Chemistry and materials science

What are the trends of innovation in chemistry and materials science? With an overview of the challenges and opportunities affecting this industry, Supertrends can help you anticipate and monitor these trends to ensure your business always stays one step ahead.

What is changing?

In line with other major ongoing transformations impacting the industrial world, the chemistry and materials science sector continues to explore new opportunities and products that could improve standards of living and enhance the multiple industries it serves to adopt more sustainable practices, by setting the stage for contributing to the circular economy.

At the same time, the industry seeks a “new normal” to counteract the negative effects of the pandemic crisis, focusing its efforts primarily in the following three areas: 

Sustainability and circularity

The chemistry and materials industry is trying to shift to more sustainable operational and production practices. Scientific, regulatory, and consumer pressure for more sustainability and decarbonization is being brought to bear on this industry: It is the largest industrial consumer of both oil and gas and one of the largest in terms of direct CO2 emissions.

Even if carbon emissions are especially hard to abate in the chemistry sector – as it widely relies on process heat and carbon-based feedstock for production – this industry is re-thinking products that can support the sustainability goals of the different industry players distributed along the multiple value chains that it serves.

Decarbonizing chemical and materials companies could spread the benefit beyond their industry, since they provide the building blocks for many value chains. This is an important step to boost circular economies also in other industries.

 cHEMISTRY AND MATERIALS SCIENCEGraphene

Restructuring toward scalable opportunities

 cHEMISTRY AND MATERIALS SCIENCEGraphene

Chemistry and materials companies are focusing on the transformation of their product portfolios to better manage uncertainty caused by a shift in demand and commodity price volatility. Re-thinking products require the ability to anticipate, keep up and invest in higher value-added opportunities.

Asset portfolios should be transformed in the direction of strengthening the existing core products and services while expanding into new fast-growing and profitable, scalable areas; and possibly “shift” the totality of investments to the latter in the long term.

In particular, established companies should decide today how to best position themselves for growth despite continued volatility and uncertainty. This requires organizing the work with an ecosystem mindset to partner with emerging projects, make value-added M&A, and access innovation from start-ups, universities, and national labs. All of this, while understanding how to grow the competitive advantage of different industry players distributed along the multiple value chains served and the consumer preferences.

Digitalization to foster efficiency and meet customers’ demand

Although the industry has already embarked on the road to digitalization, still there is immense and relatively untapped potential for economically feasible digital tools, solutions and technologies – such as blockchain, IoT, AI and ML, and biotechnology –  that would enable the extraction of greater efficiency in processes and new product design.

In addition, advanced data analytics would also facilitate a more customer-centric approach and production optimization where it really meets demand. This can also contribute to reducing the detachment in the companies-consumer market relationships that traditionally characterizes this sector.

Innovations to keep an eye on

Chemistry and materials science - thermal battery icon

Thermal Battery

It’s a thermal energy device that, unlike other batteries, can charge and discharge at the same time and that it’s able to convert any form of electrical input into heat. It’s completely recyclable, can store renewable energy and has a longer lifetime and higher storage capacity compared to lithium-ion batteries.

It has potential for large-scale energy storage and to help eliminating the reliance on diesel generators.

materials

Advanced composites and hybrid materials

They are multi-purpose materials that offer the potential for infinite properties customization opportunities and application in numerous industries, mainly construction and automotive. 

Advanced composites and hybrid materials serve the primary purpose to increase performance, reduce costs and comply with regulations.     

materials simulation

Machine learning algorithms

Machine learning algorithms such as MAD3 (Material Data Driven Design) are computer algorithms that are fed information about the microscopic structure of a metal and then predicts data needed for simulations. It is 1,000 times faster compared to high-fidelity simulations, and doesn’t require any mechanical test.

MAD3 could shorten quality control processes in situations where materials must meet rigorous standards before being accepted for other uses.

Paint a map of the most likely future with data

We help you anticipate trends and their impact on your business and on the finance, banking, and legal sector as a whole. With our multi-data sources, we enable more informed, faster, and actionable decisions:

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Multiple API data sources are scanned with machine learning and monitored over time.

Experts

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Editorial Team

Our internal experts handle curation, quality control, and content management.

Crowdsourcing

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We help you untap the hidden potential of your organization and navigate the future with a new awareness. What innovations and technologies will continue to be developed to lower CO2 emissions especially in the chemical sector? How much will the role of materials science weigh in the future for the successful implementation of the circular economy model across industries, waste and cost reduction, and productivity gains? The answers you seek are only a step away.

We help you untap the hidden potential of your organization and navigate the future with a new awareness. What innovations and technologies will continue to be developed to lower CO2 emissions especially in the chemical sector? How much will the role of materials science weigh in the future for the successful implementation of the circular economy model across industries, waste and cost reduction, and productivity gains? The answers you seek are only a step away.

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