3. Research and development spending returns
The world of research and development in medical device elastomers is perhaps the most rapidly changing environment of any in the world.
A year ago, the stresses of low capacity and strains of a pandemic drove some innovation, but softened R&D spending for many companies.
But new technology is in the DNA of the medical elastomer field, regardless of outward pressures, and R&D spending is expected to pick back up across the board.
Medical devices will transition from 3D printing to 4D printing and beyond, and those technical leaps will require testing for safety.
Additive compounds being tested at rubber labs are changing all the time, and the world of coatings should see many more years of innovation.
Cell therapies and insulin delivery devices require DMSO processing, and such solvent materials will become more prevalent in the medical market.
For some, like the COVID-19 vaccines, -80°C storage is required, and that alone will drive innovation post-COVID.
4. Mergers and acquisitions increase
In the years ahead, merger and acquisition activity will play a key role in the medical manufacturing industry—and the companies that have been able to stock up on raw material and capital equity will drive the purchases.
Globally, medical device manufacturers are looking to streamline and simplify supply chains. Part of that involves reducing the number of suppliers.
And that favors organizations that have the necessary critical mass to keep pace with demand.
Manufacturers, meanwhile, are committed to expanding the capabilities of their devices, particularly on the digital end.
As suppliers look to diversify their offerings or expand their reach, it's likely that mergers and acquisitions, in concert with research and development, will play a key role.