Emerging Technologies

Join Us for 2nd Annual Silicon Innovation Forum at SEMICON West

Join Us for 2nd Annual Silicon Innovation Forum at SEMICON West

As a member of the organizing committee, I’m pleased to share that Applied Ventures will be participating in the second-annual Silicon Innovation Forum (SIF) held in conjunction with SEMICON West 2014 in San Francisco on Tuesday, July 8.The forum is designed to bring new and emerging innovators together with the semiconductor industry’s top strategic investors and venture capitalists (VCs), in order to enable closer collaboration and showcase the next generation of entrepreneurs in microelectronics.
Revolutionizing Biotechnology

Revolutionizing Biotechnology

The printing press revolutionized the world, transitioning the end of the Dark Ages to the beginning of the Renaissance. Could we be witnessing a similar revolution in the biotechnology space? The Applied Ventures team thinks so, and recently expanded our portfolio with an investment in Twist Bioscience Corporation, an advanced biotechnology start-up developing a proprietary semiconductor-based technology platform with the potential for synthetic gene manufacturing.
Enabling Wearable Electronics in the Internet of Things (IoT) Era

Enabling Wearable Electronics in the Internet of Things (IoT) Era

As part of its growth focus for Applied Materials, the Office of the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) aims to do the following: Identify, incubate and commercialize growth opportunities in new and adjacent markets Build a culture of open innovation at Applied Materials Address market inflections and high value problems through differentiated solutions Shape the future of our growth markets worldwide The Internet-of-Things (IoT), the concept of connecting physical objects to each other and to the internet through sensors within or attached to the objects, is a key market inflection that is opening up new opportunities and ways of obtaining information. Cisco Systems estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020—creating a tidal wave of data! Wearable Computing or “wearables” is a small but rapidly growing segment within the IoT space and is one of the potential killer applications that could fuel IoT.
Applied Ventures Expands Portfolio with Two New Investments

Applied Ventures Expands Portfolio with Two New Investments

With 2013 in our rear-view mirror, I’m pleased to announce that Applied Ventures has completed another successful and busy year, investing more than $18 million in 2013, including closing six new investments in early stage companies.  Altogether, since we first formed Applied Ventures in 2005, we have invested approximately $179 million in more than 50 portfolio companies spanning equipment, materials, device and process providers in the clean energy, semiconductor, display, lighting and energy storage sectors. 
Accelerating the Innovation Pipeline

Accelerating the Innovation Pipeline

Applied Materials drives innovation in a variety of ways, including investing in internal R&D to continue to offer new products and technologies and collaborating with the world’s leading universities, research institutions, industry associations and consortia as well as government entities.We’ve also developed internal programs to advance technology breakthroughs by encouraging and funding disruptive ideas that can accelerate product development.
Areas of Opportunity for Corporate Venture Investing

Areas of Opportunity for Corporate Venture Investing

The past two years have seen a significant decline in the number of venture firms making new investments in the Energy Technology and Semiconductor sectors. As a result, it has become increasingly difficult for private companies raising capital in these sectors.Increasingly, corporate investors are playing a critical role in financing companies in these sectors, with 54% of energy tech and 24% of semiconductor private financing rounds in 2012 including one or more corporate investors1.As the funding for energy tech and semiconductor startups from traditional financing sources has weakened, Applied Ventures continues to be a strong supporter of new thinking that will drive these sectors.
Game Changers: Energy Science, Innovation and the Future of America

Game Changers: Energy Science, Innovation and the Future of America

What does it really mean to change the game in energy technologies? Not to change a single game  – as with a last-second shot at the buzzer, a Hail Mary pass, or a diving catch to close out the inning – but to transform the entire game, with new rules, new technologies, and often-unexpected new results.In the National Laboratory system, we are working on new energy technologies that could transform the ways we generate, store and use energy, and that could protect our environment while recharging our national economy. But as we tackle the fundamental scientific research we need to discover and develop disruptive new energy technologies, it’s worthwhile to ask: What does game-changing technology look like, and what are currently our best prospects for game changers? 
Novel Zero-Power Display Technology from Halation Photonics

Novel Zero-Power Display Technology from Halation Photonics

Picture a future where your bathroom mirror doubles as an information resource, displaying the weather forecast and your daily agenda, and where your vision is precisely enhanced by tunable eyeglasses and windshields. This is a future that Halation Photonics aims to enable. Applied Ventures is proud to join Halation as an investor.The majority of mobile devices today use LCD screens. While these displays are certainly a technical marvel, next generation devices will demand higher efficiency displays that consume significantly less power.Unlike traditional displays that require a backlight and a constant power source, Halation’s multi-stable liquid crystal displays do not require any power to hold an image. In this video, Dan Sun, Halation’s chairman and CTO, explains Halation’s innovative technology and some of its applications.More on Halation's technology after the jump.
LED Market Volatility: Prepare Now for Future Growth

LED Market Volatility: Prepare Now for Future Growth

Growth in LED demand—driven by broad adoption of general lighting applications—is expected to come at a fast, furious and sustained pace which analysts predict may last for a few years before the market once again pauses.The way I see it, the current lull in LED market growth actually may be a great opportunity for LED manufacturers: Those who invest in productivity improvements now, while there is still the luxury of time, could potentially benefit significantly and outpace their competitors during the next high growth cycles.