New network aims to enhance formulation collaboration

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

The Formulation Innovation Network has been set up in the North of England as a means of enhancing innovation for all formulation-orientated businesses.

Targeting the personal care industry, as well as the household products, pharmaceutical and food sectors in the Yorkshire and Humber region, the initiative aims to bring together all parties involved in formulation development.

As well as formulating companies, the organisation will serve as a networking opportunity for universities, ingredients manufacturers and suppliers all involved in the area of product formulation.

Taking formulation innovation to the next level

The network has been established through host company Intelligent Formulation, a not-for-profit company, that is backed by Yorkshire Chemical Focus, Institute of Pharmaceutical Innovation, at the University of Bradford and Particles CIC at the University of Leeds.

The primary aim will be to bring about increased efficiencies and further opportunities to take innovation to the next level.

Jim Bullock, CEO of Intelligent Formulation, who is also director of the Formulation Innovation Network, believes that in bringing businesses and innovators together in the region, efficiencies will be realised in areas such as processing time and formulation development.

Bringing formulation experts together

“Because formulation is not recognised as a discipline in itself, each industry has built up its own expertise,”​ said Bullock.

“Our role is to facilitate research and knowledge transfer to accelerate innovation across industry sectors and to address future opportunities.”

"By combining resources this will enable innovators working in different areas to share new ideas in formulation that can bring enhancements such as increased efficiency."

Focusing on fewer ingredients

One area that formulators are currently concentrating on is to create formulations with fewer ingredients, and in particular less active ingredients.

Simpler formulations not only serve to help cut formulation costs, an increasingly important area, but it also makes it easier to comply with increasingly strict European regulations such as REACH.

"Focusing on this area not only helps to reduce costs, but it can also help meet to reduce the envirnomental impact of a formulation," Bullock added.

Official launch, conference and workshops

The Formulation Innovation Network will have its official launch at a conference to be held at the University of Leeds on 2 February.

The event will entail a series of workshops and disccusion groups, as well as presentation by Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, an indepedent body working on behalf of the UK government.

For further information and to apply to attend, please click here​ for email contact.

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