First a big thank you to all of you who joined us in Nancy for our 8th edition that was specifically focused on Huge Challenges Ahead, Act Out of the Box. And we welcomed your inputs highlighting that Speed is crucial, that we must Restart/Expand sustainable mining and refining, that Public support will be necessary to derisk the huge capital expenditures requested, that more recycling and no downcycling for both metals and plastics are needed and that we ought to keep China in the loop on decarbonation matters.
Once more this month, we noticed much attention on critical metals with strategies to secure supply chains rising both in Europe (ISPI) and the US (AG Metal miner). Also 4 interesting articles tackling the need for capacity, technology and recycling investments in the field of minerals for energy transition (Mining.com, Eurek'Alert, CBC and Energy.gov). And a study demonstrating the advantages of platinum-based catalyst for improved water treatment (USC Viterbi).
On the scientific front some novel approaches to hydrogen production at NREL (Materials Today), liquid platinum catalyst based chemical industry in Australia (FLEET), aerogel based insulation at KTH in Sweden (The Engineer), using sensing to monitor batteries performance at College de France (Nature Sustainability), extended life time for redox flow batteries at Harvard and Cambridge (Nature Chemistry) and finally, an ultrathin capacitor for energy-efficient electronics at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
In the field of sustainability, we have chosen 5 initiatives: an article from Nature exploring the huge potential of "floatovoltaics" and on the same topic a NREL article about the 1st hydro-solar plant in Africa, then how robotics could help us achieve sustainable development in Nature Communications, a focus on how BRICS are implementing digital cooperation to boost sustainable development and finally a concrete example of how EVs could be used for grid storage in the Netherlands.
Also 23 of our Start Up alumni were in the news this month : a few partnerships were announced (Bcomp - Switzerland with BMW, Cyclopure - USA with Waterkeeper Alliance, UBQ Materials - Israel with Crescent Garden), two funding rounds (Twelve - USA, Sakowin - France), many founders were interviewed (Anthro Energy - USA, Blackleaf - France, C12 - France, FREDsense - Calgary, Momentum Technologies - USA), interesting press coverage as usual (Carbios - France, Citrine Informatics - USA, Cuberg - USA, Fluence Analytics - USA, Gaphene MG - Australia, Hymag'in - France, Polystyvert - Canada, Smallmatek - Portugal, Woodoo - France) and to finish, some awards (ColdPad - France, CompPair - Switzerland, Radical Plastics - USA).
Finally we are proud that 3 of our nominees - BEFC, Keey Aerogel and Lixo - are on the list of the 22 most promising startups selected by the French Minister of Economy in the field of energy transition within the Green20 Index.
As always, we hope that you enjoy the reading.
The WMF Editorial Team. Victoire de Margerie, Sélène Ciancioni & Valentin Desbuis
USC Viterbi, June 8th: Platinum as a non-toxic catalyst for clean, re-usable water
Nature, June 7th: Covering 10% of the world's hydropower reservoirs with "floatovoltaics" would install as much electrical capacity as is currently available for fossil-fuel power plants. But the environmental and social impacts must be assessed