The World Economic Forum announced today its 2021 Technology Pioneers, young and growing tech companies taking on top global concerns with innovative technologies and business models. From artificial intelligence (AI) to fintech, the 2021 Tech Pioneers cohort is using new tech to protect the climate, improve healthcare and much more.
“The 2021 cohort of Tech Pioneers includes many future headline makers at the forefront of their industries,” said Susan Nesbitt, Head of the Global Innovators Community, World Economic Forum. “These companies show great potential to not only shake up their industries but offer real solutions to global problems. They’ll bring great value to the World Economic Forum’s mission of improving the state of the world with their participation in the Technology Pioneers community.”
This year’s Technology Pioneers are emerging leaders in a wide range of industries that span healthcare, cleantech, AI, logistics and more. While at the cutting edge of their industries, many Technology Pioneers are also addressing global societal issues by using new tech to improve education options, address climate change issues and others.
Ceretai, for example, is a Technology Pioneer helping media companies uncover stereotypes and representation gaps in their content through automated diversity and equality analysis. Banyan Nation is using technology to support circular economy climate solutions in India. Century Tech is supporting personalized education options through combined innovations in learning science, AI and neuroscience.
This year’s cohort has the highest gender diversity yet, with over 30% of companies led by women. There are also 26 economies represented this year, with the United Arab Emirates, El Salvador, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe represented for the first time. All the 2021 Technology Pioneers are bringing great innovation to their regions.
FlexFinTx, for example, is building self-sovereign digital identities to help the over 400 million Africans that lack proper forms of identification. Meanwhile, Cambridge Industries is addressing climate change by developing sustainable city infrastructure to support waste-to-energy products.
Following their selection as Technology Pioneers, this year’s companies will join an impressive group of alumni that include many household names, such as Airbnb, Google, Kickstarter, Mozilla, Palantir Technologies, Spotify, TransferWise, Twitter and Wikimedia.
The 2021 cohort will also be invited to participate in World Economic Forum workshops events and high-level discussions throughout their two years in the community.
The 2021 Technology Pioneers include:
- Cambridge Industries, Ethiopia: Innovating next-generation urban infrastructure through sustainable city parks
- FlexFinTx, Zimbabwe: Building the next generation of identity management
- Kuda Technologies, Nigeria: Providing Africans with access to credit and free banking services
- Moringa School, Kenya:A workforce development platform serving African students
- mPharma, Ghana:Building good health in Africa through technology-driven healthcare
- Sokowatch, Kenya: Offering same-day delivery and working capital to African retailers
- AI Medical Service, Japan: Developing the world’s first endoscopic AI for gastric cancer
- Aspire, Singapore: Banking South-East Asia’s internet economy
- Avant Meats, China: Biotechnology for healthy, tasty meats made sustainably without animals
- Banyan Nation, India: Driving circular economy via technology-driven informal recycler integrative technology solutions
- Black Lake Technologies, China: Cloud-based collaboration software empowering manufacturers with real-time data
- Cinnamon, Japan: An AI platform to drive digital transformations
- Civic Ledger, Australia: Helping the world reduce its water footprint
- CredoLab, Singapore: Developing bank-grade digital credit scorecards built on mobile device metadata
- DoBrain, Republic of Korea: Game-based learning to unlock and optimize children’s potential
- Equota Energy, China: AI intelligence-based energy optimization, maintenance and carbon management company
- HiNounou, China: Using AI to promote healthy ageing and intergenerational solidarity
- Learnable, China: Interactive and explainable AI solutions on less data
- MakinaRocks, Republic of Korea:Making industrial technology intelligent and delivering it as transformative solutions
- mClinica, Singapore:Building the largest digital network of pharmacies in South-East Asia
- Minieye, China: Using cutting-edge computer vision technology to lead automotive industry change
- Ocean Protocol, Singapore: Unlocking the value of data – a new asset class
- Praava Health, Bangladesh: A healthcare platform providing high-quality digital health and in-clinic experiences
- SandStar, China: Providing leading computer vision technology for retail
- Shannon Technology, China: A language-understanding intelligent service powered by advanced AI technology
- Standard Energy, Republic of Korea:Manufacturer of vanadium ion batteries specifically for energy storage systems
- Videonetics Technology, India:AI and deep learning-powered video computing platform development
- Zyllem, Singapore:Software-as-a-service solution for logistics network management
- Aave, United Kingdom: Built Aave Protocol, an open source and non-custodial liquidity protocol
- Adhara, United Kingdom: Providing liquidity management and international payments for decentralized financial networks
- Avrios, Switzerland: Empowering companies to own the true cost of mobility
- Carbios, France: Green chemistry company providing an industrial solution to PET recycling
- Century Tech, United Kingdom: Developing AI-based learning technologies
- Ceretai, Sweden: Media diversity partner supporting companies with diversity strategies and insights
- CloudNC, United Kingdom: Making manufacturing autonomous
- Enapter, Italy: Providing green hydrogen technology through anion exchange membrane electrolyser manufacturing
- EnginZyme, Sweden: Developing the definitive technology platform for sustainable chemical production
- Greyparrot AI, United Kingdom: Waste recognition to increase transparency and automation in waste management
- Hydrogenious, Germany: Enabling high-performing hydrogen value chains globally.
