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21 August 2001

Heidelberg Forum of Molecular Catalysis 2001

Young scientist receives BASF Catalysis Award

Vitamins, medicines, sunscreens, plastics and a host of other everyday objects could not be produced without help from a key technology - catalysis. Nowadays, catalysts are involved in at least one stage of more than 80 percent of all chemical production processes. Catalysts control and accelerate necessary reactions. As Prof. Dr. Peter Hofmann, Director of the Institute of Organic Chemistry at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, says: "Catalysis is one of the future technologies crucial to the development of modern industrial society. The production of innovative chemicals in an environmentally-compatible, resource-conserving but also economical manner will hinge significantly on the further development of this technology."

Molecular catalysis is one field of catalysis research. Not only is it one of the areas accorded special importance by Heidelberg's chemical faculty, but it also plays a vital role in the chemical industry. Such catalysts are molecular species that are tailored by chemists to meet precise functional requirements. Present either in solution or fixed on solids, catalysts act like minute production plants that efficiently synthesize new substances.

Leading scientists from around the world will report on the latest results of molecular catalysis research at the Forum of Molecular Catalysis 2001 on December 7 in Heidelberg. The meeting, organized jointly by BASF and the University of Heidelberg, will also honor an outstanding young scientist, Dr. Dirk De Vos of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium with the €10,000 BASF Catalysis Award 2001. Dr. Stefan Marcinowski, member of BASF's Board of Executive Directors and Research Executive Director will present the award.

"The forum aims to emphasize the important role played by science in the Rhine-Neckar region; thus attracting the interest of young scientists from around the world," said Dr. Rainer Bürstinghaus, responsible for university relations at BASF. The company's support reflects the high value BASF accords to research and innovation, he said. Prof. Hofmann added: "Joint sponsorship of the meeting mirrors the strong cooperation between universities and industry as well as BASF's commitment to basic research and learning at universities."

The forum will be held in the main auditorium of the chemistry lecture building, chemical faculty, University of Heidelberg, at the following address: Im Neuenheimer Feld 252, Heidelberg, Germany. All those interested are welcome to attend.


9:00 a.m.

9:30 a.m.
Prof. Dr. Robert H. Grubbs, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, United States
"The Synthesis of Large and Small Molecules with Late Metal Transition Metal Complexes"

10:30 a.m.
Poster session

11:00 a.m.
BASF's 2001 Catalysis Award ceremony, Lecture by the prizewinner Dr. Dirk De Vos, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Louvain, Belgium
"Fine Chemicals Reactions with Solid Catalysts: Towards Man-Made Enzymes"

12:30 p.m.
Poster session

3:00 p.m.
Prof. Dr. Roger A. Sheldon, Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands
"Green Chemistry and Catalysis"

4:00 p.m.
Poster session

4:30 p.m.
Prof. Dr. Barry M. Trost, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA
"On Inventing Reactions for Atom Economy"

5:30 p.m.
Poster session / social get-together and dinner

Note to editors:
You can obtain the prizewinner's CV by calling +49 (621) 60-4 20 10.

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Updated: 24.08.01


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