In June, the World Economic Forum announced its new class of 2018 “Technology Pioneers” — among them Newlab member Modern Meadow, whose work in biofabrication joins WEF Pioneer alumni such as Google, Twitter, and Kickstarter in demonstrating innovation, leadership, and potential impact. “Modern Meadow represents a revolution in Biofabrication” said Newlab’s cofounder and CEO, David Belt. “They could not be more deserving of this honor.”

Modern Meadow’s biofabrication process — using yeast cells to grow collagen, resulting in a leather material, Zoa, that can exist across a range of density, shape, and form — produces a functional material that is also humane, sustainable, and flexible. “The idea of leather itself, for us, is actually limiting because leather is essentially a found material, a byproduct of the meat industry,”

Modern Meadow’s chief creative officer, Suzanne Lee, told Tech Fancy last year. “It’s an incredibly inefficient material when you’re trying to make a product because there’s so much waste, anywhere from 30 to 80 percent.”

This year’s class of WEF Technology Pioneers is the most diverse ever, both in gender (25% are female-led) and in geography (54% from outside the United States). The range of technologies includes everything from artificial intelligence and cybersecurity to agriculture and biotechnology. Already a vibrant part of the Newlab community of innovative entrepreneurs, Modern Meadow will now join their WEF Pioneer cohort (starting with a kick-off meeting in Tianjin, China this fall) in contributing to, as the WEF puts it, “cutting-edge insights and novel perspectives to world-critical discussions.”

Read the official press release from Modern Meadow here.