Identity management, genetics, collaborative content, next-generation business intelligence, energy efficiency and medical breakthroughs are among the technologies that are set to have a profound impact on our lives going forward.
The World Economic Forum has announced 39 visionary companies selected as Technology Pioneers 2008, which cover a range of technologies including identity management on the Internet, understanding of individuals’ genetic information, robotic radiosurgery, pollution control materials, low-cost remote diagnosis solutions, virtual interface technologies, wiki-based projects and next-generation business intelligence solutions.
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.
The list of Technology Pioneers in the IT field is:
AdMob – USA: Omar Hamoui, Founder and Chief Executive Officer. AdMob is the world's largest mobile advertising marketplace. Founded in 2006, AdMob allows advertisers to reach their customers on the mobile Web and publishers to increase the value of their mobile sites. AdMob offers both advertisers and publishers the ability to target and personalize advertising to their customers in over 160 countries.
Arteris – France/USA: Charles Janac, President and Chief Executive Officer. Arteris SA is a start-up based in Paris, France and San José, California. The company was founded in 2003 by a group of semiconductor industry veterans. The company’s focus is on the next-generation of challenges associated with System-on-Chip (SoC) design: on-chip communications, or Network-on-Chip (NoC). Arteris is backed by an international set of venture capitalists and its management team brings experience from the communications, semiconductor, EDA, and IP industries.
Clearwire Corporation – USA: Craig O. McCaw, Founder and Chairman. Clearwire clearly has tomorrow in mind. The company operates a wireless broadband network designed for next-generation communications content and services. It offers high-speed Internet access in nearly three dozen markets in the US (primarily along the West Coast and in Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and the Midwest). It also offers services in Brussels, Belgium; Dublin, Ireland; in Denmark, through Danske Telecom; and in Mexico, through partner MVSNet. Clearwire was founded in 2003 and is controlled by wireless pioneer Craig McCaw. Clearwire launched its operations the following year.
Garlik Limited – UK: Tom Ilube, Chief Executive Officer. Garlik is a new company from the founding CEO of Egg Mike Harris, former Egg CIO Tom Ilube and British Computer Society president Professor Nigel Shadbolt. As the first company to develop a web-scale commercial application of semantic technology, Garlik will enable consumers to find and understand what personal information is in the public domain about them and manage how their identities appear online.
Imaginatik, UK: Mark Turrell, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer. Imaginatik is the long-time leader in enterprise Idea Management. Its flagship solution, Idea Central, is designed to elicit ideas and insights from employees and extended enterprise partners, provide a shared collaborative space to develop ideas, and is equipped with sophisticated tools to evaluate and select the top ideas for implementation. Idea Central has won numerous awards, and is in use at clients such as Georgia-Pacific, W. R. Grace, ChevronTexaco, Bayer AG, and Goodyear Tire & Rubber. Imaginatik's software and services have helped clients discover significant sources of additional revenue, as well as tangible cost savings, process improvements and an increased product pipeline.
Innovative Silicon, USA / Switzerland: Pierre Fazan, Chairman, Founder and Chief Technology Officer. Innovative Silicon (ISi) was founded in 2002 to develop and license the Z-RAM ultra-dense memory technology. Z-RAM is a new concept in memory technology: unlike conventional SRAM, which uses 6 transistors, or DRAM, which uses 1 transistor and a complicated capacitor, Z-RAM uses a single transistor – and nothing else – as the memory bitcell. The density and simplicity of this technology makes Z-RAM the lowest-cost memory technology – both as stand-alone memory and as embedded memory on microprocessors and other leading-edge semiconductors.
Kayak.com, USA: Paul English, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer. Kayak Buzz was the first airfare history tool when launched in November 2005. Several enhancements later, Kayak Buzz displays the lowest fares to the 25 most popular destinations from a traveler’s hometown, as found by Kayak users. Consumers can further specify the fare buzz for a region: World cities, US, Europe, Caribbean, South America, Asia, Africa and Australia/Oceania. The Buzz product was further enhanced last summer with the launch of Best Fare History, an option to view up to 100 fare/itinerary combinations for a specific city pair found by other Kayak users over the past 36 hours and Best Fare Trend Graph which charts pricing for city/date pairs found by Kayak.com users over the past 90 days.
