Technology Pioneers

World Economic Forum September 2011

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Foreword Technology Pioneers Report Profiles of the Technology Pioneers Technology Pioneers Selection Committee Acknowledgements Partners 05 06 15 29 31 32

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Attention-grabbing headlines dominated newspapers, blogs and tweets in the first half of 2011 – from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan to the popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa and riots in London. Worrisome unemployment figures, the Fukushima nuclear accident and Internet security breaches, among others, have brought us a complex array of challenges, which impact our lives and that of our communities no matter where we live.


But where there are challenges, there also lie opportunities. Poised to capitalize on these opportunities are entrepreneurs who detect unmet business or societal needs, and apply focus and passion to address those needs. The World Economic Forum is pleased to present in this report the 25 Technology Pioneers for 2012. These innovative companies, by their visionary and entrepreneurial nature, are well positioned to address some of the world’s challenges. From making the Internet more secure for businesses to providing health diagnostics to rural populations with limited access to adequate infrastructure, the Technology Pioneers selection committee – comprised of entrepreneurs, investors, academics and technology experts – has chosen a leading group of young companies in the areas of information technology and new media, energy and environment, and life sciences and health. Noteworthy among this year’s selection, is the number of companies with products that cater to poorer, underserved populations, as well as companies which offer innovative financing models for businesses and individuals. Additionally, and continuing last year’s trend, a large group of companies is active in the clean-tech sector, suggesting that there is no slowdown in innovation and funding for developing cleaner sources and more efficient uses of energy. The World Economic Forum would like to thank its Partners and all the members of the selection committee. It is this unique group of individuals, and the combination of their contributions, which makes the Technology Pioneers award truly unique. We congratulate the 2012 Technology Pioneers and welcome them to the World Economic Forum community.

Robert Greenhill Managing Director and Chief Business Officer

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Technology Pioneers Report 2012

The disruptive impact of technology can either be interpreted as a dangerously destabilizing force or as an open door for creative change. In either case, there are winners and losers. It is difficult to ignore the disruptive aspects of technology in 2011. The bankruptcy of Borders, the US bookstore chain, was testimony both to the growing proliferation of e-readers like the iPad and the Kindle, and to the giant conglomerate’s failure to adjust to market changes quickly enough. It also raised serious questions about the future of the giant bricks-and-mortar discount chains when consumers can easily compare prices and order on line. Blockbuster, which had built its movie rental business on the ability of its networked computers to predict which movies were likely to be the most popular, suffered a similar fate. This time it was the consumer shift to watching streaming videos online. Conventional TV and cable companies also felt the pressure. Sony Pictures, which had cashed in on the growing fascination with gaming online and had turned out to be a major hit with its PlayStation network, was forced to suspend operations for a month in April because it had not taken sufficient security precautions to protect its network. LulzSec, a group estimated to be six youthful hackers, cracked into Sony servers and stole passwords and confidential information concerning a million customers. Clean-up and insurance costs from the debacle were estimated at more than US$ 170 million. The most noticeable disruption of the year, however, has been the political turbulence that swept across North Africa in January and February, leading to the banishment of informal “presidents-for-life” in Tunisia and Egypt. The political turbulence in the Middle East and elsewhere underscores that easy access to mobile phones, the Internet and social media have created a new political landscape, essentially by providing the public with the tools needed to organize and express frustration at unresponsive political structures. In the past an authoritarian regime might have censored news accounts of political dissent but that is increasingly difficult to do in a world in which any bystander with a cellphone can videotape what is happening and broadcast graphic images to the world or blog his version of events over the Internet. In a globally interactive world, everyone is connected to everyone else. No man is an island, and sooner or later everyone is accountable.

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The US State Department, which readily approved Africa’s pro-democracy demonstrations, adopted a different tone when WikiLeaks began exposing thousands of potentially embarrassing classified military and diplomatic secrets dealing with US policies towards Iraq and Afghanistan over the Internet. Despite a concentrated campaign to stop the renegade press releases, WikiLeaks continues to broadcast embarrassing material. Seen more broadly, technology is not only creating a wide range of new possibilities for business, it is also providing new opportunities for amateur anarchists, criminals and extremists as well. In a sense, the dream of technology empowering the common man is fast becoming a reality. But what individuals decide to do with their newfound power is harder to predict. A hunger for democracy and self-expression over the Internet can just as easily degenerate into uninformed populism. What all these events have in common is that the effect of technology is difficult for any one person, organization or group to control. The world is facing more than a new paradigm shift. It is facing a paradigm that is in constant evolution, and the evolutionary process is clearly accelerating. In this dazzlingly, fast-moving, new era, planning for the future is a risky business at best. Only a year ago, most experts were convinced that nuclear power was the only economically affordable alternative to fossil fuels. The tsunami in Japan changed that. Besides causing enormous casualties, when it destroyed one of the company’s main nuclear power plants the unprecedented tidal wave cut off a significant percentage of Japan’s electricity. The catastrophe was a visible demonstration to the entire world of just how costly the uncontrolled meltdown of a nuclear plant can be. Soon afterwards, Switzerland and Germany both decided against any future development of nuclear power and began looking for alternative solutions. The loss of electricity forced much of Japan’s manufacturing industry to curtail operations, having a ripple effect around the world. Companies outside Japan that had depended on Japanese components for their own manufacturing were forced to make a rapid reassessment both of just-in-time delivery strategies and the vulnerability that resulted from over-reliance on the global supply chain.

From a strategic perspective, the graphic demonstration of the enormous cost of a nuclear accident has led to a reassessment of the attractiveness of alternative fuels, smart grids and wind power. But the lesson is that with so many variables in play, no one can really tell with any certainty at this point which technology will eventually emerge triumphant. The ultimate message in 2011 is that nothing about the future is certain. Although change tends to be unnerving, it also inspires creative solutions. Many of the most innovative companies got their start during periods of instability. When things are moving smoothly, there is no incentive to try something new, especially when there is a strong likelihood that the idea will not work. When trouble looms on the horizon, there is a greater need for innovation and a fresh approach. The rapid acceleration of technology that is now taking place coincides with the three greatest challenges that affect the world today: the effects of climate change, overpopulation and the growing realization that many of the earth’s resources – especially oil and water – are finite and may be reaching their maximum peak limits. Each of these threats is likely to lead to increased instability unless solutions can be found to the problems they present. The World Economic Forum’s programme to select Technology Pioneers began in 2000 and has since selected more than 400 companies, many of whom are in the start-up phase, developing prototypes and new technologies that are testing the frontiers of our current knowledge and pushing the envelope of possibilities. This year’s Technology Pioneers have each focused on a significant challenge confronting the global community today and responded with an ingenious solution to a specific problem. While the specific contribution may cover only a small part of the spectrum of problems confronting the global community, each of these companies shares one thing in common: they force us to look at the future in a fresh, enterprising manner. The current selection covers all aspects of technology development from Internet security to clean tech, accessibility to improved healthcare, new solutions for more efficient transportation, cost effective tools for development and innovative approaches to including excluded populations in the world’s financial network. All of the companies selected were nominated by their peers for their pioneering approach in finding new solutions.

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Making the Internet Secure for Business
Hacker schemes once discounted as playful pranks have drifted to the dark side and Internet security is now a field that no one can afford to ignore. LulzSec’s cyber attack against Sony Pictures was, according to the “hactivists” who launched it, an early warning of the cost of not taking security seriously. LulzSec, derived from the expression “Laughing out loud at security”, uses the slogan, “Laughing at your security.” Its complaint was that Sony had not bothered to encrypt sensitive details about its customers. As it turns out, Sony was only the most noticeable recent victim in the growing wave of cyber attacks and prankishness. American Express, Visa and a number of major banks experienced similar attempts to break into their security. After numerous attempts to penetrate the servers of the US Defense Department, the Pentagon announced that it might treat future attempts as acts of war. Mocana, one of this year’s Tech Pioneers, has not only mastered the kind of attacks that LulzSec engaged in but has already begun looking ahead to the next generation of cyber security. A network, like a chain, is only as strong as its weakest link, and Mocana is focusing on the estimated 20 billion smaller networked electronic devices ranging from cellphones to iPads that are in use today, which constitute easy entry points for cyber predators trying to invade a network. Most of these devices rely on low-powered integrated circuits with a simplified architecture that is not powerful enough to handle conventional PC security software. To complicate matters different manufacturers rely on different operating systems. In response, Mocana has pioneered the industry’s only device-independent Smart Device Security platform. The system is built around a small, ultra-fast encryption engine that requires hardly any power and can function equally well with more than 35 operating systems. CloudFlare, a California-based company, takes a different approach. Its “intelligent network” employs innovative algorithms to strip parasites, viruses and other predatory malware from the data stream of clients who route access to their websites through CloudFlare’s 12 servers scattered around the world. CloudFlare’s technology not only protects its clients’ security but also speeds up Web operations. As attempts to penetrate CloudFlare’s defences become more sophisticated, the network adapts its defences to each attack and communicates that knowledge to all the members on its network. In an

ironic twist, one of CloudFlare’s former clients turned out to be the hacker group, LulzSec, a vote of confidence in CloudFlare’s approach. DoubleVerify, another of this year’s Tech Pioneers, performs an alternative approach to CloudFlare by dispatching software robot inspectors across the Internet to probe for malware that may have been surreptitiously inserted into a site without an advertiser’s knowledge. As more and more traffic shifts to cloud computing, US-based Appirio provides tailor-made strategies for companies, equipping them to take maximum advantage of the multi-access possibilities through networking offered by the cloud. Dropbox, whose servers effectively double as cloud-based hard drives, has succeeded in making cloud technology so seamless that most users are not even aware they are on the cloud.

