Radio, personal computers, electronic game systems, solar panels –the 20th century saw an explosion of technology innovation and the development of tools that radically transformed the way society lives, conducts business and pursues its leisure activities. Items that were the result of advances made in research laboratories have become commonplace. Increased understandings of cells, and the sequencing of the human genome, have introduced ideas and terms such as gene therapy and cloning. The constant pursuit of knowledge and information – and unrelenting market pressure for new, products – clearly indicates that the 21st century will see the continuation of inventive developments in a variety of fields. In line with its commitment to the improvement of the state of the world, the World Economic Forum invests in highlighting and fostering engagement with companies that are pioneers in developing and applying technologies with the potential to profoundly affect society and business. With innovation comes discourse, and as the potential to create “smart” gadgets, use genes to add and take away characteristics, and supply energy through fuel cells become reality, we need to examine the potential consequences of these developments – both positive and negative. The World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers programme – in conjunction with the programme’s strategic partners, Apax Partners Holdings Ltd and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu – identifies those companies around the world whose products are truly ground-breaking and could transform our lives. By integrating these voices in the debates over the regulatory and societal implications of these advances, the Forum seeks to have productive and informed discussion on the repercussions of their adoption into our lives. As Technology Pioneers illustrate, technology innovation will continue to affect society. At the Forum, we seek to promote dialogue and understanding on how these innovations will change and improve the state of our world. Global Agenda asked seven of this year’s Technology Pioneers to outline what their companies do – and how they might change people’s lives.

John Hodgson
Cambridge Silicon Radio
United Kingdom

Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR) specializes in providing single-chip radio devices to the global market for short-range wireless communications, including Bluetooth™. The company’s mission is to create the most highly integrated radio devices available, fabricated using standard CMOS technology, to provide its customers with the lowest cost of ownership of high-quality digital radio.

CSR was the first company in the world to offer a true single-chip Bluetooth solution with BlueCore, a fully integrated 2.4 GHz radio, baseband and microcontroller. In 2001 CSR released BlueCore2, its second generation family, and offers hardware/software bundles for each of the fastest growing Bluetooth applications markets. CSR is able to offer a complete Bluetooth end-to-end solution.

CSR has a growing list of major international companies – including Microsoft Corporation, Samsung, Sony, Compaq, IBM, Fujitsu, LG, ALPS, TDK, 3Com, Mitsumi, Siemens and Motorola – which have already used CSR’s BlueCore in the development of a range of Bluetooth products, which currently account for 57% of all qualified Bluetooth v1.1 enabled end product designs.

Andy Rubin
President and CEO
Danger, Inc
United States

Although the internet, cellular phones and PDAs have become a commonplace for millions of people globally, there has yet to be a converged (“all in one”) device that offers all of these applications on the go, for a broad consumer audience.
Danger has changed all of this with the hiptop™ wireless solution, which allows carriers to leverage investments in next generation networks to offer their customers affordable wireless products.

The end user gets a fun, addictive device that includes a phone, instant messaging, email, web browsing, games, personal information management and even a digital camera accessory – all for $199 plus a monthly fee of under $40 (currently marketed in the U.S. as the T-Mobile Sidekick.)

Danger’s technology makes it possible for the device and service to be inexpensive – thereby enabling carriers to offer the consumer market economical, unlimited pricing models for wireless data.

Pamela Lipson
President and CEO
Imagen Inc
United States

A successful manufacturing industrial base that subscribes to rigorous quality standards is the backbone of any major economy. Emerging companies in poorer economies require tools to meet world-class quality expectations of customers and to be competitive in the global economy.

Imagen, in a partnership with Teradyne, manufactures automatic quality assessment and measurement systems for electronics manufacturing. Novel computer vision technology, developed by Imagen’s founders at the Masachusetts Institute of Technology’s AI Laboratory, is used to validate quality automatically and ensure manufacturing consistency at the level of international standards.

This is especially important where local skill levels are not established or are highly variable. Process analysis tools help local staff control complex manufacturing procedures to achieve and maintain high yield rates.

Future growth in electronics manufacturing is destined to follow world labour markets into Eurasia, south Asia and Africa. New suppliers will require the means to conform to world-quality standards. Imagen, with Teradyne, is providing these means today.

Peter Meldrum
President and CEO
Myriad Genetics
United States

Myriad Genetics is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and marketing of products that can predict and prevent disease. We are developing proprietary anti-cancer and anti-viral therapeutic compounds for marketing through our 100-person oncology products sales force.

We intend to partner the additional therapeutic compounds that we develop, which are outside these fields. Myriad has human clinical trials under way for the treatment of prostate cancer and the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. We also develop and market proprietary predictive and personalized medicine products, and we have four
cancer susceptibility products on the market.

Our BRACAnalysis® product predicts hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, Colaris® predicts hereditary HNPCC colorectal cancer, Colaris AP™ predicts hereditary FAP colorectal cancer and Melaris™ predicts hereditary melanoma skin cancer.

Myriad Genetics has established strategic collaborations with Abbott, Bayer, DuPont, Eli Lilly, Hitachi, Novartis, Oracle, Pharmacia, Roche, Schering, Schering-Plough and Syngenta.

Simon Sturge
United Kingdom

RiboTargets, based in Cambridge, specializes in the research and development of pharmaceuticals to treat patients with bacterial infections and patients with cancer.

The discovery and development of new medicines is a complex and, at times, unpredictable process. However, RiboTargets has established an innovative, robust drug design and development platform that successfully blends new, proprietary technologies with a proven track record established over many years in major pharmaceutical companies.
These technologies combine the use of x-ray crystallography with the latest techniques in computer-aided drug design.
The aim is to reduce by over 50% the time taken in transforming an idea in the lab to the first trial in humans.

The company is using this technology to build a clinical pipeline of novel therapeutics, with its first product projected to be used in clinical trials in mid- 2003.

Ron Kok

As we all know, fossil fuel is limited. There are more and more people who are entitled to have a higher quality of life – and quickly.

The time to solve this problem is short. But we believe that solutions are available – although they are neither easy to obtain nor easy to manage.

In the next 50 years, we will go from centralized big power plants to local-for-local energy sources – which are a combination of photovoltaic (PV) and thermal solar power, fuel cells and Stirling engines. All this is available at this moment – but at too high a price.

The biggest challenge is how to optimize the balance between direct available power and power storage for times when the natural sources of power are not available – such as the sun at night.

This applies both for electricity and for hot water. And that is why it will require a combination of storage and generation techniques in two or three different ways.

My company OTB is already involved in PV cell production. In the future we will work towards a total solution for domestic power users, so that the world will use only renewable energy and will be fully separated from fossil fuels.
My vision is this: if everybody can make their own energy, they will not have to fight for it. It will mean a better quality of life for everyone.

Joon Chung
President and CEO
Solid Technologies
South Korea

SOLiD Technologies is a leading wireless technology company based in Seoul. Since its establishment in November 1998, SOLiD has successfully developed and commercialized innovative solutions based on its digital signal processing, fibre-optic, and RF technologies for the wireless 2G and 3G operators.

The company’s current product line includes repeaters for in-building coverage, high-power hybrid fibre coax distribution systems and digital fibre-optic repeater systems. SOLiD is currently developing CDMA2000 1xEV-DO base stations, and is planning to develop next-generation broadband wireless communication systems and mobile IP-based data access systems.

We believe that the technologies and communication systems developed by the company will allow wireless telecom operators to provide wireless data services to the general public at a much lower price in the near future, at least an order of magnitude lower than what is available today. As a result, the wireless data service would be ubiquitously available in life – which would change people’s lives as profoundly as the wired data service changed them before.