Embargo expired: 4/8/2013 10:00 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: American Chemical Society (ACS)
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, April 8, 2013, 10 a.m. Eastern Time
Note to journalists: Please report that this research was presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society.
Apr. 8, 2013 - NEW ORLEANS, April 8, 2013 — Top leaders in chemistry — a $760 billion annual enterprise in the United States and $3.5 trillion worldwide — are gathering here today to consider a formula for ensuring the future success of the scientists whose work touches 96 percent of all the world’s manufactured goods.
The special symposium titled “Vision 2025: How to Succeed in the Global Chemistry Enterprise” is part of the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society. More than 14,000 scientists and others are expected for the meeting, which continues through Thursday, and features 12,000 reports on new developments in chemistry and other scientific fields that involve chemistry.
“The millions of scientists working in chemistry will see dramatic changes, including increased global competition for ideas and markets, in the years ahead,” said Marinda Li Wu, Ph.D., president of the ACS. “Their success is important, not just individually, but for society as a whole. We rely on them to develop better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases; for innovations in materials for electronics and other products; and in so many other ways. This symposium will provide a range of perspectives to help chemistry professionals thrive in the global chemistry enterprise of the future.”
Wu organized the symposium as part of a presidential initiative on the topic. Speakers include corporate executives, a federal science agency director, academic thought leaders, presidents of chemical societies worldwide and individuals who have succeeded in global collaboration projects. Speakers will share advice and perspectives about the challenges and solutions facing scientists in the years ahead. Wu noted that the ACS has committed to follow up on these ideas in support of the strategic goal to “Empower an inclusive community of members with networks, opportunities, resources and skills to thrive in the global economy.”
The symposium will include three topical sessions:
•Global Opportunities from Perspectives of U.S. Leaders
•Global Opportunities from International Perspectives
•Shared Experiences of Successful Global Start-Ups and International Assignments
Abstracts of the talks in the symposium appear below.
The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 163,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.
Note to journalists: Please report that this research was presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society.
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With the world's population projected to reach 9 billion by 2050, providing for the food, energy and protection needs of people everywhere presents unprecedented challenges. Throughout history, science-based innovation has made significant contributions to addressing these challenges. Continuing to solve these challenges into the future will required new applications of science and new ways of working collaboratively. This presentation will feature examples of sustainable solutions from DuPont Science & Technology to address those challenges. It will emphasize how science can be applied to feeding the world, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and keeping people and the environment safe. These examples will demonstrate key success factors, which include market-driven innovation, interaction across traditional boundaries between disciplines and new methods for collaboration.
Chemists at the core of biomedical innovation
Alan D. Palkowitz, Eli Lilly and Company
The success of the pharmaceutical enterprise during the last century in extending life expectancy and improving the quality of human health with novel therapies is unparalleled and has set the benchmark for future innovation. While scientific, business and regulatory challenges have limited the productivity of the industry during the past several years, key learnings are providing new paths to future discoveries that will reverse these trends and yield novel medicines that address unmet patient needs. Organizations that will contribute to this future will be distinguished by their ability to engage complex diseases with diverse strategies that are enabled by a talent base capable of solving difficult challenges at the interface of multiple scientific disciplines. One dominant theme is that the unique skill set of chemists will place them at the center of catalyzing biomedical discovery. However, this will require adaptation that challenges chemists to transcend mastery of their core disciplines in order to deliver on the growing demands of breakthrough innovation. Key to this future will also be unique models for collaboration that bring together diverse scientific expertise and capabilities from around the globe in a coordinated and focused effort. In this lecture, a perspective on the future of drug discovery and the opportunities for the scientific leadership of chemists will be shared.
It is critical to the U.S. that we continue to be the home to advanced science and the technology-based industries that benefit from this science. In this talk I will describe three threats to our eminence in this area, particularly in chemistry and its applications. One is the need to attract more of our brightest students into the field, adding strength to America's future. Another is the non-economic effects from take-overs of pharmaceutical companies. The side effects are the weakening of our aggregate scientific strength--in many of the take-overs the strongest and most experienced chemists in the firm being purchased lose their positions and the opportunity to contribute their expertise to our science-based future. This latter problem also discourages our brightest students from entering a profession with such an uncertain career path ahead. A third related problem is the outsourcing of chemistry jobs in industry away from the U.S. Possible remedies to these problems will be discussed.
