Our mission

From new materials to new medicinal agents, the central role of organic synthesis has been expanding in recent years. Driven by the remarkable improvements in our understanding of factors governing organic reactions, as well as the increasingly powerful instrumentation and analytical tools, the influence of organic synthesis has been extended to virtually all areas of science.

During the last two decades, analytical instruments and chemical information science have undergone dramatic transformation through automation based on the use of ever cheaper and more powerful computers. Nevertheless, automation of the synthetic chemists' way of doing experiments still remains somewhat behind what is demanded in this exciting time for organic synthesis. In our view, synthetic chemistry should also be greatly modernized in the forthcoming century. In this way, organic synthesis will be more accessible, even for people in areas outside of organic chemistry.

The need for automated synthesis is easy to understand, if we imagine prospective benefits inherent to this modernization of laboratory work: time saving in obtaining target compounds, reproducibility of synthetic reactions, safer operations, and saving?costs of expensive manpower, just to name a few.

The Robotic Synthesis Research Group, which started in the fall of 1996, belongs to the Synthetic Chemistry Division of the Kinki Chemical Society, Japan, organizers of the IKCOC (International Kyoto Conference on New Aspects of Organic Chemistry). The group consists of people from academic institutes, chemical industries, pharmaceutical industries, as well as hardware suppliers.


Microreactors have appeared as part of the trend of downscaling chemistry, and they are expected to make an innovative and revolutionary impact in chemical synthesis. In addition to the safety and environmental benefits of dealing with smaller quantities of materials, microreactors have several advantages over conventional systems stemming from their high surface-to-volume ratio; e.g. precise temperature control and high efficiency of heterogeneous mass transfer. Short residence times in reactors may also be advantageous from a viewpoint of the control of highly reactive intermediates. It is worth mentioning that the advantages of micro flow reactors in the ease of modulation and the possibility of combining reactors in parallel promise a quick means for scale-up.

In order to cover the field of microreactor synthesis, the group renamed to "Group for Research on Automated and Microreactor Synthesis (GRAMS)" in 2002.

The group renamed to "Group for Research on Automated Flow Synthesis and Microreactor Synthesis (GRAMS)" in 2007, because macro flow synthsis has also emerged as a powerful tool for high-throughput synthesis.

The objective of our group is to overview ongoing work in two closely related fields; automated flow synthesis and microreactor synthesis, and to stimulate further progress.