Jahresbericht 2017 für

Schweizerische Chemische Gesellschaft (SCG)

Präsident/Präsidentin: Dr. Alain De Mesmaeker

Von: David Spichiger, spichiger@scg.ch


In the first quarter of 2016, the SCS Board of Directors, along with a group of experts representing our key stakeholders, reviewed the SCS strategy and its portfolio of activities. As a result of this discussion, and in response to the increasing need for multidisciplinarity, the SCS started a number of initiatives that go beyond the focus of one of the five SCS divisions and that link traditional fields with emerging trends.

As onother part of the revised strategy, the society not only further developed existing offerings but also integrated a number of events formerly organized by third parties. As a consequence, the society's portfolio of activities was significantly enriched and the following list shows our new accomplishment in 2017. We have:

To manage the additional workload, we hired a director for the SCS Foundation as well as an accountant, both on a part-time basis (40%). At the same time, we also made investments in our office and IT infrastructure.



www.chimia.ch, www.ingentaconnect.com/content/scs/chimia

This year's issues were again organized and supervised by recog-nized specialists. It is with great pleasure that I thank them for all their voluntary work. Our guest editors in 2017 in the order of their appearance were: Natalie Banerji (University of Fribourg, now University of Bern), Julien Furrer (University of Bern), Hans Peter Lüthi (ETH Zurich), Majed Chergui (EPF Lausanne), Holger Frau-enrath (EPF Lausanne), Alessandro Mordini (CNR-ICCOM, Sesto Fiorentino, Florence), Guido Koch (Novartis Pharma AG, Basel), Mohammad Khaja Nazeeruddin (EPF Lausanne), Mathilde Lachia and Sarah Sulzer (Syngenta Crop Protection, Stein).

In 2017 (volume 71) the following issues were published:

The program and the laureate articles of the SCS Fall Meeting as well as a report of the SCS Spring Meeting were again the annually recurring fix points in the editorial program. Conference reports and regular columns like the Swiss Science Concentrates, Highlights of Analytical Chemistry, Highlights in Polymer and Colloids Chemis-try, contributions from the Universities of Applied Sciences and of the Swiss Academy of Sciences complement the topical part. The different news sections of the past that reflected varying historical traditions are now dissolved into community news, industrial news, and events - jointly reorganized and maintained by David Spichiger (SCS) and Prof. Jürgen Stohner (ZHAW). This is another small step in the slow rejuvenation of CHIMIA without sacrificing brand recog-nition. Just look into an issue from 10 - 15 years ago and see the difference!

Prof. Paul J. Dyson's term as Editor-in-Chief ended in 2017. We thank him very much for his enduring efforts for CHIMIA. He orga-nized 10 issues per year in spite of an unusual proportion of dropouts he was faced with. We hope that the difficulties to find willing and reliable guest editors is only a temporary issue and not a trend. We wish him all the best for a personally and scientifically prosperous future.We are very lucky that Prof. E. Peter Kündig (University of Geneva and former SCS president) took over the mandate as editor-in-chief for the period 2018 - 2020.Prof. Clémence Corminboeuf (EPF Lausanne) and Prof. Robert Häner (University of Bern) who helped us shaping CHIMIA and stepped down from their duties by the end of the year. Many thanks to them for their discussions as well as contributions to the contents. We are happy to have found with Prof. Catherine Housecroft (Uni-versity of Basel) and Prof. Nathan Luedtke (University of Zurich) two other successful researchers willing to contribute to our society journal.Dr. Roland W. Kunz will step down from the board by the end of 2018. Dr. Gillian Harvey, this journal's long term technical editor, was elected to succeed him and we are glad that she accepted the appointment.

ChemPubSoc Europe

In its fourth year as a full member of the ChemPubSoc community the SCS could profit again from a respectable royalty payment of 'Chemistry a European Journal'. SCS holds 5% of shares of Chemistry - A European Journal and participates as co-owner of ChemElectroChem, ChemPlusChem, ChemistryOpen, ChemCatChem and ChemPhotoChem.

SCS supported the marketing initiatives of ChemPubSoc on its website, during SCS events and in CHIMIA.In 2018, SCS will host the annual CPSE owners meeting in Bern.

