The World Economic Forum announced today 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 analyse 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.
The 2020 Technology Pioneers include:
- ABC Technology, People’s Republic of China. Extracts insights automatically from unstructured data and improves decision-making
- ABEJA, Japan. End-to-end artificial intelligence solutions using a self-developed platform
- Banuba, Hong Kong SAR. Specializing in computer vision and shaping a future beyond cameras
- BigSpring, Singapore. Lifelong skilling with measurable return on investment
- Bitmark, Taiwan, China. Restores trust in data
- Coda Payments, Singapore. Monetization in emerging markets for digital content providers
- CureApp, Japan. Prescription digital therapeutics to treat medical disorders and diseases
- Genetron Health, People’s Republic of China. Precision oncology R&D to prevent and cure cancer in China
- GuanData, People’s Republic of China. Committed to making smarter decisions and enabling intelligent enterprise
- K2 Data Technology, People’s Republic of China. An industrial big data and artificial intelligence company
- Lunit, Republic of Korea. Using artificial intelligence to conquer cancer
- Sensoro, People’s Republic of China. Technology services devoted to sensing everything intelligently
- StashAway, Singapore. A digital wealth management platform aimed at building long-term wealth
- Stellapps, India. Data-led, internet of things-based, farm-to-consumer dairy supply chain digitization
- Veridium Labs, Hong Kong SAR. Fintech focused on unlocking the trillion-dollar natural capital asset class
- Xtransfer, People’s Republic of China. Making small and medium-sized enterprise financial services simple and accessible
- ZestMoney, India. Artificial intelligence-based digital lending platform disbursing affordable credit to millions
- Ada Health, Germany. A digital front door to the future of health
- Akselos, Switzerland. Using real-time digital twins to accelerate the energy transition
- Alpine Quantum Technologies, Austria. Realizes turn-key quantum solutions to address second quantum revolution challenges
- Chainlink, UK. Connecting blockchain smart contracts with real-world data
- Climeworks, Switzerland. Empowering climate positiveness by permanently removing carbon dioxide from the air
- ComplyAdvantage, UK. Reinventing money-laundering data using machine-learning technology
- Dawex, France. A data exchange technology company operating a data marketplace
- Dorae, UK. The physical trade cloud
- Eigen Technologies, UK. Transforming documents into data to drive better, faster business outcomes
- Elliptic, UK. Protecting businesses against financial crime in crypto
- Enevo, Finland. Data analytics and automated logistics software for the waste industry
- Haven, UK. A transportation management system for international shippers
- IMMO Investment, UK. Using technology to simplify real estate sales, rentals and investments
- Job Today, Luxembourg. A leading hiring app in the UK and Spain
- Kalido, UK. Fuelling prosperity through artificial intelligence-powered people and opportunity matching
- MakerDAO, Denmark. Inclusive and transparent platform for economic empowerment on the blockchain
- Mirakl, France. A platform strategy to compete fairly in a digital economy
- Nextail, Spain. Smart retail platform empowering fashion merchandisers
- Oura Ring, Finland. Democratizing health information
- ProGlove, Germany. A leader in industrial wearables
- Ripjar, UK. Products to fight financial crime and manage risk
- Starling Bank, UK. A digital bank app providing retail accounts and banking services
- Streetbees, UK. Market research meets technology: real data in real time
- Wingcopter, Germany. Manufacturer of unmanned, electric-powered, vertical take-off and landing aircraft
- CargoX, Brazil. An online Latin American trucking system connecting loads with carriers
- Descomplica, Brazil. Pairing education and tech for classes reaching millions of students
- Ripio, Argentina. Gateway to the new digital economy in Latin America
- The Not Company, Chile. Using artificial intelligence to help develop food products from plants
Middle East and Africa
- 3d Signals, Israel. Plug-and-play factory digitalization for improved productivity
- Aleph Farms, Israel. Leading a sustainable food system to nurture a thriving planet
- MorphiSec, Israel. Deterministic endpoint protection against fileless attacks and evasive malware
- Optibus, Israel. A high-tech mobility platform improving mass transportation in cities
- Prospera, Israel. Transforming how food is grown with data and artificial intelligence
- Seebo, Israel. Helping manufacturers increase capacity and prevent losses using artificial intelligence
