ICT is an important technology area for the Chemical Industry and has been so for many decades.

The sector makes extensive use of ICT systems throughout its value chain from modelling through process control to supply logistics. In addition the industry is a key provider of materials and technologies that form the basis of many ICT solutions.

Digital innovation and developments in ICT will continue to significantly impact the chemical industry through areas such as big data, increased automation and connectivity, and digital customer access. ICT as a specific area for innovation was introduced to SusChem’s programmes in the 2015 Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA). SusChem launched its ICT Task Force in 2016 to discuss Process Control and Digitisation topics and build a strong basis for future projects and collaboration. The group exchanges information and ideas with other process industry sectors in ICT development.

Specific innovation topics include improved data capture (sensors), planning and control, modelling and simulation of complex processes, including supply chain and business modelling, for increased efficiency and environmental performance. Increased integration of bio-active process will require the development of realistic models for production processes and enzymatic reactor types. New smart materials and formulations will also be required to enable developments in printable-, wearable- and flexible organic electronics and efficient manufacturing of new electronic devices. In particular additive manufacturing processes (3D printing) will need new materials such as specialty polymers.