Market Snapshot: Coatings & Corrosion Inhibitors

The National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) was established in 1943 by eleven corrosion engineers from the pipeline industry, and now serves nearly 36,000 members in over 130 countries. In its comprehensive 2016International Measures of Prevention, Application and Economics of Corrosion Technology (IMPACT) study, NACE estimates the global cost of corrosion to be $2.5 trillion, equivalent to roughly 3.4 percent of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The study found that implementing corrosion prevention best practices could result in global savings of between 15-35% of the cost of damage, or between $375-875 billion.

As noted in the IMPACT study, corrosion presents a costly challenge across many industry verticals, including: Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, Energy, Marine, and more. MarketsandMarkets reports that the global anti-corrosion coating market was estimated to be worth $24.84 Billion in 2017 and is projected to reach $31.73 Billion by 2022, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.0% from 2017 to 2022. BCC Research provides a comparative market sizing analysis, estimating that the global market for anti-corrosion coatings should reach $31.0 Billion by 2022 from $23.3 billion in 2017 at a CAGR of 5.9%, from 2017 to 2022. From a regional perspective, analysts forecast that the Asia-Pacific market for anti-corrosion coatings is expected to grow the most quickly, from $13.9 billion in 2017 to $18.8 billion in 2022 at a CAGR of 6.2%, whereas the North American market for anti-corrosion coatings is expected to grow from $3.1 billion in 2017 to $4.2 billion in 2022 at a CAGR of 5.8% during the same period. Frost & Sullivan also sheds light on the growth of this market in the Asia-Pacific region, and credits the infrastructure boom and rising urbanization as drivers in this space. Furthermore, end-user industries such as water and wastewater, manufacturing and commercial architecture are growing quickly in this region.

Growth within the global market is broadly attributed to rising losses due to corrosion coupled with the growth of end-use industries such as power generation and automotive & transportation. The power generation segment is anticipated to be the fastest-growing end-use industry within the global anti-corrosion coating market due to the rise in demand for harnessing renewable energy sources and the corrosive nature of industrial equipment. Given the potential costs of corrosion, investments are being made in corrosion monitoring and mitigation. MarketsandMarkets reports that the global corrosion monitoring market is expected to reach $297.8 Million by 2021, at a CAGR of 9.1% between 2016 and 2021 with the oil & gas segment making up the majority of this market.

In terms of firms working in this space, AkzoNobel N.V. (Netherlands), PPG Industries, Inc. (US), Axalta Coating Systems Ltd. (US), BASF SE (Germany), The Sherwin-Williams Company (US), Ashland Inc. (US), Hempel A/S (Denmark), Jotun (Norway), RPM International Inc. (US), and Kansai Paint Co., Ltd. (Japan) are all seen as major players in the development and production of anti-corrosion coatings and mitigation methods.

Looking for more? Registration is open for Corrosion 2020 taking place March 15-19, 2020.

Posted on October 23, 2019 by Eliza Gough

Market Snapshot: Point-of-Care Testing

The effective management and control of infectious diseases presents a critical challenge for healthcare workers and officials across the globe. Fortunately, advances in the development and adoption of point-of-care testing (POCT) solutions may provide solutions to this challenge by quickly identify infectious diseases and providing actionable information to improve disease management. What sets these tests apart is that they may be utilized in especially in resource-limited settings using POC molecular diagnostics tools, including portable device and assays. These tool kits may be used by healthcare professionals to detect and diagnose diseases in human samples such as serum, blood, throat swab, and stool.

There are two main types of POCT, immunoassay-based tests and molecular tests. The immunoassay tests detect analytes extracted from a potentially infected patient, and then assessed for microbial antigens and host antibodies. Molecular POCT are polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based tests which have a higher sensitivity and specificity compared to immunoassay tests or rapid antigen detection tests (RADT).  MarketsandMarkets reports that the global point of care molecular diagnostics market was valued at $632.5 million in 2017 and is projected to reach $1,440.2 million in 2023, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.7%. However, the molecular diagnostics segment only makes up 20% of the infectious disease POCT market in the United States. Despite this small percentage, North America is expected to account for the largest share of the global POC molecular diagnostics market. This is attributed to the growing prevalence of infectious diseases, increasing number of CLIA product approvals, and rising government initiatives – however, Asia Pacific is expected to grow at highest CAGR.

