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Technology Pioneers 2012

  1. 1. Technology Pioneers2012World Economic ForumSeptember 2011
  2. 2. 2 | World Economic Forum
  3. 3. ContentsForeword 05Technology Pioneers Report 06Profiles of the Technology Pioneers 15Technology Pioneers Selection Committee 29Acknowledgements 31Partners 32 Technology Pioneers 2012 | 3
  4. 4. 4 | World Economic Forum
  5. 5. 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 lieForeword 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 slow- down 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 Technology Pioneers 2012 | 5
  6. 6. 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 Technology 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 Pioneers 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 Report 2012 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.6 | World Economic Forum
  7. 7. The US State Department, which readily approved From a strategic perspective, the graphic demonstrationAfrica’s pro-democracy demonstrations, adopted of the enormous cost of a nuclear accident has led to aa different tone when WikiLeaks began exposing reassessment of the attractiveness of alternative fuels,thousands of potentially embarrassing classified smart grids and wind power. But the lesson is that withmilitary and diplomatic secrets dealing with US policies so many variables in play, no one can really tell with anytowards Iraq and Afghanistan over the Internet. Despite certainty at this point which technology will eventuallya concentrated campaign to stop the renegade press emerge triumphant. The ultimate message in 2011 is thatreleases, WikiLeaks continues to broadcast embarrassing nothing about the future is certain.material. Although change tends to be unnerving, it also inspiresSeen more broadly, technology is not only creating a wide creative solutions. Many of the most innovativerange of new possibilities for business, it is also providing companies got their start during periods of opportunities for amateur anarchists, criminals and When things are moving smoothly, there is no incentiveextremists as well. In a sense, the dream of technology to try something new, especially when there is a strongempowering the common man is fast becoming a reality. likelihood that the idea will not work. When trouble loomsBut what individuals decide to do with their newfound on the horizon, there is a greater need for innovation andpower is harder to predict. A hunger for democracy a fresh approach.and self-expression over the Internet can just as easilydegenerate into uninformed populism. What all these The rapid acceleration of technology that is now takingevents have in common is that the effect of technology place coincides with the three greatest challenges thatis difficult for any one person, organization or group to affect the world today: the effects of climate change,control. The world is facing more than a new paradigm overpopulation and the growing realization that many ofshift. It is facing a paradigm that is in constant evolution, the earth’s resources – especially oil and water – are finiteand the evolutionary process is clearly accelerating. and may be reaching their maximum peak limits. Each of these threats is likely to lead to increased instability unlessIn this dazzlingly, fast-moving, new era, planning for the solutions can be found to the problems they present.future is a risky business at best. Only a year ago, mostexperts were convinced that nuclear power was the The World Economic Forum’s programme to selectonly economically affordable alternative to fossil fuels. Technology Pioneers began in 2000 and has sinceThe tsunami in Japan changed that. Besides causing selected more than 400 companies, many of whom areenormous casualties, when it destroyed one of the in the start-up phase, developing prototypes and newcompany’s main nuclear power plants the unprecedented technologies that are testing the frontiers of our currenttidal wave cut off a significant percentage of Japan’s knowledge and pushing the envelope of possibilities.electricity. The catastrophe was a visible demonstration This year’s Technology Pioneers have each focused onto the entire world of just how costly the uncontrolled a significant challenge confronting the global communitymeltdown of a nuclear plant can be. today and responded with an ingenious solution to aSoon afterwards, Switzerland and Germany both decided specific problem. While the specific contribution mayagainst any future development of nuclear power and cover only a small part of the spectrum of problemsbegan looking for alternative solutions. The loss of confronting the global community, each of theseelectricity forced much of Japan’s manufacturing industry companies shares one thing in common: they force us toto curtail operations, having a ripple effect around the look at the future in a fresh, enterprising Companies outside Japan that had depended on The current selection covers all aspects of technologyJapanese components for their own manufacturing were development from Internet security to clean tech,forced to make a rapid reassessment both of just-in-time accessibility to improved healthcare, new solutions fordelivery strategies and the vulnerability that resulted from more efficient transportation, cost effective tools forover-reliance on the global supply chain. 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. Technology Pioneers 2012 | 7
  8. 8. Making the Internet Secure for ironic twist, one of CloudFlare’s former clients turned out to be the hacker group, LulzSec, a vote of confidence inBusiness CloudFlare’s approach. DoubleVerify, another of this year’s Tech Pioneers,Hacker schemes once discounted as playful pranks performs an alternative approach to CloudFlare byhave drifted to the dark side and Internet security is now dispatching software robot inspectors across the Interneta field that no one can afford to ignore. LulzSec’s cyber to probe for malware that may have been surreptitiouslyattack against Sony Pictures was, according to the inserted into a site without an advertiser’s knowledge.“hactivists” who launched it, an early warning of the costof not taking security seriously. LulzSec, derived from As more and more traffic shifts to cloud computing,the expression “Laughing out loud at security”, uses the US-based Appirio provides tailor-made strategies forslogan, “Laughing at your security.” Its complaint was that companies, equipping them to take maximum advantageSony had not bothered to encrypt sensitive details about of the multi-access possibilities through networkingits customers. offered by the cloud. Dropbox, whose servers effectively double as cloud-based hard drives, has succeeded inAs it turns out, Sony was only the most noticeable making cloud technology so seamless that most usersrecent victim in the growing wave of cyber attacks and are not even aware they are on the cloud.prankishness. American Express, Visa and a number ofmajor banks experienced similar attempts to break intotheir security. After numerous attempts to penetrate theservers of the US Defense Department, the Pentagonannounced that it might treat future attempts as acts of Looking for Hidden Patterns andwar. Creating an Operating System forMocana, one of this year’s Tech Pioneers, has not only Cities of the Futuremastered the kind of attacks that LulzSec engaged in buthas already begun looking ahead to the next generationof cyber security. A network, like a chain, is only as In retrospect, many events from the financial crises tostrong as its weakest link, and Mocana is focusing on the political upheavals, and even Al Qaeda’s attack on Newestimated 20 billion smaller networked electronic devices York’s World Trade Center, might have been avoided ifranging from cellphones to iPads that are in use today, information that was already readily available had beenwhich constitute easy entry points for cyber predators collated and interpreted correctly. One of the greatesttrying to invade a network. obstacles to