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Lux Take on News: Weekly Round-Up June 26, 2020

Lux Research
June 26, 2020

Everyday 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 for the final Friday of June in this post.

U.S. Congress faces significant pressure to make telehealth a permanent feature of U.S. healthcare

unknown-1593195877842Danielle Bradnan, Research Associate @DBradnan Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important

"Key concerns for legislators are broadband internet access, payer reimbursement, and licensure barriers (currently, medical licenses are only valid for specific states). Those interested in healthcare should pay close attention to how these concerns are addressed because policy changes may mean greater opportunities for clients that can provide thoughtful connectivity support, as well as more opportunities to provide telehealth tools (including remote monitoring devices) to a wider and more homogeneous array of healthcare providers. With legislative support, companies should expect the telehealth landscape to grow rapidly, as many telehealth companies have been ready for years and need to develop a strategy now in order to be competitive.

BMW and Daimler pause joint venture focused on autonomous vehicles

Robinson, ChristopherChristopher Robinson, Senior Analyst | @CRobinsonLux Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important

"Mercedes and BMW both have their own programs for developing ADAS for passenger vehicles, and this joint venture was targeting "next-generation" autonomous driving, which we presume means Level 4. Lux has previously written that COVID-19 would likely accelerate partnership formation in autonomous driving due to the high cost of development and risk of abandoning development completely. BMW and Daimler are taking the latter route, albeit temporarily, a move unlikely to have occurred but for the financial repercussions of COVID-19, as the announcement was made on the same day BMW cut 6,000 jobs. Companies should note that leaders in the space are unlikely to wind down development."

Cyclica raises $23 million to advance its tech and efforts to commercialize through JVs and partnerships

unknown-1593195716952Joshua Haslun, Ph.D., Senior Analyst | @JHaslun Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important

"The funding round, led by Drive Capital and joined by Chiesi Farmaceutici, GreenSky Capital, and management, brings Cyclica's total to $30 million. Cyclica has continued to advance its drug discovery and generative design platforms since Lux's interview. Now Cyclica will focus its efforts on penetrating the pharma sector through a partnership and JV model. The company has partnered with EntheogeniX, NineteenGaleRosetta, and the Rare Diseases Medicine Accelerator but has one JV established (Mannin Research) and claims two other undisclosed JVs. Companies, this growth model is not unique to Cyclica and indicates the cross-over value of omics data, polypharmacology, and bioinformatics to commercialize novel therapeutics and bioactives."

Lux Research - Newsletter Research

Strata Manufacturing and Solvay's JV facility is ready to produce aerospace-grade carbon fiber prepregs


Drishti Masand, Research Associate | @DrishtiMasand Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important

"The JV is set to supply aerospace-grade carbon fiber prepreg materials to the Boeing 777X program for use on primary structure applications. Meanwhile, other CF producers have been suspending operations, as the impact of COVID-19 and decreased air travel have resulted in a sharp decline in demand. Over the past few years, the demand for aerospace CF has been plateauing overall, and the current fallout will have an even greater impact on market projections. Companies should expect a significant decrease in growth rate for the aerospace industry and proportionally for the CF industry. As such, this JV will have a much slower kickoff in supplying CF prepreg and will need to hedge against falling demand through broadening its industry targets."

Livestock management and health continues high funding momentum as Connecterra raises $8.8 million

Krishfield, LauraLaura Krishfield, Research Associate | @LKrishfield Ico twitter
Lux Take: Average Importance

"The round was joined by ADM Capital, Kersia, Pymwymic, and existing investors Breed Reply and Sistema_VC, bringing Connecterra's total funding to $14.5 million. With the Series B, Connecterra will further develop its livestock management platform, Ida, and scale its coverage of the dairy cattle industry in Europe, North America, and New Zealand. While this is the second major investment in precision livestock farming in a week, the most relevant piece is the support from food safety company Kersia, highlighting technology for livestock welfare as a significant opportunity to promote responsible food production during a global health crisis. Clients, now is the time to participate in the digital transformation of the livestock industry."