Frost & Sullivan provides extensive coverage on these markets and reports that near-patient testing may provide more accurate results than when patient samples have to be transported to laboratories, mistakes carried out during sample handling prior to testing can lead to a 32-75% margin of error, which can cost anywhere from $200 to $2000 per incident. Furthermore, the molecular POC tests have clinically proven better sensitivity and specificity (>95% on an average). The following are identified as major growth areas in this market:

  • New multiplexing ecosystems able to test for multiple infectious diseases
  • Smartphone-based POCT
  • Biochip Array Technology (BAT)
  • Lab-in-a-Drop
  • Host Biomarkers
  • Paper-based Assays (PBA)
  • Portable Molecular Diagnostics (MDx)

Frost & Sullivan recently published its analysis, Global Medical Technologies Industry Predictions, 2019 covering 20 growth opportunities forecasting the longer-term growth opportunity to be $173.06 billion by 2024, with a CAGR of 22.0%. This analysis includes smartphone-based solutions, as they present a $2.11 billion opportunity by 2020, which is attributed to enabling technologies such as AI, machine learning, AR/VR, Internet of Things (IoT), and big data analytics, coupled with existing smartphone tools like cameras and external sensors, which are seen as transforming smartphones into powerful and cost-effective diagnostic tools.

The key players in the global Point of care molecular diagnostics market are, Roche Diagnostics (Switzerland), Biomerieux (France), Danaher (US), Abbott Laboratories (US), Quidel (US) and Meridian Bioscience (US). Tin terms of growth strategies, these players focus on organic strategies such as product launches and approvals to sustain their growth in the POC molecular diagnostics market. For example, Abbott has been partnering with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and researchers from the Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in Traumatic Brain Injury (TRACK-TBI) Network to take POCT beyond infection diseases to evaluate the effectiveness of Abbott’s developing POCT designed to help clinicians assess brain injuries within minutes, using only a few drops of a patient’s blood.

Posted on October 8, 2019 by Eliza Gough

Market Snapshot: Radiation Monitoring & Detection

What do earthquakes in Japan, cancer diagnostics, and arms security have to do with each other?

Radiation monitoring and detection devices are part of an evolving social, political, and technological landscape related to shifts within the energy, medical, defense, and security verticals. The breadth of these verticals presents interesting challenges and opportunities when looking for both solutions and opportunities within the radiation monitoring and detection market.


As studied and reported by MarketsandMarkets, the global radiation detection, monitoring, and safety market was valued at $1.65 Billion in 2016 and is projected to reach $2.26 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 5.7%. The key factors driving the growth of this market are growing security threats, growing prevalence of cancer worldwide, increasing safety awareness among people working in radiation-prone environments, growing safety concerns post the Fukushima disaster, growing security budgets of global sporting events, growth in the number of PET/CT scans, increasing usage of nuclear medicine and radiation therapy for diagnosis and treatment, and use of drones for radiation monitoring. In terms of the detection and monitoring products used in this market, gas-filled detectors accounted for the largest market share, which is attributed to their ease of use, durability, portability, and cost.


In 2017, the healthcare segment accounted for the largest share of the global radiation detection, monitoring, and safety market, due to the growth in the number of PET/CT scans and increasing usage of nuclear medicine and radiation therapy for diagnosis and treatment, increasing research activities, and growing incidence of cancer. However, the homeland security & defense segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR from 2017 to 2022, which is attributed to the increased spending on internal security and military expenditure. Nuclear energy alternatives such as renewable energy, shortage of nuclear power workforce, and nuclear power phase-out are expected to restrain the growth of this market during the forecast period to a certain extent.


