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Scouting for Growth Opportunities: Lux Research Top Innovators from Q3 2013

Lux Research

Waste-to-ethanol, nanowires, and biopesticides highlight Lux Research's list of the most promising growth areas identified by its ongoing emerging technology scouting

BOSTON, MA – October 9, 2013 – Innovative companies use technology scouting to identify prospective partners and bring external technologies into the company – but scouting outside innovators can also point to compelling new growth areas and novel market opportunities. With this in mind, analysts at Lux Research combed through the 415 companies they profiled in the third quarter of 2013 to select 10 firms whose performance points to a near-term growth opportunity

Drawing on the deep domain expertise of its analysts, Lux Research uses primary research to provide detailed information and critical analysis of firms developing emerging technologies across 17 different emerging technology domains. Each firm gets a “Lux Take” that ranges from “Strong Caution” to “Strong Positive,” to provide a bottom-line assessment of its prospects, with a “Wait and See” rating for companies that still face too much uncertainty for a definitive call.

Among firms profiled in Q3 2013, Lux Research analysts picked ten whose activity indicated near-term growth opportunities that large companies could capitalize on across the energy and infrastructure, health and wellness, and materials revolution global megatrends. The top three firms are:

1.    Enerkem (Positive – Alternative Fuels) – Energy and Infrastructure

Enerkem began converting municipal waste to ethanol at its pilot plant in June 2012, and it expects to begin producing ethanol at its 10 million gallon commercial facility in 2014; in an alternative fuels domain struggling to find cheap feedstocks, Enerkem is getting paid $45 for every ton it converts into ethanol, turning the economics of fuel production on its head.

2.    Cambrios Technologies (Positive – Printed, Flexible, and Organic Electronics) – Materials Revolution

Cambrio's silver nanowire transparent conductive films entered commercial use in 2011 in the Huawei Ascend smartphone. Since then it has expanded into production devices from Huawei, LG Electronics, and NEC, since its films offer higher performance at 10% to 30% lower cost than the incumbent material, indium tin oxide (ITO).

3.    Vestaron (Wait-and-See – Agro Innovation) – Health and Wellness

The European Commission’s impending two-year ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides is stimulating interest in biopesticides as an alternative approach to pest control for crops.  With a 25% share of the $16 billion global insecticide market, neonicotinoids will leave a gaping hole in their wake. Vestaron is well-positioned to fill the gap, and its spider venom peptides are set for U.S. EPA approval by year’s end.

Other companies on the list include: SolarCity (Energy and Infrastructure), Corvus Energy (Energy and Infrastructure), Ice Energy (Energy and Infrastructure), Hanita Coatings (Materials Revolution), Meta Downhole (Materials Revolution), Myriant (Materials Revolution), and Aerogen (Health and Wellness).