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The Digital Transformation of Warehousing and Logistics

Coverage Areas: Digital Transformation

Planned Publication Date: March 2020

Supply chain's across industries struggle with the fundamental issues of visibility, reliability, and agility. These challenges get further compounded due to the global spread of complex supply chains, slowdown in global economic growth, and broader sustainability goals. On top of that- customers across the board are now more demanding with regards to lead times, reverse logistics, and product customization in the era of e-commerce. Starting off with the downstream end of the supply chain, this report discusses the novel solutions digital technologies bring to warehouses and logistics that could solve the perennial issues of supply chains while also highlighting emerging players, and case studies for a deeper insight.

Electrifying Chemicals

Coverage Areas: Accelerating Materials Innovation More...

Planned Publication Date: March 2020

Electrochemical conversion is a key technology that will allow the chemical industry to decarbonize its operations by replacing fossil-based feedstock with low-carbon alternatives produced from renewable electricity. In this report, we will look at the cost of electrifying key industrial processes, including but not limited to methanol production and ammonia synthesis, as well as the regulatory framework support needed to support the adoption of electrochemical technologies in the industrial sector.

Preparing for quantum computing

Coverage Areas: Digital Transformation

Planned Publication Date: March 2020

Quantum computers promise to solve certain problems that are not addressable even by today’s high-performance computers. Previously inaccessible advantages in new product development and operational improvements are being targeted through applications like quantum chemical simulation and optimizing vehicle routes for fleets. Quantum computers are not yet advanced enough to provide advantages for business applications, but the last few years have shown it growing rapidly in innovation activity. To prepare organizations for this emerging technology, we answer why quantum computing is valuable, when it will be ready, and how interested organizations should engage.

The Digital Transformation of Chemicals

Coverage Areas: Digital Transformation

Planned Publication Date: March 2020

As digital innovations penetrate the physical industries, they threaten to upend the products, processes, value chains, and customer relationships of incumbents. In this report, we'll examine the impact of digital transformation on the chemicals industry, highlighting digital use cases in R&D, manufacturing, logistics, sales, and beyond.

The Natural Language Processing and Knowledge Management Opportunity

Coverage Areas: Digital Transformation More...

Planned Publication Date: March 2020

Organizations are built upon the exchange and synthesis of vast amounts of information from both internal and external stakeholders. However, much of this information goes uncaptured digitally and that which does often exists in unstructured formats such as emails, documents, and reports that make it difficult to process and analyze for insights. Emerging AI tools like natural language processing (NLP) offer new capabilities to automatically capture, interpret, and communicate information at a low-cost and massive scale thereby unlocking significant opportunities to improve the efficiency of processes, uncover and manage knowledge, and enable new business models. This report will lay out the landscape of NLP tools and capabilities available, analyze the new opportunities enabled by these tools, and forecast where the space is heading.

Harnessing the Power of Plant Proteins

Coverage Areas: Emerging Ecosystems in Agrifood and Health More...

Planned Publication Date: March 2020

Plant proteins are, and will continue to be, a key near-term opportunity within the realm of alternative proteins for the food industry. In the last three years, second generation proteins like peas, chickpeas, and oats have risen in dominance, signaling the diversification of plant-based protein sources beyond soy. In addition to differences in quality between protein-rich crops, the realities of agricultural production are relevant considerations, and there are further regional differences complicating the space. Companies across the agrifood ecosystem need to engage productively with plant proteins, both as competitive threats to existing animal protein businesses and as opportunities for new business growth.

How 3D Printing Software Will Accelerate the Development of 3D Printing

Coverage Areas: Accelerating Materials Innovation More...

Planned Publication Date: March 2020

In the last few years, synergies between the design software space and 3D printing have become increasingly apparent. For example, generative design software takes advantage of 3D printing’s ability to expand manufacturability and vastly enlarges the explorable design candidate space. 3D printing simulation software models the stress profile of a part, and therefore predicts part failure before physically printing it. Within the 3D printing community, we are seeing a trend of 3D printing companies developing and strengthening their software components. Several major examples include Desktop Metal’s software for generative design, Markforged’s cloud-based software for part print optimization, and Arevo’s computer-aided design (CAD) and FEA-based software for 3D printing design and simulation. In this report, we review the most relevant 3D printing software technologies and argue that the formation of a 3D printing software thread (design, simulation, manufacturing, as well as workflow management and data security) with data control through the whole process will be crucial for 3D printing at industrial scale. We expect to see more 3D printing companies either develop their own software strategies or to partner with large software companies in the near future.

Innovation in Metal-Organic Frameworks

Coverage Areas: Accelerating Materials Innovation More...

Planned Publication Date: March 2020

While metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) remain a highly academic subject, understanding of their capabilities has grown in the past several years, and synthetic methods and MOF design tools continue to improve. MOFs can be widely applicable to potential use cases in gas and liquid separations, gas storage, catalysis, battery anodes, and even food storage. This report surveys the market opportunities for MOFs and explores key players that both OEMs and chemical and materials companies need to be aware of to act on these opportunities.

Biopolymer Vision 2020

Coverage Areas: Accelerating Materials Innovation More...

Planned Publication Date: March 2020

Bio-based polymers have garnered significant interest for replacing petroleum-based incumbents, but commercial success stories have been few and far between. Has the recent rise of interest in sustainability and worries about plastic waste changed the game for biopolymers? Or are the same economic challenges going to keep biopolymers consigned to a niche unless or until oil prices skyrocket? In this report, we update partnerships and production capacity to provide a new vision of the commercial future of bio-based polymers.

In the Path of Destruction: Preparing for Global Climate Change in the Chemical Industry

Coverage Areas: Accelerating Materials Innovation More...

Planned Publication Date: March 2020

While it is tempting to ignore the intangible consequences of climate change with regards to day-to-day business in the chemical industry, climate events like tropical storm Harvey in 2018, or the Rhine droughts of 2019, have shown significant short-term impact. While it is wishful thinking that such events were improbable and isolated, climate research shows that they will only grow more frequent as global temperatures continue to rise. Disruption to chemical production and distribution will, in turn, be made worse by an increase in climate-related extreme weather events, sea-level rise, temperature change, and drought over the next 50 years. Companies in the industry should be evaluating how their business will be impacted and prepare adaptation strategies to mitigate risk both in the short- and long-term. The current report assesses the industry's exposure to climate threats based on geographic location, production processes employed, and supply chain factors, and offers solutions for companies to build resilience and maintain a long-term competitive advantage.