accurate analysis today is data smog: too much information in too many places in too many shapesMost of these devices rely on low-powered integrated and forms. Palantir Technologies’ specialty is connectingcircuits with a simplified architecture that is not powerful the dots. Its object models for finance and governmentenough to handle conventional PC security software. provide a ready-built architecture to detect and analyseTo complicate matters different manufacturers rely on evolving trends by seamlessly integrating information todifferent operating systems. In response, Mocana has make it accessible to a wide variety of users. The resultpioneered the industry’s only device-independent Smart is more effective decision-making that accurately reflectsDevice Security platform. The system is built around a real life situations.small, ultra-fast encryption engine that requires hardly anypower and can function equally well with more than 35 Energy-conserving smart buildings are in vogue theseoperating systems. days but to make cities function efficiently the trick is to analyse and act on information coming from thousandsCloudFlare, a California-based company, takes a different of sensors that cover every aspect of a functioning cityapproach. Its “intelligent network” employs innovative on a continuous basis. This requires a network able toalgorithms to strip parasites, viruses and other predatory handle a data flow vastly greater than the Internet. Livingmalware from the data stream of clients who route PlanIT is blazing new ground in developing the strategyaccess to their websites through CloudFlare’s 12 servers and network technology to do just that. It has partneredscattered around the world. CloudFlare’s technology with key players, including Cisco and Microsoft, andnot only protects its clients’ security but also speeds up is currently working on a prototype city of the future inWeb operations. As attempts to penetrate CloudFlare’s Portugal.defences become more sophisticated, the networkadapts its defences to each attack and communicatesthat knowledge to all the members on its network. In an8 | World Economic Forum
  9. 9. Developing a Cleaner Source of restaurants. When the stove’s popularity began driving up the price of pellets, the company developed a techniqueEnergy for producing pellets locally from a variety of sources. It plans to sell more than a million stoves in India within theThe sun is the most prolific source of energy but until now next three years and will then market to other developingphotovoltaic solar panels have been too expensive for countries, especially in Africa. While the stove, whichsolar-produced electricity to be cost-effective. Currently, produces three times the heat and produces far lesssolar-produced electricity accounts for less than 1% of emissions than conventional stoves, will make cookingUS energy needs. 1366 Technologies, a Tech Pioneer far more affordable than kerosene or liquid propanethat takes its name from the average amount of solar alternatives in poor communities, it can also play anpower measured in watts that strikes a square metre of important role in reducing emissions that are dangerousthe earth’s surface in a year, is developing a revolutionary both for health and the environment.process that promises to dramatically reduce production When it comes to determining what kind of gases maycosts. Instead of sawing through blocks of silicon to be contributing to global warming, the leading pioneer inproduce the razor thin wafers required by photovoltaic the field is Picarro, which aims to be the world’s leadingcells, the company’s innovative approach directly moulds manufacturer of laser-equipped gas spectrometers.the silicon much the way glass is made. The company Picarro’s system can be placed in the back of a carpredicts that cost savings will eventually make solar and map a city’s gas leaks in a week or so. Recentpower economically viable. surveys of San Francisco and Boston revealed invisibleTech Pioneers Joule Unlimited and Solazyme are plumes of methane, a major component of natural gas,developing strategies to use genetically altered microbes hovering over the cities. Methane is 20 times as potentto produce transportation fuels. Joule Unlimited’s system a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide, so controllingpumps ordinary waste along with a highly synthetic leaks as more countries turn to natural gas should be amicroorganism and large quantities of carbon dioxide into top priority. Picarro is designing advanced systems totransparent pipes exposed to direct sunlight. Relying on determine emissions at the regional and national level.photosynthesis, the microorganisms can produce ethanoland diesel fuel at a projected cost of US$ 50 a barrel.Joule is running a prototype installation covering 1,200acres in Arizona and plans to eventually scale it up to5,000 acres.In contrast to Joule’s process, which avoids reliance onbiomass, Solazyme employs micro-algae and a widevariety of photosynthetic plant sugars derived from awide range of feedstock. Solazyme’s approach usesstandard industrial fermentation equipment. Its microbesare fermented in darkness. The company employs anaccelerated process that it calls “indirect photosynthesis”which produces fuel within a few days. Solazyme isalready providing fuel to the US Navy for testing in ships,vehicles and aviation.In much of the developing world, fuel used for heatingand cooking constitutes another major source ofemissions. India-based Tech Pioneer First Energy PrivateLimited has developed an extremely efficient stove thatruns on pellets of compressed agricultural residue. Thestove’s efficient design produces three times the heat ofconventional stoves. The idea was originally developedby Bangalore’s Institute of Technology in India. Theleast expensive of these stoves sell for just over US$20 and a kilogram of fuel costs just a few cents. Atleast 485,000 households in India have already boughtthe consumer version, and 2,500 enterprises havebought the professional model designed for hotels and Technology Pioneers 2012 | 9
  10. 10. Revolutionizing Motors Used in Working for DevelopmentTransport The underlying message from the political upheavals in North Africa last winter is that people are not willingIn a zero sum game, cutting fuel consumption in half to wait indefinitely to have a viable standard of roughly equivalent to doubling the amount of fuel. According to most estimates, more than a billion peopleTech Pioneers EcoMotors International is developing currently live in absolute poverty on less than US$ 1.25a groundbreaking engine that promises nearly twice a day; more than twice live on less than US$ 2 a day.the efficiency of conventional automobile engines. The Several of this year’s Tech Pioneers are pioneeringdesign employs modules, each of which consists of two technologies to help the poorest sectors of society.cylinders on opposite sides of a drive shaft. Each cylindercontains two opposing pistons, which provide double A major problem is water. India and China accountthe normal compression and only need to travel half the for nearly 40% of the world’s population but only havedistance for combustion. The modules can be stacked, access to less than 11% of its water (This according toand turned off when the additional power is no longer Indian professor Brahma Chellaney in his latest book:necessary. Water: Asia’s New Battleground). DripTech, a California company with offices in India and China, is developingProtean Electric’s design places a small, pancake-shaped irrigation systems that make farming practical in parchedelectric motor in each wheel of the ca, and relies on areas that were previously unable to sustain crops. Dripelectronic circuits to synchronize them. Prototypes have irrigation has been in use for a long time, but DripTech’sbeen installed in a Ford F150 pickup truck and a Volvo specialty is to streamline the manufacturing process,Sedan. Speeds up to 100 miles an hour are possible and reducing the number of components needed so thatthe vehicle can easily cover a range of around 100 miles. the system is affordable to poor income farmers. MoreDepending on how much power is needed, the motors than simply conserving scarce water supplies, DripTechcan be installed in only two wheels or in all four. An enables previously unusable land to be cultivated for aadvantage in the design is that Protean’s motors can be profit, thus spurring economic development throughoutadded to current conventional gasoline or diesel vehicles the community.that can then rely on the electric motors for short rangetrips, and easily switch over to a standard gasoline motor Until recently the poorest sectors of India’s populationfor longer trips. The motors eliminate the need for a drive had little access to modern banking. FINO (Financialshaft and gearbox and, since the torque is distributed Inclusion Network and Operations) has been changingdirectly to the wheels, they are ideally suited to rapid the dynamics of microfinancing by introducing electronicacceleration. 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.10 | World Economic Forum