Looking for Hidden Patterns and Creating an Operating System for Cities of the Future
In retrospect, many events from the financial crises to political upheavals, and even Al Qaeda’s attack on New York’s World Trade Center, might have been avoided if information that was already readily available had been collated and interpreted correctly. One of the greatest obstacles to accurate analysis today is data smog: too much information in too many places in too many shapes and forms. Palantir Technologies’ specialty is connecting the dots. Its object models for finance and government provide a ready-built architecture to detect and analyse evolving trends by seamlessly integrating information to make it accessible to a wide variety of users. The result is more effective decision-making that accurately reflects real life situations. Energy-conserving smart buildings are in vogue these days but to make cities function efficiently the trick is to analyse and act on information coming from thousands of sensors that cover every aspect of a functioning city on a continuous basis. This requires a network able to handle a data flow vastly greater than the Internet. Living PlanIT is blazing new ground in developing the strategy and network technology to do just that. It has partnered with key players, including Cisco and Microsoft, and is currently working on a prototype city of the future in Portugal.

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Developing a Cleaner Source of Energy
The sun is the most prolific source of energy but until now photovoltaic solar panels have been too expensive for solar-produced electricity to be cost-effective. Currently, solar-produced electricity accounts for less than 1% of US energy needs. 1366 Technologies, a Tech Pioneer that takes its name from the average amount of solar power measured in watts that strikes a square metre of the earth’s surface in a year, is developing a revolutionary process that promises to dramatically reduce production costs. Instead of sawing through blocks of silicon to produce the razor thin wafers required by photovoltaic cells, the company’s innovative approach directly moulds the silicon much the way glass is made. The company predicts that cost savings will eventually make solar power economically viable. Tech Pioneers Joule Unlimited and Solazyme are developing strategies to use genetically altered microbes to produce transportation fuels. Joule Unlimited’s system pumps ordinary waste along with a highly synthetic microorganism and large quantities of carbon dioxide into transparent pipes exposed to direct sunlight. Relying on photosynthesis, the microorganisms can produce ethanol and diesel fuel at a projected cost of US$ 50 a barrel. Joule is running a prototype installation covering 1,200 acres in Arizona and plans to eventually scale it up to 5,000 acres. In contrast to Joule’s process, which avoids reliance on biomass, Solazyme employs micro-algae and a wide variety of photosynthetic plant sugars derived from a wide range of feedstock. Solazyme’s approach uses standard industrial fermentation equipment. Its microbes are fermented in darkness. The company employs an accelerated process that it calls “indirect photosynthesis” which produces fuel within a few days. Solazyme is already providing fuel to the US Navy for testing in ships, vehicles and aviation. In much of the developing world, fuel used for heating and cooking constitutes another major source of emissions. India-based Tech Pioneer First Energy Private Limited has developed an extremely efficient stove that runs on pellets of compressed agricultural residue. The stove’s efficient design produces three times the heat of conventional stoves. The idea was originally developed by Bangalore’s Institute of Technology in India. The least expensive of these stoves sell for just over US$ 20 and a kilogram of fuel costs just a few cents. At least 485,000 households in India have already bought the consumer version, and 2,500 enterprises have bought the professional model designed for hotels and

restaurants. When the stove’s popularity began driving up the price of pellets, the company developed a technique for producing pellets locally from a variety of sources. It plans to sell more than a million stoves in India within the next three years and will then market to other developing countries, especially in Africa. While the stove, which produces three times the heat and produces far less emissions than conventional stoves, will make cooking far more affordable than kerosene or liquid propane alternatives in poor communities, it can also play an important role in reducing emissions that are dangerous both for health and the environment. When it comes to determining what kind of gases may be contributing to global warming, the leading pioneer in the field is Picarro, which aims to be the world’s leading manufacturer of laser-equipped gas spectrometers. Picarro’s system can be placed in the back of a car and map a city’s gas leaks in a week or so. Recent surveys of San Francisco and Boston revealed invisible plumes of methane, a major component of natural gas, hovering over the cities. Methane is 20 times as potent a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide, so controlling leaks as more countries turn to natural gas should be a top priority. Picarro is designing advanced systems to determine emissions at the regional and national level.

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Revolutionizing Motors Used in Transport
In a zero sum game, cutting fuel consumption in half is roughly equivalent to doubling the amount of fuel. Tech Pioneers EcoMotors International is developing a groundbreaking engine that promises nearly twice the efficiency of conventional automobile engines. The design employs modules, each of which consists of two cylinders on opposite sides of a drive shaft. Each cylinder contains two opposing pistons, which provide double the normal compression and only need to travel half the distance for combustion. The modules can be stacked, and turned off when the additional power is no longer necessary. Protean Electric’s design places a small, pancake-shaped electric motor in each wheel of the ca, and relies on electronic circuits to synchronize them. Prototypes have been installed in a Ford F150 pickup truck and a Volvo Sedan. Speeds up to 100 miles an hour are possible and the vehicle can easily cover a range of around 100 miles. Depending on how much power is needed, the motors can be installed in only two wheels or in all four. An advantage in the design is that Protean’s motors can be added to current conventional gasoline or diesel vehicles that can then rely on the electric motors for short range trips, and easily switch over to a standard gasoline motor for longer trips. The motors eliminate the need for a drive shaft and gearbox and, since the torque is distributed directly to the wheels, they are ideally suited to rapid acceleration.

Working for Development
The underlying message from the political upheavals in North Africa last winter is that people are not willing to wait indefinitely to have a viable standard of living. According to most estimates, more than a billion people currently live in absolute poverty on less than US$ 1.25 a day; more than twice live on less than US$ 2 a day. Several of this year’s Tech Pioneers are pioneering technologies to help the poorest sectors of society. A major problem is water. India and China account for nearly 40% of the world’s population but only have access to less than 11% of its water (This according to Indian professor Brahma Chellaney in his latest book: Water: Asia’s New Battleground). DripTech, a California company with offices in India and China, is developing irrigation systems that make farming practical in parched areas that were previously unable to sustain crops. Drip irrigation has been in use for a long time, but DripTech’s specialty is to streamline the manufacturing process, reducing the number of components needed so that the system is affordable to poor income farmers. More than simply conserving scarce water supplies, DripTech enables previously unusable land to be cultivated for a profit, thus spurring economic development throughout the community. Until recently the poorest sectors of India’s population had little access to modern banking. FINO (Financial Inclusion Network and Operations) has been changing the dynamics of microfinancing by introducing electronic systems that make administering micro loans and other banking services efficient enough to be economically sustainable in rural areas. Today, Tech Pioneer, FINO, is a market leader with a 30-million customer base and a staff of 2,500 employees based in Mumbai. By reaching a section of the population previously ignored by banking services, FINO has succeeded in developing new markets and opportunities. Another of this year’s Tech Pioneers from India, Attero Recycling (Attero means “waste” in Latin), is taking aim at the surge in environment-threatening toxic waste that is resulting from India’s booming electronics industry. India currently has more than 400,000 tons of e-waste and expects to double that amount in the near future. The company’s highly automated plant, the only comprehensive recycling installation of its kind in India, can currently handle up to 36,000 tons of e-waste generated in 20 Indian cities.

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Accessible Communications in Remote Parts of the World
The Irish firm, Altobridge, is creating mobile phone communications in places so remote that they were previously considered too uneconomical. Altobridge’s platform “Local Connectivity” takes the burden off of mobile phone core networks by managing local traffic within the remote network avoiding any need for a “backhaul’ satellite link to the company’s central core network. The company’s “Data at the Edge” system makes mobile phones cheap enough to be affordable in cash-strapped developing countries. Altobridge’s revolutionary Remote Contiguous Communications unit can be backpacked overland into remote areas and used to establish a local mobile phone network within minutes in disaster situations. In a similar vein, Electro Power Systems, also a Tech Pioneer, has developed a revolutionary fuel cell that effectively recharges itself and provides emergency backup power to cellphone towers in difficult locations, eliminating the need for costly maintenance.