- Parity Technologies, United Kingdom: Employing the blockchain pioneers who launched Ethereum, now building Polkadot
- Polymateria, United Kingdom: A new scalable solution for the plastic pollution pandemic
- Powell Software, France: Digital workplace solutions that improve the employee experience
- PQShield, United Kingdom: Protecting information for the quantum era
- Riaktr, Belgium: Developing software enabling telecom employees to make better data-driven decisions
- Senseon, United Kingdom: A full-stack cyber-defence capability for the future, today
- Algramo, Chile: A platform connecting smart-reusable packaging with internet-of-things dispensers
- Fondeadora, Mexico: Eliminating the inefficiencies related to the traditional banking system
- Hugo Technologies, El Salvador: A multi-category marketplace for everyday products and services
- Truora, Colombia: Fast, innovative, safe background checks and identity theft detection solutions
- CHEQ, Israel: A global leader in customer acquisition security
- CropX, Israel: Revolutionizing soil sensing, leading farmers into the connected soil era
- MDClone, Israel: Self-service, big data, healthcare platform
- MyndYou, Israel: Improving healthcare quality and lowering costs, engaging and listening
- Phinergy, Israel: Clean energy generation and storage, using metals as energy carriers
- Souqalmal, UAE: Building an online financial education platform in the Middle East
- 54gene, USA: Equalizing precision medicine
- Airside Mobile, USA: Empowering businesses and people with privacy-based identity management
- Akash Systems, USA: Manufacturing artificial diamond radios and satellites for low-cost internet access
- AllStripes Research, USA: Unlocking new treatments for people affected by rare disease
- Calibrate, USA: A telemedicine metabolic health business
- CloudKnox, USA:Enabling organizations to implement least-privilege and zero-trust architecture
- Crowdz, USA: Building a global ecosystem for good for receivables
- DefinedCrowd, USA: A trusted data partner for AI
- Diligent Robotics, USA: Building robots to support and empower patient care teams
- Duality Technologies, USA: Enabling privacy-preserving collaboration and artificial intelligence on sensitive data
- Dyndrite, USA: Powering the next generation of digital manufacturing
- Enko Chem, USA:Crop health solutions, discovered and designed with intention
- Evernym, USA:Leading globally in verifiable credential technology
- FinMkt, USA: Omni channel and scalable point of sale financing software-as-a-service solutions
- Gatik, USA: Developing and operating autonomous vehicles for B2B short-haul logistics
- Gro Intelligence, USA: An AI-powered decision engine where ecology meets economy
- Hazel Technologies, USA: Dedicated to solving the problem of food waste
- HumanFirst, USA: Healthcare coming home, starting with digital clinical measures
- Hypergiant, USA: Focusing critical infrastructure, space and defence using enterprise AI
- Ionomr, Canada: Commercializing advanced ion-exchange materials to enable the hydrogen economy
- January, USA: Analysing blood sugar and diet for diabetes control and prevention
- Jopwell, USA: A diversity, equity and inclusion tech and human capital solution
- Journera, USA: Helping brands improve marketing, customer experience and operations
- Kobold Metals, USA: Deploying vanguard scientific computing to discover key battery material deposits
- Kyndi, USA: Accurate and fast answers to any natural language question
- LiveLike, USA: Converting passive audiences into engaged communities
- Metabiota, USA: Building resiliency products and services for infectious disease threats
- Mori, USA: Reducing waste and creating more sustainable supply chains
- Natural Fiber Welding, USA: Creating circular and sustainable materials from plants and natural fibres
- Numina, USA: Measuring street-level activity, privacy-first, to make the real world queryable
- Pachama, USA: A tech-verified marketplace for nature-based carbon removals
- Parsley Health, USA: Reversing chronic conditions with cutting-edge holistic medicine
- Patientory, USA: Empowering users with insights from health data, improving health outcomes
- Propel, USA: Helping low-income Americans make it through the month, every month
- Propy, USA: An end-to-end real estate transaction platform facilitating transactions online
- Reelgood, USA: An all-in-one streaming TV guide
- Sinai Technologies, USA: Software to cost-effectively measure, analyse, price and reduce emissions
