Black & Veatch’s clean tech initiative gains seven new members
Black & Veatch’s I...
IgniteX Cleantech Accelerator, the Black & Veatch-funded sustainable technology competition, has found seven new members.
Black & Veatch’s IgniteX Cleantech Accelerator has gained seven new technology startups. The programme is aimed at developing and adopting new sustainable infrastructure technology such as artificial intelligence, autonomous machinery, electric vehicles and energy management advancements.120 applicants applied to be part of the programme, which will grant the successful seven startups an equity award, a 75-day collaboration period with Black & Veatch and with supporters of the initiative, and a chance to demonstrate their work at a startup showcase in November.
The seven startups set to join IgniteX are:
•Aware Vehicles, Kansas City, MO, which employs drones to address construction challenges as well as innovative imaging solutions for structural health monitoring.
•Built Robotics, San Francisco, CA, which specialises in self-driving heavy equipment.
•ecoSPEARS, Altamone Springs, FL, which uses green technologies to extract and destroy PCBs, dioxins and other chlorinated contaminants from the environment.
•Electriphi, San Francisco, CA, which deploys a software platform for fleet and energy management that provides cost savings for a range of commercial electric vehicle fleets.
•Extensible Energy, Berkeley, CA, which specialises in cloud-based software that controls flexible loads to reduce demand and time-of-use energy charges in small-to-medium buildings.
•InfraLytiks, Urbandale, IA, which employes software featuring AI and machine learning based on images, complex data or text/financials.
•NovoNutrients, Sunnyvale, CA, which uses energy from hydrogen to transform waste carbon into protein and other high value products for the aquaculture and animal feed industries.
The initiative is funded by LaunchKC, a five-year-old grant competition for tech startups across the US. Over the past four years LaunchKC has contributed US$2mn in grants to 38 tech startups. LaunchKC is, in turn, funded by the Missouri Technology Corporation, the City of Kansas, Missouri and local corporate and philanthropic organisations.
Today, 34 of LaunchKC’s grant winners, or 90%, are still in business and progressing milestones for sustainability. The programme has produced jobs for 275 full-time employees, with a further 350 independent contractors above the FTE count, and $87.3mn in total investments and funding, an increase of 82% since the end-of-year 2018.
Black & Veatch is the largest engineering company in the Kansas City area, producing global innovations in engineering, construction and consulting services for energy, water, construction and consulting services. Its IgninteX Cleantech Accelerator is an opportunity for local entrepreneurial business to find opportunities and new technology developments within Kansas, with the intention of adding value to engineering service across the country.
Tesla and BHP support sustainable nickel mining
In 2020, Elon Musk declared he wanted supplies of sustainable nickel for Tesla, which needs nickel for its electric car batteries.
An agreement between Tesla and BHP has been agreed upon and BHP will supply the company with nickel from its Nickel West, in Australia.
This is Tesla’s third nickel agreement within eight months.
Tesla and BHP promote traceability of raw materials and lowering emissions
BHP is a global mining company, headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, and with a revenue of US$42bn.
Tesla, led by the eccentric Elon Musk, has been providing electric cars to sustainable consumers since 2008. The company is headquartered in California, USA and has a revenue of US$34bn.
Nickel is an essential part of lithium-ion batteries, which supply electric vehicles with their energy.
Together, BHP and Tesla, are working to make the battery supply chain more sustainable, by:
- Promoting the traceability of raw materials
- Working with others in the mining sector and beyond who share similar views
- Efficient energy storage
- Lowering carbon emissions
- Increasing the use of renewable energy
BHP’s net-zero targets
BHP is known for its low carbon intensity nickel, which is expected to grow in demand by over 500% over the next decade.
“Demand for nickel in batteries is to grow in large part to support the world’s rising demand for electric vehicles”, said Vandita Pant, BHP’s chief commercial officer. “We are delighted to sign this agreement with Tesla and to collaborate with them on ways to make the battery supply chain more sustainable through our shared focus on technology and innovation.”
The company is proud of its sustainable nickel and has set itself other environmental targets.
“We are on the pathway to net-zero at our operations”, said Edgar Basto, BHP Minerals Australia President. “Sustainable, reliable production of quality nickel will be essential to meeting demand from sustainable energy producers like Tesla Inc. The investments we have made in our assets and our pursuit of commodities like nickel will help support global decarbonisation and position us to generate long-term value for our business.”