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Ten Firms to Watch in 2013

Alternative fuels firm Beta Renewables, carbon fiber recyling company Materials Innovation Technologies and oil exploration firm N-Solv have been named as three of Lux Research’s 10 companies to watch in 2013.

To catch players on the rise, emerging technology research firm Lux Research scouts for technology developers, profiling 1,380 companies across 15 different emerging technology domains over the course of 2012. Most of the domains are environmental in their outlook or have a green focus. Lux rates firms from “Strong Caution” to “Strong Positive,” to provide an assessment of their prospects.

Beta Renewables’ commercial cellulosic ethanol facility in Italy will be under scrutiny from the industry in 2013, Lux says. Analysts will be interested to see whether the plant can ramp up on-time and on budget, or if it will continue what Lux calls the cellulosic ethanol industry’s “disappointing slide.” Lux awarded Beta a “Positive” rating.

Lux describes advanced materials company Materials Innovation Technologies as a leader in end-of-life recycling processes for carbon fiber auto parts, which are used for vehicle light-weighting. Many auto makers are heavily investing in carbon fiber cost reduction to make lighter vehicles, but for higher-volume use of such products to become viable, more efficient and economic end-of-life recycling processes will be critical, Lux says. MIT was awarded a “Positive” rating by Lux.

Exploration and production firm N-Solve uses a warm-solvent based heavy oil extraction methodology that promises water and CO2 savings over traditional methods, Lux says. The company has backing from energy giant Enbridge and a pilot facility with Suncor. N-Solv has the potential to attract a “suite of suitors or licensing partners in 2013,” Lux says. The company was awarded a “Positive” rating by Lux.

The other seven firms named by Lux were Imprint Energy, Phosphagenics, Azzuro Semiconductors, Enbala Power Networks, Boulder Ionics, Silevo and Desalitech.

Click through to read more about the domains researched by Lux: solar components; solar systems; smart grid and grid storage; electric vehicles; alternative fuels; bio-based materials and chemicals; formulation and delivery: “China biopharma”; sustainable building materials; efficient building systems; water; advanced materials; energy electronics; printed, flexible, and organic electronics and “China innovation.”

In January, Lux said that a group of fast-growing bio-based chemicals and materials startups – including Novamont, Arcadia, Elevance, Amyris, Gevo and Solazyme – were rapidly maturing and attaining scale, possibly heralding the biggest change in the global chemicals industry in decades. Earlier this month, Solazyme was named by the research firm as one of the 10 most compelling firms of 2012 over all of its coverage areas.

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