The World Economic Forum has announced the Technology Pioneers 2011. 31 companies have been named Technology Pioneers. I met Rodolfo Lara Torres who is in charge of the Technology Pioneer Program a few times and posted an interview in 2009.
This year a few New Media and Web companies are listed aswell, e.g. foursquare, Knewton, Layar, Scribd, and Spotify. However, Cleantech is dominating the Pioneer List. Here are the WEF Technology Pioneers 2010:
Digital Lumens, USA
Digital Lumens integrates LEDs, networking and software into a single “smart” system that promises improved efficiency, control and operational oversight of lighting at industrial facilities. The system can reduce customers’ lighting-related energy use by up to 90%.
Ecovative Design, USA
Ecovative’s vision is to grow sustainable products that directly replace plastics. Its products require far less energy to create, can be grown from many different regional feedstocks and can be composted without processing in backyards and gardens.
Ferrate Treatment Technologies, USA
Ferrate Treatment Technologies (FTT) makes a patented reactor small enough to fit into the back of a pick-up truck that can disinfect up to 20 million gallons of water a day and do the job more cheaply than harmful chemicals or competing technologies. The ferrator strips electrons from liquid iron to make ferrate; the most powerful, multi- purpose environmentally-friendly water and wastewater treatment chemical known.
Flexoresearch Group, Thailand
Flexoresearch has developed a series of novel blended enzymes that recovers pulp/fibre from laminated paper waste, such as milk cartons, and uses it to replace the virgin pulp now used to make new paper. The recovered pulp/fibre can also be used in building materials and to make vehicle brake pads for the automotive industry.
Novacem, United Kingdom
The cement industry alone is responsible for 5% of man-made CO2 emissions and, up until now, has not had low-carbon solutions to deploy at scale. Enter Novacem, which has developed a new type of cement which absorbs more CO2 than it emits during production.
On-Ramp Wireless, USA
On-Ramp Wireless’s Ultra-Link Processing (ULP) System enables the low-power monitoring and control applications used in smart grids, industrial sensing and location tracking.
OPOWER has designed a behaviour-based, energy- efficiency program that helps utilities motivate their customers to save energy.
Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies, Canada
Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies has developed a new generation of wastewater treatment systems that not only helps treatment plants run more efficiently but also solves major environmental issues and provides a new revenue stream for municipalities: commercial fertilizer.
Quintas Renewable Energy Solutions, Nigeria
Founded by a physician dismayed at the loss of life when power outages occur during childbirth and surgical operations, Quintas develops inverters specially designed to meet the challenges that poor and erratic power generation and distribution pose to people in Nigeria whose businesses and daily activities require continuous power supply.
Water scarcity is one of the biggest issues facing the world. There is not only not enough clean drinking water to go around, the world loses much of what it does have through leaks in ageing water networks. More than four and a half billion gallons of water are lost in transit every day in the United States, according to the US Geological Survey, and 25% to 35% of water is lost every year worldwide, according to the World Bank. This is where TaKaDu comes in. It is tackling the multibillion dollar problem by bringing a smart grid approach to the water sector.
Tendril helps both consumers and utilities manage energy consumption. Its smart grid technology helps utilities achieve better load balance. And, the company’s technology, a software-as-a-service model, provides a two-way communication link between energy utilities and their customers, giving consumers more specific information about their energy use.
Topell Energy, Netherlands
Topell Energy has developed a highly efficient method of making solid biofuel from woody biomass, a process known as torrefaction. Torrefaction of biomass cuts transportation costs and renders the conversion of biomass into power and heat more efficient. Torrefied biomass is an environmentally-friendly and practical alternative to fossil coal.
Transonic Combustion, USA
Transonic Combustion makes a fuel injection system that offers automotive manufacturers a near-term, cost- effective solution to vastly improve fuel economy of new cars and trucks, and help meet stringent emissions regulations.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES AND NEW MEDIA
Aster Data, USA
Companies are now amassing terabytes and even petabytes of data. As volumes explode, traditional databases have become bottlenecks, hampering corporations from getting deep insights into consumer behaviour, real-time fraud analysis and patterns and trends that could improve their business. Aster Data, founded by three PhD students at Stanford University, is helping companies overcome this challenge by providing an innovative new technology to store and rapidly analyse huge volumes of data.
Atlassian builds software to help technical teams collaborate more effectively. The company, which has made seven acquisitions in the last eight years, raised an additional US$ 60 million in venture capital in July 2010. It has over 20,000 paying customers in 134 countries, including Facebook, Oracle, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, major investment banks and Formula One teams.
Foursquare is a popular online service combining location, gaming and social networking that lets people “check in” and report their location to help find friends or tips about the place they are visiting.
GetJar is the second largest apps store, after Apple’s. The company’s key point of difference is its open market approach, which allows it to deliver applications to telephone across all major platforms such as Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, iPhone and Symbian. It offers more than 70,000 mobile applications to consumers in more than 200 countries. The company has so far generated more than 1 billion application downloads.
