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Lux Take on News: Weekly Round-Up December 17, 2021

Lux Research
December 17, 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 past week below. 

The Every Company raises $175 million in Series C funding to commercialize animal-free ingredients

hariniHarini Venkataraman, Ph.D., Analyst, Lux Research

Harini Venkataraman, Ph.D., Analyst
Lux Take: Very Important

 

"The funding of Every, co-led by McWin and existing investor Rage Capital, brings the company's total investments to $233 million, which will help the company expand its recently commercialized egg white protein and animal-free pepsin and focus on R&D to grow its business-to-business ingredients platform for numerous food ingredients and proteins. It is also looking to strengthen its retail footprint in the U.S. following its recent partnership with Pressed. Every joins the likes of Perfect Day, making them key players that have commercialized precision fermentation-derived proteins. Precision fermentation is evolving as an alternative manufacturing pillar for food ingredients that address sustainability and resource efficiency.

Suntory's partnership with Anellotech finally reaches a breakthrough, introducing 100% plant-based PET bottle prototypes in Europe and Japan

Tiffany Hua, Senior Research Associate, Lux Research

Tiffany Hua, Senior Research Associate
Lux Take: Very Important

 

"After 10 years and more than $30 million, Suntory finally launched its 100% biobased polyethylene terephthalate (bio-PET) bottle prototype. This announcement came only weeks after Coca-Cola announced its version, highlighting the trend in bio-PET. Suntory’s prototype is made using Anellotech's Bio-TCat technology, which uses woodchips to produce bio-paraxylene that is then converted into bio-terephthalic acid (bio-PTA), the key material enabling 100% bio-PET. This prototype represents a milestone for Suntory and Anellotech; however, Anellotech is still working towards its first commercial facility. Key players should closely monitor Anellotech in addition to Virent and BP as they are going head-to-head in commercializing bio-PTA.

Porsche expands investments in digital with 1KOMMA5° stake, adding smart homes to mobility bets

Michael Sullivan, Analyst, Lux Research

Michael Sullivan, Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance

 

"Porsche Ventures added a minority stake in 1KOMMA5° to its digital startup investments, shifting into smart homes. The startup plans to be a one-stop shop for consumer energy needs, including retail, installation, and management of solar, heat pumps, and energy storage for Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. The investment is one of 30 Porsche has made in startups, largely in the fields of customer experience, mobility, and digital lifestyles. By investing in the digital ecosystem, Porsche achieves entry into other markets, such as providing residential energy services, as well as associating its brand with sustainability, making its electric vehicle models like Taycan more attractive. Companies should consider similar crossover strategies."

Agrifood Newsletter

Newheat raises €7 million to advance solar heat and waste-heat recovery

Jinze Dai, Ph.D., Analyst, Lux Research

Jinze Dai, Ph.D., Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance

 

"Prior to the recently announced funding, the French startup had raised €1.8 million in 2017 and €15 million in 2020. The company has five projects completed and two under construction, including one paper mill, two food processing plants, one brickyard, two district heating networks, and one large-scale greenhouse, ranging from 1,000 MWh to 8,000 MWh per year. Newheat plans to use the funding to increase its head count, support R&D, and accelerate commercial deployment and international expansion. The demand for low-carbon heat will grow steadily, opening up more opportunities for solar thermal companies, though the up-front cost, intermittency, and physical footprint of solar heat will remain barriers in the near term."

Motif FoodWorks launches its first precision-fermentation-derived ingredient

hariniHarini Venkataraman, Ph.D., Analyst, Lux Research

Harini Venkataraman, Ph.D., Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance

 

"Ginkgo Biowork's spin-out Motif FoodWorks launched its first commercial ingredient, Hemami, a bovine myoglobin protein that can be used as a flavor and aroma ingredient in plant-based meat analog applications. The company produces Hemami by fermentation using an engineered strain of the yeast Pichia pastoris. It recently obtained Food and Drug Administration generally recognized as safe approval, enabling commercialization of Hemami. Motif is diversifying its approach to taste and texture by relying not just on precision fermentation. It's also looking to commercialize Appetex, plant-based hydrogels using other texturing technologies. Key players should monitor the company's progress as it develops more comprehensive solutions for meat analogs."

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Apple releases AirPods with spatial audio and streams of behavior information

Vladimir Roznyatovskiy, Ph.D., Senior Analyst, Lux Research

Vladimir Roznyatovskiy, Ph.D., Senior Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance

 

"The newest AirPods rely on inertial measurement units to track a user's movements and licensed Dolby Atmos technology to adjust sound for the motion. Spatial or 3D sound provides a more immersive experience than static stereo sound and will likely see growing adoption. Spatial sound is a differentiator for conventional listening experiences but is a foundational requirement for augmented and virtual reality. For Apple, the update allows it to refine the technology before future applications, while elevating its AirPods products over other wireless headphones. However, access to users' movement data could be the biggest gain, leading to behavioral insights or digital biomarkers, which are hard to get directly due to privacy concerns."

Cummins taps Sion Power for lithium metal batteries

Chloe Herrera, Senior Research Associate, Lux Research

Chloe Herrera, Senior Research Associate
Lux Take: Average Importance

 

"Sion Power will supply batteries using its metallic lithium anode battery technology to Cummins for commercial vehicles. Lithium anodes offer much higher energy densities than incumbent anodes, but poor cycle life, safety, and limited production capacity remain large barriers to commercial adoption. Despite the technical hurdles for widespread adoption, Cummins' use of Sion Power's technology will provide the company an early market opportunity in applications where payload is a concern. Key players should note that the partnership highlights how companies interested in electrification can incorporate new technology without waiting for commercial-scale production."

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.

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