As someone smart once said: “It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.” Very true indeed! Flow chemistry and continuous processing are not new research fields and have been around for many decades. Only recently, organic chemists and researchers working in the area of materials science, along with process chemists in pharmaceutical manufacturing have kind of rediscovered the many benefits of continuous versus batch processing. The Journal of Flow Chemistry was founded in 2010 and launched in August of 2011 at a time when the flow chemistry community was still rather small. Significant achievements in the field have occurred since then and tremendous progress in many different sub disciplines has undoubtedly been made. Who would have thought back in 2010 that the field of flow chemistry would be as active as it is today, with practitioners ranging from organic to inorganic, polymer to materials, medicinal to analytical and process chemistry - with very significant work being performed and published both in academia and industry.
As the last issue in 2017 the Journal of Flow Chemistry is publishing a special issue containing a series of concise perspective articles on the future of flow chemistry. All 16 articles have been written by experts in their respective fields and provide not only an overview of the state-of-the-art but also address future challenges. As stated above, predicting the future is always difficult, but we hope that the readers of the Journal will enjoy the insights and opinions made by our authors. In order to reach a large and global audience all articles are and will remain open access. This is in agreement with the primary objective of the Journal of Flow Chemistry to stimulate the development and advancement of flow chemistry for the benefit and progress of the chemistry community.
At the end of this year, I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Associate Editors (Timothy Noël, Paul Watts and Thomas Wirth) for their devotion to the journal, and all members of our Editorial and International Advisory Boards, the Regional Editors, authors, referees and readers for their support and contribution to the success of the Journal of Flow Chemistry.