Worth Reading

Worth Reading

Global Innovation Index 2015: Switzerland, UK, Sweden, Netherlands, USA are Leaders

Released jointly by WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organisation, Cornell University, INSEAD and its Global Innovation Index 2015 edition Knowledge Partners, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), du and A.T. Kearney and IMP³rove – European Innovation Management Academy

Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United States of America are the world’s five most innovative nations, according to the Global Innovation Index 2015, while China, Malaysia, Viet Nam, India, Jordan, Kenya, and Uganda are among a group of countries outperforming their economic peers.

The GII 2015 looks at “Effective Innovation Policies for Development” and shows new ways that emerging-economy policymakers can boost innovation and spur growth by building on local strengths and ensuring the development of a sound national innovation environment.

“Innovation holds far-reaching promise for spurring economic growth in countries at all stages of development. However, realizing this promise is not automatic,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. He added: “Each nation must find the right mix of policies to mobilize the innate innovative and creative potential in their economies.”

The United Kingdom (UK), in second place and up from the 10th position in 2011, hosted the global launch (Photos on Flickr) of the eighth edition of the GII. Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Minister for Intellectual Property and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said: “The UK has an outstanding tradition in producing the very best in science and research: with less than 1% of the world’s population we produce 16% of the top quality published research. This research excellence is a major factor in the UK maintaining its position at number two in the 2015 Global Innovation Index.  The government is committed to making Britain the best place in Europe to innovate, patent new ideas and start and grow a business.”


The GII, co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), surveys 141 economies around the world, using 79 indicators to gauge both innovative capabilities and measurable results.

Top Rankings: Switzerland (Number 1 in 2014); United Kingdom (2); Sweden (3); Netherlands (5); United States of America (6); Finland (4); Singapore (7); Ireland (11); Luxembourg (9); Denmark (8)

As a whole, the group of top 25 performers – all high income economies – remains largely unchanged from past editions, illustrating that the leaders’ performance is hard to challenge for those that follow.

Some exceptions are: the Czech Republic (24th) is in the top 25 and Ireland (8th) in the top 10 this year. Also, China (29th) and Malaysia (32nd) show a performance which is similar to the one of top 25 high-income countries, including in areas such as human capital development and research and development funding.


In terms of innovation quality – as measured by university performance, the reach of scholarly articles and the international dimension of patent applications – a few economies stand out. The US and the UK stay ahead of the pack, largely as a result of their world-class universities, closely followed by Japan, Germany and Switzerland. Top-scoring middle-income economies on innovation quality are China, Brazil and India, with China increasingly outpacing the others.

Soumitra Dutta, Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean, Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University and co-author of the report, points out that “Innovation quality matters. Creating world class universities and investing in research is essential for staying ahead in the global race for successful innovation.”

The entire Global Innovation Index 2015 can be downloaded from the first link below



Printed electronics equipment sales have companies look to Asia

Printing Technologies 491

The printed electronics equipment and consumables supplier base consists of over 100 global organizations, according to IDTechex Research in their commercially available report “Printing Equipment for Printed Electronics 2015-2025”. The majority of these are based in Europe, followed by a roughly even share of US and Asian based companies. Within Europe itself, Germany is home to more equipment makers than other European countries.

While initially the printed, organic and flexible electronics industry was driven by significant investment and technological development from the fine chemicals industry, the equipment sector followed soon after. Those involved in screen printing and screen printing consumables have had the largest market so far in printed electronics given that the equipment is used in commercial products such as solar cells and glucose test strips. 

Printing graph

For more emerging printed electronics processes, such as inkjet printing, specialist coating systems applied to printed electronics, gravure and flexo, the market has been smaller but quickly growing. Most of the sales of such systems have been into Europe. This has been due to a high and consistent level of funding made available from European funding sources in addition to country specific funding programs.

Printed electronics is in most European countries a relatively high prioritisation category for funding. Many of the funding sources have found that one of the most useful things to kick start the industry in Europe would be to make equipment available so that people can develop, prototype, pilot and even make low quantity product without the need for them to buy their own equipment which is capital intensive and high risk as development still has to occur.

Printing Centres

As a result, many printed electronics centres have been set up, as shown in the image. Those in light green are in the process of being set up, darker green are more established centres. Some represent numerous centres.



PCI Nylon Yellowbook 2015 is released

The 24th edition of PCI Nylon’s annual survey appears at a time of flux for the polyamide (PA) industry

The “World PA6 & PA66 Supply / Demand Report 2015”, referred to briefly as the “PCI Nylon Yellowbook” among industry experts, has just been published by market research and consulting firm PCI Nylon (www.pcinylon.com) of Oberursel, Germany.  This definitive industry guide provides comprehensive current and historical data on the global polyamide (PA) market, divided into the two key product variants PA6 and PA66.  Demand is shown for 68 individual countries, broken down into the 6 macro segments (textile filament, industrial filament, carpet filament, staple fibre, engineering plastics and film). 

The 2015 Yellowbook appears at a time of flux for the PA industry.  In spite of increasing margin pressure from growing over-capacity and volatile raw material prices, total PA6 and PA66 demand is anticipated to reach an all-time high of 7.2 million mt in 2015, with at least some growth in all segments in both polymer types (see graph): 

PCI Nylon Graph 1


This growth in demand is occurring despite PA being a relatively expensive and mature polymer, as the industry continues to find applications and uses which justify its cost.  In their latest analysis, PCI estimates that global PA6 demand for the period 2015-2020 will increase by +2.3% (CAGR), while PA66 demand will increase by +2.7% (CAGR).  In terms of geography, most of this growth is expected to come from China, where continued industrialisation is creating greater demand across the PA application spectrum.  From an application perspective, it is the global automotive industry which is the main PA demand driver, as increased numbers of vehicles and changes in the technologies used in these vehicles are together creating increasing demand for PA-based plastics (replacing metals to save weight) and PA industrial filaments (for both increasing numbers of airbags per vehicle and as reinforcement in larger and higher performance tyres). 

Although PCI estimates that there is an 80% application overlap between PA6 and PA66, the markets for these two products are quite different, in terms of both application and geography (see demand matrices below):

PCI Graph 2


In spite of the healthy demand picture, business conditions in PA are expected to continue to be difficult for the remainder of the decade.  It is predicted that China will continue its journey towards self-sufficiency in PA and this will progressively create ever-greater structural imbalances in the other regions which up until recently have been China’s PA suppliers.  Asset rationalisation in caprolactam (CPL, the raw material for PA6) has already begun in Rest-of-Asia, with two lines in Japan, one line in South Korea and one in India all closing within the last two years.  In South America, since 2009 both CPL lines have been lost and the region is now entirely reliant on imports.  However, the one region which has still to respond to the looming crisis is Europe, which for more than a decade has relied on exports to balance its assets.

In The PCI Nylon Yellowbook 2015 extensive data is collected and systematically processed, providing historical / current perspectives as well as methodically-prepared country and regional forecasts until 2030.   All the information is available in Excel format with numerical data presented in the form of pivot tables.  This allows for selective searching, collating and evaluating of the database, according to the user’s individual focus of interest and is a very effective tool in strategic planning.

The “World PA6 & PA66 Supply/Demand Report 2015” is available directly from the publisher, PCI Nylon, in print, in pdf format and as an Excel file.  The report is written in English and is commercially available. Please refer for more information to the link below.


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