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Ten companies named as 2020 BNEF Pioneers

Ten early-stage companies have been named as the 2020 BloombergNEF (BNEF) Pioneers. The winners are pursuing opportunities in diverse areas such as advanced materials, distributed energy, industrial digitalization, intelligent mobility, metals, satellites, and energy storage.

Now in its eleventh year, the BNEF Pioneers competition has expanded its traditional focus from companies developing cutting-edge renewable energy products and services, to companies that are leading the transition to a low-carbon economy through a broader set of approaches.

With assistance from BloombergNEF staff, an independent panel of industry experts selected 10 winners from a pool of over 100 applicants from 24 countries. The panel evaluated candidates against three criteria: the potential to scale the opportunity; the level of innovation of the technology or business model and the novelty each company brings to the market; and momentum as demonstrated by strong commercial development.

The 2020 BNEF Pioneers are:

  • Boston Metal is developing an industrial-scale process to produce low-cost steel without carbon emissions;
  • Bright Machines provides software-driven automation to help companies manufacture more products, at a higher quality and lower cost.
  • ai is an enterprise AI software provider for accelerating digital transformation that provides “platform as a service” for developing, deploying, and operating enterprise-scale AI, predictive analytics, and internet of things applications.
  • GHGSat uses its own satellites to monitor greenhouse gas emissions from industrial facilities worldwide.
  • Next Kraftwerke operates one of the largest virtual power plants globally, with more than 9,000 aggregated assets and a capacity of 7,700 MW.
  • Phase Change Solutions is a smart material science and technology company providing thermal energy management and storage solutions utilizing its proprietary BioPCM technology platform globally for the buildings, logistics, refrigeration, telecom and data sectors.
  • Plastic Energy has developed a chemical recycling technology to endlessly recycle a new range of plastic waste by converting it into recycled oils, enabling the creation of virgin-quality recycled plastic and the reduction in plastic waste pollution.
  • REE has developed a completely flat, scalable and modular chassis for electric vehicles, allowing for multiple body configurations on a single platform.
  • Remix is a collaborative software platform for transportation decision-makers, working with 340 cities around the world to plan and envision their mobility future.
  • StoreDot has developed a new generation of lithium-ion batteries that make it possible to charge an electric vehicle in five minutes, eliminating range and charging anxiety and helping to pave the way for mainstream adoption of EVs.

“This year’s BNEF Pioneers are addressing a diverse range of challenges faced by businesses and society,” Michael Wilshire, Selection Committee Chair and Head of Strategy at BloombergNEF, said. “We are seeing continued strong innovation in the use of digital hardware and software technologies, advanced materials, storage, satellites, and recycling that will make our energy, transport and manufacturing industries cleaner, and more flexible and efficient.”

“Three of this year’s winners are in advanced transport. One is literally reinventing the wheel, putting intelligence and drives into each of the four wheels of a chassis to create a new flexible and modular platform for building new vehicles,” Mr Wilshire added. “Other companies are developing batteries that can be charged at lightning speed, or predictive systems for planning urban transport systems.”

“A number of our Pioneers are using digital technologies to optimize energy systems and industrial processes, including factory automation and robotics, software platforms for digital transformation and virtual power plants assembled from decentralized assets. Several Pioneers have developed new materials or processes. These include a process for steel to be made without carbon emissions, an innovative technology for smart thermal storage and cooling, and new ways to recover useful plastic from waste. And this year we have our first Pioneer in space, which uses satellites to track greenhouse gas emissions.”

“We were delighted to receive a large number of high-quality candidates for this year’s BNEF Pioneers program, from which these 10 winners were chosen. We are very grateful to our external judges on the selection committee for their support, time and expertise in making these decisions,” Mr Wilshire concluded.

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