Tech scouting firm Lux Research calls out 10 companies to watch in 2013 – firms with breakthrough potential in heavy oil extraction, desalination, carbon fiber recycling, drug delivery, and more
BOSTON, MA – December 20, 2012 – The landscape of emerging technology start-ups is always changing, and last year’s leaders may be supplanted by tomorrow’s upstarts. To catch disruptive players on the rise, emerging technology research firm Lux Research scouts for technology developers, profiling 1,380 companies across 15 different emerging technology domains in 2012. Lux’s analysts have selected the 10 “companies to watch” for 2013 (to follow up its 10 Most Compelling Companies Profiled in 2012” across all its coverage areas, released 12/18/12).
Lux Research analysts base company profiles on primary and secondary research, rating each firm on a 10-metric scorecard, while providing critical analysis of their prospects. 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. Its top choices from 2012 include:
1. Beta Renewables – Positive – Alternative Fuels, Bio-based Materials and Chemicals
All eyes will be on Beta’s commercial cellulosic ethanol facility in Italy in 2013; can it ramp up on-time and on budget? Or will the cellulosic ethanol industry continue its disappointing slide?
2. Materials Innovation Technologies (MIT) – Positive – Advanced Materials
Leading auto OEMs are heavily investing in carbon fiber cost reduction to make lighter vehicles, but for higher-volume use efficient and economic end-of-life recycling processes will be critical – MIT is a leader in this space and already boasts a slew of development partners.
3. N-Solv – Positive – Exploration and Production
With a warm-solvent based heavy oil extraction methodology that promises water and CO2 savings over traditional methods, backing by energy giant, Enbridge and a pilot facility with Suncor, N-Solv has the potential to attract a suite of suitors or licensing partners in 2013.
4. Imprint Energy – Positive – Printed, Flexible, and Organic Electronics
Imprint Energy develops solution processed rechargeable zinc batteries with a credible roadmap for lower cost and higher performance than competitive thin-film battery technologies, potentially helping make applications like powered smart cards a reality.
5. Phosphagenics – Strong Positive – Formulation and Delivery
This start-up develops a transdermal delivery platform; adding to its rapidly expanding consumer business and progress in equine supplements, Phosphagenics’ first serious pharma product is slated to enter pivotal trials in 2013.
6. Azzurro Semiconductors – Positive – Energy Electronics
An early innovator in gallium nitride (GaN) on silicon substrates has started industrial-scale manufacturing of six-inch diameter wafers that can boost the efficiency of both LEDs and power electronics, and has forged fruitful collaborations with Epistar and Osram Opto Semiconductors.
7. Enbala Power Networks – Wait and See – Grid Storage, Efficient Building Systems
The frequency regulation compensation ruling in U.S. FERC Order 755 will place a higher value on Enbala’s grid optimization and demand management capabilities in 2013; it can address ancillary services markets at a cost significantly less than that of most grid storage systems.
8. Boulder Ionics – Wait and see – Electric Vehicles
Ionic liquids could enhance performance in both batteries and supercapacitors; 2013 will be critical to monitor whether Boulder’s low cost solution lives up to the hype.
9. Silevo – Positive – Solar Components, Solar Systems
By utilizing electroplated copper contacts and a thin amorphous silicon layer on its crystalline silicon cells, Silevo has a module efficiency of 17.8%, with a viable roadmap to higher efficiency at competitive costs; look for it to compete with the likes of SunPower as it scales production.
10. Desalitech – Wait and see – Water
Desalitech improves the efficiency of reverse osmosis desalination by lowering membrane feed pressure, eliminating the need for energy-recovery devices and improving water recovery; a second round funding effort in 2013 could see the company through to profitability.