Global megatrends like energy and infrastructure, health and wellness, and materials revolutions create pressing social and economic needs – and the right emerging technologies to address them can create major business opportunities. Emerging technology research firm Lux Research scouts for technology developers that address these megatrends, profiling 1,380 companies across 15 different emerging technology domains in 2012.
To conclude the year, Lux Research selected the 10 most compelling companies profiled in 2012 across all its coverage areas (released today) and the 10 “companies to watch” for 2013 (to be released Thursday, December 20th).
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:
- Solazyme – Positive – Alternative Fuels; Bio-based Materials and Chemicals
One of the few advanced fermentation companies generating revenue today, Solazyme is aligning partners and scaling production facilities to sell into high value markets before bringing down costs to compete in commodity fuels and chemicals.
- EOS – Positive – Advanced Materials
A leader in the burgeoning 3D printing space, EOS boasts a long list of development partners and employs a savvy business model that includes selling “optimized” raw material input powders at very high margins to go along with laser sintering tools.
- Vigilent – Positive – Grid Storage; Efficient Building Systems
Vigilent’s artificial intelligence-based energy management software learns operational habits and optimizes building energy efficiency and consumption, offering payback periods to customers of less than two years.
- Cambrios Technologies – Positive – Printed, Flexible, and Organic Electronics; Solar Components; Advanced Materials
Cambrios develops silver nanowire-based transparent conductive films to replace indium tin oxide, particularly for touchscreen applications. Along with partners Nissha Printing and Synaptics, it released its first commercial product in the Huawei Ascend.
- Oxford Pharmascience – Positive – Formulation and Delivery
The ability to manipulate properties such as taste and viscosity to improve oral delivery of medicine makes Oxford Pharmascience appealing. Calcium supplements gained the company entry into emerging markets and doubled its revenue in one year.
- SunPower – Positive – Solar Components; Solar Systems
As the manufacturer of the highest efficiency crystalline silicon modules on the market at 21% efficiency, SunPower has strong strategic partners and a multi-gigawatt project pipeline in the high profit margin regions of the Americas and Asia.
- Efficient Power Conversion – Positive – Energy Electronics
This fab-less manufacturer of gallium nitride (GaN) power electronics devices is already offering products in the 40 V to 200 V range, and is well positioned to expand its offering to 600 V applications, taking advantage of GaN’s improved efficiency over today’s silicon-based devices.
- Enviro Voraxial – Positive – Water
The company sells high efficiency, low footprint oil-water separators especially suitable for the offshore market, and quadrupled its revenues in 2012.
- Itaconix – Positive – Bio-based Materials and Chemicals
With a low-capex, low-opex process expanding to 5,000 MT/year to produce itaconic acid polymers for chemical intermediates, binders, and super-absorbents, Itaconix is one of the few bio-based chemical companies we expect to run in the black in 2013.
- Desso – Positive – Sustainable Building Materials
This developer of carpet for residential, office, and hospitality sectors and artificial grass for sports stadiums uses "cradle-to-cradle" principles, making its products biodegradable and recyclable, while offering functionality like capture and retention of allergens and enhanced sound insulation.
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