Select your language: EN JP

Lux Take on News: Weekly Round-Up April 2, 2021

Lux Research
April 2, 2021

Every day our researchers read through the top innovation headlines and provide their expert opinions on important developments and industry news. Our analysts then evaluate news based on potential importance ranking the developments from Truly Disruptive to Ignore.

On Fridays we highlight our Lux Take on the top news for the week. Check out our thoughts on the latest emerging technology and innovation news for the week of March 29th below.

Oxford Nanopore prepares for a $3 billion IPO

Ramanathan, Nardev-1

Nardev Ramanathan, Ph.D., Analyst
Lux Take: Very Important


"Oxford Nanopore's nanopore technology has come into the limelight since the COVID-19 outbreak. Since then, it has supported scientists in over 85 countries in tracking the emergence of new mutant variants. This field validation and its ability to overcome various technical hurdles sets the stage for the company to be the next major disruptor in genomics, challenging the dominance of Illumina. Those keen on portable sequencing solutions for precision medicine, food safety and crop science use cases should consider integrating these solutions into their operations. Companies in the genomic sequencing value chain, from bioinformatics developers to chemical and material suppliers, must be prepared as nanopore sequencing becomes more mainstream."

Cold snap in southern U.S. creates ripple effect in global chemicals market

Charles Willard, AnalystCharles Willard, Analyst
Lux Take: Very Important


"While the U.S. Gulf Coast's (USGC) gasoline and crude oil production has returned to nearly pre-blizzard levels, the recovery of chemical plants has been much slower. Though some shutdowns have only caused local issues – USGC ethylene spot prices are 10% above those in Asian markets – others, such as adiponitrile (an intermediate for polyamides and polyurethanes) and acrylonitrile, have caused a ripple effect on global chemicals production – the Chinese market price for polyamide 66 is 30% higher than it was at the end of January. As climate change continues to have a major impact on global chemicals production, those interested need to be evaluating the risk they face and developing action plans to minimize their exposure."

Livekindly Collective closes $335 million funding round for its plant-based platform, bringing total funding to $535 million

10085-thumb-squareThomas Hayes, Analyst
Lux Take: Very Important


"The $335 million is inclusive of the $135 million it raised in October 2020. The Rise Fund led the round, with other notable investors including Rabo Corporate Investments, the investment arm of Rabobank, and S2G Ventures. Livekindly Collective intends to use the funding for continued market expansion (e.g., in the U.S. and China) as well as further acquisitions, investments, and partnerships. So far, it has brought five companies into its fold through acquisition: The Fry Family Food Co., LikeMeat, Oumph!, No Meat, and Livekindly Media. As plant-based companies like Livekindly Collective and Eat Just look to grow into new markets at a rapid pace, clients should seize the opportunity to provide sales and distribution channels."

Two Canadian companies collaborate to improve bird safety using drones

Miraj

Miraj Mainali, Research Associate | @roberts_lewie Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important


"
An estimated 57 million birds are killed each year from collisions with power lines in the U.S. alone. Bird flight diverters (BFDs) are devices that make power lines more visible to birds and deter them from striking. While BFDs are effective at preventing up to 90% of collisions, the installation is expensive, dangerous, and time-consuming. To solve this, two Canadian companies, FulcrumAir and AltaLink, have developed an aerial drone that can safely install up to 600 BFDs per day. The drones will be used to install 4,500 markers across Alberta in 2021. Utility companies should adopt this technology to reduce avian accidents. Also, keep an eye on IdentiFlight, which is developing an AI-based system to stop wind turbines from hitting birds."

Lux Research - Newsletter Research

Nestlé's KitKat prototype in Australia uses pyrolysis to achieve 30% recycled content

drishti masandDrishti Masand, Analyst | @DrishtiMasand Ico twitter
Lux Take: Average Importance


"The recycled plastic is a joint effort between Nestlé, CurbCycle, iQ Renew, Licella, Viva Energy Australia, LyondellBasell, REDcycle, Taghleef Industries, and Amcor to collect and process waste soft plastic, turn it back into oil through pyrolysis recycling, and create the virgin-quality polymer again. This change is a development from the results of studies for Australia's 2021 Plastic Plan. One immediate takeaway from the project is the complexity and cross-value chain collaboration that is required to successfully recycle plastic packaging, especially difficult form factors like films. However, this project also demonstrates that it is possible for companies to recycle most packaging if they are committed to sustainability."

Automated trucking company TuSimple files for IPO

Lewie Roberts Lux Research

Lewie Roberts, Senior Research Associate | @roberts_lewie Ico twitter
Lux Take: Average Importance


"
TuSimple is developing Level 4 autonomous trucks and has operations and investments in both the U.S. and China. While there are some potential complications that may arise from its cross-U.S. and China investments, the most interesting point of the filing is the cost of its operations. With 50 trucks in the U.S. and 20 in China, the company incurred a loss from operations of "$177.9 million in 2020, more than double the loss of $84.8 million incurred in the previous year." Its 2020 revenue reached $1.8 million. Obviously, every autonomous vehicle (AV) group is different, but companies should use these data points for making estimations and for comparison of other AV companies."

