Much has changed in formulation since Formula I in 1987, but the need for the Formula conferences is still as great to provide an opportunity for the broad range of formulating product industries to learn from each other.  This learning is made possible through the scientific understanding which Formula I highlighted.  The addition of NanoFormulation in Formula VI and the increasing complexity of formulations brought to the fore at Formula IX, have been the latest signs of change, driven by the need to deliver improved performance using less resources.

The conference theme of "Understand, Formulate, Innovate" highlights the direction of travel for the formulating industries where more research and development is now aimed at developing the understanding before formulation occurs, which is driving new types of innovation.  For example, while colloid science has long been providing understanding of cleaning products and been a key part of design, that design process was semi-empirical and so involved extensive application tests.  Today, the extensive application tests are now replaced by not only high-throughput measurements, but also by digital experiments meaning that formulation space is well understood before formulated prototypes are produced.

While traditional formulation science research is still important it is now being applied to more and more complex formulations, and even for the most complex formulation digital techniques are being used to limit the formulation space that needs to be explored.

Formula X will once again cover a broad range of formulating industries and the domain specific understanding which is key to successful formulation will be continue to a focus, the session chairs will also be tasked with highlighting cross-domain learning.