Many chemical companies, prompted by factors such as a lack of in house expertise, equipment and permits for making certain materials, are moving production outside. Tollers, in turn, are seeking to become their partners, not just contract manufacturers.
As the end of the year approaches it's always tempting to look back and review whats happened over the past 12 months. For Mike Spear though, he's about to head off into the welcoming arms of retirement.
Market forecasts for bioproducts are upbeat. One even predicts that industrial biotechnology will be a $160 billion global business by 2010. Industrial biotechnology first took off in the early 1980s; what gives today's activity a buzz of excitement is the repeat of something else from that era: high energy prices.