Latest News – Israel

  • BioConvergence – The Future of Medicine

    The past year showed us that the growing need to combine innovative technologies used in developing more precise, personalized medicines and treatments is already becoming reality! As we are amid the Bio-Convergence revolution, this short clip briefly explains this new discipline, and how Israel is positioned to take the lead in this filed globally. So… Can you afford not to be (t)here?

  • Hugh Jackman Fans Take Note | This AI Startup can Deepfake You into a Hollywood Movie

    Using cutting-edge artificial intelligence software, startup company D-ID can insert a deepfake version of you into a trailer for the new Hugh Jackman film Reminiscence.

    Startup company D-ID is using cutting-edge artificial intelligence software to deepfake people into the new Hugh Jackman film
    Startup company D-ID is using cutting-edge artificial intelligence software to deepfake people into the new Hugh Jackman film
    Promotional iamge of actor Hugh Jackman in the upcoming film
    Promotional iamge of actor Hugh Jackman in the upcoming film

    Since the movie is about a scientist who can help people relive their pasts, after uploading a photo of yourself on this website, the AI-driven tech animates your mugshot and guides you through the process of revisiting the past, seeing yourself smile, move, and blink in a pretty convincing manner.

    “It’s a new kind of experience,” said D-ID CEO and co-founder Gil Perry in an interview with Fast Company of the eerie personalized trailers. “The audience can engage and kind of feel the emotions of being inside the experience, the movie.”

    At the end of the video, the website gives you option to buy tickets to the real movie in theaters or share your clip on social media. This kind of individualized marketing strategy is quickly gaining traction as it’s proven to lead to greater audience engagement and more movie theater foot traffic. In fact, Perry says his company is already working with other studios to create similar marketing promos.

    D-ID Founders Gil Perry, Sella Blondheim, and Eliran Kuta.
    D-ID Founders Gil Perry, Sella Blondheim, and Eliran Kuta.

    D-ID, founded in 2017 by Perry, COO Sella Blondheim, and CTO Eliran Kuta, started as a privacy protection service, giving businesses the ability to “de-identify” photos, removing any “sensitive biometric data and personally identifiable information from facial images.” To the naked eye, the photos look the same, but a computer would be unable to decrypt or reverse-engineer it, thereby providing anti-hacking protection.

    The Tel Aviv-based company made waves back in February when it partnered with genealogy website MyHeritage to let customers bring pictures of their deceased ancestors to life. “We’re basically transforming all the photos in the world to videos – we like to say we ‘Harry Potter-ize’ the world.”

    D-ID previously had experience making ancestral deepfakes for MyHeritage users.
    D-ID previously had experience making ancestral deepfakes for MyHeritage users.

    The photo/videos are disconcertingly realistic. D-ID has worked tirelessly to achieve this effect with all different types of images. “The hard part is when you have no different angles – for example, you can upload a photo which is very frontal and without teeth,” Perry said in a piece for Tech Radar. “Our algorithms know how to predict and create the missing parts that you didn’t have in the photo – for example, ears, teeth, the background. Basically, we cross what people call the uncanny valley.”

    Perry believes there are ample possibilities for his company’s deepfake capabilities, especially in the entertainment field. Most notably, it allows movie directors to play around with stunts and special effects before even casting the actors. “We can animate and bring to life things that are not real humans, but animals, cartoons, paintings,” he explains, adding that “it really helps save money for pre-production, when filmmakers are not really sure what the movie is going to look like.”

    D-ID previously had experience making ancestral deepfakes for MyHeritage users.
    D-ID previously had experience making ancestral deepfakes for MyHeritage users.

    Currently, D-ID is in talks with stock photo companies, a place where customers might want the ability to change the expressions or angles of the models for their own needs.

    “What we offer companies or businesses is the ability to create meaningful, creative reality experiences,” Perry says. “We give them the tools to do things they couldn’t do before — creative things that can engage an audience.”

  • The Future of Law: From Online Courts to Predictive Dispute Technology

    It was not long ago when e-mails were a new technology and predictions for their importance in not only the world of business but law seemed over exaggerated. Now, 25 years on, they have become an essential part to our everyday lives and especially for law firms who are trying to deal with cases remotely on a day-to-day basis.

    So the question is… what will be the new ‘e-mail’ for law firms in the future? Well the answers are coming out Israel.

    The LawTech sector in Israel is one which is not only thriving but also evolving with the current demands of the global law industry. Whether it be through adapting to remote working, automated document drafting, online court systems or predicting disputes, all are examples of some of the technology that Israel has to offer in the legal system. The continued digitization of the law industry is a process that many other industries have gone through in the past, but it is one which law firms will benefit greatly from. The future will likely see lawyers and technology companies working closely together to deal with the highly intense industry in a more efficient manner. Artificial intelligence and machine-learning seem like ‘buzz-words’ in the field of innovation, however the cross-sector reference they bring among spreads across a multitude of industries, None more so than for the legal sector. Which is why we’re likely to see lawyers become more familiarized with A.I., machine-learning and predictive technology for example, as they are expected to become key aspects of the future system of law.

    Here are some of the most successful and innovative technologies coming out of Israel currently, and ones that are growing in traction as we move towards a more digitalized age:

    1. LawGeex is an AI-powered contract review platform that enables businesses to automatically review and approve contracts. They enable legal teams to expedite review turnaround, ensure legal compliance, and increase overall operational efficiency based on the general counsel’s pre-defined checklist.
    2. Cligal Tech is an application designed to assist lawyers in performing administrative legal tasks, such as preparing legal documents for submission to courts or arbitrators, redacting sensitive or confidential information from documents, enabling speedy execution of legal documents by the client or third parties, creating eBinders following equity financing or M&A closings, and others.
    3. COPA is a file sharing and sensitive document management platform designed to address critical communications pain points. COPA helps reduce the risk of human errors, providing exceptional protection and collaboration capabilities without compromising on usability. Their technology really helps law firms to manage files more productively and to minimize any mistakes being made in the process.
    4. LegalUp is a platform that enables law firms and businesses to generate automated, dynamic legal documents using their own content. LegalUp’s software provides a tool for lawyers to develop accurate documents based on the firm’s patterns and knowledge.
    5. LawGic, although currently with an unreleased product, is developing an SaaS solution aimed at providing advanced digital tools for the legal industry. The company’s first solution, Dox.Expert, was designed to save law firms time and money while increasing efficiency, billable hours, employees’ wellbeing, and general sustainability. With Dox.Expert, legal professionals can create documents including bundles, court files, complex letters, agreements, and tender booklets. Dox.Expert also organizes files and converts them to PDFs, which are indexed, numbered, and sectioned.
    6. SettlewiZe have developed a platform for resolving disputes using the wisdom of the community. SettlewiZe’s platform is aimed at resolving disputes between suppliers and consumers in cross-border eCommerce, members of communities, and disputes that couldn’t be resolved by customer service.

    These types of technologies show the range of legal tech features that Israel has to offer and how technology in this space is evolving with the growth of digital demand. Who knows what the latest technology will be in another 25 years’ time, but we should be ready to get used to digital law being a major piece of the sector’s landscape for years to come.

    For further information, please contact us.

  • Analysis is in the eye of the (video) beholder

    The concept and applicability of video analytics have been around for decades and today, is still one of the cutting-edge subjects in the physical security space.

    However, far beyond traditional security and motion detection, we see new trends within safety applications that are now involving crowd management, social distancing and face mask detection etc. In terms of technologies, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and cloud technologies will continue to have a massive impact on the future of video analytics.

    If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that businesses need to adapt quickly. Many video analytics companies from Israel have since came out with flexible and scalable AI technologies that offer compatibility, leverage existing investments in cameras that can be used for security, safety as well as business intelligence purposes.

    Here are some of Israel’s top companies in the video analytics sector:

    Corsight equips security professionals with a powerful, smart camera platform designed to help subdue real-time threats and provide maximum enterprise safety. The company utilizes autonomous AI to organize data into clear, comprehensible intelligence to identify concepts and patterns yielding actionable insights.

    Backed by more than 200 patents, Corsight’s technology uses neuroscience and biological research to mimic the way humans interpret signals and understand their surroundings. Its target markets include industries such as homeland security, transportation, law enforcement, and banking.

    Corsight’s technology can identify people in real time with only half their face showing, even in low-light conditions. One of the technology’s possible applications for the COVID-19 pandemic includes enabling medical personnel to open locked hospital doors using facial recognition without removing protective gear or touching any buttons. The technology can also identify individuals in violation of quarantine measures within population centers, even if their faces are covered by a mask, as well as identify people who have come in close proximity to an infected person and should be quarantined.

    Corsight is a subsidiary of Cortica, a developer of AI technologies.

    Oddetect develops video analytics software for video surveillance systems, enabling automatic and autonomous real-time alerts of abnormal activities. Using machine learning solutions, Oddetect enables large surveillance systems to automatically receive relevant live alerts without the need to predefine rules for each camera.

    The system generates alerts autonomously, thereby automatically building a reference routine. A real-time video feed is continuously compared to the reference routine. Oddetect’s mission is to turn surveillance cameras into autonomous sensors for real-time alerts, transforming the capabilities of real-time video monitoring.

    AnyVision offers a wide range of facial, body, and object recognition and related technologies for homeland security, defense, financial services, gaming, pathology, agriculture, and home applications. Its solutions are designed to function on any sensor with any resolution, and are proven to operate in real time and in real-world scenarios.

    The company’s smart binoculars and sights with thermal and night vision help to classify objects and identify targets. Combined with real-time alerts, these capabilities can effectively turn devices into visual targeting radar. Its drone-detection system uses thermal CCTV cameras to detect perimeter airspace intrusion at any time and in all weather conditions with no interference with RF/radar signals.

    AnyVision’s recognition technology is used to authenticate legitimate users and customers, detect targets, track criminals and terrorists, and locate missing persons in a wide range of settings including banks, educational institutions, correctional facilities, airports, casinos, businesses, and special events.

    If you wish to get connected to either of these companies or more from Israel, please get in touch.

  • Leonardo DiCaprio Invests in Cell-Cultured Beef Leaders Mosa Meat and Aleph Farms

    Environmental activist and Academy Award-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio has joined cell-cultured beef pioneers Mosa Meat and Aleph Farms as an investor and advisor.  

    “One of the most impactful ways to combat the climate crisis is to transform our food system” – Leonardo DiCaprio

    Both companies have demonstrated the ability to grow beef directly from animal cells, with Dutch company Mosa Meat recently making huge progress and raising over $85 million dollars this year. 

    Cell-cultured steak producer Aleph Farms also enjoyed a $105 million raise this year, with the Israeli company telling vegconomist in a recent interview that it is currently; “Scaling-up manufacturing, growing operations internationally, and expanding its product lines and technology platform ahead of Aleph Farms’ initial market launch in 2022.” 

    Leonardo DiCaprio & Alt Protein

    The investment is not the first time Leonardo DiCaprio has entered the alt protein sphere, as he recently joined Perfect Day – the microbial fermentation alt dairy specialist. He also serves as an ambassador for Beyond Meat and recently encouraged his legions of fans to go plant-based for climate change.  

    A longtime champion of global environmental issues including climate change, wildlife conservation, access to clean water, protecting biodiversity, marine conservation, and supporting Indigenous communities, DiCaprio has provided more than $100 million in grants to a variety of programs and projects to date. 

    “One of the most impactful ways to combat the climate crisis is to transform our food system. Mosa Meat and Aleph Farms offer new ways to satisfy the world’s demand for beef, while solving some of the most pressing issues of current industrial beef production. I’m very pleased to join them as an advisor and investor, as they prepare to introduce cultivated beef to consumers,” commented Leonardo DiCaprio.

    https://vegconomist.com/hot-off-the-vegan-press/leonardo-dicaprio-invests-in-cell-cultured-beef-leaders-mosa-meat-and-aleph-farms/

  • ICYMI – Israeli fintech co Way2Vat completes IPO in Australia

    Way2Vat is the developer and operator of an automated, AI-based platform for filing VAT returns.

    Israeli fintech company Way2Vat Ltd. (ASX: W2V) has completed an IPO on the Australian Securities Exchange, raising A$7 million (NIS 16.3 million) at a valuation of A$30.7 million (NIS 72 million). On its first day of trading, last Friday, the stock shot up by 57.5% from A$0.20 to A$0.315, but it has subsequently subsided to A$0.27.

    Way2Vat, of Herzliya, is the developer and operator of an automated, AI-based platform for filing value added tax (VAT) returns. The platform connects to the customer’s exiting expenses management system, analyzes the reclaimable VAT amounts, and automatically files a refund claim with the relevant tax authority, thus, according to the company, rendering the manual process of filing VAT claims unnecessary.

    The company says that it has more than 180 customers, among them Mastercard, EY Israel, Intel, and Amdocs. Last year, the company also launched a solution for small and mid-size businesses. Way2Vat makes its money from a commission on each VAT refund claim filed using its platform. The average rate of VAT in the OECD countries is 19.3%, with a range of 5% to 27%.

    Way2Vat was founded in 2016 by its CEO Amos Simantov. Simantov was formerly a senior manager at SintecMedia and Rit Technologies. According to the prospectus for the offering in Australia, Simantov holds 5.7% of the shares in the company. Other significant shareholders are Poalim Capital Markets and the iAngels fund. Way2Vat’s chairperson is Adoram Gaash, whose background is in venture capital. The company has about 50 employees.

    Way2Vat’s revenue is still modest, but it is growing rapidly. In 2020, revenue totaled $1 million, up from $408,000 the previous year. The company posted a loss of $2.8 million in 2020, which compares with a loss of $3.6 million in 2019.

    Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on September 22, 2021

    © Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2021

    https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-Israeli-fintech-co-Way2Vat-completes-IPO-in-Australia-1001385088

  • The Future of Storage Energy

    Power outages result in substantial losses to companies, expensive acquisitions made my households and businesses to sustain operations and ultimately results in harmful emissions to the environment due to the usage of non-sustainable means to generate electricity in times of need.

    One solution to power outages is the notion of power storage, instead of real time usage. The notion of energy storage can either be at utility scale, which includes all energy storages at the side of the utility provider, or energy storage can include behind the meter storage, which is all measures taken by households and industry to store energy or ultimately remote power systems which are supplied to remote areas which are not typically connected to the grid. For this discussion, we will place our focus on utility scale and remote power systems.  Within the topic of storage energy, there has been a few trends that caught the attention of energy enthusiasts, we will discuss the notion of hydrogen energy storage.

    Hydrogen storage energy is a form of chemical energy storage, where the stored energy can be released at any time by means of using gas as fuel in a combustion engine or in fuel cells. The benefits of Hydrogen storage energy include the high quantity of energy that can be stored in hydrogen, which is substantially higher than the storage capacity of batteries. Secondly, the hydrogen energy storage is nontoxic with almost no emissions through the process of electrolysis. Thus, an environmentally friendly alternative.

    Further, we transition to the notion of Remote Power Systems. This refers to networks not connected to the utility grid. These remote areas predominantly make use of renewable means to generate power, however, due to climate conditions and other causes which make real-time power generation difficult in remote areas, there is a need for movable storage energy to these regions. Despite the dangers involved in the movement and displacement of hydrogen storage in general, advancements and innovation made this process much safer, as observed in the hydrogen motor vehicle industry. The storage units in remote areas will reduce and even eliminate power outages in areas where power outages have become part of the everyday life in those regions.

    Cost of implementation and adaption

    Considering all the benefits from the Hydrogen Energy Storage discussed above, we need to consider the high cost at which Hydrogen Energy storage comes. Despite the easy process through electrolysis which manufactures the hydrogen, several costs are accompanied by the hydrogen storage. At present hydrogen storage energy is more expensive than some alternative energy storage methods. However, due to the relatively new nature of hydrogen storage energy we do expect the price of implementation and adoption of hydrogen storage energy to decrease rapidly in the following years.  

    Israeli companies are the leaders in innovation concerning energy storage, with expertise in hydrogen storage as well as mobile energy storage units. The following companies are known for their advanced groundbreaking work in the field of energy storage.

    Energystoredge

    Energystoredge provides solutions by charging aqueous NRG-liquid with Hydrogen and releasing it on demand. NRG-liquid referred to above is a safe, non-flammable, nontoxic rechargeable liquid. This is highly beneficially due to the substantial reduction in cost of hydrogen transportation, infrastructure, and handling.

    Further, Energystoredge is well-known in the field of hydrogen powered vehicles, specializing in the replacement of high-pressure related components in hydrogen powered vehicles, in addition to hydrogen fueling stations.

    For more information, visit their website at – https://www.nrgstoredge.com/

    Gencell

    Gencell have developed a revolutionary process that allows them to create hydrogen-on-demand from anhydrous ammonia (NH3) at 10 times the efficiency of other solutions and without any outside electrical power.

    This breakthrough enables GenCell to provide the first viable green primary power solution for off-grid and poor-grid telecom as well as rural electrification—at a cost less than diesel solutions.

    For more information visit their website – https://www.gencellenergy.com/

    NRG Spring

    NRG spring specializes in the field of storage energy in its entirety. NRG spring is a firm believer that renewable energy cannot be used completely efficient without storage, therefore, NRG spring supplies storage solutions for wind and solar generated power, in addition to providing energy storage solutions for remote off-grid regions.

    NRG spring does not make use of hydrogen storage energy, which makes their solutions less expensive, yet they are able to store from 10KW to 10Mw.

    For more information visit their website- https://www.nrgspring.com/

    For more information, please get in touch.

  • COVID result in seconds

    COVID result in seconds – The Australian Jewish News

    “Our solution can help stop the spread by instantly detecting people who are infectious at the point of entry and allow communities and economies to safely return to a normal way of life.”

    A new venture between an Israeli and Australian company will see the introduction of a low-cost test that can detect the COVID-19 virus in seconds.

    Sydney-based Inventive Health is entering into a merger with Israeli-based Virusight Diagnostic, a world-leader in artificial intelligence software using spectral technology, supported by the Sheba Medical Centre in Israel.

    Its flagship product, SpectraLIT, is a new low-cost point-of-care testing solution, powered by artificial intelligence, that is able to detect COVID-19 within seconds using either a non-invasive mouthwash or nasal swabs.

    It can integrate with track-and-trace systems and the company says it costs a fraction of what PCR and other rapid-antigen tests currently available cost.

    Sydney-based Gary Cohen, the executive chairman of Inventive Health, will be CEO of the joint venture.

    “This merger brings together the best minds in digital health, AI and international business infrastructure,” said Cohen.

    “Vaccinations are critically important, but we know that being vaccinated doesn’t prevent an individual from contracting and transmitting the virus.

    “Our solution can help stop the spread by instantly detecting people who are infectious at the point of entry and allow communities and economies to safely return to a normal way of life.”

    Pilot tests have been conducted in more than 40 countries and the test has already been certified by a number of regulatory bodies around the world.

    Contract discussions are underway in the UK, Europe, South America, the United States, Asia and Australia.

    “Being able to detect a devastating virus like COVID-19, its many variants and other viruses using cost-effective ultra-rapid testing is desperately needed the world over,” said Virusight Diagnostic chairman Eli Assoolin.

    “Frequent testing will become a way of life and in Virusight Diagnostic we have a point of care solution that is safe, reliable and easy to deploy, built on our AI platform for pathogens diagnosis using spectral technology.”

    The combined company, valued at A$111 million, will be headquartered in Israel with offices in Sydney and London, and supported by a global distribution network.

    Virusight emerged from Sheba Medical Centre’s ARC Innovation Centre, which has been at the forefront of technological development during the pandemic.

  • ’20 Olympics in ’21 amidst COVID-19: Israel and Australia Summary

    The dust has now settled on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as the Olympic torch is extinguished and passed on to Paris for 2024. I can’t help but note a few observations – the 2020 Olympics was held in 2021 but not rebranded as such, like COVID-19, which really took effect during 2020 but the name, much like a brand – remained. After the Olympic Games was postponed in 2020, I didn’t think it would be a fair Games if it was to be held the following year- not because of the ROC competitors, but because the countries with fit athletes who could train, travel and be vaccinated would succeed, leaving in their wake the less fortunate countries that couldn’t afford to make the trade-off and send their Olympians to the unknown. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics was a very successful Olympic Games for Australia and the most successful Olympic Games for Israel. Is it a coincidence that these two countries overcame their 2020 COVID challenges better than most, because both countries have prioritised the saving of human lives in the fight against COVID-19?

    Israel championed her fight against COVID as the rest of the world watched the little battler on the Mediterranean slice vaccinate their adult population with the Pfizer vaccine, exclusively sharing their data and statistics results with the vaccine manufacturer in exchange for going on top of the list of countries receiving doses. Rewind a few months and Israel, despite their accelerating MedTech industry, faced the challenge of a strong-headed population not obeying stay-at-home orders in cultural clusters, with the country on the brink of being overtaken by the virus and enacting very strict lockdown restrictions. With telehealth solutions, robotic doctors, and nurses; and makeshift army barrack-style treatment tents, Israel fought and kept the virus at bay just in time for the super-successful fast-paced vaccine rollout to achieve herd immunity. And so, Israelis went back to work, resumed business as per normal and athletes were able to train, travel to Tokyo and bring back two gold and two bronze medals – an unprecedented achievement. Israeli success, notably in gymnastics, in the Olympics was helped by its Russian immigrants, just as they have helped Israeli technological developments since the beginning of the collapse of the Soviet Union and mass-migration of scores of highly educated and scientifically skilled migrants to Israel.

    Australia had a different battle to contend with against the global pandemic, boasting isolated borders being a large country-island. In Australia, we successfully curtailed the virus in the beginning whilst we lived our lives as normal when countries around the world were succumbing in droves. Athletes learnt of the delayed Olympic Games, which was a blessing for some who were injured and would struggle to qualify for the 2020 deadline, but a curse for the ageing athletes who might not be able to extend their training for another year. It’s no secret that Australia invests heavily in athletes competing on the world stage, especially in fields of previous success, such as swimming. Despite a few bungles by State Government allowing the virus to circulate, and some mishaps by the Federal Government in not securing vaccines, Australians managed to live a relatively normal life and have their athletes do their physical due diligence, while the Government fast-tracked the Olympians’ vaccination campaign ahead of the vulnerable and potential super-spreaders, for them to embark on flights to Tokyo and compete, to win no less than 17 gold medals and finishing in  sixth place. Pretty impressive for a nation of only 25 million people.

    Unfortunately, the Delta variant struck while the athletes were away, and the Australian bungled vaccine roll-out has meant the loss of trillions of dollars’ worth of productivity. However, for two weeks us sport-loving Australians managed to forget about forced lockdown, routine testing, and the inability to secure two doses of the vaccine within the required and recommended time between each inoculation. We even also managed to secure the rights to the 2032 Olympic Games, beating out no other country with the disposable Government income to tender for the bid. Delta also struck Israel but differently to Australia, in that it hit the young population but similarly how both countries’ populations were living with relative freedom beforehand. Israel has now embarked on their booster campaign in addition to vaccinating children.

    Israel and Australia both see the Olympics as a chance to shine on the world stage before a global audience. Time will tell if money and effort was well-spent on the Olympics. Although, it seems that on a world stage both countries are champions against the pandemic in 2021, where we have athletes returning home with gold medals. Both countries are competitive and reward success and both countries’ athletes were successful in crowd-less stadia against largely depleting non-first-world nations who really couldn’t sacrifice the same for temporary glory. Since Israeli medical technology is world-class and Australian athletes are world-class trainers and performers, it begs the question – was it all worth it? For those two weeks it was. 2022 and 2023 will be the proving ground of community sentiment around money-well-spent and we hope that 2024 in Paris will yield further successes, with all of us able to travel and support our Green and Gold and Blue and White teams.

    Jeremy Ungar
    Trade Officer
    Israel Trade and Economic Commission
    Sydney, Australia

  • TOM: Tikkun Olam Makers Announces: Global Innovation Challenge to Solve Needs of People With Disabilities

    TOM: Tikkun Olam Makers launches an international innovation competition – the Global Innovation Challenge, where makers, entrepreneurs, engineers, designers and social activists will develop technological solutions for people with disabilities. Winners will receive a cash prize and an opportunity to participate at the Expo 2020 Dubai. Registration is now open at www.tomchallenge.org

    We invite everyone to participate in the competition!

    Now is the time to build a team, identify a person’s unmet need and develop a solution for them. Join The GIC and make an impact!

    For more information and to register visit the GIC website at www.tomchallenge.org or send an email to nadav@tomglobal.org

    During the competition, teams from around the world will compete in one of two tracks: The Live Track, which encourages solutions to challenges of daily activities such eating, drinking, mobility or personal hygiene; and the Aspire Track, which will support solutions that allow people with disabilities to participate in arts, music, sports or other hobbies. Participating teams will gather online and in-person (COVID permitting) to conduct an accelerated development process of their products.

    The TOM GIC will run from August 15 to October 31 with teams from five continents competing for a total of $18,000 in prize money and an opportunity to showcase their winning solutions at a closing event at the Expo 2020 Dubai in November.

    All projects are developed in an “open source” format, so that the products can be manufactured anywhere. Each solution is designed to change the life of a single individual, while at the same time have the potential to impact many others. Collectively, TOM’s library of solutions is designed to improve the lives of millions of people around the world.

    TOM is a global humanitarian venture, which was launched in Israel in 2014 and is now led from New York City, with an R&D center in Tel Aviv. TOM seeks to help millions of people by inspiring and supporting a global movement of communities that co-create open-source affordable solutions that are deposited in a library of free solutions available for anyone anywhere. TOM Solutions will be manufactured and distributed by 3D printers and makerspaces around the world. Since TOM’s inception, TOM Communities have led more than 100 Makeathons, which are marathons of innovation, in thirty countries in five continents.

  • Emerging Israeli Startups that are Redefining the Global Food-Tech Industry

    When we talk about food, technology isn’t the first thing that always comes to our mind. However, over the years, the food industry worldwide has undergone a significant transformation in terms of processing, production, and preservation techniques of various food products.

    Now, food-tech is all about filling your plate with cheaper, safer, and fresher alternatives that are environmentally friendly and comparatively more nutritious. In 2021, the food-tech industry largely dabbles in alternative proteins, nanotechnology, microbiology, tissue engineering, etc.

    Given Israel’s mastery in innovation and expertise in technology, it’s no surprise that investors globally are now paying attention to the game-changing Israeli food-tech startups that are slowly but surely transforming this billion-dollar industry.

    For instance, startups like Amai Proteins are aiming to replace sugar with healthier, sweet proteins. Amai, which means sweet in Japanese, believes that the focus should be on curing the food we eat rather than the various diseases caused by it. This company takes sweet proteins found along the equatorial belt and uses fermentation along with Agile Integrative Computational Protein Design (AI-CPD) to produce proteins that are fit for mass food markets.

    Then we have Future Meat Technologies that supplies and produces lab-grown meat. This company focuses on sustainable cultured meat technology where they have completely removed the need to kill chicken, pigs, or lambs for their meat and instead focused on creating lines of healthy animal cells that are GMO-free and grow without any genetic modification. Future Meat Technologies adopts a cost-effective solution focusing on cellular agriculture, which is not only sustainable but also scalable by design.

    Ukko, an Israeli biotech startup, has a unique mission to improve people’s lives by combating food allergies and sensitivities. They do so by designing proteins that do not trigger an adverse immune response among people after consumption. Ukko’s technology utilizes the samples from various patients along with machine learning in order to create superior proteins with improved properties that can be used in different food products without causing a negative reaction.

    An exciting venture in alternative milk products is the Israeli startup Remilk which offers animal-free dairy products without compromising on texture and taste. This company makes use of the microbial fermentation process, where they reproduce milk proteins that are identical to cow-produced milk. Remilk is curating healthier and safer milk alternatives without any lactose, cholesterol, hormones, and the use of cows!

    Talking about alternative dairy, ZeroEgg is another Israeli startup that has proven to be a major game-changer in the egg category. ZeroEgg develops plant-based egg products through a combination of healthy and sustainable plant proteins like soy, chickpea, potato, etc., which feels and tastes like a real egg.  Furthermore, they provide this alternative in liquid and powder form, which can be used as a substitute in various recipes like mayonnaise, omelets, pies, and cookies.

    While these are just a drop in the ocean of Israeli startups acing the food technologies, it is pretty clear that with innovation like these, Israel has already paved its way in transforming the food-tech industry.

  • The Israeli Dairy Model | Leading the Way with Innovation

    Given the unprecedented times, with the COVID-19  pandemic having a staggering impact on most industries, the dairy sector has emerged resilient.

    Israel’s dairy industry is believed to be one of the most advanced in the world. With its effective breeding policies and technology, Israel has climbed the ranks to become a global leader in milk production. It has over 100,000 dairy cattle producing nearly 1.6 billion liters of milk/year on a quota system.

    Israel has two farming systems – the Kibbutz which are large collective dairy farms and the Moshav, which are private family owned dairy units. The Israeli Dairy Board, collectively owned by the Government of Israel, major companies and farmers themselves, oversee all the dairy production in the country. 

    Computerized milking and feeding systems, cow- cooling systems combined with careful breeding and intelligent farm management techniques have led to the tremendous progress of Israel’s dairy industry.

    Today, Israel boasts of producing the highest milk yield per cow and is truly a success model for dairy farmers around the world.

    Here are some of Israel’s top companies in the dairy sector:

    ABL Technologies Ltd  . is a dynamic global dairy company that specialises in offering complete Turn Key Solutions to its clients with world class milk processing technologies. It offers its consumers integration and assembling along with training and know-how. All its products are customised to suit consumer target markets.

    Afimilk – Since 1977, has become a global leader in developing, manufacturing and marketing advanced computerized systems for the modern dairy farm, and for herd management. Afimilk introduced the world’s first electronic milk meter more than 30 years ago, the first pedometer to monitor cows, the first dairy farm management software and the first online milk analyzer (AfiLab). These tools have enabled farm managers to improve performance and maximize efficiency, ultimately increasing profits. Afimilk leading product line, is an automated modular system for intensive dairy farm management. The fully integrated software program, AfiFarm, collects information about each animal, builds a database and generates reports. This gives the farmer real-time information about herd health, milk quality and other critical factors, and enables well-informed decision-making. 

    Armenta is an Agro-tech company focused on non- antibiotic treatment of Mastitis in dairy cows. It uses Acoustic Pulse Technology to treat inflammatory diseases.

    ENGS System offers innovative solutions to its customers. It uses management software to transfer data to its customers in real-time, enhancing work efficiency, aiming to improve the overall dairy management process. 

    MGT Liquid & Process Systems is a company that specializes in the design and manufacture of dairy equipment and provides process solutions for food, dairy, bio-pharma, cosmetics and chemical companies worldwide.

    Mileutis is a bio- pharmaceutical company that develops natural peptides and Antibiotic Replacement Drugs for animal health. It operates through strategic partnerships with bio pharmaceutical companies to create novel, protein based therapeutics. 

    miRobot’s innovative technology focuses on fully automating the milking process. It offers robotic solutions that help farmers run multiple milk stalls simultaneously with only one supervisor overseeing the entire parlor. This reduces labor cost, improves milk quality and parlor capacity.

    Scio, developed by Consumer Physics, is a real time probable sensor that enables professionals in the food and agriculture industry to make effective data driven decisions that help reduce food waste, boost capacity and profitability.

    SCR Dairy is a pioneer in the cow monitoring and animal identification systems and has developed a monitoring tag that monitors over 7 million animals around the world. 

    Paulee CleanTec  specializes in recycling human and animal waste into effective, odor-free fertilizer in minutes, helping clients to move towards a more cleaner, healthier and sustainable society.

    Rafael Feed Mills is a leader in the animal feed mixture industry producing thousands of tons of animal mixtures for nationwide and global markets. They are the second largest producers of fish feed in Israel. 

    Tessa Dairy Machinery manufactures several custom made processing plants for small and large dairy farms. Their dairy lines are designed to process fresh milk, milk powders and skimmed milk. Tessa also has canning and automated lines that manufacture and pack fruit juice & jams.

    Israel’s success story is a model to dairy companies around the world. It’s economic representatives work to facilitate foreign investments and build strategic alliances with foreign companies.

  • Innovative Sustainable Cooling Technologies from Israel

    As the Earth’s temperatures keep soaring upwards, cooling technologies are fast becoming one of the most sought-after solutions. But the high energy consumption required for cooling in turn adds on to pollution and overall heating of the planet. To escape this vicious cycle, the need of the hour is sustainable, energy efficient cooling technologies and energy management systems.

