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Lux Take on News: Weekly Round-Up June 12, 2020

Lux Research
June 12, 2020

Each day our analysts read through major industry headlines and provide their analysis on developments and trends in the news. Our experts evaluate news based on potential importance ranking the developments from Truly Disruptive to Ignore.

Every Friday we highlight our Lux Take on the news for the week. Check out our thoughts on the top emerging technology and innovation news, including our researchers' coverage of technologies and strategies as they relate to the global pandemic.

U.S. state-specific interpretation of dicamba ruling adds uncertainty

Haslun, JoshJoshua Haslun, Ph.D., Senior Analyst | @JHaslun Ico twitter
Lux Take: Truly Disruptive

"Vestaron has remained a leader in tested efficacy among biopesticide developers. This distribution agreement brings an added layer of confidence to the product and the company. SPEAR-LEP will now penetrate the nut and fruit tree market of North America, which will situate it for future expansion. This is a critical milestone for Vestaron and one that will likely speed up its development as well as acceptance of its pipeline of novel products. While the semi-exclusive nature of the agreement adds some confusion and may hide international opportunities, companies should take from this announcement that Vestaron is growing to be a real competitor in the high-value crop protection space. Don't miss your opportunities in this evolving market."

Germany passes $10.2 billion hydrogen strategy and stimulus plan

Tim Grejtak Lux ResearchTim Grejtak, Analyst | @TheEnergyNerd Ico twitter
Lux Take: Truly Disruptive

"The German federal ministry of economy and energy unveiled Germany's national hydrogen strategy, calling for 5 GW of new green hydrogen capacity (hydrogen produced from wind- or solar-powered electrolysis) and dedicating $8 billion toward the development of that capacity. The hydrogen strategy brief recognizes Germany's limited renewable potential to produce green hydrogen, so it has also dedicated a further $2 billion toward international collaboration projects. Notably, the hydrogen strategy identifies an 85 TWh shortfall between green hydrogen supply and economy wide hydrogen demand in 2030. Companies should evaluate different hydrogen import technologies and position themselves as early leaders in one of the largest markets for hydrogen."

New IoT security and privacy labels in the style of food nutrition labels offer transparency but will face barriers to adoption
to adoption

Lisheng Gao

Lisheng Gao, Analyst
Lux Take: Very Important

"Carnegie Mellon University's CyLab developed prototype IoT security labels to offer IoT device manufacturers easy-to-use tools to communicate with their users about the security and privacy practices of the IoT devices. The labels are like food nutrition labels, listing essential information like the kinds of data that are collected and how they are handled. Unlike tedious terms and conditions, which can be difficult to understand, the label contains readable fact-based qualitative information. Although this is a great idea, companies should be aware that it needs regulators to mandate the adoption; otherwise, it is unlikely to be used. Furthermore, this would not happen soon due to lengthy legislation processes."

The time is now for Saudi Arabia to reevaluate its long-term role in the global energy landscape

YuanSheng Yu Photo

Yuan-Sheng Yu, Senior Analyst | @808sAndInnovate Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important

"With global oil demand down and plummeting prices, it is no surprise that the world's largest exporter had a bad Q1. Rather than harping on what is, now is the time to take a serious look at what could be. While oil demand for transportation will decrease, chemicals and plastics are expected to grow by nearly 50% by 2040. In response, Saudi Aramco is scaling its TC2C technology and acquired 70% of SABIC to strengthen its foothold in the chemicals market. Looking further ahead, the country can also play an integral part in a decarbonized energy trade, leveraging its existing infrastructure and renewable energy potential to be a key exporter of decarbonized energy to many of the same countries that rely on it for oil today."

China's live, attenuated African swine flu vaccine working toward passing safety milestones

Haslun, JoshJoshua Haslun, Ph.D., Senior Analyst | @JHaslun Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important

"Clinical trials of the vaccine developed at the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) began in March with 3,000 pigs at three sites in Heilongjiang. State media now communicates mortality rates of 1%, and vaccinated pigs do not shed or transmit the virus. The trials will continue forward, but testing is needed across a range of circumstances (animal density, farm practices, etc.) to support efficacy. Nonetheless, the trials are encouraging for a disease that continues to significantly impact production throughout Asia (India, China, Philippines). Companies, continue to pursue antibiotic alternatives for livestock health and recognize the significant funding and research resources injected."

New intelligent transportation systems improve multimodal mobility

Chad Goldberg - Research Associate at Lux ResearchChad Goldberg, Research Associate
Lux Take: Very Important

"GiveMeGreen!, an application developed by traffic management company Sensys Networks, has been released nationwide. The app, designed to turn traffic lights green for cyclists, connects a user's smartphone to a Sensys gateway via Bluetooth. This application is not the only solution of its kind, as companies like Rapid Flow and Miovision offer similar capabilities via camera detection, though the smartphone app integration is lower-cost and easier for cities to implement if they already have Sensys systems in place. While no single detection method or system has emerged as a market leader, expect municipalities to continue to deploying multimodal traffic management systems that fit the specific needs and conditions of local communities."

