Modern Meadow 2018 WEF Technology Pioneer

By Andrea Thompson / June 21, 2018

In June, the World Economic Forum announced its new class of 2018 “Technology Pioneers” — among them New Lab 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 New Lab’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 cyber security to agriculture and biotechnology. Already a vibrant part of the New Lab 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.

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