    Israel has always been at the forefront, whenever it came to innovating and coming up with cutting edge technology as solutions to difficult problems in various industry sectors. In this post, we would like to highlight some of the innovative technologies for sustainable cooling and energy management solutions, that Israel has to offer.

    BSD Lord International Ltd. specializes in the design, manufacturing and installation of vehicle cooling systems, including transport refrigeration systems, air-conditioning systems and automotive spare parts. They focus their efforts on providing customers with complete and customized cooling solutions, based on the client’s specific needs. They are one of the top manufacturers and suppliers of the world’s largest transportation cooling systems, air conditioning systems and spare parts for vehicles of all kinds.

    Double Check Thermal Solutions specializes in the development, design, engineering, and manufacture of high-efficiency cooling and heating systems and products for thermal management in biotechnological, commercial, and industrial applications. The company’s products include thermic pads, temperature controllers, heat pipes, liquid cooling plates, vapor chambers, and thermoelectric components.

    Eldrotec develops precise cooling systems for use in a wide variety of industries, including industrial printing, lasers, biomedical, semiconductors, and automotive. The company makes electronic device temperature-testing equipment and recirculating chillers. Its cooling systems are used in military aircraft, radar facilities, and data centers.

    Elgressy Engineering Services develops and markets comprehensive solutions and systems for treating and preventing common water-related problems including scale, bacteria, and corrosion. The company’s electrochemical technology provides solutions for cooling towers, heat exchangers, hot and cold-water systems, and other industrial applications. Elgressy is a subsidiary of the Clean Technologies Group.

    Eneriqs has developed a software-based chiller optimizer called the Chiller Smart Management System. The company’s software continuously monitors the facility and improves over time through artificial intelligence. Eneriqs aims to deliver a 30% reduction in air conditioning costs on average, while leaving internal room and building conditions unchanged.

    Nostromo Energy has developed the IceBrick ESS, an energy storage system that requires no toxic or rare earth materials. Nostromo’s IceBrick system uses surplus electric power during periods of excess to store cold thermal energy in the form of ice, which is then utilized for cooling during peak hours when the electrical grid is under its highest level of stress. The company’s system is designed to operate safely, with almost no degradation for over 20 years.

    Phoebus Energy is a cleantech company specializing in energy-saving solutions for water heating and cooling in medium to large commercial facilities. Through smart algorithms, Phoebus Energy’s system utilizes energy that would otherwise go to waste. It converts the difference in temperature of water flowing in and out of boilers and chillers into free energy used for heating and cooling, and it works with existing heating and cooling systems to bring immediate savings and pollution reduction.

    Ricor Cryogenic and Vacuum Systems produces innovative cooler technology for the space, military and defense, homeland security, semiconductor, commercial, and scientific equipment industries. Ricor develops, manufactures, and markets a wide range of advanced products and solutions, including cryocoolers for infrared systems, x-ray and gamma detectors, scientific instrumentation, vacuum cryo pumps, and wafer storage purge systems. In addition, the company offers semiconductor manufacturing equipment diagnostic tools, solutions for high-temperature superconductivity devices, and advanced acoustic noise and vibration control.

    SmartGreen provides solutions for the improvement of the energy and operational performance of commercial and industrial facilities. The company’s flagship product, OptiNergy, is a cloud-based platform that combines machine-learning algorithms, big data analytics, and IoT technology and devices for buildings. OptiNergy collects data from equipment-level controllers and sensors and turns this data into meaningful and actionable insights so that building or facility personnel can execute the right corrective action at the right time. This can ensure the tenants’ wellbeing and result in reduced energy consumption, as well as reduced equipment downtime, degradation, and maintenance costs.

    SolCold, which specializes in the fields of physics and nanoparticles, is developing an innovative material that becomes cooler with increased sun exposure. The SolCold material, which is no thicker than a business card, can be applied to the surface of an object. The sun’s radiation then triggers a reaction in the material, converting the heat accumulated in the object into radiation and releasing it in a process known as anti-Stokes fluorescence, thereby creating a cooling effect. SolCold can be used to cool buildings, cars, food containers, airplanes, and many other products requiring cooling in hot weather.

  • Amcor Strikes Compostable Packaging Deal with Israel’s TIPA

    Amcor has struck a deal with Israeli tech company Tipa to manufacture compostable packaging in Australia and New Zealand as it looks for plastic alternatives to reduce waste.

    The packaging can be used like conventional plastic, but the films and laminates can decompose back into the soil after 180 days, compared with up to 1000 years for some plastics.

    Amcor will make, supply, and distribute the product under an exclusive partnership with TIPA, including fresh food and bakery items, allowing traditional plastic bags and packaging to be removed from the waste stream. Tipa already works with retailer Woolworths and fashion designer Stella McCartney.

    “We’ve never seen anything quite like this before,” Amcor Flexibles Australia vice-president Simon Roy told The Australian. “It’s quite a breakthrough, and the fact it can be used for the type of applications we require in the supermarket with food on the shelf and then into your home compost is not something we’ve seen before. It’s quite exciting.”

    Federal, state, and territory governments are pushing to have the food and garden organics waste scheme, currently in place in nearly 20 percent of local councils expanded across Australia to cut back on the volume of waste sent to landfills and improve soil quality for farmers.

    “Traditional plastics will not break down in a compostable form, and that’s one of the problems we are all facing today with landfill and ocean waste. This product is one of the solutions to combat that,” Mr. Roy said.

    Under the food and organics collection system, households are provided with compostable bin liners and a separate bin to collect kitchen waste such as vegetables, meat scraps, and dairy products, which are then placed in green bins with garden waste.

    The green bin is then collected weekly and taken to a centralized composting center, where it is turned into compost before being sold to farmers or directly to consumers.

    Amcor became the first global packaging company to promise a switch to entirely recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025 and established a Sustainability Centre of Excellence in Europe to drive research and development across its global flexible packaging business.

    Plastics production is set to double by 2037 and nearly quadruple by 2050, according to Bank of America, but recycling rates remain well below other materials at just 16 percent compared to paper at 58 percent.

    View the Original Article on The Australian 

  • Israeli Technology will be Used for 3D Mapping of Australian Buildings

    The data from the mapping will benefit insurance companies among others.

    The Israeli start-up company GEOX signed a deal with the Australian government company Geoscape that will lead to the full aerial footage-based 3D mapping of 18 million buildings around the Australian continent.

    GEOX’s mapping uses artificial intelligence and patent-protected algorithms and can provide information on more than 30 building  attributes. 

    This information is of great value to insurers, mortgage, banks, investors, solar energy, cellphone companies, and real estate.

    The data produced by GEOX will be used hundreds of companies that deal with these fields and will spare the sending of a human surveyor in many cases.

    The project will be done in stages, starting in the big cities, Syndey and Melbourne, and will then continue to the smaller towns.”

    This is one of the most extensive projects in world in terms of in-depth mapping of residential buildings.

    The data that is supplied by our technology gives essential information to insurance companies for future risk assessment for the sake of deciding the heights of buildings, tracking changes made to insured properties, the optimal spreading of cellular antennae, evaluation of electricity output expected from panels on roofs and more.

    This is a significant step up compared to the other technology currently in use in Australia,” said Izik lavy, CEO and one of the founders of GEOX.

    He added that the demand for advanced mapping of properties has risen in the past few years due to natural disasters that have caused heavy damages to property.

    GEOX was founded in 2018 by Izik Lavi, Eli lavi, and Guy Atar. The company currently has 24 employees and is in the process of expanding.  

    Israeli technology will be used for 3D mapping of Australian buildings – The Jerusalem Post (jpost.com)

  • ALD announces $50M funding following HUB Security merger

    If your Australasian critical infrastructure needs securing, get in touch.

    Recently merged ALD announced a 50 million USD investment round, based on a 146 million USD valuation from leading institutional investors following its merger announcement with Hub Security, LTD.(”HUB”)

    Upon completion of the merger, HUB shareholders will hold 51%  of the new company (NewCo). The company’s name is expected to change from ALD to Hub Security and Eyal Moshe, CEO and co-founder of Hub Security will be appointed CEO of the newly merged company.

    June 3rd 2021, Tel-Aviv, Israel – Today, ALD Advanced Logistics Development Ltd. (ALD), an Israeli publicly traded company at the Tel-aviv stock exchange, announced that it has completed raising 50 million USD from a number of Israel’s and international leading institutional investors. Since the company’s most recent merger with Tel-Aviv based cybersecurity firm Hub Security, the company has been valued at 146 million USD.

    HUB Security was established in 2017 by veterans of the 81 and 8200 IDF Intelligence units by co-founders Eyal Moshe (CEO) and Andrey Iaremenko (CTO). Its shareholders include among others, AXA Ventures, the investment arm of the  leading global insurance company AXA and the private investment fund OurCrowd.

    As of [date], all the preconditions have been completed, including ALD’s general assembly that has approved the company’s merger with HUB  by an overwhelming majority. Upon completion of the merger, the holding stake of Hub shareholders will be 51% and the company’s name is expected to change from ALD to HUB Security Ltd. (NewCo).

    The company also announced early Tuesday that once the merger is complete, Eyal Moshe, HUB’s current CEO, will also become the CEO of NewCo. In addition, Eyal Moshe will become NewCo’s Controlling Owner, while the COO of the Company, Dotan Moshe will remain in his current position. ALD’s former CEO and Controlling Owner, Zigmund Bluvband, is set to be appointed Chairman of the Board and Mr. Andrey Iaremenko will remain as HUB CTO.

    Executives at Hub Security stated that they have been following ALD’s activities for some time. As a substantiated company boasting a significant customer base both in Israel and overseas, ALD owns a well-developed sales infrastructure. HUB security sees the potential embedded within ALD as an appropriate platform for a successful merger, while working together on the basis of its well-developed customer base and excellent client relationships as fertile grounds for the next steps in the merged company’s growth in the cybersecurity market. 

    ALD is an established Israeli company that has been active in the software and consultancy industry for over 36 years and boasts a customer base of leading international organizations. The company has an annual revenue cycle of 110million NIS that enjoys steady, stable growth. The group itself provides services, consults and designs software in the area of critical systems reliability and safety. 

    Company clients are governmental organizations and international conglomerates that have been working with ALD for over 20 years. The company has about 600 employees and its offices are located in Israel. Among ALD’s most prominent clients are Lockheed Martin, Deutsche Bahn, Siemens, Embraer , and others.

    HUB Security was founded in 2017 by former IDF intelligence corps personnel (including 8200 and 81 veterans). Among them is Eyal Moshe, now CEO, and Andrey Yarmenko, now CTO. Equity holders include AXA international insurance group, Venture Investor Ourcrowd and others. 

    The company specializes in cybersecurity technology that works to protect sensitive data that belongs to enterprise companies and organizations. It is also proprietor of an advanced cryptography based computation solution which prevents hostile infiltration and protects sensitive commercial information. HUB Security has 25 employees in offices in both Tel Aviv and New York.

    HUB Security provides cybersecurity solutions for a variety of fields including AI, Data, Fintech and infrastructure. HUB Security’s cybersecurity platform is planned and manufactured by the company in Israel and provides organizations with military-grade security. The company’s working premise is that the systems it is protecting have already been hacked or infiltrated, and therefore the highest possible standard of protection must be made available to protect the most sensitive information.

    Over the past year, HUB Security has signed several key partnership agreements, among them with the Israel Electric Corporation’s Cyber unit, with storage giant Seagate, Lloyd’s, and a collaboration agreement with Kudelski Security.

    ALD (Advanced Logistics Development) is a long-standing, well-established Israeli company active in the field of software and security consulting for 36 years with a leading global customer base. The company has an annual turnover of approximately NIS 110 million, which has increased steadily over the years. The group is engaged in providing services, consultancy, and software in the field of critical systems reliability and safety. The company’s customers are government bodies and Fortune 500 companies which worked with ALD for over 20 years. The company offices are located in Or Yehuda, Israel.

    Hub Security views ALD’s broad and steadfast client base as an immense advantage and together with the trust HUB has from Institutional investors, they see the merger as grounds for leveraging the company towards more deals and raising the merged company’s value. A first deal by the merged entity has already been published recently, as the two companies reported a joint memorandum of understanding toward supplying cyber protection solutions to global insurance companies Arch and Marsh, at a volume that holds significant potential for the results of the merged company in 2021. 

    ALD announces $50M funding following merger | HUB Security

  • Israeli Technology Advancements To Combat Global Climate Change

    2020’s record heatwaves and storms confirm what scientists have long predicted: climate change is well underway and threatens unparalleled destruction.

    The scarcity of water being a foremost concern for the future, it is vital we have affordable technology solutions for clean drinking water as well as means of removing pollutants from existing water sources. The Israeli CleanTech scene holds solutions and promise; H2Pro, Watergen, and Aqwise to name only a few.

    Moreover, the burning of fossil fuels including coal and gas to generate electricity is the primary contributor and most “forcing” factor behind climate change. Suffice to say, cost-effective alternatives to burning fossil fuels are long overdue.

    Enter Hydrogen.

    When Hydrogen is burned and converted into electricity using a fuel cell, the only by-product of the process is water. There are no destructive Co2 emissions, and one kilogram of hydrogen has as much energy as a gallon of gasoline. This makes hydrogen the ideal replacement for fossil fuels and combatting climate change.

    Despite hydrogen being abundant in most elements on earth, almost all hydrogen is located in molecules where it is often inaccessible, predominantly as water and other organic compounds. The most common way to extract hydrogen is from natural gas, however, this process results in the release of large amounts of carbon dioxide. The lesser polluting approach is to split the water into oxygen and hydrogen using electrolysis, however, this method is not energy efficient.

    An Israeli technology company, H2Pro, has a better idea. Backed by Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Venture (BEV). H2Pro’s E-TAC (electrochemical-thermally activated chemical) system generates hydrogen and oxygen in two separate processes that reduce both costs and pollution significantly, playing a game-changing role in the reduction of polluting vehicle emissions and the clean production of materials and chemicals, heating and storage of renewable energy.

    “Clean hydrogen is a game-changer,” U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement. “It will help decarbonize high-polluting heavy-duty and industrial sectors while delivering good-paying clean energy jobs and realizing a net-zero economy by 2050.”

    The company announced a USD 22million funding round, led by BEV, set up by Microsoft founder and renowned philanthropist to invest in key energy transition technologies, as well as Sumitomo Corporation. It was also named by Royal Dutch Shell as the “Best Company In the Scale-Up Track” in its New Energy Challenge competition.

    Unlike other technologies, H2Pro’s E-TAC system uses electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. This removes the need for an expensive membrane, allows for simple construction, and significantly lowers the needed power consumption for conversation, compared to electrolysis.

    Amid an uncertain and seemingly hopeless fight against climate change, we can take a small amount of comfort in knowing that technologies working to salvage our planet do exist. The adoption of such technologies appears to be a long and rough road ahead. However, the Israeli CleanTech scene continues to grow and innovate.

    Israel’s CleanTech and GreenTech start-up ecosystem is using pioneering technologies to promote and advance environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible decisions and processes for manufacturing.

    With close to $10 billion invested in privately-held Israeli tech firms in 2020, an increase of 27% from 2019, experts in the field such as Guy Holtzman the CEO of IVC Research Center, say Israeli CleanTech companies “will continue to be a source of attraction for leading international, financial, and strategic players.”

    While H2Pro leads the way for hydrogen energy, there are many other Israeli companies to watch in the CleanTech space.

    With 97% of the world’s water supplies being saltwater, and the majority of the remaining 3% of freshwater being trapped in ice caps and frozen glaciers, a freshwater shortage is impending.

    Israeli company, Aqwise has developed a ground-breaking way to clear water of pollutants. Their technology works by treating the water with bacteria that feed on those pollutants, in doing this they create a complementary relationship. The bacteria is exposing to the pollutants water and “eats” them, while simultaneously removing any impurities from the water.

    Additionally, WaterGen’s technology creates clean drinking water out of thin air. Watergen was initially a start-up conceived to provide easily accessible and safe water to militaries worldwide. Since then, Watergen has gone on to tackle a diverse range of water scarcity problems, in developing countries and following natural disasters. They currently do work with both Ford Motors and World Vision.

    The continued growth and rapid industrialization of the global economy, coupled with the need to supply energy to fuel both our lives and the economy – places us at a crossroads. The burning of fossil fuels, polluting the air with carbon emissions, is the primary contributor to climate change, rising sea levels, and a growing number of natural disasters.

    People have long been looking into developing and integrating into society, advanced technological solutions to maintain our way of life whilst protecting the air we breathe, and water we drink.

    With its advanced economy based on competitive research & development together with Israel’s culture of innovation – the Israeli technology industry is at the forefront of change and provides a glimpse towards a better, more sustainable future.

  • Five Israeli Startups make it to the World Economic Forum Tech Pioneers List

    The World Economic Forum have selected five Israeli companies for its 2021 list of 100 Technology Pioneers  from six continents that are “poised to have a significant impact on business and society.”[1] The Israeli early growth stage companies represented are involved in diverse fields including AI, cleantech, cyber security, digital health and agriculture. CropX, MDClone, Cheq, MyndYou and Phinergy are among the 100 prestigious global companies. Susan Nesbitt, Head of the Global Innovators Community, World Economic Forum, in a statement said, “These companies show great potential to not only shake up their industries but offer real solutions to global problems. They’ll bring great value to the World Economic Forum’s mission of improving the state of the world with their participation in the Technology Pioneers community.”[2]

    “The Technology Pioneer community was first launched in 2000 by the World Economic Forum. Past recipients have included now-household names such as Airbnb, Google, Kickstarter, Mozilla, Spotify, Twitter, and Wikimedia. The “pioneers” are selected by a committee of technology and innovation experts, academics, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs.”[3] Previous Israeli companies selected by the Forum in include Optibus, Innoviz, Utilis, Watergen and Aleph Farms. Below are summaries of the current cohort of companies and their respective solutions:

    CropX Technologies is an ag-analytics company that allows farmers to manage their operations on their smart phone using real time soil date using AI and sensors. CropX has developed the world’s most advanced adaptive irrigation service, which automatically optimizes irrigation, thereby delivering dramatic crop yield increase and water and energy cost savings to farms.

    MDClone offers an innovative, self-service data analytics environment powering exploration, discovery, and collaboration throughout healthcare ecosystems, cross-institutionally, and globally. The platform allows users to overcome common barriers in healthcare in order to organize, access, and protect the privacy of patient data while accelerating research, improving operations, quality, and driving innovation to deliver better patient outcomes.

    CHEQ is a military-grade cyber-security company with expertise in bot mitigation and user authentication. The company’s technological core is based on extensive knowledge and experience from the Israeli military’s leading intelligence and cyber-warfare division, “Unit 8200”. The company’s R&D teams are made up of leading cyber-security researchers, machine learning experts and experienced, military trained developers.

    MyndYou is a data-driven platform that provides tools for maintaining cognitive abilities. The technology is based on passive monitoring approach, novel cognitive assessment method, and AI-generated, actionable insights. The company’s main focus is the usage of their platform for the benefit of more than 150 million older adults living with cognitive impairment (such as Alzheimer’s and other types of Dementia) so that they can maintain their cognitive abilities and independence for as long as possible while keeping safe.

    Phinergy develops metal–air technology, turning metals – namely aluminum and zinc – into a new way to store, transport, and generate clean and safe energy. Phinergy’s aluminum-air technology releases the abundant energy contained in aluminum, resulting in a clean, safe, cost-efficient, and fully recyclable energy source. Phinergy’s aluminum-air technology provides on-demand, clean energy for a variety of applications including energy backup for critical sites, on-demand distributed generation for microgrids, and range extenders for electric vehicles.


    [1] https://www.israel21c.org/5-israeli-firms-named-world-economic-forum-tech-pioneers/

    [2] https://www.timesofisrael.com/five-israeli-startups-make-world-economic-forum-tech-pioneers-list/

    [3] https://nocamels.com/2021/06/5-israeli-companies-technology-pioneers-world-economic-forum/

    • Summary information from the companies were collected from LinkedIn and official websites
  • Israel and the Delta Variant | 60 Minutes Australia

    Coverage from 10:41

    Ages 12-16 vaccination campaign 14:30

    The Delta Variant: How this new strain of COVID is in a league of it’s own | 60 Minutes Australia – YouTube

  • Israeli Company Telling Porkies – Is It Kosher?

    Cell-Cultured Pork Next on the Menu for Israel’s MeaTech 3D

    Israeli cell-cultured startup MeaTech 3D Ltd. has revealed plans to develop cultivated pork. The first cell-cultured meat company to be publicly listed has expanded R&D activities to focus on cell lines and technologies for future mass production of slaughter-free pork, alongside its current lines of beef and chicken. 

    “Our goal is to lead the upcoming agricultural revolution by making tomorrow’s meat safe, plentiful and sustainable”

    After recently submitting a patent application in the US for its 3D bioprinting technology, MeaTech 3D is pursuing porcine cellular agriculture as pork is currently the most consumed meat across the globe. The pork meat market is estimated to be worth $20 billion annually in the US alone. Initial R&D activities will focus on developing stable porcine cell lines which will have the potential to initiate cultivated pork biomass production capabilities.

    MeaTech aims to develop the technology to produce end-products, as well as licensing its technologies to customers along the meat and alt protein supply chain, such as value-added food processors and premier food brands. MeaTech listed on the TASE in 2019 and the company also listed on Nasdaq in March 2021. The company also recently announced its plans to establish a pilot plant in 2022 to produce cultured chicken fat for industry collaborations. 

    “Our goal is to lead the upcoming agricultural revolution by making tomorrow’s meat safe, plentiful and sustainable. MeaTech is developing a broad range of cultured meat technologies, developing potential alternatives to conventional factory farming of beef, chicken and now, pork,” stated MeaTech CEO Sharon Fima.

    “We believe that offering additional cultivated meat product lines can widen our addressable markets, generating additional revenue potential. Our goal is to be similar in all respects to livestock-farmed pork, while offering a significantly more sustainable and slaughter-free production method,” Fima added.

    Cell-Cultured Pork Next on the Menu for Israel’s MeaTech 3D – vegconomist – the vegan business magazine

  • Cybint, Academy IT Announce Partnership to Offer Cybersecurity Bootcamp Options in Australia

    Through this partnership, Cybint and Academy IT will provide in-person and online cybersecurity training for workforce development to students through Australia.

    ADELAIDE SA, Australia, June 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Cybint, a global cyber education training company, partners with Academy IT, a technical training provider in South Australia, to offer the Cybint Cybersecurity Bootcamp online and in-person beginning September 2021, to usher in a new era of cyber education in Australia. In addition to the bootcamps, corporate training discussions will be available for B2B solutions.

    Australia’s cyber network has experienced a growth in intrusions since the onset of the pandemic. There were over 60,000 reports from individuals and businesses reporting instances of cybercrimes in 2020. In 2021, an average of 164 cyber crimes were reported by Australians every day, according to the Australian Cyber Security Centre. The cybercrimes come at a cost to Australia’s economy. There are estimates that cyber-related attacks could cost the economy about $29 billion per year, or 1.9 per cent of the nation’s GDP. Tensions are running high, and there is a dire need for over 27,200 cybersecurity professionals in Australia to fill available job positions.

    In an effort to meet this need and close this gap, Academy IT, which is both a Microsoft Certified Partner – Learning, and a Nationally Accredited Registered Training Organisation (RTO), will offer the Cybint Bootcamp to students across Australia. Graduates of the Cybint Bootcamp will have the training needed to land entry-level positions in cybersecurity, and ensure they can protect themselves and their organizations from emerging cyber threats. Students who choose to participate in the corporate training discussions for B2B solutions will gain further insight into the role every team member plays in protecting their organization against a potential cyber attack.

    “This is the beginning of great progress in the cybersecurity space across all regions of Australia,” says Roy Zur, Founder and CEO of Cybint. “Our mission aligns with Academy IT, and together we will ensure that good cybersecurity practices become widespread as the cyber gap is filled.”

    “We pride ourselves in providing the best personalised face-to-face and online technical training in South Australia,” says Brian Peel, CEO and Managing Director of Academy IT. “We are pleased to expand our offering through this partnership with Cybint, which will ultimately create real impact both for the students, and for the local businesses and government of Australia as graduates pursue their respective careers.”

    For more information, and to enroll in the Cybint Bootcamp in Academy IT, please visit: https://www.academyit.com.au/cybersecurity-bootcamp/

    About Cybint
    Cybint is a global cyber education company with a commitment to reskilling the workforce and upskilling the industry in cybersecurity. With innovative and leading-edge education and training solutions, Cybint tackles cybersecurity’s two greatest threats: the talent shortage and the skills gap. The Cybint team is comprised of military cyber experts, industry professionals, and educators united under the vision of creating a safer digital world through education, training, and collaboration. For more information, visit www.cybintsolutions.com

    About Academy IT
    Academy IT is a proud South Australian owned and operated business supporting local business and government since July 2007. As a Nationally Accredited ‘Registered Training Organisation’, Academy IT provides accredited training at Certificate & Diploma Levels and operates under strict compliance and quality assurance guidelines. With strong process driven training practices, students receive personalised in-person and live-online training that ensures the outcomes they are looking to achieve are met.

    Cybint, Academy IT announce partnership to offer cybersecurity bootcamp options in Australia (yahoo.com)

  • Cyber Reinsurance Rates Rocket at July Renewals

    Ransom laws are murky from country to country. Before considering if you would pay, or not, sign up to Cyber Week 2021 and see the best-of-the-best Israeli cyber tech that could work for your business.

    Cyber Week 2021 (b2b-wizard.com)

    LONDON, July 1 (Reuters) – Global cyber reinsurance rates have soared by up to 40% in the July renewal season, reinsurance broker Willis Re said on Thursday, as ransomware attacks increase in number and severity.

    A ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline in May shut the largest fuel pipeline network in the United States for several days, crippling fuel delivery to most of the U.S. East Coast. read more

    The average ransom payment made by a business to restore data after a cyber attack was $220,000 in the first quarter, up 43% from the last quarter of 2020, according to cyber security firm Coveware.

    In addition to the ransom payments, cyber insurance and reinsurance policies can cover the cost of restoring the network, business interruption losses and even the hiring of a PR agency to address reputational damage.

    “Reinsurers that have been writing cyber are looking at considerably worse results than a few years ago,” said James Vickers, chair of reinsurance broker Willis Re International.

    “I don’t think people had really imagined the extent of the ransomware attacks going on.”

    Reinsurers insure the insurers, and a rise in reinsurance rates feeds through into higher insurance costs.

    Businesses worldwide are fighting sophisticated data scientists as they battle to protect their data-rich computers from cyber crime – and the costly attacks are not going to stop, a top expert at insurer Sompo Holdings Inc (8630.T) told the Reuters Future of Insurance USA conference last week. read more

    Insurers and reinsurers are cutting the amount of cyber coverage they provide after being hit with large claims, industry sources say.

    Vickers said some countries such as France were debating whether cyber insurers should be making ransomware payments.

    “Those discussions are beginning to happen,” he said.

    FBI Director Chris Wray last week pleaded with public companies and other hacking victims to avoid paying ransom, saying he feared it would only embolden cyber criminals to ramp up future attacks. read more

    Cyber reinsurance rates rocket at July renewals -Willis Re | Reuters

  • World’s first lab-grown meat factory opens in Israel

    A revolutionary “lab grown” meat factory has opened in Israel, and will use animal cells to produce chicken, beef, lamb and pork products.

    The world’s first “slaughter-free” meat factory has opened in Israel as part of a food revolution aimed at finding more environmentally friendly ways of feeding the global population.

    The revolutionary factory has commenced commercial production of cultured meat in the Israeli city of Rehovot, Future Meat Technologies announced this week.

    The facility can produce up to 500kg of cultured meat products a day, which is equivalent to 5000 hamburger patties, making commercial cell-based meat production a reality.

    The factory can produce cultured chicken, lamb and pork without the need for slaughter or genetic modification, with beef expected to be added to the production line in the near future.

    The meat is produced using animal cells that are grown without genetic modifications, thereby removing the need to raise and slaughter chickens, cows, lambs or pigs.

    “This facility opening marks a huge step in Future Meat Technologies’ path to market, serving as a critical enabler to bring our products to shelves by 2022,” chief executive Rom Kshuk said.

    “Having a running industrial line accelerates key processes such as regulation and product development.”

    The company states it is able to produce meat up to 20 times faster than traditional animal agriculture.

    The new facility has been labelled a “game-changer” in lowering the cost of lab-grown meat, which has been significantly more expensive than farmed meat.

    “After demonstrating that cultured meat can reach cost parity faster than the market anticipated, this production facility is the real game-changer,” founder and chief scientist professor Yaakov Nahmias said.

    “Our goal is to make cultured meat affordable for everyone, while ensuring we produce delicious food that is both healthy and sustainable, helping to secure the future of coming generations.”

    The company’s production process is expected to generate 80 per cent less greenhouse emissions and use 99 per cent less land and 96 per cent less freshwater than traditional meat production.

    The products are anticipated to reach shelves in the US by 2022.

    Scientists say lab-grown meat will have the same taste, feel and look as meat sourced directly from an animal, however, Aussie consumers remain uncertain.

    Research has revealed consumers need convincing before embracing the new technology.

    “Be it in the livestock sector or broader agricultural produce, there is awareness and pride about our food here in Australia so [cultivated meat] will need to live up to these standards,” University of New South Wales food and health professor Johannes le Coutre told the ABC.

    “Consumers need to be convinced, even if you pass all of the legal hurdles consumers need to see the benefit.

    “But at the same time more than 10 per cent of Australians are vegans or vegetarians and that’s about to grow.”

    World’s first lab-grown meat factory opens in Israel (news.com.au)

  • Israel is Helping to Drive the Evolution of Urban Mobility

    In writing about almost any topic over the last sixteen months or so, it has been nearly unavoidable not to relate to the global Covid pandemic and this includes the subject of urban mobility. As the impact of various lockdowns around the world took effect and human activity was curtailed, various data showed massive decreases in the use of public transport due physical distancing requirements, a steep reduction in typical motor vehicle use as a result of work from home arrangements and a very significant shift to other modes of transport such as cycling and walking. Coupled with this, many governments around the world recognised the urgent need to do more on the issue of climate change and began leveraging these significant changes in mobility patterns to advance their green agendas.

    In the urban mobility arena, Israel has shown itself, once again, to be a world leader.  Its credentials have become well established in the last near decade, demonstrated by events such as Google’s acquisition of Waze, the collaborative navigation app in 2013, and by Intel’s acquisition in 2017 of Mobileye which developed technology for self-driving cars and advanced driver-assistance systems. More recently, in May of 2020, Intel also acquired Moovit, a “mobility-as-a-service” provider and journey planning app.  Apart from the acquisition, Moovit also collaborated with Israel’s Transport Ministry and another Israeli mobility and payment app, Pango  which paved the way, this year, for commuters in Israel, to get public transport information, help with travel planning and easy mobile payment of fares at best rates, all in one convenient and integrated app.

    Reinventing the car: New EV and smart car technology. 

    Israeli technology is also changing the way vehicles are designed and built. Despite not being a traditional car manufacturing location, many companies, such as General Motors, Daimler, VW and Ford, to name a few, have R&D centers in Israel to take advantage of Israeli cyber, AI, smart data and sensor technologies and integrate them into their vehicles.  Exciting indigenous auto technology companies like REE are developing new approaches to electric vehicle production. Its revolutionary technology houses traditional vehicle systems (steering, braking, suspension, powertrain and control) into the arch of the wheel, allowing it to provide the industry’s flattest electric vehicle platform, upon which any size or shape or even autonomous vehicle can be developed. Such a platform can be used for numerous applications in a very diverse range of markets.

    Pushing the boundaries is yet another Israeli firm, City Transformer, which has developed a small and highly maneuverable two seat electric car, that is 2.49 meters long and 1.4 meters wide.  Its unique structural design enables it to fold to just 1 meter wide allowing for parking in narrow spaces. Surely a Godsend in any major city!

    Reinventing the bicycle: e-Scooters, bikes and e-bikes

    One cannot write about urban mobility nowadays without reference to scooters, bikes and e-bikes and in this domain, Israel too is innovating.  As well as being one of the first countries to regulate, mainly for safety, scooter sharing services, such as Lime, Wind, and Bird, Israeli firms are updating the technology of the pedal bike which has remained largely unchanged since the eighteen hundreds.

    For example, B.C. Bike is the developer of OYO, a bicycle that works via hydraulic power rather than using a traditional chain driven mechanism.   Another firm, TreGo enables users to transform any bicycle into a multipurpose tricycle simply by replacing the front wheel with one of their add ons. The company has also created an accessory that converts a regular bicycle into an electric tricycle without any tools.

