Shu Kobayashi, The University of Tokyo, Japan

  • Prof. Hans Kuipers, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands

  • Prof. Marc Lemaire, University Claude Bernard - Lyon I / CPE-Lyon, France

  • Prof. Mike Matlosz, Ecole nat. supérieure des industries chimiques, Nancy, France

  • Prof. David Milstein, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel

  • Prof. Krishna D.P. Nigam, Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers, New Delhi, India

  • Prof. Gilbert Rios, University of Montpellier (CNRS-UMR5635), France

  • Prof. Tapio Salmi, Åbo Akadedmi University, Turku, Finland

  • Prof. Andrzej Stankiewicz, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

  • Prof. Michael C. Willis, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Flash Historical Background:
In 2007, the European project ERA-Chemistry inaugurated a new style of chemistry conference: the Flash Conference. It aims to bring together experienced and young researchers to discuss topics at the frontiers of chemical research. The Flash Conferences are based around some key points that differentiate them from all existing conferences. These five principles are:

  • "Hot topics" approach - Emerging fields of immediate scientific importance.

  • Innovative scientific organisation.

  • A limited audience - The maximum number of attendees is between 100-120 with selection of contributions based on quality. The conference is fully open to all researchers, and junior researchers are especially welcome.

  • Attraction of especially young scientists: no registration fees, no profits - the event is organised at the lowest possible cost.

  • A dedicated format - The conferences are scheduled on a three-day basis with a mixture of long lectures by invited speakers, free-time for discussion and poster presentations, and finally selected short talks.

Further Information


  • Prof. Reko Leino,
    Åbo Akademi University,
  • Prof. Jean-Claude Charpentier,

Conference Site:
The 6th Flash Conference will take place in Roscoff, France, close to the city of Brest. It will start in the afternoon of 28 February 2010 and will end in the morning of 4 March 2010. The accommodation of all participants will be in hotels close to the conference centre, which is a CNRS/UPMC marine research centre.