Lumio, USA: Jonathan Curtiss, President and Chief Executive Officer. Lumio develops, patents, and sell intelligent optical modules for data input and output based around a core suite of virtual interface technologies. Lumio’s focus is in empowering OEM’s, system integrators, and system designers to integrate low cost, low overhead, and low foot print components that enable any flat surface to become interactive, employing a range of unique and ubiquitous Human Machine Interface (HMI) solutions. Established in May 2000 by Boaz Arnon and Amichai Turm to capitalize on the unique idea of creating a virtual keyboard interface for mobile data users; the Company has since dramatically deepened and broadened its IP portfolio.
Medio Systems, USA: Brian Lent, President and Chief Executive Officer. Medio Systems is the leading provider of mobile search and advertising solutions that help mobile operators implement the best customer experience and allow advertisers to reach their intended target audiences. Created specifically for mobile, Medio Mobile Search combines an intuitive, effortless user interface with powerful recommendation and personalization technologies.
Meraki, USA: Sanjit Biswas, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer. Meraki Networks builds products for wireless community networks. It offers an integrated package of software, hardware, and management services to build mesh networks. The company’s platform is used to connect communities, apartment complexes, or business districts to the Internet. Its Meraki Manage, is a Web-hosted service that enables clients to setup and monitor the Meraki network. The company’s access device, the Meraki Mini, is a small indoor access point designed for mesh networking. Its Meraki Mesh firmware allows extending one or more Internet connections through a network of Meraki repeaters. The company was founded in 2006 and is based in Mountain View, California.
Polar Rose, Sweden: Nikolaj Nyholm, Chief Executive Officer. Sweden based Polar Rose is the developer of automatic facial recognition with 3D modeling for visual search applications. Polar Rose was founded with unique expertise in automatic 3D modeling and pattern recognition pioneered by the company’s founder and CTO, Dr. Jan Erik Solem. Currently Polar Rose is in closed beta and will be officially launching its face matching product, called Bloom, later this year that will sort and add context to the Web of photos.
QlikTech International, USA: Mans Hultman, Chairman. QlikTech is the global leader in next-generation business intelligence solutions, offering sophisticated in-memory analysis and reporting solutions for enterprise and individual customers. QlikTech supports an open information architecture, where business information is broadly, affordably and quickly available to those who need it. QlikTech’s flagship product, QlikView, uses next-generation patented in-memory association technology to make sophisticated analysis dramatically easier to deploy, use and maintain. QlikView’s click driven, visually interactive interface is simple for end users to learn and use.
Roundbox, USA: Dennis Specht, Founder, Chief Executive Officer, President and Co-Chairman. Roundbox is a leading provider of mobile broadcast software solutions. The company provides client and server software spanning multiple network technologies to mobile operators. Roundbox's products help mobile operators take maximum advantage of broadcast and multicast to enhance both existing revenue-generating services as well as deploy new, differentiated ones. Roundbox is a private company based in Florham Park, New Jersey and is funded by premier venture capital firms.
SpeedBit, Israel: Ariel Yarnitsky, Chief Executive Officer. SpeedBit Ltd. was founded in 1999 in Haifa in the north of Israel. First launching Download Accelerator Plus with patented acceleration technology (now with 138 million registered users), SpeedBit continued by creating SpeedBit Video Accelerator for YouTube & iTunes, FileRatings.com and FileFlyer.com, with over over 60,000 new users joining the SpeedBit network every day. SpeedBit Ltd. is backed by Pitango venture capital and Yossi Vardi, the founding investor of ICQ the pioneering instant messenger that was sold to AOL in 1998, and managed by Ariel Yarnitsky, the former general manager of ICQ.
Transclick, USA: Robert E. Levin, Chief Executive Officer. Transclick is a wireless web services infrastructure company enabling customers to communicate via email, SmartPhone text or instant messaging with real-time language translation in 16 languages from any mobile phone, corporate enterprise portal or wireless PDA.
Wikimedia Foundation, USA: Florence Devouard, Chair. The Wikimedia Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organisation dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. The Wikimedia Foundation operates some of the largest collaboratively edited reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia, one of the 15 most visited websites in the world.
Yandex, Russia: Arcady Volozh, Chief Executive Officer. Yandex is the largest portal in Russian Internet today, which offers its users key internet services. According to research studies conducted by Gallup Media, FOM and Comcon, Yandex is the largest resource in Russian Internet, based on the audience size and internet penetration. Among services offered by Yandex are search engine, directory of sites by themes, free e-mail, latest news, and Spam protection system (Spamooborona), free web hosting (Narod), encyclopedia, dictionaries, comparison shopping system (Market) and many more. By 2006, our audience has reached 4 M visitors a day and continues to grow.