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2010 Young Innovators Under 35

Every year, the editors of MIT’s Technology Review magazine lauds 35 innovators under the age of 35 whose inventions and research they find most exciting. Their work–spanning medicine, communications, computing, electronics, nanotechnology, and more–is changing our world.

The whole selection process, as well as the editing of the stories about the young innovators, is led by Stephen Cass, Technology Review’s knowledgeable, wise, and eloquent special- ­projects editor, who writes in the introduction to the TR35:

We strive to identify those individuals who are tackling problems in a way that is likely to benefit society and business. … We pay special attention to those solving some of the most intractable and critical problems in the developing world.

He notes that this approach can lead to the selection of a technologist who is developing new materials for new devices–and also to rewarding an entrepreneur who is creating new business models that will move technology from the laboratory to the marketplace.

Over the last decade, many of the selected young innovators have gone on to be spectacularly successful. Previous winners include Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the cofounders of Google; Mark ­Zuckerberg, the cofounder of Facebook; Helen Greiner, the cofounder of iRobot; Jonathan Ive, the chief designer at Apple; Max Levchin, the cofounder of PayPal and founder of Slide; David Berry, who cofounded and funded (as a venture capitalist at Flagship Ventures) the biofuel companies LS9 and Joule; and MIT neuroscientist Ed Boyden, one of the inventors of the emerging field of optogenetics, which makes it possible to control neurons with light.

This year’s winners have created innovations over a wide variety of fields, including biomedicine, energy, materials, communications, and transport, as well as software, hardware, social technologies, and the Web.

According to Jason Pontin, Technology Review’s Editor in Chief and Publisher:

The innovations of the TR35 inspire and expand our sense of what is possible. They allow human beings to do something difficult that they were not able to do before.

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