- Skyhive, Canada: Optimizing human economies for companies, communities and countries
- Tellus You Care:Improving eldercare with dignity and privacy
- Unit21, USA: The command centre for risk, fraud and compliance
- Upguard, USA: A cybersecurity platform that helps global organizations prevent data breaches
- WooBloo, USA: Passionate about disrupting the smart home space
- Wright Electric, USA: Building the next generation of aircraft – large, zero-emissions aircraft
- Xanadu Quantum Technologies, Canada:A quantum technology company building fault-tolerant quantum computers using photonics
- ZeroAvia, USA: The first practical zero-emissions, hydrogen-fuelled, powertrain technology provider for aviation
Maintenance Tips for Second-Hand Cars
With a shortage of semiconductors continuing to plague the automotive industry, many are instead turning to the second-hand market to source a bargain on their next car purchase – resulting in a boom in second-hand car sales. Second-hand cars, while cheaper to purchase initially, can present problems quicker without proper maintenance. Here are some simple ways to maintain your second-hand vehicle.
Read the Manual and Service History
The first thing you should endeavour to do with any second-hand car purchase is to scrutinise your car’s service history book and user manual. The former will give you crucial information on prior issues that have cropped up with the car, either giving you an idea of what may fail next or what not to worry about, while the latter gives you important details regarding points of maintenance on your car: where your oil pan is, where the safe anchor points for trolley jacks are, and the location of various parts of the engine.
Keep Your Oil Fresh
One key way you can ensure the longevity of your second hand vehicle’s engine is to learn how to replace its engine oil, and to replace its engine oil regularly. The oil cleans and lubricates the engine, preventing debris from clogging moving parts and causing wear. Over time, the oil becomes dirty with this debris, and can eventually pose a threat to the engine’s safe running itself. New oil ensures the engine stays clean, and keeps it running for longer.
Keep a Regular Service Schedule
As with any vehicle, taking your second-hand car in for regular appointments with a mechanic can keep on top of potential problems before they cause more issues; booking a car service online makes managing your car’s service schedule easy, and can make sure that your car remains healthy and well-maintained thanks to regular check-ups via a professional pair of eyes. Regular servicing can also reduce the potential incurred costs from failed MOTs.
Clean Your Interior
Keeping your car’s interior clean might seem like a relatively insignificant task with regard to your car’s overall maintenance, however taking car of the surfaces and fabrics in your car can increase their lifespan, reducing the need for potential re-upholstery and preserving your personal comfort while driving. Regularly vacuuming footwell mats and seat cushions can stave off wear and tear, while regularly cleaning and polishing trim can preserve their condition.
Lastly, but by no means least, your driving habits can have a profound effect on the life span of your vehicle. Those who drive fast and brake hard are sure to encounter more issues quicker than those who adopt safe driving techniques and approach the road with a sense of calm. Simple things like coasting into corners and accelerating at a steady pace can ensure your brakes, suspension and engine live their longest possible life, giving you a great run with your new second-hand vehicle.
Choosing the Best Engine Hoist for your Garage
An engine hoist is an extremely valuable piece of equipment. It will allow you to remove an engine from a vehicle easily, without putting yourself or others in danger. People have been using ropes and pulleys for centuries to lift heavy objects – and some modern engine hoists work via the same principles. However, there are a few alternatives which offer distinct advantages.
So, what’s the best kind of engine hoist for your garage? Let’s look at choosing the best engine hoist for your next car repair job.
The manual hoist uses old-fashioned pulleys and cords to lift a heavy object. These tend to be the simplest option, and therefore the cheapest. Simply pull on the chain, and the other chain will move. The main drawback here is that the manual hoist needs to be suspended above the room. That means that you’ll need a suitably-rated ceiling that’s capable of carrying the load.
