- Madison, Wisconsin-based weather tech company Understory is raising $4.1 million in private investments in addition to the $3.5 million it secured so far from private investors, reports Wisconsin Inno. The startup makes solar-powered weather stations that collect data to make better business decisions, such as for agriculture or risk mitigation.
- An Argonne National Laboratory scientist is receiving recognition for her work to develop longer lasting, more efficient solar cells during her previous position at Florida State University. Her research team investigated how to improve the performance and stability of perovskites, crystalline materials considered the future of solar cells.
🏭 COAL: The U.S. Department of Energy is providing funding for two Midwest projects as part of its Coal FIRST initiative to develop advanced coal-based power plants that achieve net-zero carbon emissions. Wabash Valley Resources in West Terre Haute, Indiana, and the University of Illinois will receive a portion of the $80 million to support their development work.
📖 EDUCATION: The state of Illinois is investing $15 million to support advanced manufacturing training at two downstate community colleges. David Boulay of the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center tells Capital News Illinois that rapidly evolving technology makes education even more important: “Automation, artificial intelligence, collaborative robots are creating massive change in the workplace. And even during this pandemic, we are seeing the signs of that massive change accelerated.”
🚙 TRANSPORTATION: Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley confirmed today that the company will produce a Ram electric pickup truck to compete with Ford, GM, Tesla, Rivian and Lordstown Motors. Meanwhile Ohio-based Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns tells Fox News the company’s Endurance pickup will be “the most economical, the greenest and the safest vehicle” in the increasingly competitive segment.
🌡️ CLIMATE: The Trump administration is hiding dozens of studies produced by a variety of research institutions that show renewable energy innovations aid the transition away from fossil fuels and mitigate climate change, according to a Grist investigation.
🤝 PARTNERSHIP: Des Moines, Iowa-based Igor (previously in Centered) is partnering with Somfy on smart building technologies that will help buildings to achieve greater energy efficiency and sustainability.