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Standard Industries Announces Challenge to Bring AI Into Molecular Synthesis


The winner will receive $1 million and the chance to partner with a major industry leader.



Bringing AI into pharma can be rewarding.

While that’s true for a lot of reasons, it’s also literally true. Standard Industries announced that it is offering a $1 million reward to any individual or group that best uses AI to improve the way which fine chemicals are made. The company is calling the challenge the Standard Industries Chemical Innovation Challenge.

The goal is to advance AI-assisted molecular synthesis, according to a press release.1 These chemicals can be used the development of a wide variety of products, including medicine and supplements.

The winner, selected by a panel of judges from academia and business, will also receive the opportunity to partner with Grace, a chemical industry leader.

In a press release, Standard Industries co-CEOs David Millstone and David Winter said, “As a global industrial company, we invest in technologies that impact not just our digital lives, but the built physical world. AI and machine learning have the power to do just that by accelerating materials science and transforming the way we develop products essential to our everyday lives. We are excited to launch the Standard Industries Chemical Innovation Challenge and look forward to seeing how innovators around the world harness the power of computing to unlock new, more effective, and more efficient ways to solve real world problems."

According to Standard, the process in which researchers take a desired molecule and then figure out a way to synthesize it is both time and resource consuming. Essentially, researchers need to work backward and use a process that involves a lot of trial and error.

Standard believes that AI and machine learning can be used to simplify the process.

The challenge will consist of three phases. In the first phase, challengers and teams will submit white papers detailing their process. These papers must also include the proposed training data set. Ten submissions will be chosen for the second phase, which will involve using the process to create at least ten test molecules.

Finally, the third phase will consist of three teams being provided with at least five challenge molecules which they will then have to present the solution, along with key transformations and the proposed synthesis process.


  1. Standard Industries Launches a $1 Million AI Challenge to Transform Chemical Innovation. Standard Industries. March 7, 2024. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/standard-industries-launches-a-1-million-ai-challenge-to-transform-chemical-innovation-302082496.html
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