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IUPAC Announces the 2023 Top Ten Emerging Technologies in Chemistry

Research Triangle Park, NC, USA, 17 October 2023: The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has released the results of the search for the 2023 Top Ten Emerging Technologies in Chemistry. The goal of this project is to showcase the transformative value of chemistry and to inform the general public on the potential of the chemical sciences to foster the well-being of Society and the sustainability of our planet.

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The Jury - an international group of objective experts with a varied and broad range of expertise - reviewed and discussed the diverse pool of nominations of emerging technologies submitted by researchers from around the globe and selected the final top ten. These technologies are defined as scientific advances in between a discovery and a fully-commercialized idea, having outstanding potential to open new opportunities in chemistry, sustainability, and beyond.

The 2023 finalists are (in alphabetical order):

  • Artificial muscles
  • Biological recycling of PET
  • Chloride-mediated removal of ocean CO2
  • Depolymerisation
  • GPT language models in chemistry
  • Low-sugar vaccination
  • Phage therapy
  • Photocatalytic hydrogen
  • Synthetic electrochemistry
  • Wearable sensors

IUPAC President, Professor Javier García Martínez, has said that “The challenge of providing clean energy, sufficient food, and safe drinking water for a growing world population is one of the most pressing issues of our time. To meet this challenge, we need to develop technologies that can help us achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Each year, a group of international experts chosen by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) identifies technologies that are halfway between the laboratory and the marketplace and that have the potential to help us build a better future for all. Starting in 2019, IUPAC has offered policymakers, industry leaders, and funding agencies a roadmap designed by some of the world's most recognized experts. This roadmap is designed to help decision-makers make informed decisions based on the best available science and technology.”

The 2023 Top Ten Emerging Technologies in Chemistry are further detailed in a feature article published in the 2023 October issue of Chemistry International (CI). Fernando Gomollón-Bel, the author of that article has said, “The 2023 “Top Ten” Emerging Technologies in Chemistry represent a diverse selection - from very early-stage ideas to industrialised innovations, in many different fields of chemistry, including synthesis, materials science, energy, biomedicine, and education. Perhaps instead of considering chemistry the “central science,” we should consider it the “connecting science” - one that catalyses collaboration across disciplines and encourages industrial innovation. Similarly, sustainability remains a universal subject throughout the “Top Ten” selections - the uttermost purpose of the initiative is still to ensure a sustainable future, advancing our society, and improving our quality of life.” See Gomollon-Bel’s freely-accessible article on the 2023 results at https://iupac.org/etoc-chemistry-international-oct-dec-2023/.