The nanomaterials industry has been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, experiencing both positive and negative effects. Many companies in the industry have faced cash shortfalls and financial difficulties due to shutdowns, supply chain disruptions, and reduced orders from customers. The US stimulus program aimed to support companies during the pandemic, with 80 nanomaterials firms receiving over $71 million in stimulus funding. However, uncertainty remains about future funding, and the industry is concerned about the potential impact of a second wave of the virus.
In this interview, Cerion CEO, Landon Mertz, provides an industry insider’s perspective on what the future holds for the nanomaterials industry post COVID-19 – discussing both the economic challenges, new opportunities and potential impacts to makers, users and consumers of nanomaterials.
Cerion prioritized prior planning to ensure business continuity during the pandemic. They developed response plans early on, focusing on health and safety, supply chain issues, and other operational aspects. A key part of Cerion’s approach emphasizes the importance of robust safety plans, clear expectations, and making employees feel safe and protected.
To protect businesses’ survivability and financial stability, industry leaders should prioritize shoring up strategies and tactics, focusing on essentials, increasing inventory to mitigate supply chain disruptions, and strengthening financial reserves. Opportunities may arise as the pandemic reorganizes the competitive marketplace, allowing stronger firms to compete for new business. Companies should work closely with customers, providing flexibility and over-communicating to mitigate risks related to inventory and research programs. Overcoming disruptions collaboratively and meeting goals together is crucial.
Overall, the future of the nanomaterials industry remains promising, as material science has historically contributed to societal advancements and improvements. Nanomaterials will continue to play a crucial role in addressing critical needs in sectors like energy, food, future cities, human health, raw materials, water, and air.
- Prioritize prior planning and response strategies to ensure business continuity.
- Safety plans, clear expectations, and making employees feel safe are essential for sustaining operations.
- Tactical measures include shutting down offices, adopting staggered shifts and extended hours, increasing lab space, and stockpiling PPE.
- Companies should focus on shoring up strategies, increasing inventory, and strengthening financial reserves for future stability.
- The pandemic may lead to reorganization and offer opportunities for stronger firms to compete and grow.
- Collaboration and over-communication with customers are crucial for risk mitigation.
- Industry leaders must be prepared to respond to growth opportunities and manage risks.
- Nanomaterials will continue to make long-lasting contributions in areas like energy, food, future cities, human health, raw materials, water, and air.