The increasing importance of new materials will bring significant change to the industry. For instance, the effective creation, production and delivery of new materials will require the reshaping and reinvention of value chains, moving a larger amount of development and marketing closer to end customers to drive and accelerate innovation.
In addition, the growing importance of sustainability and circularity will create opportunities for companies to adopt evolving business models that use new materials to enable more reuse, recycling, energy recovery and carbon utilization. (Figure 2) For example, flexible solar panels and perovskite solar cells that are twice as efficient as traditional solar cells could lead to the increased use of renewable energy. And wooden “mass timber” skyscrapers provide structural stability and reduce buildings’ need for cement, a material with relatively high greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Overall, these value chain shifts help set a new performance frontier, providing another avenue for competition and growth.
Figure 2: Reshaping value chains for new materials