    For those who want to benefit from building or maintaining their fitness on a pedal bike but want to have the option to benefit from electric power on longer or hilly commutes, Eycyli offers a novel solution. The company has developed a lightweight power unit that converts any regular bike into an e-bike.  The unit is detachable and can be taken with the rider when the bike is parked. 

    Israel’s Green Ride offers a digital personal vehicle (DPV) called INU, a GSM, Bluetooth and Wifi enabled electric scooter designed specifically for urban transport. With its robotic, automatic folding mechanism, the scooter is highly versatile and offers a great solution for those looking to combine various modes of transport or travelling longer distances.

    Industry Innovation

    From autonomous vehicles to evolving bikes and digital mobility platforms, innovation in the Israeli smart transportation sector is supported by Ecomotion, a joint venture initiative between the Ministry of Economy and Industry Innovation Ecosystems Systems Department, the Israel Innovation Institute and the Smart Mobility Initiative.  It brings together entrepreneurs, academics, government officials, local & global automotive industry representatives, investors and others in order to provide a support platform for knowledge-sharing, networking and collaboration.

    With this type of ecosystem, the road ahead for Israeli smart urban mobility solutions is clear.

  • The Future of Healthcare – Where Do We Go From Here?

    As we watch the ‘era of the mask’ come to an end, we stand poised, eagerly awaiting and welcoming the turning of a new page. This next chapter, one whose approach crests the horizon and comes ever so quickly, ushers us forward with its siren-like song, relinquishing our yearning for intimate contact only recalled by our not-so-distant nostalgic memories.

    As the caterpillar transforms into the butterfly, spreading its wings and taking flight, so too begins our own process of molting. This, I refer to is the official, unofficial ‘shedding of the masks.’ A once sea of faces, covered and characterless, has now been given new life; one in which mandatory coverings and restrictions are of no more, and merely regarded as a thing of the past.

    But as we cheer, applaud, and pat ourselves on the back for having endured and persevered through this challenging time, we must also question to what, if any, effects this indefinite shift of behavior will have upon the long and short term health of our society, and what collateral effects will be placed upon our healthcare system as well?

    As we gravitate towards a certain degree of collective complacency regarding the strain we have imposed upon our healthcare workers and system all together, we take solace in our continual arguing and justifications of our actions. But whilst doing so, serious postulation and reflection is needed and necessary to fully understand and comprehend the ramifications of our decisions.

    Since the easing of mandatory mask mandates and social distancing, the CDC has seen an increase in reported cases of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, in southern US states; something not seen since April 2020. Also, in a recent interview with CNN, Richard Webby, an influenza specialist at Memphis’ St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital stated that, The worst flu season we ever had may be coming.”

    Our nation, now operating mostly free from its facial covering constraints, has undoubtedly experienced a reduction of its collective immunity and exposure towards everyday airborne pathogens such as the common cold, flu, etc., and our new societal shift will most assuredly lead to an uptick of reported illnesses as more and more citizens continue to immerse themselves back into social settings sans masks, in close proximity of one another, and armed with a newfound courage of immunity brought on by a pseudo sense of a ‘win or victory’ against the still deadly COVID-19 virus.

    There is no denying the fact that the healthcare industry has suffered a tumultuous strain over the past 18+ months; and due to the pandemic, we’ve seen the rise of telemedicine, normalization of virtual visits, and an increased accumulation of patient data readily available on-demand as a direct result. This leads one to ponder if these trend’s adoptions are here to stay as the preferable method of treatment in the future, or are their days too fading in kind?

    In light of this transition, here are just a few examples of innovative Israeli healthtech companies who have stood up to answer those calls, and are making waves in our ever-changing remote healthcare ecosystem.

    Binah.ai:

    Binah.ai’ vital signs monitoring solutions remove the need for home medical devices or wearables to allow users to take control of their personal wellbeing just by using a device they already have: A smartphone, tablet or laptop camera. The unique mix of signal processing and AI technologies allows Binah.ai to deliver the largest set of vital signs available from a single mobile device, with consistent, medically-grade accurate results, in under 1 minute.

    With users only having to look at the device’s camera, Binah.ai offers a unique user experience, making it extremely easy to use, non-invasive and contactless. It does not need any identifiable personal features such as a person’s eyes or face video to extract the vitals, and supports any age, skin color, and gender. Delivered as an SDK or ready-to-use, end-to-end solution, it is extremely easy to integrate and ready for immediate use.

    Datos Health:

    Datos addresses the growing need to transition more care from hospitals and clinics to the home. As a robust and flexible remote-care automation platform, the user-friendly yet cost-effective Datos solution enables any hospital department to rapidly and seamlessly deploy remote care processes and workflows.

    Its agnostic platform enables care delivery across any clinical condition, device, patient profile, and treatment protocol, and helps health systems realize the potential of patient-generated data through strong patient engagement.

    EarlySense:

    EarlySense technology allows for the continuous monitoring of heart and respiratory rates without ever touching the patient. The technology alerts clinicians to potential patient deterioration events much earlier than traditional monitoring methods. This technology serves as the engine for EarlySense remote patient monitoring devices, helping bring hospital-grade patient analytics to care settings outside of the hospital.

    Through the API, customers and partners can access vital signs and other biometrics, as well as view specialized insights utilizing our data science (AI) applications and the strength of our large data ecosystem. Monitored data is provided on an ongoing basis, allowing identifications of health trends early-on; which may assist in the ability of a patient’s medical team to head off a perceived decline in the status of their health.

    Neteera:

    Neteera enables and enhances digital health by introducing a new generation of medical sensors to monitor human vital signs and physiological indicators from a distance. This technology is able to analyze patients through their clothing, and removes the need for caregiver presence. Patient data includes cardiovascular and respiratory indicators, as well as biometric identification. Data is stored in a HIPAA and GDPR compliant cloud, allowing for interpretation with AI.

    As an emergency response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Neteera worked with partners to develop front-line, contact-free pre-screening solutions for deployment in hospitals, airports, workplaces, and public venues. Also, in June 2020, Neteera’s groundbreaking achievements were ranked 9th in CNBC’s Disruptor 50 list, which consisted of over 1,350 nominees!

    Oxitone:

    Oxitone provides an FDA-cleared, wrist-worn medical monitor powered by personalized AI-aided analytics that do not involve the usage of uncomfortable, wired fingertip sensors, and is geared towards physicians and providers who want an efficient alternative to episodic remote monitoring of high-risk patients.

    Unlike spot-check fingertip devices for sporadic monitoring of physiological abnormalities associated with severe chronic diseases, Oxitone is the most innovative, comfortable and accurate medical continuous monitoring solution on the market.

    HONORABLE MENTION

    Gynisus:

    Gynisus is a digital health, AI-based company empowering healthcare stakeholders with the ability to save lives, money and time by predicting clinical implications associated with financial impacts. Gynisus’s platform, SPAI™, is a comprehensive and predictive tool which connects host systems (inpatient and outpatient) to a single centralized dashboard, reducing fragmentation and discontinuity of care. 

    SPAI™ continually assesses and monitors the progression of a patient’s illness, and flags critical events which may cause significant clinical implications. Additionally, SPAI™ assesses clients’ patient caseloads, and accurately identifies patients requiring intervention, as well as the specific type of intervention required.

    To date, SPAI™ has analyzed over 500,000 US-based patients, and more than 500,000 patients worldwide. This ongoing compilation and inclusion of data into the platform’s proprietary behavior algorithms has resulted in the highly accurate and timely information used to assist in the prevention of future events, as well as significantly diminish the severity of inevitable events.

  • The “SporTech” Nation

    The sports industry continues to grow at a remarkable pace. Professional sports are extending their global reach and engaging with fans in every part of the world, and more and more people participate in a variety of amateur sports activities. more than ever, sports are connecting different people from around the world in a way that nothing else is capable of. There are increasingly more stakeholders in the sports industry driving this growth and creating a broad ecosystem: from the federations, leagues, teams, and clubs, through the media and various sponsors and partners to apparel and electronics manufacturers.

    As we look at these global trends, we identify the booming Israeli sports tech ecosystem as a leading source of innovation for top sports organizations in nearly every segment of sports tech, taking a major part in shaping the industry globally. Israeli start-ups are harnessing the firmly established “Start-up Nation” hi-tech expertise and applying it to the sports world. The growth and early success of the Israeli sports tech ecosystem did not go unnoticed, as investors and major companies and organizations – both local and global – are becoming deeply involved in the Israeli sports tech ecosystem.

    Seven key trends currently disrupting the sports industry:

    • Data Analytics
    • Media and Broadcasting
    • Wearables and Performance Enhancement
    • The Stadium of the Future
    • Fan Engagement
    • New Sponsorship Assets
    • eSports

    Mapping Israel’s Sports Tech Start-ups:

    • Minute Media is a leading sports media and technology company, powered by authentic and socially driven content. It develops products that enable fans to create, publish, share and distribute sports content around the world. Minute Media was launched in 2011 as FTBPro, then 90min, and has become the fastest-growing digital football media community in the world.
    • WSC’s platform helps media right owners to generate automated videos for all of their digital products and social media channels. The company’s platform analyzes live sports videos in real-time and creates customized videos on every player, team, game, or action. The technology helps sports content owners maximize their video assets by creating more content and increasing the number of views, by allowing for better marketing and branding through smarter content and new branded real estate, and by enhancing fan engagement and loyalty while creating an interactive and personalized experience.
    • LifeBEAM aims to sense human body performance during dynamic activities via innovative bio-sensing technology implemented into wearables. LifeBEAM’s developed the SMART, the world’s first cycling helmet that continuously measures vital signs (heart rate, calorie consumption, steps taken, cadence), eliminating the need to wear a chest strap. The company is about to launch Vi, an AI personal trainer, who lives in advanced, bio-sensing earphones, looking to change the world of fitness.
    • PlaySight’s vision is to connect the next generation of athletes, bringing together their physical and digital worlds. PlaySight developed a SmartCourt solution (refers to all sports) – connected to the internet with built-in cameras which automatically record, analyze, live stream, and store all activities, and communicates with tracking sensors, scoreboards, etc. The solution allows users to watch, measure, learn from and share any detail about their game instantly and accelerate improvement, while creating a global and connected community of athletes, coaches, and fans.
  • Israel MoD Completes First HPL-WS Interception Tests

    The Directorate of Defense R&D in the Israel Ministry of Defense (MoD), Elbit Systems and the IAF, have effectively intercepted several UAVs using an airborne High-Power Laser Weapon System (HPL-WS).

    A high-power laser system was installed on an aircraft and was tested in a number of scenarios. It effectively intercepted and destroyed all of the UAVs that were launched throughout the test.

    The ability to intercept and destroy airborne threats in the air offers a strategic change in the air defence capabilities of Israel.

    The test series was conducted under the leadership of the Directorate of Defense R&D in the Israel Ministry of Defense and, according to Defense Minister Benny Gantz, the development is significant in terms of ‘cost-effectiveness and defence capabilities’.

    “The laser system will add a new layer of protection at greater ranges and in facing a variety of threats – securing the State of Israel while saving the costs of interception,” Minister Gantz said.

    “I am confident that Israel’s defence industry will succeed in this important development program, and I will personally work together with the entire defense establishment to ensure its success.

    “I would like to congratulate the Directorate for Defense R&D, Elbit Systems and the IAF on the technological breakthrough they have achieved.”

    Israel is among the first countries in the world to achieve and demonstrate such capabilities employing an airborne, high-power laser system.

    According to Brigadier General Yaniv Rotem, head of research and development at the DDR&D, the test’s success is critical for further development of the airborne High-Power Laser System after this round saw the new HPL-WS intercepted several UAVs in the air, within a range of more than one kilometre.

    This test series is the first phase in a multi-year program led by the Directorate of Defense R&D and Elbit Systems to develop a laser system against a variety of long-range threats.

    The method of airborne interception presents a number of advantages, including a low cost per interception, the ability to effectively intercept long-range threats at high altitudes regardless of weather conditions, and the ability to defend vast areas.

    According to Oren Sabag, general manager of Elbit Systems ISTAR, the trials were successful thanks to a range of unique technological assets.

    “We are proud to spearhead the development of this strategic capability together with the Ministry of Defense and the IAF,” Sabag said.

    “We believe that the use of a high-power laser to carry out low-cost airborne interception of rockets and hostile unmanned aircraft, closer to their launching areas and away from population centres, offers a significant change in Israel’s defence capabilities.”

    The airborne, HPL-WS is designed to complement Israel’s multi-tier missile defense array, which include the Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow missile interceptor systems. This system will increase the effectiveness of air defence against existing and future threats in the region.

    https://www.defenceconnect.com.au/air-sea-lift/8267-israel-mod-completes-first-hpl-ws-interception-tests

  • Israeli shares traded on Wall Street reach massive $300 billion valuation

    Calcalist: The aggregated value of the shares of the 85 Israeli companies traded in the US accounts for 75% of Israeli GDP, and is more than market cap of shares on the TASE

    Tech firm WalkMe’s initial public offering of shares has brought the total valuation of the shares of the 85 Israeli companies traded on Wall Street to $300 billion, Calcalist reported Wednesday, citing data compiled by investment bank Oppenheimer Israel.

    The figure represents a $100 billion jump in value since the start of 2021, of which $75 billion is the total value of new companies that have issued shares on Wall Street or have merged with special purpose acquisition companies (SPACS). The remaining $25 billion is a surge in value of preexisting Israeli stock on the US markets.

    The 85 Israeli firms with shares traded in New York have seen a 12% jump in value since the start of the year – outperforming the Nasdaq index, which has risen 9% since January, the data shows.

    The surge in the aggregated value of the shares of Israeli firms traded in the US accounts for 75% of Israeli GDP and is higher that the total value of the shares of the 507 companies traded in Tel Aviv (of which 52 are dual-listed firms). The total value of these publicly traded firms in Tel Aviv was NIS 962 billion ($295 billion) as of end of day Wednesday.

    Source: https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-shares-traded-on-wall-street-reach-massive-300-billion-valuation/

  • 2021 Israel Innovation Authority – Innovation Report

    The Israeli High-Tech Sector Is Maturing – Changing the Character of Israel’s Entire Economy. If the Government does not Reassess its Policies toward the Sector, High-Tech Growth will Benefit the High-Tech Sector Alone.

    About 10% of Israeli Employees Work in the High-Tech Sector, and they are Responsible for:

    15% of Israel’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 25% of the Total Income Tax Paid In Israel, 43% of Exports, and 40% of the Value of Companies Listed on the Tel Aviv 35 Index

    Although a record number of Israeli startups are floating on the stock market, there has been a sharp decline in the number of new startups established annually (from 1404 in 2014 to approximately 520 in 2020), and a sharp decline in the establishment of multinational development centers in Israel (from 46 in 2016 to 4 in 2020).

    Dr. Ami Applebaum, Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority: “The influence of high-tech on the resilience of the Israeli economy requires the country to ensure the continued prosperity of the high-tech sector. At present, the number of new start-ups founded each year is sharply declining, the number of seed-level investment rounds is diminishing, and governmental research and development budgets are being cut on an annual basis – dramatically, relative to other countries. The State of Israel must continue to develop a robust response to the significant challenges facing the Israeli high-tech sector. These challenges are detailed at length in the 2021 Israel Innovation Authority Innovation Report. The recent global economic and health crises highlighted, above all, the challenges the high-tech sector is facing, as well as the unparalleled and unprecedented importance of the sector’s contribution to Israel’s economy. Most of all, we have further realized the need to maintain the global level of success of Israeli high-tech in order to guarantee the country’s overall economic growth. Shocks in the Israeli high-tech ecosystem could critically affect employment, tax revenue, and the stability of the Israeli economy as a whole.”

    2020 was a year of epidemics and crises, which were accompanied by extraordinary and unprecedented economic and health challenges. Israeli high-tech entered the crisis phase in a strong and stable position. It withstood the shockwaves of the crisis – and in many ways, flourished more than ever. The 2021 Israel Innovation Authority Innovation Report published today (16 June) outlines, among other findings, the contribution that the high-tech sector can make towards the recovery of the Israeli economy through accelerated digital transformation, the sector’s diverse range of assets, and the main challenges the country is facing in the fields of finance and human capital.

    The 2021 Israel Innovation Authority Innovation Report Highlights Several Worrying Trends:

    • Over the past five years, the number of new start-ups established annually in Israel fell from 1,400 in 2014 to 850 in 2019, and it is estimated that just 520 new start-ups were established in 2020.
    • Israel’s internationally competitive position as the “Start-Up Nation” is eroding, and in recent years Israel has been on a declining trend, relative to other countries, according to global innovation indices.
    • Where will tens of thousands of graduates holding high-tech professional degrees work? One in every four students in Israel is studying for a bachelor’s degree in technological fields, including engineering or computer science. An influx of new graduates could exacerbate the existing “entry-level” problem. By 2030, more than 20-25 thousand employees with limited or no experience are expected to join the high-tech sector each year, but according to the Israel Innovation Authority and Start-Up Nation Central’s Human Capital Report, only 45% of companies recruit “junior employees.”
    • The share of the state budget invested in the Israel Innovation Authority (i.e. the State of Israel’s investment in supporting civilian research and development) has fallen sharply, from 1% in the early 2000s to less than 0.5% today – a significantly lower proportion than in world-leading countries in the field.

    Additional Key Points from the Report:

    • The total amount of capital raised by Israeli start-ups quadrupled within a decade and totaled $11.5 billion in 2020 – 20% more than the total amount of capital raised in 2019.
    • The number of investments exceeding $100 million has increased almost sevenfold in the last five years – from three investments in 2015 to 20 investments in 2020. In the first quarter of 2021 alone, there were 20 investments of over $100 million. 
    • The value of high-tech exports is growing steadily, reaching almost $50 billion in 2020 – more than 40% of total exports.
    • High-tech employees, who make up 10% of all employees in the economy, are responsible for a quarter of the income tax paid by employees in Israel. Employees of multinational companies’ R&D centers pay six times more income tax relative to their share of the workforce.
    • Compared to 2019, 2020 saw a 50% increase in the number of Israeli technology companies floated on the stock markets. The number of listings of Israeli start-ups seeking to maintain their independence peaked in 2020, with Israeli companies achieving a record 31 initial public offerings (IPOs), primarily on the Tel Aviv and US stock exchanges.
    • Are multinational companies no longer interested in coming to Israel? In an interesting change of trend, in 2020, multinational companies only opened four new research and development centers in Israel; they are, for the most part, usually established as part of mergers and acquisitions. This trend demonstrates the sector’s maturity, with an increasing number of start-ups seeking to maintain their independence. Nonetheless, the workforce at these companies has expanded at the same high rate as the rest of this sector, and its share among the total high-tech sector has been maintained.
    • Contrary to the image of high-tech as a young sector, there has been an increase in the average age of employees in the high-tech industry – which is now higher than the average age of employees in the rest of the economy. The average age of high-tech employees in 2019 was 40.1, compared with the average working age in the rest of the economy which stood at 39.6.

    Details of the Report’s Main Points:

    Human Capital: The Shortage of Experienced Employees is Constant, While the Number of “Juniors” is Growing

    Competition for human capital in the high-tech sector continued during the coronavirus pandemic. The shortage of experienced employees that high-tech companies are interested in recruiting still exists, and totals 13,000 job vacancies in the sector (compared with some 19,000 in 2019), according to the recent Human Capital Report published by the Israel Innovation Authority and Start-Up Nation Central. High-tech employees have made a significant contribution to rehabilitating an economy recovering from the economic, social, and health crises, while also generating new sources of income in order to reduce the budget deficit.

    At the same time, the rate of university graduates entering the sector – which should help address the shortage of employees – is rising: one in four students in Israel is studying for a bachelor’s degree in a technological field. While this is, on the one hand, good news for a sector with an chronic human capital shortage, the influx of new graduates may exacerbate the inability of inexperienced entry-level candidates to find a job in the high-tech sector.

    In the coming years, tens of thousands of new employees who have acquired technological/academic training, but have limited or no professional experience, will join the high-tech workforce. However, today, employers in the high-tech sector are interested in experienced employees, and a large proportion of employers lack the capability to train young employees without prior professional experience. To mitigate this problem and prevent unemployment among new graduates, high-tech employers, including mature Israeli start-ups, will be required to facilitate more widespread hiring and training of inexperienced employees.

    Dr. Ami Applebaum, Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority: “The 2021 Israel Innovation Authority Innovation Report finds that a third of students are studying a scientific profession, with the potential to participate in the high-tech sector. However, if employers in the sector do not make the necessary adaptations in order to recruit entry-level employees, tens of thousands of skilled and educated graduates will not enter the market due to a systemic perceptual bias. The sector must work alongside us to encourage vocational training, and in particular employers must agree to hire inexperienced employees and expand the sectors employed in high-tech to prevent any aggravation of the “entry-level” problem.”

    The high-tech sector demonstrated high levels of resilience during the coronavirus pandemic but was not immune to its effects.

    Israeli high-tech has demonstrated a high level of resilience in responding to the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis thanks to the sector’s ability to respond quickly to the new working environment and uncertain conditions. In 2020 and 2021, the sector demonstrated growth according to various economic indices.

    The capital raised by Israeli start-ups has more than quadrupled over the past decade, and in 2020 totaled $11.5 billion – 20% more than the amount of capital raised in 2019. The average size of an investment round increased by 10% compared to 2019, with the bulk of this growth in funds raised by later-stage start-ups, some of which raised unprecedentedly large rounds totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Within five years, the Israeli high-tech sector increased by sevenfold the number of investments in excess of $100 million – from 3 such investments in 2015 to 20 investments of more than $100 million during 2020. Moreover, in the first quarter of 2021 alone, some 20 investment rounds of more than $100 million were closed (according to IVC Data – The Israeli Tech Review, Q1 2021).

    At the same time, at the height of the coronavirus crisis, the level of unemployment benefit recipients in the high-tech sector reached a peak of 14% (Appendix “A”), a level seven times greater than recipients of unemployment benefits in the sector before the coronavirus pandemic began (2%, as of January 2020). However, in the other sectors of the economy, the level of unemployment recipients during the first lockdown period was twice as high. As of April 2021, the unemployment rate in the high-tech sector was 8.2%. A reported shortage of 13,000 employees, as opposed to thousands of high-tech layoffs, indicates that employers in the sector are sticking to their approach of recruiting only experienced employees and are not willing to expand the workforce to a variety of other populations, especially inexperienced entry-level graduates – “junior candidates.”

    During the coronavirus crisis, most of the unemployed high-tech staff were employees with relatively low salaries for the high-tech sector, earning a monthly salary of less than NIS 15,000. Based on this information, it can be concluded that most of the loss in employment in the high-tech sector was amongst young employees (“juniors”) and employees in supporting fields who earn, in general, salaries that are lower than the sector’s average, which was NIS 25,300 as of 2020.

    What Happened to Entrepreneurial “Drive” in Israel?

    Along with the clear strengths of Israeli high-tech, there are a number of worrying indicators whose long-term impact must be monitored so that relevant stakeholders can work toward their reduction. For example, after a boom in entrepreneurial activity around a decade ago, there has been a significant decrease in recent years in the number of new start-ups established each year.

    This decrease raises a critical question – is the era of the “Start-up Nation” in Israel over? In just five years, the number of new start-ups established on an annual basis in Israel has plummeted, from 1,400 start-ups established in 2014, to 850 new start-ups in 2019 and an estimated 520 new start-ups in 2020. This figure represents a sharp drop of almost 70% in the number of new start-ups established each year compared to 2014.

    The number of new start-ups that are currently being established has a direct impact on the future of Israeli high-tech, and the question is being raised as to how far this reduction can continue without posing a danger to the future of Israel as a “Start-up Nation.” The report also found that the number of investors participating in seed investments – aimed at fledgling start-ups in their initial stages – has also declined in the last two years.

    The financial needs of start-ups and their ability to raise capital changed immediately with the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis. Therefore, the Israel Innovation Authority was called upon to manage this rapid change and immediately offer new solutions to respond to this situation. One notable example of a government solution developed in response to the coronavirus crisis is the Fast Track program created by the Israel Innovation Authority and the Ministry of Finance. This program aimed to help start-ups get through the initial period of the crisis, which was characterized by a decrease in the flow of money from the private market to innovative technology companies, which involves a great deal of risk. During the seven months that the program operated, NIS 650 million was provided to 283 approved applications (out of 578 applications submitted).

    Approval of the applications was conditioned on obtaining supplementary financing, which contributed to the rapid return of early-stage investors to the market. This solution clearly demonstrates how rapid government intervention can generate growth, in this example through investment even in times of crisis, and offers insight into how government-based solutions can be adopted on a regular basis.

    The Industry is Maturing: The Entire Economy Will Reap the High-Tech Fruits

    The 2021 Israel Innovation Authority Innovation Report presents the latest picture of Israeli high-tech and reflects what appears to be the maturing of the Israeli high-tech sector.

    An increasing number of Israeli start-ups are choosing to maintain their independence and to grow organically, employing a large number of employees and conducting significant business activities around the world. The capital raised by Israeli start-ups in their mature stages is, as noted, increasing sharply, with more than 20 investments of over $100 million in the first quarter of 2021 alone.

    Likewise, high-tech exports are steadily growing, and in 2020 they totaled almost $50 billion – over 40% of the total value of Israeli exports. The number of Israeli start-ups going public reached an all-time high in 2020 – 20 IPOs of Israeli companies, mainly on the Tel Aviv and US stock exchanges. This figure is double the number in 2019.

    Israel Innovation Authority Chairman, Dr. Ami Applebaum: “The IPO trend is expected to continue, with more Israeli companies in the pipeline preparing to list and raise capital on stock exchanges. This trend is an indicator of the level of maturity achieved by the high-tech sector. An increasing number of start-ups are opting to grow into large companies, in contrast to the quick “exit” dream we have witnessed in the past.”

    The maturing of the Israeli high-tech sector, as reflected, among other things, by the wave of listings by Israeli growth companies, is a positive sign for the economy. At the same time, it also raises a series of questions that the government will have to deal with – mature companies starting to publicly trade will have new needs that did not previously exist, or only existed on a limited basis, and some may require regulatory adjustments. For example, as this trend continues and more Israeli companies become large multinational companies that require transparency for their investors and are required to ensure business continuity while keeping their center of operations or management in Israel, questions may also be raised regarding labor and tax laws in Israel and their applicability and suitability to the management of global public companies.

    In addition, the change in the character of Israeli companies, and the establishment of mature Israeli technology companies, will require the Israel Innovation Authority and the government to examine the range of tools being deployed to support and encourage research and development. Ultimately, Israeli regulators and legislators will be required to consider the implications of the situation in the high-tech sector as it relates to their respective fields of operation. The more the government works hand in hand with the sector and is attentive to its regulatory needs, the more the sector can continue to grow and prosper – and contribute to the growth of the economy as a whole.

    The growth of large high-tech companies within Israel will enable the entire economy to reap the fruits of the high-tech sector. Adapting the business environment in Israel will allow the economy to enjoy the maximum economic value that these companies create for the citizens of Israel. Large companies, which employ more than just developers and engineers – but also designers, marketing and sales managers, operations or support personnel, and other auxiliary employees whose roles are characterized by high productivity – are the future of Israeli industry. The role of the government lies in creating the most suitable environment to oversee the continued growth of the sector – in other words, stimulating the growth of the entire Israeli economy.

    For media inquiries:

    Ben Crome

    Headline Media

    Foreign Media Advisor to the Israel Innovation Authority

    0537144102

    innovationisrael@headline.media

  • Beyond the Headlines: Israel’s Credit Ratings Remain Strong

    With geopolitics taking center stage in the media, you might have missed some of the exciting economic developments out of Israel. For instance, there are now more than 20 Israeli-founded unicorns (private companies valued over $1 billion) in both New York[1] and California[2]; as well as over 60 unicorns in Israel itself[3] – more than all of Europe combined[4]. In addition, Israel’s tech sector has raised more than $5 billion to-date in 2021, and is on pace to double its single-year record of fundraising3.

    Looking past headlines is crucial when reconciling the many negative and positive aspects of a country. Israel is no different in this regard and a credit rating is perhaps the single most important economic assessment that conducts such a deep-dive analysis.

    Generally, the better a country’s credit rating, the cheaper it can borrow abroad. In a typical year, Israel raises ~2 billion dollars/euros in the global markets. These funds are used to help finance the deficit and cover budgetary costs. Even though the vast majority of Israel’s debt is raised domestically, a credit upgrade or downgrade can still have a sizable impact on its cost-of-borrowing. The sheer weight of a credit decision, therefore, requires a rating agency to read past good or bad headlines to make a fair call.

    Last year was especially difficult for the 130-or-so countries that receive credit ratings. COVID-19’s global impact also led to Israel falling into its first recession since 2002[5]. And yet, while many countries were downgraded over the past year, Israel’s rating remained unchanged. Why?

    Rating agencies looked beyond the headlines to factor in Israel’s well-diversified economy, natural gas exports, the global step toward digital adaptation, and the robust government programs to manage the virus. They evaluated regional geopolitics, but also carefully analyzed the resiliency of the population and its economy, the structure of Israel’s debt and astute debt-management, along with the State’s powerhouse tech sector. The conclusion from all agencies, following their thorough analysis, was to preserve Israel’s ratings. 

    And maintaining the ratings appears to have been a sagacious decision. Israel’s 2020 GDP (gross domestic product), although negative, was better-than-forecast. In early 2021, Israel led the world in vaccinations per capita, earning it the moniker “Vaccination Nation”. Also, at this time, most analyst expectations are for Israel to have a strong bounce back year.

    Israel is currently rated AA- by S&P Global Ratings (its fourth-highest rating), A1 by Moody’s Investor Services (its fifth-highest rating), and A+ by Fitch Ratings (its fifth-highest rating). All three ratings are the highest Israel has ever had.

    The Foreign Trade Administration at the Israeli Ministry of Economy operates a network of 50 diplomatic missions around the world. The goal of these “Israeli Economic Missions” is to promote trade and investment between Israel and international markets. The Economic Missions promote collaboration between Israeli and local companies across all sectors, including cyber, investment, fintech, digital health, life sciences, consumer goods, wine, retail tech, sports tech, smart cities, clean energy, homeland security, software IT and water technology.

    The Economic Missions provide service in three main areas:

    1. By initiating and maintaining trade agreements, and facilitating strategic cooperation with foreign companies, organizations and government agencies;
    2. Presenting opportunities from Israel to the local business community, including providing general information about the Israeli economy, industries, or specific companies;
    3. Making introductions for Israeli companies to local strategic partners, distribution channels and investors, encouraging foreign investment in Israeli companies, and identifying local entities that are open to cultivating, developing R&D or other strategic cooperation with Israeli companies.

    [1] https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-york-city-is-now-home-to-21-israeli-founded-unicorns-301271185.html

    [2] https://www.prnewswire.com/il/news-releases/california-is-now-home-to-22-israeli-founded-unicorns-301278099.html

    [3] https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/medved-israels-red-hot-tech-sector-is-now-in-hypergrowth-666567

    [4] https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-israel-has-more-unicorns-than-all-of-europe-1001366171

    [5] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-economy-gdp/israeli-economy-dips-2-4-in-2020-but-covid-hit-less-than-in-oecd-idUSKBN2AG14I

  • Digital Health Makes Strides to Prevent Food Allergies

    In the United States, over 32 million suffer from severe to potentially life-threatening food allergies. One out of every ten adults and one of thirteen children have to adjust to sometimes severe dietary restrictions and eating practices. There is no cure for food allergies, but through recent research and development, there has been a significant breakthrough in preventing food allergies altogether (FARE). Israeli digital health start-up companies are at the forefront of food allergy prevention innovation by developing several food allergy solutions with the assistance of artificial intelligence.

    The possibility of food allergy prevention was actualized in a 2015 study, LEAP (Learning Early about Peanut). When LEAP measured the levels of the peanut-specific IgG4 antibodies in three participant infant groups: consumption, avoidance, and both, these groups were set to indicate the peanut intolerance in individuals and to determine if developing a food allergy could be avoided by diet alone. LEAP’s hypothesis proved accurate; children exposed to peanuts as infants are less likely to develop a peanut allergy during childhood. Out of 98 participants, 35.3% developed a peanut allergy in the avoidance group, while only 10.6% of the consumption group developed the allergy. These findings have further advanced critical food allergy reduction research and fostered the development for preventative methods. These Israeli digital health start-ups have adapted this research to create innovative solutions to relieve current allergy sufferers, and food allergy prevention for consumers/patients:

    MYOR– Is a digital health start-up that specializes in precision health solutions for infants and children. Its primary focus is on allergic conditions and nutritional deficiencies. MYOR produced a healthcare provider-facing app called NURTURE that identifies newborns at risk of developing allergies through the AI analysis of personal skin biomarkers. After the identification MYOR, creates a specialized plan to prevent future allergies.

