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WEF announces 100 new technology pioneers in 2020 cohort
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 17 - 06 - 2020

The World Economic Forum announced Tuesday its 2020 Technology Pioneers, future headline-makers addressing global issues with cutting-edge technology.
From artificial intelligence (AI) to carbon capture, this year's cohort is using innovations to protect the climate, improve healthcare and much more, helping us to reset society and build towards a better future.
"This year's class of Technology Pioneers are improving society and advancing their industries around the world," said Susan Nesbitt, head of the Global Innovators Community, World Economic Forum.
"These are the companies that think differently and stand out as potential game-changers. We're looking forward to the role they'll play in shaping the future of their industries."
Of the 100 firms selected, over one-quarter are female-led, more than double the industry average. These firms also come from diverse regions that stretch beyond traditional tech hubs, with companies using innovative technology in novel ways all around the world.
In Brazil, CargoX is digitizing trucking to optimize logistics that can improve the livelihood of truckers in the country.
India's ZestMoney is using its technology to transform the financial services industry, offering affordable credit to those who are unable to access this through traditional finance paths.
Each Tech Pioneer is impacting their country and their community in different ways. For example, Kenya's Twiga is lowering food costs in Africa by using B2B data to make food supply chains more efficient.
Other economies represented include: Argentina, Austria, Brazil, China, Chile, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, India, Israel, Japan, Kenya, South Korea, Luxembourg, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan (China), Spain, United States, United Kingdom.
As well as their regional diversity, this year's Technology Pioneers are at the cutting-edge of a wide range of industries that span smart cities, healthcare cleantech, finance, logistics and more.
For example, the US-based Metawave is using AI and machine learning to enhance automotive sensors with the capability to make cars smarter and safer. In China, Sensoro has developed Internet of Things solutions to enhance smart city capabilities around the world.
Many other Technology Pioneers are focusing their innovations on combating climate change. Polystyvert focuses on implementing a circular economy for plastics; Aleph Farms focuses on advancements of alternative means that can help promote a more sustainable food system.
In addition to their long-standing contributions to their industries, many Technology Pioneers are also using their tech to support COVID-19 responses around the world.
Some, like Sherlock Biosciences and Genetron Health, have helped develop rapid testing options for COVID-19. Another, Lunit, whose technology uses AI to analyze lung diseases from chest X-rays, has released its software for free online to help medical professions in the diagnostics and treatment of COVID-19 patients.
This year's cohort selection also marks the 20th anniversary of the Technology Pioneers community.
Many past recipients have gone on to become household names including, Airbnb, Google, Kickstarter, Mozilla, Palantir Technologies, Spotify, TransferWise, Twitter and Wikimedia.
Following their selections as Technology Pioneers, this year's firms will be invited to participate at World Economic Forum workshops, events and high-level discussions throughout their two years in the community.
Firms also have opportunities to work with policy-makers and private sector leaders to help define the global agenda on key issues. — SG


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