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New partnership to ‘accelerate’ evaluation of chemical reactions

Posted on 28 September 2012

The University of York has agreed a new partnership with a Swiss-based technology company to modernise the way chemical reactions are screened and evaluated.

Professor Ian Fairlamb with the ChemSpeed equipment

Under the new partnership, between the Department of Chemistry at York and Chemspeed Technologies, the company will invest £750,000 to provide two robotic platforms to be housed in the Department’s extended Dorothy Hodgkin research building.

The fully automated platforms for parallel synthesis, designed and built by Chemspeed, will enable academic groups to increase the number of experiments to find faster and more effective solutions to demanding challenges in synthetic chemistry and catalysis.

Professor Ian Fairlamb, of the Department of Chemistry, said: “Accelerating the speed and increasing the number of experiments is a critical factor in research and development. The higher output, especially testing a greater number of experimental variables, can leverage the success rate in finding new, greener and cleaner synthetic methods which are important drivers in research, not only for academics but also in industry."

Dr Jake Grace, a Workflow Architect at Chemspeed, will be based predominantly at York, contributing his technical expertise to the research programmes. 

Dr Grace said: “I’ll be interacting closely with the research groups in the Department to identify mutually beneficial collaborative opportunities with the potential to both increase productivity and diversify the portfolio of research projects being carried out at York.”

Notes to editors:

  • York is one of the UK's leading Chemistry departments - internationally recognised for teaching and research. One major objective is to undertake the highest quality fundamental and applied research. York has a distinctive interdisciplinary structure founded on strong areas of core chemistry. Research in the Department of Chemistry is thriving; research income has averaged £6.1 million in new grants per annum over the last 3 years. There are 50 members of staff of international repute, about 160 graduates (mainly studying for PhD degrees) and over 60 research fellows.
  • Chemspeed Technologies AG is the leading provider of high-throughput and high-output research and development workflow solutions from single bench-top / standalone automated workstations (powder dispensing, sample preparation, synthesis, process development, formulation, application or testing) up to complete and integrated product workflows for the entire product development processes in the chemical, material science, renewables & energy, pharmaceutical, agrochemical, specialty chemical, home care, cosmetics and nutrition industries, as well as academia.
  • More information about the partnership is available from Dr Jake Grace or Professor Ian Fairlamb

Contact details

David Garner
Senior Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322153

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