The leading industry players in this market include: Thermo Fisher Scientific (US), Mirion Technologies (US), and Landauer (US). Other major players include Arktis Radiation Detectors (Switzerland), Radiation Detection Company (US), Ludlum Measurements (US), Fuji Electric (Japan), Arrow-Tech (US), Ametek (US), and Nuclear Control Systems (UK).


Within the government space, security treats appear to propel interest and investment in radiation monitoring and detection. For example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Radiation and Nuclear Countermeasures Program (RNCP) works on the development of medical countermeasures to mitigate/treat radiation injuries.  Furthermore, the Institutes work on radiation monitoring and detection focused on worker and patient safety. While working from a different vantage point, the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office focused on implementing domestic nuclear detection efforts in response to radiological and nuclear threats, as well as integration of federal nuclear forensics programs. Additionally, DNDO coordinates the development of the global nuclear detection and reporting architecture, with partners from federal, state, local, and international governments and the private sector. The Department of Energy (DOE) also plays many different roles, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is the technical leader in responding to and resolving nuclear and radiological threats across the globe; the Office of Nuclear Smuggling Detection and Deterrence (NSDD) works with international partners to strengthen capabilities to deter, detect, and investigate the smuggling of nuclear and radiological materials, and many of the national labs are working on technology development efforts. For example, technologies developed at PNNL were the first to detect radioactive isotopes entering the continental U.S. following their release from the Fukushima nuclear reactors in northern Japan.

Posted on September 24, 2019 by Eliza Gough

Market Snapshot: Smart Cities

How smart is your city? While this may seem like a subjective question, it is now a question that may be answered on a global scale. Increasing urbanization has given rise to smart cities, which are cities that utilize Internet of Things (IOT) sensors and technology to connect components across a city to gather data and improve the lives of both citizens and visitors. Smart cities are designed and conceptualized to provide improved sustainability and livability by improving traffic and saving energy. Just in case you were curious to see how smart your city is, the IESE Cities in Motion Index provides a global ranking with London garnering the top spot in 2019, and New York City placing highest among U.S. cities.


On a global scale, MarketsandMarkets reports that the smart cities market is expected to grow from $308.0 billion in 2018 to $717.2 billion by 2023, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18.4%. This growth is attributed to the increasing demand for public safety, rising urban population, and growing government initiatives. Within the smart cities market, smart transportation, which works to enhance existing and new transport infrastructural projects, is expected to be the largest market segment by market size. However, the smart citizen services segment it forecast to grow at the largest CAGR. From a regional perspective, North America held the highest share in the market in 2016, based on the growing adoption rate of smart technologies in the region. BCC Research reports that the North American smart city market should reach $419 billion by 2023 from $196.5 billion in 2018 at a CAGR of 16.3%. However, this domination is expected to be surpassed by the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, due to increasing government initiatives. In APAC, China is expected to lead in the region, as the country is intensifying efforts to transform its 500 cities into smart cities, and has already begun smart city pilot projects.


Within the global smart cities market, the key and emerging market players include Cisco Systems (US), IBM (US), Siemens AG (Germany), Schneider Electric (France), Ericsson (Sweden), Vodafone (UK), Itron Inc. (US), Verizon (US), Telensa (England), ABB (Switzerland), Honeywell International Inc. (US), SAP SE (Germany), KAPSCH Group (Austria), and AGT International (Switzerland). Analysts report that these leading players have adopted organic and inorganic strategies, including product launches, acquisitions, business expansions, and partnerships, to expand their business reach and drive their business revenues. Moreover, various smart cities solution providers are utilizing venture capital funding, funding through Initial Coin Offering (ICO), new product launches, acquisitions, and partnerships and collaborations, to increase their presence in the global market.


