the past century the chemical industry has been marked by
transformations related to product and process innovations, the
evolution of global markets, and the expansion of regulatory mandates.
Today, the chemical industry faces a unique set of challenges from the
rapid emergence of new fields and the maturing of existing methods for
manufacturing. Based on findings from the first annual CHF–SCI
Innovation Day, which explored frontier areas for industrial chemistry,
this white paper argues that the industry’s future lies in exploring
diverse areas for research and development (R&D) rather than a
narrow focus. As core inventors and manufacturers of the material basis
of modern life, chemical firms are uniquely positioned to avoid waves
of creative destruction prevalent in other sectors. By reinvigorating
R&D, developing new markets, and engaging the public in a new
dialogue about the risks and rewards of emerging technology, chemical
firms can promote a new wave of innovation and rejuvenate the industry.This is the first in a series of white papers to be produced by CHF’s Center for Contemporary History and Policy.