The NSF Center for Chemical Innovation in Solar Fuels (CCI Solar) focuses on one of the holy grails of 21st century chemistry – the efficient and economical conversion of solar energy into stored chemical fuel. CCI Solar activities directly impact thousands of students, postdoctoral scholars, working scientists, and members of the public at large. Our outreach program delivers Juice-from-Juice solar science activity kits to elementary, middle, and high school students. Solar Energy Activity Lab kits introduce high school and undergraduate students to research involving a combinatorial search for new solar materials. CCI Solar graduate students and postdoctoral scholars acquire invaluable experience by serving as mentors in these outreach programs. CCI Solar researchers are delivering the message of clean renewable solar fuels in television, radio, and online programs, as well as in public lectures, scientific research conferences, and consultations with local, state, and federal government officials. The technological, environmental, economic, and social benefits of renewable solar fuels cannot be overstated, as every human being on Earth would be impacted by the development of sustainable energy resources.
What are the opportunities and the challenges of tomorrow's working world – and how can we help to influence this world so that future generations will live under conditions as good as ours or even better? Why does it make sense to set the parameters of our society's development within the world of chemistry? The framework of our chemical societies – like the ACS or the German Chemical Society – how can it help us to innovate our working world?
World-wide characteristics of the changing societies and economics are globalization, internationalization, and mobility. In Germany we expect an employment market in the field of mathematics, engineering, natural sciences and technology (MINT) that will be out of balance concerning supply and demand, due to the demographic development. Either more immigration of human resources or emigration of business might be the result. Already now the German government has set the parameters towards an increase of working lifetime. Many other changes will follow. Will this also result in more employed women with more responsibilities in non-family fields of work, especially in MINT careers? Right now, the life courses of men and women in Germany are still very different – especially when it comes to well-paid jobs. Widespread poverty among the female elderly is already taken for granted for the near future, caused mostly by the continued incompatibility of employment and family and extended periods of part-time employment in the life courses of women.
Innovations for tomorrow's working world may come from chemistry! Why? First, chemical industry is a huge employer; second, many chemists are well-paid and socially influential; third, chemists have established strong chemical societies that favour diversity. How will we use this framework for further development towards a better balanced work environment of chemists?
There are many serious problems facing the world and chemists have the skills and knowledge to make a significant contribution to solving these. In my own area of food chemistry there are the challenges of providing sufficient high quality and nutritious food for a rapidly-increasing global population; there is the need to promote sustainability across the whole food production chain; there are the global problems of diet-related diseases such as obesity which is a significant risk factor for many adverse health conditions, and there is the need to ensure that our aging society maintains its health and well-being so as to reduce spiralling health and social costs. To address each of these global issues requires interdisciplinary research, effective knowledge transfer to consumers, industries and policymakers. In the current economic crisis there is a need for scientists, industries and other stakeholders around the world to work together to most cost-effectively overcome these challenges. Experienced scientists must also pass on their knowledge, contacts and experience to help train the next generation of scientists and entrepreneurs who will be involved in addressing these and other challenges.
Aiming to establish if Romanian chemists are prepared properly to participate in the general effort to face enormous challenges of the future, an analysis performed by the Romanian Chemical Society (RChS) emphasized some peculiar aspects having as common origin weaknesses in chemical education at various levels. Among these: imperfections in communication of chemists with ordinary people due to both esoteric language of the scientists and modest chemical knowledge of general public; insufficient education of the chemists in basic knowledge and language of other sciences – physics, biology, mathematics – thus being detrimental to multidisciplinary collaboration; relatively low interest of young people to study and teach chemistry; the extinction of quantitative criteria for evaluation of scientific activity at the cost of creativity and applicability of scientific results.
RChS has initiated specific activities designated to ameliorate the above mentioned weak points. For instance, in order to increase the attractiveness of chemistry for young people, local branches, Chemical Education and Young Chemists divisions of RChS in collaboration with universities organize interesting and challenging scientific contests for high school pupils. Titles like “Chemistry: a friend or an enemy?”, “How is made?”, “Experimentum”, “Science fair”, “Human, environment, pollution” are transparent for their content and expectations.
Although European students have numerous opportunities to involve themselves in international exchanges, North American students tend to have fewer chances to participate in such exchanges. This is ultimately to our detriment, since living and working in a different culture sensitizes one to the differences in culture that are critical to navigating the now global world of science and business. In fact impacts can be wide reaching. For example, one study showed that entrepreneurs were more likely to have lived and worked in other countries, leading to the supposition that this experience better prepared them for the risk taking that is required in business. I will discuss programs in place in different countries and look at the impact of international training on scientists worldwide, and how exposure to other cultures prepares one for future careers in science.
The Mexican Chemical Society and the Mexican Academy of Sciences have been working on a program known as “Sundays of Science.” This program is held in different cities in public places in collaboration with several universities. We need to work on the education of our kids and young people to improve their knowledge of the sciences, particularly chemistry. The general public needs to be aware of the risks and the benefits that are involved in the responsible use of chemistry.
In Mexico there are now also more undergraduate and graduate programs in chemistry and related fields that had been accredited with high standards. This has increased the number of students involved in science and technology.
