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.
Apple's on-device processing will improve network, privacy, and latency-related issues with its voice assistant
ViAqua raises $4.3 million to bring RNAi solutions to shrimp production
Laura Krishfield, Senior Research Associate
Lux Take: Average Importance
"ViAqua Therapeutics, a developer of RNAi solutions for pathogen biocontrol in aquaculture, has raised $4.3 million from S2G Ventures, Agriline, and the VC arm of Thai Union Group along with previous investors to scale production and expand its product pipeline. ViAqua claims the encasing of its first product – a chitosan-RNA nanoparticle within a polymer and protein-based carrier – enables improved uptake by shrimp as a feed supplement. RNAi solutions for aquaculture are seeing interest from investors (e.g., Pebble Labs' $12 million seed round); however, companies should note that product performance remains dependent on the amount of ss- or dsRNA reaching the target organism at any given time, which is difficult within aquatic environments."
U.S. Department of Energy invests $12 million in direct air capture projects
TotalEnergies kicks off green methanol project with Sunfire
Runeel Daliah, Senior Analyst
Lux Take: Low Importance
"The partnership was first announced in 2019. Phase I of the project will see the deployment of a 1 MW SOEC electrolyzer from Sunfire for green hydrogen by 2021, and Phase II will see the deployment of the methanol synthesis unit by 2022. While TotalEnergies did not disclose the technology supplier for the methanol synthesis unit, we suspect it will be using its own CO2-hydrogenation catalyst. The use of an SOEC for hydrogen only is not optimal, as an SOEC can also produce syngas – a better approach would be for TotalEnergies to produce syngas from the SOEC and use conventional methanol synthesis technology for direct syngas conversion."
Worcester Polytechnic Institute develops CO₂-consuming self-healing concrete
Anthony Schiavo, Research Director| @MobbDeepTech
Lux Take: Ignore
"As we pointed out in our recent landscape of sustainable concrete, self-healing typically misses the mark in terms of utility. Despite the headlines, the CO2 aspect of this tech is negligible; instead, it will only be useful for those who can leverage self-healing. The specific conditions required – such as access to CO2 – rule out many key applications for self-healing concrete. Companies should ignore this announcement."