This year, the annual DIAC members' meeting took place at Syngenta in Münchwilen AG and was perfectly organized by Andrea Sting and his experienced team. Around 40 participants from industry and academia attended, providing the setting for a day full of insights in industrial process chemistry and networking opportunities.

At the start of the meeting, Dr. Andrea Sting, Head of Global Process Technology at Syngenta Crop Protection AG, welcomed the participants with an overview of Syngenta's activities. Dipl. Ing. Sebastien Stoessel, Site Manager in Münchwilen, then gave a comprehensive overview of the site and provided valuable insights into the activities and the importance of the site in the wider context of Syngenta's activities. Dr. Denis Gribkov, the DIAC Fellow from 2022, and process chemist at Syngenta Crop Protection AG, gave a talk on the topic of "Sustainable chemical process development at Syngenta". Dr Gribkov used vivid examples to demonstrate how mastering chemistry can simplify and environmentally improve industrial processes, and to illustrate Syngenta's commitment to sustainability and innovation.

Another highlight was the DIAC Fellowship award 2024 ceremony, with Dr. Florian Kleinbeck from Novartis Pharma AG receiving the prize (1st picture). In his succeeding short lecture, Florian Kleinbeck gave an insight and outlook on his research and work. We look forward to his lectures on “Innovative and Breakthrough Solutions in Route Design, (Bio)Catalysis, and Process Development at Novartis” at the University of Basel (21. June 2024), dsm-firmenich (12. Sep 2024) and University Fribourg (9. Oct 2024).

In the official part of the member meeting, the DIAC board members were confirmed and Dr. Niklaus Künzle, Lonza (2nd picture), was elected as the new president, with Dr. Lucie Lovelle (Novartis Pharma) as the new vice president. A general review of the past year with many activities, including the Freiburger Symposium, the SICS in Basel, the member meeting at Sika and the PRD colloquia at the Universities, shows the importance of DIAC as the networking platform for industrial chemistry and process technology in Switzerland.

After a generous lunch, the participants were invited to an exciting pilot plant tour of Syngenta Münchwilen. The tour provided an insight into the impressive infrastructure and innovative processes that drive Syngenta's operations and left attendees with a deep impression for Syngenta's commitment to excellence.

Roger Marti, HEIS-FR / David Spichiger, SCS