In its latest quarterly analysis, Lux Research Inc. offers a look at 10 companies "developing emerging technologies that are poised to impact global megatrends like sustainable energy and infrastructure, sustainable health and wellness, and materials revolutions."
Lux, a Boston-based emerging-technology research firm, profiled 262 companies across 12 emerging-technology domains in fourth-quarter 2011, as part of its ongoing intelligence services. These 10 are the pick of the litter.
Note: Each firm gets a "Lux Take" that ranges from "strong caution" to "strong positive," to provide a bottom-line assessment of its prospect, with a "wait-and-see" rating for companies that still face too much uncertainty for a definitive call.
- Kurion (water) -- Positive. Kurion is "a high-risk but high-profit U.S. nuclear-contamination-control company that rapidly scaled to clean up the Japanese Fukushima radioactive-cooling-water problem to the tune of massive windfall profits when no one else on the planet was prepared to deal with the problem."
- Hycrete (sustainable building materials/efficient building systems) -- Wait and see. "Hycrete's water-barrier technology improves the durability of concrete infrastructure at prices significantly cheaper than the incumbent membrane-based approach, but it will need to establish partnerships with well-known infrastructure or chemical companies to gain market access in the conservative infrastructure segment."
- Citic Guoan MGL (electric vehicles) -- Wait and see. "In the sea of Chinese lithium-ion battery developers, state-owned MGL stands out for its traction in China's electric and hybrid-electric bus market. Its strong government relationships could provide ready channels to market for would-be foreign-technology partners, but competition with other domestic firms such as China Aviation Lithium Battery Corp. will be fierce."
- Ablynx (formulation and delivery) -- Wait and see. "Ablynx engineers its "nanobodies" -- therapeutic proteins derived from antibodies in camel blood -- to specifically deliver small-molecule drugs to a target site. Despite stiff competition in the saturated antibody field and a multitude of emerging targeting strategies (such as DNA aptamers), Ablynx has snagged more than its share of heavyweight partners (Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck Serono, Norvartis and Pfizer), and is generating tens of millions in revenue to assist in its own healthy development pipeline."