Lux Take on News: Weekly Round-Up November 8, 2019

Lux Research

Every week our researchers gather the biggest news headlines and trends and provide their expert analysis on major developments. Our experts evaluate news based on potential importance ranking developments from Truly Disruptive to Ignore. Check out our thoughts on the top emerging technology and innovation news and trends from this past week below.

Each Friday we will highlight our Lux Take on the news for the week

Khalifa University develops 3D-printed spacers that significantly improve desalination membranes' flux and resistance to fouling

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Abhirabh Basu, Analyst 
Lux Take: Truly Disruptive


"Khalifa University's Center for Membranes and Advanced Water Technology (CMAT) has developed 3D-printed spacers for RO and UF membranes. The team has designed spacers called "triply periodic minimal surfaces" (TPMS) that are curved and thinner than traditional mesh-type spacers, lowering the pressure drop and allowing for greater membrane surface area in a module. As a result, membranes experience higher flux (16% for RO and 38% for UF), which directly translates to lower energy costs and higher water output. Also, the occurrence of biofouling can be reduced by up to 91%. Companies should investigate the advancements in 3D printing for the membrane market, including players like Aqua Membranes and research development at Khalifa and UConn."

Apple continues to smash data silos at U.S. Veterans Affairs, a health organization that addresses 5% of the total U.S. population

13261-thumb-squareDanielle Bradnan, Research Associate | @DBradnan Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important


"By integrating VA EHR data with Apple Health records, Apple is supporting veterans (who have iPhones) by tapping into two healthcare trends: breaking down of data silos and improving the user experience – all with an eye to preventative care. The product combines the data from different EHRs from clinics, giving patients a clear picture of their health so that they can make informed decisions regarding both clinical care and lifestyle choices. It also sleekly presents this information, removing the traditional friction of poring over multiple files in a variety of formats. Companies should be looking to partner with Apple to efficiently bring healthcare data to consumers as it increasingly takes ownership of the complicated EHR space."

Bristol City Council approves daytime ban of privately owned diesel cars in certain parts of the city

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


"While the ban still requires government approval and would not take effect until 2021, the announcement marks Bristol as the first U.K. city to commit to such a level of vehicle prohibition. Though the past few years have seen steady increases in emissions regulations and efforts from countries like Germany and Norway to combat air pollution via similar rulings, this is the second announcement in the past week covering a European city's pledge to ban diesel vehicles. Companies can no longer simply look to national regulations to inform product strategy but must pay increasing attention to rulings at the city level, as regulations that affect powertrains of the future will also originate from congested city centers."

Scientists enlist bioinformatics to reconstruct a plant disease-suppressing microbial community

12744-thumb-squareJoshua Haslun, Ph.D., Senior Analyst | @JHaslun Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important


"Analyzing the root metagenomes of sugar beets inhabiting disease-suppressive and disease-conducive soils to the root pathogen R. solani, the research identifies taxonomic units associated with disease suppression. The group leveraged bioinformatics (Genentech) to identify key microbial groups and overrepresented genes and sequenced the genomes of isolates. Leveraging this information, the team reconstructed a consortium of microbes from Flavobacterium and Chitinophaga that inhibited R. solani infections. The work supports leveraging bioinformatics and omics to elucidate key microbial connections associated with plant phenotypes (in this case, disease suppression) and as a key technology for achieving agriculture sustainability initiatives."

4M partners with Montefibre Carbon; combines PAN precursor with low-cost production

11996-thumb-squareCecelia Gee, Analyst
Lux Take: Very Important


"This partnership is finally a concrete step forward for 4M after having shifted strategies in 2018. Its technology will be used for producing cheaper heavy-tow carbon fiber, targeting widespread industrial uses, and not high-performance carbon, avoiding sectors like aerospace. While this move is one key component for making CF more accessible, groups across the entire value chain should make adoption easier overall. Companies can expect a slow start, as Montefibre and the JV both need to establish and scale production (Montefibre's PAN precursor will only come online with an initial 3,000 MT/yr mid-2020 and 25,000 MT/yr in 2025). Interested companies should monitor for establishment of the JV and for further acquisition activity by 4M."