Frost & Sullivan coverage of this market reports that the need for smarter solutions and energy-efficient living will drive and foster growth, and be measured on the level of intelligence and integration of infrastructure that connects the healthcare, energy, building, transportation, and governance sectors. Furthermore, Frost & Sullivan sees smart cities as a driving force in the development and adoption of autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles. For example, efficient and safe mobility is at the heart of any smart city, and several vehicle safety technologies such as Predictive Traffic Time, Automated Parking, Vehicle-to-Pedestrian Communication, Connected Traffic Light Information, and Virtual Cockpit have the potential to help smart cities and their inhabitants achieve safe, effective and affordable transport solutions.

Posted on September 10, 2019 by Eliza Gough

Has your organization’s Invention Machine stalled?

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Unhappy with the lack of inventions coming out of your R&D expenditures?  What to do next can be a complex issue.  Depending on the importance of inventions driving current and future business, re-starting the Invention Machine can be table stakes for many organizations and or careers.

Re-starting the Invention Machine within your organization can involve numerous challenges. We’ll explore a few popular choices for creating positive change in this blog post.  Check back as we will likely revisit this popular topic with additional thoughts and posts in the future.  Future reader comments are another excellent supplement to the original blog.

Often, management believes it is a leadership challenge.  Changing leadership tends to send a signal to the rank and file.  Unfortunately, often the message that each person hears isn’t the same message. This can lead to unclear objectives, actions, and sometimes fear.

Fear, when channeled, can be a motivator.  Imagine a new R&D leader coming into a role where the organization inventive pipeline has dried up.  A leadership mandate that he/she expects at least one inventive idea per: [group, employee, project, $1 million spend, etc.] can re-start inventive reporting.  This is useful, even if it is just to remind people about the reporting process and a refresher on how to execute the steps required.  It isn’t necessarily tied to great inventions as people will tend to report anything/everything to stay off the radar.

Fear is not a long-term solution, but rather a way to prime the pump for a re-start.  Motivation is the key to sustainable success to keep the Invention Machine churning.  People inherently are happier when they are contributing so it is important to develop a culture where they can contribute easily and then see the positive impact on them personally.

  • Does your organization push technology boundaries?
  • Do you “punish” risk takers when they aren’t successful?
  • Do you celebrate success?
  • What other aspects of your organization either impede or positively contribute to a culture where inventive attitudes flourish?

Imagine the shift in perspectives when that same new R&D leader who shifts from “I expect new ideas from everyone,” to “I will tangibly reward people who contribute inventions.”  This could take many forms including performance appraisals, promotions, recognition, restricted stock grants etc.

Other aspects of the culture change should be aimed at making the reporting process less cumbersome.

  • Do you have a defined process?
  • Is it simple and flexible?
  • Have employees been trained?

If you said “no” to any of these, it will be more difficult to achieve motivation goals.

Motivation can also be influenced by recognition and or reward programs.   Organizations who pride themselves on the number of annual patents (IBM is one example) give a great deal of weight to financial reward for patented inventions.  Recognition programs structured with some financial and other non-financial rewards are also prevalent though out most industries. A well-thought-out program usually recognizes new inventors and frequent contributors differently to provide proper stimulus for continued motivation.

Often the status quo is in the way of progress. Complacency, lack of time or direction, or a desire not to perturb the troops can inhibit change.  However, done properly change will improve morale (along with getting the Invention Machine supercharged).

Albert Einstein once said, “no problem can be solved from the same state of consciousness that created it.”  The Dawnbreaker team can help organizations struggling with these issues by providing a fresh and objective perspective. We have a data-driven process to identify critical change drivers that will be most effective within an organization. Contact us to kick off a discussion on jumpstarting your Invention Machine!

Posted December 17, 2018 by Jenny Servo, P.H. D 

Delays in the Release of the DOE SBIR Funding Opportunity Announcement can be a Bonus!

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been frustrated by the delay in the release of the Department of Energy (DOE) SBIR Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). Your plan was to have as much time as possible to prepare a responsive proposal – so you signed up on the DOE Mailing List to be notified as soon as the topics were released. Well, the topics were released six weeks ago – but now the FOA for the FY19 Phase I Release 2 is delayed and the holiday season is almost upon us. But, don’t be alarmed. If you know what to do – this delay can really be to your benefit.