    SensoGenic – SensoGenic is developing a consumer biosensor based on its patented molecule-allergen interaction and electronic detection technology. The company aims to provide a comprehensive solution for people suffering from food allergies.

    Ukko – Ukko’s mission is to improve the lives of people with food allergies and sensitivities. Ukko uses immunology, machine learning, and protein engineering to make measurably better and safer proteins for use in food and therapeutics. Ukko does this by designing and controlling the molecular interactions between allergen proteins and the immune system.

    Ukko’s technology uses samples from patients and machine learning to guide the engineering of superior proteins that can be incorporated into food products and therapeutics. These proteins maintain or improve beneficial properties (taste, nutritional value, yield, physicochemical and mechanical properties) but do not trigger an immune response. Ukko’s initial product pipeline includes celiac-safe gluten proteins, allergy-safe and therapeutic peanut proteins, as well as a channel of additional allergen proteins.

    SupimS Allergy – is a technology solution that helps people overcome existing allergies by desensitizing their immune system to be less reactive (or not reactive at all). The solution combines a proprietary method of digitalizing specific psychological techniques for allergies with advanced analysis, artificial intelligence, and biosignal devices. The tool implements a concept based on the field of psychoneuroimmunology.

    For more details contact Medical and Healthcare IT Manager Jeremy Ungar

  • Israeli Startup YO-Egg Creates Hyper-Realistic Product Offering Same Nutrients as Poultry Eggs
    YO-Egg
    © Yo-Egg

    YO-Egg, a startup from Israel, has created a unique plant-based egg using proprietary, patent-pending ingredients. The company says that after focusing on Israel for a few months, it plans to enter the UK market.

    Like a conventional egg, YO-Egg’s product is made up of two parts — the “white” and the “yolk”. The white consists of several ingredients combined into a liquid mass, with all the same beneficial nutrients as chicken eggs and no cholesterol.

    For the centre of the egg, a molecular process is used to shape a proprietary combination of ingredients into a “yolk”. The formulations of both the white and the yolk are patent pending.

    The startup’s innovation has led one of its founders, Yosefa Ben Cohen, to be selected as a finalist in the 2021 AgriFood Women’s Entrepreneurship Competition.

    © YO-Egg

    Last year, vegan eggs were the fastest-growing plant-based product segment, outperforming Beyond Meat and Oatly. But while several companies have launched egg alternatives, particularly for foodservice, research last year found that there were nowhere near enough plant-based eggs on the market.

    “YO-Egg seeks to provide a viable solution for consumers who wish to enjoy a sunny side up egg without harming animals or the planet, and without having to settle for less in terms of the egg’s looks, texture, nutritional values and, of course, its taste,” the startup says.

  • Coronavirus: Electronic bracelet quarantine pilot ends successfully

    The Health Ministry has expressed immediate demand to help ease restrictions.

    The pilot program for the coronavirus electronic bracelet, designed to monitor quarantined Israelis who landed back in the country, concluded on Friday and was deemed a success, the company behind the bracelet announced in a statement.

    Israel’s SuperCom had launched the pilot on Monday as a means of ensuring Israelis quarantine themselves after landing back in the country due to concern they might have been exposed to COVID-19 during their time overseas.

    The pilot program saw Israelis arriving at Ben-Gurion Airport offered the PureTag bracelet and PureCare smartphone ahead of their required 10-14 day at-home isolation. Agreeing to wear the bracelet enabled the returnees to quarantine at home as opposed to a government-run coronavirus hotel.

    The bracelet cannot monitor any details about the person wearing it, except whether they are complying with their quarantine, SuperCom president and CEO Ordan Trabelsi said ahead of the pilot program’s launch.

    Should the quarantine be violated, the bracelets won’t track their location once they leave their home but will only alert authorities that the person has left the confined area they were supposed to remain through the duration of the quarantine. According to the company, the bracelets were in high demand, with over 91% of travelers arriving at the airport opting for the program.

    Reception from the program was positive, and was accompanied by a high satisfaction rate. As a result, the Health Ministry has expressed immediate demand for the bracelet in order to aid in the country’s easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. This includes plans to increase the amount of Israelis able to return to the country for abroad, many of whom are not vaccinated and will need to isolate. 

    And Israel isn’t alone in being interested in SuperCom’s bracelets, with the company reporting interest from multiple nations worldwide. As a result, the company has expanded its production capacity to over 20,000 units per month.

    “We are very pleased with this pilot, utilizing our proprietary technology with people under home-quarantine in Israel, and we are proud to help Israel validate an important strategy to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus,” Trabelsi explained, adding that other nations are welcome to run their own pilot programs as well.

    Rossella Tercatin and Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.

    https://www.jpost.com/health-science/coronavirus-electronic-bracelet-quarantine-pilot-ends-successfully-661178

  • Imagindairy makes milk proteins for ‘no-cow inside’ dairy duplicates

    Year-old company hopes to hit market with its no-cow milk-protein powder in 2023; tech uses precision fermentation that makes animal-free versions of whey and casein

    Israeli startup Imagindairy, Ltd. is jumping into the no-cow-milk space, saying its precision fermentation technology is able to create milk proteins that are just like the real thing – but without using animals.

    The startup said its technology recreates nature-identical, animal-free versions of whey and casein proteins that can be used to produce dairy duplicates. The non-dairy products have the flavor, texture and the nutritional value of products that are animal-based. This opens up the opportunity of developing a full range of non-dairy products that mimic dairy versions yet contain no cholesterol and are lactose-free, the company said. Leaving animals out of the process also lowers the burden dairy livestock place on the environment.

    Precision fermentation is a technology that enables the programming of micro-organisms to produce complex organic molecules such as proteins, explained Eyal Afergan, the co-founder and CEO of Imagindairy, in a text message. “One of the biggest advantages of this technology is its scalability.”

    The fermentation process has been used in the food industry for the last 40 years, he said. The most-used enzyme in the dairy industry — rennet, which helps curdle the casein in milk — is produced though precision fermentation, he noted.The Imagindairy team, including co-founder Prof. Tamir Tuller, far left, and Eyal Afergan, the co-founder and CEO, third from left; June 2021 (Rami Shlush)

    “Imagindairy harnesses this technology to produce animal-free milk’s proteins,” Afergan said.

    he vision, he said, is to “deliver an animal-free version of the primary dairy proteins — whey and casein — that can allow product makers to match real dairy products in terms of protein concentration, nutrient profile, and the full sensory experiences of the animal-derived versions.”

    Imagindairy was co-founded in April 2020, building its first applications in the home kitchen of one its employees, a single parent who needed a solution that would allow her to work on development while tending her homeschooled children during the coronavirus pandemic.

    The startup is made up of a multidisciplinary team of experts in microbiology, computational systems, and biotechnology with the support of Israel-based The Kitchen FoodTech hub. Co-founder Arie Abo is a specialist in protein biochemistry, and the technology is based on 15 years of research led by Tamir Tuller, Imagindairy co-founder and a professor at Tel Aviv University.

    Afergan said that the startup is the only one in the no-cow milk space with technology that yields, in a cost-effective manner, the significant amounts of proteins necessary for commercialization.

    “Imagindairy is the only company in our domain with the required technology to successfully address the industry bottleneck of high production cost,” he said.

    The product is still under development, he added. The firm hopes to launch its product, a powder or a liquid that can be used by food and dairy manufacturers and be integrated into existing dairy food production facilities, in 2023, he said.

    “We developed an advanced protein production platform that allows us to optimize every step in creating milk proteins,” notes Tuller, Imagindairy’s co-founder and CSO. “This allowed us to achieve the yield that is needed to achieve commercial production.”

    The startup has raised $1.5 million in seed funding, led by The Kitchen FoodTech hub, with contributions from the Israeli Innovative Authority, CPT Capital, New Crop Capital, and Entrée Capital. The firm will soon start raising funds for a series A round, the company said.

    The market for dairy alternative or plant milk beverages made from soy, almond, coconut, oats and hemp is projected to grow from $21.4 billion in 2020 to $36.7 billion by 2025, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets.

    According to a World Wildlife Fund report, demand for dairy products continues to rise due to the global population growth, rising incomes, urbanization and the westernization of diets in Asian giants such as China and India. This increases the pressure on natural resources, including soil and water.

    There are some 270 million cows that produce milk along with greenhouse gas emissions that add to climate change. Furthermore, dairy farming and feed production can lead to the loss of ecologically important areas such as wetlands, forests and prairies. Global estimates say that to produce one liter of milk, a massive 1,020 liters of water are needed.

    Imagindairy is not the only company operating in this space: Israeli startup ReMilk says it has developed milk proteins that are chemically identical to those in cow-produced milk and dairy products.

    Australian-US firm Change Foods uses bioengineering technology to create animal-free cheese and dairy products, its website says. San Francisco-based New Culture says it makes “cow cheese without the cow.”

    Germany’s Legendairy Foods also uses microbial fermentation to produce the same proteins that are found in cow’s milk, and Belgium’s Those Vegan Cowboys says it makes products with the taste of cows’ milk but without the use of animals.

    Israel’s Bio Milk, on the other hand, isolates the milk-producing cells in cows’ udders and transfers them to a bioreactor, where they are exposed to materials patented by the firm to produce milk.

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/imagindairy-makes-milk-proteins-for-no-cow-inside-dairy-duplicates/

  • Sprout’s new CEO on what drew him to New Zealand – and why startups should follow him there

    H/T https://agfundernews.com/meron-sprout-new-ceo-on-what-drew-him-to-new-zealand-and-why-startups-should-follow-him.html

    When Israeli venture investor Gil Meron told colleagues that he was considering a career move to New Zealand, people thought he was mad.

    “They said: ‘It’s a joke, right?’ Israel is one of the biggest hubs, there’s a ton of deal flow, and you want to move to New Zealand? It’s just sheep and cows!,” he recalls.

    But for Meron, moving to a place with plenty of sheep and cows made perfect sense.

    After leaving the armed forces — having gained his engineering chops — in the 1990s, he joined IBM, where he worked on a variety of exciting tech projects – including Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gaming console, for which ‘Big Blue’ helped co-develop processing units.

    It soon became clear to him, however, that IT wasn’t his passion. He left IBM and engineering behind, studied business administration, and joined Boston Consulting Group.

    “[I had] the plan of finding another industry which could match the excitement and caliber of people in the IT industry, with better environmental and social goals,” he says.

    At the consulting firm, Meron was assigned to carry out an analysis project with a client in the water sector.

    “Together we looked 30 years into the future and I realised: in water, and more so in food, is where I wanted to be,” he says.

    “It’s a huge industry, worth trillions of dollars, and if you compare the amount of investment going to fintech or transportation, it’s marginal. But the implications reach far further, and actually the growth opportunity — which is to feed the entire world — is huge.”

    Meron began working with the World Bank, where he helped its private investment arm — International Finance Corporation (IFC) —  develop an agritech strategy.

    Sprout Agritech’s first-ever venture investment was 400 million years in the making – read more here

    It was during his work with IFC that Meron got to meet much of the global agrifoodtech investment community – including the team at San Diego, California-based VC Finistere Ventures.

    Shortly after, he joined the firm, building a pipeline of agrifood startups from Israel and launching its incubator operations in the country.

    A few years later, when Finistere was helping to transform New Zealand agrifood accelerator Sprout Agritech into a similar setup, Meron was the go-to man.

    “I said, ‘I want to run it!’ And the partners were first-class: [Israel-based venture crowdfunding platform] OurCrowd, who are so active and so dynamic; and then Fonterra – you don’t need to tell anyone in New Zealand who they are. They’re a dairy powerhouse and New Zealand’s largest company with over NZ$20 billion [$14 billion] in revenue. With agriculture making a significant contribution to New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions Fonterra sees a huge opportunity to decarbonize production and engage with disruptive technologies.”

    Nevertheless, many of Meron’s associates in the US, Europe, and his native Israel urged him to think again.

    “But when I looked more closely, I realised there was actually a lot of venture activity going on [there]. The Kiwis don’t shout about it — they’re doers more than talkers — but companies like Rocket Lab and Xero came out of New Zealand,” he says.

    “So I thought, ‘This is an opportunity like no other,’ with almost zero downside risk in a place that, from a VC maturity standpoint, is a bit like where Israel was in the 1990s – with international players just beginning to take a look.”

    “If we can do even half of [what Israel has achieved] this would be the most amazing run.”

    The future of meat and milk

    Meron took up the post of CEO at Sprout in February this year, just months after the accelerator and new investor partners OurCrowd, Finistere had jointly won a tender to run a new agrifoodtech incubation program for the New Zealand government.

    While he admits that it’s still early days and he still has plenty to learn about the Kiwi agrifood ecosystem, Meron has been thoroughly impressed by what he has seen so far.

    “We certainly see more and more interest [in agrifoodtech] from industry and investors. My network here is still limited, but just in the last few months I’ve been here, I’ve seen six new funds enter the market or being raised,” he says.

    Gil Meron, CEO of Sprout Agritech
    Sprout CEO Gil Meron. Image credit: Sprout

    Sprout — which runs two of its flagship accelerator programs each year — is in the midst of accepting applications for its next batch of startups.

    Submissions are welcome from teams based anywhere in the world (so long as they can make the journey down under given ongoing Covid-19 travel restrictions). They can also be working in pretty much any area of ag and food – though some may benefit more than others from what New Zealand’s well-established agricultural industry, substantial agrifood exports, and unique biodiversity has to offer.

    “New Zealand puts a huge spotlight on ag, and specifically on livestock. These animals are not just greenhouse gas emitters, they also — if not farmed in a sustainable way — can harm the waterways and the soil,” Meron says.

    “There is still a lot to do there. Dairy, beef, and lamb exports are a huge share of the economy, and this means that, to build the Kiwi farm of the future, we need to do it around animal livestock.”

    That doesn’t mean that ‘animal-free’ proteins are irrelevant for New Zealand, Meron adds.

    The very fact that the country is a longstanding center of livestock agriculture puts it on the front foot when it comes to alt-protein production – particularly in terms of dairy analogs.

    “While they want fresh and high-quality food, consumers also want food that is sustainable and low-emission. New Zealand can be a hotbed in the development of these products,” he says.

    “Another place where we would like to see either locally grown or foreign companies coming into New Zealand is alternative proteins – especially alt-dairy, or dairy-like proteins. With a huge amount of knowledge and expertise in dairy science there is a significant opportunity to leverage this to produce better alt-dairy products and ingredients.”

    “Whether it’s simple rice or almond or soy milk, to fermented or plant-based or cell-cultured products, the growth opportunity is there – and New Zealand has the expertise, people who are researching proteins and researching dairy and have a lot of in-depth knowledge.”

    LIC lost out on Afimilk courtesy of Covid-19. But it’s still hunting for tech deals, says CEO – read more here

    New Zealand is also exploring cell-based meat production with world-leading researchers like the University of Auckland’s Laura Domigan helping to build momentum.

    “I don’t think it’s an ‘either-or’ thing. I think people will continue consuming real dairy and real meat, but a lot of the growth will come from alt-meat and alt-dairy – especially if they reach the same price,” Meron says.

    Another area of particular interest for Sprout going forward is regenerative ag – farming methods and practices that can encourage better soil health and water use, and more sustainable farm operations overall.

    “The [indigenous] Māori culture has been using regenerative ag practices for centuries, in the way they were thinking about, and treating, the land,” Meron says.

    “It’s not easy to turn those kinds of practices and knowhow into technology-based companies, but we would like to find a way to use some of that knowledge that has been practiced by the iwi [tribal group] farms and match it with government-funded research and tech, and our company-building capabilities and investment. We believe New Zealand would really be able to benefit from this.”

    Next intake

    For its upcoming accelerator program, Sprout is looking for “highly-driven entrepreneurs working on the broad challenges in ag and food,” Meron says.

    “The program is valuable, regardless of the maturity of your product.”

    Applications close on June 4.

    Looking farther ahead, Sprout intends to start running more sector-specific cohorts, Meron reveals.

    These thematic programs may be horizontal — focusing on viticulture, dairy, or aquaculture, for example — allowing Sprout to leverage its industry network and provide more value for partners and entrepreneurs alike.

    Other programs may take a horizontal approach, zeroing in on themes like sustainability, or research from New Zealand’s state-owned Crown Research Institutes (CRIs), for instance.

    “Paradoxically, when you narrow the search, you can actually get a lot more dealflow – because you discover people who didn’t think they needed the assistance, or didn’t know they could be entrepreneurs, and we can really help them with the heavy lifting of building a company,” Meron says.

    One example where Sprout has already seen this is with Scentian Bio, its first venture investment. Sprout investment manager Warren Bebb is acting as an interim CEO for Scentian, which is a spin-out from CRI Plant & Food Research founded by scientist (and now chief technology officer) Andrew Králíček.

    “[This way] we can actually increase our pipeline and also provide more interest to the corporate partners we work with, and really take a more important role in building the ecosystem here,” Meron says.

    “At Sprout we really want to be business builders and ecosystem builders, rather than just providers of money. The dollar is a commodity – yours is as good as mine. We want to find the people who want to build a business, and who want our specialist skills, to attract them and help them do that.”


    Sprout is accepting applications for its July 2021 accelerator program until June 4. Head here to find more details and register.

  • ChickP Announces APAC Initiative With New Singapore Office as Demand For Plant Protein in Asia Continues

    Israel’s ChickP Protein, Ltd. announces it is expanding into the APAC region with the launch of a new office in Singapore, in response to the rapidly growing demand for plant-based products in the region. The company also announces the appointment of Moy Teo as the company’s Business Development Director for Asia, to lead the venture’s business development and marketing activities.

    “I’m excited to start this journey with ChickP in the alt-protein ingredient segment,” Moy Teo

    With 20 years of hands-on experience in the food ingredient space within the APAC region, she joins the ChickP team to lead their foothold in Asia with their patented and highly functional chickpea isolate that boasts a 90% protein content. This move follows the acquisition of her distribution business by a group in the Netherlands.

    Asian,Vegan,Bowl,With,Rice,,Broccoli,And,Fried,Tofu ChickP
    ©ChickP

    “I’m excited to start this journey with ChickP in the alt-protein ingredient segment,” says Moy. “Chickpea is a well-known and highly venerated crop in Asia. The region makes up more than 85% of chickpea consumption globally, only behind India.”

    The new Singapore office will include a warehouse to alleviate the logistical bottlenecks experienced throughout the pandemic era that slowed supplies to its APAC-based customers in 20 countries. “We believe in strong customer relations and partnerships in product development,” explains Ron Klein, CEO of ChickP. “While plant-based products pose many functional and flavor challenges, getting closer to your clients’ advances development, helps control the supply chain, and shortens time to market. Singapore has become the center of plant-based products and alt-protein, and ChickP is there to help its clients.”

    ChickP dairy
    Image courtesy of ChickP

    “Asia is an important market for ChickP; we already partner with local food companies to advance plant-based innovations,” notes Itay Dana, VP of Sales and Business Development of ChickP. “This move is part of ChickP’s global extension beyond the joint market development agreement with Socius Ingredients, Inc. in the US. We also signed a contract with a distributor in South Africa, with the next step in the European market.”

  • IPO Watch: The Next Israeli Tech Company Set to List on the ASX Made $16m Last Year

    Gefen Technologies is set to be the next Israeli tech company to list on the ASX having closed its $25 million IPO offer on Friday.

    The company has a software platform that is targeted at “regulation-heavy industries” starting with insurance and finance. It involves agents selling complex products to customers where a human touch is required, helping such companies reach more customers.

    It’s clientele include insurance giants TALGenerali Group and Manulife and co-CEO Orni Daniel says more companies and industries such as healthcare, pharmaceuticals, tourism and electronics will be targeted in the future.

    The company made $16.4 million in revenue in 2020 representing a 264 per cent Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR).

    The IPO proceeds come on top of the $6.5 million in seed capital raised over the last 12 months from ASX fund managers Regal, Ellerston, PACCapital and Perennial among others.

    Another Israeli tech company

    When Gefen lists, which it is scheduled to do on June 17, the company will join a cohort of approximately a dozen of Israeli companies on the ASX, most of which are tech.

    Some of the most notable include BNPL firm Splitit (ASX:SPT), tracing tech firms Dotz Nano (ASX:DTZ) and Security Matters (ASX:SMX).

    Here’s a list of Israeli companies on the ASX…

    CodeCompanyPrice%Mth%YrMktCap
    APVAppsvill0.081-13-48$7.3M
    DTZDotz Nano Ltd0.295-16278$119.1M
    ELSElsight Ltd0.4-1222$53.3M
    ESEEsense-Lab Ltd0.018064$9.2M
    FLCFluence Corporation0.175-26-42$109.3M
    HMDHeramed Limited0.26774$32.7M
    MOBMobilicom Ltd0.06322$20.3M
    ROORoots Sustainable0.016-16-33$8.6M
    SBWShekel Brainweigh0.105-2556$16.8M
    SMXSecurity Matters0.345-319$49.2M
    SPTSplitit0.655-2239$308.9M
    WBTWeebit Nano Ltd1.84-20448$219.0M

    Stockhead asked Gefen Technologies co-CEO Orni Daniel on an investor webinar held on Friday why his firm chose to list in Australia.

    He was intrigued by the ASX’s increased focus on technology companies and also thought listing generally would help his company grow.

    “We’re a global company, however our main market is in South East Asia and … the largest agent networks are in the region,” Daniel said.

    “I believe we’re at the stage where going public helps the company with growing.

    “And why? On one hand, when you’re a public company, more information is visible and transparent and it helps onboarding new corporate clients.

    “On the other hand, having a present relationships with the capital markets helps to get capital to fuel the growth.

    “We’re very happy to see the ASX has an increased focus on technology companies in recent year – they’ve just launched a tech index just last February – February 2020.

    “And I believe a combination of all those elements was a natural fit for the next step on our journey.”

  • NASA Harvest and CropX Partner to Support Sustainable Agriculture

    Combining Critical In-Soil Insights and Satellite Observations to Improve Global Agricultural Monitoring

    NASA Harvest (NASA’s Food Security and Agriculture program area) and CropX, a global leader in soil analytics for agriculture, today announced a strategic partnership that will give NASA Harvest unprecedented soil insights for its global agricultural monitoring efforts. Supporting a more sustainable food ecosystem, together NASA Harvest and CropX will provide farmers and industry experts with the data and information they need to improve farming sustainability by conserving resources and improving crop yields.

    The partnership will further NASA Harvest’s mission to improve food security and advance sustainable agriculture, supporting farmer productivity while preserving natural resources in the United States and worldwide through the use of satellite data. Combining the power of CropX soil data monitoring, comprehensive insights provided by the CropX ag analytics platform, and NASA’s network of Earth-observing satellites, this partnership will result in delivering critical insights to governments and farmers around the globe in support of informed and science-driven decision making.

    “Soil health and nutrient management is at the very root of food security and sustainable agriculture concerns – an accurate understanding of what is actually happening underneath the ground is essential,” noted Nadav Liebermann, CropX chief technology officer. “Satellite imagery has long been an integral part of CropX algorithms, and our partnership with NASA Harvest will deliver valuable agronomic insights by connecting critical data at different depths underground and from an expansive network of satellites in space. We are looking forward to working with the NASA Harvest team to improve farming decision-making in both developed and undeveloped regions of the world.”

    CropX has implemented strategies across a group of alfalfa farms in Arizona controlled by Integrated Ag Financial (IAF) Investments Group to test and finetune the algorithms that will become the foundation of nationwide, and potentially eventually global, agriculture insights. Over a 12-month time period with the integration of NASA data and international partner agency satellite data, the pilot program will quickly establish the parameters for water usage estimates, yield prediction, soil quality and land usage assessments based on multiple crop growing cycles.

    Photo of installation of crop sensor

    A CropX team member installs a soil quality sensor.Credits: courtesy of CropX

    “We are delighted to collaborate with CropX and NASA Harvest on this most important deployment,” stated Jon-Michael Nahon, IAF senior managing partner, “Optimal and sustainable use of farm inputs is crucial to meeting the world’s food challenge.” Particularly in light of a renewed focus on soil moisture metrics spurred by NASA efforts such as the Soil Moisture Active/Passive (SMAP) mission and the upcoming NASA-ISRO SAR (NISAR) mission, the team hopes to build upon the pilot study in the coming years by using the best available technology to analyze and support more cost-effective and environmentally efficient farming methods.

    “We are in a constant race to produce and supply enough food in order to feed a rapidly growing global population, with finite land and natural resources. NASA Harvest is dedicated to collaborating with top innovators to make the best possible use of our agricultural land; CropX unites our space-led vision with on-farm intelligence and results,” added Inbal Becker-Reshef, program director of NASA Harvest.

    “We were impressed by the accuracy and reliability with which the CropX soil monitoring platform was able to both pinpoint various soil health and environmental challenges, as well as determine opportunities for water, energy and nutrient conservation,” Becker-Reshef said. “CropX offers the advanced tools and global farm footprint needed to understand and improve soil health and water quality tied to farming ecosystems around the world. Paired with satellite data, this provides the opportunity to scale these insights in support of farmer productivity and more effective use of available resources.”

    First introduced via their involvement in Farm2050, an ecosystem of agrifood industry leaders led by the private companies Innovation Endeavors and Finistere Ventures, the new partnership between CropX and NASA Harvest puts collaboration across the public, private and academic sectors into practice. NASA Harvest is a multidisciplinary consortium of over 40 partners funded by NASA HQ through a competitive selection process and based at the University of Maryland. It is dedicated to creating the partnerships needed to unlock innovation in agriculture. Together, NASA Harvest and CropX plan to quickly scale the program based on learnings from the initial pilot.

    Last Updated: Apr 3, 2021Editor: Aries Keck

    https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-harvest-and-cropx-partner-to-support-sustainable-agriculture

  • Rise of Travel-Tech post Covid-19

    As the world begins to open its borders to eager travellers many of the globe’s biggest travel companies have seen their share prices rocket. IAGs value rose by 3% and TUI’s shares also increased by 4% as a result of the news that travel restrictions in places in the world were to be lifted.

    So what does this mean for business and how can it be capitalised on to ensure the Travel industry rises from the ashes like a vaccinated Phoenix post-Covid 19? The rise of value in these travel companies means the parallel growth of investment into Travel Technology, which presents a huge opportunity for the sector as a whole. The industry will have to adjust to the new demands that post-Covid presents such as the increased likelihood of holiday cancellations, socially distanced queuing at airports and more digital forms of booking trips abroad. However, as Israel has proven in the past and still proves today, with any problem comes an opportunity. Not only will the travel sector need technology to help rebuild itself after a year of paralysis, but new technologies will play a pivotal role in making sure that the travel industry doesn’t fall back into the dark abyss of 2020.

    Yet, although last year saw the industry stagnate and seemingly cease to exist, it allowed travel tech companies to build their technologies, leading to newer trends and innovative ways for the industry to grow in the future. One of the latest trends that have come from the travel industry is the rise in robotics technology. Robots are now starting to become more common in hotels for concierge-like roles or helping to greet guests, whilst at airports, we are seeing automated luggage as people travel terminal to terminal without having to worry about holding anything. In Israel, this type of technology has been around for years with NUA Robotics creating a form of robotic luggage that not only follows but communicates with its owner.

    Another area of the travel tech industry that has grown during the pandemic is contactless payments. What started as a convenience pre-Covid has now become an essential part of the travel industry, with travellers no longer feeling comfortable handling cash many companies are having to adapt their system to this new form of payment. It is not just contactless cards though that are making a breakthrough, Israel has created other forms of e-commerce payments that do not just require the generic tapping method that we see today. An example coming from Chromepay, a technology that enables merchants and travel businesses to receive payments via a unique QR code with users being able to seamlessly transfer money between each other.

    On top of the robotics and contactless payments trends, the travel industry has adapted its technology to include chatbots in its online services. These AI-powered pieces of machinery provide customers with an online 24/7 service through travel websites, meaning that the drop in staff availability due to COVID doesn’t affect the customer service of the company. These chatbots are extremely useful in helping travellers to get answers about their holiday and responding to any queries that they may have about COVID policies, which are changing repeatedly. Botson, an AI-based system from Israel, not only includes chatbots but has also developed an engagement prediction engine that personalises travel content for customers. When the travel industry begins to fully open up in the next few months, do not be surprised in seeing more companies use technologies like Botson in providing both a chatbot and a more customisable service to their customers.

    Although the world is still extremely cautious about the industry opening its doors to eager travellers across once more, there is a lot that the travel sector can look forward to. Any problems that might arise in the coming months will be tackled head-on by innovation and forward-thinking as we have seen in the past when the pandemic first hit. These types of technology with not only keep customers safe but on a macro scale will have a lasting impact on the survival of the industry as a whole.

  • Stretching Communication: How Israeli Solutions are Addressing Last-Mile Connectivity

    With the rapid infrastructural expansions that we are accustomed to in the global telecoms industry, it is impossible to believe there are often a minority of consumers of telephony services who are consistently under-served.

    Despite the meteoric growth of the Internet and broadband connectivity in the past two decades, about 49 per cent of the world’s population, or 3.7 billion people, were still offline and excluded from the direct benefits of the global digital economy at the end 2019. Further, over 750 million people (approximately 10 per cent of the global population) are not covered by mobile broadband (3G or higher) and this lack of coverage is particularly concentrated in rural and remote areas.

    The estimated global telecom services market size was USD 1.66 trillion in 2020 and expected to reach USD 1.70 trillion in 2021. It is therefore underwhelming to find that companies are still hesitant to invest in extending coverage of mobile telephony services to rural environments and less densely populated remote areas, in the era of 3G and 4G.

    Admittedly, this is a numbers game and most will point to the lack of long-term return on investment (ROI) of such novel ideas, averaging 6% globally, to validate their reluctance. However, where technological solutions can lower the CAPEX significantly and remove the business constraints, telecom companies should at least commit to the vision of universal access and inclusive economies.

    Israel’s telecommunication sector is considered as one of the most sophisticated in the world, characterized by high mobile penetration, extensive R&D presence, high-level talent pool and strong service competition. It is, therefore, not a surprise to have some established and start-up Israeli communication technology companies leading the efforts to address the global Last Mile Connectivity challenge.

    Find a few excellent solutions worth considering:

    • Comarcom is a well-established vendor of special antennas for Cellular Radio coverage enhancement solutions. This unique very high gain, narrow beam, dual polarization antennas called “Very High Gain Antennas (VEGA)” enables the Cellular Operator to extend and improve coverage of difficult-to-service areas at a far lower cost, covering remote communities, long roads, rails, ferry routes and long bridges.
    • MTI Wireless Edge Ltd is offering high quality, low cost, flat panel antennas for commercial applications such as WiMAX, Wireless Networking, RFID readers &, Broadband Wireless Access. With over 40 years’ experience of supplying antennas 100KHz to 90GHz, including directional antennas and Omni directional for outdoor and indoor deployments, as well as for Base Stations and Terminals – Utility Market.
    • Curvalux’s phased array multi beam system, designed specifically for operators and ISPs to provide highest fixed wireless broadband capacity for the last mile, rural and urban environments. Its revolutionary technological solutions provide the highest fixed wireless broadband capacity at the best ownership cost.
    • Gilat Satellite Networks is a leading global provider of satellite-based broadband communications. Gilat provides an assortment of communication solutions for both permanent and temporary sites, which include both fixed and mobile solutions.
  • Israel’s Drones set to Improve Civilian Life

    The global interest in drones is growing in exponential pace. Advancements in technology and reduced costs are some of the reasons fueling the rapid growth. Kenya is not an exception, and recently the use of drones in Kenya was allowed by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA).

    Israel is one of the world’s largest exporter of unmanned aircraft, in terms of the number of systems sold. Over the last eight years Israel has exported $4.6 billion worth of unmanned aerial vehicles to countries ranging from Britain, India and Uganda, according to a study by the business consulting firm Frost and Sullivan

    Israel’s UAV’s ability to operate beneath radar detection level yet unnoticed by those on the ground makes it a unique and essential part of any military arsenal these days. Today Israeli combat & surveillance drones are used worldwide.

    However, in recent years Israel is developing drones to be deployed for public use, with the aim to ultimately reduce congestion on public roads, transporting medicine and medical equipment and performing medical tasks and delivering various commercial goods more quickly.

