Global Chemistry Market Analysis and Reports | UK Conference Series

Market Analysis - Global Chemistry 2017

Chemistry is the bedrock of manufacturing. Strong competitive chemical industries underpin all great manufacturing nations in the developed world because chemicals and materials are the essential component on which manufacturing is built. By 2030, the world population will be 8.3 billion, 60% of the world’s population will live in urban areas, and there will be 2 billion cars on the road and 50% more primary energy needed. These huge challenges cannot be met without embracing the chemical and chemistry using industries. The UK’s industrial recovery and growth, and our nation’s ability to respond to these challenges depend on nurturing and sustaining a differentiated chemical industry. The success of all the UK’s established growth sectors – including aerospace, agritech, automotive and life sciences – will be dependent on chemistry, often delivered through competitive supply chains with SMEs at the heart in providing essential manufacturing, service and design links. The global economic downturn has severely impacted the chemical and chemistry-using companies in the UK like many others across manufacturing. However, with the right leadership and the appropriate support from Government, these businesses have a crucial role to play as a strong innovation and growth driver for the economy. Failure to act cohesively now will result in risking a huge opportunity loss. Although Government already has an array of initiatives and investments that will contribute to a successful outcome, much needs to be done if UK chemistry is to deliver its full potential for economic growth and ‘greening’ the economy. Larger  parts of our industry need to become more globally competitive and the fragmentation within and across industries needs to be more nationally cohesive. In this respect, it is essential that the industry builds on existing infrastructure and integration to remain globally competitive. Special attention is also needed to address the national skills deficit in the natural and engineering sciences. As the facts and figures in this report set out, despite the downturn in the global economy, chemical producers and users in the UK remain very strong and valuable contributors to the national economy and to society. Recognizing that great progress has already been made in the development of a national industrial strategy and more balanced vision of the future, the Chemistry Growth Strategy Introduction Group was formed by business leaders to make a difference. We believe that it is possible to do more. Consideration of the current landscape and several scenarios for the future led to clear consensus on our priorities and recommendations. We believe that the interests of the nation can best be served by the formation of a Chemistry Growth Partnership for the UK, to take these forward. Leading manufacturers and users of chemicals will work with Government to deliver a manufacturing renaissance. We present the strategy here, and look forward to delivering chemistry-enabled growth for the UK.



The UK needs chemical and chemistry using businesses. The entire UK manufacturing sector relies on chemistry to generate £600 billion of annual aggregate sales to the economy. The chemical sector itself has an annual turnover of £60 billion, sustains 500,000 jobs throughout the country and is consistently the UK’s biggest manufacturing contributor to the national balance of payments, posting an annual £5 billion trade surplus. Despite these impressive statistics, our industry faces  some fundamental challenges if it is to prosper and grow. Responding to these challenges, the Chemistry Growth Strategy Group (CGSG) was formed to identify priorities and recommendations that will accelerate national economic growth. This group of senior industrialists has consulted and collaborated with many key stakeholders leading to a collective vision:

‘By 2030, the UK chemical industry will have further reinforced its position as the country’s leading manufacturing exporter and enabled the chemistry using industries to increase their Gross Value Added contribution to the UK economy by 50%, from £195 billion to £300 billion. Secure and competitive energy and feedstock, accelerated innovation and strengthened supply chains will be critical in realizing this vision.’



UK chemistry’s vital contribution

The UK economy today depends heavily on its chemistry-related strengths. These include an abundance of natural gas, including potential for local unconventional gas; a world-class science and innovation base; superior product formulation and marketing skills, and skills in difficult and complex process technologies; and more. Chemistry-using industries currently generate over £600 billion of sales and £195 billion in gross value added (GVA) from UK-manufactured output.2 Chemical and pharmaceutical companies are the nation’s top manufacturing exporters, and among the top ten in the world, with a £6 billion trade surplus: GlaxoSmithKline alone exported £2.3 billion worth of pharma products from the UK in 2010, and spends more than £40 million a year on chemicals from UK supply chains. In fact, for any industrial sector with a manufacturing component, chemistry is vital. In the UK, these sectors include aerospace, automotive, construction, energy generation and supply, life sciences, consumer products and chemicals manufacturing – identified in 2010 by UK Government as priorities for growth. Of the eight great technologies that the Government is funding to propel the UK to growth, six are chemistry based.

Major Associations and Societies

Italian Chemical Society

European Society for Separation Science

The Chromatographic Society 

Swedish Mass Spectrometry Society

British Mass Spectroscopic Society

The Israeli Society for Mass Spectrometry – ISMS

American Association for Clinical Chemistry

American Chemical Society

American Institute of Chemists (AIC)

American Society of Brewing Chemists

American Society for Mass Spectrometry

Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

Swedish Chemical Society

New Swiss Chemical Society