The list, the tenth edition, highlights what Cleantech determines to be the private, independent, for-profit companies best positioned to solve tomorrow’s clean technology challenges.
AgriProtein, a developer of an alternative protein feed produced from organic waste fed to black soldier flies, has also been nominated.
Cleantech said its list of innovators is compiled using its research data along with judgements and insight from a global 87-member expert panel comprised of investors and experts from "corporations and industrials active in technology and innovation scouting."
"The companies on this list have been assessed by experts from their sectors and revealed to be the leading innovators driving sustainable growth."
Richard Youngman, CEO, Cleantech Group, said the tenth edition is dominated by innovations for the future of food and mobility, and a decentralized and digitized future not only for energy, but for the industrial world more generally, a far cry from the dominance of hardware, solar and biofuels in the inaugural Global Cleantech 100 in 2009.
Sustainable feed protein
Chris Sworder, associate, Cleantech Group, writing in a report accompanying the list, said we grow enough food today to feed the planet; however, what "we have is logistics problem, [and one that] agriculture and food innovation must solve for resource intensity, yield, distribution and waste reduction."
Looking at the big picture in terms of agriculture and food, the analyst noted how agriculture accounts for 50% of habitable land, but that climate change is reducing the amount of land available. In response to the need for greater efficiency, gene editing and advances in microbial technologies are improving seed trait and soil health, while software solutions are focused on optimizing yield, he said.
Meanwhile, demand for sustainable protein is increasing within animal feed, and alternatives to animal-based protein for human consumption are on the rise, he added.
The Cleantech report highlighted AgriProtein’s growth trajectory over the past 18 months, identifying its work with Christof Industries to expand production, its acquisition of Millibeter in Belgium to build its first 10,000 square meter commercial scale plant in Europe, and its licensing of its insect farming system in other geographies, as being critical in that regard.
Calysta, according to the publication, is a company worth keeping an eye on.
“In livestock and aquaculture feed, an increasing variety of feedstocks such as methane gas, CO2, and even coal, are being used to create protein. In methane-to-protein, Calysta is leading the way with a commercial-scale plant in Memphis built on a Cargill site.
“Other methanotrophic developers using agricultural waste streams as a feedstock, such as UniBio and KnipBio, are moving towards commercialization of their technologies.”