BloombergNEF Announces Finalists for Pioneers Award

BloombergNEF’s annual Pioneers award recognizes innovative companies across three key challenges in building towards a net-zero economy

New York, February 16, 2023 – BloombergNEF (BNEF) today announced the 22 finalists for its 2023 BNEF Pioneers award. These early-stage companies are seeking to introduce innovations to guide the world towards a net-zero economy, by tackling one of three challenges: accelerating the deployment of clean hydrogen, increasing the availability of sustainable metals and materials for an electrified future, and building a net-zero food production system. The finalist selection also includes four ‘wildcard’ companies, an open category in which this year’s finalists are focused on sustainable materials, carbon removal and transport.

The development and scale-up of new climate technologies and innovations is a critical step to reach net-zero goals. These innovation areas can be sector-specific (as in the case of net-zero food production), cross-sectoral (as in the case of hydrogen), or enablers for other technologies (as in the case of sustainable metals and materials). Many of the companies selected as BNEF Pioneers over the last ten years have gone on to play a significant role in the global low-carbon transition.

Claire Curry, selection committee co-chair and BNEF’s head of Technology, Industry & Innovation commented, “If we are to achieve an equitable net-zero transition, finding technology innovations for the three focus areas we chose for Pioneers this year is essential. That is why it is really exciting that we received almost 350 applications from 42 countries for the Pioneers prize this year, and have chosen 22 impressive finalists. “

“Winning BNEF Pioneers 2022 was seminal for us. It offered an important validation point for our vision and technology. The award also opened up doors to new business partners and potential investors,” said Daniel Betts, CEO of Blue Frontier, Inc, one of last year’s winners.

BNEF estimates that annual investment into energy-transition technologies must more than triple for the rest of this decade to get on track for net zero, and new innovations will be needed to support this acceleration. The Pioneers award recognizes the companies developing innovative solutions to meet this challenge. This year, BNEF called for nominations from companies, nonprofits and projects that specifically address three climate-tech innovation areas:

Accelerating the deployment of clean hydrogen
Sustainable metals and materials for an electrified future
Building a net-zero food production system

A team of experts at BloombergNEF will evaluate the finalists against three criteria: their potential impact on greenhouse gas emissions and environmental sustainability, their degree of technology innovation and novelty, and their likelihood of adoption and potential scalability. Winners will be announced in April this year.

The 2023 BNEF Pioneers finalists by challenge:

Challenge 1: Accelerating the deployment of clean hydrogen
● SunGreenH2
● Mainspring Energy
● H2Pro
● HySiLabs
● Hydrogenious LOHC
● Advanced Ionics

Challenge 2: Sustainable metals and materials for an electrified future
● Circulor
● Li-Cycle
● Altris
● Jetti Resources
● Nth Cycle
● Vulcan Energy Resources

Challenge 3: Building a net-zero food production system
● Sound Agriculture
● MicroHarvest
● Fork and Good
● Neutral Foods
● Precision AI
● FutureFeed

Wildcards: Organizations focused on the sectors of sustainable materials, carbon removal and transport.
● Electra
● Sublime Systems
● Travertine Technologies
● C-Motive

Learn more about the BNEF Pioneers program and winners from previous years here.

Oktavia Catsaros
Bloomberg LP

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About BloombergNEF

BloombergNEF (BNEF) is a strategic research provider covering global commodity markets and the disruptive technologies driving the transition to a low-carbon economy. Our expert coverage assesses pathways for the power, transport, industry, buildings and agriculture sectors to adapt to the energy transition. We help commodity trading, corporate strategy, finance and policy professionals navigate change and generate opportunities.
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