Recognition for cleantech and semiconductor startups

Discussions on the current energy crisis, circularity and climate change have remained a priority for several large organisations and governments. They have designed programs to promote and recognise new solutions that tackle these challenges. Two startups whose technologies stand out have won prizes. Not far from the energy sector is semiconductor startup 4K Mems, which secured a place in the Silicon Catalyst program.

The winners of the 2024 Watt d’Or awards for the different categories were announced this week during the award ceremony. The honorary award recognises organisations at the forefront of tackling energy challenges with new technologies and solutions. Swiss startup Clemap won the award category “Energy-efficient mobility”. In collaboration with Otto Fischer AG, Clemap developed an innovative load management for grid expansion to enable cost-efficient charging infrastructure with solar charging. Reaching the net-zero climate target by 2050 requires a lot more electricity, for example, for charging electric vehicles. The power consumption of buildings with several charging stations can increase to such an extent that the capacity of the connection to the power grid has to be raised at great expense. The CLEMAP technology algorithms coordinate more than 30 charging stations from different manufacturers throughout the building, dynamically prioritising or limiting the charging power depending on how much electricity the PV system on the roof is producing. The load management system can even set the charging current so that vehicles are charged solely with solar power. The solution is 100% Swiss Made, developed in Zurich and produced in Ticino.

Minespider wins ABB Challenge
Minespider, a pioneering blockchain traceability platform, won the ABB Motion Services Challenge 2023, focused on ‘Keep the Track of Circularity, which focused on developing a reliable circularity certificate management tool. Dedicated to enhancing supply chain transparency and circularity in the green transition, the startup developed a novel tool that provides traceability and circularity, allowing consumers to access detailed information about the entire product lifecycle and its environmental footprint. The reward for their victory is a collaboration with ABB and a $30,000 prize to further refine and develop its solution in partnership with ABB.

Meanwhile,4K Mems won a ticket to participate in Silicon Catalyst, the world’s only incubator focused exclusively on accelerating semiconductor solutions. The program announced its latest cohort, comprising three companies from the US, England and Switzerland, represented by 4K Mems. Focused on embedded infrared lighting solutions, the startup disruptive miniaturised light sources, enabling new architectures in machine vision, hyperspectral imaging, and portable spectroscopy. Its evolutionary light sources are designed for deep integration in embedded analysis modules. With its solutions, 4K-MEMS addresses the growing need for quality broadband IR illumination, resulting from recent technology breakthroughs in IR detection, chip-sized sensor modules, and evaluation algorithms.