The WEF Technology Pioneers 2009

The World Economic Forum selects a few companies to become Technology Pioneers.
I met Rodolfo Lara Torres, Head of Technology and Knowledge Integration at the World Economic Forum, at Le Web 2008 in Paris and talked with him about the latest developments at WEF.

Tech Pioneer are those companies who are working on technologies and innovation that have the potential to change the world. The WEF screens the market worldwide to find the most innovative companies and selects around 30 companies every year to become Tech Pioneer. The WEF started in 1999, so this year it is the 10th edition of the Award.

The main criteria for the Tech Pioneers are
1. Innovation: Is the technology new?
2. Impact: Which impact will this technology have on business and society?
3. Sustainability: Will the company exist in the long-term, too?
4. Not a Member of the WEF already.

The award winners will be integrated in the activities of the World Economic Forum and will be invited to events, such as the Annual Meeting in Davos.

Rodolfo explains a lot of very innovative companies come from emerging markets like India, Africa or China.
He also sees a major Trend of the combination of Health and Technology, like chips inserted into your body.
And by the way, Google won the award in 2001.

The World Economic Forum has announced 34 visionary companies selected as Technology Pioneers 2009 for their accomplishments as innovators of the highest calibre, and whose technologies will have a deep impact on business and society.

Company Profiles


AC Immune S.A.

Prof. Andrea Pfeifer, Chief Executive Officer
AC Immune S.A. is a Swiss biopharmaceutical company developing innovative therapeutics for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) along three axes of AD therapies: vaccines, antibodies and small molecules.

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

John Maraganore, Chief Executive Officer
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics based on a breakthrough in biology known as RNA interference, or RNAi, a discovery that enables the creation of a broad new class of human therapeutics.

BioMedica Diagnostics

Dr Abdullah Kirumira, Chief Executive Officer
The primary mission of BioMedica is the dissemination of affordable Medical Diagnostics in the developing world.

Intercell AG

Gerd Zettlmeissl, Chief Executive Officer
Intercell is a biotechnology company developing novel vaccines against infectious diseases.

Mobile Healthcare Inc

James Hiroshi Nakagawa, Chief Executive Officer – read the interview

Mobile Healthcare Inc. (MHC) is a private, Tokyo-based integrated solutions provider of unique real-time mobile solutions for preventing and managing lifestyle-related chronic diseases.

MorphoSys AG

Dr. Simon E. Moroney, Chief Executive Officer – read the interview

MorphoSys AG, located in Martinsried/Munich, is one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies focusing on fully human antibodies.

Phase Forward, Inc.

Robert Weiler, Chairman, President and CEO
Phase Forward’s software helps biopharmaceutical and medical device companies bring better, safer therapies to market more efficiently and cost effectively.

Proteus Biomedical

Andrew Thompson, Chief Executive Officer – read the interview

Proteus is a leader in Intelligent Medicine: personalizing proven therapies by embedding computers and sensors into drugs and devices and linking them to mobile computers. 



Thomas J. Casey – Chief Executive Officer
CURRENT is the leader in enabling electric utilities worldwide to implement a Smart Grid benefiting utilities, consumers and the environment.

BrightSource Energy, Inc.

Arnold Goldman, Chairman and Founder 
BrightSource Energy, Inc. designs and builds large scale solar plants that deliver low-cost solar energy in the form of steam and/or electricity, at prices competitive with fossil fuels, to industrial and utility customers worldwide.

Cows to Kilowatts Partnership Limited

Dr. Joseph Adelegan, Executive Director and Head of Partnership
The partnership is abating pollution, mitigating greenhouse gas emission and creates cheap source of domestic energy through the installation of sustainable bioreactor.

GreenPeak Technologies

Mr. Cees Links,, Chief Executive Officer – read the interview

GreenPeak is a semiconductor, module and software company offering wireless and green ultra low power network communication technology for sense and control applications.

