Tuesday, February 21, 2012

MIT's Technology Review Names Suntech to 2012 TR50

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Technology Review today announced the 2012 TR50, the third annual list of the world’s most innovative technology companies. TR50 members are chosen by Technology Review’s editors, who look for public and private companies that over the last year have demonstrated original and valuable technology, are bringing technology to market at a significant scale, and are clearly influencing their competitors. Spanning energy, transportation, computing, Web and digital media, materials, and biomedicine, the companies on the list are using their inventions to reshape their industries and to transform how we live.

“The TR50 companies are leaders,” said Jason Pontin, editor in chief and publisher of Technology Review. “They are setting the agenda in their markets and prompting other companies to follow them.”

Companies included in the energy and materials categories reflect the invention of new technologies and also the ability of established companies to look at existing problems in innovative ways. Technology Review selected LanzaTech, which is turning carbon monoxide emissions into fuel; Shell for learning to exploit oil resources that were previously impractical to tap; Suntech for developing a low-cost way of making better silicon solar cells; and Wildcat Discovery for its use of high-speed methods to find materials that improve the performance of batteries. A new addition to the transportation category is WiTricity, which is making it more convenient to charge electric cars.

Many of the public companies in the computing category were selected for their ability to continue to innovate in an established market. For example, Apple’s Siri virtual assistant built into the iPhone 4S demonstrates a new kind of conversational voice operated interface; IBM’s flexible artificial-intelligence systems have the potential to assist people in many areas, including health care; and Samsung, which is rapidly becoming a major player in consumer electronics. Several newcomers to the Web and digital media category are private companies with big ideas. For example, Dropbox has made its mark in the previously sleepy world of online storage; OnLive allows users to access applications too powerful for their hardware to support; and Spotify’s digital music subscription service has succeeded where others have failed or had lackluster results.

Several of the companies included in the biomedicine category are approaching health care in a new way, such as PatientsLikeMe, which is transforming the notion of how a clinical trial must be conducted by encouraging patients with chronic conditions to share intimate details online and Athenahealth, which is reinventing health insurance as an exercise in information technology.

The 2012 TR50 list is featured in the March/April edition of Technology Review and on the Web at http://www.technologyreview.com/tr50/.

NOTE: A complete list of the 2012 TR50 follows.

About Technology Review, Inc.

Technology Review is an independent media company owned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. More than three million people around the globe read our publications, in five languages and on a variety of digital and print platforms. We publish Technology Review magazine, the world’s oldest technology magazine (established 1899); daily news, analysis, opinion, and video on www.technologyreview.com and several mobile apps; Business Impact, which explains how new technologies are transforming companies, disrupting markets, or creating entirely new industries; and live events including the annual Emtech MIT conference. Technology Review also owns the MIT Enterprise Forum, a community and events organization that fosters technology entrepreneurship with 28 chapters worldwide.