Education is beginning its Internet moment. Within 10 years all educational textbooks are expected to be digital, delivered through powerful e-readers. Students everywhere will be able to take accredited Web-video classes led by some of the world’s best teachers. Knewton’s mission is to bring data mining to this transition, by offering analytic tools for teachers and adapting concepts to the way individual students learn.
Fancy knowing what the Berlin Wall looked like before it fell? Thanks to Layar you can, by simply pointing your mobile phone at the location. The company helps people better understand context through an emerging mass medium called augmented reality.
NetQuin Mobile, People’s Republic of China
Today’s smart phones are tiny computers, complete with operating systems, storage and wireless access to company’s internal networks, making them an enticing target for hackers and Internet criminals. That is where NetQin Mobile comes in. Based on a cloud security platform, the company delivers mobile security services, including anti-virus, anti-spam, privacy protection, data backup and restoration, and online virus scan to 51.5 million users worldwide. The company controls 68% of the market in China for mobile security – it is the only provider of anti-spamming service to China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator ? but some 30% of its user base is outside of China.
The Domain Name System (DNS) is a 25-year-old crucial part of the Internet’s infrastructure, which encompasses the routing system used to transfer data, such as e-mails. OpenDNS’ mission is to push control of the DNS to the periphery, enabling consumers and network administrators to secure their networks from online threats, reduce costs and enforce Internet use policies without the use of software or costly appliances.
ReputationDefender specializes in helping consumers and business shape how they are seen online. It sells different security products on a monthly subscription basis, allowing consumers and businesses to monitor information about themselves across the Web, bury undesirable information and promote vetted content to the top of research results.
John Adler, Founder of 2008 Technology Pioneer Accuray and inventor of the CyberKnife, encountered a lot of barriers to publishing one of his papers in a medical journal. The peer review process and glacial pace were frustrating. Adler realized that what he really wanted was to quickly make his paper accessible to as many people as possible. Adler’s complaints led his son Trip and his classmate from Harvard to create Scribd, a Web 2.0 document-sharing site that aims to make it easy for anyone to publish original work on the Web and find a readership.
In the last decade, the time from company formation to initial public offering has extended from five to 10 years, leaving employees, founders and venture capitalists with limited means to get liquidity in the interim. SecondMarket gives the marketplace an alternative
to going public or selling companies. It is the world’s largest centralized marketplace and auction platform for trading illiquid financial assets that cannot be traded in the public markets.
Spotify, United Kingdom
Spotify, founded by European serial entrepreneur Daniel Ek, is a digital music service that works across multiple hardware platforms, offering music fans an alternative to the two other main options now available: Apple’s iTunes and piracy. It has rapidly grown from a small Swedish music service to an international company with 7 million users across six European countries, generating more revenue for rights holders than Apple iTunes in some territories.
Vortex Engineering, India
Vortex Engineering develops automatic teller machines for rural environments, adapting them to run on lower amounts of power and to dispense soiled banknotes.
LIFE SCIENCES AND HEALTH
Adimab was founded by two of the world’s leading yeast biotechnologists, Dartmouth’s Tillman Gerngross and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Dane Wittrup, with the goal of significantly speeding up the drug discovery process while improving the overall quality of therapeutics. The two professors have built an antibody discovery and optimization platform that is broadly applicable to all disease and can be accessed by the entire pharmaceutical industry.
Ion Torrent, USA
Ion Torrent is pioneering a radically faster and cheaper approach to gene sequencing by marrying simple chemistry to powerful, proven semiconductor technology. The company is the third headed by Rothberg to be named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer. Rothberg is credited with inventing massively parallel sequencing. His team at 454 and the Baylor Genome Center was the first to make public the sequence of
an individual human genome. He is also credited with initiating the Neanderthal Genome Project with Svante Paabo.
Medicine in Need (MEND), South Africa
Millions of people in the developing world die needlessly each year because of infectious diseases such as TB, HIV and malaria that could otherwise be prevented or treated. Medicine in Need (MEND) aims to ensure the world’s poorest people get access to effective, life-saving drugs and vaccines by reformulating existing products to make them more suitable to administer in developing countries and by assuring that new discoveries in these areas yield sustainable products that can be commercialized.
Molecular Partners, Switzerland
Molecular Partners is working on novel medicines based on designed ankyrin repeat proteins (DARPins), a promising class of non-immunoglobulin proteins that can offer advantages over antibodies in drug discovery and drug development.
Despite major advances in treating depression, nearly 30% of patients do not benefit from drug therapy and more than one-half report side effects that lead to non-compliance with medication such as sexual dysfunction, weight gain and sleep disorders. Neuronetics has developed the NeuroStar Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy System, which uses magnetic field pulses to stimulate nerve cells in an area of the brain that is linked to depression. This stimulation increases brain activity and releases neurotransmitters which are known to elevate mood. The treatment is typically administered daily over four to six weeks to patients who have not responded to traditional treatments; it is free of systemic side effects.
Blog by Monty C. M. Metzger *monty.de.