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Committee on Corporation Associates: Supporting ACS’s industrial members

by Robert j. Wolcik, Chair, Committee on Corporation Associates
July 11, 2020 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 98, Issue 27


Photo of Robert J. Wolcik.
Credit: Christine Schmidt
Robert J. Wolcik

Founded in 1952, the Board Committee on Corporation Associates is the formal link between the American Chemical Society and chemical and allied industries. The committee provides a corporate voice to ACS and works to help ensure that the society provides companies and their industrial members with resources and services needed for success. This is accomplished through a variety of professional development offerings, such as access to meetings, leadership training, online courses, and opportunities to serve the society.

The committee initiates and promotes ACS programs relevant to industrial chemists, including programs that aim to shape the workforce, influence public policy, recognize and reward excellence in industrial research, and enhance the public perception of chemistry and science. The specific activities of the committee change over time and are dependent on the needs and priorities of our industrial and company members. What follows is an overview of our current focus areas.

Safety is a core value of ACS and is essential to the success of the chemical enterprise. The Committee on Corporation Associates has partnered with other ACS committees and divisions to organize ACS-wide safety summits and to help develop guidelines for laboratory-safety education for primary, secondary, undergraduate, and graduate students.

More recently, the committee has sponsored the Industrial Safety Forum. Its goals are to provide an industrial safety voice across ACS safety programs and to provide the chemical enterprise with a mechanism to improve enterprise-wide chemical safety under the leadership of ACS and other professional societies. This forum—in which one does not need to be a Corporation Associates member to participate—has driven the organization of upcoming national meeting symposia, such as “Managing Chemical Risk from Bench to Market,” which will be presented at the fall virtual ACS national meeting.

Corporation Associates also works with the Committee on Public Affairs and Public Relations to ensure that a corporate voice is heard in ACS policy statements with particular industrial relevance. Corporation Associates has provided input on recent statements related to energy policy, workforce immigration, chemical risk assessment and decision making, and hydraulic fracturing. The committee is currently helping to develop policy statements on competitiveness in the US business climate, science and technology in the ACS budget, and visas for academic study and scientific collaboration.

We don’t do this work in a vacuum and are appreciative of all the other committees we team up with to accomplish our common goals.

Corporation Associates supports the publication of the ACS Industry Matters Newsletter, which is published weekly by ACS Industry Member Programs as an exclusive member benefit. For ACS members who want to keep working on their skills, courses on LinkedIn Learning are now available free as an ACS member benefit.

Last, but not least, Corporation Associates supports the recognition of industrial chemists and chemistry through sponsorship of local section grants and seed grants. The local section grants provide funding for ACS local sections to organize industry-focused events. Seed grants are one-time awards for projects that further the committee’s goals. Corporation Associates also sponsors two national awards and the Heroes of Chemistry program.

The ACS Award for Creative Invention recognizes a single inventor for the successful application of research in chemistry and/or chemical engineering that contributes to the material prosperity and happiness of people.

The ACS Award for Team Innovation highlights the value of teamwork to the chemical and allied industries by recognizing a multidisciplinary team for successfully moving an innovative idea to a product now in commercial use.

The ACS Heroes of Chemistry Award recognizes industrial chemical scientists and their companies for improving human welfare through the development of successful commercial innovations and products. For this award, commercial success in the marketplace is an important criterion, emphasizing that good business results follow good science.

Corporation Associates also supports the society’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Diversity awareness matters to the entire chemistry enterprise, and the committee affirms its strong support of equal opportunity to all members and prospective members regardless of race, ethnicity, and family and economic history.

We don’t do this work in a vacuum and are appreciative of all the other committees we team up with to accomplish our common goals. We continuously strive to address the needs of our industrial members. If you have ideas or feedback, please send them to

Views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of C&EN or ACS.



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