    In March 2021 Israel Innovation Authority together with Transportation Ministry, the Israel Aviation Authority, the Ayalon Highways Co. and the Prime Minister’s Office commissioned a pilot drone project which will see hundreds of drones from a variety of firms test out their technologies in different sections over a shared airspace in the next two years.

    Over the course of the project, the unmanned vehicles from a variety of firms will make 300 flights a day in the designated area, first in over unpopulated spaces in Hadera and then gradually moving to fly over urban areas, each vehicle simulating the execution of a variety of increasingly complex tasks: food delivery, transport of medicine and medical equipment, transport of packages and agricultural services.

    According to research the global commercial drone market is projected to grow significantly by 2025, driven by a rise in demand for aerial services and advancements in camera, mapping and other software. Israel is hoping to use the technological prowess it has developed in the military drone sector to become a global player in the growing multibillion-dollar civilian sector. Some of the key start-ups in the drone sector include

    Heven Drones, which has developed breakthrough stability technology that enables drones to fly in the most difficult environments while offering a highly customizable and actionable platform. The drones are capable of lifting upwards of 45kg in extreme weather conditions while flying at a speed of 90 kph for 45 minutes and are used for medical supply deliver, urban logistics, and agriculture, to industrial and security use-cases. The drones can be customized to provide solutions to a wide array of challenges across many different industries.

    Nando Drones offers autonomous drone-based platform that turns the archaic model of site security upside down. Instead of guards making the rounds and patrolling a perimeter to detect intrusions into the secured site, with a response team on call, the drone in the sky hovers above commercial sites for up to 70 minutes at a time, capable of detecting both movement and the human form at a range of up to 250 meters. The Nando autonomous drone-based platform is also efficient for non-security applications including but not limited to solar farms monitoring, agricultural and mining surveillance.

    Highlander provide a software-only solution that provides drone fleets with autonomous flight, intelligent airspace control, and coordinated air continuity. As a fully hardware-free system, they integrate with all the leading drone manufacturers, giving customers the freedom to build their drone fleets with best-in-class devices for whatever their specific purposes may be. High Lander clients around the globe use Mission Control to manage robotic aerial security, public safety, precision agriculture, facilities inspections, drone delivery networks, border patrol operations, etc.

    Airwayz offers software-based AI that allows any drone of any type to be part of an autonomous drone fleet and perform multiple tasks in a variety of fields. Airwayz drones are used for the inspection and mapping of assets and sites that help to reduce manpower requirements and business risk while improving operational efficiency and compliance. They are also used for autonomous or remote operated Search and Rescue missions as well as package delivery.

    References:

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-launches-2-year-pilot-preparing-the-sky-for-network-of-delivery-drones/

    https://www.haaretz.com/.premium-israel-is-greatest-exporter-of-drones-1.5243373

  • Look into the Telecommunication Industry

    The global Telecommunication industry is transforming large communication and Technology companies with the maturity of intelligent edge. The intelligent edge is the combination of advanced connectivity, compact processing power, and Al located near devices that use and generate data. Predictions are that in 2021, there will be an expansion by Telecoms deploying the intelligent edge for 5G networks, and hyper scale cloud providers. The intelligent edge will benefit any business that manages data centres, cloud, and networks.  Telecoms are key partners for intelligent edge. Large Telecoms sell their own edge computing and IOT solutions. As providers with the edge ecosystem telecoms can offer their enterprise consumers end-to-end connectivity for advanced 5G solutions, cable, fibre, and wired or wireless networks.

    The Israel Telecommunication markets have witnessed growth in the recent years and are expected to grow in this direction over forecast period to 2025. The growth in this industry comes from the increasing adoption of mobile phones that supports 5G, 4G, and 3G across the country. This sector is further expected to grow over the forecast period with the increasing adoption of IOT, which is connected to wireless broadband.

    The new trends in the telecommunication industry are major growth from value –added services. Digital transformations of new technology are helping to provide opportunities for the telecommunication industry to grow on their service offerings and solutions to add value added services to customers and consumers. Innovation Technology, if used correctly, can help Telco’s separate themselves in the market and increase productivity. This will call for the telecommunication industry to think outside the connectivity box and innovate technology in increasing value added services.

    The below are some of the technology and trends set to influence the future of Telco’s:

    5G

    The 5th generation of mobile wireless connectivity is 5G. According to GSMA this technology will account for 20% global connections. 5G technology will set to change the way businesses operate as it will allow for faster connectivity. This will influence the IOT and edge computing which will enable management of business process, operations, digitisation and automation. 5G connectivity will allow for Telco is to target companies with 5G related applications specifically built for industries, example, telemedicine apps that allow us to connect with the qualified doctors whenever needed, get a diagnosis and treatment plan online. In the hard times of COVID-19, these solutions are valuable if not critical.

    AI (Artificial Intelligence)

    Making use of AI, telecommunication industry will be able to process and analyse huge volumes of big data to gain access to actionable insights that can be used to enhance customer experience and increase profitability. This is done by using AI technology for network optimisation and automation which will enable Telco’s to detect or predict any problems or issues with the network and will allow them to identify and fix the problem before it negatively affects customers. The use of Virtual assistants allows for operators to implement self-service platforms and solutions that enable customers to do more themselves.

    FinTech

    FinTech innovations, in the form of mobile wallets, mobile money, and digital payments have become an innovative and essential service globally. Telecommunication industry has the opportunity to connect with billion unbanked customers. The Fintech market has a huge growth potential and is looking for financial inclusion for simple and convenient ways to make payments. The Covid 19 pandemic has demonstrated the requirement for the FinTech solutions that enabled payments to be virtual either by mobile phones or online. FinTech related trends will continue to grow and impact the future of the Telco industry and provide the telecommunication industry with an opportunity to increase on their service offerings.

    IOT (Internet of Things)

    Internet of things continues to gain grip and impact the different industry verticals globally, especially since we see shifts towards smart manufacturing, industrial automation, smart cities and vehicle telematics. The estimated total operator –billed revenue from 5G IOT will reach 8 billion by 2024. This move towards internet of things provides an opportunity for the telecommunication industry to innovate their product offerings and make use of 5G capabilities, like network slicing, and multi edge computing solutions to add value to their customer base with solutions that talk to the changing needs of customers.

    The companies highlighted below display variety of value added services for Telecoms:

    OKO  – Provides effective, affordable insurance to farmers in emerging markets and delivers instant claim settlement. By leveraging the increasing influence of mobile technology, OKO aims to help overcome income distribution insufficiencies for those who feed the world.

    Trackimo – Trackimo develops various personal safety and object tracking solutions, with the most cost-effective, compact GPS devices, and a global GSM/IoT service. With trackimo you can locate and track any person, vehicle, pet or precious object in seconds, using web or apps, and get alerts through multiple channels. Trackimo’s cloud-based API enables integration to multiple security and tracking systems. 

    AirDoctor – Platform that helps travellers locate an appropriate physician abroad by language spoken, location, medical specialty, and reviews. And it is now preparing for a world where travel may look completely different. Air Doctor introduced a telemedicine service in December 2019 that allows travellers to virtually meet with physicians who can speak their native language. It saw a 150 percent increase in the use of its virtual network in the last two months, as the corona virus pandemic continued to spread throughout the world.

    Pay key  – PayKey enables banks, e-wallets, telcos and other businesses to offer customers instant access to financial services, including P2P payments, balance check and top-ups – from within ANY mobile app, including all messaging apps. Pay Key patented Social Payments Solution™ is based on a state-of-the-art smartphone keyboard that includes your branded payment button, opening a menu of your services – always available to your customers, no matter what they’re doing on their phones.

    The future of the telecommunication industry entails partnerships and other service providers. This helps the Telco’s to differentiate them, enhance service offerings, and create new business models that aim to provide customers with value added services that they looking for.

    References:

    https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/insights/industry/technology/technology-media-and-telecom-predictions/2021/edge-intelligence-fourth-industrial-revolution.html

    https://www.privacyshield.gov/article?id=Israel-Information-Communication-Technology-ICT

    https://www.budde.com.au/Research/Israel-Telecoms-Mobile-and-Broadband-Statistics-and-Analyses

    https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-israeli-communications-industry

  • “Massive Growth” of Alt Protein Field in Israel as Total Investment Increases 8X Since 2018

    From: Vegeconomist – May 3

    According to a new GFI Israel study, the total investment in companies developing alt proteins in Israel has increased eightfold across the plant-based, cell-cultured and fermentation fields. The total of all investments in 2020 was almost three times higher than the previous year, with 154% annual growth (YOY).

    As global investments in alt protein companies reached $3.1 billion in 2020 – three times higher than in 2019 – the GFI has identified Israel as playing a key role in the alt protein movement, with record-breaking numbers and capital investments reaching $114 million. Between 2018 and 2020 the total investment in companies developing alt proteins rocketed from $14 million in 2018 to $114 million in 2020.

    Additionally, in 2020:

    • Plant-based meat, egg, and dairy companies received $77 million in investments.
    • Cultivated meat companies received $16 million.
    • Fermentation companies devoted to alternative proteins received $21 million.
    • Sales of plant-based products in Israel grew 13 times more than sales of animal-based products. 
    Israel’s Prime Minister Tastes Aleph Farms Cultivated Steak (photographer Koby Gidon, Government Press Office (GPO))

    Findings also recently revealed that the growth of the alt protein market in Israel was 13 times greater than that for animal products in 2020, with the Israeli alternative meat market growing by about 24% overall. The latest GFI report backs this up by revealing the “Massive growth” of the alt protein field when compared to other industries, with an average annual investment growth of 187% and a huge advantage over other leading high-tech industries in Israel.

    Israel aims to position itself at the forefront of the global alt protein market, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu making a well-publicised trip to Aleph Farms’ facilities and becoming the first world leader to sample cell-cultured meat. In another example of the aforementioned investment, Israeli startup Chunk Foods last week raised $2 million in a pre-seed funding round to develop its fermentation technology to produce whole-muscle meat alternatives. Cell-cultured leader MeaTech also recently announced its $25 million IPO and Nasdaq listing, which you can read a vegconomist interview regarding here.

    Chunk Foods
    © Chunk Foods

    “GFI Israel focuses on advancing alternative protein innovation in the “Startup Nation”. Israel is recognized as a world leader in agricultural research, tissue engineering, stem cell research and engineering and thus has emerged as a hub for alternative protein innovation and cultivated meat companies. Israel is ranked 2nd in the world (after the United States) in the number of fermentation companies (10) and cellular agriculture companies (9).

    “As this industry is still in its infancy, we are expecting to see more emerging startups and bigger investments being made as mature companies scale up, in the coming years. Startups in Israel are no longer in a rush for an exit, and although their target market is in most cases overseas, they have learned to scale effectively and build global brands. This is why we see more and more tier 1 international investors active in Israel,” says Aviv Oren, Business Engagement Manager at GFI Israel.

  • Israeli Company Chunk Foods Raises $2M to Develop Whole Cut Alt-Meat Products

    Israeli startup Chunk Foods has raised $2M in a pre-seed funding round led by venture fund Stray Dog Capital. The startup uses fermentation technology to produce whole-muscle meat alternatives.

    While there now exists a large number of alt-meat producers, the focus tends to be on alternatives to processed meat, such as burgers, meatballs, and nuggets. Making whole cuts of meat is challenging, and few companies have attempted it.

    Spotting a gap in the market, Chunk Foods decided to use solid-state fermentation to make beef alternatives containing only natural ingredients. It plans to use the new funding to improve its products and hire new staff.

    Investor Stray Dog Capital specialises in alternative protein investments and has previously provided funding to Beyond Meat, Grounded Foods, and Barvecue, among others.

    Chunk Foods
    © Chunk Foods

    Whole alt-meat cuts

    There are a few other companies working to make whole alt-meat cuts possible — Paris-based Umiami has recently unveiled a proprietary texturisation process to create plant-based whole cuts, while US company Meati Foods has made steak from mycelium. Last year, food scientists at the University of Massachusetts received a grant from GFI to make alt-meat products more like whole cuts of conventional meat. However, none of these approaches use fermentation.

    “Whole muscle cuts of beef such as sirloin, chuck or ribs have been the Holy Grail for alternative meats as they account for about 60% of the beef market in the USA,” says Amos Golan, founder and CEO of Chunk Foods. “We have overcome the technological limitations of other approaches by naturally creating delicious and realistic products with many of the attributes of meat, while ensuring a clean and short ingredient list using our novel fermentation technology. Stray Dog Capital shares our vision of the future of food and we’re excited to be partnering to make that vision into reality.”

  • Israel Rolls Out Covid-19 Passport Program to Children, Who Can’t Yet Be Vaccinated

    Move comes as U.S. and other countries turn their attention to reopening child-centric businesses

    Spectators attended a performance in Haifa, Israel, in late March.PHOTO: ARIEL SCHALIT/ASSOCIATED PRESS

    TEL AVIV—Israel has extended its Covid-19 vaccine passport system to children who aren’t yet eligible to be inoculated, allowing them to visit cinemas, restaurants and other entertainment businesses as it continues to reopen its economy.

    Under the program, children with negative PCR tests will be eligible for a three-day so-called green passport that will be associated with their parents’ passes. The passports take the form of a QR code that can be carried on a smartphone, though their use isn’t always enforced.

    Religious-affairs ministry officials had stipulated that only those carrying a green passport could attend a religious festival on Thursday at Mount Meron, where dozens of people were killed in a stampede, but health officials had said it would be impossible to check the status of those attending.

    Organizers estimated that some 100,000 people were at the site by midnight.

    In Israel, so-called green passports allow those who have had both shots of the vaccine to enter bars, gyms and restaurants.PHOTO: ILIA YEFIMOVICH/ZUMA PRESS

    The country of nine million has led the world’s fastest vaccination program, with nearly 75% of its eligible population fully vaccinated. But given a lack of clinical trial data for children, policy makers haven’t yet extended the campaign to those under 16, meaning about 2.6 million aren’t eligible to be vaccinated.

    This has limited the extent to which Israel can reopen its economy without causing further outbreaks. Israel says its solution is a stopgap measure until medical trials demonstrate that children can be safely vaccinated against the virus.

    Other countries with high vaccination rates, such as the U.S. and U.K., face similar problems. Herd immunity requires between 70% and 85% of a population being protected, health officials say, and this is impossible in countries like the U.S. and Israel if children aren’t vaccinated. Children under 16 account for 22% of the current U.S. population.

    “We haven’t had any outbreaks from green-pass activity over the past eight or nine weeks,” said Tomer Lotan, executive director of Israel’s coronavirus task force. “We are very confident that the green pass is a very effective defense layer on the economic activity in Israel.”

    Last month, Israel began offering rapid tests at sites such as hotels and sports stadiums, costing about $10 to $20, which allowed children with negative test results to enter. The expansion will include regular PCR tests that are much more accessible and are free for everybody.

    Israeli health officials said they would begin to vaccinate children between the age of 12 and 16 when the vaccine is approved by Israeli and international regulators. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in April that Israel signed new deals to buy millions of vaccines from Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc. to begin vaccinating children later this year and launch another vaccine campaign for adults.

    So far, many businesses that largely cater to children such as cinemas and amusement parks remain closed. But officials hope the expanded green passports will allow them to reopen next week when additional restrictions are lifted, including the elimination of caps on the number of people frequenting venues using green passports, such as restaurants and stadiums that have been operating at reduced capacity.

    Health officials in Israel say it remains an open question as to what role children play in spreading the coronavirus when the adult population is largely vaccinated.

    Ran Balicer, chief innovation officer of Israel’s largest healthcare provider, Clalit, said that because the country was the first to introduce the mass vaccination of its adult population, it will be at the forefront of establishing what restrictions can be safely removed without sparking a resurgence of infections.

    “We have to try to have a stepwise and gradual approach and are continuously measuring to make sure that we haven’t crossed this invisible threshold that we aren’t sure where it lies,” he said.

    Appeared in the May 3, 2021, print edition as ‘Israel Grants Children Access to Vaccine Passes.’

  • Press Release – “2020 High-Tech Human Capital Report”, published by the Israel Innovation Authority and Start-Up Nation Central
  • E-commerce Fraud Detection & Prevention

    The increased digitization of global commerce and banking globally — with the expansion of cross-border ecommerce and the adoption mobile banking in the past decade — presents a juicy target for organized criminal groups who only need an Internet connection to make easy money.

    Financial fraud prevention is a big business, with the market expected grow 20 percent per year to reach $42.6 billion in size by 2023, according to global consultancy KBV Research.

    Within this environment, Israel-based or Israeli-founded companies have quietly built a large and growing presence in the anti-fraud market, with at least 35 companies active in the field, ranging from early-stage startups to post-exit companies that have become divisions in larger multinational corporations.

    The Israeli hi-tech scene is well known for producing cutting edge solutions across a variety of industries and verticals. Ecommerce fraud is no different. A number of Israeli startups are pushing the envelope on the machine learning and AI techniques required to fight increasingly sophisticated fraud attacks. From phishing attacks to credit card skimming hacks, there is no type of eCommerce fraud problem these companies aren’t trying to solve.

     To date, the 35 Israeli-founded anti-fraud companies have raised over half a billion dollars in venture capital investment and generated $1.5 billion in successful exits, according to data compiled from Crunchbase.

    Some examples of Fraud Prevention companies from Israel:

    1. ClickCease: ClickCease is a software company that prevents fraudulent clicks on Google Adwords ads. Click fraud will waste 20% of PPC advertisers’ budgets in 2021. Competitors and bots can click on your ads and waste your advertising budget. ClickCease™ Google Ads click fraud protection software will exclude invalid IPs and block fake clicks. This will boost your campaigns and allow you to acquire more customers.

    https://www.clickcease.com/

    • Riskified: Riskified aims to help the eCommerce industry realize its full potential by making it safe, accessible, and economic. Brands from airlines to luxury fashion houses to gift card marketplaces trust Riskified to increase revenue, manage risk, and enhance their customer experience.

    Riskified uses powerful machine-learning algorithms to recognize legitimate customers and keep them moving toward conversion. Using Riskified, merchants can safely approve more orders, expand internationally, and fulfill omnichannel flows while providing a frictionless customer experience.

    https://www.riskified.com

    • BioCatch: BioCatch delivers behavioral biometrics, analyzing human–device interactions in order to protect users and data. Banks and other enterprises use BioCatch to significantly reduce online fraud and protect against a variety of cyberthreats without compromising user experience.

    http://www.biocatch.com

    • Segasec: Segasec is a cybersecurity start-up specializing in helping organizations mitigate the risk of their customers becoming victims of online fraud and phishing scams.

    The company’s patent-pending technology provides early intelligence for upcoming phishing scams (scams in preparation mode), running quadrillions of targeted scans that identify even unknown attack patterns. Once these attacks are identified, and before customers are targeted, Segasec’s solution works to confuse and defuse the attackers, taking down and blocking the compromised assets while deceiving the attackers in order to reduce the risk of exposing customers’ personal information.

    Segasec’s solution requires zero onboarding and no integration, so companies can start getting protected immediately.

    https://www.segasec.com/

    • Forter: Forter has developed a fully automated fraud-prevention platform that avoids a cumbersome verification process for customers. The company’s triple-layered technology observes models and anomalies in online user behavior, learning from every transaction to distinguish between authenticity and fraud in order to produce an immediate approve/decline decision.

    http://www.Forter.com

    • Identiq: Identiq’s identity-validation solution creates a completely anonymous distributed network that allows members to validate new users and vouch for ones they already know. All of this is done without sharing any customer data or identifiable information.

    This approach enables members to make accurate decisions regarding fraud based on a greater number of data points as well as offer a better user experience to their customers. It also provides strong proof of identity by connecting multiple assets such as email, phone number, address, IP address, and funding source at the time of onboarding, first payment, or after indications of account takeover.

    https://www.identiq.com/

    For further information on fraud prevention technologies from Israel, contact the FinTech Manager.

    Rochelle Ives; Trade Officer, Sydney

    Email: rochelle.ives@israeltrade.gov.il

  • Electric cars – The Automotive Ecosystem in Israel

    Global car sales experienced an unprecedented drop. Despite gradual recovery over the course of the year, early market data suggests that global car sales contracted in 2020 by an estimated 14% year-on-year, mirroring closely the drop in global car sales in 2020 was significantly larger comparatively.

    Ford said during his keynote speech. “It sparks innovation.” The automotive ecosystem in Israel, he added, is “amazing.” You didn’t need to hear Ford to understand that Israel has become a world leader in everything from the sensors and cameras that power self-driving cars to the software that will find an open parking spot in a lot or on the street (no small feat in a perennially parked-up city like Tel Aviv).

    A technological breakthrough is needed, and many Israel companies are working on ways to make charging faster and travel range longer. Electric vehicles can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, at least in theory. A small Israeli start-up called Electreon has another idea: electrify the roads to recharge vehicles as they are driven.

    Electric cars, which are a major part of global attempts to tackle the climate crisis, have faced the challenge of batteries taking hours to fully charge, giving rise to “range anxiety” — the fear of a battery running out mid-journey and the driver getting stranded at a charging station. But now, provided that charging stations undergo a major upgrade, which could take years, charging an electric car could become as quick as stopping to refuel a gas-run vehicle.

    ISRAEL- From flat battery to full charge in just five minutes — an Israeli start-up has developed technology it says could eliminate the “range anxiety” associated with electric cars. Ultra-fast recharge specialists StoreDot have developed a first-generation lithium-ion battery that can rival the filling time of a standard car at the pump.  They are changing the entire experience of the driver, the problem of ‘range anxiety’ that may get stuck on the highway without energy,”

    Phinergy, company’s main focus is on the development of aluminum-air and zinc-air batteries, they claim to have successfully integrated aluminum-air battery system into an electric vehicle resulting in more than three times the driving range of current EVs.

    Driivz, offers a cloud-based software platform for operations management, grid management, user management, public and workplace charging management including billing services. They offer the product to the public charging infrastructure managers.

    Aquarius Engines is an Israeli startup focused on developing engines for application in hybrid and electric vehicles. The company has developed a patented engine which has only one moving part, the engine only has a single piston that moves from side to side instead of up and down. The generator charges a battery located beneath the car floor under the back seat.

    Chakratec has develops a highly efficient energy storage system based on flywheel technology which gives a low cost per charge/discharge cycle. The company offers storage systems ranging from 5 kWh to high end 1 MWh systems for small to medium size applications.

    Addionics is a provider of 3D architecture rechargeable batteries. Has developed a 3D architecture for batteries for reducing the internal resistance of the batteries. Claims to reduce the charging time by half and increase in the range at high speeds. Develops this technology for electric vehicle batteries.

    IRP Systems has developed a patented software defined electric motor/actuator for unmanned systems which provides a high level of SWAP (Size Weight and Power) ratio. Their solution, named Hummingbird, consists of a patented intelligent control algorithm coupled with an electric motor design which helps in achieving the high-power efficiency metrics.  The motion system is sufficiently versatile and can be implemented in any system with an electric motion requirement. It is intended to be used in drones, electric vehicles, unmanned ground vehicles or as robot actuators.

    UrbanAero, an aviation technology company that develops ducted-fan based aircraft (that it calls Fancraft), for multiple uses. The current focus of UrbanAero is on developing a VTOL unmanned aerial vehicle called the AirMule and its export variant, the Cormorant.

    ElectReon, developing electric wireless charging of e-vehicles. The technology uses dynamic wireless power transfer (DWPT) system which will be laid under public roads. The vehicles are retrofitted with a receiver under the chassis.

    ETV Energy,  an Israeli startup focused on developing lithium-ion batteries for the electric vehicle market. The company’s technology is based on High Voltage Nickel-Manganese-Oxide (Spinel) cathode material. The Spinel oxides possess high cell voltage and the company is working on developing a commercially viable product using these oxides.

    If you are interested to explore these innovative technologies and believe EVs are definitely the future, please contact Jeremy.

    Source:https://www.iea.org/commentaries/how-global-electric-car-https://www.financialexpress.com/auto/electric-vehicles/
    https://tracxn.com/explore/Electric-Vehicles-Startups-in-Israel

  • Meet Virtual Reality, Your New Physical Therapist
    April 21, 2021 NY Times

    While use of the gaming technology for improving physical ailments is still in the early stages, it shows promise — and it’s fun.

    This article is part of our new series on the Future of Health Care, which examines changes in the medical field.

    Four years ago, Michael Heinrich was riding his motorcycle on the University of Michigan campus when a rotted tree fell on him and snapped his neck, causing him to permanently lose use of the lower half of his body. He spent weeks in intensive care and then went to inpatient rehabilitation for more than two months,

    About halfway through his rehab stint, his occupational therapist, Michael Blackstock, asked whether he was interested in trying virtual reality for his therapy. Mr. Heinrich, now 26 — who is returning for his master’s at the university — was game.

    “What I really enjoyed was being an eagle trying to go through rings,” he said, describing a virtual reality experience. “From an emotional standpoint, coming off an injury where I lost the majority of the use of my body, V.R. pushed the boundaries of what I thought was possible.”

    Virtual reality, long used for gaming, has, over the past several years, moved into the health field for such things as pain management and relieving post-traumatic stress disorder.

    And now researchers and therapists say it has shown great promise for physical and occupational therapy.

    “I’ve been through P.T. for various injuries, and you know, sometimes I get home and I’m sort of like, well, I forget exactly what I was supposed to do,” said Brennan M. Spiegel, a professor of medicine and public health and director of health services research at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. “How am I supposed to set up my body for this? And also, do I have the motivation to do it right now? And V.R. can help both of those, both by reproducing precisely what that physical movement is supposed to be and hopefully providing some additional motivation to do the exercise.”

    Using virtual reality for rehabilitation was growing before the coronavirus pandemic for a variety of reasons, including rapid advances in hardware and software technology and a younger generation of practitioners more comfortable using such technology. But the greater acceptance of telehealth during the pandemic has further spurred its use.

    For one thing, it’s simply a lot more fun than traditional rehabilitation exercises. And “V.R. has this uncanny ability to kind of nudge the human brain in ways that other audiovisual media cannot,” said Dr. Spiegel, who is one of the foremost experts on the use of virtual reality in health. “The bottom line is it motivates us to do things that we might not be able to do.”

    That’s what Pamela Pleasants, 59, found when she started doing virtual reality therapy for an injured shoulder. An associate dean at an independent school outside Boston, she learned that she was eligible to get virtual physical therapy, which she did through a company, XRHealth.

    She did an intake over a video call with a physical therapist provided by the company, and then the V.R. headset arrived in the mail. Based on the intake, the therapist decided what applications — out of eight currently offered by the company — that Ms. Pleasants would use, as well as for how long and how frequently, and then trained her how to use them.

    The therapist could also adjust all the settings within a program. For example, when Ms. Pleasants found the range of motion in one application caused her too much pain, the therapist adjusted it lower. The patient can change programs either using a controller or by eye gaze.

    She loved the different programs, especially Balloon Blast, Ms. Pleasants said, which consisted of popping balloons with a virtual sword in each hand. “In the background was how high my range of motion should be.”

    Ms. Pleasants also found the programs geared to reduce stress, such as a guided meditation while walking through a forest, very useful for her shoulder and mental health. She continued meeting her physical therapist on video calls semiweekly.

    “After four months, my shoulder felt tremendously better,” she said.

    XRHealth is one of the few companies focused on providing V.R. physical and occupational therapy at home; based in Boston, it is covered by many insurance programs in Massachusetts and nationally by Medicare. The company is working to get more insurance companies to cover its services. Without insurance, people can pay $179 monthly for the headsets and two physical or occupational therapy appointments monthly from a panel of therapists the company provides.

    The company has all of its programs registered with the F.D.A., said Eran Orr, founder and chief executive.

    Not all the programs offered for V.R. rehab are games; some clinics allow a patient to virtually practice real-life skills they may have trouble doing, such as grocery shopping or dishwashing.

    To really push the use of virtual reality for physical and occupational therapy, “we’ll need to build a body of evidence that shows it’s effective, how we pay for it and how we can develop it in a way that’s easy to use,” said Matthew Stoudt, chief executive and a founder of AppliedVR, which supplies therapeutic virtual reality. “We have to be able to demonstrate that we can bring down the cost of care, not just add to the cost paradigm.”

    While research specifically on V.R. use in physical and occupational therapy is in the early stages, an analysis of 27 studies, conducted by Matt C. Howard, an assistant professor of marketing and quantitative methods at the University of South Alabama, found that V.R. therapy is, in general, more effective than traditional programs.

    “Does it mean V.R. is better for everything? Of course not,” he said in an interview. “And there’s a lot we still don’t know about V.R. rehab.”

    Much of the research uses small samples with varying degrees of rigor, and more needs to be studied about how a patient’s activity in the virtual world translates into improved performance in the physical world, said Danielle Levac, an assistant professor in the department of physical therapy, movement and rehabilitation sciences at Northeastern University. Professor Levac researches the rational for using virtual reality systems in pediatric rehabilitation; many of the children she works with have cerebral palsy.

    “We have to consider the downside of a lack of one-on-one contact with therapists,” she said. “I view V.R. as a tool that has a lot of potential, but we should keep in mind it should fit in — and not replace — an overall program of care.”

    Robert Ferguson, a neurorehabilitation and therapeutic technology clinical specialist at Michigan Medicine, which is part of the University of Michigan, has treated numerous patients over the past four years doing in-hospital V.R. occupational therapy.

    In fact, his first patient to use virtual reality was Mr. Heinrich, who made him realize the potential of V.R. to get patients to move in a way they — and their therapists — didn’t think they could. But, he said, clinicians must be well- trained on how to use the technology in the most helpful and effective way.

    For example, he said, cardiac patients need to be closely monitored because people tend to work harder and longer on V.R. than in traditional therapy with a decreased awareness of pain, which could be dangerous for such patients.

    One of the great benefits of V.R. therapy is that it can provide a stream of specific data to the clinician and patient on how often and how well the patient accomplished each exercise and where adjustments are needed.

    And technology keeps pushing that boundary; a new headset by Oculus allows more degrees of freedom to interact with a virtual environment, and one just released by HP can track heart rate, pupil dilation and sweat.

    Such tracking matters, because a doctor or technician can adjust the amount of exertion delivered to a patient.

    While older people — who are more likely to suffer from strokes, Parkinson’s or simply falls, that will require physical or occupational therapy — may seem less able or more hesitant to use such technology, Mr. Ferguson and others say that typically isn’t the case.

    “We’ve treated people from 18 years old up to 90,” he added. And in fact, V.R. therapy has been shown it can be particularly helpful for those with Parkinson’s and other central nervous system disorders.

    And he has repeatedly found that people have unknowingly done things while using virtual reality that they didn’t think they could. He remembers a patient in his 50s whose leg had been amputated. He couldn’t balance when trying to do seemingly simple movements, such as pulling up his pants.

    The man was a hunter, and Mr. Ferguson suggested he try a virtual reality program involving bow hunting. As part of the program, the patient was standing on one leg “and changing his center of gravity all over,” something he had not been able to do in regular therapy.

    “When we showed him the video, he said, ‘I can’t do that,’ Mr. Ferguson recalled. “We said, ‘you just did.’”

  • 85 Israeli companies will present breakthrough technologies in the field of medical device and digital health to Global healthcare industry leaders at MEDinISRAEL 2021

    The 6th Biennial MEDinISRAEL Conference and Exhibition, Israel’s leading medical device and digital health event will be held virtually on April 20-21, 2021. The event will feature Israel’s leading medical device and digital health companies and host healthcare community members and experts from around the globe. The conference will address the issues of the digital future of healthcare, global opportunities in healthcare, the shift in point of care- hospital at home & telemedicine, private sector investments in the future of digital health, harnessing AI and data, the consumerization of health care and many more. The much-anticipated MEDinISRAEL 2021 will host key decision-makers and executives who generate thousands of business interactions with the global healthcare community, notable experts, leading hospitals, distributors, investors, and corporate members.

    COVID-19 has created a tremendous challenge for the medical industry, and innovation is the key factor in meeting those challenges. The Israeli medical landscape represents a broad spectrum of companies that offer various medical products and technologies, making Israel an important global medical innovation hub. MEDinISRAEL will showcase innovative breakthroughs and new medical technologies through a Virtual Exhibition of 85 state-of-the-art Israeli medical device and digital health companies. Through and with the help of economic attachés of the Foreign Trade Administration at the Ministry of Economy, the Israeli companies will participate in hundreds of pre qualified one on one meetings  with senior decision makers in leading companies, e.g. Philips, TEVA, INSIGHTEC, EarlySense, TytoCare, Bioview and many more.

