Select your language: EN JP

Lux Take on News: Weekly Round-Up December 18, 2020

Lux Research
December 18, 2020

Every day our researchers comb through the top innovation headlines and provide their expert analysis on important updates, trends, and developments across industries. Our analysts evaluate news based on potential importance ranking the developments from Truly Disruptive to Ignore.

On Fridays we highlight our Lux Take on the news for the week. Check out our thoughts on the latest emerging technology and innovation news for the past week below.

Updates from NIMS consortium suggest a viable means of collaboration between chemical companies on polymer informatics

XIAO ZHONGXiao Zhong, Ph.D., Analyst | @conanxzxz Ico twitter
Lux Take: Truly Disruptive


"Started in 2017 and led by the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), this consortium aims to build a platform with efforts from Mitsubishi Chemical Corp., Sumitomo Chemical, Asahi Kasei, and Mitsui Chemicals. There was little additional information other than that the group would focus on the data collection of polymer physical properties. Now the news has revealed the work on polyolefins. The group has collected more than 150 physical properties of more than 250 types of polyolefins, which further suggests the following points Lux has emphasized: 1. The consortium model is the most effective way of leveraging materials informatics. 2. Polymers are hard to handle but are of great commercial interest and should be prioritized."

Genetically engineered pigs receive FDA approval

Krishfield, LauraLaura Krishfield, Research Associate | @LKrishfield Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important


"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved genetically modified (GM) pigs, otherwise known as GalSafe pigs, for human consumption and therapeutic development. The pigs lack alpha-gal, a sugar derived from mammal sources that is a growing source cause allergic reactions in humans. This is the second such approval, following the AquAdvantage salmon in 2015. The GalSafe pigs will initially be used for biomedical applications, including blood thinners that don't elicit a reaction and xenotransplants. Companies, this is a win for R&D toward human health, but GM livestock for food will still be a difficult area to engage in considering the consumer hurdles."

Virtual try-on feature on Google app will impact the long-term strategy of stakeholders in the cosmetics space

2908-thumb-squareJerrold Wang, Analyst | @jerroldwang Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important

"Through partnerships with ModiFace and Perfect Corp, the Google app now provides virtual try-ons for lipstick and eyeshadow from several leading brands and also allows users to view expert recommendations. This development promises to offer a shopping experience comparable to that in the store, which is relevant to the growing online shopping trend driven by the pandemic. CPG companies should pay close attention to this development; companies will have to digitize their products to avail of these features as well as rethink their channel mix strategy. Those investing in IoT products like smart mirrors  should also reevaluate how their products are differentiated from such smartphone apps."

Finalized telehealth expansion of Medicare is published, entirely misses the point of remote monitoring

13261-thumb-squareDanielle Bradnan, Analyst @DBradnan Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important

"This expansion includes remote monitoring but stipulates that in order to be reimbursed for the use of remote monitoring, physicians will need to spend 20 minutes with a patient to complement any data collection and processing that occurs. This completely undercuts the central value of remote monitoring tools, which is the contactless collection of data for streamlined patient monitoring, and financially disincentivizes their use. However, companies should not stop developing these tools, as a growing body of physicians has strongly objected to this stipulation – and convinced CMS to run a study on their value. This study will likely reverse the reimbursement decision, keeping the development of these products a smart bet."

Lux Research - Newsletter Research


Loop Industries' response to damning Hindenburg report proves inadequate

12145-thumb-squareCharles Willard, Analyst
Lux Take: Very Important

"Two months after Hindenburg published a scathing report on Loop Industries' management and technology, causing a 39% drop in its share prices, Loop responded with an independent review of its process. While this review did address DMT and MEG purity concerns, albeit in a disorganized way, bigger questions about overall yield and company personnel remain unaddressed. Investors have quickly taken notice: Before Hindenburg responded to this review with expected skepticism, Loop's stock prices – which had recovered substantially since Hindenburg's original report – fell by another 29%. While Loop's review should not change your assessment of the company's technology, its inadequate response confirms our concerns about the company's management."

