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Now Available: Innovators Under 35 2013 See The 2013 List »

Vivek Subramanian, 30

Materials

University of California, Berkeley

Vivek Subramanian is an inventor’s inventor. His credits include a novel memory chip that led him to start Santa Clara, CA-based Matrix Semiconductor; a tiny, award-winning transistor; and his current project, ultracheap, flexible displays for note-taking gadgets. But his greatest ambition is to put small amounts of computing power into everyday items. Subramanian has devised radio frequency sensors that can be printed onto the plastic and paper that wrap fresh foods and packaged goods in stores. He’s confident his University of California, Berkeley, group can produce the circuits for less than one cent each—compared with the current manufacturing cost of one dollar for a conventional radio frequency tag. Such tags on grocery items could give shoppers price and content information, even on-the-spot discounts. A sensor in a carton of milk could measure lactic-acid levels and signal when it’s time for a fresh container. “I’m not looking to make the best and fastest electronic devices,” Subramanian says. “I’m just making them good and fast enough so they can be placed everywhere in everything.”

2002 TR35 Winners

Ewan Birney

Biotechnology

Fiona Brinkman

Biotechnology

Chris Burge

Biotechnology

Benjamin Cravatt

Biotechnology

Nathaniel David

Biotechnology

Susan Hagness

Medicine

Derek Hansford

Materials

J. Joseph Kim

Medicine

Steven Laken

Medicine

Kelvin Lee

Medicine

Milan Mrksich

Materials

Stephen OConnor

Biotechnology

Alexander Olek

Biotechnology

Vijay Pande

Biotechnology

Stephen Quake

Materials

David Sabatini

Biotechnology

John Santini

Medicine

David Schaffer

Medicine

Christoph Westphal

Biotechnology

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