Lux Research - Newsletter Research

Bureau of International Recycling reports that COVID-19 continues to disrupt consumer waste collection

Anthony SchiavoAnthony Schiavo., Senior Analyst | @MobbDeep Ico twitter
Lux Take: Average Importance

"This news is in line with our conversations with those in the recycling value chain. COVID-19 has disrupted the collection of post-consumer scrap, but it is also hurting global scrap flows; this is likely to be more impactful as it drives recyclers to find alternate sources of scrap. Ultimately, a more robust – and localized – global recycling industry will be the likely result of these disruptions." 

Respiration health remote monitoring company AireHealth merges with breath analytics company BreathResearch

13261-thumb-squareDanielle Bradnan, Research Associate @DBradnan Ico twitter
Lux Take: Average Importance

"With this merger, AireHealth will be able to improve its own offering and develop new products targeted toward respiratory care. Prior to the move, BreathResearch was focused on developing wearables to leverage its breath sounds analytics. Now, instead of putting yet another "me too" wearable on the market, BreathResearch is able to leverage its analytics into the existing hardware that AireHealth already manufactures. This merger is an excellent example of how companies who have either healthcare data or a hardware solution can be assessing potential acquisitions as an entry into the healthcare space to create a healthcare solution both greater than the sum of its parts and that doesn't require reinventing the wheel."

Researchers at UC San Diego improve mobility of legged robots with soft robotic feet

Kern, JoshJosh Kern, Analyst | @josh_kern_ Ico twitter
Lux Take: Average Importance

The team created flexible feet using latex filled with coffee grounds, along with vacuum-based actuation that adapted to the type of surface the robot was walking on. The technology is reminiscent of startup Empire Robotics' soft robotic grippers, which failed to find a good business case. Applied to the feet of legged robots, the researchers said this technology enabled their robots to walk up to 40% faster. Instead of relying on complex joint control dynamics to establish balance, the robot's feet conformed to uneven terrains like gravel and wood chips. Companies should see this as one approach to improve legged robots, but others like Agility Robotics are designing inherently stable robot legs that can ignore terrain conditions."

Sound echo sensors for social distancing measurement do not make sense at all

Lisheng Gao

Lisheng Gao, Analyst
Lux Take: Low Importance

"Imerai develops sound echo-based sensors using MEMS sensors. It claims that its MEMS-based sensors generate ultrasound pulses and detect the echoes bounced back by the targets to create images. The images can maintain the anonymity of the targets due to the intrinsic low spatial resolution of sound. The company claims its sensors can be used for maintaining social distancing. Although ultrasound sensors are cheaper and more accessible than alternative radar sensors, their sensing accuracy can be profoundly affected by soft materials and changes of temperature due to sound absorption and shift in transmission behavior, respectively. Companies should be cautious until the company can fully validate the technological feasibility."

MIT develops roll-to-roll graphene production method

Gee, Cecilia

Cecilia Gee, Analyst
Lux Take: Low Importance

"Consistent, high-quality supply of graphene has been a challenge, but increasingly mature producers and new standards have improved the situation. This work from MIT claims to "improve the electrical properties of transferred graphene on flexible substrates," and parylene – already used in the electronics industry – yields clear benefit. Companies can expect that this particular process is unlikely to be adopted by graphene producers, but the principles are interesting for longer-term research."

Honor's smartphone-integrated temperature sensors for body temperature measurement are half-baked products

Lisheng Gao

Lisheng Gao, Analyst
Lux Take: Low Importance

"Honor, a Huawei-owned brand, released new smartphones with built-in infrared temperature sensors for body temperature measurement purposes. Users can measure the targets' temperatures by holding the smartphones at a distance of 2 cm to 4 cm from the objects. The global pandemic has stimulated companies to overengineer their products with unnecessary components for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Although temperature sensors may be useful in a few use cases, users do not want to use them for two reasons: 1) Users are generally not willing to expose their phones to sources of infection; 2) hand-held temperature sensors are more convenient and practical for such a function. Currently, companies should avoid similar half-baked solutions. "




- Free Access to our COVID-19 Resources

- Blog: Lux Take on News: Weekly Round-Up June 5, 2020

- Blog: Tech Scouting and Innovation Investing During Systemic Pandemics

- Press Release: Decarbonization of the Global Energy Trade: A $500 Billion Zero-Carbon Opportunity

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