In addition, the chemical industry and universities in Mexico have been working in a collaborative way to develop new technologies and new products. The industry and the government provide funding to support research projects. Moreover, there have been international agreements to increase collaboration in education and research among universities and governments, but we need to enhance our efforts on this front in order to promote a global chemistry community.
Vision 2025, The Brazilian Chemical Society (SBQ) and the global chemistry enterprise: Building a sustainable development strategy
Vitor Francisco Ferreira, Brazilian Chemical Society
In recent years, the changing landscape of science, technology and innovation in emerging nations, such as Brazil, China and India, is having a major impact on the international community, placing these countries within the most promising economies in the globalized world. In this scenario, the Brazilian Chemical Society (SBQ) is committed to contribute to the development of chemistry in Brazil, a country with fantastic natural resources and the potential to become a global leader in sustainable chemistry. The vision for 2025 includes the alignment of SBQ's global strategies with the principles of sustainable development, highlighting the research on biodiversity, alternative sources of energy, and green chemistry. SBQ is committed to playing an important role in the solution of social and environmental global problems, mainly those that afflict public education in all levels.
The CSJ focuses on our efforts directed towards chemistry-driven sustainable society by solving many of our current global challenges by chemistry. The March 2011 disasters in Japan have made a great shift of Japan's science and technology policy from strategic discipline-oriented to issue-driven innovation and recovery, and also caused a big loss of public trust in science, which should be recovered by our efforts for promotion of basic and cutting-edge research. Under such circumstances, we should keep in mind the following pronouncements, “Chemists for society” and “Chemists in society”, as well as “Chemists for science”. The CSJ published a set of “Overview of Chemistry Dream Roadmap for 2040” in March 2012 by summarizing many research themes related to environment, energy, health, new materials, and new scientific frontiers. The CSJ also promotes the Japan's “Elements Strategy Initiative” proposed by chemists in 2004 as a world-leading concept. The CSJ has been successfully organizing several international joint symposia together with Asian countries for fostering young talents. We also actively participate in the CS3 (Chemical Sciences and Society Summit) among USA, UK, Germany, China and Japan, as well as PACIFICHEM and Asian Chemical Congress, as a good chance for us to discuss how we can work together.
The oil price and the raw materials hit record high as the global climate is heating up. The situation is predicted to get worse as the time goes on. Unfortunately, we need to import every drop of the oil and all the raw materials from other countries; we simply do not have the resources except sun light and water. How can we survive in a comfortable way under this situation? What are the challenges and opportunities for the chemistry community in Taiwan? I will discuss our reactions in Taiwan to the global changes in terms of chemical education, chemical research, chemical industry and government policies. In addition, I will try to provide solutions to the challenges.
The World Bank's forecast for Africa's economic growth for 2013 is 4.8% at a time when most regions in the world have very low or negative growth in their economies. In fact if you remove South Africa from this forecast, growth is expected to be 6% in Sub-Saharan Africa; yet Sub-Saharan Africa hardly features when it comes to Global Chemistry Research. A number of factors can be cited as contributing to this low level of chemistry research activities. Some of the factors are: lack of infrastructure, funding for research and for graduate students. There, however, have been a few success stories as a result of support received from the international community that have helped improve funding for research and graduate training. These include programs by the International Science Programme (ISP) and other sandwich programs for graduate training and small research grants from the International Science Foundation (IFS) and the Academy for the Developing World, formerly Third World Academy of Science (TWAS). This presentation will outline the impacts such supports have had on chemistry research on the African continent and proceed to pose the following questions. Does Africa still need these programs? What should be the nature of future interventions? What role should Africa play and what role should the rest of the world play in lifting chemistry research on the African continent? I hope to provide my answers to these questions, but look forward to what others think of this issue.
Transforming biopharma innovation via global collaboration
Tao Guo, WuXi AppTec Co.
Global collaboration is transforming biopharma innovation. The biopharma industry is facing tremendous challenges from an increasing number of patent-expiring old drugs and a decreasing number of innovative new drugs despite significant increases in R&D spending. To improve productivity and reduce cost, global biopharma has been increasingly outsourcing its R&D services. WuXi AppTec, founded in 2000, has built a comprehensive integrated drug discovery platform with the vision to improve the success of research and shorten the time of development. Having grown from 4 founders to over 7000 employees, including over 3000 chemists, with operations in both China and the US, WuXi AppTec has become the valued collaboration partner of choice for global biopharma. With its integrated drug R&D platform, WuXi is transforming innovation for global biopharma to allow any company to use the platform to discover and bring to market innovative medicines addressing unmet medical needs more quickly and cost-effectively. This presentation will examine what does it take to be successful in the globalization of today and the future and how to go about seeking and seizing the opportunity.