    The event will include the OpenMED Innovation Competition by Sanara Ventures, a pitch contest celebrating visionary achievements from the very best Israeli innovators focusing on digital health, bio-convergence, and medical device technologies. And a variety of panels with world-class speakers who will discuss the latest topics in the industry and trends in the post-pandemic era and share their best practices in health and care delivery to build healthier societies

    MEDinISRAEL’s speakers will include:

    • Frans van Houten | Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Philips, The Nederland
    • Dr. John D. Halamka | M.D., M.S., President, Mayo Clinic Platform, NY, USA
    • Harold F. Wolf | President and CEO, HIMSS, USA
    • Michael J. Dowling | President and CEO, Northwell Health, NY, USA
    • Prof. Ran D Balicer, MD, Ph.D., MPH|Founding Director, Clalit Research Institute, Chief Innovation Officer, Director of Innovation Division, Clalit Health Services, Israel
    • Prof. Arnon Afek | Associate Director-General, Acting Director of Sheba General Hospital and the Chairman of the Department of Medical Administration at Sheba Medical Center, Israel

    Ohad Cohen, head of the Foreign Trade Administration – Ministry of Economy & Industry: “Israel has been blessed with a prospering and diverse healthcare ecosystem with more than 1600 life science companies. The healthcare ecosystem is driven by Israeli entrepreneurship spirit, ongoing collaborations between academic institutes and the healthcare industry, governmental support tools, and one of the most efficient healthcare systems in the world. These factors, alongside with 25 years of expertise in implementing Health IT, electronic medical records, and Big Data Analytics have made Israel a center of attraction to the world’s leading companies and investors. MEDinISRAEL provides an opportunity to explore business opportunities and be informed about the current trends from healthcare experts from around the world, as we showcase Israeli models of advanced technologies, research and innovation.”

    Adiv Baruch, Chairman, Israel export institute: “We are proud and excited to host the world’s leading healthcare and business community members on our virtual event. In the course of two inspiring days, we will take a firsthand look at outstanding achievements, understand potential breakthroughs, witness productive collaborations, and explore the most innovative and state-of-the-art healthcare technologies coming from Israel. Especially nowadays, when a COVID-19 is challenging us all to create better and more efficient solutions, It is essential to keep pushing innovative minds into creating new health technologies. Israel is a major global player in the fight against the corona virus, and the Israeli companies are leading the changes in the HealthTech field, structuring the digital acceleration. we anticipate thousands of visitors from around the world to join us, be part of this event, and create new business interactions which will lead to real business opportunities in the near future. MEDinISRAEL, alongside additional activities generated by IEI, continues to be the main on-the-ground platform for doing business with Israel’s medical device & digital health industry”.

    MEDinISRAEL is initiated and produced by the Israeli Export Institute, in cooperation with the Foreign Trade Administration at the Ministry of Economy and Industry, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Healthcare Israel. MEDinISRAEL is partnering with a number of distinguished anchor of the Israeli Healthcare system and Digital Health Industry including, PHILIPS, Sanara Ventures, the Israel Innovation Authority Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov), Ramban Healthcare Campus, The Chaim Sheba Medical Center ,Clalit  Healthcare Services, Maccabi Healthcare Services, Merage Institute, and Life Science Nation (LSN).

    For more information about MEDinISRAEL 2021, please visit >

    https://medinisrael2021.israel-expo.co.il/expo/home

    Media Contact: Liron Hadar | Director, International Public Relations | Israel Export Institute

    +972(3)5142942 / +972(54)3195654 /lironh@export.gov.il    

  • Quantum Computing in Israel

    Quantum Computing is currently one of the most sought after technologies across the world. Israel being one of the most technologically advanced nations, has much to offer in this front.

    Earlier this year it was announced that Israel is to invest about $60 Million in order to build its first Super computer. This project is a part of Israel’s $380 Million national initiative to develop quantum expertise. In order to facilitate this, the Government of Israel has formed the Israel National Quantum Initiative (INQI) that is a joint venture between the Council for Higher Education, the Israel Innovation Authority, the Ministry of Science, the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Finance.

    According to INQI, Quantum science and technology (QST) is a paradigm-shift and hence there is a need to build and develop the community and capabilities in a wide-spread, long-term approach. They also affirm that activity in Israel is booming in Quantum Computing, and already there is a 30-40% increase in academic activity, and a jump from a small number of industries to several dozen industries, from small to large.

    The Israel Innovation Authority under it’s the MAGNET project , has created a consortium that includes members from the industry and academia. The consortium is named The Quantum Technologies Development Consortium. In their own words, the research is aimed at gaining improved technologies by cooperation between the researchers, which will boost the industry towards improved quantum sensors, namely, atomic clocks, quantum magnetometers and quantum gravimeters.

    Besides this consortium that has mainly established companies as its members, Israel boasts of several Start Ups that are doing some ground breaking work in this sector. Following are some examples:

    • Quantum Machines is the creator of complete hardware and software solution for the control and operation of quantum computers. The company’s Quantum Orchestration Platform (QOP) aims to facilitate current quantum research and development and enable future quantum breakthroughs. At the solution’s core is the OPX, the hardware portion of the QOP, which comprises multiple waveform generators, digitizers, and processing units, all integrated on a single FPGA with unique and scalable architecture. The OPX is designed to be easily programmed using QUA, a standard universal language for quantum computing. QUA allows researchers to intuitively program complex quantum programs that are tightly integrated with classical processing and real-time decision-making. The language addresses all of the requirements of an anticipated quantum computing software abstraction layer.
    • QuantumLeap is a startup specializing in quantum-as-a-service (QaaS) solutions. The company’s mission is to build simulators, algorithms, and a full-stack QaaS system based on deep knowledge in physics, math, computer science, and material engineering in order to solve global challenges in healthcare, chemistry, finance, logistics, the search for new materials, and other domains.
    • QuantLR provides a solution designed for organizations interested in communicating highly sensitive data between two points, as well as for telecommunication providers (5G in particular) seeking to provide ultimately secured communication lines for a significant competitive advantage. Initial adopters of the company’s technology will include financial institutions, government and defense organizations, and infrastructure facilities (for authentication purposes). QuantLR’s ultimate goal is to enable worldwide mass deployment of quantum key distribution.
    • LightSolver is planning to build an optical solver to find solutions for complicated computational problems. The company is developing an all-optical, quantum-inspired device that will use the natural properties of light such as deep connectivity and massive parallelism to find the optimal solution. This device, based on a coupled lasers array, will be desktop sized, operate at room temperature, and have low power consumption.
    • Classiq tackles complex challenges in quantum computing development, bridging the gap between complex quantum logic. The company builds a new layer of the quantum software stack, increasing the level of abstraction and allowing developers to implement their ideas and concepts without the need to design the specific gate-level quantum circuit.
    • AccuBeat Ltd is a leading manufacturer of frequency and timing solutions for aerospace, defense, telecommunications, and research applications. The company’s patented rubidium atomic clock and its OCXO technology with optional GPS disciplining provide frequency accuracy in the range of 10 to the -12th power, frequency stability in the range of 10 to the -13th power, and time accuracy in the range of nanoseconds. AccuBeat’s products are designed for commercial applications as well as for military use, including communication networks, cellular base stations, computer networks, calibration laboratories, test equipment, military communication systems, command and control systems, telemetry appliances, mobile radios, and more. Accubeat is a subsidiary of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
    • Nitromia is a privacy solution that bridges and enables quantum-safe transactions on virtually any platform (on private or public networks) in order to provide complete privacy for any type of data. The Nitromia Dynamic Privacy Suite allows transactions and agreements to be recorded and managed quickly and accurately in a secure, reliable, private, and legally compliant manner directly on the public blockchain. The algorithm essentially camouflages data in public and private databases and allows users to complete transactions on the blockchain that are fundamentally invisible to threats.
    • Random Quantum provides a random-number-as-a-service solution using quantum information processing as its underlying technology. This solution would be suitable for many industries such as casinos and gaming, surveys, cryptography, online messaging platforms, and financial institutions.

    References:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-03/israel-allocates-60-million-to-build-first-quantum-computer

    https://www.qtc.org.il/

    https://www.innovationisrael.org.il/en/

    https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3882153,00.html

  • Vaccine Rollout Comparison: Israel and Australia

    The Australian government has fallen behind on its Covid-19 vaccination rollout timeline only a little more than two weeks into the nationwide program. According to Australia’s Chief Medical Officer the overall timeline objectives remain and is designed to enable every Australian adult who is seeking the jab, get vaccinated by the end of October.

    Comparatively, Israel has right from the beginning of 2021 been leading the global rollout race, having vaccinated over half of its population (including its non citizens ranging from foreign workers to diplomats) with close to five million people having received two doses as required by Pfizer’s guidelines.

    Israel’s population of 9.053 million has reported 829K cases and 6,257 deaths due to Covid-19. Comparatively, Australia’s population of 25.36 million has reported 29K cases and 909 deaths due to Covid.

    Suffice to say, the effects of Covid has hit Israel harder than Australia and resulted in three nationwide hard lockdowns in Israel, which took a significant toll on the economy and the country’s social fabrics. Despite that, the ‘startup nation’ has recovered much more rapidly than Australia, largely due to an immensely effective nationwide vaccination rollout campaign, championed as being the most vaccinated population in the world. ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ and Israel has proven again to be her innovative child.

    Reflecting back to a year ago when the pandemic hit, Israel manufactured millions of Covid-19 testing swabs in a short period of time, developed AI software that enabled easy communication with patients, and a nationwide software to track and quickly update the probability of community transmission and infections in specific demographics, communities and locations.

    The outbreak of the pandemic in Israel posed several challenges. Firstly, the shortage of medical products needed for Covid-19 test kits (including swabs). These swabs were not produced in Israel and the immense global demand for them in such a short period made them an incredibly scarce and valued commodity.

    Secondly, the virus’ massive interference to normal supply chain of materials that were only manufactured abroad, but used in Israeli factories, posed a significant threat to the production of essential goods (pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, baby formula, etc.). The cessation of imports created a nationwide shortage of necessary items which posed a further unwanted challenge for Israel to overcome.  

    In this time of crisis, the Israeli Innovation Authority, which serves as the country’s leading government entity that supports research & development through technology and innovation, was quick to create and offer new programs and schemes for entrepreneurs. Supported by, financial vehicles to companies and start-ups, inviting them to join the national effort aimed at providing necessary solutions to deal with, and fight, the spread of the pandemic, and manage its medical, social and economic implications.
    The Director of Strategy in the Innovation Authority’s Advanced Manufacturing Division, Ronit Eshel, explained their approach in transforming these challenges into opportunities:

    The State of Israel needed local production of medical products and basic consumer products. Companies that succeed in manufacturing the required products in a short period of time will fill their production capacity and safely navigate the crisis. We, therefore, published calls for proposals to companies to turn the crisis into opportunity and initiated contact with large numbers of industrialists. We were happy to find a positive and quick response to our call to advance technological developments that meet today’s pressing needs. Within just one month, 75 factories submitted requests to develop a product or a process that will help cope with the crisis.”

    Australia and Israel both have universal health care systems and advanced digital health records for each of their citizens. The combination of these factors, as well as their comparatively small population sizes, makes both nations fertile grounds for collecting responsive data on the vaccine’s performance, including tracking the effects of herd immunity and effectiveness on new variants. Pfizer realised this advantage and entered into an agreement with Israel for access to anonymized data on vaccine recipients. Despite the breadth of similarities, Israel has been able to implement an effective vaccine roll out at a rate that Australia is currently unable to mimic.

  • Innovative Israeli Solutions for Industrial 4.0 Deployment

    Industry 4.0, a term that describes the ongoing automation of traditional manufacturing and industrial practices, promises to enhance stability and performance of industrial operations. Using technologies such as IoT, imaging, and sensors, businesses will be able to capture and process data from industrial assets, generating previously unavailable insights on how the machines are utilized.

    Israel, as an innovative ecosystem with strong ties and deep understanding of technological gaps in this space, has become a major IIoT player. In fact, Israel ranks third in industry 4.0 venture investments and second in early-stage investments according to Israel21c.

    According to Startup Nation Central, there are 23 R&D centers, 11 hubs, and 8 accelerators supporting innovation within this space. The government has also earmarked more than $100 million to support IoT implementation in the local manufacturing industry.

    Industry 4.0 can be divided into multi subsectors; Startup Nation Central categorize the industry into Operations Optimization, Maintenance, Supply Chain, Inspection, Cybersecurity, IoT Platforms, Sensing and Imaging, Robotics, and 3D Printing.

    Some interesting companies within this space include:

    • RobotAI – RobotAI develops AI-based software that transforms cameras into 3D measurement devices. It detects objects and extracts their position and orientation from a single image. Objects’ 3D positions allow robots to understand their environment and adapt to it. RobotAI enables multiple applications in industrial settings. The company’s customers use this technology for sensing and measurement, pick-and-place tasks, bin picking, indoor navigation, and augmented and virtual reality.
    • Trieye – TriEye is a fabless semiconductor company that develops technology to improve the safety of advanced driver-assistance systems and autonomous vehicles in adverse weather and low-visibility conditions. The company’s semiconductor design uses patent-pending technology to enable the production of shortwave infrared (SWIR) cameras at a fraction of their current cost. Its semiconductor technology is based on nanophotonics research that enables CMOS-based SWIR sensors.
    • Kitov – KITOV Systems develops a universal solution designed to identify defects in 3D geometry using advanced machine vision, artificial intelligence, and deep-learning technologies. The company aims to reduce manufacturing costs, eliminate inefficiencies, and improve yield without the need for any experience in programming, machine-vision technology, or automation.
    • FeelIT – Feelit is the developer of RetroFeel, an IoT platform for the real-time remote sensing of structural changes in mechanical assets, using nanomaterial printing technology. RetroFeel consists of flexible, non-invasive nanomaterial sticker sensors that easily attach to any equipment, together with wireless communication units and AI-driven cloud analytics. The system serves as an “electronic skin” that alerts on critical structural and operational anomalies in advance, prevents downtime, and radically cuts maintenance costs. By instantly pinpointing anomalies in strain, temperature, humidity, and vibration, RetroFeel offers real-time remote monitoring and predictive maintenance. The system is non-invasive and easy to deploy, requiring no downtime for installation and providing instant results.
    • Vayyar – Vayyar is a global leader in 4D radar imaging technology, providing affordable, highly advanced sensors to a wide variety of industries. With applications in the automotive, smart home, robotics, retail, RF testing, consumer electronics and medical sectors, Vayyar’s intelligent sensors can see through walls and objects, tracking movement in real time in all environmental conditions. Its state-of-the-art Radar-on-Chip covers imaging and radar bands from 3-81 GHz, with up to 72 transceivers on each chip and an integrated high-performance DSP delivering unprecedented levels of accuracy and generating high-resolution 4D point cloud imaging.
    • 3DSignals – 3d Signals has developed a solution designed to accelerate manufacturers’ digital transition into the Industry 4.0 era. Its solution enables immediate visibility into production floors through the quick, non-invasive, machine-agnostic deployment of a wide range of sensors. The company’s AI-based asset-performance-monitoring platform transforms data into powerful insights, providing multiple business intelligence and analysis tools in the cloud. The solution has been proven to significantly improve machine productivity and overall equipment effectiveness within three months of installation.
    • Hoopo – hoopo is a provider of low-power, wide-area (LPWA) monitoring and tracking solutions. Its proprietary technology enables end-to-end tracking both outdoors and indoors, while maintaining low ownership costs and extremely high power-efficiency levels. hoopo’s geolocation solution allows devices to transmit messages across long distances using batteries that can last for years. hoopo’s trackers transform assets into a smart, manageable system and allow informed decision-making based on real-time data. The company’s solution also enables geo alerts based on predefined rules; fast recovery of temperature-controlled goods; motion and events-based analytics; and loss prevention.
    • BionicHive – BionicHIVE is developing an automated warehouse solution based on a fleet of synchronized autonomous robots that can be retrofitted onto existing warehouse infrastructure. The solution consists of multiple autonomous robots with 3D movement capabilities that extend the picking face from floor to ceiling. A real-time algorithmic engine is designed to dynamically change fleet management, providing the flexibility to constantly shift operational needs, a high level of response to volatility, and seamless scalability achieved by adding more robots to the same infrastructure.
    • CoreTigo – CoreTigo provides high-performance IO-Link wireless communication solutions for machine builders, system integrators, and industrial equipment manufacturers. CoreTigo’s products enable the design and retrofit of machines and production lines that were not possible before. These solutions increase flexibility, adaptivity, and modularity, resulting in cost effectiveness, increased productivity, and downtime reduction. Embraced by industrial leaders, the IO-Link Wireless global standard, fit for harsh factory environments and motion control applications, provides cable-grade connectivity for millions of sensors,
    • Wiliot – Wiliot is a fabless semiconductor company providing passive SoC platforms for the IoT market. The company is developing a wireless technology designed to eliminate reliance on batteries and wired power in order to vastly accelerate the internet of things. The new technology powers itself by harvesting energy from radio waves, and aims to enable everything to be intelligent.
  • THE NAAMA PROJECT – TOWARDS CREATING A NATIONAL DRONE NETWORK FOR COMMERCIAL DELIVERY, MEDICAL TRANSPORT, AND URBAN AIR MOBILITY

    Press Release

    The Israel Innovation Authority, the Israel Ministry of Transport (through Ayalon Highways Co.), The Civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI) and The Smart Mobility Initiative at The Israel Prime Minister’s Office are delighted to present a first-of-its-kind pilot: The State of Israel has achieved significant progress over the last year in shaping the future of mobility, introducing a national drone network that will primarily enable cargo transportation in urban areas through smart and innovative airspace management. During this first-of-its-kind pilot, a large number of drones operated by several companies will fly over the city of Hadera. Those sorties will be managed by one centralized, autonomous Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) located in the traffic and air traffic control centers of the Ayalon Highway Company in the central Haifa Bay.

    The drones flying in the demonstration will perform about 300 sorties a day. Each drone will be simulating the execution of various types of tasks and operations: food delivery, transporting medicine and medical equipment, agricultural services and many others.

    The flights are being carried out by five different companies (listed below). About 20 drones are expected to fly simultaneously, and hundreds of others are scheduled to fly in various demonstrations over a two-week period. This is the first such demonstration in Israel out of a series of eight planned to take place over the next two years. This is a significant global breakthrough in the ability to manage drone operations at scale, which will lay the foundation for future national drone operations in many areas. To support the current phase of the pilot, the participating companies have been granted funds by the Israel Innovation Authority, as part of the Innovation Authority Piloting Fund Program.

    Since March 2020, the Israel C4IR Center at the Israel Innovation Authority, in cooperation with the Israel Ministry of Transport (through the Ayalon Highways Company) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel, and a number of other entities, have been working to promote the use of drone delivery as a service, as part of the NAAMA Initiative (a Hebrew acronym for Urban Aerial Transport). The project was established to enable drones to be deployed for the public good, ultimately reducing congestion on public roads, transporting medicine and medical equipment and performing medical tasks, delivering various commercial goods more quickly, and enabling Urban Air Mobility (UAM) to function at scale in the future. During this time, the NAAMA Initiative involved many local, international, public, and private stakeholders to enable technological breakthroughs while removing regulatory barriers and enabling Israel to become a “beta-site” for drone piloting and operations.

    Itamar Ben Meir, CEO of Ayalon HIGHWAYS: “A smart traffic management and air traffic control center that manages and prioritizes a number of drones flying simultaneously in one geographic airspace is a remarkable achievement, setting the stage for the future of mobility applications, a field in which Ayalon Highways is primed to play a leading role. This demonstration is part of a long list of technological and regulatory developments required for the commercial operation of a national low-altitude air traffic network for drones in urban settings.”

    Dr. Ami Appelbaum, Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority: “One of the Israel Innovation Authority’s most important goals is to harness Israeli technology and innovation in a way that will make a positive impact on the Israeli population. Until a year ago, when the NAAMA Initiative was established, transporting cargo and delivering medical equipment by drones would have seemed like a distant dream; today, it is becoming a reality. Demonstrations of simultaneous flights of dozens of drones over Hadera, managed by the control center in Haifa, are an unprecedented leap forward for the State of Israel – a monumental step towards a future of smart transportation, in which Israel is becoming one of the first countries worldwide to enable aerial cargo transport via drones.”

    To view and download video footage from the pilot, please click the link here (credit: YOKO Studio).

    The following companies are participating in the demonstration (more information upon request):

    • High-Lander Aviation Ltd. and Cando – As part of the pilot for an air traffic control system which autonomously manages drone fleets, the companies will demonstrate capabilities for managing a crowded urban airspace with various operations while responding to unexpected circumstances. Their unique application can be utilized with all current drone solutions in the market and allows operators to control a large number of drones at once and conduct live broadcasts of the drones’ communication and video signals, maps, and planned routes. 
    • HarTek Technologies Ltd. – The company will demonstrate the operation of an advanced system for managing autonomous drones in a controlled airspace. It allows the autonomous execution of multi-drone missions, maintaining safe operations according to safety regulations, while taking into account other aircraft operated outside the system.
    • F. T Technologies Ltd. and Skylinx Technologies Ltd. – The companies will demonstrate their experience in flying multiple drones in a shared airspace under one centralized air traffic control system. Skylinx develops autonomous airports for smart cities that will enable various drones to operate commercially, efficiently, and safely. Skylinx, together with Airwayz and Flytech IL, established the “SAFE GROUP,” a partnership tasked with developing Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) applications that can operate urban delivery routes commercially, and will start piloting in Tel Aviv together with various companies and vendors that have already agreed on future cooperation.
    • Simplex Interactive Ltd. – Simplex Interactive has experience flying multiple drones in shared airspace. The pilot will demonstrate technologies developed by the company. The company will test its OpenUTM.io, enabling automatic synchronization, control, and coordination of an autonomous airspace (UTM) between dozens of manned and unmanned aircraft.
    • Airwayz Drones Ltd. –The company will demonstrate a solution for a unified and autonomous UTM system used to fly multiple drones in a synchronized managed airspace with several companies simultaneously. With Artificial Intelligence-integrated applications and Machine Learning, the system allows autonomous and safe airspace management and coordinates between the various drone companies. Airwayz’s central management system uses advanced algorithms to streamline flights and carry out tasks such as deliveries in urban airspace.

    About the NAAMA Initiative:

    In early 2020, a government steering committee was established to support and promote a national drone network operation under the name “the NAAMA Initiative” (a Hebrew acronym for urban aerial transport). The project is supported by the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI), the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution of Israel (C4IR Israel) under the World Economic Forum, the Israel Innovation Authority, the Ayalon Highways Co., and the Fuel Choices and Smart Mobility Initiative in the Israel Prime Minister’s Office. The project is the result of the realization that promoting drone operations in Israel requires the creation of a suitable regulatory environment via ongoing dialogue between the initiative’s partners, regulatory bodies (CAAI) and industry. The initiative promotes the establishment of a national aerial network and the legislative framework required to operate drones for commercial use. During the past year, over 700 sorties were performed – mostly to support the health system in dealing with challenges exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

    Credit for attached photos: Zvika Goldstein

    Ami Appelbaum & Itamar Ben Meir

    International press coverage – Delivery Drones’ Pilot in Israel

    1. Times of Israel – https://www.timesofisrael.com/mimicking-an-air-traffic-controller-ai-orchestrates-multiple-drones-in-flight/
    2. CTECH (Calcalist in English) – https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3899685,00.html
    3. Ynet – https://www.ynetnews.com/business/article/Hyz8t914d
    4. Israel Hayom – https://www.israelhayom.com/2021/03/18/israeli-town-abuzz-with-delivery-drones-in-coordinated-airspace-test/
    5. Jewish Press – https://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/israel-testing-national-commercial-drone-network/2021/03/18/
    6. i24 News – https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3068517120059846
    7. Drone DJ – https://dronedj.com/2021/03/18/israels-skies-are-filled-with-delivery-drones-in-a-huge-trial/
    8. Reuters – https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-technology-drones/israeli-town-abuzz-with-delivery-drones-in-coordinated-airspace-test-idUSKBN2B91VV?il=0
    9. Aurora – https://www.aurora-israel.co.il/prueban-drones-para-delivery-de-comida-en-hadera
    10. Cyprus Mail – https://cyprus-mail.com/2021/03/19/israel-prepares-national-drone-network/
    11. Yahoo News – https://news.yahoo.com/israeli-town-abuzz-delivery-drones-115149218.html
    12. L’Usine Digitale – https://www.usine-digitale.fr/article/quel-systeme-de-gestion-de-l-espace-aerien-mettre-en-place-avec-l-arrivee-des-drones-de-livraison.N1073474
    13. The Yeshiva World – https://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/1958047/delivery-drones-tested-in-hadera-in-city-wide-trial.html
    14. Aeroflap – https://www.aeroflap.com.br/cidade-israelense-faz-testes-com-drones-de-entrega-em-espaco-aereo-coordenado/
    15. RallyMundial – https://rallymundial.net/ciudad-israeli-prueba-la-entrega-de-drones-en-espacio-aereo-coordinado-aeroflap/
    16. MSN news – https://www.msn.com/pt-br/noticias/brasil/c%C3%A9us-de-cidade-israelense-s%C3%A3o-tomados-por-drones-de-entrega/vi-BB1eJop1
    17. Antaranews – https://www.antaranews.com/foto/2048294/demo-pengoperasian-drone-pengantar-barang
    18. CNN – https://cnnespanol.cnn.com/video/israel-hadera-delivery-drone-espacio-aereo-cnn-redaccion-buenos-aires/
    19. Times of Israel (2nd article) – https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-launches-2-year-pilot-preparing-the-sky-for-network-of-delivery-drones/
    20. Xinhua – http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-03/20/c_139824193.htm
    21. Jerusalem Post – https://www.jpost.com/health-science/israels-drone-delivery-network-plan-aims-for-the-sky-662699
  • Israeli company claims oral COVID-19 vaccine on its way

    An oral vaccine could potentially allow for people to self vaccinate at home.

    https://www.jpost.com/health-science/israeli-company-says-oral-covid-19-vaccine-on-its-way-662712

    An Israeli-American pharmaceutical company is preparing to launch a Phase I clinical trial for what could become the world’s first oral COVID-19 vaccine.

    Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc., a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company based on technology developed by Hadassah-University Medical Center, announced over the weekend a joint venture with India-based Premas Biotech to develop a novel oral vaccine. Together they formed the company Oravax Medical Inc. The vaccine is based on Oramed’s “POD” oral delivery technology and Premas’s vaccine technology.

    Oramed’s technology can be used to orally administer a number of protein-based therapies, which would otherwise be delivered by injection. Oramed is in the midst of a Phase III clinical trial through the US Food and Drug Administration of an oral insulin capsule for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

    Premas has been working on developing a vaccine against the novel coronavirus since March.

    The companies connected earlier this year and quickly realized they could revolutionize the marketplace, according to Oramed CEO Nadav Kidron.

    “An oral COVID-19 vaccine would eliminate several barriers to rapid, wide-scale distribution, potentially enabling people to take the vaccine themselves at home,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “While ease of administration is critical today to accelerate inoculation rates, an oral vaccine could become even more valuable in the case that a COVID-19 vaccine may be recommended annually like the standard flu shot.”

    The company completed a pilot animal study and found that the vaccine promoted the development of Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies and Immunoglobulin A (IgA). IgA is necessary for longer-term immunity.The new Oravax vaccine candidate targets three structural proteins of the novel coronavirus, as opposed to the single spike protein targeted via the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, Kidron said. As such, “this vaccine should be much more resistant to COVID-19 variants,” he said

    In addition, it is a yeast-based vaccine, making the time and cost of production much cheaper than its already approved competitors.

    The advantages of an oral vaccine go beyond safety and efficacy, Kidron said. Oral medications tend to have fewer side effects.

    In addition, the vaccine can be shipped at refrigerator temperatures and even stored at room temperature, “making it logistically easier to get it anywhere around the world,” Kidron said.

    Finally, an oral vaccine would not require professional administration.

    Oravax anticipates commencing a clinical study during the second quarter of 2021. It is applying for trials in multiple countries, including the United States, Israel, Europe and Mexico, Kidron said. It hopes to also target Africa, where such an oral vaccine could prove essential. Kidron said he expects Phase I human trial data to be available within three months.

    In February 2020, shortly after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, another Israeli team began development on what they hoped would be an oral coronavirus vaccine. Scientists from the Galilee Research Institute’s biotechnology group said they were primed to develop their vaccine within a few months.

    They had been developing a vaccine against avian coronavirus, which had been proven effective in preclinical trials, and they believed it would translate to a human vaccine. Despite a commitment by the Science and Technology Ministry to fast-track approval of the vaccine and a $12 million investment by OurCrowd, the vaccine has yet to come to market.

  • Cyber 10101

    Why is cyber important? To understanding this, one must understand who uses cyber and for what purpose. In short, everyone with a computer, including people and cars, use Cyber. What is cyber? Cyber is simply a prefix taken from Greek to describe a person, thing, or idea as part of the computer and information age. Cyber is used before terms like security to denote an umbrella defence mechanism. Cyber is not necessarily a tangible thing for your enterprise to be cyber secure, and you cannot feel the presence until something is caught or goes wrong. Cyber is beneficial to enterprises if they use computing to generate income as their income generated can be diminished or compromised if the enterprise is not cyber aware.

    Israel champions cyber. Many believe the cyber and high-tech industry grew through the Israeli Military Unit 8200 – the force responsible for collecting signal intelligence and code decryption. Graduates of this unit are equipped with cyber expertise and go out into the world to bring military technology for civilian use. Our roles at the Israel Trade Commissions around the world is to connect local enterprises with Israeli best-of-breed innovations, including in cyber realms. So, what is out there?

    Do you have employees logging in remotely and not through a secure server with firewalls? Cyber login protection company Safe-T trusts no-one when logging in, so you have piece-of-mind that only your employees are accessing your valuable files. Are your customers logging in to your system with their smart devices? Cyber ID company Transmit Security utilises biometrics coupled with your access site to ensure the person logging in is who they say they are and is authorised personnel or a guest invited. Are you unsure if your website and online data are secured from hackers? Cyber penetration company Pcysys ethically hacks your enterprise to detect network vulnerabilities and gives you a mindful report. Now, what if you wanted to defend your organisation against potential threats? Cyber defence company Intezer monitors real-time attempts at cyber espionage.

    Though it’s not all about defence, the cyber education company HackerU educates offensive cyber, converting the next generation of students into professionals – “a good defence needs strong” regenerative offence mindset and capabilities. Lifesaving cyber is not just intercepting defence-forces – CyberMDX secures medical devices that aid human lives and when information needs security from physical and online threats – HUB Security commercialised a physical and cyber secure storage unit. Want Cyber access to smartphones of fiends? Try Cellebrite’s hardware and software. Cyber can be tangible, however, with fields like – education, medicine, homeland security, protection.

    What about non-enterprise usage of cyber? Cars need cyber security because if they are cyber hacked, they might not open or self-drive off a cliff – that is where OttoSec comes in to play. Infrastructure Databases need cyber security, or else collected data by the government could leak – this is where Silverfort works its magic. Cyber can even help a business develop – lead generation through cyber company LeadSpotting is online and ready to match and uncover potential purchases of your product. Need more in-depth knowledge on people? Persons of interest information is generated with Digital Clues, for the good guys only.

    Cyber has evolved to catch the cyber criminals before cyber attacks occur, luring them into honeypots thanks to Nucleon. Cyber attacks could also come through third party networks, thanks to Findings that is protected. Cyber coding might need increased communication between teams, purposefully, Checkmarx comes into play. Cyber fraud, through payment issues, can be regulated now that SecuredTouch is there. Cyber information ransomed can even be located on the dark-web thanks to KELA. And if your Active Directory is compromised, cyber restoration is achieved through adopting Semperis. Even if your whole business is on the cloud – Cyber cloud security can be safe with Reblaze. And importantly, and relatably, cyber phishing monitoring company Blaick is there for us.

    The world of Cyber options for your enterprise to adopt is magnanimous, primarily because the world of cyber criminals is ostentatious. Dark-web filtered money is mostly untraceable with non-currency payments. Be careful when your enterprise faces threats, and make sure your reputation stays intact by employing cyber mechanisms and not leaking sensitive data.

