Danish biotech firm Aresa A/S is among 47 visionary companies that the World Economic Forum (WEF) has selected as Technology Pioneers 2007. Aresa has gained the prestigious accolade for its development of a biosensor for the detection of landmines and unexploded ordnance devices on agricultural land. The winning companies were invited to the WEF annual meeting in Davos.
Aresa's biosensor is a genetically modified plant of the Thale cress family which can sense nitrogen dioxide in soil and change colour from green to red when growing in the vicinity of landmines. It is estimated that up to 20,000 people are killed or maimed every year by landmines, which often continue to be a major hazard long after the conflicts that caused their deployment have ended.
Founded in 2001 by Carsten Meier, who is now the company's research director, Aresa last year raised DKK 55 m (USD 9.4 m ) from its bourse listing on First North, an alternative marketplace for small growth companies and a part of OMX Nordic Exchange. Aresa, which is already on its way to achieving profitable growth, will doubtless gain a major boost following the high profile recognition it has now achieved.
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. In addition, it must demonstrate visionary leadership, show the signs of being a long-standing market leader – and its technology must be proven.
The Technology Pioneers 2007 were nominated by the world’s leading venture capital and technology companies. The final selection of the 47 companies from 225 nominees was made by a panel of leading technology experts appointed by the World Economic Forum.