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The New Economy Awards 2017

Businesses from the tech world and beyond have overcome a turbulent 2016 to push the boundaries of their respective industries and adopt more sustainable practices

Following a series of political shocks and, for many, disappointments in 2016, the business community will be forgiven a small sigh of relief as 2017 unfurled with some degree of stability. While it’s true the global economy still contends with a high level of uncertainty – driven for the most part by the impulsive nature of the US president and the as-yet unknown fallout of Brexit – 2017 has proven to be a far more positive year, with very tangible signs of recovery.

Undoubtedly, this progress has been spurred by the efforts of companies willing to push the envelope in their respective fields; pursuing technological innovation in the hope of providing a better world for all. As such, this year’s The New Economy Awards hope to highlight the companies leading the way in business, healthcare, infrastructure and sustainability, commending those willing to put the needs of the planet ahead of personal gain in a seemingly introspective political climate.

In sync

As smart cities begin to usher in a new era of convenience for urban dwellers, the interconnected spaces are also offering promises of better transportation and energy use. While such cities may seem like they’ve been plucked from a movie set far into the future, we are already beginning to see these developments set urban populations along an exciting path.

In this hi-tech vision, sustainability is key. Creating cities and companies that work in greater harmony with their surroundings has become the ideal for all sectors, not to mention for a growing number of individuals. And so, in 2017, an increasing number of solutions have come to the fore, enabling business owners to cut costs, while reducing the company’s impact on the environment.

Thus, the link between technology and sustainability has become crucial – symbiotic, even. New technology from Banyan, for example, enables companies to track and analyse their water usage with a greater degree of accuracy. The software ultimately allows companies to optimise their operations, utilising thousands of data points to provide invaluable insights into water-saving options.

Other companies are offering alternatives to long-standing products, which may often seem small, but collectively make a huge difference to the environment. Take AR Metallizing, a Belgian-based packaging firm that is currently present in more than 100 countries. To its numerous customers, the company offers an alternative to environmentally detrimental materials like plastic and aluminium. By replacing these harmful materials with metallised paper and paperboard, AR Metallizing is helping to reduce the use of landfills and minimise CO2 emissions. What’s more, the lighter materials help save on packaging, transportation and energy costs.

Long-term strategies

Building further on the trends of years gone by, technology has become synonymous with the banking sector in 2017. Unable to cope with the ever-changing demands of consumers and the introduction of stringent regulations, this year saw more banks partner with budding fintech companies. The result is an industry that continues to adapt – a necessary feat given the challenges presented by cyberattacks and the decline of our personal privacy in an increasingly open, internet-guided world.

Nonetheless, sustainability in the financial sector – and, indeed, the entire corporate world – isn’t just about using biometric security measures or adopting blockchain technology. Instead, sustainability is a way of approaching business, a long-term strategy that permeates every level of an organisation. Nordea Wealth Management, for example, uses sustainability as the basis for all of its operations, incorporating environmental, social and governance policies into its investment strategies and placing economic development ahead of short-term wins.

In other areas of business, the internet continues to hold a plethora of opportunities for companies seeking to truly understand the habits of their end users, and learn how they can offer a more personalised, value-added service. This has been seen in the development of highly sophisticated algorithms, which analyse user data to enhance companies’ marketing models.

Another tech trend of 2017 is, of course, the continued progression of the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT technology is not only revolutionising fitness, entertainment and communications services, it is also playing an instrumental role in healthcare. Radio-frequency identification technology has already begun to transform the healthcare supply chain, enabling hospitals and clinics to thwart age-old stock issues, reduce costs and improve patient care. Meanwhile, medical companies are also developing exciting new treatments for human ailments. Stem cell therapeutics company RepliCel Life Sciences, for example, is addressing the loss of cellular function, a problem that often results in health conditions such as chronic tendinosis, damaged skin and pattern baldness.

Ultimately, 2017 has been an exciting year; one that has pushed the boundaries of what we thought conceivably possible. As always, technology has been at the heart of this evolution. So, in celebration of those companies that continue to innovate to the benefit of society, we present The New Economy’s annual awards.

The award winners




Best Parking Solutions


Best Urban Planner 


Best Environmental Sensors 


Best Traffic and Transit Solutions

City of Utrecht

Best Transport Solutions 


Best Smart Metering Solutions 


Best Building Management Solutions 

Banyan Water

Best Water Solutions 


Best Smart City Connectivity 

Ásbjörn Gíslason, Samskip Logistics

Best CEO, Combined Logistics Services




Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

Most Innovative Drug Discovery Institute

RepliCel Life Sciences

Most Innovative Stem Cell Therapeutics Company


Most Innovative Applied Research Hub


Best Smart Healthcare Solutions


Most Innovative Bioinstrumentation Company




FIA Business School

Best Executive Education Solutions


Best Augmented and Virtual Reality Firm


Best Data Centre Solutions Provider

E*TRADE Financial

Best Online Trading Platform


Best Enterprise Security




Sasja Beslik, Nordea Wealth Management

Sustainability Leader of the Year, Finance

Bart Devos, AR Metallizing

Sustainability Leader of the Year, Packaging Solutions

Arvydas Avulis, AB Hanner

Sustainability Leader of the Year, Construction

Boyko Sachanski, Bilia Bulgaria

Sustainability Leader of the Year, Retail

Kosta Kanaroglou, Cana Laboratories

Sustainability Leader of the Year, Pharmaceuticals

Frank Appel, DHL Global Forwarding

Sustainability Leader of the Year, Logistics

Paulo Costeira, EDP Renewables

Sustainability Leader of the Year, Renewable Energy

Canadian Solar

Best Integrated Solar Energy

GE Renewable Energy

Most Innovative Wind Power Solutions

Molok Oy

Most Innovative Waste Management Company