  • IVC & FTA | Israeli Tech EcoSystem

    The Foreign Trade Administration (FTA) at the Israeli Ministry of Economy & Industry currently operates an array of 50 Economic & Trade Missions / Offices in leading target markets around the world. The FTA serves as a bridge to global economic systems, developing international business relations and promoting investments in Israeli industries. The role of the missions is also includes locating and creating business opportunities, encouraging bilateral joint ventures, assistance to companies, etc.

    As Israel’s high-tech ecosystem becomes bigger and mature, we are using the services of IVC to collect and analyze relevant data to provide the most accurate and in-depth information, which assists companies with their scouting efforts, strategy, and position in the Israeli market.

    Founded in 1997, IVC is a leading data source and business information company in Israel’s high-tech industry. We work with IVC so we could help our clients from around the world to understand the market, make connections, and identify opportunities.

    The Foreign Trade Administration & the Economic & Trade Missions of the Ministry of Economy & Industry in the target markets, backed by IVC’s data, can help bring added value to the Israeli industry and to our partners, clients, and colleagues worldwide. We will be happy to assist and coordinate any inquiries to ensure the most efficient service.

    We would like to share with you some of IVC’s 2020 highlights, all available on IVC website under News &Insights;

    The Israeli high-tech industry continues to produce about 1,000 new innovative companies every year. We invite you to visit us online to explore business opportunities and learn more about our services. Feel free to contact us with any question you may have. We will be happy to examine opportunities to collaborate in 2021.

  • Economy and Industry Ministry: Encouraging Results for Israeli Exports in 2020

    Chilly Forecasts were not Realized as Exports Declined by Less than Expected

    (Communicated by the Economy and Industry Ministry Spokesperson)

    Summary of trends in Israeli exports and activity of the Foreign Trade Administration in 2020

    * Exports stand at approximately $112 billion – a decline of only around 3% over 2019 and an approximately 1% increase over 2018

    * In comparison to Israel, the forecast for 2020 for OECD member states is expected to decline – on average – by around 11.7%

    * The most significant decline was in the export of tourism services – approximately 66% in comparison to 2019

    * The highest growth was in the export of business services and high-tech – around 20% growth in dollar terms in comparison to 2019

    * Growth in exports to target states: Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Chile

    * Increase in assistance activity to exporters: 1,228 actions to promote exports –

     11% growth; 4,090 requests for trade assistance by Foreign Trade Administration attaches – 36% growth

    Economy and Industry Minister Amir Peretz:

    “The very good Israeli export data in the year of the coronavirus is the result of outside-the-box thinking and a quick understanding of changing work conditions. I am pleased that the advance readiness of the Economy and Industry Ministry maintained and even increased Israeli exports in several sectors. In my view, one of the most encouraging pieces of data is the increase in activity by Israeli exporters in 2020. This proves that when you work correctly, in an orderly manner and with a work plan, the results are not long in coming even when the coronavirus crisis is striking the world.”

    Economy and Industry Ministry Foreign Trade Administration Director Ohad Cohen:

    “2020 was marked by the global economic slowdown, which very much affected Israeli exports. Nevertheless, while the forecasts at the start of the crisis projected a double-digit decline in Israeli exports, in practice exports shrank by around 3.2% only. In the past year, the Foreign Trade Administration offered exporters a broad range of assistance tools, which succeeded in obviating many impediments to trade for exporters, in providing real-time information on what was happening in global markets, and in issuing a tender for cargo flights with a government security net. The latter ensured functional continuity by operating airborne cargo routes to critical Israeli export targets. The economic attaches adapted their activity in 50 global centers so as to promote Israeli exports as per an online work model, with over 1,200 commercial and virtual events around the world. There was a considerable increase in support given in the framework of the assistance funds operated by the Foreign Trade Administration.”

    Director Cohen noted that the economic attaches did so, “while working in a challenging reality of lockdowns and restrictions on movement, working from home, gaps in equipment and communications among many of the local foreign employees around the world and while continuously responding to the needs of emergency officials in the Health and Defense ministries. The economic attaches and their teams in the Foreign Service knew how to create the necessary connections for pharma companies, medical equipment and PPE manufacturers, lifted import and regulatory barriers, mapped vital suppliers and the like, and continued to promote Israeli exports while seeing the big picture and meeting conditions of unprecedented pressure and uncertainty. The bottom line is that the chilly forecasts were not realized and while Israeli exports declined, it was much less than expected. More than a little of the credit goes to the intensive work of the Foreign Trade Administration and the network of economic attaches around the world.”

    The Foreign Trade Administration is due to publish the comprehensive 2020 export report later in the year when all of the data will have been received.

  • The First Real-World Data for COVID Vaccines is in – and it’s Really Good News

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/the-first-real-world-data-for-covid-vaccines-is-in-and-it-s-really-good-news-20210306-p578d5.html

    The first real-world data for COVID-19 vaccines is in – and the vaccines’ effectiveness have once-again shot past scientists’ expectations.

    Vaccines are typically less effective in the real-world than in clinical trials. But in data from Israel and the United Kingdom, both of whom have managed to vaccinate a large slice of their population, vaccine effectiveness appears to be matching that seen in clinical trials.

    There are also positive signs the vaccines will significantly cut viral transmission, although it is too early to draw firm conclusions.

    In Britain, Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine appears to be 88 per cent effective at preventing symptomatic infection in those aged over 80.

    Israeli scientists are reporting a 92 per cent effectiveness rate overall – similar rates to those seen in clinical trials that initially stunned scientists.

    “I find it surprising,” said Professor Simon Foote, director of the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University. “But it’s a nice surprise.”

    “There is absolutely no doubt that people who have been vaccinated are substantially less likely to get symptomatic disease. They are much less likely to end up in hospital. And they are probably much less likely to die of the disease.”

    Israel and Britain are among world leaders in vaccinating their populations. Israel has managed to give one dose to least 56 per cent of its population, while in Britain about 30 per cent of people have received at least one jab.

    Both countries faced surging epidemics only a month ago, but daily cases have now been substantially curtailed.

    The US has also made strong headway, reducing its daily caseload from a peak of 314,172 on January 8 to 66,481 on March 4. About 16 per cent of the US’s population had received a dose of vaccine.

    However, these countries’ success was likely linked to more lockdowns and perhaps the end of winter, rather than the effects of vaccination, said James Wood, associate professor at the School of Population Health at the University of NSW.

    Britain went into a national lockdown at the start of January, while Israel’s national lockdown started at the end of December. Israel’s progress appears to be plateauing, however, even as restrictions are eased.

    Professor Wood estimated a country would need to give two doses of vaccine to at least 20 to 30 per cent of the population before there was a significant impact on infection rates. Israel’s success may partially be explained by their vaccination numbers, he said.

    “If you go completely open when you don’t have a lot of vaccine coverage, you’re going to see rises again. You still have people who are unvaccinated who are at risk – and they are at higher risk now because you’re letting infection spread,” he said.

    The vaccines work

    Vaccine efficacy describes how well a vaccine works in a clinical trial. But a vaccine’s effectiveness – how well it works in the real world – is a different matter.

    Vaccine trials enrol select groups of patients. Pfizer’s phase 3 trial, for example, excluded patients with uncontrolled chronic medical conditions.

    Image

    In the real world, “you’re going to have people who would not have met the eligibility of the trials: older people, pregnant women, people with underlying health conditions, who are getting the vaccine. The chances are the effectiveness would be different from a very controlled trial,” clinical trial expert Professor Tammy Hoffmann told The Age in February. “Probably less; by how much, we just don’t know.”

    But Pfizer’s vaccine appears to have held up. In a large, high-quality study drawing data from almost 1.2 million people in Israel (excluding nursing home residents and healthcare workers), the vaccine was 92 per cent effective at protecting against symptomatic COVID-19 and preventing severe disease from seven days after the second dose, similar to results seen in clinical trials.

    Importantly, the study includes data from almost 80,000 vaccinated people aged over 70 – a group at high risk of serious illness and death.

    Nearly all cases of COVID-19 in Israel come from the variant first spotted in Britain; the vaccine’s strong performance suggests it will cover this variant with ease.

    In England, public health authorities have reported Pfizer’s vaccine is 88 per cent effective in those aged over 80 from seven days after the second injection. Infection and death rates in this group are down across the country.

    In Scotland, a single dose of Pfizer’s vaccine was 85 per cent effective at reducing COVID-19 hospitalisations; AstraZeneca’s vaccine did even better, although there is significant uncertainty around those numbers.

    “The bottom line is it’s really good news. We now have clearly effective tools against the worst effects of COVID,” said Professor Wood.

    “This is going to allow us to start the move out of the emergency situation.”

    But we still don’t know if they will stop the pandemic

    To bring COVID-19 under control and return to something close to normal life, we need to both stop people dying and stop the virus moving through our community.

    Conclusive studies showing vaccines cut transmission are hard to do, as scientists have to devise ways of showing a person did or did not pass on a virus.

    But there are several data points that now all point in the same direction.

    In a study of 20,641healthcare workers in England mainly given Pfizer’s vaccine, the vaccine was 85 per cent effective at stopping infection from seven days after the second dose.

    Importantly, many people in this study were tested twice a week for COVID-19 even if they did not have symptoms; the strong results suggest the vaccine really is stopping infection altogether (rather than just protecting people from falling sick), the key step to stopping transmission of the virus.

    And new Israeli data suggests people who are vaccinated have much lower levels of virus when they do become infected. The more virus someone has, the easier it is for them to spread it.

    “Is the vaccine going to stop the spread of COVID? I think the jury is still out on that one, but this Israeli data suggests it is definitely going to decrease the infectiousness of people who get infected after being vaccinated,” said Professor Foote.

  • Israeli study finds 94% drop in symptomatic COVID-19 cases with Pfizer vaccine

    JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s largest healthcare provider on Sunday reported a 94% drop in symptomatic COVID-19 infections among 600,000 people who received two doses of the Pfizer’s vaccine in the country’s biggest study to date.

    Health maintenance organization (HMO) Clalit, which covers more than half of all Israelis, said the same group was also 92% less likely to develop severe illness from the virus.

    The comparison was against a group of the same size, with matching medical histories, who had not received the vaccine.

    “It shows unequivocally that Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine is extremely effective in the real world a week after the second dose, just as it was found to be in the clinical study,” said Ran Balicer, Clalit’s chief innovation officer.

    He added that the data indicates the Pfizer vaccine, which was developed in partnership with Germany’s BioNTech, is even more effective two weeks or more after the second shot.

    Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science, who have been tabulating national data, said on Sunday that a sharp decline in hospitalisation and serious illness identified earlier among the first age group to be vaccinated – aged 60 or older – was seen for the first time in those aged 55 and older.

    Hospitalisations and serious illness were still rising in younger groups who began vaccinations weeks later.

    Israel has been conducting a rapid vaccine rollout and its database offers insights into vaccine effectiveness and at what point countries might attain herd immunity.

    Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch and Maayan Lubell; Editing by David Goodman

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-israel-vaccine-idUSKBN2AE0Q2

  • PRESS RELEASE | J-WIRE | MedTech

  • Israel is an Innovative Baby-Tech Powerhouse

    Welcoming a new baby is such a special time but it also comes with its own sets of stresses and anxiety. Why is the baby crying? Is the baby hungry, cold, tired, wet? Fear not, the innovation nation has you covered!

    Below is a list of leading baby-tech companies from Israel that helps make it easier for parents to care for their newborns:

    The first company is Nanit which incorporated as Udisense Inc. “Nanit Plus smart baby monitor is described by TIME as a “sleep coach” for babies because it serves double duty as a live app-based video monitor and a tracking device that collects environmental info and makes relevant suggestions – such as adjusting the temperature or darkening the room to help baby fall asleep. The company has locations in Tel Aviv and New York.”[i] Nanit was named in New York Magazine among “The Best Baby Monitors, According to Parent and Sleep Consultants.”

    Another TIME Magazine Best Inventions winner is Nanobébé breast-milk bottle which is “said to be the first baby bottle designed to preserve essential breastmilk nutrients by enabling rapid heating and cooling through an innovative geometric shape that resembles an actual breast and is topple-proof.” [ii]The bottles are made in Israel and the company also offers a complete line of additional baby products.

    For wheelchair users FreeWill Ltd. “created a customizable adaptor that can connect any wheelchair to any baby stroller, allowing wheelchair-bound parents to independently take their babies for a walk. FreeWill was founded in 2016 by industrial designer Dana Yichye Shwachman, whose father was wheelchair-bound.”[iii]

    Another company that helps ensure a baby’s safety and comfort is LittleOne.Care, a Tel Aviv-based startup that has created the first wearable wellness product for babies. “The LittleOne.Care device snaps onto a baby’s clothing just above the diaper line. It includes a tiny accelerometer — the same kind that’s in our mobile phones — to measure how and when the baby is moving. A voice recorder captures the baby’s babbles, cries and eventually words. Artificial intelligence then turns those moves and sounds into actionable data for parents.”[iv] “If the baby is crying because it’s tired, the lights change to deep blue. If the baby is crying because it’s hungry, it turns to green – the colour of food. If it’s yellow, that means it’s time to change the baby’s diaper. Red is about pain or danger.”[v]

    For parents that are interested in environmentally friendly alternatives Tel Aviv-based Pika “is developing a diaper washing machine to make it easier for parents to forgo disposable diapers and use cloth ones instead. Founded in 2019, Pika says it is looking to make the planet “a better place for our children” by “developing products with the goal to end the use of plastic.”[vi]

    The final company on the list is “Breast milk testing startup MilkStrip that was founded by Avital Beck, a mother of six, and Hadas Shatz-Azoulay, a mother of five, both molecular biology researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science.”[vii] From the comfort of your own home this patented technology allows for the self-diagnosis of breast milk from a sample which is analyzed by the mobile app and offers dietary recommendations to treat any deficiency or issue.

    This impressive list of innovative baby-tech solutions provides much-needed support with regards to comfort, safety and peace of mind allowing both the parents and the baby to have a good night’s rest.


    [i] https://www.israel21c.org/2-israeli-baby-items-make-times-2018-best-inventions-list/

    [ii] https://www.israel21c.org/2-israeli-baby-items-make-times-2018-best-inventions-list/

    [iii] https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3766893,00.html

    [iv] https://www.israel21c.org/why-is-your-baby-crying-theres-a-device-to-tell-you-that-now/

    [v] https://www.israel21c.org/why-is-your-baby-crying-theres-a-device-to-tell-you-that-now/

    [vi] https://nocamels.com/2021/02/baby-tech-israeli-pregnancy-infant-care/

    [vii] https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3766893,00.html

  • E-learning Becomes Imperative Not a Choice

    In November 2020 the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, (OECD) published a Policy Brief titled “The impact of COVID-19 on student equity and inclusion: Supporting vulnerable students during school closures and school reopenings “ which stated that the pandemic was having a “profound impact, not only on people’s health but also on how they learn, work and live. It highlighted the challenge faced by a global system of education that was built around physical school attendance and noted that at a peak in the pandemic during 2020 more than 188 countries, encompassing around 91% of enrolled learners worldwide, had closed their schools in an effort to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.[1]

    Israel, which was lauded internationally as a model of good containment in the early stages of the pandemic, sadly became the country with the world’s highest per-capita rates of new infections once the economy and society began to re-open significantly.  Analysis, later on, suggested that the rapid reopening of schools was a significant factor in the virus’s transmission.

    Presently with even greater viral transmission due to mutations of the virus, albeit at a time when vaccine campaigns have begun, schools have been shuttered once again.  This time however the experience of previous closures have allowed schools and policymakers in education to be somewhat better prepared in terms of providing a substitute to traditional school-based learning. Along with this, however, comes the recognition that there must be further investment in this area and the realisation that mixing technology and education is no longer an option, but an imperative. 

    According to Merav Horev, Senior VP for educational policy at the National Digital Israel Initiative, a governmental initiative focused on harnessing digital technologies to help accelerate economic growth, reduce socio-economic gaps and promote the accessibility of government to citizens, “gone is the question of whether it is right to mesh tech with education, formal and informal. The question now is how to do it right and how to do it best,….“No one is talking about going back to what was. We’re all talking about the new normal.” [2]

    EdTech Innovators to the rescue

    As with the digital health and medical device sector, Israeli companies have for many years been innovating in the digital learning arena.  As a result, this industry sector, comprising about four hundred companies, offers a plethora of advanced technological solutions to a variety of audiences, from educational institutions to home users. These include distance learning platforms, administration tools, internet safety solutions, training and authoring platforms, virtual classrooms, documentation and automatic distribution of live and recorded events, video libraries, archives and more.

    For example in core subjects such as math, Matific offers an award-winning out of the box solution for distance learning at school, district, state, or national level. It provides thousands of curriculum-aligned activities and worksheets in over 40 languages and combines this with a robust reporting for teachers, administrators, or Ministries of Education.  Other companies such as Class.me provides tools to help students avoid digital information overload and to communicate more easily with teachers and peers using real-time chat apps, on-demand online tutors, assessment tools for teachers, and a private communication network customized to each school, class and age group.

    Not just content but engagement too.

    Recognising that engagement between student and teacher and not just content is a critical feature of remote learning, Tailor-Ed offers a platform that provides holistic learning experiences to the needs of the teacher, the classroom and individual students. According to Maayan Yavne, CEO, “ Distance learning is not about using Zoom to deliver what you did in the classroom.”…“Our specialty is the social-emotional component, which is very important in distance learning because teachers don’t have the same interaction with students as in the classroom.”

    In an interview with Israel21C last year, Avi Warshavsky the CEO of MindCET,  the ed-tech innovation unit of Israel’s nonprofit Center for Educational Technology, said that “most technical issues surrounding distance learning are easily solved, however communication, time-management and self-learning difficulties are harder to address.[3] Hence other companies, such as Composica helps organizations create compelling and highly interactive e-learning content. Its flagship product allows real-time collaboration and provides rich development features without the need for programming while being capable of delivery on any device.

    This vibrant e-learning ecosystem is supported by organisations like EdTech Israel, a national business hub that successfully connects the Israeli Education business sector with international entrepreneurs, investors, and business partners and collaborates with other national EdTech hubs to share knowhow, and builds business relationships in education innovation all around the world.

    It seems that for educators and for students alike, every day is a school day indeed.


    [1] https://en.unesco.org/covid19/educationresponse

    [2] https://nocamels.com/2020/09/israel-school-hack-teaching-learning/

    [3] https://www.israel21c.org/israeli-ed-tech-solutions-help-launch-a-very-unusual-school-year/

  • The Future of Healthcare – 2021 & Beyond

    As the dreaded Covid-19 virus still remains a global threat to us all, one must stop and ponder the future of medicine during such challenging times. More and more, medical staffs around the world are succumbing to their stresses, exposure, and sometimes fatal consequences of their heroic actions.

    So, what is the answer to mitigate the pressures off of these overworked individuals? One might say to implement more stringent Covid-19 guidelines and procedures, teach and constantly monitor individuals’ practice of safe-distancing measures, and so on. But the reality of the situation is that there will always be those who become infected despite their best efforts, as well as those who do not adhere to best-practices/rules, who’s addition into the healthcare ‘warzone’ only adds to the medical debacle we currently face.

    Hospitals are over their capacities, doctor’s offices are now Covid-19 breeding grounds, and more and more people are working from home…so the question is: “How do we properly address and tackle the difficult tasks of continuing to provide high-quality, remote, patient-care to those still in need medical attention?”

    The answer around the world is to provide a greater presence and stronghold in the field of telemedicine—more specifically, remote patient-monitoring, triage and care. The future of medicine is seeing a shift in these difficult times, just as the traditional war is shifting from battling on the front lines to waging war on the Ethernet lines.

    Israel’s commanding intelligence and sophistication in the worlds of IoT, Cyber & Cybersecurity, Life-Sciences, Healthcare and Medical Devices make Israel one of the most logical and sound partners of Healthcare Providers/Institutions across the globe.

    Companies such as:

    Biobeat:  An Israel-based Medical tech company that develops solutions for remote patient monitoring, and is able to measure 15 vital signs using its patented, minimalistic sensor, implemented in a wrist and chest monitor for long & short-term monitoring.  Biobeat’s wrist monitor (watch) is a reusable device used for long-term care, and a perfect solution for those suffering from chronic diseases that require closer monitoring. Their chest monitor (patch) is a disposable device used for short-term care of up to 6 days, and provides closer observation for specific-case patients. Both devices are being used widely in the US, EU and Israel as a monitoring tool for COVID and pre-COVID patients. Also, Biobeat’s wearable devices are the first (and only) devices in the world to be FDA-Cleared for cuff-less non-invasive blood pressure monitoring, we also have FDA clearance for heart rate and blood saturation and should receive additional measurement cleared by end of February.

    Binah.ai: Ready-to-use, AI-powered Digital Healthcare applications address the challenges of remote, contactless Health and Wellness monitoring. Its video-based-only monitoring solution removes the need for wearables and enhances telemedicine, remote patience monitoring and preventive medicine services. Binah.ai’s AI-based, unique technological mix transforms any camera on any device (smartphone, laptop, tablet etc.) into a medical-grade monitoring solution. Binah.ai’s heart rate variability (HRV) measurements offer the basis for a wide range of body measurements such as: blood pressure, mental stress level, oxygen saturation, respiration, alcohol blood level and more.

    Hyro: Hyro’s free COVID-19 conversational AI was developed to help overwhelmed healthcare organizations currently dealing with an unprecedented spike in traffic across their communication channels, and to assist patients who are struggling to find the validated answers they need. Their virtual assistants are currently serving thousands of patients daily across organizations such as Mercy Health and Montefiore Medical Center, providing risk assessment and symptoms triaging while sourcing real-time preventative data from the CDC, WHO and others.

    Datos: Datos’ COVID-19 solution, implemented within 48 hours, is specifically designed to support hospitals to keep suspected corona patients, and those infected, but not requiring hospitalization, at home while still providing them with optimal care. Datos manages large scale of patient numbers with minimal resources, helping to prevent Coronavirus patients from overloading hospitals by maximizing home hospitalization while protecting the clinical staff at the hospitals.   

    MyHomeDoc: MyHomeDoc’s mobile phone diagnostic add-on enables primary care tests and patient-clinician communication from home. During a pandemic, isolation and the urgent need for rapid, accurate, and safe testing increases exponentially; and MyHomeDoc helps to replace ‘contamination-risky’ face-to-face appointments between healthcare providers and infected patients. The secure, user-friendly device’s technology leverages 4 built-in smartphone sensors, and includes an otoscope [ears], stethoscope [heart & lung], infrared thermometer [temperature], pulse oximeter [heart rate & saturation] & skin and throat exams via smartphone camera.

    These are just some of the amazing Israeli innovations, and life-changing technologies/companies stepping up to mitigate the risks/exposure of the virus, and assist the healthcare ecosystem in continuing to provide the upmost optimal patient-care and treatment in the days to come.

  • Beyond Meat, PepsiCo to collaborate on plant-based snacks

    Beyond Meat has formed a joint venture with PepsiCo to develop and sell snacks and beverages made from plant-based protein, sending shares of the faux-meat maker to an 18-month high.

    The deal was the latest in a run of marketing successes for Beyond which include a distribution deal with Walmart, and partnerships with restaurants including Taco Bell, KFC and Starbucks.

    The company’s burger patties and sausages have been among the leaders in the surge in interest in plant-based alternatives over the past two years as consumers worried about their health, animal welfare and food safety.

    However, it reported a surprise easing in sales in the three months to October as a boom at the start of the Covid-19 crisis tapered off.

    The new partnership will give the plant-based meat maker access to the beverage giant’s distribution and marketing resources and allow it to expand into new product lines, Beyond Meat Chief Executive Officer Ethan Brown

    PepsiCo, which apart from its namesake soda, owns the Lays, Quaker and Doritos brands. It has also been looking to expand its portfolio of health-focused snacks and beverages.

    Beyond Meat said it could not provide additional details of the new deal as many of the snack and beverage products being made under this partnership were still under development. The operations will be managed through a newly created entity, Planet Partnership LLC.

    Beyond’s shares rose as much as 39 per cent to US$221.

    “Any time a relatively small company can partner in any way with a global behemoth like PEP, it’s usually good news,” JP Morgan analysts said but questioned the true benefit of the deal.

    “Is there a huge, uncounted population clamoring for vegan Doritos? Probably not, in our opinion, and surely not big enough to justify this kind of stock move”

  • Global Innovator Elbit To Establish Melbourne Centre

    01/02/21 20.37pm

    The Andrews Labor Government has formed a partnership with Elbit Systems of Australia to establish a Centre of Excellence for Human and Machine Teaming in Melbourne that will drive the research, development and commercialisation of defence technologies.

    As one of the world’s leading global defence innovators, the investment by the Australian subsidiary of Israeli global conglomerate Elbit will bolster the state’s defence chain capability and create local jobs. 

    Elbit develops and supplies a range of specialist technology systems and products that use artificial intelligence, sensors, data and networks in the areas of defence and homeland security.

    In Australia, Elbit provides digitisation technologies to the Australian Defence Force, including interfaces with airborne platforms, naval platforms and unmanned systems, some of which will be adapted and developed through the new Melbourne Centre for potential application in emergency services such as firefighting. 

    Utilising specialist Australian engineers, Elbit’s new Port Melbourne-based Centre will work with Victorian universities and research organisations to foster collaboration within the innovation ecosystem, create new products and develop existing research discoveries into licensed products.

    Elbit will also partner with startups and small-to-medium enterprises to boost the commercialisation success of new discoveries in the fields of autonomous systems, machine vision, robotics, industrial internet of things networks and augmented and virtual reality.

    The Centre’s first research project will focus on building innovative technology applications for emergency services and defence that are expected to save time and resources.

    Development of the new technology will involve digitising manual processes and systems and fusing multiple data and sensor inputs to enhance situational awareness and decision processes, providing critical system improvements that will assist Victoria’s emergency services in the future.

    Through the Victorian Budget 2020/21, the Government is providing $6 million to support the growth of the state’s defence sector which includes attracting global leaders such as Elbit to invest and work in Victoria. 

    Elbit Systems of Australia currently employs around 250 people across the country, including 80 military veterans, with plans to recruit six engineers for the new Centre in Melbourne.

    Quote attributable to Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula

    “We’re proud to be supporting Elbit to grow its global footprint in Melbourne, an investment that will boost the commercialisation of defence innovations and create new local jobs.” 

    Quote attributable to Victorian Minister for Economic Development Tim Pallas

    “By partnering with defence innovators like Elbit we are investing in Victoria’s future – creating jobs, attracting global tech leaders and cementing our position as a first-class destination for businesses from all over the world.”

    Quote attributable to Elbit Systems of Australia managing director Major General (ret’d) Paul McLachlan

    “The Centre of Excellence is a key milestone in the Elbit’s transformation to be an independent innovative technology company in Australia, employing locals to create products designed for the Australian market.”

    https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/global-innovator-elbit-establish-melbourne-centre

  • Major winemaker taps into Israeli grape-growing intel

    Pernod Ricard Winemakers selects Trellis to dynamically predict yield, quality and timing of grape harvest across Australia and New Zealand.

    Pernod Ricard Winemakers, the premium wine division of wine, spirits and Champagne international company Pernod Ricard, will support its operations across Australia and New Zealand with smart predictions on grape yield, quality, harvest timing and procurement cost prediction from Trellis of Tel Aviv.

    “As we continue to lead the wine industry into the digital era, we are committed to working with artificial intelligence innovators that are reimagining global supply chains,” said Alex Kahl, who is optimizing technology for Pernod Ricard Winemakers.

    “We were impressed by Trellis’s expertise in the industry and proven ability to scale across complex business units and multiple geographies,” Kahl said.

    The food system intelligence company’s AI-powered platform integrates live data from throughout the supply chain to accurately predict quality, yield, timing of harvest and associated expenses.

    Brett McKinnon, chief operations officer at Pernod Ricard Winemakers, said he expects Trellis “to help us significantly lower our procurement costs and overall production costs, while also ensuring a much more efficient harvest.”

    Ilay Englard, founder and CEO of Trellis, called the traditional food and beverage supply chains “broken and volatile.”

    “We look forward to helping Pernod Ricard Winemakers effectively navigate all of the challenges in the years ahead – from erratic weather and natural disasters driven by climate change, to surging international trade concerns, regulations and tariffs – to maintain their market leadership,” Englard said.

    Full article: https://www.israel21c.org/major-winemaker-taps-into-israeli-grape-growing-intel/

  • Israel’s tech envoys identify challenges and opportunities of the post-covid world

    Bareket Knafo (Romania and Ukraine), Shai Zarivatch (Australia) and Esti Ayalon Kovo (Beijing) discuss the biggest lesson they learned from the pandemic and what they believe will be the trends of 2021

    The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the Foreign Trade Administrations (FTA) at the Israeli Ministry of Economy & Industry, and its economic attachés across the globe to completely rethink their role in the world of economic diplomacy. While facing an unprecedented financial crisis and a fog of uncertainty, the attachés discovered that many of their previous strategic tools became almost irrelevant. Simultaneously, the Israeli industry found that they needed them more than ever. After all, how else could an Israeli exporter promote cross-border trade transactions in remote regions, where technology cannot bridge the closed sky and cultural differences?

    CTech asked five of Israel’s Economic & Trade attachés to discuss the biggest lesson they learned from the pandemic and 2020, as well as what they believe will be the trends of 2021 and where they intend to focus their efforts in the coming year.

    Part one of this two article series will feature Bareket Knafo (Romania and Ukraine), Shai Zarivatch (Australia) and Esti Ayalon Kovo (Beijing).”We are here, on the ground, speak the language, understand the history and local mentality, and the interrelations between the public and private sectors. And we know how to bring tangible results,” said Knafo. “As the head of the Economic and Trade Mission of Israel to Romania and Ukraine, I have learned invaluable lessons on the importance of flexible management and how to turn challenges and obstacles into opportunities.”

    Bareket Knafo, head of the Economic and Trade Mission of Israel to Romania and Ukraine. Photo: Noy Arkobi

    Bareket Knafo, head of the Economic and Trade Mission of Israel to Romania and Ukraine. Photo: Noy Arkobi

    Zarivatch spoke of how after a short period of adjustment, the economic missions shifted their work to the online virtual space and in no-time, many conferences and business events started to emerge. They began from fairly small and dedicated webinars focusing on Covid-19 and healthcare-related matters and grew to dedicated and professional business events, and then large exhibitions and conferences with professional speakers and pre-scheduled 1:1 business rooms, thus largely copying the experience of attending a global conference and exhibition.”This change and the adaptation to the new way of doing business, bridging and connecting between companies and representatives from both countries and markets which are far from each other, made us rethink altogether how we lived, worked and engaged before Covid, and how things will be after,” explained Zarivatch. “It became evident that so many meetings could be held and so much time saved when using online platforms and indeed the volume of events, direct business interactions, and commercial engagements have skyrocketed after our work-plan for the second part of the year had been utterly disrupted and a new, modified plan for the Covid era was put in place instead.” Ayalon Kovo hailed 2020 as “a year of great trials” for the economic missions. “Wherever there is a crisis, there is an opportunity,” she explained. “We witnessed distress and suffering from a threatening and unknown virus, but on the other hand, we were amazed at how resilient people can be. Taking this opportunity to research for new methods of coping with Covid-19, such as the development of remote monitoring, online treatment and digital health, things that usually take years to develop and produce were put on a super-fast track and have been successfully implemented to the market in a few weeks.”We still see a strong economic relationship developing with major trading partners. For example, the export of medical devices from Israel to China in 2019 accounted for 17% of Israel’s total export to China. During Covid-19, in 2020, Israeli medical product export to China increased by more than 2%, reaching almost 20% of Israeli total export to China.”

