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Kensho Landing

The Kensho New Economy Indexes aim to measure several industries that are driving what Kensho Technologies CEO Daniel Nadler calls the “new economy.” Each industry — Autonomous Vehicles, Cleantech, Cybersecurity, Drones, Nanotech, Robotics, Smart Buildings, Space, Virtual Reality, Wearables and 3-D Printing — has a web of companies supporting it, some obvious and some less so. The New Economy Indexes give investors a sense of how thousands of firms, from Fitbit to Lockheed Martin, are plugging into the technological revolution. Using proprietary natural language processing technology, Kensho scours millions of pages of financial statements from companies around the world to find their exposure to each of these sectors. Some, such as Drones and Space, may seem futuristic. Others, like Robotics and Cleantech, have been around for decades but are now having an increasingly greater impact on how companies run their businesses. One goal of the Kensho New Economy Indexes is to keep investors from missing the boat on trends that may change the way our economy operates.

Autonomous VehiclesTransportation is a key driver of the economy, even as the industries involved in transporting people and goods are becoming increasingly autonomous. Although fully self-driving vehicles are not yet widespread, partially autonomous cars and trucks are already a reality today, such as Tesla’s Model S and Ford’s car project. Both companies are tracked by the Autonomous Vehicles Index. These large players are well-known in the automotive industry, but aspiring entrants continue to make significant inroads.

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Clean EnergyWhile the technology that goes into creating clean energy is a booming business, the companies that purchase and use that clean energy are also highly affected by industry trends and events. The Clean Energy Index follows companies, such as SunRun and Emerson Electric Co., that own clean energy generating assets. It focuses specifically on the renewable energy sector.

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CleantechWith the growth of the clean energy industry, demand is skyrocketing for technology to power that revolution. Kensho chose to create both a Clean Technology Index and a Clean Energy Index because the opportunities for both are big, but slightly different. Companies involved in solar, wind, hydro or geothermal energy such as solar cell makers SolarCity and Hanwha Q CELLS are included in the Cleantech Index.

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CybersecurityCybersecurity is a growing concern for individual, corporate and national security alike. It’s also a major source of job growth in the U.S. The Cybersecurity Index tracks well-known cybersecurity companies such as Symantec Corp. and FireEye as well as defense contractors with dedicated cybersecurity divisions.

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DronesRobotic aerial vehicles are increasingly used in various industries for transportation, shipping, reconnaissance and surveying. The Drones Index measures the growth of the publicly traded companies that have exposure to drones, whether they are building the devices themselves or creating communications systems for them. The index includes GoPro and Raytheon, among others.

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Genetic EngineeringThe Kensho Genetic Engineering Index includes companies involved in producing the backbone technologies in the genetic engineering field. With the human genome sequence now mapped out, companies will get ever more sophisticated in their uses of bioengineering in the future. This technology is also being deployed in agriculture to engineer crops and food to be more resistant and efficient. The index tracks pharmaceutical giant Novartis, and immunotherapy-focused biotech firm Kite Pharma, among others.

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NanotechnologyNanotechnology has long been touted as a potential game changer for the electronics industry, but it will have a major impact on biotech as well. The Nanotech Index follows companies that are involved in engineering products that work at the molecular level, from tiny but powerful circuits to molecules that can deliver drugs to the bloodstream and relay information back to doctors. The index includes companies such as Angiodynamics and Pacific Biosciences of California.

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RoboticsThe robotics industry is finally taking off, but not in the way so many imagined decades ago. Instead of mechanical butlers for domestic use, robots are revolutionizing the manufacturing industry. The Robotics Index tracks companies exposed to robotics in any capacity, from consumer-facing uses to workforce automation, including Accuray and Brooks Automation.

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Smart BuildingsAlong with autonomous vehicles and wearables, smart buildings are a quickly growing segment of the Internet of Things. Homes and buildings are expected to undergo increased computerization and connectivity, and companies such as Comfort Systems USA and iRobot are creating products and technology, like the Roomba vacuuming robot. The Smart Buildings Index tracks these companies as they change the way people live and work.

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SpaceThe popular perception is that privately held, nonpublicly traded firms like Elon Musk’s SpaceX dominate the space travel and exploration industry. The reality is that most of the companies that produce the components of rockets, such as Aerojet Rocketdyne and Airbus, are public and can be great opportunities for exposure to the market. The Space Index tracks these companies that are based in the U.S.

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Virtual RealityVirtual reality is finally coming to a headset near you, and the implications go far beyond gaming and immersive movies. The Virtual Reality index includes companies involved the virtual or augmented reality market, which is expected to grow to $80 billion by 2025. The index includes some of the more obvious players such as Facebook, maker of the Oculus Rift, as well as less obvious ones like Nvidia, which makes the graphics processing units needed to power VR platforms.

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WearablesWhile many investors are familiar with activity trackers, companies with exposure to the wearables industry include more than just FitBit. The trend toward tracking personal data goes beyond health; it’s becoming more about quantifying things like glucose levels and optimizing performance. This index includes companies that are exposed to wearable products, sensors and software, including Garmin and Taser International.

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3-D Printing3-D Printing is the sister industry to robotics, creating a manufacturing revolution for smaller-scale products. Eventually, 3-D printers will make much of the plastic merchandise currently produced in China and sold in the U.S. This shift is already in motion, as toy companies begin to offer software for use with home 3-D printers. The 3-D Printing Index tracks 3-D printer manufacturers, firms that produce the components for 3-D printers and those that create the software. It includes Autodesk and Eastman Kodak, among others.

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Not investment advice. See important disclaimers.