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Accelerating photoredox catalysis in continuous-flow systems

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Photo4Future (Accelerating photoredox catalysis in continuous-flow systems)

Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2018-12-31

The use of visible light energy to induce chemical transformations constitutes an interesting and green activation mode of organic molecules. However, implementation of this energy source in organic synthetic methodologies and in the industrial production of fine chemicals has been challenging. The Photo4Future Innovative Training Network established a training network with six beneficiaries from academia, two beneficiaries from industry and 11 partner organisations from industry as well as academia to tackle the challenges associated with photochemistry in a coherent and comprehensive fashion. In total 10 Early Stage Researchers have been recruited within the Photo4Future network. The network provided them opportunities to undertake research with the aim to overcome the current limitations towards the applicability and scalability of photochemical transformations. This was achieved through a rational design of novel photocatalytic methodologies, improved catalytic systems and innovative photoreactors. A total of 38 scientific articles resulting from this project have been published, from which 36 articles have ESR’s as (co-)author. Furthermore, the ESRs were trained in the Photo4Future graduate school, covering training in scientific, personal and complementary skills. All the ESRs have performed at least one secondment at an (industrial) partner. Consequently, the ESRs have improved career prospects and a higher employability. Due to the high degree of industrial participation, the Photo4Future network provided an innovation-friendly environment wherein excellent scientific results were obtained and a new generation of scientist in the field of photochemistry were trained. This will for sure enable fast exploitations of the results, thereby giving a boost to the European pharmaceutical and fine chemical industry.
The project started on January 1, 2015. On January 16, the Kick Off meeting was held. All representatives of the beneficiaries attended this meeting. On January 29, the Photo4Future website www.photo4future.com went online. All ESRs were hired before October 1, 2015. Six summer and winter schools have been organised. The first from September 8-11 2015 in Eindhoven, the second from December 7-10 2015 in Leipzig, the third from June 6-9 2016 in Leuven, the fourth from November 7-10 2016 in Cordoba, the fifth from June 12-15 2016 in Bordeaux and the sixth from Dec 11-14 2017 in Eindhoven. The Mid Term Review meeting was held on 8 November 2016 and a final Event (http://conference.photo4future.com) was held on Nov 12-13 2018 in Eindhoven. All ESRs attended the schools that were organised and presented their work. All deliverables are achieved:
• Consortium Agreement signed,
• Supervisory Board established,
• ESRs recruited, Personal Career Development Plan (PCDP) set up for all ESRs,
• Periodical Research Report written,
• Report on secondment written, Schools,
• Personal Training Progress Reports written,
• Scientific Papers written,
• Presentation on conferences,
• Progress report written,
• Mid-term review meeting carried out,
• Three PhD dissertations completed,
• The second Periodical report written,
• PCDPs finalized,
• Ethics reports written,
• Final Meeting held,
• Final report written.

The following milestones were achieved:
• Announcement for ESR positions was placed online,
• Kick-off meeting was held,
• Website is online and regularly updated,
• All vacancies are filled,
• All recruited fellows are enrolled in the PhD program,
• All fellows have completed TO 1-6
• All fellows have finalized their research,
• Three PhD dissertations were completed, additional dissertations are foreseen in the near future,
• The Final Meeting was held.

All critical deliverables and milestones have been achieved. A total of 38 scientific articles resulting from this project have been published, from which 36 articles have ESR’s as (co-)author. Another 14 scientific articles are in preparation or in the review phase. An animation was made and published on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PE6N6gQ9x4I. This YouTube animation currently has over 8,500 views.

Taken together, Photo4Future proved to be a structured training of the ESRs across the participating institutes and companies. In addition, the project enhanced public-private collaborations, ultimately leading to better educated scientists in the field of photochemistry and fast exploitation of results generated in the project, thereby giving a boost to the European pharmaceutical and fine-chemical industry.
The 10 ESRs in Photo4Future were trained in a unique interdisciplinary fashion covering the fields of chemistry, catalysis, continuous-manufacturing, process engineering, chemical engineering and physics to solve important problems in photochemistry. Besides their scientific training embedded at their respective employer, they all have followed the Photo4Future training Program that includes Scientific training as well as training on Personal Skills and Industrial Orientation. The six Schools, as well as the final event, strengthened the contact between the Photo4Future ESRs, between the P4F supervisors and between the academic and private beneficiaries and partner organisations. Furthermore, at these Schools new contacts with experts from outside the network were made. All ESRs have conducted at least one secondments and thereby contributed to enhanced collaboration, and better access to equipment and facilities, between the beneficiaries and partner organisations. The program matched the expected results and impact as initially foreseen. The proposed measures for communication and dissemination of results were effective and no adjustments or updates to the protocol were necessary. Almost all ESRs had published at least one scientific paper on their results and an animation was made and published on youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PE6N6gQ9x4I This YouTube animation currently has over 8,500 views.
Taken together, Photo4Future had provided a structured training of the ESRs across the participating institutes and companies, enhanced public-private collaborations, ultimately leading to better educated scientists in the field of photochemistry and fast exploitation of results generated in the project, thereby giving a boost to the European pharmaceutical and fine-chemical industry.
Artifical leaf developed within Photo4Future