Many innovations in important business areas of the chemical industry, such as the automotive, construction and packaging industries, are more likely to develop step by step. Concrete examples of innovation fields are lightweight construction with polymers and composites in the automotive industry or energy-efficient building materials. These incremental innovation processes are part of the already existing business and success model of the chemical industry in Germany.
The chemical industry in Germany is well positioned to meet the future challenges in these fields of innovation. The strong industrial network in Germany, the innovative strength of the chemical industry and the particularly strong, focused and customer-oriented medium-sized companies are important success factors.
Digital business models are characterised by the fact that products and services are digitally supplemented in order to increase customer benefits. Often this is not done by a single company, but in digital networks in which different providers jointly deliver solutions for the customer. The customers are actively involved and flexibly specify their respective needs.
Examples of the linking of digital services with products in the chemical industry are:
- Digitalisation of agriculture
- Additive manufacturing (3D printing)
- E-health concepts in the health sector
The change in social values towards sustainable management and consumption requires the development of new products and business models. Chemistry can create growth potential in a circular economy, for example by supporting its customers to achieve their sustainability goals or by adding new, circular business models to its core business.
- Increasing resource efficiency in all stages of the value chain (suppliers, chemical industry, customers)
- Increasing the lifetime of products and components and reducing resource consumption in application
- Closing raw material cycles as far as possible through reuse, recycling, energy recovery or biological degradation, as well as recycling residual materials as efficiently as possible
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