The future of Chemistry Innovation

Icon FORTH Chemistry Innovation Expedition Alexander Madl

The global Chemical Industry changes rapitly. Growth happens mainly in Asia where significant production capacities moved to over the last ten years. Mergers and Aquisitions raise to a new high, with Dow – DuPont and ChemChina – Syngentia deal setting the scene. It will be very interesting to see, how the  Bayer – Monsanto – BASF triagle turns out to get settled.

Same time there are many opportunities for more innovations and new products form Chemistry. Feeding the world, transforming our economy to renewable resources, green energies (and with that energy storage) and new materials are just the most obviuos of these meta topics. The ever acceperating wheel of technology disruptions will also impact the way how innovation in Chemistry will happen. New analytcial methods will reveal us Chemists a deeper insight in the matter, cheap sensors and big data analysis tools will give us unmatched knowledge about our processes. But how about agile methods for development that are used in the IT sector for long? What about open innovation and shared data? What about different ways of thinking and interaction that might change the way we invent, develop and scale up new products?

Some companies are already top in applying these new tools, methods, ideas. Other still wait. But I think the change is inevitable. The traditional methods of chemistry innovation found their natural limit – and on a fist sight one could conclude the times of the great inventions (Teflon, Nylon, HDPE, …) is over since long. But maybe, it is just a pause, before we reach a new level in chemistry innovations, contributing our part to make the world a better place to live.