Get to 'Alpha': Conquer your next technical challenge

Learn from the stories of scientists, engineers and other innovators who exemplify the relentless spirit of continuous innovation and optimization in the chemical industry.

What's Alpha?

Alpha’ has many meanings. It can be the first letter in the Greek alphabet, a socially dominant male animal, or a concept in software development, physics and chemistry.

But for us, 'Alpha' is that moment when a chemist, researcher or engineer achieves an important milestone in chemical product and process innovation. 'Alpha' happens in an instant, but one doesn’t get there without unrelenting perseverance, knowledge and skill.

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Featured Stories of Alpha Moments

2016 ICIS Innovation Award Winners

Innovation comes in all shapes and sizes in the chemical industry. Discover the innovative companies and individuals who continue to push the industry forward.

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Read More Stories of Alpha Moments

Whether focused on blockbuster or practical, incremental innovation, there is much to be learned from the stories of companies and individual innovators who have created and commercialized notable product and process innovations.

Get to Alpha with Elsevier's R&D Solutions

Elsevier's R&D Solutions fuels your unrelenting drive to create and commercialize the most competitive chemical product and process innovations by providing immediate access to specialized technical intelligence.

Alpha Moments in Industry – A Coating Polymer For Extreme Conditions

Alpha Moments in Industry – A Coating Polymer For Extreme Conditions

Discover how an adhesive company relied on a chemistry research tool to sift through the clutter and pinpoint a high performance, low cost monomer to enable their polymer coating’s commercial viability.

Read the story (PDF, 561kb)

Alpha Moments in History – Aerogel: The World’s Lightest Super Material

Alpha Moments in History – Aerogel: The World’s Lightest Super Material

Discover the true story of how Dr. Samuel Kistler invented aerogel, a gel-like substance devoid of liquids with widespread applicability.

Read the story (PDF, 447kb)

Alpha Moments in Industry – From Molecule to Market in Less Time

Alpha Moments in Industry – From Molecule to Market in Less Time

Discover how a CRO managed customer needs while minimizing R&D costs with tools that boost productivity and enhance predictability, allowing for greater margins and shorter lead times.

Read the story (PDF, 592kb)

Alpha Moments in History – Neoprene: Stretching the Limits Beyond Rubber

Alpha Moments in History – Neoprene: Stretching the Limits Beyond Rubber

Discover how a team of DuPont scientists, in 1930, polymerized chloroprene, clearing the path for neoprene to become the go-to rubber substitute.

Read the story (PDF, 430kb)

Alpha Moments in Industry – A Proprietary New Polymer For Automotive

Alpha Moments in Industry – A Proprietary New Polymer For Automotive

Discover how a chemist at a major company dug into the data in pursuit of a new polymer,  making product improvements.

Read the story (PDF, 267kb)

Alpha Moments in History – Nylon: Synthetic Fiber Becomes a Market Success

Alpha Moments in History – Nylon: Synthetic Fiber Becomes a Market Success

Discover how DuPont scientists created nylon fiber in 1935, giving manufacturers an artificial alternative to silk that became a massive success in the women’s hosiery market and went on to help the Allies win World War II.

Read the story (PDF, 238kb)

Alpha Moments in Industry – Producing Blue Denim Using 92% Less Water

Alpha Moments in Industry – Producing Blue Denim Using 92% Less Water

Discover how one innovative company developed new dyes and processes for producing blue denim that are far more sustainable, while still offering the classic look.

Read the story (PDF, 286kb)

Alpha Moments in Industry: Low-Resource, High-Yield Reactive Dye Molecules

Alpha Moments in Industry – Low-Resource, High-Yield Reactive Dye Molecules

Discover how Huntsman netted itself a 2014 ICIS Innovation Award with its new reactive dyes and made a big impact in the industry, especially in industrializing countries.

Read the story (PDF, 260kb)

Alpha Moments in Industry – An Epoxy Resin for the Commercial Market

Alpha Moments in Industry – An Epoxy Resin for the Commercial Market

Discover how a principal research scientist at a major specialty chemical company identified high-performance polymers with the right properties, and created a new commercial concept.

Read the story (PDF, 304kb)

Alpha Moments in the Chemical Industry – Breaking into a New Area of Chemistry

Alpha Moments in the Chemical Industry – Breaking into a New Area of Chemistry

Discover how a team of chemists at a start-up used chemistry and scientific research databases to limit the chemical reactivity of sodium metal, and reserve funding for business development in the process.

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Alpha Moments in the Chemical Industry – A New Material for a Niche Product

Alpha Moments in the Chemical Industry – A New Material for a Niche Product

Discover how an engineer at a global coatings company used an abstract and indexing database to develop a new coating product that is expected to bring in a significant stream of new incremental revenue.

Read the story (PDF, 695kb)