Dow boss warns of threats to global manufacturing renaissance

Posted on 4 Apr 2013
Air Products' hydrogen factory in Spijkinisse, Rotterdam. CEO of Dow Chemical says manufacturing needs new business models and puts chemical engineers at the heart of an advanced manufacturing future

Andrew Liveris, chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical, has warned that a global manufacturing renaissance could be impeded by a lack of coherent government energy policies and puts chemical engineers at the heart of a recovery.

In a speech at an Institution of Chemical Engineers presentation in London on Tuesday, Mr Liveris said he believes the UK has remained somewhat insulated from the downturn, and said that optimism has returned to the USA because of the manufacturing sector. Mr Liveris co-chairs the US Government’s Advanced Manufacturing Group,

But he feels more work is still needed in order to spark a revival in the sector globally.

“What we need now is innovation, new business models, a set of new and great solutions for daunting problems. We also need bold leaders, collaborating across outdated divisions between what is best for companies and what is best for countries,” said Mr Liveris.

“We need leaders innovating new ways to make the world a healthier, more productive place for generations to come. That is how we manufacture a new foundation for economic growth and how we fuel the engines of economic growth at the same time.”

Liveris stressed the need for public and private sectors to work as equal partners, ‘smart government’ regardless of size and said excessive regulation in order to attract and maintain inward investment was short-sighted.

He concluded that chemical engineers would be at the heart of an advanced manufacturing future.

“There are so many opportunities and the challenge for chemical engineers is not identifying them, the challenge is seizing them, because they are well within our reach,” he said.

Liveris was in London on to give the IChemE George E. Davis lecture and to receive the Davis medal in recognition of his services to chemical engineering.