The world of emerging materials is complicated and potentially endless. Large companies with complex product design and development, engineering, supply chain and manufacturing operations struggle to stay well-informed about the range of new technologies and their potential uses.
Defining the world of the possible
Using our structured intelligence gathering process we conducted technology forecasting and landscaping that broadened the company’s understanding of the “world of the possible” in emerging materials. After partnering with our client’s technical fellows in a series of facilitated meetings we prioritized three focus areas:
- Engineered surfaces. We mapped the landscaped new materials and processing technologies to provide enhanced surface functionalities for durable lubricity, ultra-repellency, and anti-microbial performance.
- Ceramics for medical components. We researched and characterized the state-of-the-art in structural ceramics and areas of advanced ceramics development, such as bio-ceramics and additive manufacturing.
- Nano and microparticle functionalities for future applications. We provided an instructive overview of the state of nanoparticle science; detailed nanoparticles’ fundamental properties and functionalities based on chemistry, scale, and format; and explored how nanoparticles might be engineered and applied to specific applications.
We contacted experts across the selected domains and synthesized secondary resources to explore these areas comprehensively. We also identified key materials and related technologies specific to healthcare devices and manufacturing that are being developed in other industrial sectors, and that could further strengthen the company’s competitive advantage through new technology development
Enhancing the innovation pipeline
We educated our client about the current state of targeted technologies and informed them of future trends, which inspired their thinking about strategic materials development. We did this by:
- detailing active areas of applied research and current developmental status;
- identifying technology options that hold the most potential for development in targeted applications; and
- assessing key players, companies, and research institutes with which the organization might partner in selected topical areas.
We provided our client with insights they were unable to uncover themselves due to limited resources. Our client used this information to shape their future R&D strategies and activities, prioritize strategic areas for further exploration, engage development partners, and strengthen the company’s innovation portfolio.