If the goal is to make a film that acts like 55, NOT necessarily to make an INSTANT film that acts like 55 (and the prints themselves are not what makes it so great), one needs to keep perspective.

Do people who use and love 55 think that there is really nothing that can provide comparable results? Have the other film companies really never matched or exceeded 55's capability?

"What is the best...?" questions pop up here daily. There is no such best ANYTHING in subjective interpretation.

I don't think a patent or even a list of ingredients makes something manufacturable (we would be lacking the specific processes), and what incentive do people who work 9-5 have, to research this to assist film lovers on the Internet? I don't see how the time and resources can be procured for the research on a charity basis. As Mustafa noted, people ARE available for hire, but who is going to cough up the money?

Then, how close is "close enough" in reverse chemical engineering? There are generic pharmaceuticals and cosmetic products that mimic 'name brands'. Some are functionally equivalent (speaks highly for the reverse engineering), but many have slightly different minor differences like odor, texture etc. (I'm speaking more about non-medicinal product copying).

If the goal is to make the film only, for home development, I really have to wonder whether people shooting film in formats other than 4x5 and 8x10 suffer the indignity of feeling the film they use will never be as good as Polaroid 55.

This sounds like more effort than even getting Polaroid to start making it again. At least that has a yes or no result that isn't subjective.