Two Canadian Firms Named to List of World’s 50 Smartest Tech Companies

Two Canadian firms have been identified among 2014’s 50 Smartest Companies in MIT Technology Review’s annual list of the world’s most innovative technology companies.

The honourees are nominated by MIT Technology Review’s editors, who look for companies that have demonstrated original and valuable technology over the last year, are bringing that technology to market at significant scale, and are clearly influencing their competitors.

The two Canadian companies are D-Wave Systems, based in Burnaby, BC, and DataWind, which identifies itself as Canadian (with officesin Montreal and Missussauga) but is noted on the list as being headquartered in London, UK. DataWind says it carries out its entire R&D operations for Android tablet, PC, and web access products from its hub in Montreal.

“At times it seems impossible to keep pace with important emerging technologies. This issue celebrates organizations at the forefront, displaying ‘disruptive innovation’ that will prove to surpass the competition, transform an industry, and change our lives,” said Jason Pontin, publisher and editor in chief of MIT Technology Review.

DataWind ranked 43rd while D-Wave ranked 40th.

“DataWind has an innovative approach: sell inexpensive hardware and make money instead on advertisements and apps. After beginning by selling inexpensive tablets in India, the company is now selling in several other countries and could significantly expand the tablet market,” he noted.

“We are honoured and humbled to be recognized by MIT Technology Review as one of the most innovative technology companies in the world,” said Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO of DataWind. “Such recognition provides further encouragement for us to pursue our vision of making the power of computing and internet access available to all.”

Says MIT of D-Wave: “It’s not clear whether it has invented quantum computers. But its machines solve certain problems remarkably well.” For example, 30 minutes is the time it took in one study for a conventional computer to solve a problem that D-Wave’s machines handled in less than half a second.