The 50 Smartest Companies With Disruptive Innovation Changing Our Lives

Written by on March 6, 2014 in CSR, Measure Impact - No comments

imagesSo who are the smartest companies right now? Who is shaking things up with innovation? Who is making a difference? The MIT Technology Review is out and has published its list of the “50 Smartest Companies,” those organizations that have made a difference through innovation over the past year. Familiar names such as Apple and Facebook aren’t on this list because reputation doesn’t matter. The criteria, says the Review is, “disruptive innovation that will prove to surpass the competition, transform an industry, and change our lives.”

The editors of MIT Technology Review 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 at Illumina, which is driving down the price of DNA sequencing to levels that will change the practice of medicine. They also found dramatic developments on the Web, in batteries and in agricultural technologies.

Apart from Illumina being on top of the list, some of the other ground-breaking organisations were Tesla Tech Advantage; Google’s Next Act: Third Rock is Biotech’s Top VC; Cree: Reinventing the Lightbulb; 1366: Solar Survivor; Xiaomi’s Smartphone Success; Cheap Gas from Siluria; Upworthy: Going Viral and Ripple Labs: New Money. On this list there were some surprises too, like Monsanto, selected by the Review 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 “50 smartest companies” could potentially revolutionise the way we all live on the planet, as their technology is benefiting us all.

These innovators are keys to our future. Our societies needs organisations likes these, those who are willing to challenge the status quo, watch the world to find new ways of doing things and connect with others who don’t operate or think like them to gain different perspectives.  They experiment to test new ideas, try out new experiences and are not afraid of risk or failure. 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: Kevin Galens

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