Making High Quality Healthcare Available to Everyone
Medical testing is a critical factor both in the prevention and diagnosis of disease as well as in deciding where to allocate scarce resources. The poorest countries in the developing world often lack trained personnel to carry out standard tests, which are also often too expensive for cash-strapped health ministries. Tech Pioneer, Boston-based Diagnostics For All hopes to change that situation by pioneering medical testing that uses a special photoresist paper. Medical test strips, roughly the size of a postage stamp, rely on the capillary characteristics of paper to draw a small drop of blood, urine or other body fluid into contact with chemical agents that change colour depending on the specimen examined. A technician with basic training can interpret the results based on the strip’s changing colour. It is possible to carry out more sophisticated tests by layering the paper strips on top of each other. Critical tests for chronic diseases such as diabetes can cost as little as a few pennies, and the paper can be burned immediately eliminating any biohazard. One of the company’s most brilliant moves was to establish itself as a not-for profit from the start, investing royalties into expanded research. It is currently developing a test to help African countries check on whether antiretroviral drugs used in controlling HIV/AIDS are causing liver damage. In a similar vein, Tethys Biosciences is developing sophisticated biomarkers, which can be used to predict a patient’s potential vulnerability to certain chronic diseases, such as diabetes, well in advance of actually contracting the disease. The tests provide an early warning which is crucial in recommending preventive measures. The precision diagnoses made possible by Tethys’ products also help doctors focus their time and resources by pinpointing which patients genuinely need attention. The added edge helps expand access to medical help by more accurately determining where it is actually needed. At the other end of the spectrum, Tech Pioneer Biocartis is making sophisticated molecular testing and DNA analysis accessible to a larger population in developed countries. Biocartis’ prototype enables a technician to perform sophisticated molecular testing and DNA sampling on a simple console in a doctor’s office or small lab. The results are transmitted electronically to a central facility for expert interpretation. Previously, this type of testing was restricted to large centralized labs that had to handle large batches of specimens to be cost-effective. Biocartis’ technology promises to make the latest medical analysis accessible to a much larger population.

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More Accessible Financing to Entrepreneurial Pioneers
Many good ideas never get off the ground simply because they are too offbeat or lack the scale needed to attract the attention of traditional venture capitalists. In many cases, private individuals might be willing to make a low-cost investment in a promising idea, but often the entrepreneur does not know whom they are. Kickstarter, which has pioneered the concept of “crowd funding”, realized that the key to changing that situation is to establish a platform for linking people with good ideas to potential investors. The Kickstarter website serves as a public bulletin board for innovative projects. Anyone can submit a proposal, with an estimate of how much funding will be needed and a deadline for project completion. Potential sponsors contribute money through Amazon Payments. A similar strategy for direct loans is offered by Lending Club. The potential borrower submits a proposal and Lending Club responds with a suggested interest rate, based on the borrower’s credit rating. Potential investors create a portfolio with the company and decide in which loans they want to participate. If a borrower defaults, the lender only loses the portion of his overall portfolio that went to that specific loan. Lending Club sets strict requirements on the credit worthiness of potential borrowers, so the risks are reduced. Lending Club lets borrowers get preferential interest rates because its streamlined approach eliminates much of the overhead in conventional banking. Individual investors are able to get higher returns for their investment than they would be likely to get from a bank.

Putting Fun Back into Education
Teachers often complain that their students are more interested in playing video games than actually studying. Tabula Digita’s founder and Chief Executive Officer, Ntiedo Etuk, decided to take advantage of the phenomenon by creating computer games that actually teach the fundamentals of mathematics, literature and other essential subjects. Tabula Digita initially targeted public school systems, with roughly three-fourths of its sales targeted at lower grade levels and the remaining fourth aimed at high school students. The company is now expanding into the consumer market outside school, and games on its website can be played for free. An advantage of the idea is that children can compete with each other. The games include opportunities to win rewards for achieving different levels of proficiency. The actual rewards are paid to the student by parents or relatives. The company earns a profit from selling its own accessories pegged to the rewards, or by a commission from other companies who make sales based on the rewards. Because the games are competitive, the students are likely to continue playing them after school hours, effectively doing homework without realizing that they are actually studying.

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What Pioneering Is All About
All of this year’s Tech Pioneers have succeeded in getting funding to develop promising prototypes. In some cases, they are already registering success in the marketplace. When it comes to pioneering, however, a readiness to try new ideas and think outside the box, experimenting with new approaches and concepts whose success is less than guaranteed is what counts the most. The world is changing, and change requires new solutions, not merely a repetition of what has worked in the past. These pioneers are just that – pioneers. Like any explorers, they have ventured into uncharted territory with no certainty as to what they will find. Like any advance scout, their job is to point us in new directions and to make us see things in a different way. Like the explorers who help to chart the new world, they are in a sense heroic. Whether their ideas eventually pan out or not, they will at the least give us a preview of what the future possibly has to offer.

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Profiles of the Technology Pioneers
Information Technologies and New Media
Altobridge Limited Appirio CloudFlare DoubleVerify Dropbox Financial Inclusion Network and Operations Ltd (FINO) Kickstarter Inc. Lending Club Living PlanIT SA Mocana Corporation Palantir Technologies Tabula Digita Inc. 16 16 17 17 18 18 19 19 20 20 21 21 2. Twenty-five companies have been selected as the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers 2012. They come from three main categories: Information Technologies and New Media, Energy and Environment, and Life Sciences and Health. Candidate companies are nominated by Members, constituents and collaborators of the World Economic Forum, as well as by the larger public. A selection committee, comprised of top technology and innovation experts from around the world, reviews all candidate companies and makes a recommendation to the World Economic Forum, which then takes the final decision. Technology Pioneers are chosen on the basis of the following criteria: 1. Innovation: The company must be truly innovative. A new version or repackaging of an already wellaccepted technological solution does not qualify as an innovation. The innovation and commercialization should be recent. The company should invest significantly in R&D. Potential impact: The company must have the potential to have a substantial long-term impact on business and/or society. Growth and sustainability: The company should demonstrate the potential to be a long-term market leader and should have well-formulated plans for future development and growth. Proof of concept: The company must have a product on the market or have proven practical applications of the technology. Companies in “stealth” mode and with untested ideas or models do not qualify. Leadership: The company must have visionary leadership that plays a critical role in driving the company towards reaching its goals.

Energy and Environment
1366 Technologies Attero Recycling Driptech EcoMotors International Electro Power Systems SpA First Energy Private Limited Joule Unlimited Picarro Inc. Protean Electric Inc. Solazyme Inc. 22 22 23 23 24 24 25 25 26 26 5. 4. 3.

Life Sciences and Health
Biocartis SA Diagnostics For All Tethys Bioscience 27 27 28

Finally, the company must not currently be a Member of the World Economic Forum. This criterion applies to the parent company; thus, wholly owned subsidiaries of large firms are not eligible.

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Information Technologies and New Media

Information Technologies and New Media

Altobridge Limited
Mike Fitzgerald, Chief Executive and Co-Founder Location: Tralee, Ireland Number of Employees: 132 Year Founded: 2002
Altobridge Limited. Kerry Technology Park Tralee, Co. Kerry Ireland Telephone: +353 66 719 0210 Email: Website:

Chris Barbin, Chief Executive Officer Location: CA, USA Number of Employees: 280 Year Founded: 2006
Appirio Telephone: +1 650 268 99112207 Bridgepointe Parkway, 3rd Floor E-mail: San Mateo, CA 94404 Website: USA

Altobridge’s innovative technology makes GSM mobile phone networks affordable in remote areas
Altobridge’s Data at the Edge™ and Local Connectivity™ solutions optimize network operations and substantially reduce the power requirements for mobile phone systems in developing countries. Altobridge’s technology helps cut the “backhaul” connection between a mobile phone carrier’s local base station and its core network by up to 50%, dramatically reducing costly satellite time. It does this by substantially increasing the functionality of local networks, particularly when it comes to calls within the network. An additional advantage of Altobridge’s approach is that it significantly reduces data congestion on the network and speeds service delivery. Altobridge’s lite-site install, solar-powered, mobile base station can be trucked into remote areas and will support a network of anywhere from 100 to 1,500 mobile phones. The company’s man-portable communications solution, the Remote Contiguous Communications unit (RCC), designed for government use and especially for emergency personnel, can provide local mobile phone services within five minutes of being deployed in areas that no other mobile phone can reach. The RCC is light enough to be hand carried over difficult terrain. Altobridge’s pioneering work in pushing the envelope of mobile phone networking technology has enabled it to develop cutting edge solutions that major mobile phone network competitors have licensed their own operations.

