Tech Champions 2022: The winners and the shortlists
In response to our call for entries for this year’s Tech Champions project, nearly 300 submissions were received from FT readers, identifying European companies using technology to meet today’s business challenges.
FT journalists reviewed them, researched the nominated companies, and helped to draw up shortlists.
We sought nominations in ten categories this year, and swapped the ‘Hospitality’ sector — which had featured in 2021 in the wake of pandemic lockdowns — for ‘Energy’, which has been such a focus of attention for innovators this year:
For each sector category, a shortlist of four or five companies was drawn up and put to our panel of judges for consideration. Here they are, with the winners the judges chose in each sector. Profiles of the winning companies may now be read at www.ft.com/reports/tech-champions.
The judging panel
Kate McGinn, analyst, Seedcamp — an investor in pan-European start-ups
Clare Hickie, chief technology officer Emea, Workday
Malcolm Moore, editor, FT Edit
Matthew Vincent, editor, FT Project Publishing
IT and Software
Through the use of AI, smart sensors, and radar, Adaptiv enables clients to map their buildings’ usage and improve energy efficiency within them.
Benivo’s employee relocation management platform has enabled greater mobility for their clients’ staff as they manage moves around the world.
CarbonChain’s AI powered, carbon accounting platform enables tracking of emissions in global supply chains, giving logistics firms and financial institutions insight into the impact of their activities.
By analysing satellite images of the earth, Kayrros helps to spot climate and environmental trends, and to track energy sector activity, including pipeline leaks.
The company’s digital experiment platform allows scientists in fields as diverse as virology and climate science to test hypotheses faster and break new ground.
Markets & Financial Services
ComplyAdvantage’s sanctions tracking technology has helped banks and financial services groups stick to the rules on transactions involving Russia
Economics For The Environment Consultancy — EFTEC
EFTEC’s development of “natural capital accounting” translates businesses’ dependence on nature into a digestible balance sheet format, allowing for proactive decision making.
KPMG Climate IQ
Climate IQ is a platform allowing clients to assess their climate risk and to make strategic decisions based on the likely impacts they face.
The B2B operator builds out digital marketplace and auction platforms for its clients and enmeshes data science into every layer.
The Berlin based SaaS operator offers a platform for companies to track their carbon footprint over time, report on this trend, and set targets to work toward the Paris Climate Accord.
Beamery’s AI-powered platform removes bias from the recruitment process and can help clients combat high staff turnover, by providing personalised plans for employee development.
By applying AI and blockchain technologies to the processes of attracting and retaining talent, Gigged. AI is helping to minimise the costs of hiring and cut out the middle men.
Through its ESG IQ platform, the company is enabling businesses to take a holistic view of ESG performance and avoid greenwashing.
Founded by a former headhunter, Nurole is transforming how board-level talent is recruited, combining smart technology and years of expertise to source qualified and diverse candidates.
WINNER: Risk Ledger
As the Ukraine conflict strains supply chains, Risk Ledger’s platform shows organisations how well protected their suppliers are.
Shipping & Transport
A leader in fuel cell and electrochemical technology, Ceres’ green hydrogen solutions can reduce carbon emissions in the maritime sector by as much as 47 per cent.
The company helps businesses navigate the complexities of international supply chains by operating a marketplace to source containers, pay for them and simplify their movements.
Sweden-based Einride is seeking to transform the global logistics industry and shrink its sizeable carbon footprint with fleets of autonomous, electric freighters.
Its vehicle charging software makes it cheaper to run an electric car and turns thousands of car batteries into storage assets.
Vector is aiming to combat the growing problem of wildfires by using autonomous, solar powered drones to monitor at risk areas, helping with the early detection and containment of wildfires.
The energy innovator’s geothermal temperature control offering has become increasingly attractive thanks to its solid green credentials and the rising cost of conventional alternatives.
The UK start-up is developing a way to produce low-cost, zero-emission hydrogen from micro to industrial scale.
Quantum computing enables Multiverse to help clients in the energy sector forecast future supply and demand, ensuring efficiency and a lower carbon footprint.
By revolutionising the performance of lithium-ion batteries Nybolt is transforming the use of EVs, medical devices, and robotics.
The utility company’s new, scalable platform, Kraken, uses advanced data and machine learning to optimise energy assets, improve their efficiency, and lower consumer costs.
The Finnish group’s Roto Dynamic Heater can achieve the extreme heat needed in chemical and steelmaking processes using only renewable energy.
With its patented brick laying robot, the company stands to improve productivity and safety in the housebuilding industry.
The company uses optoelectronics and machine learning to monitor and track plant growth in indoor farming — growers can use these analytics to boost yield and nutrient density in crops.
Through its patented wood modification technology, Kebony enables softwood to be used where hardwood was once only suitable — which helps preserve hardwood forests as carbon sinks.
The Finnish textile innovator has unlocked a process through which any cellulose raw material, like food waste, can be sustainably converted into spinning-ready textile fibre.
The UK’s longest established digital mental health provider built on its 20 year record to advance mental wellness during the cost of living crisis.
The home-care platform allows carers to connect with users and provide personalised and transparent care; a 2022 Government grant will enable Lifted to expand their offering.
London Borough of Newham, Connect for Health (Warwickshire) and the Young Offenders Institution, Cookham Wood, working with Thomson Screening
Nominees developed a digital solution allowing schools to rapidly screen children for vision and hearing problems, identify trends, and communicate with parents.
The Oxford university spinout has found a way to monitor mental health patients remotely via infrared detectors and alert nurses to those in need of help.
Shift’s digital platform seeks to alleviate NHS rostering difficulties by using AI and machine learning to better understand staff requirements.
Its extended reality software has let a wider audience enjoy immersive concerts and events — even amid a pandemic.
Founded in 2015, No Isolation began building “warm technology” to help sick children dial into classrooms, long before remote learning became the norm. It now helps diverse groups reduce the risk of isolation.
The company’s ad streaming solution allows brands to reduce the data required to reach target audiences by 40 per cent, an effective way to cut energy consumption for carbon conscious brands.
The London based streaming platform was launched as we emerged from the pandemic, offering interactive talks from experts in a range of fields, to facilitate the exchange of ideas.
Offering real-time visual effects to clients in broadcasting, live events, and e-sports, Zero Density creates immersive stories in all types of media.
Bloom & Wild
Flower delivery pioneer Bloom & Wild is leading the industry in driving sustainable practices — it can now calculate the environmental cost of a bouquet and reduce it over time.
As city centres return from lockdown-induced slumps, KeyNest is enabling high-street shops to take on a new role as “key concierges” for Airbnb hosts.
The London-based company allows brand advocates to find gig work as customer service agents for the companies they love.
The company’s enterprise marketplace platform enables sellers to quickly establish a broader online presence though a network of resellers.
The sustainable fashion business makes clothes in recyclable materials and rents them out, as an alternative to the ‘buy and dispose’ model.
Banking & Payments
The London based platform allows for mass market access to bona fide green investment opportunities.
WINNER: Stenn Technologies
Stenn has found a way to make trade credit available, via invoice financing, to the smallest of businesses in more than 70 countries.
The digital payments group responded rapidly to the Ukraine crisis to keep money moving for those fleeing the conflict and those left behind.
Zilch’s buy now, pay later instalment offering found favour with those looking to spread the rising cost of energy bills over 6 weeks at zero interest rates.