Letter from the Editor

Spotlight on: Process Innovation Management

Guido Wünsche and Carsten Gelhard

Spotlight on: Process Innovation Management

 

After 2011 represented another record year for the chemical industry, a significant lower growth is expected for the next few month. In particular, the high US government debt level as well as the still ongoing debt crisis in Europe are both leading to a concerned macroeconomic sentiment. As a consequence, companies of the chemical industry are very reserved in spending cash. Although this is not considered as a strong crisis within the chemical industry, cost savings or the resulting increase of margins, for instance, are playing a decisive part in the competition. One possibility to achieve such a performance improvement is the optimization of business or production processes.
In this context, we are proud to introduce a new section within the Journal of Business Chemistry: Process Innovation Management. In addition to product innovations, process innovations play a crucial role in guaranteeing the long-term success of a company. Therefore, we are glad to welcome Prof. Dr. Thomas Lager as new member of the editorial board. As an affiliated professor at the Centre for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship at the Grenoble École de Management in France, he will provide the Journal of Business Chemistry with the most interesting and newest insights in his field of research. In the current issue, he discusses the startup of new plants and process technology in the process industries. A special emphasis is placed on the previously scarce treated aspect of an efficient organization and different organization models.
In our second research article “The founding angels investment model – case studies from the field of nanotechnology” Gunter Festel and Jan Kratzer present a model to overcome the gap between academic research and the commercialization of research results. Within this model, early stage investors found start-up companies together with appropriate research partners to conduct research and later to commercialize the results. The implementation of the model in the United States, for instance in the area of nanotechnology, illustrates its successful application. The authors base their data on literature research as well as on interviews with 35 nanotechnology experts.
In the first of our two practitioner’s section articles “Standardized cost estimation for new technologies (SCENT) – methodology and tool”, an opportunity to prepare preliminary economic estimates of the total production costs related to manufacturing in the process industries is introduced by the authors Stanil Y. Ereev and Martin K. Patel. The underlying methodology uses the factorial approach, whereas the cost objects are estimated with the help of factors and percentages on the basis of the purchased equipment cost. The presented approach contains the main advantage that it can be based on a limited amount of data making it particularly suitable for new emerging technologies.
The question of an effective outsourcing strategy for toxicological studies in the chemical industry is answered by Katja Hempel, Sandra Zumstein, Michael Graef, Hennicke Kamp, Bennard van Ravenzwaay in our last practitioner’s contribution. The work has been developed at the BASF SE’s Experimental Toxicology and Ecology Unit with the aim of promoting a faster reaction to the testing demand, driven by the European Community Regulation REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and restriction of Chemicals). The increasing necessity of Toxicology Unit’s outsourcing activities leads to the following goals: on the one hand the optimizing of the selection and management process of Contract Research Organizations and on the other hand the development of a performance measurement system in form of a balanced scorecard.
Now, please enjoy reading the first issue of the ninth volume of the Journal of Business Chemistry. We would like to thank all authors and reviewers who have contributed to this new issue. If you have any comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to send us an email at:  contact@businesschemistry.org.

 

Guido Wünsche, Executive Editor           Carsten Gelhard, Executive Editor
(gw@businesschemistry.org)                  (cg@businesschemistry.org)



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