After scanning a larger universe of ideas, we at McKinsey & Company have identified five “game changers” – catalytic opportunities that could place the US on a much faster growth trajectory by 2020. These breakout opportunities are: shale gas and oil production; improved competitiveness in knowledge-intensive manufactured goods, including chemicals; big data analytics with an emphasis on raising productivity; increased investment in infrastructure; and a more effective system of talent development. While each game changer is different, together they are mutually reinforcing and all share a common thread: an immediate window of opportunity for forward-thinking investments and continued innovation from the public and private sectors alike where the engineering community will play a critical role in making things happen.
Specific topics to be covered include the following:
■ New discontinuities and “hot spots” in the petrochemical value chains
■ Ripple effects from the shale boom on selected downstream/specialty chemical segments
■ Big data analytics boosting performance of chemical players