Project Tundra coal power plant carbon capture won't save U.S. coal but will validate technology for export

Benjamin Torda

Benjamin Torda, Research Associate
Lux Take: Average Importance


"Fluor will lead the front-end engineering study for the carbon capture and storage project using its amine-based technology at a 455 MW unit in North Dakota owned by Minnkota Power Cooperative. The utility received $9.8 million from the U.S. Department of Energy and $15 million from North Dakota's Lignite Research Fund for the study. If the project proceeds, it will cost $1 billion, come online in 2022 or 2023, and look to take advantage of the recent 45Q federal tax credits for CCS. U.S. utilities should forget coalbuild out renewables and Li-ion storage, and begin testing long-duration storage. However, carbon capture pilots will provide vital data for decarbonizing more challenging sectors of the economy and countries."

Lux Research - The Next Energy Transition eBook

World's first carbon fiber-reinforced concrete building underway

Gee, Cecilia

Cecilia Gee, Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance

"Carbon fiber in primary structures for construction brings about issues in supply chain, upfront cost, familiarity, and need for new design capability. Despite the benefit of eliminating corrosion and decreasing CO2 emissions, carbon fiber in primary structures will be limited to demonstrator projects or niche applications for the next two to four years until questions on viability and scale of supply are resolved. That said, industry players need to continue to explore use cases in new industries to ensure overall carbon fiber growth – projects like this help stimulate the market. Those interested in carbon fiber for construction should in the meantime instead look to repair as a better market fit with lower barriers to adoption."

Neste launches feedstock R&D project to address likely supply shortage as the company continues to expand capacity

YuanSheng Yu Photo

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

"Neste is the industry leader in drop-in fuel production, and the recently announced feedstock R&D project comes as no surprise, as the company is doubling its Singapore refinery and increasing its production of bio-based chemicalsbiojet fuel, and marine biofuel. A potential feedstock supply shortage is not a sudden revelation, and the company has been strategically planning its feedstock strategy for several years. Dating back to 2014, Neste has been exploring microbial oils with Dong Energy and algae-based oil. In recent years, the company has expanded into waste plastics and pyrolysis oil while increasing its activity for used cooking oil in the U.S. and animal fat in the Neterhlands and opened an office for feedstock sourcing in China."

Researchers from IIT (ISM) Dhanbad develop superhydrophobic antiviral textile coating

14215-thumb-squareTiffany Hua, Research Associate | @tiff_hua Ico twitter
Lux Take: Average Importance

"There have been a number of timely announcements regarding antiviral and antimicrobial solutions from academic research groups due to COVID-19. However, most technologies in academia are not readily available and require additional research and development to ensure durability and efficacy against COVID-19. The IIT (ISM) Dhanbad researchers are still validating the coating's effectiveness against COVID-19 and will likely need several years to finish development and prove its scalability. While there is an opportunity to invest in or acquire technologies from academia, those looking to adopt effective solutions against COVID-19 should refer to readily available antiviral and antimicrobial solutions from established startups and companies."

TurtleTree Labs raises $3.2 million seed round for its cell-based milk


Thomas Hayes, Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance


"Through the press release, the company communicated the order of priority for applications of its platform: 1) human breast milk and then 2) cow's milk. The first application puts it in direct competition with newcomer Biomilq, which just raised a $3.5 million seed round. According to a recent interview with TurtleTree's CEO, since December 2019, the company has brought down the cost of production of its human breast milk product from $180 per liter to $30 per liter, increased its R&D team from five to 20 people, and started work with four or five major infant nutrition players. Companies, cell-based dairy is moving fast as companies like TurtleTree and Perfect Day continue to achieve milestones and reduce costs."

Zenobe Energy secures £20 million to support electrification of bus fleets in the U.K.

Hernandez, Jessica

Jessica Hernandez, Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance

"The £20 million loan is intended to help finance batteries power 100 electric buses. The cash will likely be added to Zenobe's £120 million fund launched last year to boost the number of commercial electric vehicle (EV) fleets in the U.K. Zenobe's EV business intends to remove ownership of vehicle batteries and charging infrastructure by leasing the batteries to bus operators and taking over the charging management for energy use optimization. The company's first deal is with London bus operator Abellio to electrify a fleet of 34 buses. By removing upfront and operational costs associated with commercial fleet electrification, battery leasing models address a major pain point for transit operators and will be key for bus electrification."






- Free Access to our COVID-19 Resources

- Blog: Lux Take on News: Weekly Round-Up June 19, 2020

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