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First Laureate of the Newly Launched European Sustainable Chemistry Award

Matthias Beller has been chosen as the first laureate of the newly launched European Sustainable Chemistry Award, a EuCheMS initiative. The 48 year-old chemist will be honoured at the 3rd EuCheMS Chemistry Congress in Nürnberg at the Opening Ceremony on 29 August. Professor Dr Matthias Beller, Director of the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis in Rostock, Germany (LIKAT), is being recognised for his exceptional research in the field of homogeneous catalysis. His team at the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis is mainly investigating the environmentally sustainable conversion of small molecules into recyclable or reusable materials. An Evaluation Panel selected him as the winner of the 10,000€ Award out of the 21 nominations received. LIKAT is the largest state research institute for applied catalysis in Europe. The Institute focuses on the transfer of fundamental research to practical applications. In the past decade alone, Matthias Beller and his team have developed three catalyst systems that are being applied in industry for producing chemicals on a large scale (tonnes). In addition, companies producing fine chemicals and catalysts are marketing catalysts developed at LIKAT. Matthias Beller has also conducted fundamental research that has been taken over by some research groups throughout the world. “Catalysis: this is the science that tries to explain how chemical reactions can be accelerated and controlled,” he said. “It is also one of the key technologies for creating a sustainable chemistry.” The focal points of his research are: palladium-catalyzed coupling reactions of aryl halogenides, enatioselective oxidation catalysis, catalytic applications in the field of active pharmaceutical ingredients as well as catalytic carbonylations. The various research projects concentrate on the development of catalytic oxidation reactions with oxygen or hydrogen peroxide as oxidant. Within the scope of exploiting catalytic reactions for synthesizing new pharmaceutical ingredients, Matthias Beller’s research group is intensively investigating, in particular, the regioselective addition of amines to double bonds and carbonylation reactions. In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, the aim of the research here is the development of new analgesics, anti-Alzheimer active ingredients and kinase inhibitors. His research works have been published and highlighted in the journal “Science”. In total, Beller has published more than 420 papers and has filed over 90 patents.

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