There’s a lot of excellent work that you can do between the release of the topics and the FOA.  With the right tools at your disposal, you can readily create a compelling Letter of Intent and get started with your planning – even in the absence of the current Funding Opportunity Announcement. So, let’s get started.  Download the Topics from the DOE SBIR FOA website, check out the Applicant Resources page and become familiar with the DOE SBIR/STTR Phase I Proposal Preparation site. We’ll walk through how to use these tools right now in this blog post. When we’re done you’ll know exactly how to make the best use of the time that you have available. Ready? Let’s dive in.

Five Steps to take advantage of the FOA delay

  • Download and Review the Topics document

DOE is one of the few agencies that releases its topics BEFORE the Funding Opportunity Announcement. Most agencies do it concurrently. However, irrespective of when a solicitation is released, it is always the topics that are the most important element of a solicitation. After all, your proposal is going to explain how you can meet the agency’s needs as expressed in the Topics. So spend time now reviewing the topics and making sure that you understand what the agency wants and whether or not you can deliver a solution. Often companies are more concerned about receiving funding to conduct research of interest to them…BUT in order to be responsive, you must understand what the agency is looking for and determine if you have the ability to deliver a solution. Learn how other successful companies have done this.

  • Check out the Webinar Topics Recordings

To make it easier for potential applicants to gain further insight into the topics, DOE also has a series of webinars, where the topic managers talk about their interests related to that topic. Although the recordings are usually two hours long, you can simply advance to the 3-5 minute section where the topic of interest to you is discussed. Check out the current webinars for Release 2. Often there is additional insight gleaned from listening to this presentation.

  • If you have more questions, contact the Topic Manager

Topic Managers names and email addresses are listed in the Topics document under each Topic and Subtopic. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the topic manager if you need further clarification regarding a topic. In order to provide a responsive proposal to a topic, it must truly fit with what they are looking for. Often small businesses are apprehensive about reaching out to someone in the federal government and don’t know how to handle themselves in this interaction. To help with this please see the Tutorial entitled “Should I Talk to the Topic Managers?”. Be sure to download the email template in the Tools section.

  • Start preparing the Letter of Intent (LOI)…… it’s not really a Letter…

One of the first things that you will have to prepare and submit to DOE is called a Letter of Intent(LOI). It is a very important document – in fact, if you do not submit the LOI on time, you will not be able to submit a proposal to DOE. Here’s the good thing – you don’t need to wait until the FOA is released before starting to work on the LOI.  DOE has already posted guidelines for the Letter of Intent on the Applicant Resources page. To see these guidelines, navigate to the section called “Preparing and Submitting a Phase I Letter of Intent” and download the guidelines AND the example. Also listen to the Tutorial on How to Prepare a Letter of Intent and download the template to serve as a guide.

  • Last, but not least register for the Portfolio Analysis and Management System (PAMS)

In order to submit the Letter of Intent to the Department of Energy, you must have registered for PAMS. You can access guidelines on how to register with PAMS on the Applicant Resources page – see the Quicklinks right at the top of the page. Also check out the various demos associated with the Tutorial “What are the Required Registrations?” So, do this now…all before the FOA is released.

Follow these five steps now, BEFORE the FOA is released and you will make great strides towards preparing a responsive application to the DOE SBIR Funding Opportunity Announcement. Don’t wait to do this – do this now! Use the delay in the release of the FOA as a bonus – giving you more time to understand the topic, register for PAMS, and prepare one or more compelling LOI.