Corning to use 5G in U.S. manufacturing plant; partners with Intel to offer in-building 5G product

13815-thumb-squareMichael Sullivan, Analyst
Lux Take: Very Important


"Corning, a specialty glass manufacturer, is planning to install a private 5G network in its Hickory, North Carolina, fiber-optic cable manufacturing plant. The network will provide data services for autonomous forklifts, asset tracking, preventative maintenance, worker monitoring, and video surveillance.The network will be provided by Verizon, with Corning also collaborating with Intel to create 5G wireless network products. Given that Verizon is one of Corning's main customers for fiber-optic products for 5G backhaul, the partnership is a win-win for both parties as well as an extension of an existing collaboration. Companies should use Corning's initiative as a guidepost for how to fully play the 5G ecosystems as both buyers and sellers."

Jump's suspension in Los Angeles foreshadows looming legal battle over mobility data

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


"The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) suspended Uber-owned Jump bikes and scooters, as it refused to share real-time data of its vehicles. Although other scooter and bike operators provide the data, Jump cited their privacy agreements with customers as a reason for being able to share the data. However, LADOT maintains that real-time tracking is necessary to enforce rules around where the scooters are allowed to operate and how many are allowed on streets. Data is an increasingly valuable tool for cities to manage traffic, and companies should watch legal developments in this case, as it may set the tone for future legal battles throughout the country."

Additional 24 companies join Macron's Fashion Pact, totaling to 250 brands

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


"The growth of the Fashion Pact coalition emphasizes the momentum toward a more sustainable fashion industry, as seen within the past year. While the commitments of this group are broad and aspirational, Lux sees this as an opportunity for the implementation of sustainable textile technologies (like dye processing or solvent recycling) throughout the fashion supply chain. Material and chemical companies within this supply chain must adapt to these trends, while apparel brand owners should continue to differentiate themselves by investing in sustainable textile technologies (while ensuring their sustainability goals are clearly defined and achievable)."

Microsoft partners with Ansys to offer an industrial digital twin solution

Venkatesh Konanur-1Venkatesh Konanur, Senior Research Associate
Lux Take: Average Importance


"Microsoft Azure's Digital Twins product is chiefly a platform that creates a two-way channel between physical assets and their digital data bucket, essentially like a data broker. With this partnership, Ansys' rich physics models are available to be connected with the Azure Digital Twins product, enabling customers to build a true digital twin that incorporates the physical nature of the asset. This is not Ansys' first partnership; it has similar relationships with SAP, PTC, and GE for their IoT expertise. Nonetheless, this is a positive move for companies using the Azure platform for data management and looking to build physical models for digital twins directly from the platform."

SOAPBOTTLEs will face a steep slope for adoption

14312-thumb-square Drishti Masand, Research Associate | @DrishtiMasand Ico twitter
Lux Take: Ignore


"Not all solutions being developed to tackle plastic waste are good or even feasible. SOAPBOTTLE is a novel idea that uses solid soap to encapsulate liquid soap; however, it seems very unlikely that these "soap" bottles will be found on supermarket shelves next to traditional plastic bottles anytime soon. This announcement highlights the need for out-of-the-box solutions for moving away from plastics for single-use packaging applications. Yet, with such creative ideas being introduced, it is important that functionality and performance be maintained or improved with minimal changes to consumer behavior in order to achieve success."




FURTHER READING:

- Blog: Lux Take on News: Weekly Round-Up November 1, 2019

- Executive Summary: 20 for 20 Annual Report (Free Download)

- Report: Digital Twins: The Technology and Its Industrial Use Cases (Members Only)

- Report: The Digital Transformation of Healthcare (Members Only)

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