Deere's efforts in digital agriculture finally poised to bear fruit

Olsen, Sara

Sara Olson, Ph.D., Director, Research | @SaraOlsonLux Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important

 

"After acquiring Blue River Technology in 2017 and a 5G broadband license in late 2020, John Deere is poised to launch its computer vision-driven precision agriculture solution in 2021. The company will use Blue River's tech to take photos of growing plants from a moving piece of equipment to make real-time decisions about spraying on a per-plant basis. While the approach has the theoretical potential to significantly improve management decisions on farms, it remains unclear whether growers will adopt the approach – or pay for it. With many digital-driven approaches in development for use on farms, the most critical aspects remain return on investment and ease of use – don't get distracted by the draw of tech for tech's sake."

Hyundai Motor Group acquires controlling interest of Boston Dynamics, valuing it at $1.1 billion

Kern, Josh

Josh Kern, Analyst | @josh_kern_ Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important


"Under the agreement, SoftBank will retain 20% of Boston Dynamics, while Hyundai Motor Group will own 80% of the company. This is the third acquisition for Boston Dynamics, following Google's in 2013 and SoftBank's in 2017. Prior valuations of the company are unknown, but the current valuation is impressive for a company that just started commercial sales of its first mass production robot this year. The move is in line with Hyundai's broader goal of becoming a mobility solution provider and follows the company's autonomous vehicle (AV) joint venture, Motional. Those interested should watch to see if Hyundai builds multimodal solutions for last-mile delivery that include AVs and Boston Dynamics' legged robots."

Stratasys plans to turn up its sales by acquiring Origin through $100 million deal

XIAO ZHONGXiao Zhong, Ph.D., Analyst | @conanxzxz Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important


"Stratasys has struggled with its sales for a while, and the 3D printing community has cast its profile as the opposite of innovation. A lack of focus and being slow to react to new trends, business models, and technologies are some of the reasons behind this. According to its new CEO, the company now focuses on polymers, production, and manufacturing, and he expects the acquisition of Origin's programmable photopolymerization (P3) technology will bring synergy and drive up sales. While Origin's technology and open materials platform could bring many opportunities for Stratasys, it would probably take longer to realize the sales promises, as Origin is still at an early stage, without a broad impact yet."

The Chemical and Materials Company of 2040


Desktop Metal now publicly traded on New York Stock Exchange

Anthony Vicari Analyst at Lux ResearchAnthony Vicari, Analyst 
Lux Take: Average Importance

"On December 10, Desktop Metal merged with special purpose acquisition company Trine Acquisition Corp. and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. It received $580 million in the process, including $280 million in equity investment, bringing its total equity investment to date to more than $710 million at a current valuation of about $2.5 billion. The company's current revenue is just $30 million. Desktop Metal's software products, in particular, make it well-positioned to grow within the metal 3D printing market, which itself continues to grow at more than 20% annually. However, it is unclear whether that growth will be sufficient to justify the current valuation."

Zoox unveils electric purpose-built robotaxi

Kern, Josh

Josh Kern, Analyst | @josh_kern_ Ico twitter
Lux Take: Low Importance


"In its first major announcement since being acquired by Amazon, Zoox unveiled the design of its driverless passenger vehicle, which has no steering wheel and can drive bidirectionally. Similar to Cruise's Origin, Zoox's design will maximize passenger space and optimize the rider experience using touchscreen interfaces. It's not yet clear when the company's vehicle will receive FMVSS certification, which would allow the vehicle to operate on U.S. public roads. Another big question is who will manufacture the vehicle. Companies should watch to see if Zoox keeps manufacturing internally (like Neolix) or partners with an automaker, just like Cruise did with GM. One option might be Rivian, which has also received funding from Amazon."

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.
Antimicrobial Coatings at the Front Line of COVID-19

Antimicrobial Coatings at the Front Line of COVID-19

Read More
The Future of Plastic Recycling Report

The Future of Plastic Recycling Report

Read More
Press Release: Global Megatrends Will Transform the Chemical Industry Over the Next 20 Years

Press Release: Global Megatrends Will Transform the Chemical Industry Over the Next 20 Years

Read More
More Lux News
Schedule Your Demo