Posted December 11, 2018 by Jenny Servo, PH.D

Government Accountability Office Reports on the Need for Additional Actions to Improve the Out-Licensing Processes for Federal Laboratory Patents


Multiple laws and regulations have directed federal agencies and laboratories to encourage commercial use of their inventions through many channels, including out-licensing patents to private sector companies that aim to commercialize products or services developed from the patented technology.[1]  However,  a 2013 Office of Science and Technology Policy report raised concerns that only a small portion of the inventions arising from government research have been commercialized by the private sector, and that the United States is potentially missing critical opportunities to improve the nation’s standard of living, create new jobs, maintain international competitiveness, and enhance the overall economy, among other things.[2]  In light of this report and others, Congress requested that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) “review agency practices for managing intellectual property developed at federal labs, with a particular focus on the licensing of patented inventions to non-federal parties.“[3]

For the purposes of this report, the GAO focused on the four federal agencies with the largest research and development (R&D) budgets – the Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Energy (DOE),  National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and, the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  Together, these agencies account for more than 90% of total federal R&D spending.   The review and resulting report “examined, for DOD, DOE, NASA, and NIH and their labs, (1) the challenges that federal labs face in patent licensing, steps taken to address those challenges, and the extent to which NIST has reported them and (2) the extent to which federal agencies and labs have information on processes, goals, and comparable licenses to guide establishing patent license financial terms.”[4] The performance audit lasted from June 2016 through June 2018.


GAO reviewed relevant literature, laws, and agency documents, including patent licenses from DoD, DOE, NASA and NIH, through 2014. They interviewed agency officials from these organizations as well as nine of their laboratories.  GAO also interviewed external stakeholders including academic researchers, partnership intermediaries, industry representatives, professional trade organizations and universities.[5]


The results of the GAO’s review of state of federal agency patent licensing efficacy is summarized below:[6]

  • Ensuring that researchers identify and disclose inventions is a government-wide challenge.
  • DOE, DOD, NASA, and NIH documentation does not consistently link establishing financial terms in patent licenses to the statutory goal of promoting commercial use.
  • Federal labs have varying amounts of information on comparable government licenses when establishing financial terms. However, there is no formal sharing of information on financial terms in patent licenses among federal labs.
  • To establish financial terms, DOD, DOE, NASA, and NIH labs rely on the expertise of their technology transfer staff and take a number of steps to build and share expertise but had limited documentation of their processes for establishing the financial terms of patent licenses.


GAO made seven recommendations to improve the out-licensing process of federal patents for commercialization by private industry.  They are:[7]

  • The Secretary of Commerce should instruct NIST to fully report the range of challenges in federal patent licensing, such as those outlined in this report, by, for example, leveraging its survey of practices at federal technology transfer offices, past FLC studies, and agency reports and including that information in its summary reports to Congress. (Recommendation 1) 
  • The Secretary of Commerce should instruct NIST to clarify the link between establishing patent license financial terms and the goal of promoting commercial use, through appropriate means, such as the upcoming rule-making process and updating relevant guidance. (Recommendation 2)
  • The Secretary of Commerce should instruct NIST to facilitate formal information sharing among the agencies to provide federal labs with information on financial terms in comparable patent licenses, as appropriate. (Recommendation 3)
  • The Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Energy, Administrator of NASA and the Director of the NIH should ensure that their respective agencies or its labs document processes for establishing license financial terms, while maintaining flexibility to tailor the specific financial terms of each license. (Recommendations 4 – 7)


The Secretary of Commerce agreed to implement Recommendations 1 – 3.  The Secretary of Defense agreed to implement Recommendation 4.  The Secretary of Energy agreed to implement Recommendation 5.  The Director of the NIH agreed to implement Recommendation 7.  The Administrator of NASA only partially agreed to implement Recommendation 6, noting the “complexity and nuances associated with negotiating licensing agreements, such as understanding the market for the technology and the risk involved” would make standardizing procedures difficult.[8]

Note, the entire report, entitled  Federal Research – Additional Actions Needed to Improve Licensing of Patented Laboratory Inventions (GAO-18-327) can be found at

[1] These include the Stevenson-Wydler Act of 1980, the Bayh Dole Act of 1980 and the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986

[2] 3White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Institutes of Health, White House Lab-to-Market Inter-Agency Summit: Recommendations from the National Expert Panel (Washington, D.C.: May 20, 2013).

