Majority believes that we will be more dependent on science than ever before
3M Forward highlights global megatrends and how the company applies material science to tackle them

Bracknell, May 23, 2023 — Global megatrends are fundamentally changing our lives, and science can help shape them in a positive way. 3M’s 2023 State of Science Index shows that 87% of British people see a connection between science and the role it plays in improving their life. As the world responds to climate change and resource scarcity, shifting demographics and social change as well as the convergence of the physical and digital worlds, 3M Forward, a new programme by 3M, demonstrates how scientists, engineers and experts are applying materials science to help society navigate the global megatrends.

“The challenges of megatrends will not be solved by a single big idea, but by a multitude of ideas which come together to advance the transformation of society,” said Camila Cruz Durlacher, Vice President of 3M Corporate R&D Operations in EMEA. “Science has the potential to solve the toughest global challenges, and 3M’s diverse global portfolio and vast expertise make us optimally positioned to deliver innovative solutions at scale.” 3M Forward illustrates how the company develops new solutions through collaboration with partners and research institutes to push the limits of technology.

With R&D capabilities in 55 countries and more than 7,000 R&D specialists and scientists, 3M innovation has led to more than 132,000 patents and 60,000 products across diverse industries. 3M influences industries, people and technologies around the world. This makes its impact on societal challenges, in addition to its responsibility to positively address them, particularly high. 3M increases the impact of their innovations through their large-scale use and shape the world of tomorrow, especially when they provide a base for various industries to develop new technologies. By doing so, 3M enables their customers and partners to drive their own innovations in order to address the challenges of the 21st century.

"Science and business, society and technology are evolving at an unprecedented speed," said Tony Stanford, Northern European R&D Technical Operations Leader at 3M. "We are taking our responsibility as a global company seriously and specifically address the challenges posed by global megatrends. We use all our collaborative power and our spirit of innovation to ensure that we and our customers develop solutions with real impact and reconcile the demands of business, society and the environment in the long term."

Addressing global megatrends through materials science

As the collective transformative forces continue to shape our reality, 3M will apply the latest materials science and leverage its full capabilities to deliver meaningful solutions that will help society to progress. It is the impact of 3M’s global portfolio and deep expertise that allow the company to power scalable scientific solutions and help build a brighter future for all.

  • 89% of British people believe science can help minimise the effects of climate change. For example, the 3M™ Nanostructured Supported Iridium Catalyst Powder reduces the amount of iridium, a rare precious metal, that is required to meet the stringent efficiency and lifetime requirements of water electrolysers. That is how it can make the production of green hydrogen more cost-effective, efficient and obtainable.
  • 93% of people in the UK believe that electric public transportation is safe. The 3M™ TB5000 Thermal Barrier material increases the safety of batteries in electric vehicles. It protects the neighboring cells from the energy emitted by a failed cell. It forms a flame retardant and electrically and thermally insulating barrier, thus preventing the spread of the thermal event.
  • 92% of Brits expect consequences if their country cannot find a solution to the skilled labour shortage – from negative economic impact to neglected public infrastructure and declines in overall quality. 3M™ Finesse-it™ Robotic Paint Repair System works with third-party vision systems to automatically identify and repair common paint defects individually on automotive production lines. It addresses the skilled labour shortage and increases the quality and efficiency of production at the same time.

To learn more about how 3M solutions are improving lives around the world, and where 3M is focused on innovating next, visit

About the 2023 3M State of Science Index
The 3M State of Science Index survey uncovers findings about global trends from 17 countries around the world: U.S., Canada, UK, Germany, Taiwan, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Spain, China, India, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Thailand, and Australia. This data illustrates how people all over the world view future innovation and how they are affected by trends around trust in science, climate change, the future of health care and digital transformation.

About 3M 
3M (NYSE: MMM) believes science helps create a brighter world for everyone. By unlocking the power of people, ideas and science to reimagine what's possible, our global team uniquely addresses the opportunities and challenges of our customers, communities and planet. Learn how we're working to improve lives and make what's next at or on Twitter at @3M or @3MNews.

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