Introduction

Now in its eighth year, the CHF-SCI Innovation Day and Warren G. Schlinger Symposium has grown into a well-established annual event composed of a community of researchers in the chemical industry. Since its inception Innovation Day was designed to provide young industrial scientists with a vista of the broader challenges and opportunities facing the industry. Although primarily bench scientists, these researchers need to look beyond their laboratories in order to grow into future leaders of their companies’ research programs. To meet this need Innovation Day introduces them to broad technical, social, and regulatory issues rather than serving as a venue for narrow scientific and technical details.

Innovation Day seeks to expose attendees to issues on the cutting edge of the innovation frontier. In this age of complexity and global interconnectedness it is no longer sufficient for industrial chemists to concern themselves only with technical matters. Being aware of the broader implications of their work and of the work done in other organizations will become increasingly critical for success. We encourage participants to step back from their day-to-day operations to see the bigger picture and network with their peers.

This report is intended to communicate conference findings and to provide a sense of continuity between past and future Innovation Day events.

CHF is pleased to be able to host this annual event, and we look forward to the next opportunity for enrichment and engagement in 2012.

At the core of Innovation Day are the informal presentations and conversations that occur during the breakout workshops. Topics are selected by the Innovation Day Steering Committee, members of which secure speakers and lead the discussions.
In 2011 breakout sessions discussed the following topics:

  1. Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
  2. Challenges for Water Resources 
  3. Chemistry of Energy Sources
  4. Bio-Based Chemical Feedstocks
  5. Increased Food Production and the Chemical Industry


In accordance with our desire to encourage open dialogue and keep conversations “off the record,” we attempt in the following summaries to convey a sense of what took place during each breakout session. However, we do have an archive of many of the PowerPoint presentations used by the speakers. If you are interested in viewing any of these presentations, please contact jroberts@chemheritage.org.