[3]General Accountability Office, Federal Research, Additional Actions Needed to Improve Licensing of Patented Laboratory Inventions – GAO-18-327, page 4, June 2018.

[4] General Accountability Office, page 4.

[5] ibid, page 5.

[6] Ibid, pages 33 and 34

[7] Ibid, pages 34 and 34

[8] Ibid. page 36

Posted December 11, 2018 by Rich Smerbeck

Market Snapshot: Growth Trends in Plastics Development and Recycling

The tagline, “plastics make it possible,” has been commonplace for years. However, recently, the environmental impact of these products has begun to garner negative attention. Despite being commonly defined as one material, there are many different types of plastics, each with different properties and uses. These are typically divided into four main categories: thermoplastics, thermosets, engineering plastics, and plastic fibers. Despite the ubiquity of plastics in our lives today, only about 2% of plastics like bottles are recycled into the same or similar-quality applications.  Given the gaps in recycling, and the potential impact of these trends, research is being carried out in a variety of related areas, including Designing Plastics for a Circular Carbon Economy and Reimagining Plastic Degradation for Upcycling. Continue reading “Market Snapshot: Growth Trends in Plastics Development and Recycling”

Market Snapshot: Bionic Devices & Exoskeletons

Exoskeletons might first make you think about insects, or sci-fi, but practically speaking, they offer a great deal of potential for added protection, off-loading, extended endurance and increased mobility. While most exoskeletons contain rigid elements that can restrict natural movement, non-rigid approaches exist, but must still be strapped to the body. In most cases, the weight of the exoskeleton is borne by the wearer through the body interfaces, therefore, these systems have the potential to increase the risk for injury unless some key questions are addressed. In nature there are many examples of creatures with both a hard protective exoskeletons as well as softer, hair-based and flexible exoskeletons. Some animals have both an endoskeleton and an exoskeleton, but in all cases, there is an interface between the “harder” protective portion and the “softer” fleshy portion of the animal. The design of these types of creatures offer biomimetic and bio-inspired approaches toward an effective human-exoskeleton interface. An effective interface is one that considers natural human movement, minimizes the forces exerted on or carried by the body and results in negligible long-term injury to the wearer.

According to BCC Research, the global market for bionic devices, which includes exoskeletons, limbs and appendages (e.g., hands, feet, fingers), hearts, ears, and eyes, reached $2.8 billion and $3.2 billion in 2015 and 2016 respectively. The market should reach $6.4 billion by 2021, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.2% from 2016 to 2021; and $12.1 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 13.6% from 2021 to 2026. In terms of these segments, the bionics market for sensory devices reached $1.7 billion in 2016. The market should reach $4.1 billion by 2021, growing at a CAGR of 18.9% from 2016 to 2021; and $8.4 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 15.1% from 2021 to 2026. The bionics market for limbs and exoskeleton reached $297 million in 2016. The market should reach $550 million by 2021, growing at a CAGR of 13.1% from 2016 to 2021; and $1.1 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 15.3% from 2021 to 2026. While some bionic devices are commercially available at present, the real market for bionics is long-term. The report therefore will focus mainly on identifying bionic technologies that are under development and the conditions that will determine which ones reach the market and the quantities that could potentially be sold. Given the long-term nature of the market, the report has a 10-year time frame (i.e., 2016 to 2026).

MarketsandMarketsreports that the exoskeleton market is expected to grow from $299.8 million in 2017 to $2,810.5 million by 2023, at a CAGR of 45.2% between 2017 and 2023. The market is mainly driven by the factors such as the growing demand from healthcare sector for robotic rehabilitation, advancements in robotic technologies, and huge investments for the development of exoskeleton technology. The healthcare vertical is already a major consumer of mobile exoskeletons, and because of its added advantages, these exoskeletons can also find applications in several new verticals, such as defense, sports and fitness, and search and rescue. Regionally, the Americas accounted for the largest share of the overall exoskeleton market in 2016. The Americas, being the early adopter of exoskeletons for all major verticals such as healthcare, industrial, and defense and a home to some well-known players in the exoskeleton market, has the maximum demand for exoskeletons.