  11. 11. Accessible Communications in Making High Quality HealthcareRemote Parts of the World Available to EveryoneThe Irish firm, Altobridge, is creating mobile phone Medical testing is a critical factor both in the preventioncommunications in places so remote that they were and diagnosis of disease as well as in deciding where topreviously considered too uneconomical. Altobridge’s allocate scarce resources. The poorest countries in theplatform “Local Connectivity” takes the burden off of developing world often lack trained personnel to carrymobile phone core networks by managing local traffic out standard tests, which are also often too expensivewithin the remote network avoiding any need for a for cash-strapped health ministries. Tech Pioneer,“backhaul’ satellite link to the company’s central core Boston-based Diagnostics For All hopes to change thatnetwork. The company’s “Data at the Edge” system situation by pioneering medical testing that uses a specialmakes mobile phones cheap enough to be affordable photoresist paper. Medical test strips, roughly the size ofin cash-strapped developing countries. Altobridge’s a postage stamp, rely on the capillary characteristics ofrevolutionary Remote Contiguous Communications unit paper to draw a small drop of blood, urine or other bodycan be backpacked overland into remote areas and used fluid into contact with chemical agents that change colourto establish a local mobile phone network within minutes depending on the specimen examined. A technicianin disaster situations. with basic training can interpret the results based on the strip’s changing colour. It is possible to carry out moreIn a similar vein, Electro Power Systems, also a Tech sophisticated tests by layering the paper strips on topPioneer, has developed a revolutionary fuel cell that of each other. Critical tests for chronic diseases sucheffectively recharges itself and provides emergency as diabetes can cost as little as a few pennies, andbackup power to cellphone towers in difficult locations, the paper can be burned immediately eliminating anyeliminating the need for costly maintenance. 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. Technology Pioneers 2012 | 11
  12. 12. More Accessible Financing to Putting Fun Back into EducationEntrepreneurial Pioneers Teachers often complain that their students are more interested in playing video games than actuallyMany good ideas never get off the ground simply studying. Tabula Digita’s founder and Chief Executivebecause they are too offbeat or lack the scale needed to Officer, Ntiedo Etuk, decided to take advantage of theattract the attention of traditional venture capitalists. In phenomenon by creating computer games that actuallymany cases, private individuals might be willing to make teach the fundamentals of mathematics, literature anda low-cost investment in a promising idea, but often the other essential subjects. Tabula Digita initially targetedentrepreneur does not know whom they are. Kickstarter, public school systems, with roughly three-fourths of itswhich has pioneered the concept of “crowd funding”, sales targeted at lower grade levels and the remainingrealized that the key to changing that situation is to fourth aimed at high school students. The companyestablish a platform for linking people with good ideas to is now expanding into the consumer market outsidepotential investors. The Kickstarter website serves as a school, and games on its website can be played for free.public bulletin board for innovative projects. Anyone can An advantage of the idea is that children can competesubmit a proposal, with an estimate of how much funding with each other. The games include opportunities to winwill be needed and a deadline for project completion. rewards for achieving different levels of proficiency. ThePotential sponsors contribute money through Amazon actual rewards are paid to the student by parents orPayments. relatives. The company earns a profit from selling its ownA similar strategy for direct loans is offered by Lending accessories pegged to the rewards, or by a commissionClub. The potential borrower submits a proposal and from other companies who make sales based on theLending Club responds with a suggested interest rate, rewards. Because the games are competitive, thebased on the borrower’s credit rating. Potential investors students are likely to continue playing them after schoolcreate a portfolio with the company and decide in which hours, effectively doing homework without realizing thatloans they want to participate. If a borrower defaults, they are actually studying.the lender only loses the portion of his overall portfoliothat went to that specific loan. Lending Club sets strictrequirements on the credit worthiness of potentialborrowers, so the risks are reduced. Lending Club letsborrowers get preferential interest rates because itsstreamlined approach eliminates much of the overheadin conventional banking. Individual investors are able toget higher returns for their investment than they would belikely to get from a bank.12 | World Economic Forum
  13. 13. What Pioneering Is All AboutAll of this year’s Tech Pioneers have succeeded in gettingfunding to develop promising prototypes. In some cases,they are already registering success in the marketplace.When it comes to pioneering, however, a readiness totry new ideas and think outside the box, experimentingwith new approaches and concepts whose success isless than guaranteed is what counts the most. The worldis changing, and change requires new solutions, notmerely a repetition of what has worked in the past. Thesepioneers are just that – pioneers. Like any explorers, theyhave ventured into uncharted territory with no certainty asto what they will find. Like any advance scout, their job isto point us in new directions and to make us see thingsin a different way. Like the explorers who help to chart thenew world, they are in a sense heroic. Whether their ideaseventually pan out or not, they will at the least give us apreview of what the future possibly has to offer. Technology Pioneers 2012 | 13
  14. 14. 14 | World Economic Forum
