Beyond the 100: The Ones to Watch List and the Megatrends Continued
Every year, Cleantech Group runs a rigorous process to identify a top 100 out of more than 6000 companies globally (see Global Cleantech 100 methodology). However, we have recognized that, to many of you corporate scouts and investors out there, 100 seems like a relatively small number when, admittedly, there are hundreds of fast-growing sustainable innovation companies with some very exciting new partnerships and activities.
Last week we announced 60 ‘Ones to Watch’ companies to address some of your desires to learn about more top innovators across the globe. Consistent with the megatrends themes we have called out in the Global Cleantech 100 report, the Ones to Watch are solving major industry, resource and geographical challenges, some examples of which are outlined below (along 3 of the themes) – to whet your appetite.
- Companies are adapting to the Oil and Gas industry’s needs. In particular, we’ve seen investors’ appetite increase for wastewater management, desalination, and oil-water recovery companies as they continue to solve many of the industry’s ‘dirty’ problems. For example, Gradiant Corporation, an MIT spin-out company, has developed a low pressure, ambient water purification system for the recovery of dissolved solids. The company has collaborated with Pioneer Natural Resources (a shale gas explorer) to design a commercial carrier gas extraction (CGE) unit which treats hyper-saline water from gas wells.
- Companies are targeting the trillion dollar market of ‘Waste to Wealth.’ Blue Oak Resources,for instance, draws attention to an important statistic: “globally, it is estimated that only 13% of e-waste undergoes some form of recycling; the overwhelming proportion of e-waste is dumped in the developing world.” There is a huge amount of wealth that can be created through diverting e-waste from landfills and Blue Oak Resources converts this waste into a sustainable source of critical metals and rare earths.
- Big data companies are zoomed in on servicing Utilities, who are increasingly focused on managing their operational challenges. Geodigital, for example, helps Utility operators make decisions about vegetation management along power lines. The company’s mapping solution allows a plane equipped with LiDar cameras to gather precise data on the spatial arrangement of existing field conditions to make key business decisions.