Pharma & Biotech, Chemicals and Energy Drive Growth

Strategic Directions International (SDi), just released the 2019 Global Assessment Report: The Analytical and Life Science Instrumentation Industry. In this article we discuss some key trends our analysts observed in 2018 and where we believe the industry will find opportunities for growth in 2019 and the upcoming years.

The 1000+ page report details updated size, growth and market analyses for over 80 instrument techniques in over 50 market categories. The projections, based on 16 editions over 20+ years of publication, are made on the industry’s prospects out to 2023 and include technology overviews, and detail market segment and regional developments. Additionally, our Quarterly Global Datastream provides not only the most up-to-date market data in four quarterly installments, but also evaluates how fluctuations in major global currencies have affected real growth for each of the markets examined.


The global market for laboratory instrumentation reached over $63 billion in 2018 which experienced a robust growth rate. Our analysts found that the overall analytical instrument industry is expected to increase by 5.0% over the next five years and reach over $80 billion by 2023. While the outlook for 2019 is a bit more conservative, the long-term outlook remains generally solid. For the calendar year 2018, total demand for analytical and life science instruments and laboratory products amounted to $63.3 billion, a generous increase of 8.6% over 2017. The largest product segment is life science instrumentation, which currently represents just over a quarter of total demand.  This continues the welcome trend of increasing growth rates over the past three years, and indeed marks the strongest annual growth in recent history. Overall demand was boosted in part by currency effects, which added an estimated 1.1% in growth for 2018—thus, organic growth for the previous year was 7.5%.

Pharma and Biotech, Chemicals and Energy drive growth

Pharma & Biotech

The pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries continue to support strong growth in life science and analytical instrumentation. The drug sector will be the largest and fastest growing area across the overall market. This will apply not only to hardware and consumables, but also particularly to software and AI, as these companies adjust to deal with their internal needs to handle ever-mounting quantities of Big Data and their external needs to handle regulatory requirements, such as new traceability and anti-counterfeiting rules in the EU and US. Biotech is forecast to experience the fastest growth in demand for analytical instrumentation and lab products among any individual industry for 2019, approaching 7%.


The chemicals industry experienced solid fundamentals in 2018, which is expected to accelerate this year. The American Chemistry Council forecast in December 2018 global chemical output to grow 3.0% in 2019 compared to 2.8% in 2017. Globally, output for basic chemicals will jump from 2.1% in 2018 to 4.8% in 2019, but specialty chemicals production will slow, rising 2.2% compared to 3.7%.


The number of new projects, mostly natural gas projects, should total 50, compared to 40 last year. In fact, the firm forecast 60 million tons per annum (mmtpa) of foreign directly investments in 2019 in liquid natural gas projects versus 21 mmtpa in 2018.

The The 2019 Global Assessment Report: The Analytical and Life Science Instrumentation Industry is the most trusted “gold standard” for measuring the size and growth of the analytical and life science instrumentation industry globally. For each instrument and category, the report quantifies the regional distribution of demand; the size of the market segmented according to initial systems, aftermarket, and service; unit shipments/installations; growth rates; and demand by industry and lab function. Each section also explores the current state of the competitive playing field, including a list of the top vendors’ market shares, a vendor participation matrix, recent developments, and concludes with a short discussion that suggests where the market might be headed over the next five years from the related standpoints of technology, competition, and growth. Click here to download our brochure which provides a detailed table of contents as well as some sample data. Stay tuned for more insights from the report in our upcoming series!