  15. 15. Profiles of the TechnologyPioneersIndex Twenty-five companies have been selected as the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers 2012.Information Technologies and New Media They come from three main categories: Information Technologies and New Media, Energy and Environment,Altobridge Limited 16 and Life Sciences and Health. Candidate companies areAppirio 16 nominated by Members, constituents and collaborators of the World Economic Forum, as well as by the largerCloudFlare 17 public. A selection committee, comprised of topDoubleVerify 17 technology and innovation experts from around the world, reviews all candidate companies and makes aDropbox 18 recommendation to the World Economic Forum, whichFinancial Inclusion Network then takes the final decision.and Operations Ltd (FINO) 18 Technology Pioneers are chosen on the basis of theKickstarter Inc. 19 following criteria:Lending Club 19 1. Innovation: The company must be truly innovative.Living PlanIT SA 20 A new version or repackaging of an already well-Mocana Corporation 20 accepted technological solution does not qualify as an innovation. The innovation and commercializationPalantir Technologies 21 should be recent. The company should investTabula Digita Inc. 21 significantly in R&D. 2. Potential impact: The company must have theEnergy and Environment potential to have a substantial long-term impact on business and/or society.1366 Technologies 22 3. Growth and sustainability: The company shouldAttero Recycling 22 demonstrate the potential to be a long-term market leader and should have well-formulated plans forDriptech 23 future development and growth.EcoMotors International 23 4. Proof of concept: The company must have a productElectro Power Systems SpA 24 on the market or have proven practical applications ofFirst Energy Private Limited 24 the technology. Companies in “stealth” mode and with untested ideas or models do not qualify.Joule Unlimited 25 5. Leadership: The company must have visionaryPicarro Inc. 25 leadership that plays a critical role in driving theProtean Electric Inc. 26 company towards reaching its goals.Solazyme Inc. 26 Finally, the company must not currently be a Member of the World Economic Forum. This criterion applies toLife Sciences and Health the parent company; thus, wholly owned subsidiaries of large firms are not eligible.Biocartis SA 27Diagnostics For All 27Tethys Bioscience 28 Technology Pioneers 2012 | 15
  16. 16. Information Technologies and New Media Information Technologies and New MediaAltobridge Limited AppirioMike Fitzgerald, Chief Executive and Co-Founder Chris Barbin, Chief Executive OfficerLocation: Tralee, Ireland Location: CA, USANumber of Employees: 132 Number of Employees: 280Year Founded: 2002 Year Founded: 2006Altobridge Limited. Telephone: +353 66 719 0210 Appirio Telephone: +1 650 268 99112207Kerry Technology Park Email: Bridgepointe Parkway, 3rd Floor E-mail: cloud@appirio.comTralee, Co. Kerry Website: San Mateo, CA 94404 Website: www.appirio.comIreland USAAltobridge’s innovative technology makes Appirio enables companies to navigateGSM mobile phone networks affordable today’s complex cloud computingin remote areas ecosystemAltobridge’s Data at the Edge™ and Local With more than 800 cloud computing providersConnectivity™ solutions optimize network operations currently in the marketplace, deciding how best toand substantially reduce the power requirements employ this new cost-saving technology requiresfor mobile phone systems in developing countries. expert strategic insight. In this context, Appirio actsAltobridge’s technology helps cut the “backhaul” as both broker and solution provider to more thanconnection between a mobile phone carrier’s local base 5,000 companies, including 200 leading enterprises,station and its core network by up to 50%, dramatically employing cross-cloud technology. To avoid havingreducing costly satellite time. It does this by substantially to master the intricacies of cloud computing from theincreasing the functionality of local networks, particularly start, Appirio offers clients access to an extensivewhen it comes to calls within the network. An additional asset library that draws on experience acquired duringadvantage of Altobridge’s approach is that it significantly 800 cloud computing projects. Appirio also developsreduces data congestion on the network and speeds specific applications that enable software from differentservice delivery. companies to work seamlessly together. A recent software package lets enterprise customers create theirAltobridge’s lite-site install, solar-powered, mobile own iPad and iPhone applications on a nearly click-and-base station can be trucked into remote areas and drag basis, without needing to master the IOS operatingwill support a network of anywhere from 100 to system. In another example, Appirio was able to build1,500 mobile phones. The company’s man-portable a cloud-based CRM (customer relations managementcommunications solution, the Remote Contiguous programme) for Starbucks in just four weeks, basedCommunications unit (RCC), designed for government on a software framework. Starbucksuse and especially for emergency personnel, can used the website to encourage customers to donateprovide local mobile phone services within five minutes time to public service. In addition to saving corporationsof being deployed in areas that no other mobile phone the expense of maintaining their own in-house designcan reach. The RCC is light enough to be hand carried teams, Appirio’s access to the cumulative experienceover difficult terrain. Altobridge’s pioneering work in and problem solving approaches of a constantlypushing the envelope of mobile phone networking evolving expert community means that it is constantlytechnology has enabled it to develop cutting edge ahead of the curve in developing pioneering cloud-solutions that major mobile phone network competitors based solutions in a rapidly changing global market.have licensed their own operations.16 | World Economic Forum
  17. 17. Information Technologies and New Media Information Technologies and New MediaCloudFlare DoubleVerifyMatthew Prince, Chief Executive Officer Oren Netzer, Chief Executive OfficerLocation: CA, USA Location: NY, USANumber of Employees: 15 Number of Employees: 135Year Founded: 2009 Year Founded: 2008CloudFlare Telephone: +1 650 319 8930 DoubleVerify Telephone: +1 212 631 2111665 Third Street, Suite 207 E-mail: 575 Eight Ave., 7th Fl. E-mail: info@doubleverify.comSan Francisco, CA 94107 Website: New York, NY 10018 Website: www.doubleverify.comUSA USACloudFlare’s intelligent network DoubleVerify provides tools designed toaccelerates Web traffic over the Internet restore public confidence in businesswhile deftly dodging abusive bots, forced to operate in a global netcrawlers and denial of service attacks environment increasingly exposed to swindlers, malware and cyber theftCloudFlare streamlines its members’ Web traffic througha dozen servers around the world, optimizing the As more and more business goes online, cyber crimedata stream in the process while shielding it from the is becoming vastly more sophisticated. Phishingparasites and predators that increasingly contribute attacks, Trojan horses and ultra-sophisticated wormsto Web congestion. On the average, websites that and software viruses are the net equivalent of an IEDjoin the CloudFlare community and use its intelligent (improvised explosive device). They strike unexpectedlynetwork operate at double the speed of conventional and they are increasingly costly. A cyber attack notInternet traffic. No hardware or software changes are only hurts its target but also inflicts wounds on anynecessary. The only requirement is a domain DNS unsuspecting advertiser who may be linked to thechange that directs traffic to CloudFlare’s servers. The infected site and whose reputation becomes associatedadjustment usually takes less than five minutes and with the attack. DoubleVerify’s solution to the problema member can drop out at any time. The company is a series of groundbreaking verification tools thatemphasizes that it is not a hosting service and that any guarantee the reliability of a site. It combines pixelwebsite that opts out of the system remains online with tracking technology with “Virtual Visitors” that exploreall its data intact. The government of Turkey recently every aspect of an online site and analyse its structuresigned up with CloudFlare to keep its election website to guarantee against external malware.from melting down from the expected surge in trafficand as an added protection against denial of service DoubleVerify is particularly effective at scanning iFrames,attacks. CloudFlare notes that as the Internet evolves a Web structure that enables advertising agencies andits system automatically shares the new information brokers to nest millions of third-party ads on millionswith everyone else in the community. As the Web of websites on a daily basis. Normal pop-up blockingfaces new challenges, CloudFlare’s intelligent network systems can prevent these ads from reaching a site. Asevolves along with it, becoming progressively smarter in a result, the usual see-through rate which determinesprotecting its members’ interests. 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. Technology Pioneers 2012 | 17