Building research businesses on integration of basic and applied research: Value creation and new opportunities for the chemical enterprise
Mukund Chorghade, THINQ Pharma
The chemical enterprise has been vibrant, innovation-driven and successful. A confluence of spectacular advances in chemistry, spectroscopy and synthesis led to the discovery of numerous new products. Significant improvements in the integration of discovery technologies, chemical formulations, and refined deployment of information technologies have created a valuable niche in the modern, global business comprising the provision of comprehensive services to all sectors.
Industry has undergone unprecedented changes due to mergers, acquisitions, loss of patent protection: a paucity of new products has created an “innovation deficit”. Rapidly increasing pace of regulatory reform allied with the necessity of effecting drastic cost-reductions have resulted in strategic paradigm shifts. The signing of the GATT accords has also paved the way for collaborations in numerous areas of science.
We will explore how we obtained mutual benefits by eliminating current challenges via sophisticated technology, strategic collaboration, global commerce and refined logistics. We have operated several businesses in the USA and abroad. Innovation is global and scientists should not hesitate to accept overseas assignments. It is important to adjust to certain cultural parameters but the adventure is well worth the risk. New opportunities exist for chemists in business development, regulatory affairs, project management, and strategic alliances.
The decrease in productivity from pharmaceutical industry, ever growing need for new medicines for the treatment of many serious human diseases, and increasing demand by the US law makers and the general public for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to invest more funding into translational research have created a favorable climate for entrepreneurs to create new start-up companies to translate academic discoveries into potential new medicines. However, in the past few years, venture capital funding in the USA for new biotechnology start-ups with early-stage products has experienced a significant decline, making it exceedingly difficult to raise the capital needed domestically. On the other hand, the rapid growth in wealth in emerging markets has opened up exciting new opportunities for entrepreneurs to start global start-ups with cutting-edge technologies licensed from American universities and funding from other countries. However, to make such a global start-up a success, there are many old and new challenges one has to carefully manage and overcome. In this talk, I will share my experience in building a global start-up with the goal to translate our laboratory discoveries into new cancer therapeutics.
In today's ever more collaborative environment for education and research in a globalized world, what lessons can we take from other societies and what new avenues can we explore in educating future generations of chemists, or for that matter, scientists? The possibilities range from new paradigms for educating secondary science teachers, to collaborative dual degree programs that enhance students' professional capabilities, to dual doctoral degrees that both enrich the student's experience as well as the participating institutions' ability to conduct research. Teacher education programs, dual bachelor-master degrees program, and bilateral doctoral degree programs established at the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University will be highlighted as examples.
Since gaining independence in 1965 Singapore has moved from third world status to first, and has recently taken the second place behind Switzerland on the global list of most competitive economies of the world . Strong focus on higher education, scientific-technological research, innovation in the economy, and retaining as well as attracting talented scientists in a holistic approach have been among the major pillars ensuring this success.
The author of this contribution has been part of Singapore's R&D life for a decade. In this presentation he will tackle issues from the viewpoint of a visiting investigator, related to the benefits and challenges of extending science using visitor's schemes and running satellite research programs in other countries. Science is international, and scientific collaborations transcend national borders. Yet due to political boundaries and national interests, institutionalized collaborations often encompass complex IP protection schemes, administrative hurdles, and many other limitations. Cultural differences also exist, and concerns at home regarding loyalty and productivity, as well as occasional lack of appreciation must also be addressed . When drawing a balance, however, intellectual cross-fertilization and scientific inspiration, enhanced productivity, as well as the benefits of nurturing and educating a new generation of scientists with appreciation for cultural differences on both sides must be considered. When mature, these efforts may lead to mutually beneficial innovation and industrial programs, using networks and local knowledge to succeed. Networks emerge and grow, which enhance chances to successfully tackle global challenges in chemistry as well. As an example of scientific synergy, a case will be presented, discussing the science and international implications of marine fouling, and biomimetic strategies to avoid it.
 World Economic Forum, The Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013; http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GlobalCompetitivenessReport_2012-13.pdf
 R.S. Service, News Focus: Satellite Labs Extend Science; Science, pp. 600-603 (2012)
Young scientists without borders
Jens Breffke, Pennsylvania State University
In today's global chemistry enterprise it is important for young scientists not just to have the best scientific skills but also the soft skills that gives them an advantage over their competing job seekers and coworkers. Mastering team and project management today cannot happen without the ability to encounter for ethnic diversity across cultural values and language barriers. Therefore the need of opportunities for young scientists to experience diversity becomes one key element. Beside exchange scholar programs by governmental institutions, scientific non-profit societies with their younger member committees can address these issues often very effectively.
Jens Breffke presides currently the International Activities Workgroup of the ACS Younger Chemists Committee. Native of Germany, he was chair of the German JungChemikerForum of the German Chemical Society. He promoted the idea and founded in 2007 the European Younger Chemists Network (EYCN) of EuCheMS. EYCN today is an association of 25 European younger chemist divisions within their societies, representing more than 50,000 younger chemists.