100th Anniversary of Helvetica

The Swiss Chemical Society and Helvetica Chimica Acta (HCA) share a long history, and the 100th Anniversary of HCA was an event that brought them even closer together. To commemorate the re-markable history of HCA and the relaunch of the journal as Helvetica - A Journal of the Swiss Chemical Society, SCS invited two distin-guished speakers with strong connections to Switzerland to give a lecture at the Helvetica anniversary session at the SCS Fall Meeting in Bern on August 21, 2017: Prof. Harry Anderson, University of Oxford and Prof. Luisa De Cola, Université de Strasbourg.

Tagungen / Kurse

SCG Events 2017 at a Glance

SCS Spring Meeting 2017

University of Berne, April 21 2017 (scg.ch/springmeeting/2017)

The SCS Spring Meeting was organized by Prof. Martin Albrecht and had the topic "Homogeneous Catalysis, New Paradigms, Wonderful Applications" in its focus. The renowned speakers Prof. John Hartwig (Berkeley, USA), Prof. Morris Bullock (Pacific Northwestern, USA), Prof. David Milstein (Weizmann, Israel), Dr. Rocco Paciello (BASF, Germany), Prof. Pedro Perez (Huelva, Spain), Prof. Hansjörg Grützmacher (ETHZ) provided the attendees with new insight in this exciting field. The SCS Spring meeting is also the platform for the Alfred Werner prize, 2017 awarded to Prof. Ken Sivula, EPF Lausanne and Prof. Christof Sparr, University of Basel. The award lectures gave fascinating insights into "The advancement of materials and methods for photoelectrochemical energy conversion" and "Asymmetric synthesis of single atropisomers of hindered aromatic compounds using organocatalysis".

SCS Fall Meeting 2017

University of Berne, 21.-22. August 2017 (scg.ch/fallmeeting/2017)

For the first time in its history, the Fall Meeting, as the biggest event of the Swiss Chemical Society, took place over 1.5 days at the von Roll Area at University of Bern. Day 1 was in the focus of a new lecture series in which postdocs as future leaders could prominently present their research. The same day, Helvetica Chimica Acta celebrated its centenary with two prestigious talks given by Prof. Harry Anderson, University of Oxford and Prof. Luisa De Cola, Université de Strasbourg. The extension of the Fall Meeting was very well received since it allowed to spend more time especially in the poster sessions. The meeting was excellently organized by the local team chaired by Prof. Silvio Decurtins. The attendance exceeded the one of 2016 with more than 1'000 attendees and seven parallel sessions:

A computational chemistry session took place at the Conference for Theoretical Chemistry in Basel at the same time. During the Fall Meeting, several teams and researchers were awarded, namely Prof. Robert Knowels (Princeton) with the Grammaticakis-Neumann Award, Dr. Thomas Netscher (DSM), Dr. Emmanuel Pinard (Roche) with the SISF-SCS Senior Industrial Investigator Award, Dr. Richard Sedrani (Novartis) with the SISF-SCS Industrial Award, Dr. Stefan Hildbrand, Dr. Gösta Rimmler, Dr. Daniel Fishlock, Dr. Pankaj Rege, Dr. Carsten Peters, Dr. Christian Mössner, Dr. Ralph Diodone and Dr. Markus Schantz collectively with the Sandmeyer Award.

Metrohm and DSM jointly sponsored the best oral (top picture) and best poster prices (bottom pic) from all the sessions.

The Fall Meeting was furthermore sponsored by the following companies and institutions: Swiss Industry Science Fund (SISF) and SCNAT, as general meeting sponsors, Helvetica, Mettler-Toledo, Lonza, Camo, as sponsors of plenary sessions and special events. Actelion, Bruker, Clariant, Dow, Idorsia, Janssen, Mettler Toledo and Syngenta sponsored parallel sessions.

In addition to the sponsors, the following companies supported the event by exposing booths to the exhibition: abcr GmbH, Advion, Georg Thieme Verlag, Shimadzu Schweiz, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Chemie Brunschwig, Mettler Toledo, IGZ Instruments, ChemAxon, Thales Nano Inc., TCI Europe N.V., SpiroChem, MERCK, Magritek, BÜCHI Labortechnik AG, Swiss Chemical Society/CHIMIA.

