Bio-fertilizers – the Natural Way to Feed the Planet


Chris Sworder
The fertilizer industry will be unrecognizable in 30 years’ time. Currently, nitrogenous fertilizer production contributes 3% of worldwide GHG emissions and uses 3% of global methane supplies. Global overuse of synthetic nitrogen and extractive phosphate fertilizers have created over 500 environmental deadzones through run-off. To compound this, yields of key crops are stagnating or declining where soil health is degrading, while at the same time the planet requires a 2.2% increase in global yield year-on-year in order to feed its... 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 »

How a Chemicals-as-a-Service model is disrupting the traditional world of chemicals


Leo Zhang
It is without a doubt that the chemical sector is looking to increase its overall sustainability, with efforts by both innovators and incumbents. From the innovation community, bio-based chemicals have been a main focal point for many startups while multinational chemical corporations have also invested heavily in this area. Despite the billions of dollars of investments being made into a wide range of companies with different conversion processes, the business model for these companies is largely the same. Many have... Read More »

Scale and speed: China’s USP in cleantech. Tackling China’s polluted arable land problem


Richard Youngman
For some years, we have been monitoring the growing number of examples of Asian and western organizations coming together to address environmental challenges for mutual economic benefit. There is a definite uptick in the activity levels in the past 12-18 months. Here is the latest example, and some interview-style thoughts from the CEO on tackling the China market as a small foreign innovation company. The Deal. Today, NexSteppe, founded in 2010 and twice a Global Cleantech 100 company, announced a new partnership... Read More »

Where industrial biotech fundraising is still seeing success


Leo Zhang
From our previous blog post, we highlighted the evolution of smart grid venturing – how smart gird innovation today is all about the internet-of-things (IoT). In this blog post, we will highlight how venture investments in industrial biotech have shifted over the past 10 years. Venture capital investment in industrial biotech, especially to many in Silicon Valley, is considered a thing of the past. Companies such as KiOR, Cobalt Technologies, and Range Fuels have all but failed to disrupt the... Read More »

Technological edge means business: why we’re adding patents to i3


Jules Besnainou
Each investor, innovation executive or business unit manager has their unique process to discover and evaluate companies in a technology area. However, they all share one key criterion to set companies apart: technological edge and the ability to protect it. With that in mind, we have been hard at work on a feature that would allow you to easily navigate a company's IP portfolio. And it is now ready! Here's what we just launched on i3 Connect: A tile showing US and... Read More »

Proving Out the Circular Bio-Economy – Cleantech Forum Europe Recap


Leo Zhang
In its 11th edition, Cleantech Forum Europe took place this year in Florence, Italy, where leading entrepreneurs, industrial multinational corporations, financial investors, and other cleantech stakeholders gathered at our multi-day program immersed under the Industrial Renaissance theme. This year’s theme reflects on the Tuscany region’s leading research and development initiatives, as well as Italy’s heavy industrial manufacturing base. One session in particular – Proving out the Circular Bio-Economy – focused heavily on industrial plants in the industrial biotechnology sector. Based... Read More »

Water Efficiency Innovations in Agriculture


Leo Zhang
California Governor Jerry Brown recently issued an executive order for mandatory water restrictions in order to deal with the state’s worst drought in history. The initiative mostly focuses on urban water use, with the goal of reducing water usage by 25%. Meanwhile, in California, agriculture activities make up more than 75% of the state’s total water consumption. Although the executive order focuses more on urban consumption, improvements in agriculture water efficiency can lead to significant water savings as well. Through... Read More »

The Route to an Industrial Renaissance is Paved with Clean Technologies


Quitterie de Rivoyre
For the 11th edition of its Cleantech Forum Europe, Cleantech Group is going to Florence, Tuscany, on April 27-29, 2015. You can get a feel of what you can experience at our Forums by watching this video here. Apart from the well-known players, like utility Enel, diversified industrial Finmeccanica, energy giant Eni or automotive brand FIAT, you will find a number of dynamic start-up companies at the Forum including Kitenergy, a developer of high-altitude wind generation technology and Is TECH,... Read More »

Engineering a Well-Fed Future: An Interview with Arcadia Biosciences


Gannon McHenry
As a member of the Research team here at Cleantech Group, we are constantly intrigued by new, emerging technologies and embrace opportunities to interview highly innovative companies making headlines in their respective industries.  I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Eric Rey, CEO of Arcadia Biosciences, about his company and the broader Ag space. Arcadia is a plant-genetics company focused on breeding more environmentally friendly strains of many staple crops including, but not limited to rice, corn, soybeans, and wheat.... Read More »