Nano Firms Win Prizes in World Economic Forum Competition

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 10:54 am    Post subject: Nano Firms Win Prizes in World Economic Forum Competition Reply with quote

Nano Energy Companies Win Prizes for Innovation in World Economic Forum (WEF) Competition

The World Economic Forum has announced today 36 visionary companies selected as Technology Pioneers 2006. The companies, whose products range from real 3D screens to fuel cell motorbikes and intelligent prosthetics, were nominated by the world’s leading venture capital and technology companies. The final selection from 97 nominees was made by a panel of leading technology experts appointed by the World Economic Forum.

Almost half (17) of the Technology Pioneers 2006 are US-based companies with 12 located in California. The United Kingdom boasts 8 Technology Pioneers 2006, Germany 3 and Israel 3. Canada, France, Hungary, Iceland and Sweden have one each. Technology pioneers are nominated in three main categories: Energy, Biotechnology/Health and Information Technology.

To be selected as a Technology Pioneer, a company must be involved in the development of life-changing technology innovation and have potential for long-term impact on business and society. In addition, it must demonstrate visionary leadership, show the signs of being a long-standing market leader – and its technology must be proven. Previous Technology Pioneers have included: Autonomy, Cambridge Silicon Radio, Encore Software, Google, Millennium Pharmaceuticals and Napster.

“The creative innovations produced by our Technology Pioneers hold the promise of significantly affecting the way business and society operate”, said Peter Torreele, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum. “As a global knowledge hub, we see the Technology Pioneer community as key contributors to this dialogue and to the mission of the Forum.”

The Californian Technology Pioneers 2006 are: (for a full list and profiles:


Energy Innovations, Pasadena, CA, USA – The company is developing the world’s first mass-produced rooftop photovoltaic tracking concentrator system, called the Sunflower, designed to bring the cost of solar below that of utility-supplied electricity.

Innovalight, Santa Clara, CA, USA - The company has discovered that the unique light emission and light absorption properties of silicon can be tuned at the quantum level. This technology will have enormous impacts in replacing conventional crystalling silicon solar cells and traditional lighting technologies due to the advantages in production costs, energy savings and lifetime of the materials that the company has developed.

MBA Polymers, Richmond, CA, USA - MBA Polymers has developed an automated process to recover plastics and other materials from durable goods such as electronics, computers and automobiles containing commingled materials.

Biotechnology / Health

Amyris Biotechnology, Emeryville, CA, USA - Amyris Biotechnologies has engineered microbes capable of cost-effectively producing high-value, complex molecules that are currently available only in small quantities through extraction from natural resources. The initial project is to construct a synthetic microbe for use in the production of the anti-malarial drug artemisinin to meet a critical need in the developing world.

XDx, South San Francisco, CA, USA - XDx has developed and launched a technology called AlloMap™ testing that enables transplant cardiologists to determine with a simple blood test whether a patient is rejecting a transplanted heart.

Information Technology

Fortinet, Sunnyvale, CA, USA - The pioneer in network-based Antivirus Firewall systems. Its FortiGate Systems detect and eliminate the most damaging, content-based threats from email and web traffic such as viruses, worms, intrusions, inappropriate Web content and more in real time - without degrading network performance.

Matrix Semiconductor, Santa Clara, CA USA - Matrix Semiconductor, Inc. has pioneered the design and development of three-dimensional (3-D) integrated circuits. This fundamental breakthrough in IC design enables a new class of low cost, high density, secure One-Time-Programmable (OTP), non-volatile memory products, designed to meet the unique requirements of high volume consumer electronic markets.

Navio Systems, Cupertino, CA, USA - Navio is a pioneer of rights-based commerce. By enabling publishers to sell rights and not just files, Navio unleashes the power of digital commerce to deliver revenue, retention, and customer relationships via any consumer touch point, on the Web or mobile phone.

Rosum, Mountain View, CA, USA - Rosum provides seamless indoor/outdoor location technology that is rapid, available, and accurate. Rosum TV-GPS integrates signals from existing commercial TV towers with signals from GPS satellites to support positioning in all environments.

Silicon Optix, San Jose , CA, USA - The Company makes digital image processing chips that correct distortion in video displays by adjusting the scale and warp of projected images.

UPEK, Emeryville, CA, USA - The company provides a variety of biometric authentication products including fingerprint sensors, biometric algorithms, and software. Customers use the company's products to secure access to notebooks, mobile and desktop PCs, as well as managing physical access to doors, safes, and automobiles.

Voltage Security, Palo Alto, CA, USA - Voltage Security delivers the leading enterprise privacy management platform for protecting all forms of digital business communication. Based on an award winning breakthrough in security and usability called Identity-Based Encryption (IBE), Voltage provides solutions for secure communication to leading financial services, healthcare, government and pharmaceutical companies.

The Technology Pioneers programme is run by the World Economic Forum with guidance from Apax Partners and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. Apax Partners published today the fourth Technology Pioneers report entitled Pathways to success: a taxonomy of innovation available online at

Richard Wilson, Partner at Apax Partners Worldwide LLP and Head of its European Tech and Telecom team, said: "Four styles of innovation emerge from this year's Technology Pioneers: incremental – continuous improvement of existing technology; modular – using new technology for existing applications; architectural – applying existing technology in new combinations; and radical - totally new technology to solve new problems. These areas of Technology Pioneer innovation are evident across technology, telecommunications, biotechnology and alternative energy sources. The Technology Pioneers are an increasingly important annual barometer of technology developments."

"It was exciting to see the nominations received for this year's Technology Pioneer class reflect a more diverse population. This wasn't only by sector with an almost even distribution for the first time across IT, biotech and energy– but also a diverse population by geography. We received several nominations from growth areas of the world such as India and Korea. As for those selected as the Tech Pioneer class of 2006, your innovations will certainly impact the global village we live in today – congratulations on your current successes and we'll be watching for more to come." said Anne Taylor, Advisory Partner for the Tech Pioneer programme, Deloitte & Touche, USA.

Source: World Economic Forum (WEF).


This story was posted on 6 December 2005.
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