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Insights into US-China Relations, Fundings: Isar Aerospace, Type One Energy, Picnic
29 March 2023 - A Weekly Publication by New North Ventures
In the latest Securing our Future podcast, host Jeremy Hitchcock talks with Dr. Jennifer Rudolph about US-China relations, strategies for companies, and the outlook for the future.
Jennifer Rudolph is a Professor of Asian History and International and Global Studies and Director of the East Asia Hub at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). She received her degrees from the University of Washington and the University of Chicago and is a former executive director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and the Harvard China Fund at Harvard University.
Her research interests include Chinese political history, US-China relations, identity formation, and the geopolitics of Taiwan. Her most recent books are The China Questions 2: Critical Insights into US-China Relations (with Maria Adele Carrai and Michael Szonyi, Harvard, 2022), which just received an honorable mention for the Franklin Buchanan Prize from the Association for Asian Studies, and The China Questions: Critical Insights into a Rising Power (with Michael Szonyi, Harvard 2018). She is a long-term Research Associate at the Fairbank Center and a founding member of the Urban China Research Network, serving on its board for six years.
With five US Department of Education and Department of Defense grants, Dr. Rudolph has led the East Asia initiative for science, engineering, and business students at WPI and has held numerous fellowships, including a Fulbright Hays for doctoral research in Taiwan. In this episode, Dr. Rudolph discusses her passion for Asian history and politics, her research on Taiwan's political identity, and shares critical insights into the complex US-China relationship from her latest book, The China Questions.
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Elevator Pitch: Space technology designed to lower the entry barriers to space making space access affordable and sustainable.
Funding: The company raised EUR 155 million of Series C venture funding from Lombard Odier Investment Managers, European Investment Fund and Bayern Kapital on March 28, 2023.
Elevator Pitch: A fusion power system designed to provide clean, affordable fusion power to every city around the world.
Funding: The company raised $30.7 million of venture funding in a deal led by TDK Ventures, Doral Energy Tech Ventures, and Breakthrough Energy Ventures on March 28, 2023.
Elevator Pitch: A cybersecurity platform designed to protect data from social engineering.
Funding: The company raised $20 million of Series A venture funding through a combination of debt and equity in a deal led by Bright Pixel Capital and Energy Impact Partners on March 27, 2023.
The U.S. Space Force in budget documents submitted to Congress last week is seeking $60 million over the next two years for a program known as tactically responsive space. This is the first DoD budget that requests funding for tactically responsive space.
Tactically responsive space is an initiative to demonstrate the capabilities of commercial launch vehicles to deploy small satellites on short notice. This type of service would be used during a conflict to replace a damaged satellite or augment existing constellations.
An upcoming Tactically Responsive Launch-3 mission known as Victus Nox is expected to fly as early as May. The goal of Victus Nox is to demonstrate fast turnaround launch operations and to help planners figure out the front-end processes leading up to the launch.
According to budget documents, the program will “continue maturing, demonstrating, and stressing end-to-end tactically responsive space solutions based on lessons learned and identified pain points from the Victus Nox demonstration.”
The rise of electric vehicles (EVs) has led to an increase in demand for lithium-ion batteries, which are expensive and full of environmentally harmful materials.
By 2030, approximately a quarter of a million EV car batteries will need recycling, and this number will grow exponentially. The US is short on these resources and will probably find it challenging to build the required new batteries without closed-loop recycling with reused critical materials.
There are three techniques for battery recycling: reverse manufacturing, hydrometallurgical process, and pyrometallurgical. Battery recycling companies will see a tsunami of demand from battery and car manufacturers needing their services.
ABML, a battery recycling company, has a unique selling point. It is developing a primary resource exploration, mining, and manufacturing division, with the aim of extracting lithium from the known deposits of Lithium clay in Tonopah Flats, Nevada.
ABML will use a leach extraction method that they say is a lower-cost and lower-impact way to mine lithium. The company has already received a grant of $57 million to help with the construction and commissioning of a commercial-scale site to manufacture cathode-grade Lithium from the Tonopah site.
Taiwanese chip industry titan Morris Chang said he supports U.S. attempts to slow China's chip development progress, but also said Washington has left the island out of its vision of "friendshoring," or shifting semiconductor production to friendly countries.
TSMC, which also owns chip facilities in the Chinese city of Nanjing, has long been a target of talent acquisition by Chinese rivals. Liang Mong-song, the co-CEO of China's Semiconductor International Manufacturing Co., for example, is a former TSMC and Samsung executive.
China has poured hundreds of billions of yuan into cultivating its own semiconductor supply chain to cut it reliance on foreign tech companies. The U.S. meanwhile has tightened export controls against China and persuaded other countries, such as Japan and the Netherlands, to restrict China’s access to chip equipment and other foreign technologies.
But while the chip industry veteran says he supports Washington's approach toward China, he also said he does not see Taiwan as part of America's onshoring and friendshoring campaign to increase its domestic chipmaking capacity.
Look for a new episode of Securing the Future Podcasts wherever you listen. In our latest episode, we have guest Dr. Jennifer Rudolph sit down with General Partner Jeremy Hitchcock for an engaging conversation where Dr. Rudolph discusses her passion for Asian history and politics, her research on Taiwan's political identity, and shares critical insights into the complex US-China relationship from her latest book, The China Question.