So who are the smartest companies right now? Who is shaking things up with innovation? Who is making a difference? TheÂ MIT Technology ReviewÂ is out and has published its list of the â€œ50 Smartest Companies,â€ those organizations that have made a difference through innovation over the past year. Familiar names such as Apple and Facebook arenâ€™t on this list because reputation doesnâ€™t matter. The criteria, says theÂ ReviewÂ is, â€œdisruptive innovation that will prove to surpass the competition, transform an industry, and change our lives.â€
The editors ofÂ MIT Technology ReviewÂ did not count patents or Ph.Ds. Instead, they asked whether a company had made strides in the past year that will define its field. They found that the biggest of these strides happened atÂ Illumina, which is driving down the price of DNA sequencing to levels that will change the practice of medicine. They also found dramatic developments onÂ the Web, in batteries and in agricultural technologies.
Apart from Illumina being on top of the list, some of the other ground-breaking organisations wereÂ Tesla Tech Advantage;Â Googleâ€™s Next Act:Â Third Rock is Biotechâ€™s Top VC;Â Cree: Reinventing the Lightbulb;Â 1366: Solar Survivor;Â Xiaomi’s Smartphone Success;Â Cheap Gas from Siluria;Â Upworthy: Going ViralÂ andÂ Ripple Labs: New Money. On this list there were some surprises too, likeÂ Monsanto, selected by theÂ ReviewÂ for its important agricultural work in helping farmers meet the food demands of a growing global population.
Siluria, a Silicon Valley start-up created with $63.5 million in venture funding, is worth a mention. Its goal is simple: to create a process that efficiently uses natural gas, rather than petroleum, to make ethylene and gasoline. This company hopes to prove that the technology will work at a commercial scale and can be plugged into existing refineries and chemical plants. If it can convert natural gas to transportation fuels and commodity chemicals, it could reduce our dependence on oil. All of these â€œ50 smartest companiesâ€ could potentially revolutionise the way we all live on the planet, as their technology is benefiting us all.
TheseÂ innovatorsÂ are keys to our future. Our societies needs organisations likes these, those who are willing toÂ challengeÂ the status quo,Â watchÂ the world to find new ways of doing things andÂ connectÂ with others who donâ€™t operate or think like them to gain different perspectives.Â TheyÂ experimentÂ to test new ideas, try out new experiences and are not afraid of risk or failure.Â These companies are change-makers with a business DNA that triggers new associations that allow them to connect the unconnected, thereby producing disruptive ideas. Amen to that.
Photo Credit:Â Kevin Galens
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