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Lux Take on News: Weekly Round-Up November 29, 2019

Lux Research

Each week our researchers gather the biggest headlines and trends and provide their analysis on major industry developments in the news. Our analysts 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 across all industries below.

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

Formnext: Henkel launches the first photopolymer 3D printing material meeting aerospace FST safety standards

Tugce UsuluTugce Uslu, PDEng, Analyst
Lux Take: Very Important

Henkel is one of the materials companies actively engaged in the 3D printing space. At Formnext, the company launched its new photoreactive material that meets flame, smoke, and toxicity (FST) standards. There are other flame-retardant materials as well as a few new FST-certified filaments in the field, but this is the first one (developed with Origin) to be used with a vat photopolymerization-based 3D printer. As Lux expressed before, developing new materials with the end use in mind will help move 3D printing to production – and this material can indeed address end-use applications that demand FST certification in industries like aerospace, medical, railway, automotive, and power generation.

Google unveils integrated clinical search tool that makes it easy for doctors to gain access to fragmented data

13275-thumb-square (1)Nardev Ramanathan, Ph.D., Analyst | @Nardev_R Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important

"Imagine having a Google search engine, but for healthcare providers. Sounds like something we should have had ages ago, but the reality is that data silos are a huge barrier to enabling better interoperability and collaboration in healthcare. Despite this development, the recent revelation of Google's secret "Project Nightingale" and its questionable use of patient health data has negatively impacted Google's efforts in this space. From a technological point of view, this development is promising, and companies should look for opportunities to engage with healthcare providers to develop similar capabilities. But it is critical to be fully compliant with data handling practices and be fully engaged with all stakeholders concerned."

Ineos partners with waste management company Viridor on circular plastics

457-thumb-squareMichael Holman, Ph.D., Vice President, Research | @MichaelHolmanLR Ico twitter
Lux Take: Very Important

We just recently called out that, for all the investments the chemical industry is putting in plastic waste processing plants, most in the industry are neglecting work on collecting the waste streams needed for those plants. Right on cue, Ineos has teamed up with U.K. waste and recycling specialist Viridor to gain access to the processed plastic waste from Viridor's newest £65 million recycling plant to convert into olefin products with up to 50% post-consumer content (this collaboration seems to focus on mechanically recycled material, not the polystyrene chemical recycling Ineos has targeted elsewhere). Expect to see more partnerships between material players and waste management specialists."

GHGSat unintentionally discovers industrial methane leak with satellite-based imaging system

holly havelHolly Havel, Research Associate
Lux Take: Average Importance

"GHGSat recently published a study discussing its satellite's unintentional discovery of large methane plumes from oil fields in Central Asia while studying emissions from mud volcanoes. The company initially detected the plume in January 2019 but was able to date the leak back to February 2018 using previously collected imagery. While the finding does demonstrate the successful application of microsatellites for industrial methane detection, it is concerning that it took GHGSat more than 12 months to connect the dots here, during which more than 100,000 metric tons of methane were emitted. Companies should opt for drone- and other aerial-based solutions for methane detection considering their quick data turnaround compared to satellites."

DSM acquires personalized nutrition startup AVA


Thomas Hayes, Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance

"Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. This deal is DSM's sixth since 2018 in personalized nutrition, although it is the only outright acquisition. AVA is an online platform, providing nutrition and coaching recommendations based on eating patterns. The acquisition is an anomaly compared to DSM's previous moves in the personalized nutrition space, all of which included a hardware component. As subtly signaled in the press release, DSM may be piecing together the different offerings from each of its external partners under AVA's platform."

Smatrics EV charging services expand in Central Europe

10028-thumb-squareJessica Hernandez, Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance

Austrian electric vehicle (EV) charging network operator and electric mobility service provider Smatrics, a joint venture between OMV, Siemens, and Verbund, is establishing partnerships to enable its customers to access charging networks in other countries across central and Eastern Europe. In addition to Smatrics' 5,233 charging points in Austria, EV drivers now have access to around 37,700 charging points, part of Ionity's, Innogy's, and Allego's networks (which also include fast and ultrafast charging points). Roaming partnerships like this one and Hubject's are key to supporting electric mobility by enabling EV drivers to travel long distances."

Researchers at MIT vapor deposit organic polymers to formulate highly conductive transparent material

13890-thumb-squareVladimir Roznyatovskiy, Ph.D., Senior Analyst | @roznyatovskiy Ico twitter
Lux Take: Average Importance

"Transparent conductive films (TCFs) are integral to solar cell and display technologies. Incumbent indium tin oxide (ITO), while highly conductive, is costly, brittle, and not appropriate for thin-film, flexible formulations. This is why C3Nano and others developed silver nanowire-coated plastic films with performance comparable to ITO while being flexible. A group of MIT researchers working on perovskite solar cells found that oxidative vapor deposition of a common polymer, PEDOT, leads to a thin and highly ordered layer that displays greater conductivity and transparency than achieved with spin casting. Such performance characteristics coupled with the deposition technique, if proven in industrial settings, may remap the TCF market."

Why cleaning your teeth will not save the planet: Radius announces plans to make its toothbrushes 100% biodegradable

12599-thumb-square-1Kristin Marshall, Senior Research Associate | @KMarsh4Bio Ico twitter
Lux Take: Low Importance

Toothbrush manufacturer Radius already makes its products from bio-based sources, but the company has recently set a target to make its entire portfolio 100% biodegradable by the end of 2020. Its underlying goal is to use materials that minimize both its products' CO2 and their end-of-life footprints. Yet the company does not clearly outline how it plans to achieve this goal other than stating that it will shift its focus to "landfill biodegradable" plastics. While well-intentioned, the company fails to recognize the nontrivial task of developing a brush that is both biodegradable and can meet the necessary performance requirements for daily use."

Velocys delivers FT catalysts and reactor to Japanese biojet fuel pilot project

Runeel DaliahRuneel Daliah, Analyst
Lux Take: Low Importance

"Velocys delivered Fischer-Tropsch reactors and catalysts to a consortium of Japanese companies including Toyo Engineering, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, and Chubu Electric Power to build a biomass-to-biojet fuel pilot project due to come online in 2020. According to a press release from Toyo last year, the project will have a nameplate capacity of 1,750 gallons per year (GPY) and use woody biomass. The project is important for Velocys, as it extends its reach into the Japanese market, but it will have little impact on technology development itself. as Velocys' FT technology was already validated at pilot scale many years ago – the next milestone is for the company to successfully launch a commercial plant."


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