  18. 18. Information Technologies and New Media Information Technologies and New Media Financial InclusionDropbox Network & OperationsDrew Houston, Chief Executive Officer Manish Khera, Chief Executive OfficerLocation: CA, USA Location: Navi Mumbai, IndiaNumber of Employees: 50 Number of Employees: 1600Year Founded: 2007 Year Founded: 2006Dropbox Telephone: +1 415 986 7057 Financial Inclusion Network & Operations Telephone: +91 22 4161 3466760 Market St #1150 Email: Plot 38-39, Sector 30, Sanpada West Email: Francisco, CA 94102 Website: Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra 400705 Website: IndiaDropbox connects the cloud to everyday FINO’s integrated financial technologylife platform makes modern banking accessible to the poor in IndiaAnyone who has lugged a heavy laptop home on adaily basis can appreciate the advantage of temporarily Microfinancing is a powerful tool empowering thestoring a day’s work on a cloud server for easy retrieval poorest sectors of developing countries to improveat home. Dropbox is a pioneer in the business. It not their economic status; keeping track of millions of smallonly offers easy storage of files, programs, photographs, loans is usually too labour intensive and costly for largepersonal notes and a wide range of other material but financial institutions to bother with. The breakthroughit also provides a common space for colleagues to technology developed by FINO (Financial Inclusion andshare material that is being developed on a collaborative Network Operations) is fast changing that equationproject. Its ability to operate on nearly every operating not only enabling previously excluded populationssystem platform makes it one of the easiest methods to have access to financing and traditional bankingtoday for transferring material from one computer to services but also opening up potentially lucrative newanother, or from a desktop to a cell phone. To minimize markets for the financial sector. FINO’s electronicconnection time on the Web, Dropbox synchronizes payment platform packages provide microfinancingonly those aspects of an ongoing job that have actually opportunities to more than 30 million customers atchanged and guarantees that every time you access 15,000 transaction points in 300 districts across 24your information, you are looking at the latest version states in India. Its product suites include savings bankregardless of which computer you are using or where accounts, recurring deposits, loan products, remittancesyou happen to be. In a sense, Dropbox can substitute and insurance products. The company stands to profitas a WiFi-connected hard drive that is instantly on from the growing use of business channels by the Indianand geographically omnipresent. In pioneering on the government for disbursement of subsidies. Estimatescloud, credible security is even more important than are that up to 100 million mostly rural householdsthe ability to synchronize, and Dropbox prides itself on in India are effectively excluded from basic financialguaranteeing Internet privacy. Dropbox now counts services. With its pioneering technology demonstratingsome 25 million loyal customers, and its large user that the financial inclusion of rural households canbase, which is becoming increasingly comfortable with be profitable, FINO has begun to attract the interestthe cloud, is likely to be a major asset in the future as of outside investors, including the Blackstone Groupthe company continues to push for consumer use of which put up US$ 33 million for a minority stake in thecloud technology. 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
  19. 19. Information Technologies and New Media Information Technologies and New MediaKickstarter, Inc. Lending ClubPerry Chen, Chief Executive Officer Renaud Laplanche, Chief Executive OfficerLocation: NY, USA Location: CA, USANumber of Employees: 22 Number of Employees: 60Year Founded: 2009 Year Founded: 2007Kickstarter, Inc. Telephone: +1 646 596 9536 Lending Club Telephone: +1 650 482 5231155 Rivington St Website: 370 Convention Way Email: pr@lendingclub.comNew York City, NY 11238 Redwood City, CA 95124 Website: www.lendingclub.comUSA USAKickstarter’s innovative crowd-funding Lending club bypasses traditionalplatform lets the public in on venture banking to pioneer peer-to-peercapital funding for imaginative projects financingtKickstarter’s formula looks simple enough; yet, it opens Lending Club streamlines its financial services over thea new door for both the public and a wide assortment Internet to create a direct link between creditworthyof artists and entrepreneurs to fund small, but interesting borrowers and potential investors. By stripping awayprojects. Anyone with a good idea can submit a the red tape and bureaucratic hurdles that normallyproposal to Kickstarter. The applicant states how much accompany traditional bank loans, it is able to reducemoney is needed and the deadline for completion. processing costs and offer loans at rates considerablyKickstarter publishes the information on the Web and cheaper than competing banks. Rates are based ontakes a fee that amounts to 5% of the money raised. creditworthiness; applicants can sign up in minutesAmazon Payments handles the receipt and disbursal to get an immediate quote on how much interest theyof the funding and also takes 3% to 5% as a fee. If the are likely to be charged. Investors establish an onlineminimum target is not raised, the money is returned. portfolio and decide where they want to invest. LendingThe advantage to artists and would-be entrepreneurs Club makes a number of tools available to lenders, andis that Kickstarter acts only as a broker and has no the risk of a loan not being paid is reduced becauseownership of the project. It also makes it clear that the lender only buys a small portion of each loan, andit cannot guarantee that the project will actually be the lender’s portfolio is likely to cover a large numbercompleted. That is left up to the investor to decide. of different loans. If a borrower defaults, the loss isKickstarter is merely there to make the connection, minimalized by spreading the cost over a large numberbut that connection can be a significant contribution. of investors, and Lending Club also has arrangementsMany good ideas never see the light of day simply from with debt collection agencies to make certain thata lack of financing. Often the public would be ready to the loan eventually is repaid. Lending Club’s greatestsupport an idea, or simply take a long shot investment protection, however, is its stringent selection process foron a small scale, if they only knew about it. By putting borrowers. Only around 10% of loan applicants meetthese groups together, Kickstarter shines a spotlight on Lending Club’s exacting standards. By pioneering apotentially profitable opportunities both for culture and significantly more efficient way of connecting borrowersthe economy that until now have largely been ignored. 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