Lemnis Lighting

Frans Alexander Otten, Chairman – read the interview

Lemnis was established to provide the world with the most energy efficient lighting products.


John Petro – Founder and CTO
NovaTorque has invented highly efficient electric motors that achieve half to a quarter of the losses of conventional motors and 50-100% higher power densities.


Fernando Nilo, Founder and Chief Executive Officer
RECYCLA offers a sustainable final destination for electronic equipment that frequently contains hazardous materials.

RecycleBank, LLC

Ron Gonen – Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder
RecycleBank is a rewards program that motivates people to recycle.

SemiLEDs Corporation

Mr. Trung Tri Doan, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
SemiLEDs Corporation is one of the world’s leading providers of high-performance light-emitting diodes (HPLED) suitable for general lighting applications.

Virent Energy Systems, Inc

Dr. Randy Cortright, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer – Read the interview

Virent’s BioForming(TM) process cost-effectively and renewably generates conventional hydrocarbon fuels such as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel from plant sugars.

ZPower, Inc.

Ross E. Dueber, President and Chief Executive Officer
ZPower is dedicated to innovating change in the field of battery technology. 


Advanced Track & Trace

Jean-Pierre Massicot, Chief Executive Officer
Advanced Track & Trace is a pioneer in digital security solutions applied to Brand Protection.

Brightcove Inc.

Jeremy Allaire, Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Brightcove is an online video platform that empowers video producers and programmers to build broadband businesses while giving viewers more choices and control over their use of video and television.

Etsy Inc.

Robert Kalin, Founder
Etsy’s mission is to enable people to make their living making things.


Klaas Kersting, Chief Executive Officer
Gameforge is the largest independent supplier of browser- and client-based MMOGs (massively multiplayer online games) worldwide.

JiGrahak Mobility Solution Pvt. Ltd.

Sourabh Jain, Chief Executive Officer
JiGrahak provides “ngpay”, India’s first end-to-end, mass market mobile commerce service.


Aaron Patzer, Chief Executive Officer
Mint.com applies breakthrough technology to make it easier to make smarter financial decisions.

Mojix, Inc.

Dr.Ramin Sadr, Founder & Chief Executive Officer – read the interview

Mojix, Inc. was founded in 2004 by a team of former JPL/NASA scientists and engineers with the vision of applying breakthroughs in deep space communications to exponentially refine the precision, reach and scope of RFID technology.


Bright B. Simons, Chief Strategist
mPedigree manages the 1393 service, which has been deployed in Ghana since January of this year, and is the first system anywhere in the world by means of which consumers and patients can instantly verify the source of a purchased pharmaceutical at no cost, at the point of purchase, using standard mobile phones.


Sachin Duggal, Chief Executive Officer – read the interview

Nivio is the first online Windows desktop.

Qifang Inc

Calvin Chin, Chief Executive Officer – read the interview

Qifang is a company built on the simple premise that everyone should be able to get an education, no matter their financial means.

Slide, Inc.

Max Levchin, Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Slide’s current sources of revenue include product sponsorships, product-placement within applications, display advertising, and direct-to-consumer products.

SpinVox Ltd

Ms Christina Domecq, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
SpinVox is the creator and global leader in an entirely new category of communications which it has called Voice-to-Screen.

Tideway Systems

Richard M. Muirhead, Chief Executive Officer
Tideway provides data center search software that continuously consumes and transforms IT data into intelligence, including identifying application software components and inter-relationships and mapping them to physical and virtual infrastructure.

Ubiquisys Ltd

Chris Gilbert, Chief Executive Officer – read the interview

Ubiquisys launched the femto industry in 2004 to improve and reduce the cost of mobile coverage, capacity and services in homes and offices.

TraceTracker Innovation ASA

Ole-Henning Fredriksen, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer – read the interview

TraceTracker is the global information exchange for the food industry.

Comments ( 1 )

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *