New question release: Alternative fuels, impossible foods and thermoplastics

Zev Burton
Oct 03, 2022 03:57PM UTC
INFER has launched several new questions within the topic Synthetic Biology in the Energy Sector (see how we decomposed this topic to develop each forecast question here). Check out a few of our newest questions: 

On 31 May 2023, how many total tax incentives will be listed in the Alternative Fuels Data Center?

The U.S. federal government and several states continue to offer tax incentives to promote the use of alternative fuels as the demand for them continues to rise. These specific incentives are tracked by the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC). By providing tax breaks or other financial incentives, the U.S. government is incentivizing citizens and corporations to focus more on alternative sources of energy. While the recently-passed Inflation Reduction Act includes several additional incentives and tax credits for alternative fuels, there are concerns about whether that trend will continue after the midterm elections in November 2022.

By 31 December 2022, will Impossible Foods announce a date for their IPO?

Impossible Foods’ products can be seen across the U.S. – from Target to Burger King – and they’ve been looking to go public for almost a year. With this question, INFER aims to understand public perception of success for synthetic biology organizations and corporate trends. Forecasters predicting a quick IPO point to Impossible Food’s unprecedented growth – 2021 Q4 retail sales were up 85% year over year – and how Impossible Foods seems poised to jump on the combination of concerns over climate change and an increase in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investment. On the other hand, while their main competitor, Beyond Meat, had a great start to their public offering, its shares now “less appealing than yesterday’s half-eaten burger” according to Forbes. Not to mention, with other competitors such as Tyson and Perdue hard at work creating new meat alternatives, Impossible Foods’ future, and potential for an IPO, remains uncertain.

Will a top U.S. chemical or oil and gas company join the BOTTLE consortium as an industry partner by 31 August 2023?

A research group called the Bio-Optimized Technologies to keep Thermoplastics out of Landfills and the Environment (BOTTLE) collaboration is working to find innovative ways to degrade, recycle, and redesign plastics on a large scale. Led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office and Bioenergy Technologies Office, five industry partners have joined the effort: Amazon, KraftHeinz, the Ocean Foundation, Patagonia, and Procter & Gamble. While some top oil and gas companies, such as Dow, are already positioning themselves as leaders in pollution and waste reduction, having a major chemical or oil and gas company signing onto the BOTTLE consortium would signal a shift in the prioritization towards environmentally-friendly SynBio solutions.

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