  20. 20. Information Technologies and New Media Information Technologies and New MediaLiving PlanIT SA Mocana CorporationSteve Lewis, Chief Executive Officer Adrian Turner, President and Chief Executive OfficerLocation: Vaud, Switzerland Location: CA, USANumber of Employees: 78 Number of Employees: 70Year Founded: 2006 Year Founded: 2004Living PlanIT SA Telephone: +44 2074958968 Mocana Corporation Telephone: +1 415 617 005521, Ruelle des Moulins E-mail: 350 Sansome Street, suite 1010 E-mail: info@mocana.com1260 Nyons Website: San Francisco, CA 94104 Website: www.mocana.comSwitzerland USALiving PlanIT develops operating systems Mocana’s responds to thefor future cities “Internet of Things” with a device- independent secure platform for smartEnergy-saving, cost-effective, smart buildings are communicationsincreasingly fashionable these days, but as citiescome under increasing population pressure the realkey is to develop a system that takes information from More than 20 billion non-PC devices are now connectedmany smart buildings and integrates it with streams to various networks around the world. Smart devicesof other data from a variety of sensors to create an already outnumber computers by five-to-one, andintelligent network. Designing smart city networks is the market, valued at US$ 900 billion, is growingthe specialty of Living PlanIT. The company’s Urban twice as fast as sales of conventional laptops. WhileOperating System provides a common platform for highly portable and extremely useful, each smartall the electronic components of a city to interact with device represents an entry point for a potential cybereach other. In contrast to current computer networking predator to break into a network. Mocana’s solutionsystems, an urban operating system needs to handle is a wide range of services including NanoCrypto,and interpret a vastly greater data flow that covers a government-certified, cryptographic engine thateverything from building temperatures, lighting and extends sophisticated cryptographic capabilities toother utilities to coordinating pedestrian and vehicle even the humblest, low-power, simplified chips used intraffic. Living PlanIT has equipped its urban operating portable devices and works with more than 30 out-of-system to keep permanent records that can be the-box operating systems designed to be used withanalysed to optimize functions. For instance if a traffic limited resources. Powerful cryptographic protectionaccident blocks circulation, the system can immediately can be extended to just about any hand-held device;recommend the best alternate route around the because the NanoCrypto engine is designed to requirecongestion for a certain time of day. Living PlanIT’s a minimum effort from central processing units, thetechnology can be integrated into the design of new system prolongs battery power in portable devicescities or adapted to gradually modernize systems and applications. The simplicity and cross-platformalready in place in older cities. Living PlanIT has capabilities of Mocana’s encryption systems make thecreated strategic partnerships with leading technology company unique in the field of network communicationscompanies, including Cisco, Microsoft and Accenture, protection. Even more important, the system’s ability toand it is currently developing PlanIT Valley, an advanced guarantee secure connections for even the most basicurban planning project in Portugal, which is a pioneering smart devices adds consumer confidence, opening theeffort at turning design concepts for future cities into door to a wide range of new businesses ranging frompractical reality. credit card payments for online shopping to computer banking and financial services.20 | World Economic Forum
  21. 21. Information Technologies and New Media Information Technologies and New MediaPalantir Technologies Tabula DigitaAlexander Karp, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ntiedo Etuk, Founder and Chief Executive OfficerLocation: CA, USA Location: NY, USANumber of Employees: 400 Number of Employees: 23Year Founded: 2004 Year Founded: 2003Palantir Technologies Telephone: +1 650 815 0200 Tabula Digita Telephone: +1 917 251 8070100 Hamilton Ave, Suite 300 E-mail: 5-14 51st Avenue, 3rd Floor E-mail: info@tabuladigita.comPalo Alto, CA 94301 Website: Long Island City, NY 11101 Website: www.dimensionu.comUSA USAPalantir pioneers an engineering-centred Tabula Digita develops video gamesapproach to radically change the way to engage high school students in thedata is analysed pursuit of knowledgeData smog is a hazard of today’s increasingly Tabula Digita’s award-winning technology breaks newinterconnected world. Unexpected opportunities as ground by taking advantage of an estimated 93% ofwell as the answers to seemingly intractable problems US school students who play video games. Its currentoften lay camouflaged under mountains of irrelevant product, the DimensionU Learning System, coversand distracting detail. Palantir’s data analysis platforms literacy, science, history and mathematics. Tabulaprovide solutions for finance, government and Digita’s multiplayer technology was originally designedintelligence agencies. Palantir’s finance object model for classrooms, but the company is now offering aoffers a ready-built architecture to connect the dots consumer version that can be accessed for free overand spot trends and developing curves that provide an the Internet. A key feature is a reward system, whichessential advantage when it comes to critical decision- enables parents or relatives to pay a small amount ofmaking. money to the student after he passes critical points in the game. The company makes a small profit by sellingPalantir’s software for government analysis enables accessories to students who have earned awards orstructured and unstructured data sources to be by getting a commission on products sold by otherseamlessly integrated and provides a common platform companies. Roughly three-fourths of the studentsfor heterogeneous users, groups and agencies to work are in lower grades, with the remaining fourth in hightogether while protecting the privacy and security of the school. Ntiedo Etuk, the company’s founder, got theinformation. The systems combine powerful back-end idea when he noticed that many students were boreddatabases and server architecture with an intuitive by conventional teaching methods. Etuk remarked thatfront-end user interface. Palantir’s products are equally most educational material is aimed at helping teachers,comfortable with unstructured message traffic and while a greater effort is needed to equip students tostructured identity data. Palantir’s innovative approach solve problems on their own. The company’s softwareclears the way to ground-breaking solutions in a rapidly is currently in use in leading public school systems inevolving technological environment. 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
  22. 22. Energy and Environment Energy and Environment1366 Technologies Attero RecyclingEmanuel Sachs, Chief Technology Officer Nitin Gupta, Co-Founder and Chief Executive OfficerLocation: MA, USA Location: Noida, IndiaNumber of Employees: 35 Number of Employees: 85Year Founded: 2007 Year Founded: 20081366 Technologies Telephone: +1 781 861 1611 Attero Recycling Pvt Ltd Telephone: +91 120 408 710045 Hartwell Avenue E-mail: B-92 Sector-63 Website: www.attero.inLexington, MA 02421 Website: Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201301USA India1366 Technologies dramatically reduces Attero Recycling pioneers a fullythe cost of silicon wafers in solar panels integrated, zero-land fill system for handling India’s e-wasteA major factor in the cost of manufacturing solarphotovoltaic panels is that the silicon that accounts for Attero – the name is Latin for waste – has establishedroughly one-half the cost of each panel needs to be cut itself as India’s first and, at this point, only fullyfrom solid blocks. Nearly one-half the silicon is lost in integrated, environmentally friendly processor ofthe process and the precision engineering required to electronic waste. While Indian manufacturers havecut the wafers to within a tolerance of a few microns is tended to ignore the health risks associated withextremely expensive. 