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revised on 01.02.2020 and posted on 03.02.2020by James McDonagh, William Swope, Richard L. Anderson, Michael Johnston, David J. Bray
Digitization oﬀers signiﬁcant opportunities for the formulated product industry to transform the way it works and develop new methods of business. R&D is one area of operation that is challenging to take advantage of these technologies due to its high level of domain specialisation and creativity but the beneﬁts could be signiﬁcant. Recent developments of base level technologies such as artiﬁcial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML), robotics and high performance computing (HPC), to name a few, present disruptive and transformative technologies which could oﬀer new insights, discovery methods and enhanced chemical control when combined in a digital ecosystem of connectivity, distributive services and decentralisation. At the fundamental level, research in these technologies has shown that new physical and chemical insights can be gained, which in turn can augment experimental R&D approaches through physics-based chemical simulation, data driven models and hybrid approaches. In all of these cases, high quality data is required to build and validate models in addition to the skills and expertise to exploit such methods. In this article we give an overview of some of the digital technology demonstrators we have developed for formulated product R&D. We discuss the challenges in building and deploying these demonstrators.