Solving the world’s problems


Can you imagine what our world will be like in 35 years’ time? Given the rapid pace of progress in recent years, it is hard to foresee some of the new technologies, products and services which may be around. There are however some things we can more reliably predict based on the current population, the rapid urbanisation profile and the global energy demands.

In our most recent edition of FreeFlow , we introduced Lucite International’s (LI) New Business Development team, who are looking at solving some of the challenges which the world faces today and in the years ahead.

Whilst LI is no stranger to developing new business and innovative products, formation of this worldwide-based team means that we can take a more strategic approach at a global level to create an even more sustainable business in line with KAITEKI* principles.

So how do we seek out the next big thing? Caroline Prior, who leads the team shares her approach: “Essentially we need to be exceptionally curious problem finders! We have to scout out the ‘right’ problems and then prioritise our efforts into developing the solutions that will make the widest, most positive impact on the planet and humankind fulfilling our commitment to KAITEKI in doing so. And, of course, we need to do this profitably so that we contribute to the long-term sustainability of our business.”

The four areas of focus for LI are: Urbanization, Energy, Health & Nutrition and Transportation. Let’s look at urbanization – as people migrate into towns and cities, they create a need for many things: more buildings, be it homes, shops, workplaces or recreational spaces. Buildings are heavy consumers of architectural materials; they also require illumination, heating, air conditioning and much more. This is where LI come in – how can we help?

LI’s products are used in a vast array of applications in a huge assortment of industries. One growing area where our products are used is LED lighting. LED lighting helps to reduce energy consumption by converting all of the energy to useful light, unlike incandescent, which converts a large proportion of energy to heat. They also last longer so in the long-term generate less waste. Caroline comments: “Increasingly we’ll see a move to buildings generating their own energy and becoming self-sufficient so we are looking at the part we can play in that; clever windows which generate energy from light or moderate temperature so there is less of a need to heat or cool, BIPV (Building Integrated Photovoltaics) that form part of the fabric of the building.”

Exciting times lie ahead. We know that there is so much untapped opportunity for acrylic and Caroline and her team would be delighted if someone were to pick up the phone and say “What about this idea?”

To find out more about the many application areas our products find their way into, please click here.


* KAITEKI is a Japanese word that encapsulates our Mitsubishi group philosophy to use science and innovation to create and nurture a society in which quality of life improves for all in a sustainable way.  It’s a powerful concept that asks us all to work in a way that we balance the needs of our precious planet, our communities and our people.  It’s at the very heart of why we are in business.

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