Appirio enables companies to navigate today’s complex cloud computing ecosystem
With more than 800 cloud computing providers currently in the marketplace, deciding how best to employ this new cost-saving technology requires expert strategic insight. In this context, Appirio acts as both broker and solution provider to more than 5,000 companies, including 200 leading enterprises, employing cross-cloud technology. To avoid having to master the intricacies of cloud computing from the start, Appirio offers clients access to an extensive asset library that draws on experience acquired during 800 cloud computing projects. Appirio also develops specific applications that enable software from different companies to work seamlessly together. A recent software package lets enterprise customers create their own iPad and iPhone applications on a nearly click-anddrag basis, without needing to master the IOS operating system. In another example, Appirio was able to build a cloud-based CRM (customer relations management programme) for Starbucks in just four weeks, based on a software framework. Starbucks used the website to encourage customers to donate time to public service. In addition to saving corporations the expense of maintaining their own in-house design teams, Appirio’s access to the cumulative experience and problem solving approaches of a constantly evolving expert community means that it is constantly ahead of the curve in developing pioneering cloudbased solutions in a rapidly changing global market.

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Information Technologies and New Media

Information Technologies and New Media

Matthew Prince, Chief Executive Officer Location: CA, USA Number of Employees: 15 Year Founded: 2009
CloudFlare 665 Third Street, Suite 207 San Francisco, CA 94107 USA Telephone: +1 650 319 8930 E-mail: Website:

Oren Netzer, Chief Executive Officer Location: NY, USA Number of Employees: 135 Year Founded: 2008
DoubleVerify 575 Eight Ave., 7th Fl. New York, NY 10018 USA Telephone: +1 212 631 2111 E-mail: Website:

CloudFlare’s intelligent network accelerates Web traffic over the Internet while deftly dodging abusive bots, crawlers and denial of service attacks
CloudFlare streamlines its members’ Web traffic through a dozen servers around the world, optimizing the data stream in the process while shielding it from the parasites and predators that increasingly contribute to Web congestion. On the average, websites that join the CloudFlare community and use its intelligent network operate at double the speed of conventional Internet traffic. No hardware or software changes are necessary. The only requirement is a domain DNS change that directs traffic to CloudFlare’s servers. The adjustment usually takes less than five minutes and a member can drop out at any time. The company emphasizes that it is not a hosting service and that any website that opts out of the system remains online with all its data intact. The government of Turkey recently signed up with CloudFlare to keep its election website from melting down from the expected surge in traffic and as an added protection against denial of service attacks. CloudFlare notes that as the Internet evolves its system automatically shares the new information with everyone else in the community. As the Web faces new challenges, CloudFlare’s intelligent network evolves along with it, becoming progressively smarter in protecting its members’ interests.

DoubleVerify provides tools designed to restore public confidence in business forced to operate in a global net environment increasingly exposed to swindlers, malware and cyber theft
As more and more business goes online, cyber crime is becoming vastly more sophisticated. Phishing attacks, Trojan horses and ultra-sophisticated worms and software viruses are the net equivalent of an IED (improvised explosive device). They strike unexpectedly and they are increasingly costly. A cyber attack not only hurts its target but also inflicts wounds on any unsuspecting advertiser who may be linked to the infected site and whose reputation becomes associated with the attack. DoubleVerify’s solution to the problem is a series of groundbreaking verification tools that guarantee the reliability of a site. It combines pixel tracking technology with “Virtual Visitors” that explore every aspect of an online site and analyse its structure to guarantee against external malware. DoubleVerify is particularly effective at scanning iFrames, a Web structure that enables advertising agencies and brokers to nest millions of third-party ads on millions of websites on a daily basis. Normal pop-up blocking systems can prevent these ads from reaching a site. As a result, the usual see-through rate which determines advertising fees can linger in the dismal 30% to 60% range. DoubleVerify’s technology, which is unique in being able to penetrate to more than three levels of iFrames, has a see-through rate that runs higher than 95%. By guaranteeing the reliability of sites, DoubleVerify not only restores the confidence of potential customers and advertisers, it is also accelerating the development of the net as a powerful marketing environment.

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Information Technologies and New Media

Information Technologies and New Media

Drew Houston, Chief Executive Officer Location: CA, USA Number of Employees: 50 Year Founded: 2007
Dropbox 760 Market St #1150 San Francisco, CA 94102 USA Telephone: +1 415 986 7057 Email: Website:

Financial Inclusion Network & Operations
Manish Khera, Chief Executive Officer Location: Navi Mumbai, India Number of Employees: 1600 Year Founded: 2006
Financial Inclusion Network & Operations Plot 38-39, Sector 30, Sanpada West Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra 400705 India Telephone: +91 22 4161 3466 Email: Website:

Dropbox connects the cloud to everyday life
Anyone who has lugged a heavy laptop home on a daily basis can appreciate the advantage of temporarily storing a day’s work on a cloud server for easy retrieval at home. Dropbox is a pioneer in the business. It not only offers easy storage of files, programs, photographs, personal notes and a wide range of other material but it also provides a common space for colleagues to share material that is being developed on a collaborative project. Its ability to operate on nearly every operating system platform makes it one of the easiest methods today for transferring material from one computer to another, or from a desktop to a cell phone. To minimize connection time on the Web, Dropbox synchronizes only those aspects of an ongoing job that have actually changed and guarantees that every time you access your information, you are looking at the latest version regardless of which computer you are using or where you happen to be. In a sense, Dropbox can substitute as a WiFi-connected hard drive that is instantly on and geographically omnipresent. In pioneering on the cloud, credible security is even more important than the ability to synchronize, and Dropbox prides itself on guaranteeing Internet privacy. Dropbox now counts some 25 million loyal customers, and its large user base, which is becoming increasingly comfortable with the cloud, is likely to be a major asset in the future as the company continues to push for consumer use of cloud technology.

FINO’s integrated financial technology platform makes modern banking accessible to the poor in India
Microfinancing is a powerful tool empowering the poorest sectors of developing countries to improve their economic status; keeping track of millions of small loans is usually too labour intensive and costly for large financial institutions to bother with. The breakthrough technology developed by FINO (Financial Inclusion and Network Operations) is fast changing that equation not only enabling previously excluded populations to have access to financing and traditional banking services but also opening up potentially lucrative new markets for the financial sector. FINO’s electronic payment platform packages provide microfinancing opportunities to more than 30 million customers at 15,000 transaction points in 300 districts across 24 states in India. Its product suites include savings bank accounts, recurring deposits, loan products, remittances and insurance products. The company stands to profit from the growing use of business channels by the Indian government for disbursement of subsidies. Estimates are that up to 100 million mostly rural households in India are effectively excluded from basic financial services. With its pioneering technology demonstrating that the financial inclusion of rural households can be profitable, FINO has begun to attract the interest of outside investors, including the Blackstone Group which put up US$ 33 million for a minority stake in the company. Fino has not only demonstrated the viability of a previously ignored market, but it has also contributed to an important step forward in the development of India’s rural population.

18 | World Economic Forum

Information Technologies and New Media

Information Technologies and New Media

Kickstarter, Inc.
Perry Chen, Chief Executive Officer Location: NY, USA Number of Employees: 22 Year Founded: 2009
Kickstarter, Inc. 155 Rivington St New York City, NY 11238 USA Telephone: +1 646 596 9536 Website:

Lending Club
Renaud Laplanche, Chief Executive Officer Location: CA, USA Number of Employees: 60 Year Founded: 2007
Lending Club 370 Convention Way Redwood City, CA 95124 USA Telephone: +1 650 482 5231 Email: Website:

Kickstarter’s innovative crowd-funding platform lets the public in on venture capital funding for imaginative projects
Kickstarter’s formula looks simple enough; yet, it opens a new door for both the public and a wide assortment of artists and entrepreneurs to fund small, but interesting projects. Anyone with a good idea can submit a proposal to Kickstarter. The applicant states how much money is needed and the deadline for completion. Kickstarter publishes the information on the Web and takes a fee that amounts to 5% of the money raised. Amazon Payments handles the receipt and disbursal of the funding and also takes 3% to 5% as a fee. If the minimum target is not raised, the money is returned. The advantage to artists and would-be entrepreneurs is that Kickstarter acts only as a broker and has no ownership of the project. It also makes it clear that it cannot guarantee that the project will actually be completed. That is left up to the investor to decide. Kickstarter is merely there to make the connection, but that connection can be a significant contribution. Many good ideas never see the light of day simply from a lack of financing. Often the public would be ready to support an idea, or simply take a long shot investment on a small scale, if they only knew about it. By putting these groups together, Kickstarter shines a spotlight on potentially profitable opportunities both for culture and the economy that until now have largely been ignored.

