New York (USA) / Ghent (BEL), August 27— The World Economic Forum today announced EcoNation (Belgium) as a Technology Pioneer 2014. EcoNation is the first Belgian cleantech company to win this prestigious award. EcoNation will receive the recognition on stage at the Annual Meeting of the New Champions (known as the ‘Summer Davos’) in Dalian, China.
First Belgian cleantech company ever rewarded by program
EcoNation today announces that it has been selected as a Technology Pioneer 2014 by the World Economic Forum. Technology Pioneers comprise some of the most innovative young companies from around the world, companies poised to have a critical impact on how business and society work.
Technology Pioneers are a part of the World Economic Forum’s community of pioneers, disruptors and innovators. These New Champions help other Forum members to better understand the future context of how business and society are being transformed.
“The impact of technology continues to increase in all aspects of society,” said David Aikman, Managing Director, Head of New Champions at the World Economic Forum. “The diversity of the innovative thinking and possible solutions they offer are why leaders from all sectors of society are interested in interacting with the Technology Pioneers.”
Previous Technology Pioneers include Google (2001), Mozilla Corporation (2007), Wikimedia (2008), Twitter (2010), Dropbox (2012), SoundCloud (2013), Kickstarter (2012), BloomEnergy (2010), Recyclebank (2009), and Monitise (2006).
“The Technology Pioneers program recognizes companies whose cutting-edge technologies are transforming business and society and we are very proud to have been selected by the selection committee. EcoNation was founded less than four years ago, but today we have our HQ in Belgium, facilities in Morocco and China, and projects in twelve countries. It’s been a wonderful ride since day one,” says EcoNation’s CEO Maarten Michielssens.
EcoNation developed a financial model whereby it invests in its customers’ energy savings, through proprietary ‘LightCatcher’ daylight and monitoring technology. It offers a no capex-investment whereby it installs intelligent daylight systems on customers’ roofs, which almost completely eliminate the need for artificial light. Customers don’t pay upfront, they just pay part of the generated energy savings. This way, customers can save on their energy bill from day one, without any investment. It is a truly innovative approach to distributing natural light in buildings. EcoNation’s technology has been awarded “Best Available Technology” on the European continent.
As Yang Zhang, CEO of EcoNation China, explains: “Thanks to some customisation, this technology offers a great opportunity for Chinese industry too. We signed our first LightCatcher projects in Tianjin this summer and the impact looks very promising: for each 1,000m² of floor surface, we can save up to 20,000 kWh each year, in some cases even more!”
The Technology Pioneers 2014 will be awarded for their achievements in a ceremony on 12 September at the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2013. The Meeting is the foremost global business gathering in Asia, which brings together leaders from top-ranked multinationals and chief executive officers of dynamic and fast-growing companies. In the run-up to the ceremony, EcoNation will officially sign several agreements with large Chinese customers.