I am an active researcher in soft-matter physics at the interface between academia and industry.  I have a PhD in Physics in which I studied the flow behaviour of dense suspensions and the link to a widely used industrial process of powder and liquid incorporation known as granulation.  More recently as a post-doctoral researcher I have studied how formulation, e.g. the type of particle, ratio of ingredients or addition of surface active components, affects the flow of particle laden dispersions. Such dispersions are used ubiquitously in industry, including cement, pharmaceutical production and foods and are invariably prone to failure as formulations are varied in the pursuit of higher strength, lower cost and reduced environmental impact. 

More generally, as a physicist it is my job to get to the bottom of how things work. In my experience with industry, products are often developed with little thought to the fundamentals, so long as the product works. This can cause huge problems later on however, when product manufacture is scaled up, or some unknown variation in feedstock causes products to fail. Identifying such problems early on, preferably through a solid understanding of the underlying science is beneficial to companies developing products and investors assessing what the likelihood of success will be.