Fast Company Announces Winners of 2020 World Changing Ideas Awards

Nanotronics Selected as Honorable Mention in Spaces, Places, and Cities

NEW YORK--()--The winners of Fast Company’s 2020 World Changing Ideas Awards were announced today, honoring the businesses, policies, projects, and concepts that are actively engaged and deeply committed to flattening the curve when it comes to the climate crisis, social injustice, or economic inequality.

Nanotronics’ high-tech manufacturing hub in the Brooklyn Navy Yard has been selected in the Spaces, Places, and Cities Category. Designed by Rogers Partners Architects + Urban Designers, the first-of-its-kind facility will allow Nanotronics' artificial intelligence researchers, computer scientists, chemists and physicists to work directly with skilled machinists on the manufacturing floor, developing innovations that will lead partner industries to drive up yield, reduce footprint and waste, lower costs, and speed up design iteration.

Nanotronics received one of the largest grants from Empire State Development and partnered with CUNY’s Medgar Evers College to join the START-UP NY program. As part of the initiative, Nanotronics has placed students in meaningful paid internships and jobs that foster career-building and the Future of Access. Through these partnerships, Nanotronics strives to deliver a blueprint for how to invigorate New York's manufacturing sector, engage with local communities and further access to the technologies that will define the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The project will create 190 jobs in various fields, from engineering to machining.

Now in its fourth year, the World Changing Ideas Awards showcase 26 winners, more than 200 finalists, and more than 500 honorable mentions—with Health and Wellness, Corporate Social Responsibility, and AI and Data among the most popular categories. A panel of eminent judges selected winners and finalists from a pool of more than 3,000 entries across transportation, education, food, politics, technology, and more. The 2020 awards feature entries from across the globe, from Vancouver to Singapore to Tel Aviv.

“To create enduring solutions to the urgent problems facing our communities, manufacturers need to design and iterate quickly for rapid and wide-scale production to meet world demand,” said Matthew Putman, CEO and Co-Founder of Nanotronics. “This is critical for foundational technologies to take root and make a difference. Thank you to Fast Company for recognizing this as a World Changing Idea.”

Illustrating how some of the world’s most inventive entrepreneurs and companies are addressing grave global challenges, Fast Company’s May/June issue celebrates, among others, an electric engine for airplanes that eliminates emissions from flights—and expensive fuel from the tricky financial calculus of the airline industry; a solar-powered refrigerator that finally frees people in remote villages from daily treks to distant markets, transforming the economics of those households; an online marketplace that connects food companies with farms to buy ugly and surplus produce to fight waste; and an initiative to offset all of the carbon costs of shipping, creating a new model for e-commerce sustainability.

“There seems no better time to recognize organizations that are using their ingenuity, resources, and, in some cases, their scale to tackle society’s biggest problems,” says Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company. “Our journalists, under the leadership of senior editor Morgan Clendaniel, have uncovered some of the smartest and most inspiring projects of the year.”

About the World Changing Ideas Awards: World Changing Ideas is one of Fast Company’s major annual awards programs and is focused on social good, seeking to elevate finished products and brave concepts that make the world better. A panel of judges from across sectors choose winners, finalists, and honorable mentions based on feasibility and the potential for impact. With a goal of awarding ingenuity and fostering innovation, Fast Company draws attention to ideas with great potential and helps them expand their reach to inspire more people to start working on solving the problems that affect us all.

About Nanotronics: Nanotronics is a science technology company that has redefined factory control through the invention of a platform that combines AI, automation and sophisticated imaging to assist human ingenuity in detecting flaws and anomalies in manufacturing, an industry that has been stagnant since the 1950s. Deployed across eight countries and industry agnostic, we work with leading-edge companies—from aerospace, to electronics, to healthcare—to drive up yield, reduce footprint and waste, lower costs, and speed up design iteration. For more information, visit and follow @nanotronics.


Mary Cunney, Chief Communications Officer, Nanotronics; (212) 401-6209


Mary Cunney, Chief Communications Officer, Nanotronics; (212) 401-6209