More companies join AquaVentus, an initiative to generate 10 GW of hydrogen from offshore wind in Europe

Seoane da Silva, PatriciaPatricia Seoane da Silva, Research Associate
Lux Take: Average Importance


"Since the start of 2021, eight new companies have joined this project, including Linde, EnBW, and the Port of Brunsbüttel. These companies follow in the footsteps of Shell, E.ON, Vattenfall, and Gasunie, among others, and increase the total number of project partners to 43. Located in the North Sea, AquaVentus aims to generate 10 GW of green hydrogen from offshore wind by 2035 and transport it to land using Hydrogenious' proprietary LOHC technology. This project adds to a growing number of offshore wind-to-hydrogen installations in Europe; companies should realize this opportunity and follow up on the upcoming phases of AquaVentus, including an initial 14 MW pilot facility and subsequent infrastructure for hydrogen transport and distribution."

Keurig Dr Pepper introduces bottles made from 100% recycled plastic

Charles Willard, AnalystCharles Willard, Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance


"After a strong financial year and several investments into recycling initiatives, Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) has decided to transition its Snapple brand away from glass bottles toward 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic. Plastic Snapple bottles are now available across the U.S. West Coast and will continue to roll out in phases across the country throughout the year. By transitioning to recycled plastic in its Snapple bottles, KDP will increase the total percentage of PCR across all its brands from 20% to 24%, moving the company closer to achieving its goal of 30% PCR packaging across its portfolio by 2025."

Diabetes platform Glooko raises $30 million, looks to branch into additional therapy areas

15756-thumb-square

Anshul Gupte, Research Associate
Lux Take: Average Importance

"The round was led by Health Catalyst Capital, with previous investors like Novo Nordisk, Insulet, and Mayo Clinic also participating. Glooko has had success in recent years with its diabetes monitoring platform, which connects therapy devices to healthcare providers. The company plans on using the funds to broaden its existing diabetes initiative and, notably, explore additional chronic disease care. While it has not released specifics, Glooko's integrated patient platform can extend into areas like cardiovascular disease or cancer treatment monitoring, given the right technology partnerships. Those interested in chronic disease management should monitor Glooko and view it as a potential partner for digital diabetes monitoring."

evolving energy story

LO3 Energy raises $11 million in a Series B round led by Shell Ventures

Hernandez, JessicaJessica Hernandez, Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance


"Shikoku Electric Power also participated in the round, joining existing investors Braemar Energy Ventures, Sumitomo Corporation, and Centrica. This new round brings LO3's total amount of funding to more than $17 million. LO3 plans to use the newly raised cash to expand the capabilities of its Pando software platform for distributed energy resource (DER) marketplaces, which the company has been trialing in various geographies, including the U.S., Europe, and Japan. While regulations still need to evolve to unlock the full potential of DERs, LO3 is well-positioned to take advantage once this happens; the company has been able to work around regulatory constraints to showcase the potential of its technology in various geographies."

U.S. DOE funds four projects to develop co-gasification technologies for hydrogen production

Jinze Dai

Jinze Dai, Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance

"The four R&D projects awarded $2 million by the DOE will demonstrate the co-gasification of biomass, waste plastics, and coal in fluidized-bed, moving-bed, and entrained-flow reactors. The use of biomass and waste plastics can reduce the CO2 emission of the hydrogen production process and help resolve the issue of waste plastic disposal simultaneously. The logistics and pre-processing of biomass and waste plastics into a feedable form are challenging, but the high scalability and various configurations of gasifiers may accommodate the heterogeneity of feedstock. Those interested should monitor the development of co-gasification technology and explore alternative sources of low-carbon and affordable hydrogen."

Google's new Nest Hub can measure users' sleep and provide personalized improvement suggestions

Jerrold Wang, AnalystJerrold Wang, Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance

"The new Nest Hub can measure users' sleep movements, breathing, disturbances (like coughing and snoring), ambient lighting, and temperature and provide personalized suggestions for improving sleep, such as adjusting bedtime schedules. While the extent to which the product can improve sleep remains to be seen, clients interested in personal health and wellness and smart home should pay attention. This product aligns with the overall shift in healthcare toward wellness (rather than just treating disease) by using digital biomarkers and smart home devices. By avoiding the use of wearables or cameras, this product focuses on comfort and privacy for users and so may better serve the sleep management segment."

 

Did you miss last week's news round-up? Check out the blog here. Make sure you never miss a headline by subscribing to our newsletter.

Innovating Under Uncertainty: Introducing Agile into the Stage-Gate Process Whitepaper

Innovating Under Uncertainty: Introducing Agile into the Stage-Gate Process Whitepaper

Read More
Improving the Front-End of Innovation Whitepaper

Improving the Front-End of Innovation Whitepaper

Read More
Press Release: Lux Research Ranks the Critical Technologies for Surviving COVID-19

Press Release: Lux Research Ranks the Critical Technologies for Surviving COVID-19

Read More
More Lux News
Schedule Your Demo