big win

Houston-based startup secures million-dollar prize after global competition

Revterra was selected from among 10 finalists receiving up to $1 million piloting opportunities. Photo via ADNOC

A Houston sustainability startup has secured a major win on a global scale.

Revterra, which produces novel batteries made from recycled steel, has been awarded a million-dollar piloting opportunity by ADNOC following a global competition.

The ADNOC Decarbonization Technology Challenge, in collaboration with AWS, bp, Hub71, and the Net Zero Technology Centre, sought to find emerging climate tech innovations that are ready for scale.

The contest drew 650 applicants from across 50 countries, and applicants specialized in innovations in oil and gas emissions reduction, nature-based solutions, carbon capture utilization and storage, digital applications, new energies, oil and gas emissions reduction and advanced materials for decarbonization.

At the event in Dubai, Revterra was selected from among 10 finalists receiving up to $1 million piloting opportunities. In addition to the $1 million, they will gain access to facilities and expertise at the ADNOC Research and Innovation Center in Abu Dhabi.

“We are thrilled to win this opportunity,” Patrick Flam, CFO of Revterra, says in a news release. “At Revterra, we have developed an environmentally friendly battery that doesn’t rely on metals like lithium, nickel, or cobalt. Instead, our 2MW batteries are built using recycled steel and rely on rotational energy storage technology to achieve maximum power with a minimal environmental footprint. I am excited to work with our new partners at ADNOC to further develop our solution and deploy it across ADNOC’s operations.”

ADNOC is accelerating the decarbonization of its operations and looks to reduce its carbon intensity by 25 percent by 2030.

“ADNOC is leveraging partnerships and innovative climate technologies to accelerate our decarbonization goals and responsibly enable the energy transition,” Musabbeh Al Kaabi, ADNOC executive director for Low Carbon Solutions and International Growth, adds in the release. “The ADNOC Decarbonization Technology Challenge supports this objective, and we congratulate Revterra for emerging victorious amongst very competitive submissions from around the world.

"We look forward to working with Revterra to unlock cutting-edge solutions that will enhance efficiencies and continue decarbonizing our operations,” he continues.

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A View From HETI

Houston could have ranked higher on a global report of top cities in the world if it had a bit more business diversification. Photo via Getty Images

A new analysis positions the Energy Capital of the World as an economic dynamo, albeit a flawed one.

The recently released Oxford Economics Global Cities Index, which assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the world’s 1,000 largest cities, puts Houston at No. 25.

Houston ranks well for economics (No. 15) and human capital (No. 18), but ranks poorly for governance (No. 184), environment (No. 271), and quality of life (No. 298).

New York City appears at No. 1 on the index, followed by London; San Jose, California; Tokyo; and Paris. Dallas lands at No. 18 and Austin at No. 39.

In its Global Cities Index report, Oxford Economics says Houston’s status as “an international and vertically integrated hub for the oil and gas sector makes it an economic powerhouse. Most aspects of the industry — downstream, midstream, and upstream — are managed from here, including the major fuel refining and petrochemicals sectors.”

“And although the city has notable aerospace and logistics sectors and has diversified into other areas such as biomedical research and tech, its fortunes remain very much tied to oil and gas,” the report adds. “As such, its economic stability and growth lag other leading cities in the index.”

The report points out that Houston ranks highly in the human capital category thanks to the large number of corporate headquarters in the region. The Houston area is home to the headquarters of 26 Fortune 500 companies, including ExxonMobil, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Sysco.

Another contributor to Houston’s human capital ranking, the report says, is the presence of Rice University, the University of Houston and the Texas Medical Center.

“Despite this,” says the report, “it lacks the number of world-leading universities that other cities have, and only performs moderately in terms of the educational attainment of its residents.”

Slower-than-expected population growth and an aging population weaken Houston’s human capital score, the report says.

Meanwhile, Houston’s score for quality is life is hurt by a high level of income inequality, along with a low life expectancy compared with nearly half the 1,000 cities on the list, says the report.

Also in the quality-of-life bucket, the report underscores the region’s variety of arts, cultural, and recreational activities. But that’s offset by urban sprawl, traffic congestion, an underdeveloped public transportation system, decreased air quality, and high carbon emissions.

Furthermore, the report downgrades Houston’s environmental stature due to the risks of hurricanes and flooding.

“Undoubtedly, Houston is a leading business [center] that plays a key role in supporting the U.S. economy,” says the report, “but given its shortcomings in other categories, it will need to follow the path of some of its more well-rounded peers in order to move up in the rankings.”

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This article originally ran on InnovationMap.

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