Thursday, February 9, 2012

Need some unsolved problems? Try these!

As part of his "New Normal" series, Paul Hodges of ICIS has, over the past two years, consistently pushed for a refocusing of the efforts of the chemical industry. In a recent blog post, he says: 
Cost must be the key criteria when examining the opportunities for new product development and research. Chapter 8 of our free 'Boom, Gloom and the New Normal' ebook examines the application of this philosophy to the 4 megatrends that we have identified as being key to the future of the chemical industry: 
• Improving water availability
• Improving food production
• Increasing life expectancy
• Reducing carbon footprint 
It suggests that the key need is to be practical. Companies should focus:
• In the fields of water/food, on reducing the amount of waste, and the output that is lost when product is moving to market
• In developing new products and services for the over 55s, on core needs such as food, water, health, shelter and mobility
• In turn, this will enable them to 'do more with less'. Carbon footprint will be reduced, and products will be more affordable
I think it will be interesting to see the success of companies that deal with these issues; Nalco is one, Monsanto another. I don't think there are companies out there that are dedicated to reducing carbon footprint (i.e. selling technology that allows people to do so.)

It's apparent to me that higher-end pharma products don't really fit well into this viewpoint. Uh-oh. 


  1. There's a company in the Twins Cities area called Segetis that bills itselfs as a "sustainable chemistry solutions" company. They develop new alternatives for chemicals such as solvents and plasticizers from sustainable sources to sub for current fossil fuel-based chemicals.

  2. The dinasaurs were the worst polluters ever. Without their stupid decomposition, we wouldn't have all of this silly oil gumming up the world.


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20