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Lux Take on News: Weekly Round-Up April 22, 2022

Lux Research
April 22, 2022

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 past week below. 

SunPower partners with First Solar to produce a tandem PV module

Juan Cortes, Research Associate, Lux Research

Juan Cortes, Research Associate
Lux Take: Very Important

 

"SunPower will work with First Solar to launch a tandem photovoltaic (PV) module over the next 18 to 24 months that will combine SunPower's crystalline Silicon (C-Si) technology and First Solar's CdTe thin-film technology. The combination of different PV technologies to create tandem solar cells will be essential in the coming years, as a wider range of the solar spectrum can be absorbed and both higher efficiency and energy yield can thus be obtained. In addition to CdTe/c-Si, a perovskite/c-Si or perovskite/perovskite combination can be also implemented. Clients should monitor this partnership closely; if the companies can achieve efficiencies significantly higher than 33%, single-junction solar cells could be pushed aside."

Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy established to address U.S. interest and security in cyberspace

Shi Jing Yeo, Senior Research Associate, Lux Research

Shi Jing Yeo, Senior Research Associate
Lux Take: Very Important

 

"The U.S. Department of State has announced that its Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy (CDP) began operations in April 2022. The CDP comprises three policy groups: International Cybersecurity, International Information and Communications Policy, and Digital Freedom. The groups aim to address security and information freedom on the internet while looking to promote and protect U.S. interests. Companies doing business with the U.S. government or American companies may want to take note of and adopt any new cybersecurity recommendations that are announced by the CDP."

Motif FoodWorks challenges Impossible's patent validity in response to IP infringement case

Abby Terrio, Senior Research Associate, Lux Research

Abby Terrio, Senior Research Associate
Lux Take: Very Important

 

"In response to Impossible Food's charge of patent infringement, Motif FoodWorks filed a petition with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to challenge the validity of Impossible's patent on its soy leghemoglobin ingredient. The petition includes claims that patents and literature utilizing the same production pathways were published before Impossible claimed its invention, rendering the patent illegitimate. Motif also asked that litigation be paused until PTAB issues its verdict. This petition indicates that Motif has no plans to back away from its HEMAMI ingredient, and this battle may play out over several years. It is unlikely that Impossible will come out of this tussle with its patents unscathed. A settlement is likely in this case."

Download the executive summary of the Lux Foresight 2022 report

Pyrolysis is CANCELED: Brightmark terminates 400,000 t/a pyrolysis plant in Georgia, U.S.

Tiffany Hua, Senior Research Associate, Lux Research

Tiffany Hua, Analyst
Lux Take: Very Important

 

"Brightmark's USD 680 million Georgia plastics pyrolysis plant was rejected by the local government and residents due to concerns about its "unproven process" and environmental safety. The company missed critical deadlines for its Indiana project, which was the contingency for the Georgia build. Had the plans been executed, Brightmark claims its proprietary process could convert 93% of this waste, which now appears questionable. The overall perception of pyrolysis is not faring well where the news recalls Hindenburg's critical analyses of PureCycle and Loop Industries. Technical snags aren't uncommon with novel technology scale-up, but the string of events indicates additional due diligence and risk assessments are necessary for pyrolysis."

Round two: Avantium begins construction of its FDCA flagship plant after its long-awaited financial close

Tiffany Hua, Senior Research Associate, Lux Research

Tiffany Hua, Analyst
Lux Take: Very Important

 

"After years of uncertainties and a huge falling out with Synvina and BASF, Avantium has finally secured the funding it needs to build its FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid) flagship plant. The company has received EUR 90 million in debt financing from a consortium of Dutch banks for the financial close. The Delfzijl plant has officially started construction, with completion slated for the end of 2023 with a capacity of 5,000 tonne/a of FDCA. The green light is a promising sign, but the true milestone here will be Avantium's completion of the flagship plant. Clients should monitor Avantium's scale-up and partnerships activities, which will indicate polyethylene furanoate demands and scaling opportunities for Avantium and other FDCA developers."

Rapture Maps to strengthen its solar monitoring software with recent USD 22 million Series B funding

Karthik Subramanian

Karthik Subramanian, Research Associate
Lux Take: Average Importance

 

"The American solar energy asset management firm's Series B funding round received support from organizations including Mackinnon, Bennett & Company, DNV, Engie New Ventures, and the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund. Apart from refining its existing anomaly-detection capabilities, these funds will help expand the technical team for an improved product offering. Robust automated digital solutions for asset performance, tracking, and fault detection are essential for growing solar energy systems, given the vast area of solar installations. Clients with an interest in solar asset management should consider Raptor Maps favorably since it has proven capabilities in this space and is growing in the right direction."

Lux Research - Newsletter Research

KPMG’s decarbonization hub highlights digital’s key role in sustainability roadmap

Shu Ann Chan, Analyst-Associate Consultant, Lux Research

Shu Ann Chan, Analyst/Associate Consultant
Lux Take: Average Importance

 

"Bcomp has closed its oversubscribed Series B financing round of USD 35 million led by a group of automotive OEM investors including BMW i Ventures, Porsche Ventures, and Volvo Cars Technology Fund AB, besides Airbus Ventures, Generali, and existing shareholders. Bcomp's proprietary technologies — ampliTex and powerRibs — are used to make light and stiff composites that are compatible with thermoplastic and thermoset resins. Bcomp will use the funding to increase its global and domestic production capacity and team expansion. Clients interested in natural fibers and their composites, especially for automotive applications for lightweighting, should engage with Bcomp as it takes the lead in natural fiber technologies."

 

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

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