North America is projected to emerge as the global leader of the rapidly growing bio-based & sustainable chemicals and plastics industry. The industry received nearly $1B in investment in 2014, and North America has captured $2.2B over the past three years, accounting for 87% of the total VC funding. Consumer demands for greener products are driving retail, consumer brand, OEM and government policies to explore safer, bio alternatives to petrochemicals and chemicals of concern. Products from sustainable feedstocks can be the answer for a number of corporate sustainability goals, including staying ahead of the regulatory curve, reducing carbon footprints and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with the utilization of methane and carbon dioxide as feedstocks. Further, sustainable chemicals are not at the mercy of volatile natural gas and oil prices, offering stability and even lower costs than their petrochemical alternatives. With a number of M&A, corporate and joint venture activity in the space, partnering strategies may be one path to commercialization.
However, the industry still faces real challenges in moving some market segments from the technology vetting stage to full-scale commercialization. And some companies have erred in trying to commercialize too quickly, particularly in the use of IPOs, providing valuable lessons learned. The recent drop in oil and natural gas prices presents another hurdle to the industry, and to investment activity. The next generation of bio-based/sustainable companies must learn how to accurately articulate the value proposition of sustainable products to investors, understand its role in the larger retail, consumer brand and OEM sustainability picture and address the challenges associated with moving beyond niche markets.
The Sustainable Chemicals & Plastics Adoption & Applications Summit will bring Consumer Brand, OEM, and Retail decision makers, together with leading Venture Capitalists, Financiers, Corporate Strategics, Chemical Majors, Specialty, Bio-Based and Sustainable Chemical Companies to provide a detailed overview of the challenges they face in ramping up the adoption of sustainable chemicals and outline the path to commercialization. The event comes to San Diego to showcase the business and investment wants and needs of downstream players and investors, while also outlining new market application opportunities in additive manufacturing, 3D printing, light weighting, composites, adhesives, solvents, coatings and sealants.
The event will kick off on September 1 with the Methane Bioengineering Summit which will explore the potential of methane as a sustainable feedstock to enable biotechnology-based industrial and consumer products beyond petroleum. Methane from natural gas is emerging as a low-cost, widely available feedstock. Researchers throughout the world are discovering new uses for this high potential source of energy. Join the conversation about practical, scalable solutions to the demand for new sustainable products.