Parallel to the Fall Meeting a one-day symposium on PAT, organized by Dr. Tobias Merz, took place at the same location. Based on its success, SCS will follow-up and continues to support PAT community in Switzerland.

For the second time, the ChemEdu congress was part of the Fall Meeting and provided a unique platform to exchange know-how in the field of chemical education. Chaired by Klemens Koch, more than 80 chemistry teachers from secondary school to Gymnasium level followed the invitation.

SCS Conference on Stereochemistry 2017

Hotel Waldstätterhof, Brunnen, April 30-May 5, 2017 (scg.ch/buergenstock)

For the first time, the traditional and renowned conference in Brunnen was under the patronage of the Swiss Chemical Society.

A total of 123 researcher from 21 nations participated in the conference and listened to the 14 lectures: Prof. Karl-Heinz Altmann, ETH Zürich, Prof. Thorsten Bach, Technische Universität München, Prof. Luc Brunsveld, TU Eindhoven, Laboratory of Chemical Biology, Prof. Paul Chirik, Princeton University, Prof. David Craik, The University of Queensland, Prof. Tim Jamison, MIT, Prof. Kanai Motomu, The University of Tokyo, Prof. Jörn Piel, ETH Zurich, Prof. Jennifer Prescher, UC Irvine, Prof. Joost Reek, university of Amsterdam, Prof. Kay Severin, EPF Lausanne, Prof. Jan van Hest, Eindhoven University of Technology, Prof. Tanja Weil, Max-Planck-Institute for Polymer Research, Prof. Frank Wuerthner, Universitaet Wuerzburg.

The next conference will take place in Brunnen again from 29.04.-03.05.2018.

SCS Syngenta Symposium 2017

Syngenta research center in Stein (AG), October 5, 2017, (scg.ch/syngenta-symposium/2017)

The 3rd SCS-Syngenta Symposium, took place at Syngenta research center in Stein (AG) on October 5, 2017, and focused on cutting-edge research in natural products and their roles in life science for success in chemical innovation. The title of the symposium was 'Natural Products: an ongoing chemist's success story'. Around 200 participants attended the symposium.

The highlight of the day were the plenary lectures of Prof. Jon Clardy, Harvard University, Prof. Christian Hertweck, University of Jena, Prof. Scott Snyder, University of Chicago as well as four invited lectures including Prof. Karl Gademann, University Zürich, Prof. Birger Lindberg Møller, University of Copenhagen, Prof. Jieping Zhu, EPFL Lausanne and Dr. Christophe Meyer, ESPCI Paris. Four industrial speakers, namely Dr. Mathilde Lachia, Syngenta, Dr. Frank Petersen, Novartis, Dr. Alec Birkbeck, Firmenich and Dr. Gerardo Ramos, Syngenta, completed the program. 

Frontiers in Medicinal Chemistry 2017

University of Bern, February 12-15, 2017 (scg.ch/fimc/2017)

The four-days Symposium was organized jointly by the German Chemical Society (GDCh), the German Pharmaceutical Society (DPhG) and the SCS Division of Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical Biology and was attended by 163 participants. The program comprised two general interest sessions (chemical biology, highlights in medicinal chemistry) and four specialized sessions (immune-oncology and immunomodulation, protein degradation, liver diseases, computer-aided drug design).

Annual Meeting of DIAC

Firmenich SA, La Plaine, April 6, 2017

Sébastien Balzano, Production Director & Deputy Plant Mgr, welcomed approx. 25 participants and presented the Firmenich production site in La Plaine.  It was a pleasure to follow the history of this Swiss and family-owned private company that produces for over 120 years flavors, perfumes and ingredients. Firmenich is the largest private company in its industry. Impressive was to see the high changeover and flexibility in production, where in different small production units hundreds of different flavours and perfume are produced in batches every year in different campaigns. The high adaptability and flexibility are here the key in the manufacturing.

The scientific lecture this year had been given by Stephan Gentner, Head Process-development & Engineering at DSM Nutritional Products GmbH Grenzach (D). The topic of his contribution was «Manufacturing IT & Industry 4.0: Success factors for projects - practical examples». The excellent presentation was followed by an animated discussion. Again a good opportunity to learn and share best practices. Subsequently Firmenich offered to all participants an excellent meal at the site restaurant. 

