Materialising a brighter future
Opportunities in advanced materials
Industry has an insatiable appetite for more advanced materials, from strong, lightweight composites to high-efficiency insulators. Increasingly, innovative materials which can also advance the low carbon economy are desired. The prime market opportunities include materials and their associated process technologies with the potential to be exploited in high value products.
The materials market is huge, accounting for over £10 billion turnover in Scotland alone. While traditional materials such as steel and concrete account for much of this, advanced materials offer greater opportunities for growth and differentiation. There are over 120 companies in Scotland developing and manufacturing advanced materials both for the domestic market and for export.
These advanced materials are adding value to the end products of many sectors including aerospace, chemicals, construction, defence, energy, food & drink, ICT, life sciences, marine and transport.
Looking ahead, the most fruitful areas for Scottish companies in advanced materials are likely to be:
- Smart packaging (films, inks and chemical markers for product integrity)
- Electronic functional materials (with emphasis on low-carbon applications)
- Biomaterials, textiles and hybrids for sustainable construction
- Coatings and surface treatments
- Materials for batteries and fuel cells (titanium metal oxides and alloys, zinc-air, lithium sulphur and lithium-air electrochemistries, platinum replacements and polymer membranes)
- Metals and alloys
Each of these opportunities is investigated in detail in this report.
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