With cleantech and green technologies becoming ever more important at the global level, it’s no surprise that startups in those areas have taken a record number of spots in the latest list of Technology Pioneers announced by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Of the 31 new companies judged to be the most innovative around the world, 13 — the most ever — are in the cleantech sector. They include a UK firm that’s developed a new cement that’s carbon-negative, a US-based company whose technology can help consumers and businesses monitor and manage their energy consumption and a California startup that enables wireless communications for the smart grid, water distribution and other services.
Announced today, the WEF’s Technology Pioneers 2011 will be recognized during the “Summer Davos” gathering of business leaders in Tianjin, China, later this month.
“I strongly believe that a robust innovation ecosystem is crucial for building both sustainable information-based economies and the solutions required to tackle many of today’s societal challenges,” said Jeong Kim, president of Alcatel-Lucent Bell-Labs. “In reviewing this year’s candidates, it was evident that many of them will play a significant role in that innovation ecosystem.”
Chosen from a field of more than 330 applicants, this year’s cleantech Technology Pioneers include:
- Digital Lumens (Boston), which produces light-emitting diode (LED) lamps that can reduce lighting-related energy consumption by up to 90 per cent;
- Ecovative Design (Green Island, New York), which has developed a process for converting crop waste into a plastics substitute;
- Ferrate Treatment Technologies (Orlando, Florida), which makes a portable reactor that can produce inexpensive ferrate for water treatment;
- Flexoresearch Group (Patum Thani Province, Thailand), which has developed an enzyme blend that can recover fibre from laminated paper waste and use it to produce new paper;
- Novacem (London), which has created a new type of cement made with magnesium oxide, magnesium carbonates and magnesium silicate minerals that’s a carbon-negative alternative to traditional Portland cement;
- On-Ramp Wireless (San Diego), which offers a wireless processing system for low-power monitoring and control applications;
- OPOWER (Arlington, Virginia), which developed an analytics engine to help consumers understand their energy consumption behaviour;
- Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies (Vancouver, British Columbia), which has created a new type of wastewater treatment process that eliminates clogging problems and turns a once-polluting byproduct into a slow-release fertiliser;
- Quintas Renewable Energy Solutions (Akure, Nigeria), which produces inverters to prevent power outages in hospitals and businesses;
- TaKaDu (Yehud, Israel), which has developed a smart-grid-type approach to detect leaks and failures in water distribution systems;
- Tendril (Boulder, Colorado), which offers a suite of products for monitoring and controlling home energy consumption;
- Topell Energy (The Hague, Netherlands), which has developed an efficient way of converting woody biomass into solid biofuels; and
- Transonic Combustion (Camarillo, California), which makes a fuel injection system that can improve vehicle mileage and reduce polluting emissions.
Technology pioneers in other categories include INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES AND NEW MEDIA
Aster Data (US), Atlassian (Australia), foursquare (US), GetJar (Lithuania/US), Knewton (US), Layar (Netherlands), NetQuin Mobile (China), OpenDNS (US), ReputationDefender (US), Scribd (US), SecondMarket (US), Spotify (UK) and Vortex Engineering (India) (information technologies and new media); and Adimab (US), Ion Torrent (US), Medicine in Need (South Africa), Molecular Partners (Switzerland) and Neuronetics (US) (life sciences and health).