Very cool story in the New York Times about a Kiwi company – LanzaTech – that has secured funding here in the US to produce ethanol from an untapped source – carbon monoxide gas. Vinod Khosla had this to day:
When I passed it on to my partners for due diligence, the technology stood up to every test, and the intellectual property protection was awesome,” Mr. Khosla said.
Then, referring to the bacteria that are key to the process, he said, “The performance of the bugs was frankly mind-boggling to me, not something I would have expected from a tiny research effort in New Zealand.” He said his firm “sent the best process engineers we know to evaluate the technology and could it be industrialized, and the answer was yes.”
This further validates one of our core tenets – innovation happens at the edge that is world-beating. The size of any effort and location needs to be weighed against the power of the idea and potential commercialization of it.