- Lori Systems, Kenya. Tech-driven logistics services company seamlessly coordinating haulage across frontier markets
- Twiga Foods, Kenya. A marketplace focused on lowering food costs in African cities
- Air Protein, USA. Making air-based meat to sustainably feed the future
- Avanci, USA. One-stop access to essential patented technology for connected devices
- Axonify, Canada. A modern learning solution for frontline employees that actually works
- Boston Metal, USA. Game-changing metals production: better, less expensive steel without carbon emissions
- Brightseed, USA. Using artificial intelligence to discover phytonutrients for health and wellness
- Carbon Engineering, Canada. Removing carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere at large scale
- Clarity AI, USA. Tech platform analysing the societal impact of investments and organizations
- DataVisor, USA. A fraud detection platform powered by transformational artificial intelligence technology
- DEVCON, USA. Artificial intelligence-powered enterprise security software for all industries
- Dragos, USA. An industrial cybersecurity technology and services company
- EdCast, USA. Artificial intelligence-powered knowledge cloud for unified discovery and personalized learning
- Ellevest, USA. On a mission to get more money into women’s hands
- Energy Vault, USA. Enables renewable energy to provide baseload power 24/7
- Enveil, USA. Pioneering data security to protect data in use
- EquityZen, USA. A marketplace for private company shareholders and investors
- Fiddler Labs, USA. Delivering explainable artificial intelligence with trust, visibility and insights built in
- Foghorn Systems, USA. Deriving machine learning and artificial intelligence-powered insights to organizations
- Guideline, USA. A retirement company offering a fully automated 401(k)
- Innowatts, USA. Powering the energy transition forward with artificial intelligence
- Instrumental, USA. Leveraging artificial intelligence to find and fix manufacturing process issues
- Integris Software, USA. Data privacy automation
- Kebotix, USA. Artificial intelligence and robotics-powered materials platform
- Knotch, USA. Content intelligence platform for brands that independently measures content marketing
- Lavva, USA. Vegan yoghurt made with real ingredients and zero added sugar
- Lightning Labs, USA. Technology for faster, cheaper, global digital payments
- Metawave, USA. Advancing automotive radar sensors and boosting the deployment of 5G
- MindBridge, Canada. Technology for restoring trust in financial data
- Peek, USA. Connecting the world through experiences with a double-sided marketplace
- Phylagen, USA. Arming organizations with the power of environmental genomics and data
- Piano Software, USA. Software-as-a-service platform offering analytics, personalization and subscription
- Polystyvert, Canada. Implementing a circular economy for petroleum-based plastics
- Remix, USA. Helping cities around the world envision their mobility future
- Rize, USA. Next-generation 3D additive manufacturing
- Roadbotics, USA. Empowering communities to make data-driven infrastructure decisions
- SecurityScorecard, USA. A global leader in cybersecurity ratings
- Sherlock Biosciences, USA. Making molecular diagnostics better, faster and more affordable
- Shippo, USA. A shipping platform for 21st-century e-commerce
- Smart Wires, USA. A “valve” that increases power grid transfer capacity by 20%-40%
- Takeoff Technologies, USA. Automated end-to-end micro-fulfilment solution that helps grocers thrive online
- Trace Genomics, USA. Deep machine learning and agronomic knowledge to advance food production
- Trulioo, Canada. Global identity verification
- Two Hat Security, Canada. Artificial intelligence-powered content moderation platform
- Veo Robotics, USA. Transforming factories by making machines responsive to humans
- Verge Genomics, USA. Next-generation drug discovery for neurodegenerative diseases
- Versatile, USA. Non-intrusive technology giving construction professionals hard data for easier decision-making
- Vim, USA. Enabling value-based healthcare decisions by aligning payer and provider incentives
- ZeroFox, USA. Safeguards modern organizations from dynamic security threats
About the Technology Pioneers:
The World Economic Forum believes that innovation is critical to the future well-being of society and to driving economic growth. Launched in 2000, the Technology Pioneer community comprises early to growth-stage companies from around the world that are involved in the design, development and deployment of new technologies and innovations, and are poised to make a significant impact on business and society.
