This paper, in honor of Dr. Kamlesh K. Bhatia, will discuss the opportunities offered by a judicious use of creative thinking as well as of structured, delivery oriented protocols in process research and development. Generation of ideas is usually expected to be the result of an individual mind, however it is also many times the aftermath of interactions of several people. The creation of ideas does not always guarantee a successful outcome. The selection of the best idea to invest in and work on can provide challenges and heuristic know-how, intuition and some “tools” can be used in many circumstances. The development of the idea (invention) to a practical new process (innovation) requires a disciplined approach, however creativity will still play a major role. The above points will be considered in detail in a number of examples from specialty organic chemicals and polymer processes.
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