Project Details Strategic Planning for a new East and South East Asian Network for Organic Chemistry

Project No.:
Start Date:
01 January 2006
End Date:
01 October 2011
Division Name:
Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry Division
Division No.:


To establish a new collaborative East and South East Asian Network, closely linked to IUPAC, in order to build and foster a sustainable program of high-quality organic chemistry research, education and chemistry-based applications, especially in less developed Asian countries.


Background – It has been estimated that 30% of the research done in the field of organic chemistry in the world is being produced in Asia. While this statistic is encouraging, a careful inspection shows that productive research is presently concentrated in a few countries in the region, and is by no means a common phenomenon across all countries in Asia.

Previous cooperative networks (such as the Network for the Chemistry of Biologically Important Natural Products, and the UNESCO Network for Natural Products) have either ceased to operate entirely or are languishing through lack of funding. There is now an opportunity – and indeed a responsibility – for IUPAC to take the initiative in this matter, and plan the establishment of a new Network. Such an initiative would complement a major program being undertaken by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).

The JSPS’s Asian CORE program is designed to create world-class research hubs in selected fields within the Asian region, while fostering the next generation of leading researchers by establishing sustainable collaborative relations among research/education institutions in Japan, China (Beijing), Korea, China (Taipei), Thailand.

Under this program, core institutions will collaborate in cutting-edge fields of research and on research topics deemed to be of high international importance. The core institutions in the East Asian countries will conduct exchanges based on a principle of equal partnership in the form of joint research, scientific meetings, and researcher exchanges. It is anticipated that the hubs formed by the core institutions will continue to carry out research activities after the funded project has ended.

The scope of organic chemistry includes, but is not limited to, the core areas of organic methodology and total synthesis. Research in green chemistry, bioorganic chemistry, structural and materials sciences, environmental chemistry, as well as the applications of these fields to ultimately benefit the society and economy of the East Asian region is also encouraged.

Project plan – The purpose of the project task group is to plan the best strategy to link with the JSPS program and establish a cooperative network that will provide maximum support for organic chemists throughout all the East Asian region. The proposed Network would be expected to promote collaborative research work based on interactive relationships, academic exchanges and activities. The Network would be responsible for the organisation of workshops on aspects of organic chemistry, chemical techniques, and current research trends, with the aim being to enhance the level of organic chemistry and research in less developed Asian Countries. This will foster the development of science and science-based enterprises in presently less-developed countries, catalyzing their progress into the scene of chemistry research in the 21st century. Finally, the Network would also help support a peer review system for a future Asian journal of organic chemistry.


A Workshop under Strategic Planning for a new East Asian Network for Organic Chemistry was held in Naha, Okinawa, Japan on 16 October 2006 and coordinated as part of the 1st International Conference on Cutting-Edge Organic Chemistry in Asia (ICCEOCA-1).

Two speakers were invited to conduct workshop seminars and to offer expert advice to the participants. The first topic was “Modern Mass Spectrometry”, presented by Dr. Matthias Pelzing from Bruker Daltonics, Australia, and the second lecture was on “Computational Organic Chemistry ”, delivered by Prof. Yundong Wu from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The project also supported the attendance of organic chemists from outside the ACP (The Philippines and Malaysia). A total of 35 participants at the workshop were updated on their knowledge and new techniques of fundamental importance to organic chemistry. Extensive notes were distributed to the participants, and the lectures were also video recorded to be used in future workshops.

For a report on the 1st International Conference on Cutting-Edge Organic Chemistry in Asia, see Chem. Asian J. 2007, 2 , 452-454 [doi: 10.1002/asia.200600423]

> This project was presented at a poster session at the IUPAC Congress/GA August 2007 [view pdf – 199KB] & project announcement published in Chem. Int. Nov 2007

> September 2007 Busan Workshop:
The workshop was organized by M. Isobe, P. Chiu and H. Y. Lee was attended by some 35 participants from 20 different institutions.  Prof. T. Ikariya from TIT shared his expertise on the topic of “Applications of Supercritical Fluids in Organic Chemistry”, and Dr. K. H Sze from the University of Hong Kong spoke on “Application of New NMR techniques in Organic Chemistry”. The workshop was held immediately before ICCEOCA-2 on September 2 from 2:30-5:00 pm at the conference venue. The IUPAC project also sponsored the attendance of three participants
from non-ACP member countries: Dr. R. Ahmad from Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia, Dr. M. Nonato from the University of Santo Tomas, Manila and Dr. M. Uy from the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, Philippines.

> April 2008 update – see Chem. Int. July 2008, p.22

> October 2008 Hangzhou Workshop was made possible by the renewal of the IUPAC project as Strategic
for a new East and Southeast Asian Network for Organic Chemistry. The Workshop was held on the first day of ICCEOCA-3, October 19, 2:30-5:00 pm with support from the SIOC and Ms. F. Liu and featured two speakers: Prof. T.-P. Loh from Nanyang Technological University speaking on “Practical Green Chemistry”; and Dr. P. Toy from the University of Hong Kong on “Polymer-assisted Organic Chemistry”. In total, there were 42 participants from 23 different institutions. The IUPAC project sponsored the attendance of four non-ACP member country participants: two from Philippines (Dr. G. Alea from De La Salle University; and Dr. A. Guidote Jr. from Ateneo de Manila University), one from Malaysia (Dr. N. H. Ismail from the Universiti Teknologi MARA), and
one from Indonesia (Dr. E. H. Hakim from the Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia).

> November 2009 Bangkok Workshop: Prof. P. Chiu, the organizer of the annual IUPAC workshops, organized the final workshop in the series sponsored by the last installment of funding from the IUPAC project. In collaboration with Dr. M. Chittchang from CRI, the pre-conference workshop on November 29 was on the theme of “Natural Product Chemistry”, a topic requested by the host country. The speakers were Z.-J. Yao on the topic of” Natural Product Synthesis”, and M. Isobe on “Chemical Biology – An Emerging Field Inspired by Natural Product Chemistry”. The registration and attendance at this Workshop were record highs of 81 and 68, respectively. The attendees were from 22 institutions from 10 different countries. Many Thai graduate students attended the workshop.

This year, the IUPAC funding sponsored the attendance of five participants from non-ACP member countries. Two were from the Philippines (J. R. O. Janairo, De La Salle University and C. C. Hernandez, University of the Philippines), one was from Malaysia (H. A. if Tajuddin, Univ. Malaya), one was from Indonesia (D. Mujahidin, Institut Teknologi Bandung), and for the first time, one participant was from Vietnam (D. H. Luu, Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology).

> March 2010 update – see JSPS Asian Core Program:
Cutting-Edge Organic Chemistry in Asia and IUPAC Strategic Planning for a New
East and Southeast Asian Network for Organic Chemistry, 
Chem. Asian J. 2010, 5, 660-666 [doi:10.1002/asia.201000137]

> June 2011 update – see JSPS Asian Core Program Chem. Asian J.  2011, 6, 1300-1303 [doi:10.1002/asia.201100322]

> Nov 2011 – project completed – this activity continues as project 2011-041-1-300

page last modified 21 Nov 2011