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Is formulation an art or science?

Posted on 06/12/2017

Formulation science is crucial to many chemistry-using sectors including personal care, food and drink, agrochemicals, coatings and pharmaceuticals.

Formulation science and technologies play a key role in many chemistry-using sectors, but many formulations have been considered too complex to understand scientifically, with the consequence that formulation design has often been treated as a “black box”. Rapid progress in the scientific understanding underpinning formulation design now provides the opportunity to produce better, smarter formulations more quickly.

In addition, new scientific challenges shown up during formulation provide exciting opportunities for academic researchers and students looking to apply creative skills to industrially important challenges. This is a perfect time for industry and academia to collaborate to further advance the science underpinning formulation of successful new products.

SCI’s Formulation Forum Launch Event , on 17 – 18 January 2018 in London, is the first in a series of annual 2-day workshop events where participants will learn about formulation science related activities (UK & wider) both currently running and planned.

Formulation Forum events are open to major companies, SMEs, academics, and students from all areas, including scientists, engineers, patent attorneys, marketing experts and business managers.

Poster abstract submissions are invited  by Monday 11th December from academia and industry containing appropriate scientific/technical content for research carried out within the last three years. Full details are available here.

An exhibition will run alongside the conference during refreshment breaks, for companies and related organisations who may wish to exhibit. For further information and prices please email

KTN’s Dr Rachael Rowlands Jones, (Knowledge Transfer Manager, Formulation) will speak about opportunities for funded collaborations in formulation.



Day 1: 

  • Welcome to the Formulation Forum Launch – Dr Malcolm Faers, Bayer and Formulation Forum
  • Welcome to SCI – Sharon Todd, Executive Director, SCI
  • Making formulated products work – how can science help? – Prof Richard Buscall, MSACT Research & Consulting
  • Formulation for the Future? – Dr Neil Campbell, Sagentia and Formulation Forum
  • Overcoming formulation challenges in high-solid-content dispersions – Dr John Royer, University of Edinburgh
  • Vision of formulation and formulation science, role of societies – Dr Simon Gibbon, AkzoNobel & RSC FSTG
  • Industry Challenges – SCI Agrisciences Group – Dr David Stock, Syngenta
  • Industry Challenges -SCI/RSC Colloid Group – Dr Andrew Howe, Aqdot and Formulation Forum
  • Panel discussion – All speakers

Day 2:

  • Welcome to day 2 – collaborations, challenges, community and success stories – Dr Jim Bullock, iFormulate and Formulation Forum
  • Big challenges and why big companies need external engagement – Dr Dave Hughes, Head of Open Innovation at Syngenta
  • How to start and run successful industry – academic collaborations – Dr Euan Magennis, P&G
  • Opportunities for funded collaborations in formulation – Dr Rachael Rowlands Jones, KTN
  • NFC Vision and capabilities – Dr Graeme Cruickshank, National Formulation Centre
  • Opportunities for formulation in research council programs – Dr Ellen Meek, EPSRC
  • The Formulation Eng D as a driver for industry-academic collaboration – Prof Peter Fryer and Dr Richard Greenwood, University of Birmingham
  • Synthetic R&D: a user’s view of formulation – Dr Beth Moore, Synthomer
  • How SMEs can benefit from collaborative R&D – Dr Pete Gooden, Promethean Particles
  • Panel Discussions
  • Application of nuclear scattering to model soft matter formulations – Dr Richard Thompson, Durham University
  • Material protection using advanced formulation – Dr Hannah Griffiths, Lonza
  • Addressing healthcare challenges with novel drug delivery technologies – Prof Yvonne Perrie, University of Strathclyde
  • Future Formulation of complex products programme, project and model for engagement with industry – Prof Colin Bain, Durham University and Formulation Forum

Please click here to find out more and register for the Formulation Forum Launch Event on Wednesday 17 – Thursday 18 January 2018 in London.