Energy And Technology Pioneers – Ten Companies To Watch In 2015

Energy data analytics, rural microgrids and smart home connectivity are among the activities of the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers 2015.
Published: Thu 11 Sep 2014

The World Economic Forum has selected 24 companies, most in the start-up stage, as transformational technology pioneers for 2015 in the Energy and Clean Tech and other technology sectors.

These companies, which were selected by an 82-member panel, are “at the forefront of their industries” and “have demonstrated the ability to harness creativity to design and create transformative solutions,” the Forum news release states.

From these 24 companies, Engerati has selected ten as being particularly topical.

Energy and clean tech

AutoGrid Systems, based in Redwood Shores, California, transforms data into the cleanest, cheapest source of power. The company’s Energy Data Platform (EDP) gives utilities, businesses, communities and individuals the ability to fine-tune power consumption and costs with big data and cloud-based software.

Cambrian Innovation, based in Boston, Massachusetts, uses bioelectric technology to cost-effectively clean wastewater and generate significant clean energy. The company’s flagship product is deployed at industrial facilities to reduce biological oxygen demand while generating the facilities’ electricity needs.

Mera Goa Micro Grid Power, based in New Delhi, India, operates low-cost microgrids that provide energy to India’s off-grid poor. The company’s village-level lighting facilities generate electricity through centrally located solar panels, store the generated electricity in batteries and distribute it across the village to power LED lights and mobile phone chargers in customer households.

Proterra, based in Greenville, South Carolina, designs and manufactures heavy-duty drive and energy storage systems, vehicle control systems and complete transit buses. The company’s zero-emission transit vehicles enable bus fleet operators to reduce operating costs while delivering clean, quiet power to the community.

Connectivity and smart infrastructure

Eta Devices, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, allows the mobile communications industry to reduce its power consumption. In base stations, the company’s technology leads to reduced power and space requirements, and allows the use of renewable energy to provide telecommunication services in off-grid regions.

SmartThings, based in Washington DC, is building an open platform for the Internet of Things enabling consumers to install connected devices and control them through a mobile app. The SmartThings platform makes homes smarter, more reactive and more enjoyable and gives homeowners peace of mind.

Digital networks

Ionic Security, based in Atlanta, Georgia, brings trust to distributed computing by providing individuals and organizations with native control over the circulation of their personal data in contextually relevant ways. With an approach that is agnostic to the device, network connection or application, Ionic Security aims to solve the data security problems at the intersection of cloud, mobility and analytics.

Materials

Silicor Materials, based in San Jose, California, has developed a new, more environmentally friendly method of manufacturing solar silicon for photovoltaic cell and module producers. It costs roughly half of what traditional electronic-grade silicon costs to produce, requires up to two-thirds less energy than competing methods, uses no hazardous chemicals and achieves comparable efficiencies.

Cybernetics

Avegant Corporation, based in Redwood City, California, produces the Avegant Glyph, a smart headphone integrating premium audio with virtual retinal display (VRD) technologies and physiological sensors. VRD mimics the way humans naturally see light, and projecting images directly onto the user’s retina makes them more lifelike and vivid.

HiBot Corporation, based in Tokyo, Japan, develops robotics that enable dangerous jobs to be performed in a safer and more reliable way, with a level of automation that allows robots to work remotely in complex environments while keeping the human operator in the loop. An example is the use of snake robot technology in applications ranging from inspection of pipes to intervention in nuclear power plants.

The World Economic Forum has been running the Technology Pioneers since 2000. Previous Pioneers have included Nest Labs (2014), Dropbox (2012), Spotify (2011), Twitter (2010), and Google (2002).