Chemistry Futures 2040

Chemistry Futures 2040 explored cutting-edge science and technological breakthroughs to discover the possible, probable and plausible futures of chemistry.

Come to Chemistry Futures 2040 to understand how chemistry will be more networked and integral to solving some of the more complex problems today and tomorrow. From the future of our planet, to our own health and the discovery of new solutions.


With research from Imperial College London’s expert academics, interactive discussions and specialist industry workshops, this event will take you from the present day to the possible, probable and plausible futures of chemistry.

This event will also launch the Molecular Sciences Research Hub (MSRH), a key part of the vision for Imperial College London’s White City Campus. Experience this unique network and discover how it facilitates new entrepreneurial possibilities, from the Innovation Hub to the Imperial College Advanced Hackspace and Incubator. Get inspired by the latest generation of innovators with a showcase of the work that will transform the future of chemistry.


Exploratory themes

  • How can chemistry allow our bodies to counteract signs of ageing?
  • How are tools such as robotics and data science facilitating new approaches to
    chemical discovery?
  • What role can chemistry play in creating alternative solutions to our energy crisis?
  • How might chemistry respond to risks to global food security?
Date and time

Friday 12 April 2019
9:30 am


Molecular Sciences
Research Hub
80 Wood Lane
Shepherd’s Bush
W12 0BZ

Explore key challenges

Chemistry and grand challenges

From energy production to food shortage; chemistry could be used to enable resilience across different systems. How might these discoveries enable a new perspective on the discipline?

Innovation in chemistry

Explore how the fourth industrial revolution is impacting chemistry at its core. As new tools are entering the lab, what might the future chemist do? Explore with industry how Imperial and the White City network is facilitating new businesses and startups.

Networked science

Chemistry is increasingly becoming a networked science, with new discoveries enabling collaboration across industries. In research areas such as chemical biology, we are seeing more networked collaborations. How might new discoveries in this space enable a better healthcare system?

Application and industry

In the second part of the day, we will explore how the chemistry visions could feed into innovation and industry challenges.

Join a conversation on new models of innovation in the field of chemistry with our expert panel discussion. What creative solutions can be found to enable new ideas and startups to enter the chemistry space?

Epigenetics is a way of understanding the lifestyle factors that can impact our health status. In a workshop we will explore the new advances around chemistry and the future of ageing. How might chemistry revolutionise the healthcare system?

Explore how agriculture can be transformed via the application of chemistry. What opportunities does the discipline offer for increasing crop yield in agriculture and enhancing photosynthesis? Join an interactive workshop to build possible futures for agriculture.

Meet some of our visionary academics

Professor Mimi Hii

Mimi Hii is Professor of Catalysis and Director for the Pharmacat Consortium and the newly established Imperial Centre of Excellence in Rapid Online Analysis of Reactions (ROAR). Her research interest is in sustainable catalytic processes that produces high-value chemicals.

Dr Kim Jelfs

Kim Jelfs is a Senior Lecturer and Royal Society University Research Fellow and specialises in the use of computer simulations to assist in the discovery of supramolecular materials.

Dr Andreas Kafizas

Andreas Kafizas is a Lecturer in Climate Change and the Environment at the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London. His research is focused on developing light-activated coatings that can drive useful chemistry using sunlight.

Dr Yuval Elani

Yuval Elani works to create artificial synthetic micro-machines which can respond and interact to stimulus. Potential applications could be micro-machines that delivery therapeutics to materials that self-heal in dangerous settings.

Part of ChemFest 2019

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Periodic Table, the Science Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, Imperial College London, Royal College of Art, Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 and Royal Society of Chemistry are holding ChemFest 2019, a festival of chemistry in South Kensington.

Taking place during the UN’s International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements, ChemFest 2019 will include family-friendly activities and a two-day academic conference at the Science Museum and Imperial College London. The first day of the conference, Chemistry in Albertopolis, will look back at the history of chemistry in South Kensington, while on day two, Chemistry Futures 2040 will explore the discipline’s future through interactive discussions, specialist industry workshops and insight from Imperial experts.

Find out more about Chemistry in Albertopolis and explore the history of this discipline.