The highlight of an annual meeting is always the 'go and see' visit with a guided tour through the different multipurpose and dedicated production units on site. Thermal process safety is key in such high production turnover, therefore the site has its own safety lab, where all DIAC participants got impressive demonstrations of their thermal safety measurements.

13th Freiburger Symposium  2017

HEIA, Fribourg, May 11-12, 2017 (scg.ch/freiburger-symposium/2017)

The 13th Freiburger Symposium took place on the 11th and 12th of May at the HEIA-Freiburg. The topic of the Symposium was: 'Green Chemistry -- From Concept to Industrial Reality'. Again a key note lecture was given by a CEO, this time Dr. Markus Blocher CEO of Dottikon Exclusive Synthesis AG.

The organizers under the lead of Dr. Kerstin Bodmann, Lonza, and Dr. Prof. Roger Marti, had designed a fantastic program, combining theoretical aspects and practical implementation around the symposium topic. It fully achieved the expectations of the participants. 

Beside the scientific lectures, participants also appreciated the networking opportunities during the coffee/lunch breaks and the symposium dinner. The dinner was also the platform to celebrate the 2017 winners of the Sandmeyer Award. Alain De Mesmaeker, President of the SCS, awarded the team from F. Hoffmann-La Roche for the development of an efficient industrial synthesis of Idasanutlin. Close to 100 industrial professionals and students attended the symposium giving a positive feedback.

SCS Seminar 2017/1 on Process Chemistry

Hotel Au Parc and HEIA-FR, Fribourg, January 16-18, 2017 (scg.ch/scs-seminars/2017-1)

The SCS Seminars are three-days educational event with a focus on topics relevant for the Swiss chemical and pharmaceutical industry but that are not necessarily part of the academic curricula. SCS implemented this program in 2017 and the first seminar focused on issues of process chemistry.

Christian Bochet chaired through the seminars and invited seven experts to give their input and train the students on process relevant topics such as production costs, efficiency and yield, energy consumption and power efficiency, time to market, safety issues, waste handling and regulations standards and patents. The expert team included Dr. Michael Bersier, Lonza AG, Dr. Tomas Smejkal, Syngenta Crop Protection AG, Dr. Fabrice Gallou, Novartis Pharma AG, Prof. Roger Marti, HEIA-FR, Dr. Elena Schaller, Siegfried Evionnaz SA, Dr. Heiko Oertling, Nestlé SA and Dr. Felix Flachsmann, Givaudan.

The seminar was completed with an extended poster session and interactive workshops. Based on the very positive participants' feedback we will continue the initiative in 2018.

SCS at ILMAC Lausanne 2017

Conference Center Beaulieu, Lausanne, October 4-5, 2017, www.ilmac.ch/lausanne

The necessity of a trade show in Lausanne is based on the strong position of the French speaking part of Switzerland in the sectors of chemistry, biotechnology and laboratory in general. Therefore, MCH Group AG and M. Bonenberger as ILMAC product director decided to implement a two-days event at Beaulieu Lausanne on October 4-5, 2017. As partner of ILMAC, SCS organized the forum program on the first fair day. BiloAlps organized the forum on the second day.

ILMAC Forum organized by the SCS: Wed, October 4, 2017: «Operational Excellence - Best practice for Chemical and Life Science Companies»

Five OE experts from the chemical and pharmaceutical production talked about their experiences in process development and how OE was implemented in their daily life and how it influences the workflow for operators, process managers and executives.

SCS at the GÖCH Austrian Chemistry Days 2017

Following the invitation of the 'Gesellschaft Österreichischer Chemiker, GÖCH', a delegation of 13 SCS members participated in the Austrian Chemistry Days at University of Salzburg on September 25-27, 2017. Peter E. Kündig, University of Geneva and Maksym Kovalenko, ETH Zurich gave invited lectures in the plenary session while all other delegation members contributed a talk in one of the parallel sessions or presented a poster.