1366 Technologies’ revolutionary discarded electronic components, the situation isnew approach promises to change the equation by about to change. The Indian government is preparingmoulding the wafers directly from molten silicon. The to drastically tighten controls and future legislation cansilicon is poured into thin sheets much the way glass is be expected to move towards requiring electronicsformed. The new process makes it possible to get twice manufacturers to assume “cradle to grave” responsibilityas many wafers per pound of silicon while dramatically for their products. At the moment, Attero’s 36,000-tonstreamlining the manufacturing process. The company’s reprocessing plant in Roorkee, Uttarakhand, is the onlygame-changing approach, which also involves texturing one of its kind in India. The plant handles e-waste fedthe cell surface to optimize light capture, manages to into it by an extensive logistics network servicing 20boost the efficiency of low-cost multi-crystalline cells to major Indian cities.roughly 18%, a rating that can usually only be found inmore costly mono-crystalline cells. The company plans The company employs a first-of-its-kind metallurgicalto begin shipping standard-sized multi-crystalline wafers process developed in its own R&D centres, combinedthat are 200 microns thick by 2013. By dramatically with mechanical separation techniques developed inreducing manufacturing costs, 1366 Technologies is collaboration with a leading US company. Accordingadvancing importantly in closing the price gap between to Attero, India’s electronic industry is growing by 20%solar energy and fossil fuels. 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
  23. 23. Energy and Environment Energy and EnvironmentDriptech EcoMotors InternationalPeter Frykman, Founder and CEO Peter Hofbauer, Chief Technical OfficerLocation: CA, USA Location: MI, USANumber of Employees: 17 Number of Employees: 28Year Founded: 2008 Year Founded: 2008Driptech, inc. Telephone: +1 415 793 6735 EcoMotors International Telephone: +1 313 294 57012580 Wyandotte St. Suite B E-mail: 17000 Federal Dr., Suite 200 Website: www.ecomotors.comMountain View, CA 94043 Website: Allen Park, MI 48101USA USADriptech designs revolutionary irrigation Ecomotors introduces a revolutionarysystems for small farmers in the concept for diesel motors that promisesdeveloping world to halve carbon emissionsGlobal climate change and the population explosion are Ecomotors’ new “opoc” (opposed piston, opposedcombining forces to make water an increasingly scarce cylinder) architecture deftly combines the power of acommodity. Today, the average person in the developing four-stroke engine with the simplicity of a two-strokeworld only has access to 20% of the water that would design. The motor, which can run on diesel fuel,have been available only a few generations ago. gasoline or ethanol, employs modules, each of which isConservation is the fastest and most economical way of composed of two opposed cylinders, each containingsharing water resources more efficiently, and Driptech two pistons that operate in opposing directions and areis breaking new ground in designing easy to build, connected to a central crankshaft. The design eliminateshigh-end irrigation systems for farmers in the developing the conventional engine’s cylinder head and valve trains,world who only need to irrigate a relatively small piece which means that the motor can be significantly lighterof land. The Silicon Valley-based company, which also than conventional models; since the pistons workhas offices in Pune (India) and Beijing (China), sees against each other, they only need to travel one-half theaffordable irrigation as a crucial step in the fight against distance of a standard piston. In short, they producepoverty. Driptech uses standard flexible tubing, which twice the power with one-half the effort. Opoc motorsdrips water directly on growing plants rather than relying can have multiple modules, and depending on poweron flood irrigation in which most of the water either requirements, modules that are not needed can beseeps into the ground or evaporates before it reaches shut down. In addition, the engines employ an electricthe plant. The idea is hardly revolutionary, but Driptech motor that acts as a supercharger which enhances thehas pioneered a proprietary design that significantly exhaust turbocharger and thus dramatically increasesreduces the hardware required and has automated the the motor’s compression. The result is a lighter motormanufacturing process. These improvements reduce that is nearly twice as efficient as conventional motors,the start-up costs by 40% to 80% and produce systems while producing just as much power. While electric carthat are longer lasting and more reliable than anything motors are still trying to deal with the high price andelse that has hit the market so far. Driptech’s most unreliability of the batteries needed to provide power,significant contribution, however, is its decision to focus Ecomotor’s opoc design promises an ingenious interimon a segment of the population that has been largely solution until a viable alternative to fossil fuels can beignored until now and, yet, is increasingly critical to development. Technology Pioneers 2012 | 23
  24. 24. Energy and Environment Energy and EnvironmentElectro Power Systems SpA First Energy Private LimitedAdriano Marconetto, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Mahesh Yagnaraman, Managing Director and CEOLocation: Torino, Italy Location: Pune, IndiaNumber of Employees: 48 Number of Employees: 55Year Founded: 2005 Year Founded: 2009Electro Power Systems SpA Telephone: +39 011 225 8211 First Energy Private Limited Telephone: + 91 20 6721 0500via Livorno 60 c/o Environment Park E-mail: B 101 -105 B Wing Signet Corner E-mail: oorja@firstenergy.inTorino, 10143 Website: S No 134, Baner Road, Pune 411057 Website: www.firstenergy.inItaly Maharashtra , IndiaElectro Power Systems’ fuel cells First Energy Private’s revolutionaryguarantee back up power in remote cooking stoves help save theareas environment while making life more affordable in rural villagesWhen a broadband or mobile phone networkexperiences even a brief power outage, the loss ofcommunications can have catastrophic results, not Finding fuel for cooking is a major problem in many ruraljust for customers relying on their cell phones and villages in developing countries. The most commonBlackberries to stay in touch but also for the phone fuel in India is wood or kerosene. Wood is often hardcompany which risks being seen as unreliable. Backup to come by and in densely populated areas there is thepower, usually from diesel generators, is essential danger of stripping the local countryside bare. Keroseneto guaranteeing continued service. The downside is expensive and often contributes to air pollution andis that providing fuel and maintenance to remote respiratory problems. First Energy Private Ltd’s solutioninstallations in difficult terrain is both time consuming is an inexpensive, highly efficient cooking stove, whichand expensive. Electro Power Systems’ revolutionary burns biomass pellets, known as “oorja” that are madenew fuel cell technology makes the most of this expense from the compressed residue of agricultural by-productsand unnecessary effort by recharging automatically and rely on a radically new biomass gasificationand dramatically reducing the need for maintenance. technology developed and patented by the IndianDuring normal operations, Electro Power’s fuel cells Institute of Science in Bangalore. The pellet stoves makeuse standard power to electrolyse hydrogen from water it possible for an Indian family to serve a meal for five forand recharge themselves. If the power goes off, the cell roughly one rupee per person. When the demand forkicks in automatically and provides power until regular pellets began driving prices up, First Energy introducedcurrent is restored, at which point the cell begins to technology to spur production locally. Not only are thereplenish itself once again. Hardly any carbon emissions stoves three times as efficient as conventional stoves,result from Electro Power’s manufacturing process, but they are also virtually smokeless. Estimates are thatand once the cell begins operating the only emission is the pellets cut down carbon emissions and particulateswater, which is used to generate more hydrogen when in the air by up to 70%. Operating through some 3,000normal power is restored. Electro Power Systems has village entrepreneurs and dealers, First Energy hasthe largest installed base of functioning fuel cells in sold stoves to some 485,000 households in five IndianEurope and is developing operations in Asia and Latin states and contends that they have already savedAmerica. Its emphasis on maintaining close contact with around 32,000 tons of fuel. The goal is to reach onefuel cell development in leading university research labs million households in the next three years and become aensures its position as a cutting edge market leader in market leader in other developing countries, as well as athe field. significant force in the fight to control carbon emissions.24 | World Economic Forum
