The World Economic Forum (WEF) has welcomed four UK technology companies and one from Ireland into its Technology Pioneers 2015 programme that supports the development of early-stage companies across the globe.
David Aikman, head of 'new champions' and a member of the management committee at the WEF, said that the Technology Pioneers programme is a way for the Forum to acknowledge technology's impact on the world, and help early-stage companies grow into major firms.
"The WEF serves its mission by engaging the leaders of today and the leaders of tomorrow. The technology pioneers represent a very important part of this leadership," he said in a video on the WEF website.
"Each year about 25 inspirational companies are selected based on innovation, ability to grow and scale, leadership, proof of concept, and ability to highly affect business and society.
"This programme represents a chance for technology pioneers to be propelled onto the world stage, and a unique opportunity to interact with key decision makers and stakeholders to share and exchange innovative and high-impact ideas."
The majority of the companies inducted into this year's programme are US-based, particularly in the technology startup bastion of San Francisco and the west coast, but also include companies from Sweden, Germany, Italy and China.
Israel has contributed three early-stage companies to the programme, indicating the rapid growth of the country's startup scene and technology sector, despite being in the centre of a region dogged by conflict and political unrest.
The UK contributed TransferWise, Tokamak Energy, Darktrace, Carbon Clean Solutions, while Ireland is represented by Sedicii Innovations. V3 has a more detailed profile of these companies below.
Cyber threat detection company Darktrace hails from Cambridge, and produces a system that harnesses machine learning and mathematics to immunise devices against malware and viruses.
The Enterprise Immune System analyses the behaviour of every device, user and network in an organisation to learn what is normal across the IT infrastructure.
This allows the software to spot unknown threats from stealthy and well-equipped hackers outside or inside the organisation's firewall.
Carbon Clean Solutions
An environmental technology firm from Reading, Carbon Clean Solutions is in the process of commercialising a technology that reduces the cost of capturing carbon dioxide produced in industrial activity and energy production.
The captured carbon dioxide can then be used to provide other industries with raw material in the production of plastics, chemicals, oil, petrol and biofuels.
This has the effect of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and gives companies an economic incentive to harvest waste carbon.
London-based money transfer platform company TransferWise uses peer-to-peer technology to bypass the fees banks charge to exchange currency.
The system matches people who want to change their currency to each other's, and allows the currency to be moved without needing to be directly exchanged, typically making it 10 times cheaper to send money abroad when compared with using a bank.
Based in the industrial technology centre of Abingdon in Oxfordshire, Tokamak combines two emerging technologies - spherical tokamaks (devices that confine plasma in the shape of a torus) and high-temperature superconductors - to speed up the development of extracting low-carbon electricity from fusion energy.
Tokamak's business model involves working with engineering firms, research laboratories and universities, and the firm is aiming to develop an advanced prototype fusion technology within 10 years.
Irish firm Sedicii Innovations is based in Waterford and has developed technology that allows identity verification to be conducted without passwords.
The firm's patented Zero Knowledge Proof Protocol eliminates the transmission and storage of private identity data during verification processes.
The system uses a remote server to query a user's computer to find out whether the right password or identity attribute has been entered, and can ensure that a user is who they say they are without exposing or transmitting a password or identity attribute.
This reduces the possibility of fraud related to identity theft and impersonation.
The growth of startups and early-stage businesses in the UK is effectively driving Britain's digital industrialisation, and capturing the attention of large technology companies ranging from Sage to Microsoft with its Ventures programme.
This expansion of the technology sector can be seen in V3's profiling of a UK startup every week in our Startup Spotlight section.
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