In terms of the medical exoskeleton market, MarketsandMarkets reports that it is projected to reach USD 571.6 million by 2023 from USD 85.7 million in 2017, at a CAGR of 37.4% during the forecast period. The base year considered for the study is 2017 and the forecast period is from 2018 to 2023. MnM attributes this growth to factors such as an increasing number of people with physical disabilities and subsequent growth in the demand for effective rehabilitation approaches and increasing insurance coverage for medical exoskeletons in several countries. The key players in the exoskeleton market are Bionik Laboratories (Canada), B-Temia (Canada), CYBERDYNE (Japan), Ekso Bionics (US), Focal Meditech (Netherlands), DIH Technologies (China), Hyundai Motor (South Korea), Lockheed Martin (US), Meditouch (Israel), Ottobock (Germany), ReWalk Robotics (Israel), Exhauss (France), Fourier Intelligence (China), GOGOA Mobility Robots (Spain), P&S Mechanics (South Korea), suitX (US), ATOUN (Japan), Daiya Industry Co. (Japan), Honda Motor (Japan), MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES (Japan), PARKER HANNIFIN (US), Rex Bionics (New Zealand), Gobio Robot (France), Myomo (US), and Wandercraft (France). All these companies have robust R&D facilities and extensive sales offices and distribution channels. The products of these companies can be used across verticals for various applications.

Frost & Sullivan notes that one potential end-use area for exoskeletons is in factory environments, which may be characterized by increased worker absenteeism arising from post-related injuries resulting in Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD). This in turn impacts the factory floor, in terms of increased costs arising from unsuitable factory environment, poor productivity and low-quality finished goods. The exoskeleton technology has evolved over the years from an external cover to potential industrial applications given that it has the ability to empower individuals, improve ergonomics and provide safety to factory workers.

Given the potential applicability of exoskeletons to a variety of verticals ranging from industry to defense, numerous Federal agencies have shown interest in this area. For example, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Environmental Management (EM) hosted a technical interchange meeting on industrial exoskeletons in 2017 as part of an interagency collaboration among the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC), and DoD went on to host one in 2018.

Posted on September 25, 2018 by Eliza Gough

Market Snapshot: Exascale Computing & Hyperscale Data Centers

Extreme-scale or exascale computing that is 50 to 100 times faster than the fastest systems of today is planned to be available in the 2021-23 timeframe and will enable major advances in a broad range of fields, including the discovery of new materials, accurate prediction of severe weather events, reducing pollution, investigating new treatments for cancer, and enabling faster and more accurate engineering designs. Advancements in this area will in turn form the basis for the next generation of widely deployed systems in data centers in the commercial and academic sectors.

Hyperscale data centers are a growing market, and some see these as an enabling technology for exascale computing. BCC Research reports that the global market for hyperscale data centers will grow from $39.0 billion in 2017 to $98.2 billion by 2022 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.3% for the period of 2017-2022. While relatively new to the mainstream data center market, hyperscale data centers have long been used by internet companies to manage the massive volumes of data that companies use to store information and scale up their business infrastructure. While initially only serving a few, hyperscale data centers are expanding into mainstream data centers, led by large enterprises in financial services, telecommunications and retail who need the economies of scale and flexibility the technologies provide. This expansion is being driven by firms transforming their IT organizations and networks to enable their own cloud computing environments, whereas others are designing parallel infrastructures to work more seamlessly with the major cloud providers through private cloud, public cloud or hybrid cloud models. According to BCC Research, the demand for this kind of flexible scalability is expected to grow from $21.5 billion in 2016 to $98.2 billion by 2022 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.3%. Continue reading “Market Snapshot: Exascale Computing & Hyperscale Data Centers”