Lending club bypasses traditional banking to pioneer peer-to-peer financingt
Lending Club streamlines its financial services over the Internet to create a direct link between creditworthy borrowers and potential investors. By stripping away the red tape and bureaucratic hurdles that normally accompany traditional bank loans, it is able to reduce processing costs and offer loans at rates considerably cheaper than competing banks. Rates are based on creditworthiness; applicants can sign up in minutes to get an immediate quote on how much interest they are likely to be charged. Investors establish an online portfolio and decide where they want to invest. Lending Club makes a number of tools available to lenders, and the risk of a loan not being paid is reduced because the lender only buys a small portion of each loan, and the lender’s portfolio is likely to cover a large number of different loans. If a borrower defaults, the loss is minimalized by spreading the cost over a large number of investors, and Lending Club also has arrangements with debt collection agencies to make certain that the loan eventually is repaid. Lending Club’s greatest protection, however, is its stringent selection process for borrowers. Only around 10% of loan applicants meet Lending Club’s exacting standards. By pioneering a significantly more efficient way of connecting borrowers and lenders, Lending Club has both expanded the availability of capital to keep business moving and set a new standard of efficiency for financial institutions.

Technology Pioneers 2012 | 19

Information Technologies and New Media

Information Technologies and New Media

Living PlanIT SA
Steve Lewis, Chief Executive Officer Location: Vaud, Switzerland Number of Employees: 78 Year Founded: 2006
Living PlanIT SA 21, Ruelle des Moulins 1260 Nyons Switzerland Telephone: +44 2074958968 E-mail: Website:

Mocana Corporation
Adrian Turner, President and Chief Executive Officer Location: CA, USA Number of Employees: 70 Year Founded: 2004
Mocana Corporation Telephone: +1 415 617 0055 350 Sansome Street, suite 1010 E-mail: San Francisco, CA 94104 Website: USA

Living PlanIT develops operating systems for future cities
Energy-saving, cost-effective, smart buildings are increasingly fashionable these days, but as cities come under increasing population pressure the real key is to develop a system that takes information from many smart buildings and integrates it with streams of other data from a variety of sensors to create an intelligent network. Designing smart city networks is the specialty of Living PlanIT. The company’s Urban Operating System provides a common platform for all the electronic components of a city to interact with each other. In contrast to current computer networking systems, an urban operating system needs to handle and interpret a vastly greater data flow that covers everything from building temperatures, lighting and other utilities to coordinating pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Living PlanIT has equipped its urban operating system to keep permanent records that can be analysed to optimize functions. For instance if a traffic accident blocks circulation, the system can immediately recommend the best alternate route around the congestion for a certain time of day. Living PlanIT’s technology can be integrated into the design of new cities or adapted to gradually modernize systems already in place in older cities. Living PlanIT has created strategic partnerships with leading technology companies, including Cisco, Microsoft and Accenture, and it is currently developing PlanIT Valley, an advanced urban planning project in Portugal, which is a pioneering effort at turning design concepts for future cities into practical reality.

Mocana’s responds to the “Internet of Things” with a deviceindependent secure platform for smart communications
More than 20 billion non-PC devices are now connected to various networks around the world. Smart devices already outnumber computers by five-to-one, and the market, valued at US$ 900 billion, is growing twice as fast as sales of conventional laptops. While highly portable and extremely useful, each smart device represents an entry point for a potential cyber predator to break into a network. Mocana’s solution is a wide range of services including NanoCrypto, a government-certified, cryptographic engine that extends sophisticated cryptographic capabilities to even the humblest, low-power, simplified chips used in portable devices and works with more than 30 out-ofthe-box operating systems designed to be used with limited resources. Powerful cryptographic protection can be extended to just about any hand-held device; because the NanoCrypto engine is designed to require a minimum effort from central processing units, the system prolongs battery power in portable devices and applications. The simplicity and cross-platform capabilities of Mocana’s encryption systems make the company unique in the field of network communications protection. Even more important, the system’s ability to guarantee secure connections for even the most basic smart devices adds consumer confidence, opening the door to a wide range of new businesses ranging from credit card payments for online shopping to computer banking and financial services.

20 | World Economic Forum

Information Technologies and New Media

Information Technologies and New Media

Palantir Technologies
Alexander Karp, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Location: CA, USA Number of Employees: 400 Year Founded: 2004
Palantir Technologies 100 Hamilton Ave, Suite 300 Palo Alto, CA 94301 USA Telephone: +1 650 815 0200 E-mail: Website:

Tabula Digita
Ntiedo Etuk, Founder and Chief Executive Officer Location: NY, USA Number of Employees: 23 Year Founded: 2003
Tabula Digita 5-14 51st Avenue, 3rd Floor Long Island City, NY 11101 USA Telephone: +1 917 251 8070 E-mail: Website:

Palantir pioneers an engineering-centred approach to radically change the way data is analysed
Data smog is a hazard of today’s increasingly interconnected world. Unexpected opportunities as well as the answers to seemingly intractable problems often lay camouflaged under mountains of irrelevant and distracting detail. Palantir’s data analysis platforms provide solutions for finance, government and intelligence agencies. Palantir’s finance object model offers a ready-built architecture to connect the dots and spot trends and developing curves that provide an essential advantage when it comes to critical decisionmaking. Palantir’s software for government analysis enables structured and unstructured data sources to be seamlessly integrated and provides a common platform for heterogeneous users, groups and agencies to work together while protecting the privacy and security of the information. The systems combine powerful back-end databases and server architecture with an intuitive front-end user interface. Palantir’s products are equally comfortable with unstructured message traffic and structured identity data. Palantir’s innovative approach clears the way to ground-breaking solutions in a rapidly evolving technological environment.

Tabula Digita develops video games to engage high school students in the pursuit of knowledge
Tabula Digita’s award-winning technology breaks new ground by taking advantage of an estimated 93% of US school students who play video games. Its current product, the DimensionU Learning System, covers literacy, science, history and mathematics. Tabula Digita’s multiplayer technology was originally designed for classrooms, but the company is now offering a consumer version that can be accessed for free over the Internet. A key feature is a reward system, which enables parents or relatives to pay a small amount of money to the student after he passes critical points in the game. The company makes a small profit by selling accessories to students who have earned awards or by getting a commission on products sold by other companies. Roughly three-fourths of the students are in lower grades, with the remaining fourth in high school. Ntiedo Etuk, the company’s founder, got the idea when he noticed that many students were bored by conventional teaching methods. Etuk remarked that most educational material is aimed at helping teachers, while a greater effort is needed to equip students to solve problems on their own. The company’s software is currently in use in leading public school systems in New York, Florida, Texas and Illinois. Tabula Digita’s goal is to remain a pioneering market leader in technology that equips youth with the basic educational tools for life while having fun doing it.

Technology Pioneers 2012 | 21

Energy and Environment

Energy and Environment

1366 Technologies
Emanuel Sachs, Chief Technology Officer Location: MA, USA Number of Employees: 35 Year Founded: 2007
1366 Technologies 45 Hartwell Avenue Lexington, MA 02421 USA Telephone: +1 781 861 1611 E-mail: Website:

Attero Recycling
Nitin Gupta, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Location: Noida, India Number of Employees: 85 Year Founded: 2008
Attero Recycling Pvt Ltd B-92 Sector-63 Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201301 India Telephone: +91 120 408 7100 Website:

1366 Technologies dramatically reduces the cost of silicon wafers in solar panels
A major factor in the cost of manufacturing solar photovoltaic panels is that the silicon that accounts for roughly one-half the cost of each panel needs to be cut from solid blocks. Nearly one-half the silicon is lost in the process and the precision engineering required to cut the wafers to within a tolerance of a few microns is extremely expensive. 1366 Technologies’ revolutionary new approach promises to change the equation by moulding the wafers directly from molten silicon. The silicon is poured into thin sheets much the way glass is formed. The new process makes it possible to get twice as many wafers per pound of silicon while dramatically streamlining the manufacturing process. The company’s game-changing approach, which also involves texturing the cell surface to optimize light capture, manages to boost the efficiency of low-cost multi-crystalline cells to roughly 18%, a rating that can usually only be found in more costly mono-crystalline cells. The company plans to begin shipping standard-sized multi-crystalline wafers that are 200 microns thick by 2013. By dramatically reducing manufacturing costs, 1366 Technologies is advancing importantly in closing the price gap between solar energy and fossil fuels.

Attero Recycling pioneers a fully integrated, zero-land fill system for handling India’s e-waste
Attero – the name is Latin for waste – has established itself as India’s first and, at this point, only fully integrated, environmentally friendly processor of electronic waste. While Indian manufacturers have tended to ignore the health risks associated with discarded electronic components, the situation is about to change. The Indian government is preparing to drastically tighten controls and future legislation can be expected to move towards requiring electronics manufacturers to assume “cradle to grave” responsibility for their products. At the moment, Attero’s 36,000-ton reprocessing plant in Roorkee, Uttarakhand, is the only one of its kind in India. The plant handles e-waste fed into it by an extensive logistics network servicing 20 major Indian cities. The company employs a first-of-its-kind metallurgical process developed in its own R&D centres, combined with mechanical separation techniques developed in collaboration with a leading US company. According to Attero, India’s electronic industry is growing by 20% a year and can expect to have generated 800,000 tons of e-waste by 2012. By 2015, India expects to have two billion PCs and a mobile phone subscriber base of 600 million. By then, e-waste disposal will be a critical concern. Attero, the only company to be officially registered by India’s Central Pollution Control Board for the environmentally sound recycling of hazardous waste, is uniquely positioned to lead the field.

