The Economist’s 2014 Innovation Awards

record breaking robot

It’s no secret that Rexroth is a big supporter of all types of innovation. Whether it takes place on the factory floor, in a boardroom or on a computer program, these new ideas and the creators who turned them into a reality deserve commendation. That’s exactly what The Economist did when it recognized talented individuals in its annual Innovations awards. Here is a selection of this year’s recipients:

  • Computing and Telecommunications: Andrew Rubin. The former senior vice president of Google is responsible for developing the Android smartphone operating system. Android was acquired by Google in 2005, and now accounts for 85 percent of smartphones sold globally each year.
  • Corporate Innovation: Pixar. Pixar is a pioneer in computer animation. The firm makes both its own films and the tools used by other studios for animation and special effects. The results speak for themselves: Pixar has earned 30 Academy Awards, including seven for best animated feature.
  • Process and Service Innovation: Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler, and Charles Adler are the founders of Kickstarter, the popular crowdfunding website. Since its inception, the site has let over 7 million people provide over $1 billion to fund 73,000 projects.
  • Consumer: Renaud Laplanche, founder and chief executive of Lending Club, for popularizing peer-to-peer lending. Intrigued by the fact that savings accounts pay very little interest, but credit cards charge high rates, Mr. Laplanche set up a platform to match lenders and borrowers directly, giving them both better rates
  • Energy and Environment: Urs Hölzle, senior vice-president of technical infrastructure at Google, for energy efficient data-centers. The rows of servers that deliver internet services consumer large amounts of energy. Dr. Hölzle innovations have reduced energy consumption in Google’s facilities to less than 50 percent of the industry average.

Congratulations to the winners!

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