Waterloo’s Applied Brain Research named World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer

An Mechanical super brain in cross section

Waterloo-based Applied Brain Research (ABR), which develops neuromorphic AI software tools and applications, has been named a 2018 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Applied Brain Research was selected alongside 60 other early-stage companies from around the world; the company was chosen by a selection committee of over 60 academics, entrepreneurs, VCs, and corporate executives.

The World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers community is made up of early-stage companies that are developing new technologies designed to have a significant impact on businesses and society. The companies are selected based on criteria including innovation, potential impact, and leadership.

“ABR and its fellow pioneers are front and centre in shaping the ongoing Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
– Fulvia Montresor, Head of Technology Pioneers, WEF

Applied Brain Research launched through the Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience at the University of Waterloo. The company develops neuromorphic AI software and applications that allow developers to build AI systems that run on major computing platforms, including neuromorphic computer chips designed based on the human brain. To date, Applied Brain Research’s CSO Chris Eliasmith and his team have developed Nengo, a software package for building and simulating large-scale neural systems; and Spaun, a functional human brain simulation that performs 12 cognitive tasks such as following arbitrary instruction sequences.

“We are honoured to be among this year’s class of inspiring Technology Pioneers,” said Peter Suma, chair and co-CEO of Applied Brain Research. “ABR has the opportunity to give the world leading AI tools to capture the power of fully-parallel, asynchronous, neural computation for advancing AI toward meaningful cognitive computing. Our whole team is very appreciative of the support of the World Economic Forum.”

As a Technology Pioneer, Suma will participate in the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin, China from September 18 to September 20.

“We welcome Applied Brain Research to this diverse group of technology pioneers,” said Fulvia Montresor, head of Technology Pioneers at the World Economic Forum. “ABR and its fellow pioneers are front and centre in shaping the ongoing Fourth Industrial Revolution and we believe they will be transforming society and industry in a positive way in the years to come.”

The full list of recognized Technology Pioneers can be viewed here. Past recipients include Airbnb, Google, TransferWise, and Twitter.


Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi is a staff writer and content creator at BetaKit with a strong interest in Canadian startup, business, and legal tech news. In her free time, Amira indulges in baking desserts, working out, and watching legal shows.

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