Tag Archives | innovation

Alex G Bell 2.png

Time to end the ‘tyranny of consensus’ on future growth

Human beings don’t like change, and they don’t like argument. They prefer to assume, whenever possible, that life will continue in a straight line. This preference is especially common in large companies. Change for them means having to develop new products and services, enter risky new markets, and have potentially awkward conversations with investors. But […]

Continue Reading
NiTech.png

10th ICIS Innovation Awards now launched

Innovation is the life-blood of the chemical industry. It is also a critical success factor as we transition to the New Normal. Many of today’s plants and processes are simply too old and too inefficient to remain competitive in a world of slow and volatile economic growth. Yet making the case for investment in new […]

Continue Reading

Doing More with Less – the products of the future

The global economy is moving into a difficult period, as it transitions to the New Normal. Debt levels are high, and incomes are under pressure, particularly for the large numbers of people moving into retirement. Cost must be the key criteria when examining the opportunities for new product development and research. Chapter 8 of our […]

Continue Reading
US autos Jan11.png

Unemployment hits US auto sales in 2010

As the chart shows, December’s US auto sales (orange line) were the highest monthly level since August 2009′s ‘cash for clunkers’. But it was only achieved via a massive 7% jump in purchase incentives, which were back at Q2 2009 levels of $2700/vehicle. And 2010 was still the second worst year for sales since 1982, […]

Continue Reading

The need for innovation during the downturn

The blog was recently interviewed by ICIS’ Anna Jagger at Vienna Airport, on its way back from the World Refining Conference. The conversation covered the need for companies to focus on innovation, as well as on survival, during the downturn. It also highlighted specific examples of opportunities that could be pursued today, within the context […]

Continue Reading
Forbes-Lane.JPG

Wise words from Shell, BASF and Reliance

In difficult times, the industry looks to the major companies for their advice. And they certainly provided this at our 8th European Conference (co-organised with ICIS), Shell’s Jonathan Forbes-Lane, European GM, focused on the “gale-force recession” now underway. He expected “prices to stay volatile and unpredictable because they were being pulled in opposing directions by […]

Continue Reading
Tide Basic.jpg

Procter & Gamble goes Basic

As the downturn began In July 2007, leading retailers Tesco and Wal-Mart “signalled a major shift in consumer priorities“. And Tesco added a warning that “If you don’t have the basic things right, you will be talking at the edge rather than at the centre“. 2 years later Procter & Gamble, one of the world’s […]

Continue Reading
Martin Wolf.jpg

Thought for the day

It is now generally accepted that reckless lending has helped cause the greatest collapse in the global economy since the Depression years of the 1930′s. Yet many bankers still maintain it is vital they continue to pursue “innovation” of the type that has brought about this collapse. Martin Wolf, a former EPCA speaker, makes a […]

Continue Reading
Dow right.jpg

Dow pays $78.97/share for Rohm & Haas

The blog has always had enormous respect for Dow. This was due to their ability to manage unconventional risks, in a way that other chemical companies (such as the blog’s former employer, ICI), found impossible. Even when things went wrong, they always had a Plan B, which allowed them to exit on a sensible basis. […]

Continue Reading