The World Economic Forum has added ZeroAvia to its list of Technology Pioneers. With this honor, the organization recognizes the Hollister, California-based company’s innovative and practical solutions for decarbonizing the aviation industry.
Each year, the World Economic Forum names a small number of early- to growth-stage companies to its list of pioneers. The organization chooses the companies based on their work using new technologies and innovations poised to have a major impact on the business world and society.
Because of the selection, Val Miftakhov, the company’s founder and chief executive officer, will participate in World Economic Forum activities, discussions, and events during the year. ZeroAvia will also work with global leaders to discuss and address important industry and societal issues over the next two years.
“We’re excited to welcome ZeroAvia to our 2021 cohort of Technology Pioneers. ZeroAvia and its fellow pioneers are developing technologies that can help society solve some of its most pressing issues,” said Susan Nesbitt, the World Economic Forum’s head of the Global Innovators Community. “We look forward to their contribution to the World Economic Forum in its commitment to improving the state of the world.”
About the World Economic Forum and Technology Pioneers
The Technology Pioneers program, which the World Economic Forum launched in 2000, identifies companies that are innovating in the design, development, and deployment of new technologies. The World Economic Forum incorporates program participants into its initiatives, where companies can share insights and perspectives on world-critical challenges.
The organization offers the Technology Pioneers participants a platform to connect with public- and private-sector leaders to contribute to problem solving and build future resiliency.
Past companies that were part of the Technology Pioneers program include Airbnb, Cyberdyne, Google, Kickstarter, Mozilla, Palantir Technologies, Scribd, Spotify, Twitter, and Wikimedia.
This year’s cohort of Technology Pioneers comes from all regions of the world. It includes startups from 26 countries, including, for the first time, companies based in El Salvador, Ethiopia, the United Arab Emirates, and Zimbabwe. Also for the first time, more than 30 percent of the companies in the cohort have women leaders.
Companies in the 2021 cohort represent many emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence, biotechnology, blockchain, the Internet of Things, and robotics. The selection of companies is based on various selection criteria, including innovation, impact, leadership, and the candidate company’s relevance to the World Economic Forum’s platforms.
The World Economic Forum is an international organization for public and private cooperation. Established in 1971 and based in Geneva, Switzerland, it is a not-for-profit organization that is independent, impartial, and not tied to any special interests.
The forum connects with leading business, cultural, and political leaders to address global, regional, and industry issues.
Alignment With ZeroAvia Goals
ZeroAvia, which Miftakhov founded in 2017, is the world’s leading company for sustainable aviation solutions. Its hydrogen-electric powertrain is poised to revolutionize air travel by providing cleaner, more affordable air travel for commercial and passenger aviation.
“We are honored to be acknowledged as a pioneer by the World Economic Forum. It is a confirmation that our technology is among the most unique in the world and can make a difference in the effort to reduce transportation emissions,” Miftakhov said. “We believe that hydrogen is the only practical method to transition aircraft toward zero-emission, and we are excited to see so many recognizing the potential of this energy source within the aviation industry.”
ZeroAvia expects its technology to compete with traditional engine designs on propeller aircraft. The company projects to create zero-emission, low-noise powertrains for commercial sale by 2024.
The company believes that it can reduce the costs of air trips by 50 to 75 percent through reduced fuel and maintenance expenses. The powertrains are designed for use at first in 10- to 20-person aircraft to use existing infrastructure and limit regulatory delays.
In the future, the company expects its products to be useful for increasingly longer flights aboard larger aircraft. It believes that airlines will be able to use its models in aircraft with up to 200 passengers traveling 5,000 nautical miles by 2040.
Since its founding, ZeroAvia has secured more than $53 million in private investments from partners, including Amazon and Shell. It has also recently formed a partnership with British Airways to collaborate with the airline to achieve zero-carbon by 2050.
In recent months, ZeroAvia has gained considerable acclaim. Among its recent accomplishments, it was named a finalist in Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards in the transportation category.
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