The authors carried out in 1999 a multiclient market research covering the Thermal Coatings business in Europe. This work has allowed to obtain detailed business facts relative to the industry and has provided an in-depth understanding of applications, markets, competition, key factors for success and industry structure. Thermal coatings are defined here as coating parts by hardfacing (e.g. MIG, TIG, PTA, laser...) or thermal spray (flame, arc, plasma, HVOF...). This study also provided a further opportunity to investigate about present business issues and to provide a fresh look into growth opportunities. This presentation intends to provide the scientific community with a summary of this business analysis and to stress business issues and factors found to constrain business growth today. We do expect that a more carefully focused teamwork between independent R&D and the supply chain could significantly accelerate the growth of the Thermal Coatings business in the future.