    Shai Zarivatch, head of the Economic and Trade mission to Australia. Photo: Shlomi Amsalem

    Shai Zarivatch, head of the Economic and Trade Mission to Australia. Photo: Shlomi Amsalem

    Ayalon Kovo added that she is expecting an increase in investment by the government and the private sector in the healthcare sector with major trends being digital health, healthy aging, biotech and disease control prevention. Knafo said the pandemic has also paved the way for future development in the Health-Tech sector, explaining that “the evolving digitalization of the healthcare arena coupled with the shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals and the increasing cyber hazards – presents ample opportunities for the Israeli industry.”Cybersecurity, in general, will be pushed to the fore more than ever before, according to Knafo. “The exponential growth in the scope, volume, and sophistication of malicious cybersecurity attacks in 2020 exposed an alarming reality: many industries are vulnerable, unprepared, and often lack adequate infrastructure and trained personnel. 2021 will be an important year for the global cyber industry. We already see a tremendous increase in the investment of public and private players in cyber protection. Amid the worldwide raging unemployment rates, we have also witnessed a continuous boost in cybersecurity job vacancies,” noted Knafo. Zarivatch said that while 2021 brings with its large amounts of uncertainty, there is also plenty to be hopeful about. “On the one hand, we continue with the practices of communicating, meetings, engaging and holding online business events, together with professional conferences and exhibitions, as was done through most of last year. At the same time, we hope that borders will be opened and travel will become possible, and while uncertainty continues to reign – we prepare for both,” explained Zarivatch. “Most of our activities, projects and initiatives this year promoting the sectors we feel represent the most relevant and promising for trade, economic and investment relations between Israel and Australia (cybersecurity, digital healthcare and Agtech to name a few) will continue to be held online. This means that Australian corporates, businesses, as well as investors and organizations we’re targeting, will designate sector professionals who will be meeting and presenting to Israeli companies and startups to discuss business, technological and investment cooperation. That said, we cannot ignore both countries’ visible achievements tackling the spread of the virus, especially with the ongoing large-scale roll-out of Covid vaccines in Israel. We are preparing for the same but looking forward with positive expectations that from the second part of the year, things will be utterly different and better. This makes us look forward with the firm belief that the change and a gradual return to pre-Covid practices – is around the corner and will be implemented sooner than we think.”

    Esti Ayalon Kovo, head of the Economic and Trade Mission to Beijing. Photo: Gideon Sharon

    Esti Ayalon Kovo, head of the Economic and Trade Mission to Beijing. Photo: Gideon Sharon

    Regarding the Australian mission’s main focus this year, Zarivatch said that the Australian economy is by and large modern, advanced and competitive, and is open and interconnected with global markets, providing a myriad of business opportunities to the Israeli industry, especially in the tech domains. “To learn more about the characteristics of the Australian economy and the opportunities it creates for the Israeli industry – I invite everyone to read the economic overview I prepared where I listed the exact sectors, their needs and future growth plans, including Australia’s government initiatives to grow in the future,” said Zarivatch. “Having said that, the Australian industry is characterized by very large industries in mining and resources, as well as agriculture, both have many shortcomings, growing challenges (many of them driven by the geopolitics of the region) and technological demands.”For example, the threats of cyberattacks are imminent and ever-growing, and awareness of the need to integrate advanced cyber defence and security IT systems in Australian corporates and businesses is high. In addition, Australia is also suffering from ongoing water shortages and challenges which only get worse over time, driven by seasonal bushfires and year-on-year draughts which require advanced water management tools and technologies which Israel, the best water laboratory in the world, can provide. Australia is also very keen to adopt Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence to upgrade its industrial production and move towards an advanced manufacturing hub, as such they are confident that Israeli knowledge and knowhow can provide them with the means to scale up, become more globally competitive and enjoy closer cooperation with Israel.”Ayalon Kovo said that the last year presented new opportunities to help Israeli companies get a foothold in the Chinese market. “This year we will continue to help Israeli companies enter the Chinese market and show that Israel is an important trade partner with China. We will increase our reach to Israeli companies and cement our role as the go-to address for companies in China,” said Ayalon Kovo. Knafo broke down the three main objectives of the mission to Romania in 2021. “Firstly, enhancing the bilateral trade in already booming sectors such as cyber, homeland security, digital health, energy, agriculture, and water management. We have already established strong connections with the private and public sectors in Romania, and we expect to see further success stories of Israeli companies in these domains. We will use our presence on the ground and vast connections to assist Israeli exporters in succeeding in the Romanian market,” she said. “The pandemic has also accelerated digitization processes in diverse fields, consequently opening the door for Israeli solutions in relatively ‘new’ operational sectors. For example, we observe a growing interest in fintech and smart city solutions. Lastly, Romania has placed itself as a key player in the European arena: As the new cyber capital city of Europe, Bucharest will soon host the EU Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology, and Research Competence Center.”Romania is also expected to enjoy unprecedented rescue and aid funds from the EU (approximately 80 billion Euros), and international financial institutions such as EBRD and the World Bank have already been targeting it for their large-scale projects. Undeniably, Israeli technologies could be proved relevant and even essential for such projects.”

    From: https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3890492,00.html

  • Year in Review

    The past twelve months were by far the best to date for startups receiving funding within Start-Up Nation. Total investment in Israeli startups was close to $10.3B. This is incredible considering most of the rest of the world struggled with operations due to a global pandemic.

    The hottest sectors for 2020 included Cybersecurity, FinTech, and Smart Mobility. The increase in workers operating remotely and the need for company data to be easily integrated from multiple locations supports the interest in investment in all of these. It was also unfortunately quite common in 2020 to hear about data breaches every few months, which strongly supports the need for better privacy control systems for companies.

    FinTech has been a growing vertical worldwide for a while, and large players within Israel include eToro, and PayKey, among others. eToro is a website where you can learn the basics about different cryptocurrencies, and then once armed with that knowledge, purchase virtual currencies like ETH and BTC. There also is a feature where you can do the same trades as very popular traders, a relatively newer strategy for virtual currencies. PayKey is a company allowing businesses to offer customers immediate access to various financial services while on their phone. This will be especially popular with banks, who want to maximize their touchpoints with customers. The customer only needs to use their messaging keyboard in order to use their services.

    Cybersecurity is the most well-known category for Israeli startups and by far received the most investment last year. Specific companies include Perimeter 81Aqua Security, and Wiz. The incredible fact about Wiz, which is a cloud design platform, is that within one year of beginning, they secured their first funding round, which totalled eight figures and became backed by some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley. Perimeter 81 was created to give secure network access to companies and touts itself as a leader in Secure Access Service Edge (SASE). Aqua Security protects a company’s applications from development to production, across all workloads, and up and down the stack. All three of these companies definitely have a sizable market, and a growing one too.

    As for overall trends, sectors and their funding from 2020 as well as ’18 and ’19 can be summed up as follows:

    Thinking in terms of investments for early-stage versus growth-stage startups, it should come as no surprise that later stage companies received the bulk of the funding, as investors took the year to reassess their winners and losers, and decided to pour money into startups that had previously been a success in terms of revenue, product-market fit, and already lean operations. Investors have been sitting on dry powder for a while, and in 2020 they seemed to take marginally less risk due to the impact of covid-19. This trend is likely to continue for the first half of 2021 but has a chance of evening out again amongst all companies looking to raise.

    Another trend that has been noticeable for a few years which continued in 2020 is that the size of the investment round continues to go up. Series A rounds of 10 years ago now look like Seed rounds today, and this trend was not hindered at all by a global crisis. Some in the industry say that inflation is the cause for higher valuations, but more realistically it is due to there being many more private investors (VC’s, PE firms, Angels, Strategics) than ever before. Expect this aspect of valuations to continue in the future.

    References:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidjeans/2020/12/09/wiz-sequoia-index-cybersecurity-100-million-former-microsoft-executives/?sh=4e16dd42254c

    https://www.israel21c.org/why-did-israeli-firms-win-record-investments-in-a-covid-year/ 

    https://www.crunchbase.com/hub/israel-fintech-companies/hub_overview_default/top?tab=top_orgs

    https://finder.startupnationcentral.org/

  • New Battery Tech to have a Major Impact on EVs

    One of the key drawbacks of electric car ownership could soon be a thing of the past thanks to exciting new technology from an unlikely source.

    Electric cars might be about to get much more desirable.

    An Israeli company called, StoreDot, is on the cusp of a major breakthrough that would remove one of the biggest hurdles to making electric cars mainstream.

    The company is releasing its first production batch of a new type of lithium-ion battery, which it claims can be recharged in five minutes. This new battery would make electric cars as easy and quick to refuel as petrol or diesel vehicles.

    StoreDot is providing the sample battery cells to showcase the groundbreaking tech to potential EV partners.

    Long recharge times are one of the biggest issues holding back electric cars.

    Long recharge times are one of the biggest issues holding back electric cars.

    StoreDot has some big name backers including Mercedes-Benz’s parent company Daimler, BP, Samsung and Japanese electronics giant TDK.

    The tech company has previously demonstrated a full 100 per cent charge in a mobile phone and then a scooter and claims it can do the same with an EV.

    Electric cars currently slow the rate of charge for the last 20 per cent to stop the battery overheating.

    This is the biggest risk to lithium-ion batteries in electric cars; they can rupture and catch fire due to overheating.

    StoreDot has worked through this issue by replacing the graphite used to store the energy in regular lithium-ion batteries with a new compound that doesn’t expand like graphite does when holding charge.

    StoreDot hasn’t provided details on what kind of charge is necessary to achieve the breakthrough five-minute charge time.

    Porsche’s new Taycan is one of the fastest charging vehicles. Using 800-volt tech and a 350kW supercharger it can add 100km of range in five minutes. Unfortunately, the base Porsche Taycan will cost more than $200,000 on the road.

    But StoreDot isn’t the only company developing groundbreaking new battery tech. Toyota is rumoured to be on the cusp of something big, too.

    COVID-19 stalled a the development of the brand’s solid-state battery.

    Several electric car makers are pushing ahead with new, advanced batteries.

    Several electric car makers are pushing ahead with new, advanced batteries

    The Japanese giant was due to unveil a working prototype of its new electric-car tech at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, which was cancelled due to the pandemic. But according to Asian business publication, the Nikkei, this is now due some next year.

    A solid-state battery is a huge advancement over the current lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars.

    In simple terms, a solid-state battery is smaller, faster to charge, more energy-dense and less likely to catch fire than current batteries. That’s because the battery uses a solid electrolyte instead of a liquid or gel.

    Estimates put the range at more than 800km and up to 1000km, with the ability to charge in less than 10 minutes.

    https://www.news.com.au/technology/motoring/hitech/new-battery-tech-to-have-major-impact-on-evs/news-story/7670ec68562173f6ad2b7a8eb1ce9451

  • Could Israeli Cyber Firms Prevent the Next Solarwinds?

    While the U.S. Government was focused on election security last year, unbeknownst to senior American officials a secret cyber espionage campaign by a major nation-state adversary of unprecedented magnitude was already underway – lethal, stealthy and undetected. 

    In early December the U.S. cybersecurity firm FireEye Inc. announced that it had been the victim of a massive cyber intrusion. When FireEye’s investigators set about looking into the origin of the breach, they discovered the attackers had breached FireEye’s defences through a vulnerability in a product made by one of its software providers named Solarwinds Corp. The attackers had managed to insert malware into a software update Solarwinds sent out to its thousands of customers, and any Solarwinds customer who downloaded this malware-infected update unwittingly opened the door to the hackers. 

    It quickly became apparent though that FireEye had not been the only victim, and that the hackers had gained access to hundreds of Government and private sector networks, including such agencies as the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and even the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration. And even today cyber experts believe the hackers may still be lurking inside of hundreds of networks.

    While it’s exceedingly difficult for a single company to prevent a major nation-state cyber-attack if there’s one lesson to be learned from the Solarwinds fiasco its this: An organization can have the best cybersecurity protection in the world, but if one of their vendors is penetrated then that organization is at risk too. 

    The problem is many major companies and government agencies have no idea how secure their downstream supply chain is, and are frequently unaware of all the third parties who have access to their networks. While a company can mandate that its third party suppliers maintain an acceptable level of information security, for an organization with thousands of vendors it’s always going to be difficult to manually keep track of each supplier. That makes a solution that can automate the evaluation of a company’s vendors critical. Luckily for those organizations who are now fretting about supply chain security, there are three top Israeli cyber firms who can help:

    Panorays specializes in automating third-party security lifecycle management. Its platform provides organizations with a rapid thumbs-up or thumbs-down view of supplier cyber risk by inherently combining automated dynamic security questionnaires with external attack surface evaluations and business context. Companies using Panorays can dramatically speed their third-party security evaluation process, streamline transparent collaboration between teams and suppliers, eliminate manual questionnaires, gain continuous visibility, and ensure compliance with regulations such as GDPR and NYDFS. And because Panorays is a SaaS-based platform, it integrates seamlessly into existing organizational workflows with no installation needed.

    Findings is a scalable, AI-powered assessment platform that streamlines and facilitates efficient and comprehensive security compliance across sectors, jurisdictions, and regulatory frameworks. The company’s platform provides automated security and data compliance assessments, gap analysis, benchmarking, and automated consulting for individual and vendor risk assessments.

    Commugen offers information security regulation and governance, risk management, and compliance solutions, based on its AppChi no-code technology. Commugen’s AppChi technology is highly visual and offers flexibility in process implementation. Commugen’s cybersecurity supply chain management solution enables an organization to quickly improve its overall security posture with minimal effort by validating the security level of their suppliers. Commugen’s third party solution is a breeze to set-up, allows for automated monitoring of supplier status, and its information-rich but easy to read graphical interface allows cybersecurity professionals to quickly identify gaps in their vendors’ networks.

    If you are interested in speaking with any of these amazing Israeli companies, please contact us.

  • How Israeli Industry 4.0 Technologies Help the Global Economy Adapt to COVID-19

    Despite unprecedented restrictions due to COVID-19, the global economy continues to deliver consumer and industrial products to sustain the needs and wants of the global population. The acceleration of digital transformation has promoted economic resilience across all sectors including food, housing, furniture, home appliances, water, energy, consumer electronics, media and much more. According to a recent IMF study, “In areas where firms adopted more IT the unemployment rate rose less in response to social distancing.” In this context, Israeli innovation has played a role in helping the global economy adapt to changing circumstances.

    According to Startup Nation Central, there are over 250 companies in the Industry 4.0 sector that provide services within cybersecurity, infrastructure, supply chain & logistics, energy optimization, 3D printing, robotics, real estate, food, quality and yield improvement, predictive analytics, sensors, artificial intelligence, security, AR/VR and others.

    Two Israeli companies with automated warehouse fulfilment solutions are Caja Robotics & Fabric. They have experienced a spike in demand due to the contact-less nature of their solutions. As consumers expect faster delivery, it also pays to have product stocked at fulfilment centres that are closer to the end customer. Retailers also find it convenient to automate the logistical and packaging responses to high e-commerce order demand. Even the real estate sector is paying attention, as landlords see the potential to convert empty retail locations into attractive micro-fulfilment centres.  

    In a more industrial segment of the economy, “digital twins” has emerged as a buzz word to help monitor and inspect everything from utility substations to large buildings, and even bridges. Pixtier and Rapida Sensing are two companies that seek to leverage real-time data processing using sensors and cameras, artificial intelligence, and big data to create 3D digital twins for the infrastructure industries, such as energy and transportation sectors. These businesses are often beneficiaries of local regulatory policy that demands the consistent upkeep and maintenance of critical infrastructure.

    Within the manufacturing sector, companies such as QualityLine, Vanti Analytics (which just raised $4.5M), and Augury are “playing doctor” for industrial machinery, in the sense that they provide AI Diagnostics, “listen” to heavy equipment, and monitor “Machine Health.” These businesses have developed big data analytics – and in some cases sensors – that help big companies maintain their machinery in real-time. In fact, these technologies can even track the performance *across* contract manufacturers/vendors and, in some cases, the entire process is done with 100% software and without any physical installations!

    For another mind-bender, have you ever witnessed a public company raise money from the markets three times in two weeks?! Nano Dimension has done just that on the heels of recent breakthroughs with partner HENSOLDT which assembled the world’s first 10-layer dual-sided 3D printed circuit board using Nano Dimension’s polymers. Nano Dimension’s stock has performed considerably well during this stretch.

    One of the big themes of Industry 4.0 is big data and AI. The growing tide of digital transformation shows no signs of letting up. In fact, it is only accelerating! With more reliance on computing infrastructure globally, the cybersecurity component of Industry 4.0 is magnified in importance. Generally speaking, investments in Israel cybersecurity startups was up 30.5% from 2018 in 2019 to $1.4B – and this was before the impact of COVID-19 could be felt. The global cybersecurity investment market places approximately one out of every five dollars in Israeli startups!

    Given the breadth and depth of Israeli innovation, it is not surprising that many global corporations who are researching and developing cutting edge solutions in the realm of digital transformation are choosing to look in Israel. Israel Industry 4.0 Global Leaders Summit is becoming a must-attend event for stakeholders who want to stay ahead of trends. Next year will mark the fourth consecutive year of events managed under this brand, which takes place in partnership with Grove Ventures, a leading venture capital firm for deep technology founders and businesses. 

    We hope Israeli innovation continues to contribute dynamic solutions to the global economy in the year 2021 ahead. Stay tuned!

  • Ending on a High! Investment into Israeli Companies Skyrocket in 2020
    Dollars with double exposure of businessman and big city

    It has been a crazy year, to say the least, but as we approach the end of 2020, it is a great time to reflect on what has happened over the past 12 months. Although the year started off with promise and potential for many companies around the world, the unfortunate events that were about to unfold in regards to COVID-19 changed the world as we know it.

    However, the challenge of COVID did not present a problem to Israeli technology but instead an opportunity, which is why by the end of the year the number of start-ups that offered service-based solutions to the Coronavirus increased to 400. This has led to Israel being one of the only countries in the world an increase of capital investment into their technologies for 2020. Most recent December figures have confirmed that investment into Israeli companies during the year grew 23% since 2019 to a whopping $9.5 billion in capital. Compared to the rest of the world, the USA only 5% and Asia seeing a decline of 15%, Israel has stood out as one of the most successful innovators of the year that has seen the global economy on the brink of collapse.

    Some of the biggest investments have come from COVID related technologies, however, there have been other areas which Israeli Tech has been successful; demonstrating the versatility of Israel’s economy as a whole.

    The largest swathe of investment this year went to Hippo Insurance Services, which raised $350 million from a Japanese subsidiary of MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings called Mitsui Sumitomo. Hippo, an Insurtech start-up founded in 2015 by Assaf Wand and Eyal Navon, allows customers to save 25% on premiums and get smarter coverage for household goods through the understanding data from public data sets. The investment will help the company’s product roll out across the US and allow them to reach 95% of American homes over the coming year.

    Another prominent investment opportunity that occurred earlier in the year was SentinelOne, who was able to close $267 million in funding to help with the demands for their innovative technology Their solution helps to deliver autonomous security for endpoint, data centre, and cloud environments to help organizations secure their assets with speed and simplicity. The company is taking the cybersecurity industry by storm and is currently valued at $3.1 billion.

    Gongo.io Ltd was another company from Israel that received substantial funding from a joint deal worth $200 million by Coatue, Salesforce and Sequoia. The company’s software uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze conversations, enabling sales teams to better understand the things that are going right and wrong in their sales calls. With some of their biggest customers being the likes of Paypal, Shopify and Slack – Gong has become a major player in the data analytics market and it’s led to their company being valued at $2.2 billion after only being founded in 2015, an impressive feat for such a new start-up.

    These types of investment during a year like 2020 show the promise and potential that Israel can look forward to for next year. As the globe starts to come out of the pandemic and countries begin to return to normality, the investment trends towards Israeli technology from the previous year will almost certainly come to fruition in the future.

    References:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-12-07/israeli-tech-funding-jumps-23-to-9-5-billion-on-virus-demand

    https://www.prnewswire.com/il/news-releases/despite-covid-19-israeli-technological-innovation-sets-new-capital-rounds-record-approaches-the-10-billion-line-301187609.html

  • Israel Water Technology Helping in the Fight Against Corona Virus

    The world is in severe water shortage due to the gap between demand and supply. The increase in demand is due to population growth, urbanization processes, and economic growth. Supply is limited due to climate change, poor infrastructure, and inappropriate business models in the water infrastructure sector.

    Given the challenges mentioned, global market interest in smart water technologies, including, for example, the use of smart water meters, big data, and IoT (Internet of Things) is increasing in favour of efficient management of water infrastructure.

    Israel exports $2 billion in water technologies annually. Israel’s relative advantage in the global water market stems from the knowledge and experience gained for years, they have faced acute water shortages and droughts in the face of high development and agricultural needs. 

    The provision of safe water, sanitation and waste management, and hygienic conditions is essential for preventing and protecting human health every day and even more during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Ensuring communities, homes, schools, marketplaces, and healthcare facilities have a continuous supply of water as well as good water conservation management practices will ensure that the world has enough water for washing hands and clean water for drinking that will help in the management of the Covid 19. 

    New innovative solutions are needed to help fight the novel coronavirus. Here are some of Israel’s top water-technologies:

    • Researchers from Bar-Ilan University have developed new methodologies to produce powerful, environmentally-friendly disinfectants, based on tap water, that can eliminate bacteria and kill viruses, including microbes from the coronavirus family. The disinfectants are effective and safe to use and do not contaminate groundwater. The technology works through an array of nanometer-shaped electrodes with unique surface properties. The meeting between water and electrodes creates a cleaning material in a unique aquatic environment. The combination of these compounds gives rise to an effective antibacterial capability for microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, and spores), while at the same time is safe for macro-organisms (larger bodies such as skin cells)
    • BlueGreen Water Technologies has developed solutions to prevent harmful algal blooms (HABs) that are endangering the health and economy of nearby communities. BlueGreen was founded in Israel in 2014. Today, it has subsidiaries in the US and China. The blue-and-white solution begins out of the water – in outer space, actually – and uses its proprietary blend of algaecides to kill the algae, and prevent it from coming back, in an eco-friendly way. cyanobacterial blooms, algae that grow out of control, are also producing toxic effects and causing harm to animals, birds, marine life, people, and local ecology. But it’s not just the chemical solution that enables BlueGreen to combat the cyanobacteria problem. The company uses a near real-time monitoring system based on satellite imagery and AI analysis that allows it to monitor big water bodies all over the world, detect algal blooms at their earliest stages of development and prevent them from becoming a problem altogether
    • Kando Founded in 2011, uses IoT, advanced algorithms, and artificial intelligence technologies to enable wastewater utility organizations to detect pollution anomalies and blockages in real-time to keep sewage systems hygienic and working. The company turned its attention toward SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in early April 2020. Kando’s solution, Clear Upstream, provides real-time awareness of events in wastewater networks. Using live maps, online dashboards, and text messages, the company looks at the collected data and identifies the problems, events’ sources, and tells its clients where to act. Kando’s solution allows cities to control – continuously and remotely – their wastewater quality and protect the public health
    • Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU)  scientists have developed a new methodology to trace the SARS-CoV-2 virus through the sewage and wastewater systems. They already determined that it is transferred through feces into the sewage in their first round of sampling. However, no one is sure yet if the virus remains contagious in sewage. Moreover, if their new methodology is added to the regular screening tests for sewage and wastewater, it could be used to determine the extent of the current outbreak and become an early warning system for future outbreaks. Looking to the future, the group believes that their new methodology could be incorporated as a standard screening test of sewage to provide early warning should another outbreak occur

    References:

  • DevTech – Harnessing Israeli Innovation to Create a Better World for All

    Israel is well known these days as the “Nation of Innovation” and “StartUp nation”. With nearly 4,000 startups and more than 300 multinationals opening R&D centres in Israel and the highest investment in R&D per capita in the world, Israel is living up to its legend. However, it is often forgotten that up until the 1970s, Israel was considered a developing country, struggling to provide its citizens with the most basic needs. Thanks to Israeli private sector investment, technology, innovations (along with other factors of course) that Israel was able to overcome many of its struggles and become the strong economy it is today.

    As so, Israeli companies are well-positioned to support developing countries in their process of building a better life for themselves through the development of special products that are designed to fit the needs of these markets, especially in the field of agriculture, water, health, ICT, Fintech.

    For example, N-Drip has developed a system that will allow areas that use water flooding for irrigation to use the more precise and efficient drip irrigation instead. Current drip irrigation systems require a source of energy to pump the water into the fields and a filtering system to keep the pipes from clogging. These requirements increase costs for farmers and make the systems harder to deploy. For this reason, just 3% of arable land today is watered with drip irrigation systems. N-Drip’s system is cheaper because it uses gravitational force only, and thus does not need a source of energy. The system is also designed to work without filters and enables drip irrigation even when the water source is not clean. This enables farmers to move from inefficient flood irrigation to high-quality drip irrigation at significantly less cost, and with lower operational requirements. NDrip special micro-irrigation solution could be implemented for as small as 1-acre farms, which makes it suitable for smallholder farmers as well as big commercial farms.

    Another good example of an upcoming Israeli DevTech company is Keheala. The CEO and Founder of Keheala, Jon Rethauser has developed an impressive Digital Health platform from Israel. In only 6 years, Keheala is already operating in Kenya and Zimbabwe, and with a team of 10 people in Kenya alone. Keheala was featured in the World Economic ForumNew England Journal of MedicineNew York Times among others, following the award of the Nobel Prize in Economics to Michel Kramer, founder of USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV), USAID featured Keheala as one of the promising ventures funded by the program.


    The Pears Program DevTech Unconference

    The Pears Program for Global Innovation is an Israel-based non-profit and non-governmental organization whose mission is to build bridges between the Israeli innovation ecosystem and the developing world to increase Israel’s contribution to innovation for development. The Pears Program supports Israeli entrepreneurs developing solutions in the fields of Food Security, Healthcare, and Digital Inclusion, from ideation to pilot stage, to work hand in hand with partners in developing countries to find solutions to international development’s most critical challenges and to increase innovation capabilities of developing countries.

    This month the Pears program is hosting the first Israeli DevTech Unconference, an unconventional virtual event that brings together the Israeli DevTech industry startups, companies, NGOs, experts, and ecosystem builders, and everybody involved in technology for development. The Pears Program has partnered with 20 Israeli leading organizations to host this informal gathering where the doers will meet to exchange ideas. Out of 110 organizations registered for the unconference, 40 are startup companies targeting or operating in developing countries. The DevTech community in Israel has grown and matured over the past years. The Unconference is set to harness the knowledge and experience gained by various players, to promote collaboration and exchange of ideas, and to foster collaborations and partnerships. The agenda has been determined based on the needs, requests, and skillsets of the participants, through the registration’s survey.

  • PRESS RELEASE – Opportunities in Western Sydney for Israeli Companies

    Delivering the Western Sydney (Nancy-Bird Walton) International Airport and Aerotropolis City for 2026

    See recordings:

    Webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_sI8yBiU-T5aJVOphm0Lnqw

    Date: 14.12.20

    Time: 17:00 – 18:30 AEDT

    Speakers:

    • Acting Israeli Ambassador to Australia
    • Israel Trade Commissioner – Embassy of Israel in Australia
    • Western Sydney Business Chamber Executive Director
    • Western Sydney Airport Chief Corporate Affairs Officer
    • Western Parkland City Authority Executive Director of Commercial and Economic
    • Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Western Sydney Cities Lead Executive Director – Smart Place, Evidence & Insights
    • IoT Alliance Australia Chair WSe3, Cyber Security and Network Resilience

    The Israel Trade Commission in partnership with the Western Sydney Airport is excited to collaborate on an introductory webinar event featuring the Executive leaders of Australia’s largest infrastructure investment, Western Sydney’s International Airport and Aerotropolis City of 2026.

    This is a rare opportunity for Israeli companies to learn about the many different projects underway where Israeli technology, knowledge and expertise will be relevant, and how they can be a part of Australia’s biggest infrastructure investment.

    Shai Zarivatch – Israel Trade Commissioner said: “We are excited to collaborate with leaders and executives from the Western Sydney Airport, the future Aerotropolis and work with our partners at Western Sydney Business Chamber to spread the word to relevant Israeli companies and startups already operating and looking forward to venturing into the Australian market.”

    “Israeli companies have advanced knowledge, technologies and expertise that could be very relevant to both the airport operation and the connected transportation infrastructure providing HLS and Cybersecurity solutions, advanced data and AI management capabilities. Together with capabilities in the domain of Smart Cities technologies, we are confident that companies from both countries can benefit enormously from mutual cooperation, joint partnership and investments.”

    In 2021 there will be round-table virtual and in-person conferences discussing partnerships.

    Nearly 100 Israeli companies’ representatives will be attending the virtual conference from fields including HLS, Cyber, Smart Cities and IoT, that are looking to enter or advance their presence in the Australian market.

    For more information visit http://www.israeltrade.org.au/opportunity-in-western-sydney/

    Or email Jeremy.ungar@israeltrade.gov.il or Rochelle.ives@israeltrade.gov.il

  • Zoom in on the Israeli Payment Industry

    The global Fintech industry has grown rapidly over the past few years and its profile has significantly changed. The niche start-ups that originally characterized Fintech and mostly offered a single service, have evolved into well-established and substantial financial institutions, powered by technology, and offering a wide range of services. Technology has changed the way consumers think about financial services. Fintech has redefined the customer experience standard; customers now expect a seamless digital experience, fast onboarding processes, personalized advisory services and remote loan approvals as a matter of course. Consequently, traditional financial incumbents are working hard to utilize similar technologies and keep up with the pace of innovation.

    Global and local financial service providers have collaborated with startups through incubation and acceleration, Citibank and Barclays set up their innovation centres in 2011. The FinTech industry touches on trends such as payments, insurance, capital raising, investment management, training and investing, digital, analytics and many others.

    Over 700 startups dealing with different aspects of fintech are estimated to be working in Israel today. They include payments solutions, business loans and credit, cybersecurity for payments, trading, and more. Israeli Fintech startups have raised more than $1.8B in total across 211 deals since 2014, excluding insuretech.  Israel’s dedication to R&D is unparalleled with payment innovations such as mobile wallets and digital-only banks break the borders financially and enable users to make global payments.

    One of the strong growing fintech segments is payment solutions. On top of R&D centres of foreign banks such as Barclays, Citi, HSBC, Santander and more there is a vibrant ecosystem of payment players that includes e-commerce (Paypal, Amazon) credit card companies (Visa, MasterCard) and Insurance (AXA, Sompo). Therefore, there is a variety of leading payment technologies from B2B via B2C up to B2B2C

    Trends to look out for in the future of payments include mobile wallets; the rise of codes; biometric authentication; contactless payments and mobile point-of-sale.

    The list includes selected start-ups in a variety of categories related to the industry, such as trading and investing, lending and financing, commerce, and payments.

    The companies highlighted below display the diverse range of payment types:

    Paygilant is a digital banking and payment anti-fraud company designed to provide strong fraud prevention, frictionless authentication, and user privacy.

    It enables financial, e-commerce organizations to boost their revenue by enhancing the user experience, and preventing fraud before the transaction occurs. Its easy-to-integrate patented technology utilizes six proprietary intelligence sets, which work in harmony to deliver value from day one.

    PayKey enables banks, telecommunications companies, and mobile wallets to offer customers the ability to initiate and complete a range of financial services, including peer-to-peer payments, balance checks, credit top-ups, and transfers, from within any mobile app, including social and messaging applications.

    Sogur introduces a reserve-backed global digital currency that is supported by experts and is accepted by acclaimed financial institutions. The company operates an algorithmically governed backing reserve designed for reduced volatility.

    Payoneer specializes in helping businesses transcend borders, limits, and expectations in today’s digital world. Payoneer gives businesses of all types and sizes access to new economic opportunities by enabling them to transact globally as easily as they do locally.

    Melio is on a mission to keep small businesses in business by providing a smart B2B payments solution tailor-made for their needs. Melio’s digital accounts payable and receivable dashboard provides a single, integrated tool that allows small businesses to transfer and receive payments in a faster, easier way, giving oversight and control over cash flow, eliminating late payment costs, and giving businesses back valuable time.

    The whole sector is undergoing a rapid transformation worldwide and, with increased investor funding, there is a lot to look to for Israel.

    Reference: https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/il/Documents/technology/Israel%20Fintech%20Landscape%20Report.pdf

    https://www.startupnationcentral.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Fintech.pdf

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330700418_Israel_FinTech_Landscape

  • The Dawn of a New Chapter in World History

    Amidst the health crisis that overcame the world in 2020, new dawn arose in the mid of the year 2020. The first Arab – Israeli peace deal in 26 years was signed between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Bahrain on September 15th 2020. Indeed these new ties hold a very significant point in world history as well as geopolitically.

    Alongside the diplomatic ties, in terms of business, the bilateral trade will be covering a range of sectors, including tourism, trade, healthcare and security.  

    On October 20th 2020 in a historic first, a senior delegation from UAE flew to Israel being led by Economy Minister Abdullah bin Touq al-Mari and Minister of State for Financial Affairs Obaid Humaid al-Tayer. During the visit, four bilateral agreements were signed with Israel, in the areas of aviation, investment protection, science and technology. Also, a visa exemption agreement between the two countries was signed.

    Following this, the first high-tech delegation post the official signing of the agreements departed from Israel on October 25th 2020. The delegation was led by Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) founder and Chairman Dr Erel Margalit and is comprised of 13 CEOs of leading Israeli technology companies. These 13 companies came from various sectors such as agritech, fintech, cybertech, insurance etc. