Two Israeli companies, Given Imaging and BrainsGate, were listed among the 47 visionary companies included in the World Economic Forum's annual Technology Pioneers 2007 program.
"To be selected as a Technology Pioneer, a company must be involved in the development of life-changing technology innovation and have potential for long-term impact on business and society," the WEF said. "It must demonstrate visionary leadership, show signs of being a long-standing market leader, and its technology must be proven."
Given Imaging, which has developed a capsule camera used to diagnose digestive system ailments, and Brainsgate, with its solutions for treatment of diseases of the brain and central nervous system, were both listed in the Biotechnology/Health category along with 11 other companies. Nineteen information technology companies and 15 energy companies completed the 2007 list, bringing the total number of pioneers selected to the program to 352 since its inception in 2000.
Some 225 companies were nominated for the 2007 list by participating global venture capital and technology companies and the final 47 recipients were chosen by a panel of experts appointed by the WEF.
Long considered a source of technological talent, Israel has maintained a consistent presence on the list in recent years with three companies chosen in 2006 and two innovators in 2005.
"Israel is young, growing, and exuberant and has an enormous pool of extremely talented people that are much more affordable than in other hi-tech sectors such as Silicon valley," Given Imaging CEO Nachum Shamir said when questioned by the WEF about which country he thought best facilitates starting a tech company. "The Government is also a strong supporter of the growth of the hi-tech industry and provides incentives to encourage capital investment and scientific research and development."
"Technology Pioneers" are invited to participate in the activities of the WEF for a period of two years giving them opportunity to interact with the world's foremost thought leaders and trendsetters, the WEF said.