Industry is returning to fashion, especially as it tends currently to relocate closer to its final markets.
Public authorities place a strong interest in employment and local added value, as industrial chains are often complex and highly ramified, and involve many suppliers and customers. Universities
are increasingly partnering with companies in joint R & D programs.
All industrial sectors, from the most traditional to the most advanced, are beginning to be affected by technological transformations to their processes (Industry 4.0, Internet of Things, additive manufacturing ...), to their products and to their customer relationships (digitization, artificial intelligence, chatbots ...). Services sometimes offer an unsuspected growth relay, yet often remaining-to-be-exploited. Well-planned geographic expansion can be profitable and therefore entails new territories to be conquered.
Eventually, they must of course respond to them in the light of their industry-specific challenges. For example, in the construction business, cement manufacturers must constantly innovate in order to remain attractive against the solutions proposed by the steel or wood sectors. New cement and concrete recipes are regularly introduced on the market, such as those designed to lighten buildings or to resist extreme cold. For chemists and petrochemists, the taking into consideration of green or recycled inputs ("green chemistry") becomes a vital issue. But innovation, and therefore the introduction of new products, should not be to the detriment of industrial efficiency which generally coincides with the churning of large batches of a few mainstream references. Paper producers, confronted with the competition of digital media, are constantly looking for, and finding, new market niches. Plant manufacturers are seeking to maintain a high-level of R&D whatever the economic situation and are paying utmost attention to protecting their intellectual property wherever they invest or sell their systems around the world. Most automotive OEMs, while coming up with more and more efficient supply chains for their clients, need to integrate the impacts of two major revolutions in the making: autonomous/driverless cars and electric propulsion. To keep up with the incredible pace at which these transformations are occurring, they have developed specific corporate development skills, through which they consistently monitor and acquire start ups on a global scale.