The global economy is undergoing rapid transformation, and as a result, industries are also evolving at a swift pace. Some industries have experienced remarkable growth, while others have either stagnated or vanished altogether in recent years.
In this article, we will examine 4 industries that have exhibited rapid growth in recent years and assess which ones are positioned for higher levels of foreign direct investment (FDI) activity in 2024 and beyond.
Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS)
As the global drive to reduce carbon emissions gathers momentum, the Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) industry is emerging as one of the most attractive destinations for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2024. With its promise of helping mitigate carbon emissions while simultaneously creating jobs and economic development opportunities across investment-hungry developing countries, it is no wonder that CCUS represents an enticing opportunity.
The sector also boasts a wide range of benefits beyond FDI attraction – for example increased use of renewable energy sources; improved quality of air; greater deployment and financing capability for low-carbon technologies; new commercial opportunities from technology solutions developed around CCUS utilization among many others. This offers a unique opportunity for economic development experts and investors to not only achieve significant financial returns but also make a positive impact on reducing carbon emissions globally.
Several innovative companies are leading the charge in developing carbon capture and utilization technologies. Among them are Lanzatech, a New Zealand-based company that uses microbes to turn carbon waste into fuel; Carbon Engineering, a Canadian firm that captures carbon directly from the atmosphere for storage or conversion into synthetic fuel and has secured deals with major corporations; and Carbfix, an Icelandic company that captures carbon emissions at the source and injects them into rock formations where they react with natural elements to form stable minerals, creating a permanent carbon sink. These companies are at the forefront of developing solutions to reduce carbon emissions and help combat climate change.
With their rising popularity, the plant-based meat industry is poised to become one of the most sought-after investment opportunities in 2024. Offering a highly sustainable health alternative for many consumers, this continually evolving market offers immense potential for economic growth and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Research suggests that this rapidly transforming industry will see an unprecedented surge of incoming investments from major Food and Beverage manufacturers that could potentially reach $100 billion by 2035.
By leveraging the inherent benefits of plant-based meats such as increased production efficiency and superior flavor profiles, seasoned investors have the potential to generate significant wealth by engaging with this rapidly growing industry. This presents a great prospect for economic development professionals and investment attraction professionals who are on board with capitalizing on FDI trends as they arise in 2024 and beyond.
Numerous pioneering companies are spearheading the development of plant-based meat. Motif is an ingredient supplier for plant-based meat companies that utilizes a proprietary fermentation technology. Their primary focus is on expanding R&D, increasing headcount, and expanding production facilities. Fynd produces plant-based beef using volcanic microbes and is expanding its production capacity across the US in preparation for national and global expansion. Their protein is produced by a fungus found in geothermal springs in Yellowstone National Park. Redefine Meat uses 3D printing to create beef and lamb alternatives and is already available in Israel, the UK, and parts of Europe, with plans to enter the US market in 2024. All three companies are contributing to the growth of the plant-based meat industry through innovative and sustainable approaches.
AI Drug Discovery
As investment attraction professionals prepare for the future, one industry that seems primed for increased foreign direct investment (FDI) activity in 2024 is AI-powered drug discovery. By utilizing machine learning algorithms to uncover insights about human health and disease, AI-based drug discovery offers a unique value proposition to life sciences companies seeking new treatments of existing diseases or potential pathways towards cures.
Not only can this process benefit patients by creating faster pathways from research to treatment outcomes, but it has the added potential of providing a wealth of opportunities from job creation related to designing these systems; stimulating local innovation economies; making data processing easier and more accurate; creating well paid technical jobs within bioresearch facilities; as well as providing investors with returns through its ability to quickly go through trials evaluating large numbers of compounds. Overall, AI-powered drug discovery presents an exciting opportunity for economic development professionals looking ahead on capturing new FDI activity in 2024.
Several innovative companies are at the forefront of AI-powered drug discovery. Exscientia has achieved significant success in the pharmaceutical industry by becoming the first company to use AI to fully develop a drug and advance its clinical trials. This achievement has resulted in a reduction of the time spent on discovery and preclinical trials to under 12 months compared to the average of 5 years for conventional research. Insilico can discover a drug compound in just 46 days, significantly reducing the time frame for new drug development. Xtalpi has partnered with Pfizer and Goldman Sachs and is using AI and quantum computers to create “digital twins” of potential drugs to predict and assess their effectiveness. All three companies have secured significant funding and are making remarkable strides in using technology to revolutionize drug discovery.
The expansion of the digital economy has resulted in a corresponding growth in digital crime. With increasing online interactions, there are more attack opportunities leading to data breaches that endanger individuals and businesses. If this trend continues, the cost of cyberattacks is projected to reach around $10.5 trillion per year by 2025, which is a 300% rise from the 2015 levels.
As we move into 2024, the need for enhanced cybersecurity measures is becoming increasingly paramount. Next-gen cybersecurity technology firms are emerging as key drivers of foreign direct investment (FDI) in dynamic economies. Utilizing AI-enabled solutions such as advanced biometrics, cloud computing architectures, rapid threat detection & response protocols, and persistent authentication—all of which promote data security at scale—will be invaluable in enticing potential investors to pour in capital in these technologies while also safeguarding our digital infrastructure from malicious interference.
Karamba Security offers comprehensive solutions to safeguard IoT devices from the design phase through coding and runtime, unlike competitors who solely focus on runtime. The company is seeking to expand its market reach across North America, Europe, and Asia. Sternum is one of the fastest-growing IoT security startups, having protected over 100,000 devices across Fortune 500 companies. The company is expected to triple its headcount in the coming years and expedite its global go-to-market initiatives. Banyan Security provides cloud security to various Fortune 500 companies, monetizing its products through subscription-based offerings, and reported a 300% increase in its user base in 2021. All three companies are making noteworthy strides in IoT security and demonstrating exceptional growth potential.
Carbon capture, utilization and storage; plant-based meats; AI drug discovery and next-gen cybersecurity could all drastically change the economy if their potential can be fulfilled. Economic development professionals and investment attraction professionals need to prepare for these upcoming changes and capitalize on them as they emerge over the coming few years.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect with innovative companies and discuss their expansion projects. Contact our expert advisors at ResearchFDI today and learn how we can help your region attract new investments from thriving industries.