The World Economic Forum this week announced its 2017 class of Technology Pioneers, representing the world’s most innovative startups and scale-ups across several fields, including artificial intelligence and robotics, virtual and augmented reality, autonomous driving, and drones.
This year’s Tech Pioneers include Aclima, which develops sensor networks that advance environmental intelligence to improve human health; Konux, which combines smart sensors and AI-based analytics to help industrial and rail companies save costs; and Bluzelle Networks, whose blockchain platform produces applications that accelerate financial inclusion.
“We’ve reached a new phase in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said Fulvia Montresor, Head of Technology Pioneers at the World Economic Forum. “Pioneers are increasingly combining innovations like sensor technology, artificial intelligence and big data analysis to find real world applications in sectors that previously didn’t use them.”
For example, an innovation like blockchain was initially confined to virtual currencies. But now it is finding applications as a transparent platform for servicing energy markets, as demonstrated by Electron, and as enterprise software to issue and transfer financial assets, as shown by Chain.
Of the Technology Pioneers, 40% are based in Silicon Valley. But many countries are represented in the list, including Germany, Israel, and Singapore.
“It’s encouraging to see Tech Pioneers from different innovation hotspots around the world,” noted Montresor. “Technology will only help the world become a more prosperous and more equal place if its benefits all in society, wherever in the world.”
The newly selected Technology Pioneers will meet the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2017 in China later this month.