Taking PILs to the market A European academia-industry alliance is working to develop novel polymeric ionic liquids (PILs) for commercial applications. Health © Thinkstock Materials science is evolving to produce novel composites that can meet the demands of various modern applications. Ionic liquids have unique characteristics which make them ideal for the generation of novel polymer-containing materials. The ionic liquid can be used as a medium for facilitating polymerisation or even for dissolving or dispersing polymers. Furthermore, ionic functionality groups could be incorporated into the polymer through the formation of composites between the polymer and the ionic liquid. Applications of PILs include their use as electrolytes in advanced electrochemical devices, for surface coatings and dispersing agents in nanocomposites. The EU-funded ‘Towards commercialization of polymeric ionic liquids’ (PIL-TO-Market) initiative constitutes a joint research programme between an industrial and an academic partner wishing to commercialise novel PIL products. The two partners are expected to bring in their knowledge regarding the synthesis and characterisation of PILs, and the scale-up and commercialisation expertise of new ionic liquid products. Novel PILs have been synthesised and characterised by the academic partner of the project, putting special emphasis on novel high-purity ionic liquid monomers. At the same time, the project’s small business partner has contributed to the scaling-up of monomeric and polymeric ionic liquids with improved parameters, a process required for the commercial exploitation of these products. Although promising, the PILs developed within the PIL-TO-Market project need to be tested in various applications. Dissemination of project results and deliverables will be performed through a workshop at the end of the project, aiming to attract the interest of potential industrial end users of PILs.