22 | World Economic Forum

Energy and Environment

Energy and Environment

Peter Frykman, Founder and CEO Location: CA, USA Number of Employees: 17 Year Founded: 2008
Driptech, inc. 2580 Wyandotte St. Suite B Mountain View, CA 94043 USA Telephone: +1 415 793 6735 E-mail: Website:

EcoMotors International
Peter Hofbauer, Chief Technical Officer Location: MI, USA Number of Employees: 28 Year Founded: 2008
EcoMotors International 17000 Federal Dr., Suite 200 Allen Park, MI 48101 USA Telephone: +1 313 294 5701 Website:

Driptech designs revolutionary irrigation systems for small farmers in the developing world
Global climate change and the population explosion are combining forces to make water an increasingly scarce commodity. Today, the average person in the developing world only has access to 20% of the water that would have been available only a few generations ago. Conservation is the fastest and most economical way of sharing water resources more efficiently, and Driptech is breaking new ground in designing easy to build, high-end irrigation systems for farmers in the developing world who only need to irrigate a relatively small piece of land. The Silicon Valley-based company, which also has offices in Pune (India) and Beijing (China), sees affordable irrigation as a crucial step in the fight against poverty. Driptech uses standard flexible tubing, which drips water directly on growing plants rather than relying on flood irrigation in which most of the water either seeps into the ground or evaporates before it reaches the plant. The idea is hardly revolutionary, but Driptech has pioneered a proprietary design that significantly reduces the hardware required and has automated the manufacturing process. These improvements reduce the start-up costs by 40% to 80% and produce systems that are longer lasting and more reliable than anything else that has hit the market so far. Driptech’s most significant contribution, however, is its decision to focus on a segment of the population that has been largely ignored until now and, yet, is increasingly critical to global development.

Ecomotors introduces a revolutionary concept for diesel motors that promises to halve carbon emissions
Ecomotors’ new “opoc” (opposed piston, opposed cylinder) architecture deftly combines the power of a four-stroke engine with the simplicity of a two-stroke design. The motor, which can run on diesel fuel, gasoline or ethanol, employs modules, each of which is composed of two opposed cylinders, each containing two pistons that operate in opposing directions and are connected to a central crankshaft. The design eliminates the conventional engine’s cylinder head and valve trains, which means that the motor can be significantly lighter than conventional models; since the pistons work against each other, they only need to travel one-half the distance of a standard piston. In short, they produce twice the power with one-half the effort. Opoc motors can have multiple modules, and depending on power requirements, modules that are not needed can be shut down. In addition, the engines employ an electric motor that acts as a supercharger which enhances the exhaust turbocharger and thus dramatically increases the motor’s compression. The result is a lighter motor that is nearly twice as efficient as conventional motors, while producing just as much power. While electric car motors are still trying to deal with the high price and unreliability of the batteries needed to provide power, Ecomotor’s opoc design promises an ingenious interim solution until a viable alternative to fossil fuels can be found.

Technology Pioneers 2012 | 23

Energy and Environment

Energy and Environment

Electro Power Systems SpA
Adriano Marconetto, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

First Energy Private Limited
Mahesh Yagnaraman, Managing Director and CEO Location: Pune, India Number of Employees: 55 Year Founded: 2009
First Energy Private Limited B 101 -105 B Wing Signet Corner S No 134, Baner Road, Pune 411057 Maharashtra , India Telephone: + 91 20 6721 0500 E-mail: Website:

Location: Torino, Italy Number of Employees: 48 Year Founded: 2005
Electro Power Systems SpA via Livorno 60 c/o Environment Park Torino, 10143 Italy Telephone: +39 011 225 8211 E-mail: Website:

Electro Power Systems’ fuel cells guarantee back up power in remote areas
When a broadband or mobile phone network experiences even a brief power outage, the loss of communications can have catastrophic results, not just for customers relying on their cell phones and Blackberries to stay in touch but also for the phone company which risks being seen as unreliable. Backup power, usually from diesel generators, is essential to guaranteeing continued service. The downside is that providing fuel and maintenance to remote installations in difficult terrain is both time consuming and expensive. Electro Power Systems’ revolutionary new fuel cell technology makes the most of this expense and unnecessary effort by recharging automatically and dramatically reducing the need for maintenance. During normal operations, Electro Power’s fuel cells use standard power to electrolyse hydrogen from water and recharge themselves. If the power goes off, the cell kicks in automatically and provides power until regular current is restored, at which point the cell begins to replenish itself once again. Hardly any carbon emissions result from Electro Power’s manufacturing process, and once the cell begins operating the only emission is water, which is used to generate more hydrogen when normal power is restored. Electro Power Systems has the largest installed base of functioning fuel cells in Europe and is developing operations in Asia and Latin America. Its emphasis on maintaining close contact with fuel cell development in leading university research labs ensures its position as a cutting edge market leader in the field.

First Energy Private’s revolutionary cooking stoves help save the environment while making life more affordable in rural villages
Finding fuel for cooking is a major problem in many rural villages in developing countries. The most common fuel in India is wood or kerosene. Wood is often hard to come by and in densely populated areas there is the danger of stripping the local countryside bare. Kerosene is expensive and often contributes to air pollution and respiratory problems. First Energy Private Ltd’s solution is an inexpensive, highly efficient cooking stove, which burns biomass pellets, known as “oorja” that are made from the compressed residue of agricultural by-products and rely on a radically new biomass gasification technology developed and patented by the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. The pellet stoves make it possible for an Indian family to serve a meal for five for roughly one rupee per person. When the demand for pellets began driving prices up, First Energy introduced technology to spur production locally. Not only are the stoves three times as efficient as conventional stoves, but they are also virtually smokeless. Estimates are that the pellets cut down carbon emissions and particulates in the air by up to 70%. Operating through some 3,000 village entrepreneurs and dealers, First Energy has sold stoves to some 485,000 households in five Indian states and contends that they have already saved around 32,000 tons of fuel. The goal is to reach one million households in the next three years and become a market leader in other developing countries, as well as a significant force in the fight to control carbon emissions.

24 | World Economic Forum

Energy and Environment

Energy and Environment

Joule Unlimited
Noubar Afeyan, Founder and Chairman Location: MA, USA Number of Employees: 84 Year Founded: 2007
Joule Unlimited 83 Rogers Street Cambridge, MA 02142 USA Telephone: +1 617 354 6100 E-mail: Website:

Picarro Inc.
Michael Woelk, Chief Executive Officer Location: CA, USA Number of Employees: 90 Year Founded: 1998
Picarro, Inc. 3105 Patrick Henry Dr. Santa Clara, CA 95054 USA Telephone: +1 408 962 3900 E-mail: Website:

Joule Unlimited turns to genetically modified microorganisms to change waste directly into biofuel with a little help from the sun
While manufacturing ethanol from biomass often seems to create nearly as many problems as it solves, the industry is far from giving up. Joule Unlimited is approaching the problem with a dramatic new strategy. Instead of trying to convert conventional agricultural products such as corn or switch grass into fuel, Joule is relying on genetically modified microorganisms, injected carbon dioxide obtained from industrial partners and sunlight to turn waste pumped into giant solar bioreactors into a fuel that can be used without further refinement in conventional diesel engines. The estimated cost, taking into account current subsidies, would be roughly US$ 50 a barrel. Joule estimates that its technology could produce a yearly yield of up to 20,000 gallons of ethanol per acre. The trick is to modify the metabolism of a specific organism, a micro-algae, often known as cyanobacteria, to produce alkanes, a hydrocarbon that mixes readily with diesel fuel. In contrast to other alternative fuels, Joule’s version needs no further refining and can easily blend in with current distribution networks. Joule has just leased 1,200 acres in New Mexico for a test site that can eventually be scaled up to 5,000 acres. If it works as planned, Joule will have succeeded in solving three crucial problems facing the world today: producing an affordable fuel of the future, disposing of unwanted waste and finding a profitable use for carbon dioxide, one of the prime suspects in the debate over climate change.

Picarro pushes the envelope in developing the world’s highest performance gas analysers
In a world increasingly conscious of the impact of greenhouse gases on climate change, the precision measurement of gas emissions is taking on critical importance. Picarro’s wide range of high performance gas analysing equipment serves a wide spectrum ranging from atmospheric scientists to local public utilities. The latter is particularly relevant since hydraulic oil shale fracturing, known as fracking, has suddenly made natural gas abundantly available. Burning natural gas creates one-half the carbon emissions of coal. Unfortunately, natural gas is mostly methane, which is 20 times, as a greenhouse gas, as potent as carbon dioxide. Spotting gas leaks is now a priority, and Picarro, which employs a laser-based cavity ring-down spectrometer, which can be put in the back of a car and can detect leaks on any street in a matter of minutes. A city’s gas leaks can be mapped in one or two weeks. A recent assessment by Picarro showed that Boston and San Francisco both have invisible methane plumes hovering overhead that are 15 times the normal global level. As more countries opt for natural gas over nuclear power, this type of measurement becomes increasingly critical. Picarro has been tapped to develop sophisticated sensors that will help assess gas leaks at the national and regional level in the US. Picarro’s work on precision laser measurements has made it a pioneer in the effort to provide the hard data needed to move beyond polemics in the climate change debate and develop fact-based solutions.