Swiss Snow Symposium 2017

Hotel Alphubel, Saas-Fee, January 27-29, 2017 (scg.ch/sss/2017)

More than 60 young chemists gathered at Hotel Alphubel in Saas Fee (Kanton Wallis) for the 15th edition of the Swiss Snow Symposium. After a welcoming aperitif and a delicious dinner, three invited lectures gave insight into their recent research projects: Dr. Sebastian Wendeborn (R&D, Syngenta Crop Protection AG), Dr. Cheng Yi Chen (R&D, Janssen), Dr. Amandine Kolleth (PostDoc, Syngenta Crop Protection AG). Three contributed lectures, given by Ms. Florella Lucarini, Ms. Gurdal Yeliz and Dr. Almudena Gallego completed the Friday program.

On Saturday, the participants enjoyed the wonderful slopes of Saas-Fee and after a sunny day in the snow, the symposium continued with another two, invited speakers, namely Dr. Alec Birkbeck (R&D, Firmenich) and Dr. Magnus T. Johnson (Group leader, Lund University). Afterwards Jens Gaitzsch, Sascha Keller, Bernadetta Gajewska, Samuel Lörcher, Samantha Doninelli, Kristina Goncharenko, Felix Bobbink and Giacomo Cecot contributed 20min talks each and the session closed shortly after midnight. All in all it was a fantastic event and we like to thank again our sponsors: SISF (Novartis, Roche, Syngenta, BASF), Actelion, Merck, Shimadzu, ChemPubSoc, Thieme and Janssen.

Further Education Courses in Analytical Chemistry

The DAS courses have been very successful, in part due to in-company training at BASF. More than 60 course took place in the following fields:

Applica 2017

Basel, September 7, 2017

The meeting focused on the analysis of biopolymers and small molecules, focusing on alternative HPLC phases. Eight invited lecturers gave interesting presentations, ranging from selection of separation phases, mixed-mode approaches, to practical applications such as dried blood spot analysis, targeted metabolomics and proteomic profiling, food and environmental analysis to quality control in therapeutics. The lectures and exhibition with 11 vendors were well attended, with 78 participants.

Visit of the AKW Mühleberg

SYCA organized a guided tour of the nuclear power plant in Mühleberg and the nearby hydroelectric power station on October 14, 2017. 40 members joined the tour and made the day a successful event.

Internationale Aktivitäten

European Chemical Sciences (EuCheMS)

EuCheMS acts as a single independent voice for chemistry in Europe. EuCheMS advises the European Parliament and Commission on chemistry topics and promotes excellence in European research via continuous collaboration with the European Research Council. The organization ensures that chemistry is well represented in European projects and responds to a variety of consultations from the European institutions on chemistry topics, such as water, phosphorus or mercury. EuCheMS runs the biennial European Chemistry Congress and has divisions and working parties, which run biennial conferences and summer schools in most areas of chemistry as well as other activities.  It awards a range of European prizes and lectureships for chemistry and together with the European Chemistry Thematic Network Association (ECTN) promotes high quality teaching of chemistry in European universities.

In 2017 EuCheMS published 4 Newsletters and a monthly EuCheMS Brussels News Update. SCS re-published them on the SCS website and partially in CHIMIA.

Division delegates of the Swiss Chemical Society

At the General Assembly in Rome on September 26-27, 2017, Christophe Copéret, ETH Zurich, represented the SCS. Yves Auberson, Novartis and President of the SCS DMCCB, represented the European Federation of Medicinal Chemistry.

The SCS Board of Directors decided in its September meeting to link all EuCheMS delegated to one of the six SCS division boards to guarantee the information exchange from SCS to the EuCheMS divisions and vise-versa.


Division of Chemical Education (DCE)

Given its increasing importance, the Swiss Chemical Society extends its activities into the area of chemical education and formally approved the implementation of a Division of Chemical Education (DCE) at its General Assembly in Bern on April 21, 2017.

The goals of the DCE

The new Division shall support the interaction of educators and teachers of chemistry at all levels. The possibility to interact with scientists of the other SCS divisions will create bridges between research and education:



Dialog mit der Gesellschaft

SCS Lectureships

Continuing the program initiated in 2013, a series of very successful lecture tours took place during the year:

By the end of 2017, the initiator of this "flagship" lectures of the DFR, Prof. Thomas Bally, Université de Fribourg, resigned as its chair and handed over the responsibility to Prof. S. Willitsch, Universität Basel. We thank Thomas at this place very much for his initiative and for the fine organisation of the tours with leading scientists from all over the world.