  25. 25. Energy and Environment Energy and EnvironmentJoule Unlimited Picarro Inc.Noubar Afeyan, Founder and Chairman Michael Woelk, Chief Executive OfficerLocation: MA, USA Location: CA, USANumber of Employees: 84 Number of Employees: 90Year Founded: 2007 Year Founded: 1998Joule Unlimited Telephone: +1 617 354 6100 Picarro, Inc. Telephone: +1 408 962 390083 Rogers Street E-mail: 3105 Patrick Henry Dr. E-mail: info@picarro.comCambridge, MA 02142 Website: Santa Clara, CA 95054 Website: www.picarro.comUSA USAJoule Unlimited turns to genetically Picarro pushes the envelope inmodified microorganisms to change developing the world’s highestwaste directly into biofuel with a little help performance gas analysersfrom the sun In a world increasingly conscious of the impact ofWhile manufacturing ethanol from biomass often greenhouse gases on climate change, the precisionseems to create nearly as many problems as it solves, measurement of gas emissions is taking on criticalthe industry is far from giving up. Joule Unlimited is importance. Picarro’s wide range of high performanceapproaching the problem with a dramatic new strategy. gas analysing equipment serves a wide spectrumInstead of trying to convert conventional agricultural ranging from atmospheric scientists to local publicproducts such as corn or switch grass into fuel, Joule utilities. The latter is particularly relevant since hydraulicis relying on genetically modified microorganisms, oil shale fracturing, known as fracking, has suddenlyinjected carbon dioxide obtained from industrial made natural gas abundantly available. Burning naturalpartners and sunlight to turn waste pumped into giant gas creates one-half the carbon emissions of bioreactors into a fuel that can be used without Unfortunately, natural gas is mostly methane, which isfurther refinement in conventional diesel engines. The 20 times, as a greenhouse gas, as potent as carbonestimated cost, taking into account current subsidies, dioxide. Spotting gas leaks is now a priority, andwould be roughly US$ 50 a barrel. Joule estimates that Picarro, which employs a laser-based cavity ring-downits technology could produce a yearly yield of up to spectrometer, which can be put in the back of a car and20,000 gallons of ethanol per acre. The trick is to modify can detect leaks on any street in a matter of minutes.the metabolism of a specific organism, a micro-algae, A city’s gas leaks can be mapped in one or two weeks.often known as cyanobacteria, to produce alkanes, A recent assessment by Picarro showed that Bostona hydrocarbon that mixes readily with diesel fuel. In and San Francisco both have invisible methane plumescontrast to other alternative fuels, Joule’s version needs hovering overhead that are 15 times the normal globalno further refining and can easily blend in with current level. As more countries opt for natural gas overdistribution networks. Joule has just leased 1,200 acres nuclear power, this type of measurement becomesin New Mexico for a test site that can eventually be increasingly critical. Picarro has been tapped to developscaled up to 5,000 acres. If it works as planned, Joule sophisticated sensors that will help assess gas leaks atwill have succeeded in solving three crucial problems the national and regional level in the US. Picarro’s workfacing the world today: producing an affordable fuel of on precision laser measurements has made it a pioneerthe future, disposing of unwanted waste and finding in the effort to provide the hard data needed to movea profitable use for carbon dioxide, one of the prime beyond polemics in the climate change debate andsuspects in the debate over climate change. develop fact-based solutions. Technology Pioneers 2012 | 25
  26. 26. Energy and Environment Energy and EnvironmentProtean Electric Inc. Solazyme Inc.Robert Purcell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Wolfson, Chief Executive OfficerLocation: MI, USA Location: CA, USANumber of Employees: 85 Number of Employees: 100Year Founded: 2009 Year Founded: 2003Protean Electric Inc. Telephone: +1 248 740 5580 Solazyme inc. Telephone: +1 650 780 4777100 West Big Beaver Road, Suite 200 E-mail: 225 Gateway Boulevard E-mail: info@solazyme.comTroy, MI 48084 W: San Francisco, CA 94080 Website: www.solazyme.comUSA USAProtean Electric puts its motors in the Solazyme’s industrial biotechnologywheels of electric cars platform accelerates biofuel production by micro-algaeStandard automobile design puts the motor either infront or back. Protean Electric’s innovative approach is Solazyme’s unique contribution to the search forto replace the bulky conventional engine with smaller cost-effective biofuels is its adaptation of standardelectric motors in each of the vehicle’s wheels. The industrial fermentation equipment to accelerate the oil-company’s Protean Drive in-wheel electric drive system producing capabilities of micro-algae, often referred tonot only saves an enormous amount of interior space as cyanobacteria, to just a few days. Solazyme relies onand weight, but it also reduces the strain on the engine indirect photosynthesis and a proprietary strain of micro-by relying on each of the smaller motors to provide algae to speed the process. The system leveragesa portion of the torque required for acceleration. The a wide variety of feedstocks, including plant-baseddesign can easily be adapted as a hybrid extension sugars, such as sugarcane-based sucrose, corn-to more conventional engines. Hybrid vehicles based dextrose and sugar from other biomass sourcesrelying on Protean’s in-wheel drive system can rely including cellulosics. The petroleum substitutes that areon rechargeable batteries for short distance driving produced meet international industry standards andand can also cover longer distances if needed. When are compatible replacements for marine, motor vehiclebraking the vehicle, the energy is used to recharge and jet fuels; they can be used in standard enginesthe batteries. Protean Electric’s drive systems have without any need for adaptation. Current products arealready been adapted to a Volvo Recharge sedan and SoladieselRD for diesel engines; SoladieselHRF-76to the popular Ford F-150 pickup truck, which is able for ship engines; and Solajet for military and civilianto achieve speeds up to 100 miles an hour using the application testing. In 2010, Solazyme delivered 80,000electric drive system and can cover 100 miles or more, litres of algae-derived marine diesel and aviation jetdepending on the batteries used. Depending on the fuel to the US Navy. It was the largest delivery inneed for power, Protean’s drive system can be installed history of a non-ethanol alternative fuel that had beenin two or four of the vehicle’s wheels. The key to making 100% produced by microbial action. The US Navyit work is Protean’s central electronic control unit, which followed up with another order for 550,000 litres ofuses advanced software. Protean is currently working SoladieselHRF-76 marine fuel. The order put Soladieselwith a number of major vehicle manufacturers and is firmly in the front ranks of pioneers developingmeeting all international safety standards. When scaled alternative fuels.up for production, its revolutionary technology may havehelped define the car of the future.26 | World Economic Forum