Biostimulants – the nexus of biotechnology and fertilizer


Chris Sworder
As we look forward to welcoming some of the leading thinkers in bio-based chemical and agricultural innovation at Cleantech Forum Europe in Antwerp on May 14-16, we thought we would take a look at one leading technology that is set to have an impact in the agriculture & food industry - biostimulants. What are Biostimulants? It has taken some time to identify biostimulants as its own market. An article from 2015 highlights the difficulty of defining a biostimulant as opposed to a... Read More »

From Bioplastics To Plastic Alternatives – Recent Investment Snapshot Of Alternative Packaging Solutions


Leo Zhang
The chemical sector is facing increasingly stricter environmental regulations and the old school business model of selling petroleum-based chemicals in bulk has reached its plateau. Consumers are also becoming more involved in sustainability, demanding more green products from manufacturers. Plastic is a classic example to illustrate the significant environmental effects the use of petroleum-based chemicals. A UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) studied showed that more than 8 million tons of plastic are being dumped in our oceans each year, while the... Read More »

A Feeding Frenzy in Agriculture – Cannibalism and M&A Prey


Chris Sworder
It’s always difficult to get a big picture of the agriculture industry. It’s huge. However, two big things are important: mega-mergers and bountiful exits. Big companies In recent years, we have seen a number of mergers that would see large percentages of market share across the Agriculture & Food sector concentrated in an even smaller number of companies. Just as one small example, with this set of mergers shown on the right, 70% of the world’s pesticide market and 83%... Read More »

Does Ford’s vision of a new transportation value chain suggest Amazon is the future king of transportation?


Ken-Ichi Hino
Ford has had a fast start to 2018, laying out its vision of the future of transportation at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and buying two pieces of its future business model shortly thereafter. The transportation-as-a-service (TaaS) business model Ford envisions isn’t anything new, as plenty of players both large and small have been espousing such a vision for some time. The somewhat surprising aspect is that the way Ford is talking about it indicates that defensibility in the TaaS... Read More »

The New Carbon Economy: Doing Well by Doing Good


Julio Friedmann
This guest blog by Julio Friedmann, CEO of Carbon Wrangler LLC, was previously posted on his LinkedIn and Medium (February 1, 2018).  My second favorite thing to do is drink coffee. Dedicated aficionados are familiar with a curious fact of coffee roasting: the beans off-gas twice their volume in CO2. This process takes a few days, depending on origin and degree of roasting. That’s why one doesn’t grind and drink beans immediately after roasting – to let CO2 exit the bean and... Read More »

From the Brooklyn Microgrid to EXERGY – A Conversation with Lawrence Orsini, CEO of LO3 Energy


Jules Besnainou
Article contributor: Jonathan Koch, Junior Analyst, CTG LO3 Energy is the organization behind the Brooklyn Microgrid. The company recently announced the launch of EXERGY, a blockchain-based energy marketplace that aims to empower consumers with access to and control of their energy data, and redefine how they interact with energy markets globally. To learn more, we spoke to Lawrence Orsini, the company’s CEO, who will join us at next week’s Cleantech Forum San Francisco on January 22-24. Jules Besnainou: What is the... Read More »

Iteration vs Reusability – A Race to Mars


Jonathan Koch
Contributions from: Louis Brasington, Intern Interview with Tim Ellis, CEO of Relativity Space Launching rockets has never been cheaper. Technological advances and new business models are shaking up the industry, and private investments are soaring. But while all eyes are on the ‘Falcon Heavy’ - currently being tested in Cape Canaveral - and SpaceX’s successful recovery of rockets, a few companies have chosen another path to drive down costs and improve the economics of space launch: 3D printing. Companies like... Read More »

Blockchain and IoT: A Conversation with Dominik Schiener of the IOTA Foundation


Jules Besnainou
In its landmark Device Democracy report a couple of years ago, IBM highlighted a series of challenges that connected things would face when scaling from the tens of billions to the hundreds of billions in the coming years. Among these challenges, cost of connectivity, the erosion of trust in the internet, and broken business models for connected devices stood out as hurdles already affecting IoT innovation. [caption id="attachment_15140" align="alignright" width="200"] Dominik Schiener, Co-Founder, IOTA[/caption] The report pointed out that using... Read More »

SaaS to PaaS and Beyond: Interviewing Uptake on the Evolution of Software Services in the Power Sector


Ken-Ichi Hino
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Sonny Garg, who leads the energy unit at Uptake, an industrials-focused predictive analytics company launched by Groupon co-founders, Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky. Uptake’s platform serves a broad range of markets – rail, aviation, mining, energy, construction, agriculture and retail, among others – and recently announced a deal with Berkshire Hathaway Energy for the application of Uptake’s predictive analytics to wind plants at two BHE subsidiaries. I spoke with Garg about both... Read More »

Augmented Reality: All Eyes on Industrial Applications


Jules Besnainou
Three months into the release of Pokémon Go, there is a good chance you have bumped into one of its estimated 100 million players. The game’s hype may be short-lived, but there is no denying that it has taken the world by storm. What is less commented on is that this represents the first major consumer breakthrough for augmented reality (AR). Indeed, one of the game’s innovations is to layer fictional characters on top of the reality captured by your... Read More »