Technology Pioneers 2012 | 25

Energy and Environment

Energy and Environment

Protean Electric Inc.
Robert Purcell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Location: MI, USA Number of Employees: 85 Year Founded: 2009
Protean Electric Inc. 100 West Big Beaver Road, Suite 200 Troy, MI 48084 USA Telephone: +1 248 740 5580 E-mail: W:

Solazyme Inc.
Jonathan Wolfson, Chief Executive Officer Location: CA, USA Number of Employees: 100 Year Founded: 2003
Solazyme inc. 225 Gateway Boulevard San Francisco, CA 94080 USA Telephone: +1 650 780 4777 E-mail: Website:

Protean Electric puts its motors in the wheels of electric cars
Standard automobile design puts the motor either in front or back. Protean Electric’s innovative approach is to replace the bulky conventional engine with smaller electric motors in each of the vehicle’s wheels. The company’s Protean Drive in-wheel electric drive system not only saves an enormous amount of interior space and weight, but it also reduces the strain on the engine by relying on each of the smaller motors to provide a portion of the torque required for acceleration. The design can easily be adapted as a hybrid extension to more conventional engines. Hybrid vehicles relying on Protean’s in-wheel drive system can rely on rechargeable batteries for short distance driving and can also cover longer distances if needed. When braking the vehicle, the energy is used to recharge the batteries. Protean Electric’s drive systems have already been adapted to a Volvo Recharge sedan and to the popular Ford F-150 pickup truck, which is able to achieve speeds up to 100 miles an hour using the electric drive system and can cover 100 miles or more, depending on the batteries used. Depending on the need for power, Protean’s drive system can be installed in two or four of the vehicle’s wheels. The key to making it work is Protean’s central electronic control unit, which uses advanced software. Protean is currently working with a number of major vehicle manufacturers and is meeting all international safety standards. When scaled up for production, its revolutionary technology may have helped define the car of the future.

Solazyme’s industrial biotechnology platform accelerates biofuel production by micro-algae
Solazyme’s unique contribution to the search for cost-effective biofuels is its adaptation of standard industrial fermentation equipment to accelerate the oilproducing capabilities of micro-algae, often referred to as cyanobacteria, to just a few days. Solazyme relies on indirect photosynthesis and a proprietary strain of microalgae to speed the process. The system leverages a wide variety of feedstocks, including plant-based sugars, such as sugarcane-based sucrose, cornbased dextrose and sugar from other biomass sources including cellulosics. The petroleum substitutes that are produced meet international industry standards and are compatible replacements for marine, motor vehicle and jet fuels; they can be used in standard engines without any need for adaptation. Current products are SoladieselRD for diesel engines; SoladieselHRF-76 for ship engines; and Solajet for military and civilian application testing. In 2010, Solazyme delivered 80,000 litres of algae-derived marine diesel and aviation jet fuel to the US Navy. It was the largest delivery in history of a non-ethanol alternative fuel that had been 100% produced by microbial action. The US Navy followed up with another order for 550,000 litres of SoladieselHRF-76 marine fuel. The order put Soladiesel firmly in the front ranks of pioneers developing alternative fuels.

26 | World Economic Forum

Life Sciences and Health

Life Sciences and Health

Biocartis SA
Rudi Pauwels, Chief Executive Officer and Founder Location: Lausanne, Switzerland Number of Employees: 45 Year Founded: 1997
Biocartis SA EPFL – Quartier de l’Innovation Bâtiment G 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland Telephone: +41 21 694 0430 E-mail: Website:

Diagnostics For All
Una S. Ryan, President and Chief Executive Officer Location: MA, USA Number of Employees: 8 Year Founded: 2007
Diagnostics For All 50 Soldiers Field Place Boston, MA 02135 USA Telephone: +1 617 494 0700 E-mail: Website:

Biocartis develops a protype platform that promises to make molecular testing economically viable for limited sample runs and accessible to small and medium size labs
Molecular testing is expected to usher in a new era for healthcare, but current methods are only economically viable when large batches of specimens are tested in centralized laboratories that are expensive to operate. Swiss-based Biocartis plans to simplify the process. The company is developing a console and on-site equipment that uses amplification technology to analyse biological samples consisting of blood, urine, sputum or other body fluids with specific molecular bio-markers and transmits the results to a laboratory, doctor’s office or a hospital. Since the system is fully electronic and does not rely on the tubes or bottles normally used in laboratories, it does not require decontamination. The procedure is simple enough for a technician to perform who is not a trained molecular biologist. Depending on the complexity of the samples, results can be available in as little as 45 minutes. Biocartis’ goal is to decentralize the testing process and to make it as widely available as possible without sacrificing accuracy. If Biocartis’ prototype can be scaled up for commercial production, it promises to accelerate the pace of molecular testing making cutting edge medical science available to a vastly larger public.

Diagnostics For All is pioneering paperbased medical tests that cost only a few cents each and promise to revolutionize healthcare in developing countries
Diagnostics For All manufactures medical test strips that use the natural capillary characteristics of paper to expose test specimens to specific reagents that change colour depending on the content. The test sample can be a miniscule drop of blood, urine or other body fluid. A small paper strip, the size of a postage stamp, is treated with a photoresist that makes it sensitive to sunlight and enables the etching of channels that direct the fluid to an imbedded solution that changes colour to indicate the results. By using layers of strategically perforated tape, the test strip can be built up as a three-dimensional model that adds several steps to the testing process. An early model is being developed to warn against liver damage that is one of the risks of HIV/AIDS antiretroviral treatments in Africa. To spread the technology as fast as possible, Diagnostics For All established itself as a not-for-profit. Royalties are reinvested to accelerate the company’s development. The simplicity and low cost of the technology promises to make advanced medical testing available to public health services in developing countries that otherwise would never be able to afford it.

Technology Pioneers 2012 | 27

Life Sciences and Health

Tethys Bioscience
Mickey Urdea, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Location: CA, USA Number of Employees: 102 Year Founded: 2002
Tethys Bioscience 5858 Horton Street, Suite 280 Emeryville, CA 94608 USA Telephone: +1 510 420 6700 E-mail: Website:

Tethys Bioscience develops sophisticated biological markers that enable the precise targeting of healthcare resources
Determining which patients will contract a chronic metabolic disease two or three years from now is a constant dilemma for most primary physicians. The doctor has to put extra work into expensive tests that may not really be necessary, and the patient may be burdened with expensive and potentially harmful prescriptions that he does not really need. The solution is to identify the population at risk with much greater precision than has been available until now. Tethys Biosystems is developing a new generation of biological markers that promise to do just that. One of the company’s first products, PreDx DRS, combines multiple markers with a proprietary algorithm to deliver an unprecedented level of risk stratification in assessing the likelihood that a patient will develop Type 2 diabetes over the next five years. Rapid intervention may be able to keep a patient from ever developing the disease at all. Another Tethys Biosystems test precisely predicts a patient’s vulnerability to fractures from osteoporosis. Both tests are only in the initial phase of a programme intended to extend reliable testing to a broad range of diseases. Tethis Biosystems’ pioneering efforts promise to revolutionize the face of future medicine by focusing scarce resources where they are most needed and alerting patients to future dangers in time for preventative action.