Digital Technologies Could Help Uganda’s Economy Recover Faster
Uganda’s real gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2020 is projected to be between 0.4 and 1.7% compared to 5.6% in 2019, according to the latest edition of the Uganda Economic Update released by the World Bank today.
The report, “Digital Solutions In A Time of Crisis” shows the economy has suffered from the triple shocks of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) related economic and social disruption, a locust invasion and floods. Up to three million Ugandans could fall into poverty due to economic hardship and a lack of alternative means of survival.
Global and local restrictions in the movement of people and goods and provision of services to contain the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in lower consumption, loss of jobs and a 43% reduction in remittances. Due to a sharp drop in tax revenues, Government has also been forced to borrow much more to continue providing services to Ugandans.
Uganda, however, remains at low risk of debt distress based on the April 2020 joint World Bank-IMF debt sustainability analysis. With total debt service (interest and principal due) expected to average around 55 percent of government revenues over the next three years, there is a need to cut back on non-priority spending in order to provide essential public services such as health, education, water and sanitation and electricity.
A more widespread pandemic could pose significant risks to the outlook, as well as any further significant locust invasion. Weak economic growth in the post COVID-19 period will continue to reduce overall consumption and commodity demand. In addition, crude oil prices are expected to average $35 per barrel this year and $42 per barrel in 2021. Although this will limit external inflationary pressures for import-dependent Uganda, these prices are below the estimated breakeven price of $60 for oil production in Uganda. This could negatively impact Uganda’s prospects of becoming an oil producer within the next four to five years.
The increased use of digital technologies during the COVID-19 lockdown such as mobile money, on-line shopping, on-line education, digital disease surveillance and monitoring, and dissemination of public health messages shows the great potential to support faster economic recovery and strengthen resilience against similar shocks.
“The digital space in Uganda is very innovative – and has quickly adapted during the pandemic. Fintechs have offered payment options, and digital solutions have reinforced and enabled the health sector’s calls to social distance and limit movement and contact. These solutions, if upscaled and developed to their potential would boost the digital economy and maximize its benefits to Ugandans,” said Tony Thompson, World Bank Country Manager for Uganda.
The report points to the current national ID system as one of the successes of technological advancement, which can be leveraged to support more efficient e-government systems and authentication by the public and private sectors while expanding financial inclusion, strengthening social protection delivery, supporting immigration control and refugee management.
While Uganda has made reasonable technological strides, the analysis notes that it still lags with a phone penetration rate of 69.2% of the population, far below the average of 84%for Africa. There are gender and geographical gaps in access; for example, 46% t of female adults have access to mobile phone compared to 58% of male adults. Similarly, adults in urban areas are more likely to own mobile phones (70%) and have access to the internet (25%) compared to adults in rural areas (46%own phones and 5 percent have internet access).
The economic update makes several recommendations for the economy and ICT sector, including implementing supportive policies and regulation, review of taxation in the digital economy, leveraging technology to support the health sector and economic recovery through increased digitalization of agribusiness and manufacturing, expansion of social safety nets, and transparency and accountability of government’s response to COVID-19. It also recommends the development of a coherent strategy of ecosystem support and catalyzing regional and global integration of Uganda’s digital economy.
“There are areas of the economy that have shown resilience in the current crisis and by leveraging digital technologies are inventing new ways of operating and doing business,” said Richard Walker, World Bank Senior Economist for Uganda.
Safeguarding Your Mailbox from Spam, Hack & Phishing
An email goes a long way before getting to the addressee. After all, malicious software may be introduced in this chain or the server owner intentionally takes certain actions to obtain confidential information and damage the mail server by sending spam. In addition, the recipient may be an attacker and use the information received for a personal gain.
However, that’s not all. An additional problem is associated with the massive use of personal mobile devices to access corporate mail services. In the case of a device hack, the company’s reputation is damaged and important information is lost or stolen. Luckily, all problems can be solved comprehensively. There are email protection systems and the spam email checker Cleantalk email checker that can help you do that.
