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Digital innovation in chemicals

The World Economic Forum and Accenture share three ways that digital is revolutionizing the chemistry and advanced materials industry.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) launched the Digital Transformation of Industries initiative in 2015. The goal of this multi-year project is to generate insights into how digital technologies are changing industries, how they blur the lines between industries and how these transformations impact the wider society. These insights can help industry leaders better understand digital transformation––its risks and opportunities––and identify changes needed for business models.

Working together, WEF and Accenture recently published an article that highlights three ways in which digital innovation is revolutionizing the chemistry and advanced materials industry.

  • First, a new era of materials discovery is characterized by intense collaboration among companies. The idea is to unleash the power of data to enhance creativity and performance across the ecosystem.

  • Second, the enterprise is being digitized with mobile knowledge management tools. For example, remote eyewear can transmit data to a central team, which can support the field technician in real time.

  • Lastly, there is a paradigm shift to “go beyond the molecule.” Meaning, new business models are moving the industry from selling chemicals to selling outcomes to customers. Data analytics are already powering this change.

Digitalization presents a huge opportunity for the chemistry and advanced materials industry. But WEF and Accenture note that the value of digital transformation cannot be guaranteed. The digital transformation of any industry requires resourcefulness, creativity and a willingness to accept rapid change to unlock the full value of digital.

Read the article in its entirety on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda page, and look for the full report to be published later this year.

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