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Formulation Forum

Liposome - Formulation Forum Group image

The Formulation Forum is a place where business can openly discuss their needs with academia and formulation experts in a receptive, non-competitive environment, offering a place where opportunities and solutions to the needs of business can arise.

What is formulation?
It is the combination of a recipe and a process to produce a ‘product’ in a particular state. For example a mixture of oil, water and emulsifiers can form an oil in water emulsion, a water in oil emulsion or even a nano-emulsion depending on the process, with each state having very different properties. For scientists with particular expertise multiple emulsions and liposomes may even be achievable.

An important result from this is that the formulated product ideally has enhanced properties, sometimes dramatically enhanced, compared to the starting functional components and this is one of the key objectives of designing formulations. If you can design a formulation that allows a functional component or active ingredient to perform at a new level of performance that is a remarkable achievement.

What is formulation science?
It is vast, it covers many areas in many disciplines and in this regard it is better perhaps to describe it as the science of formulation? It is all science that relates to the design, performance, stability, testing and manufacture of formulations; from biology to mathematics, physics to biochemistry, chemistry to engineering to name but a few.

What is special concerning the science of formulation?
Many formulations are either ‘metastable’ systems or they undergo ‘dynamic’ processes during their application. Therefore science areas related to ‘non-equilibrium’ systems and ‘dynamics of change’ are especially important. Understanding how to design functional intermediate ‘metastable arrested’ states along with understanding how these ‘metastable arrested’ states will change with time, temperature, stress or other external triggers is a key understanding. Important examples include Soft Matter, Colloids and Interfaces amongst many others.

Is formulation an art or science?
For the past ~50 years many formulations have often been considered too complex to understand scientifically with the consequence that formulation design has habitually been treated as a ‘black box’ resulting in pragmatic processes and thinking which are often taken for granted today without any understanding or questioning of their validity.

However, scientific knowledge related to formulation design and performance has progressed dramatically over the last 10-20 years. This knowledge can help significantly in the design of formulations, enabling scientists to design new generations of formulations with new levels of performance, leading to a ‘golden age’ of formulation design for companies, academic researchers and students looking for creativity and inspiring challenges in their careers. Now is the perfect time for industry-academia collaborations to capitalise on this.

Interested to learn more?
Then please join us and many others interested in ‘formulation’ at our Disruptive Technologies event: 21 + 22 January 2019 (see events).


The Formulation Forum is a place for academia to openly discuss their ideas with business, from which new research and collaborations may be formed.

It acts as a catalyst for the creation of new projects and investigation of these ideas.

The Formulation Forum will host a series of annual 2-day workshop events where participants will learn about formulation science related activities (UK & wider) both currently running and planned. This event will also provide an unparalleled opportunity to meet, build partnerships and network with other members of the community. There will be opportunities to openly raise, identify and discuss opportunities and current challenges in workshops, and to propose paths forward to realise the opportunities and address the challenges.

Formulation Forum events are open to major companies, SMEs, academics, and students from all areas, including scientists, engineers, patent attorneys, marketing experts and business managers.


SCI collaborates with a number of organisations. Further details can be found on our Collaborations page.


If you are looking for a way to become more involved with SCI, you might want to consider becoming one of our active volunteers.

SCI volunteers work at the heart of SCI. As a volunteer, you will create and strengthen your skills, interact with people from different backgrounds, gather new and experiences and build your confidence and credibility. Contact membership@soci.org for more information.

Relevant SCI Journals

SCI journals cover a variety of topics. More details can be found on our Journals page

SCI Members are entitled to receive Chemistry and Industry (C&I) magazine direct to their door.C&I magazine includes articles on a host of interesting articles. More.

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