Email Security Methods
Comprehensive protection of information is aimed at the following tasks:
- Ensuring the unhindered receipt of letters by the addressee, without the possibility of their interception, opening, reading, as well as the prevention of possible forgery;
- Protection of information sent via e-mail from its distribution by an attacker without the knowledge of the sender;
- Blocking and the automatic deletion of spam email entries and attempts to hack a mail server.
To achieve all the above goals, traditional cryptography methods are used, while protection against possible forgery involves the use of the electronic digital signature. The technical side of the security issue most often involves the installation of a special, independently compiled software module (plug-in) for the mail client. This is usually enough because this small-sized additional software automatically encrypts letters and signs them. Possible vulnerabilities in such a set of security measures appear only in the following cases:
- The installation of clearly weak cryptographic algorithms;
- Malfunctioning cryptographic algorithms or protocols involved;
- Bookmarks originally made by the attacker into cryptographic algorithms that make it possible to crack email;
- Actions of a virus capable of intercepting an already decrypted message on the device of the addressee or gaining access to the keys of the sender’s machine.
With an integrated approach to protecting mail or when using professional solutions, these vulnerabilities are identified and eliminated.
Antispam Action Algorithm
After checking the received message, the solution determines its status: spam, possible spam, or not spam. When analyzing email contents, the following assessment criteria are applied:
- The blacklist of senders, as well as the list of spam phrases – If the sender is not present in the blacklist and contains no content considered as spam, the email is marked as not spam. If a sender is listed in the blacklist or there are “no-go” phrases in the email, the letter is blocked and doesn’t land in your mailbox.
- Headers – The header text is analyzed using the special algorithm, embedded images and links are checked as well.
- Email structure – By analyzing the email structure, its status can be determined as well.
Some services also check the IP address of a sender. In case the same IP is involved in many “email-sending” operations within a short period of time, it is considered a spam bot and all its activities are blocked on your end.
UN and Sony PlayStation team up with new virtual experience to raise gamers’ awareness of climate change
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and Sony PlayStation have teamed up to create an immersive virtual reality experience designed to increase global awareness about what a climate change-friendly lifestyle looks like.
For the first time, UNEP and Sony have collaborated using the DreamsTM platform to create an immersive video that seeks to bring viewers face to face with their individual carbon footprints. It takes the audience on a 5 minute journey through an average day, observing what they eat, how they travel and the homes they live in. The video ends with viewers witnessing a giant 34 meter high heaving ball illustrating the carbon footprint of an average person in a developed country.
“COVID has brought unprecedented disruption to how we live our lives, but now as we move out of lock-downs, we have an opportunity to develop new habits that can keep us within the safe limits of a 1.5 degree world. We hope that this ‘virtual reality check’ will show people how beautiful and possible these new lifestyle choices are” said Ligia Noronha, Director of UNEP’s Economy Division
As a member of the Playing for the Planet Alliance, launched in 2019 with the support of UNEP, Sony hopes to see more game designers becoming more deliberate about tackling climate change. The Alliance hosted a Green Mobile Green Jam with 11 companies in April that will see more companies integrate green activations into their games.
Explaining this project’s approach, lead illustrator Martin Nebelong said, “Virtual reality is an extraordinary storytelling medium for climate change – as an artist, I wanted to design a beautiful and sometimes frightening experience that shows the true scale of our emissions and the impacts we should expect to see. This is not possible in two dimensions.”
Speaking in support of the initiative, Kieren Mayers, Director of Environment and Technical Compliance at Sony PlayStation said, “Gaming reaches a huge audience worldwide, and has the power to inspire social change. Sony Group has a global environmental plan “Road to Zero”, and following, and following our commitment at the September 2019 UN Climate Summit in New York, we have partnered with UNEP to explore various ways to use gaming and virtual reality to educate and bring messages of hope – and are excited to see this video using DreamsTM as one of the first initiatives from this.”
Viewers will not need virtual reality devices to experience it – the video will also be streamed through Youtube in a 360 degree format so that viewers can interact with the experience on desktops or mobile devices. The video will also be shared via Earth School which has been visited by some 700,000 young people as a result of UNEP’s collaboration with TED-Ed for students and educators around the world.
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