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2 Indian firms in WEF Technology Pioneers list
Dharam Shourie in New York | December 04, 2006 12:04 IST
Two Indian companies -- Strand Life Sciences and Drishtee -- are among 47 'visionary' firms worldwide selected by the World Economic Forum as Technology Pioneers 2007 for their life-changing innovations.
The Technology Pioneers are nominated by the world's leading venture capital and technology companies and are recognised for their innovations that have the potential for long-term impact on business and society.
Strand Life Sciences develops algorithms and solutions in the area of bioinformatics. It helps in accelerating the drug discovery process by developing a suite of products for genomics, proteomics and silico-biology.
The products called Oyster include micro arrays, sequence analysis, and structure analysis products.
Drishtee is a rural network for delivering services and related information to the village community through an ICT (information and communication technologies) centre or information kiosk.
The kiosks are run by entrepreneurs selected from the villages and have been designed to follow a service-delivery based revenue model. Satyan Mishra is its managing director.
Announcing the Pioneers, managing director of the World Economic Forum Peter Torreele said it is evident that technology and innovation are playing a key role in the shifting power equation at the global level. Driving this shift is the tremendous amount of innovation taking place outside of traditional hubs.
"The wide geographic spread of this year's Technology Pioneers is a testament to this trend," he added.
More than half of the Pioneers are US-based companies with 13 located in California alone and six are in Britain.
Of the rest, India, the Netherlands, Israel and Singapore have two each and Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland one each.
The Pioneers are nominated in three broad categories -- biotechnology/health, energy and information technology.
The final selection from 225 nominees was made by a panel of leading technology experts appointed by the World Economic Forum. Technology Pioneers 2007 are invited to participate in the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting that will be held in Davos, Switzerland, from January 24 to 28 next.
Previous Technology Pioneers have included Autonomy, Cambridge Silicon Radio, Encore Software, Google, Millennium Pharmaceuticals and Napster.
WEF has selected 352 pioneers since the programme began in 2000.
The 'Pioneers' have deviced a variety of products including microscopic pill cameras, bio sensors that localise landmines, implantable medical devices for the treatment of brain tumours, mobile television service and blog search engines and open source web browsers.
Other innovations include video headsets, thin-film diamond coatings, solar air-conditioner equipment, paper batteries for music-playing greeting cards and even an automatic and compacting trash bin powered by solar energy.