The Most Significant Advanced Materials News from 2021, Discussed by IDTechEx
BOSTON, Nov. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- With the pandemic still raging, supply chain disruptions, the chip shortage, climate catastrophes, and geopolitical turbulence, it is safe to say 2021 has not been smooth sailing. The materials and chemical sector provides the backbone of every industry and remains under pressure from all these challenges. Within this field, there will always be the need to push the research, development, and deployment of new advanced materials in response to any market drivers. In this article, IDTechEx highlights the key news from their independent perspective on this crucial industry.
Commercial movement: mergers & acquisitions
Mergers & acquisitions are common but 2021 has seen some highly notable changes. Materion with acquired H.C Starck's electronic materials portfolio, Heraeus acquired HS Advanced Materials, Boyd Corporation acquired Siltec, Sun Chemical, and DIC acquired a BASF division, and even outside of the chemical giants WD Lab Grown Diamonds acquired J2 Materials. It was not all success stories, in March Applied Materials walked away from their plan to acquire Kokusai Electric.
The most notable 2021 news was certainly from DuPont and their significant acquisition of both Laird Performance Materials (completed in July) and of Rogers Corporation (agreement announced in November). In both cases, they become part of DuPont's Electronics & Industrial business unit and cited autonomous vehicle as a key market, beyond that the Rogers acquisition boosts the capability for electric vehicles and Laird expands the reach into high-performance computing, AI, 5G, and IoT. The material portfolio and capabilities are broad but certainly center around some of the key challenges facing these industries such as thermal management and EMI shielding.
Public and Private Funding
2020 and into 2021 has been the boom of companies going public by merging with a SPAC. This trend has been seen in the advanced materials world and in closely related industries with materials at their core such as 3D printing (with the likes of Markforged) and energy storage (with companies like Enovix) discussed in previous articles. For materials, the most notable is Meta Materials (which was NASDAQ-listed from June) who are leaders in the exciting emerging field of metamaterials that is looking to impact a wide range of sectors from consumer electronics to 5G, healthcare, aerospace, and beyond. The other advanced material company to be highlighted here is Origin Materials (also NASAQ-listed from June) with their sustainable carbon negative materials. There is plenty of excitement, but also a significant amount of turbulence and bad news with some of these early-stage public companies; this was seen with Meta Materials price but is best seen for Zymergen (IPO in April 2021) who are using synthetic biology for a variety of products but with the initial commercial target being a polyimide film and in August saw a sharp drop off when stating its 2022 revenue would be "immaterial".