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Bright Bulbs

Illumina comes in at first place on Technology Review's list of the 50 smartest companies. As they explain, the Tech Review editors defined a smart company as one that has "made strides in the past year that will define its field."

Illumina, Tech Review says, holds some 70 percent of the market for sequencers, and recently announced that its new HiSeq X Ten machine could produce the coveted $1,000 human genome.

Tech Review also lauds the company's "soup-to-nuts" approach. "The San Diego–based company sells everything from sequencing machines that identify each nucleotide in DNA to software and services that analyze the data," it says. "In the coming age of genomic medicine, Illumina is poised to be what Intel was to the PC era — the dominant supplier of the fundamental technology."

Also on the list are GitHub, Monsanto, Medtronic, and Genomics England.