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Lux Take on News: Weekly Round-Up January 7, 2022

Lux Research
January 7, 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. 

Kebotix and SCM partner to advance materials discovery innovations using AI and atomistic simulations

Varsha Sethuraman_headshot

Varsha Sethuraman, Research Associate
Lux Take: Average Importance

 

Xiao Zhong, Ph.D., Senior Analyst, Lux Research

Xiao Zhong, Ph.D., Senior Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance

 

"Software for Chemistry & Materials (SCM) is joining its computational chemistry expertise to Kebotix’s artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) experience in a move that could theoretically accelerate the discovery process. While it's progress for Kebotix, the firm has been slow to develop its core differentiator, the closed-loop approach that integrates computation, AI/ML, data, and robotic (self-driving) lab, says Alán Aspuru-Guzik, a co-founder. Still, clients should engage and validate which materials scale (atomic or larger) it's working on — you may find its algorithms similar to AstraZeneca's, though more focused on materials. They also should ask how this work might integrate with other pieces of the self-driving lab." 

Healthcare data exchange Smarter Health raises $3.8 million in Series A funding to improve data infrastructure

Nardev Ramanathan, Ph.D., Senior Analyst, Lux Research

Nardev Ramanathan, Ph.D., Senior Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance

 

"Despite the impact of digital transformation in healthcare, challenges such as data interoperability, privacy, and security remain. Singaporean startup Smarter Health aims to solve these challenges by providing a secure and standardized platform for healthcare data exchange between payers, providers, and insurers. The company recently raised almost $4 million in a Series A funding round led by East Ventures. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed key inefficiencies in healthcare processes. While early stage, Smarter Health is addressing an unmet need in the Southeast Asian ecosystem; clients should monitor this company closely for potential investment or partnership opportunities in the APAC region." 

TuSimple tests fully autonomous truck on public roads but commercial implementation remains a way off

Anirudh Bhoopalam, Analyst, Lux Research

Anirudh Bhoopalam, Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance

 

"A TuSimple-fitted truck drove with no human on board and without any human intervention for about 80 miles from Tucson to Phoenix. The test, claimed by TuSimple to be the world's first evidence of a fully autonomous truck, included a vehicle five miles ahead to scout for unexpected obstacles, a safety vehicle half a mile behind to intervene if needed, and a few police vehicles. While this test is a step forward in demonstrating technology, clients should note that it was carried out at night when traffic levels are likely to be lower. Moreover, the inclusion of multiple support vehicles, in collaboration with regulators and law enforcement, is an indicator of the lengthy journey to large-scale, revenue-generating commercial operations."

Download the executive summary of the Lux Foresight 2022 report

Seppure to provide first commercial organic solvent nanofiltration plant to GIIAVA

Abhirabh Basu, Analyst, Lux Research

Abhirabh Basu, Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance

 

"Singapore-based Seppure has signed a memorandum of understanding to build an organic solvent nanofiltration plant to decarbonize soy lecithin manufacturing with GIIAVA. Seppure's technology replaces distillation in chemical separations, reducing energy consumption by 50%. This is Seppure's first commercial project while the company expands into Canada and conducts pilots with customers in North America. Clients should note that chemically robust membranes promise to eat away market share from thermally driven separations as industrial companies seek sustainable chemical processing technologies. Similar examples include Via Separations' pulp and paper pilot and Memsift's cellulose fiber recovery plant with Aditya Birla Group."

Cellulose nanocrystals can form a biodegradable film with tunable colors for consumer packaging

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

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

 

"The use of structured colors can replace traditional printing methods with different inks similar to using a single material deposited under various conditions, thus providing biodegradable products with more benign chemicals and a reduced carbon footprint — which is attractive for consumer products firms under pressure to improve packaging sustainability. Researchers from the University of Cambridge aim to fulfill the need with cellulose, as cellulose nanocrystals tend to aggregate and form a pattern with specific colors based on particles sizes. Their demonstration of cellulose-based recyclable glitter is novel, but will need to overcome cost and production challenges that have long plagued nanocellulose to achieve mainstream adoption."

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