Are Plants the Solution to our Plastics Problem?


Cassidy Shell
Plastic made with inexpensive feedstock, supported by large investment in infrastructure dominated by oil and gas companies, appears not only to be here to stay, but poised for production growth. At the same time, media and social pressure to do something about plastic waste is increasing. Recycling is one solution, but the underlying question persists: is there a more environmentally attractive replacement? Fossil fuel-based chemicals, largely ethylene and propylene, are used in 99% of plastics production.  Many of the largest... Read More »

Industrial Analytics – Optimizing Operational Efficiency


Louis Brasington
Searching for AI in Google returns over four billion results (climate change returns only 200 million) and buzz words like analytics, condition monitoring, predictive maintenance and industry 4.0 are commonplace at conferences. How much is hype and how much is delivering measurable results? Collecting and analyzing data in real time are the core of predictive analytics, a branch of AI. Managing operational costs, improving efficiency, extending equipment lifecycles', and working to getting more out of connected equipment are key themes... Read More »

Paris is on Track to Become the European Capital of Cleantech – are Foreign Investors Ready?


Jules Besnainou
European cleantech has been thriving in the past five years. In this period, investment into start-ups has more than doubled to $5.2 billion deployed over 566 deals in 2018, representing 28% of global cleantech deals. For the first time in years, France was one of the top two EU destinations for investment, places typically held by the UK, Germany and Israel. As it benefits from a wave of innovation and capital, a friendly government and looming Brexit, France could claim... Read More »

Innovation in Logistics: From a Supply Chain to a Demand Chain


Chris Sworder
A massive industry rife with inefficiency, short on data and long on GHG emissions, global logistics represents opportunities for innovation to power it toward a more digitized, de-carbonized and resource-efficient future. Last week Cleantech Group, along with Silicon Valley Bank and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, hosted a Power Breakfast to explore key innovations in the logistics industry. Our speakers included: John Urban, Co-Founder and Former President, GT Nexus Kelly Chen, Principal, Data Collective Earnest Sweat, Investment Manager, Prologis Ventures... Read More »

If Robots Could Recycle: How Technology Innovation Can Help Solve Plastic Pollution


Cassidy Shell
Global plastics production has increased from 225 million metric tons in 2014 to 335 metric tons in 2016: only about 16% of this is recycled. The other 84% is either dumped into landfill or makes its way into the ecosystem, causing a tremendous amount of pollution. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that, by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish (by weight). The Great Pacific Garbage patch, 99.9% of which is plastic, covers an area three... Read More »

Four Macro Trends Affecting the Cleantech Landscape


Todd Allmendinger
We look to new and rapidly growing companies to identify leading themes in sustainable innovation. We talk to the people at these entrepreneurial companies; we talk to the investors who fund them; we talk to the incubators, accelerators and development agencies that nurture them; we talk to the existing corporates who may be challenged by them or find opportunities in them. In talking to all these people, we like to cover the ABCs: attractiveness of the market, business models and... Read More »

Could Methanol Become an Important Fuel for Energy and Mobility?


Louis Brasington
With a global demand of more than 80 million metric tons and a growth rate of 5.4%, methanol is gaining acceptance. The market is projected to be worth $54 billion by 2021. Its uses vary greatly – from adhesives and PET bottles to fleece jackets, packaging, paints and solvents. A key application is the energy market. China alone, as the largest producer and consumer, accounts for 54% of world demand. Alongside oil, gas and hydrogen, methanol is an important fuel... Read More »

Fighting Fast Fashion: Innovation for a Circular Economy


Josh Gilbert
Today’s fashion industry causes considerable environmental damage. According to a 2018 UN report, it is responsible for around 10% of global carbon emissions. Energy-intensive raw inputs like polyester and cotton are predominant, the industry is responsible for 2% of global freshwater extraction, and the US alone sends over ten billion tons of textiles waste to landfill every year. Solving the fast fashion problem Innovation is helping the industry shift towards a more circular model of textiles manufacturing and providing new... Read More »

Whisper it Quietly, but European Cleantech Is Capturing Discerning Global Attention


Richard Youngman
European cleantech is in rude health. But if you're looking at the global news flow and its inevitable attention on the biggest ticket items and the hottest (over-hyped?) segments of the global industrial portfolio, you might conclude not so much is happening in Europe. You’d be wrong. In its typically understated way, the European innovation ecosystem is quietly thriving, dealflow is strong, technological excellence is to the fore, available funds for investment are increasing and there has been a strong... Read More »

Food News: Motif Ingredients – Microbes to Meat, the Race is on…


Chris Sworder
The news about Ginkgo Bioworks spinning out Motif Ingredients signals an acceleration in the race to create an alternative meat. Plant-based meat has opened the door to consumer acceptance. Now the challenges are overcoming production bottlenecks and improving the taste, feel and versatility of the products. With $90 million of fresh capital, an impressive set of investors and a pedigree from Ginkgo Bioworks, the race is on. Spotlight on burgers Plant-based burgers are making the news, with the latest offerings including the UAE-based... Read More »