© 2024 Climeworks AG
Author profile picture

The latest scientific developments, important investments or inspiring stories: in this series, we highlight stories that shape the news of the future. Each week we dive into the details of the most promising startups, technologies and research initiatives.

1. Revolutionary advances in cancer treatment

British researchers have developed a groundbreaking blood test that can indicate the risk of breast cancer returning. This discovery, along with more effective and cheaper immunotherapy for skin cancer, promises to significantly reduce treatment costs. Immunotherapy prior to surgery improves prognosis, with 59% of patients not needing further treatment. A new treatment for metastatic skin cancer is also showing impressive results, with 74% of patients tumor-free. These advances could save €30-40 million in the Netherlands alone.

The promise of the new blood test is great. After a patient is treated for breast cancer, this test can show whether there is an increased risk of the cancer returning. This allows doctors to take preventive measures and adjust treatment. Treatments that were previously much more expensive can now be done for much lower amounts. In the case of skin cancer, the cost savings were estimated at 52,000 euros per patient.

2. Octopus Energy’s value increase and expansion plans

British green energy company Octopus Energy has seen its valuation rise to $9 billion. Major investors such as Generation Investment Management and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board have increased their stakes in the company. This highlights Octopus Energy’s potential not only as an energy supplier but also as a technology pioneer with their Kraken platform.

The Kraken technology platform manages numerous green energy projects worldwide and serves as a model for digitalization in the energy industry. With increased investments, the company plans to expand its presence in the United States and advance the energy revolution in Brazil through a partnership with the Energisa Group. Octopus Energy’s growth embodies the growing demand for sustainable, technologically advanced solutions in the energy market.

3. Climeworks’ CO₂-capture technology breakthrough

Swiss company Climeworks has achieved a breakthrough in carbon capture technology (CCS), a step that could be crucial in the fight against climate change. Their latest technology, Generation 3, doubles the capacity of CO₂ while halving the energy required. This makes it more economically feasible to remove CO₂ from the atmosphere on a large scale.

With this progress, Climeworks aims to lower the cost of CCS to $100 per ton by 2030. This price point would enable large-scale implementation, which is essential to combat the impact of climate change. Plans for expansion in the United States, supported by significant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, underscore Climeworks’ global commitment to reducing CO₂ concentrations in the atmosphere.

4. Extreme weather forecasts highlight human influence

Researchers at Oxford University have developed a climate model that reveals the human impact on extreme weather. This model, based on the same tools used to make weather forecasts, makes it possible to accurately quantify the influence of human behavior on calamities such as storms, heat waves and floods.

The study yields remarkable findings. For example, it found that British storm Eunice, with wind speeds up to 196 kilometers per hour, turned out 26% more severe due to the influence of climate change. The researchers are presenting their findings at the United Nations “AI for Good Summit,” which focuses on the role of artificial intelligence and machine learning in improving local weather forecasts and climate models.