A manual chain can allow a single person to lift tonnes of weight, since the arrangement of pulleys will result in a larger transfer of force. The cost is that you’ll be moving the chain a large distance to move the engine just a small one.
Hydraulic hoists work using fluid, spread over multiple vessels. By reducing or increasing the amount of fluid in one vessel, you can change the amount of fluid in another, attached by a length of hose. In this way, you can push or pull heavy loads. A telescopic boom arm actually does the lifting, with the help of pumps, cylinders, and oil.
Hydraulic hoists are positioned on the ground rather than the ceiling, and they tend to come with plenty of castors so that they can be moved from one side of the workspace to the next. The relative mobility of the hydraulic hoist puts it at a considerable advantage over the mechanical one in situations where you need to be flexible. You can even use a hydraulic hoist outdoors.
The electric hoist is similar to the manual one, except that you don’t have to pull on the chain – an electric motor will do that for you. This makes life much more convenient – though you can expect to pay a little extra for the remote-control console. Electric hoists tend to be underpowered in comparison to hydraulic ones, which might be something to consider if you’re lifting loads heavier than a few hundred kilos.
Electric hoists tend to be operated by a single dangling button, which means that you might not have the same degree of precise control as you do on a manual hoist. For most applications, however, this won’t be an issue.
Tech Start-ups Key to Africa’s Digital Transformation but Urgently Need Investment
The World Economic Forum’s latest report, “Attracting Investment and Accelerating Adoption for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Africa” analyses the challenges Africa faces in joining the global knowledge-based digital economy and presents a set of tangible strategies for the region’s governments to accelerate the transition.
The Forum’s report, written in collaboration with Deloitte, comes just weeks after the announcement by Google of a $1 billion investment to support digital transformation across Africa, which centres on laying a new subsea cable between Europe and Africa that will multiply the continent’s digital network capacity by 20, leading to an estimated 1.7 million new jobs by 2025. Africa’s digital economy could contribute nearly $180 billion to the region’s growth by the by mid-decade. Yet with only 39% of the population using the internet, Africa is currently the world’s least connected continent.
Tech start-ups such as Kenya’s mobile money solution Mpesa and online retail giant Jumia, Africa’s first unicorn, represent what the continent’s vibrant small business sector is capable of. Despite raising $1.2 billion of new capital in 2020 – a six-fold increase in five years – this represents less than 1% of the $156 billion raised by US start-ups in the same year. Meanwhile, Africa’s investment in R&D was just 0.42% of GDP in 2019 – less than a quarter of the global average of 1.7%.
“African governments urgently need to drive greater investment in the tech sector and the knowledge economy,” said Chido Munyati, Head of Africa Division at the World Economic Forum. “Policy-makers can make a difference by reducing the burden of regulation, embedding incentives within legislation and investing in science and technology skills.”
The report breaks down these three policy enablers:
- Pass legislation such as “Start-up Acts” designed to spur private sector innovation, reduce the burden of regulation and promote entrepreneurship, in which Tunisia and Senegal are leading the way.
- Embed incentives for start-ups in legislation, such as start-up grants, rebates on efficiency gains through technology implementation, co-investment of critical infrastructure, tax-free operations for the early years, and incentives for R&D.
- Invest in workforce education, skills and competencies. Currently, only 2% of Africa’s university-age population holds a STEM-related (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) degree.
However, the analysis of 188 government incentives for business across 32 African countries finds that just 14 incentives – fewer than 10% – facilitate investment in Fourth Industrial Revolution technology. And most of these incentive schemes lack an efficient monitoring and evaluation system to gauge their effectiveness.
Delia Ndlovu, Africa Chair, Deloitte, believes that digital transformation promises to boost economic growth in Africa: “Connecting the region to the global digital economy will not only open new avenues of opportunity for small businesses, but will also increase intra-Africa trade which is low at 16% compared to markets such as intra-European trade which is approximately 65% to 70%.”
African governments have much to learn from each other. In Côte d’Ivoire, an R&D tax incentive has been created to direct investment away from commodities and into innovation. In South Africa, the Automotive Investment Transformation Fund created by the largest manufacturers in the country is facilitating the development of a diverse supplier base to realise the 60% local content target set by the Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP). In Tunisia, the government offers state salaries for up to three start-up founders per company during the first year of operations, with a right to return to their old jobs if the venture fails.
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