Elon Musk's Tesla, maker of electric cars and batteries for industries and households, is the world's smartest company, according to the Technology Review of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The publication outed its annual list of the 50 smartest companies in 2015, giving props to the companies that provide truly innovative technology while following a practical business model that can get their products and services to the market.
At the top of the list is Tesla, which the Technology Review praised for being "in service of a big goal: remaking the energy grid for industry, utilities and residences." In April, Tesla founder and CEO Musk announced that Tesla will begin solar-powered batteries that can be used in commercial and residential applications to provide people with power off the grid or during a power outage.
Musk's two other companies, SolarCity and SpaceX, have landed in the ninth and 22nd spots respectively. SolarCity is currently building the world's biggest factory of solar panels, while SpaceX is making big steps into landing and reusing unmanned rockets.
Just behind Tesla is Xiaomi, the five-year-old Chinese startup that is challenging Apple's dominance in China with new marketing strategies such as flash sales over its messaging platform. Xiaomi is now the world's third-biggest seller of smartphones, just behind Apple and Samsung, and is known for its high-quality Android phones sold at competitive prices.
The list also largely comprises companies in the field of biotechnology. The third smartest company, in fact, is Illumina, which develops DNA reading machines that are now being adopted in practical applications in hospitals and cancer clinics. On the fifth spot is Counsyl, which provides cheap DNA tests for would-be parents and cancer screening. Also in the top 10 is Juno Therapeutics in No. 8. In 2014, the company raised $304 million to fund its experimental cancer treatments that use a person's own immune cells.
Chinese technology firms Alibaba and Tencent have also made it to the top 10, a list that is rounded out by Netflix for its "innovative original content." Surprisingly, the world's biggest technology companies are nowhere in the top 10, but they made it to the top 50. Google is at no. 12 for its Project Loon Wi-Fi balloons, followed by Amazon at no. 13, which was praised for the robots it uses in its fulfillment centers.
Apple, which was not in the top 50 last year, makes it back to the list at no. 16 for Apple Pay. Microsoft, also nowhere to be found in 2014, makes a comeback at no. 49 for its HoloLens augmented reality headset.
Other technology firms that made it to the list are Nvidia at no. 28, which produces chips for futuristic technologies such as deep learning and driverless cars, Facebook at no. 29 for investing in Messenger and for hosting news articles on its platform, Japanese messaging app maker Line at no. 37, Coinbase at no. 40 for enabling Bitcoin payments in PayPal and Expedia, IBM at no. 46 for its work with Watson, Snapchat at no. 47 for its innovative new format, and Uber at no. 50 for its ride-sharing services and driver deliveries.
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