Nurturing High-Flying Innovation

Two companies with founding members associated with the School of Engineering have been ranked among the most creative in their respective fields globally by Fast Company magazine, a highly regarded US business publication focused on innovation.

In the World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2016 by sector, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) industry leader DJI, founded by Electronic and Computer Engineering BEng and MPhil alumnus Mr Frank Wang, was ranked No.1 in the Drones category. Behavioral artificial intelligence start-up Arimo, co-founded by former Electronic and Computer Engineering faculty member Dr Christopher Nguyen, was placed at No.10 in the Data Science list.

Frank built early groundbreaking UAV prototypes at HKUST with the assistance of his supervisor Prof Zexiang Li. DJI, founded in 2006 in Shenzhen, has gone on to become a worldwide market leader, lauded by Fast Company for “consistently introducing genre-defining technology for a growing audience of professional and amateur users”. Dr Nguyen started Arimo in 2012, providing big data analysis in user-friendly products as well as tools to assist collaboration among users. He worked at HKUST from 1993-96 and launched several other successful hi-tech enterprises prior to Arimo.

Fast Company organizes annual lists of the most dynamic new and established ventures in a range of areas, with editors and writers assessing firms around the world to highlight disruptive pioneers. In 2016, machine intelligence was also used to help with selection for the first time. The rankings included many large-scale public companies, such as Google and IBM, as well as smaller ventures.