28 | World Economic Forum

Technology Pioneers Selection Committee 2012
The World Economic Forum would like to thank all of the following experts for their contributions during the selection process.
Justin Adams David Agus Ola Ahlvarsson Howard Alper Ken-ichi Arai Marthin de Beer Adam Bly Roberto Bocca Tom Byers Geoffrey Cape Dan Chamberlain George F. Colony Kevin E. Comolli Scott D. Cook Peter L. Corsell Daryl Cromer Andreas Diggelmann Esther Dyson Diana El-Azar Jean-Marc Frangos James R. Fruchterman Tim Harper Ken Howery Rob Hull Calestous Juma Kim Jeong Sudheer Kuppam Robert Langer Rodolfo Lara Torres Founder and Head of the Venturing Business - BP Alternative Energy Professor of Medicine and Director, USC Center for Applied Molecular Medicine Chairman and Founder Chair and President Professor Emeritus, Founding President (A-IMBN) Senior Vice-President, General Manager, Emerging Technologies Group Founder and Chief Executive Officer Senior Director, Head of Energy Industries Professor and Faculty Director, Stanford Technology Ventures Programme Chief Executive Officer and Founder Marketing Director, Mid Market & Venture Capital Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Partner Chairman of the Executive Committee Chairman of the Board Vice-President, PC Innovation Lab Vice-President, Research and Development, Planning, Operations and Strategy Chairman Director, Head of Media, Entertainment and Information Industries Managing Director, External Innovation President and Chief Executive Officer Chief Executive Officer and President Co-Founder and Managing Partner Vice-President, Business Development External Innovation Director, Science Technology and Globalization President, Bell Labs Senior Managing Director, Intel Capital Institute Professor BP Plc University of Southern California (USC) Result Science, Technology and Innovation Council The University of Tokyo Cisco Seed Media Group World Economic Forum Stanford University Evergreen Foundation KPMG Global Enterprise Institute Forrester Research Inc. Accel Partners Intuit Inc. GridPoint, Inc. Lenovo SAS Institute Inc. EDventure Holdings Inc. World Economic Forum BT Group Plc The Benetech Initiative Cientifica Ltd Founders Fund LLC BT Innovate & Design Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University Alcatel-Lucent Bell Laboratories Intel Technology India Pvt. Ltd MIT - Department of Chemical Engineering United Kingdom USA Sweden Canada Japan USA USA Switzerland USA Canada USA USA United Kingdom USA USA USA USA USA Switzerland USA USA United Kingdom USA USA USA USA India USA Switzerland

Director, Head of Europe and Latin America Membership World Economic Forum

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Keith Larson Loïc Le Meur John Leckrone Bernard Liautaud Michael Liebreich Sven Lingjaerde Kevin Lynch Alan Marcus Gary Matuszak John Moavenzadeh Geoffrey Moore Venkat Narayanan Christophe Nicolas Boris Nikolic Yves Pitton Jason Pontin V. Srinivasa Rao Olivier Raynaud Marcel S. Reichart Neil Rimer Paul L. Saffo Alan E. Salzman Jennifer Schenker Ulrich Schriek Helmut M. Schühsler Emirates Olivier M. Schwab Jacob Julius Seid Gary Shainberg Dan Shine David Spreng Saurabh Srivastava Dan Stone Jim Tananbaum Vijay Vaitheeswaran Dominic Waughray Wu Changhua Andrey Zarur

Vice-President, Intel Capital and Managing Director Founder and Chief Executive Officer Head of Ventures General Partner Chief Executive Managing Partner Chief Technology Officer Senior Director, Head of IT and Telecommunications Industries Global Chairman, Information, Communications and Entertainment Senior Director, Head of Mobility Industries Managing Partner Senior Vice-President Senior Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer Scientific Adviser Senior Vice-President; Director, Corporate Development Editor-in-Chief and Chief Executive Officer Vice-President and Global Head of Oracle Practice Senior Director, Head Global Health and Healthcare Industries Managing Director and Co-Founder, DLD General Partner and Co-Founder Author and Forecaster Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner Founder and Editor-in-Chief Global VP Corporate Business Development Managing Partner Director, Head of Technology Pioneers Managing Director Chief Innovation Officer and Member of the Board Senior Innovation Adviser, Office of Science and Technology Founder and Managing Partner Chairman, India Vice-President, Strategy and Corporate Development Managing Director Correspondent Senior Director, Head of Environmental Initiatives Director, Greater China Managing Partner

Intel Corporation Seesmic Adobe Systems Inc. Balderton Capital Bloomberg New Energy Finance Endeavour Vision Adobe Systems Inc. World Economic Forum USA KPMG LLP World Economic Forum USA TCG Advisors LLC Mahindra Satyam Limited Kudelski Group Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Kudelski Group Technology Review Mahindra Satyam Limited World Economic Forum Burda Media Index Ventures Discern Analytics VantagePoint Venture Partners Informilo QIAGEN GmbH TVM Capital MENA World Economic Forum Lightspeed Ventures Partners WISeKey SA USAID - US Agency for International Development Crescendo Ventures CA Technologies (India) Private Limited Lenovo Prospect Venture Partners The Economist World Economic Forum The Climate Group Kodiak Venture Partners

USA USA USA United Kingdom United Kingdom Switzerland USA USA USA USA USA India Switzerland USA Switzerland USA India Switzerland Germany Switzerland USA USA France Germany United Arab Switzerland USA Switzerland USA USA India USA USA USA Switzerland P.R. of China USA

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This report was prepared by the World Economic Forum with the invaluable collaboration of William Dowell. The Technology Pioneers Programme is run by the World Economic Forum with guidance from Adobe, Accel Partners, Alcatel-Lucent, BT, Burda Media, Cisco, Intel, KPMG, Kudelski Group, Lenovo, Mahindra Satyam and Renault-Nissan. The Technology Pioneers Programme of the World Economic Forum is managed by Olivier Schwab. Special thanks to Satu Kauhanen and Tessema Tesfachew for their contributions and support during the Selection Process 2012.

Nancy Tranchet, Associate Director, Editing

Publication, design and layout:
Kamal Kimaoui, Associate Director, Production and Design, World Economic Forum Yoren Geromin, Designer, Kissing Kourami

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“For over 25 years, Accel Partners has sought out entrepreneurs with the rare combination of insight, determination and ambition to create the next generation of category-defining companies in various technology markets. As a long-standing partner of the World Economic Forum, Accel is thrilled to support the Technology Pioneers Programme. The Forum’s Technology Pioneers Programme is ideally situated to help identify and nurture innovative companies in many different fields, which individually and collectively can have substantial business and social impact. Each year, Accel looks forward to evaluating the full list of candidates for the Technology Pioneers Programme, as the selection process is a humbling reminder of the brilliant international talent pool focused on addressing important global problems.”
Kevin E. Comolli, Bruce Golden and Harry Nelis, Accel Partners

“To improve the state of the world, technology and innovation play a crucial and encouraging role. Therefore, the Technology Pioneers Programme is a highly valuable World Economic Forum initiative. As a Member of the Selection Committee, I was happy to help identify the companies and founders whose technologies and business models may create outstanding business, innovation and societal impact, and I congratulate the Class of 2012.”
Marcel Reichart, Co-Founder, DLD, Burda Media

“I have greatly enjoyed my job of examining the Technology Pioneer applications, but it has been extremely difficult to choose between such a variety of fantastic projects. Congratulations to all of those in the Technology Pioneer Class of 2012.”
Jeong Kim, President, Bell Labs and President of Corporate Strategy, Alcatel-Lucent

As a long-standing Strategic Partner of the World Economic Forum, Cisco congratulates the Technology Pioneer Class of 2012. The work of these groups epitomizes our company’s commitment to technology innovation for positive and sustainable social and economic impact. It has been an honour and a privilege for me personally to participate as a Member of the Selection Committee for the Technology Pioneers Programme, and I look forward to witnessing the innovative and transformational technologies that emerge from this year’s winning companies.”
Marthin De Beer, Senior Vice-President, General Manager, Emerging Technologies Group, Cisco

“KPMG is honoured to continue its work with the World Economic Forum as a Technology Pioneer Programme Partner and Member of the Selection Committee. Our professionals are impressed by the improvement in the candidate classes each year. We enjoy watching the award winners grow and develop into leaders in their fields. Congratulations to the Technology Pioneer Class of 2012!»
Dan Chamberlain, Marketing Director, Mid Market & Venture Capital, KPMG Global Enterprise Institute

“Intel Capital’s unique global perspective and scope, based on Intel’s vision to enrich the lives of every person on earth through technology and innovation, is an ideal match for working with the World Economic Forum. As a Technology Pioneer Program Partner and Selection Committee member, we were truly impressed with the quality, quantity, diversity, and potential societal impact of the applicants this year. My congratulations go to the outstanding Technology Pioneers Class of 2012 for attaining this significant recognition.”
Arvind Sodhani, President, Intel Capital and Executive Vice-President, Intel Corporation

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“BT has been deeply involved with the World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers Programme for a number of years and has been a proud Member of the Selection Committee. I personally enjoy the rich exchange of ideas and innovations which takes place during the selection process. The quality of the applications keeps improving every year and this directly benefits the programme and wider society. I’d like to extend a warm welcome to the Class of 2012 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers and I am convinced you can all make a real difference.”
Jean-Marc Frangos, Managing Director, External Innovation, BT Group

“As a long-term World Economic Forum Strategic Partner, it is an honour and a privilege for the Kudelski Group to work closely with the World Economic Forum again this year in our role as Technology Pioneer Programme Partner and Member of the Selection Committee. We were truly impressed with the quality, quantity and diversity of the applicants, thereby making the selection process the most difficult to date. I would like to congratulate the very innovative companies who made the Technology Pioneer Class of 2012.»
Christophe Nicolas, Senior Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer, Kudelski Group

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The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Incorporated as a foundation in 1971, and based in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum is impartial and not-for-profit; it is tied to no political, partisan or national interests.

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