Ten Innovative Companies Named as 2020 BNEF Pioneers


Game-changing companies recognized for their leadership in transformative technologies


New York, July 14, 2020 – Ten early-stage companies have been named as the 2020 BNEF Pioneers. The winners are pursuing some of the most exciting opportunities in areas as diverse 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 (BNEF) staff, an independent panel of industry experts selected ten winners from a pool of well over a hundred 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 (U.S.) is developing an industrial-scale process to produce low-cost steel without carbon emissions.
Bright Machines (U.S.) provides software-driven automation to help companies manufacture more products, at a higher quality and lower cost.
C3.ai (U.S.) is an enterprise AI software provider for accelerating digital transformation that provides ‘platform as a service’ (PaaS) for developing, deploying, and operating enterprise-scale AI, predictive analytics, and internet of things (IoT) applications.
GHGSat (Canada) uses its own satellites to monitor greenhouse gas emissions from industrial facilities worldwide.
Next Kraftwerke (Germany) 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 (U.S.) 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 (U.K.) has developed a chemical recycling technology to endlessly recycle a new range of plastic waste by converting it into recycled oils (Tacoil), enabling the creation of virgin-quality recycled plastic and the reduction in plastic waste pollution.
REE (Israel) has developed a completely flat, scalable and modular chassis for electric vehicles, allowing for multiple body configurations on a single platform.
Remix (U.S.) is a collaborative software platform for transportation decision-makers, working with 340 cities around the world to plan and envision their mobility future.
StoreDot (Israel) has developed a new generation of lithium-ion batteries that make it possible to charge an electric vehicle (EV) in just five minutes, eliminating range and charging anxiety and helping to pave the way for mainstream adoption of EVs.

Michael Wilshire, selection committee chair and head of strategy at BloombergNEF, commented: “This year’s BNEF Pioneers are addressing a diverse range of challenges faced by businesses and society. 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. 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 ten 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.”

Video interviews with each of the Pioneers will be posted once per week on the BNEF website at https://about.bnef.com/bnefpioneers/ starting Thursday, July 16. An overview presentation of all Pioneers is available here.

Quotes from the 2020 BNEF Pioneers:

Boston Metal
“Boston Metal is revolutionizing the primary production of steel by replacing coal with electricity. Today, steel is responsible for over 8% of global CO2 emissions. Boston Metal is enabling a future where steel production is more modular, lower-cost, and free of carbon emissions.”
Tadeu Carneiro, CEO, Boston Metal

Bright Machines
“BNEF’s recognition sheds light on the massive opportunity ahead to transform manufacturing. At Bright Machines we are focused on changing the economics of factory automation, improving both the agility and flexibility of manufacturing operations. Through our software-driven approach to manufacturing, we help customers build more resilient, distributed and sustainable operations.”
Amar Hanspal, CEO, Bright Machines

“The recent secular oil price reset makes digital transformation an existential event in the oil and gas industry. At C3.ai, we are applying AI in new energy to achieve significant social and economic benefits for the world’s leading operators, in close collaboration with Microsoft and Baker Hughes. We are developing and supporting applications that include digital oil fields, predictive maintenance, refining optimization, well productivity, and asset health. We thrive on this important work and are honored to be recognized as a BNEF Pioneer.”
– Tom Siebel, CEO, C3.ai

“GHGSat is honored to have been named as a 2020 BNEF Pioneer. Satellites are in orbit now, providing global transparency on greenhouse gas emissions in near real time. BNEF’s recognition reinforces the value of our work for customers, partners and team members.”
Stephane Germain, CEO, GHGSat

Next Kraftwerke
“The global energy transformation presents us with new challenges. We believe that VPPs are a crucial puzzle piece to overcome these challenges by aggregating flexibility from distributed energy resources. Our VPP-SaaS NEMOCS aims at third parties to set up their own virtual power plants in order to increase the speed of the global transformation towards 100% renewable energy.”
– Jochen Schwill, Co-CEO, Next Kraftwerke

Phase Change Solutions
“We are honored and very pleased to be selected as one of the ten 2020 BNEF Pioneers revolutionizing the energy, transport, and technology sectors. This prestigious recognition validates the tireless efforts of our employees and partner organizations as we strive to provide sustainable solutions to our customers. Deploying BioPCM solutions can significantly reduce HVAC power consumption in buildings, refrigeration, telecom and data centers, as well as maintaining temperature control during the transport of temperature-sensitive items such as food and pharmaceuticals. We are proud of the proven performance of our solutions and look forward to continuing to help build a more sustainable human environment.”
Dr. Reyad Sawafta, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Phase Change Solutions

Plastic Energy
“At Plastic Energy, we are pioneering the development of the Plastic2Plastic process through our proven chemical recycling technology and in collaboration with the value-chain. We transform traditionally difficult to recycle plastic waste into recycled oils (Tacoil) that are used as a new feedstock for the production of virgin quality recycled content. This new recycling solution will support governments’ ambitions and industry commitments to build a circular and sustainable future for plastics. Already, with two plants in Spain, and multiple plants in development in Europe and Southeast Asia, we plan to make chemical recycling a global solution. The Plastic Energy team is honoured to be recognized as one of the BNEF Pioneers.”
Carlos Monreal, Founder & CEO, Plastic Energy

“As a pioneering technology company reinventing e-mobility, we are honored be recognized as a 2020 Pioneer by the BNEF experts. Unrestricted by legacy thinking, REE has developed the next-generation EV platform, which enables the future of e-mobility. Our completely flat, scalable and modular platform provides customers with full design freedom and space optimization to create the broadest range of EV and autonomous vehicles for current and future applications. Our platform is supported by a network of tier 1 partners and over 320 production lines. We started dreaming of REE’s technology a while back and now it is very much reality.”
Daniel Barel, CEO and Co-Founder, REE

“The zipcode you’re born in is the strongest predictor of your economic mobility. We’re building a platform to empower cities to plan the best possible transportation systems – from public transit to safer streets to ever-increasing new modes of mobility – for their communities, and for the planet.”
Tiffany Chu, CEO and Co-Founder, Remix

“StoreDot’s groundbreaking ultra-fast charging (UFC) technology is set to overcome two of the biggest barriers to mainstream adoption of electric vehicles – range and charging anxiety. StoreDot’s FlashBattery technology makes it possible to fully charge an electric vehicle in just five minutes – the same amount of time it takes to refuel a conventional combustion engine car – and enables drivers to travel over 400 kilometers on a single charge. We are incredibly proud to have been chosen as a BNEF Pioneer and continue to work with our partners, including BP, Daimler, Eve and TDK, to further enhance our technology.”
Doron Myersdorf, CEO, StoreDot

Veronika Henze

About BloombergNEF

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