Innovation is traditionally one of the first casualties of a downturn. When companies are casting around for means to retain capital just to survive, spending on developments that may or may not pay off some time in the future is an easy target for cost-cutting.
Among many companies, the knee-jerk reaction to a downturn is to pull back. Capital spending is cut, acquisitions are scaled down and marketing expenditure is slashed in a desperate effort to survive the bad times. But smart companies apply a more controlled response to difficult conditions.
Bioplastics and chemicals derived from biological raw materials are being hailed as the next big thing for the chemical industry, a development that could have a huge impact on both that industry and the many others that depend on it.
The pharmaceutical industry is suffering. Expiring patents, increasing demands from regulators and decreasing healthcare budgets are putting companies under pressure, and the industry has to walk a narrow tightrope between keeping profitability up and quickly developing attractive medications....
Now that the dust of the global financial crisis has begun to settle, many business leaders are wondering what their next steps should be in the lingering atmosphere of uncertainty. With the heavy rounds of cost-cutting finished, “Growth now” is the new mantra.