On December 3rd, the World Economic Forum (WEF) announced 26 companies as Technology Pioneers 2010. These companies were selected from more than 300 applications as the most innovative start-ups from around the world that will have a critical impact on the future of business and society. Previous winners include Google (2001), Gridpoint (2008), Nanosolar (2007), Recyclebank (2009), and Silver Spring Networks (2008).
"Entrepreneurship, innovation and technology have always played a key role in shaping and improving society. This proves to be even more the case during times of crisis, similar to the one the world faced this past year during the biggest recession in almost a century. New companies are already planting the seeds of recovery and the next wave of growth and progress," said André Schneider, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of the World Economic Forum.
Ten of the companies selected as Technology Pioneers 2010 are in the areas of Energy and Environment. The winners are listed below, along with video interviews:
BioFuelBox - BioFuelBox builds, owns and operates modular bio-refineries that recycle brown grease and trap grease and waste water sludge for companies and cities, converting it into premium clean burning fuel for local use. It eliminates the waste streams on site and shares part of the fuel profits with its customers.
Bloom Energy - Bloom Energy aims to change the way the world generates and consumes energy by converting a wide range of renewable and traditional fuels into electricity through a highly efficient electrochemical reaction, rather than combustion.
Boston-Power - Boston-Power is pioneering the use of lithium-ion and other materials capable of powering end applications ranging from portable consumer electronic devices to electric vehicles.
Care Electric Energia – CARE has designed a turbine system that generates energy from the natural flow of a river, without any alternation of its natural state. It provides fish passage facilities and does not dam the normal flow of materials in the river, conserving the fauna, vegetation and ecosystem.
Epuramat – Epuramat’s technology promises to revolutionize waste water treatment. Its Extreme Separator achieves an efficiency of up to 99% in terms of solid/liquid separation of organic and inorganic particles in wastewater and liquids – and it does it in only one treatment step.
eSolar – eSolar aims to become the first solar electricity company to reach parity with the cost of fossil fuel. It hopes to achieve that goal with technology that concentrates the sunlight of mirrors of one square metre to produce steam at centralized towers.
Lehigh Technologies – Lehigh Technologies manufactures very small, micron scale, engineered rubber powders from material derived from scrap tires using a proprietary, cryogenic, grinding technology. These powders are novel materials that are currently used in the manufacture of new tires and other rubber goods.
Metabolix – Metabolix aims to create a new class of materials that can serve as an alternative to petroleum-based plastics. It has developed bio-based and biodegradable plastics using both engineered microbes and engineered bio-energy crops that grow bio-plastic directly inside leaves and stems.
Serious Materials - The construction industry is responsible for 52% of C02 emissions worldwide, which is more than automobiles, transportation and industry combined. Serious Materials is tackling the problem with high tech building materials that include super insulating products.
Vihaan Networks Limited (VNL) – VNL has developed a solar-powered GSM system specifically for remote and rural areas where people have less than US$ 2 a month to spend on their phone bills. Its base stations, which cost one-quarter of traditional equipment, only require as much energy as a 50-watt light bulb.
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