Thanks to the Platform Chemistry of the SCNAT that financially supports the tours.

SCS Awards 2017


The SCS awarded eight individuals and one group of scientists for their outstanding contributions. A total sum of CHF 67'000 as well as medals and award certificates were given to the prizewinners.

Werner Prize

CHF 10'000 and medal in bronze; awarded to a promising young scientist for outstanding independent chemical research. The award was given to Prof. Christof Sparr, University of Basel, in recognition of his very creative contributions to the asymmetric synthesis of single atropisomers of hindered aromatic compounds using organocatalysis and to Prof. Kevin Sivula, EPF Lausanne, for his significant contributions to the advancement of materials and methods for photoelectrochemical energy conversion

The prizes were given on the occasion of the SCS Spring Meeting in Bern on April 21, 2017.

Grammaticakis-Neumann Award 2017

CHF 5'000; awarded to a promising young scientist for outstanding independent research in photochemistry, photo physics or molecular photobiology. The award was given to Prof. Robert Knowles, Princeton University, for expanding the methodology in organic synthesis by new processes founded upon visible light mediated Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer (PCET).

The prize was given on the occasion of the SCS Fall Meeting in Bern on August 22, 2017.

SISF-SCS Senior Industrial Investigator Award

CHF 10'000; the prize is given to honor very successful and established industrial investigators in Switzerland with outstanding achievements over many years. SISF and SCS honored Dr. Emmanuel Pinard, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Basel, for his very successful research on several therapeutic targets as enzymes (Bace1, COMT), ion channels (NMDA), GPCRs (Orexin, Vasopressin) and transporters (GlyT1) that address high unmet central nervous system disorders such as Parkinson's Disease, Stroke, Schizophrenia, Depression, Autism and Spinal Motor Atrophy and Dr. Thomas Netscher, DSM Nutritional Products, Ltd, Kaiseraugst, for his achievements in advancing synthetic methodology and total synthesis of natural products, specifically vitamins and isoprenoid derived compounds.

SISF-SCS Industrial Investigator Award

CHF 7'000; awarded to honor successful industrial investigators with outstanding achievements. The award was given to Dr. Richard Sedrani, Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, for his achievements in many important projects as research chemists, team leader, project leader and unit head that resulted in the discovery and development of the mTOR inhibitor Everolimus, which is the active ingredient of several successfully marketed drugs: Certican® / Zortress®; Afinitor®, XienceTM.

All SISF-SCS award lectures took place on the occation of the SCS Fall Meeting in Bern on August 22, 2017.

Sandmeyer Award

CHF 20'000; awarded to a person or to a group for outstanding work in industrial or applied chemistry.

The SCS awarded the prize 2017 to the team from F. Hoffmann-La Roche, namely Dr. Stefan Hildbrand, Dr. Gösta Rimmler, Dr. Daniel Fishlock, Dr. Pankaj Rege, Dr. Carsten Peters, Dr. Christian Mössner, Dr. Ralph Diodone and Dr. Markus Schantz for the development of an efficient industrial synthesis of Idasanutlin (a MDM2 antagonist for treatment of cancer) via a Cu(I)-catalyzed [3+2] Asymmetric Cycloaddition. 

Two award lectures were given. One at the Freiburgers Symposium on May 12, and one at the SCS Fall Meeing in Bern on August 22, 2017.

Balmer Prize

CHF 2'000 for individuals and CHF 2'000 for the school's chemistry department. SCS awarded Mr. Hansrudolf Dütsch, Zürich, for his exemplary engagement over many years in the field of further education of high school teachers and for his idea to develop and run a web shop for innovative and illustrative chemistry experiments.

The award was given on the occasion of the ChemEdu symposium in Bern on August 22, 2017

Dr. Max Lüthi Award

CHF 1,000 and medal in bronze; presented for an outstanding diploma thesis in Chemistry conducted at a Swiss University of Applied Sciences. SCS awarded Mrs. Sonia De Andrade, ZHAW Wädenswil, for her bachelor thesis and her contributions to the advancement and validation of printable biomaterials and their potential use as tissue models.

The award was given on the occasion of the BioTech 2017 conference at ZHAW in Wädenswil on September 8, 2017.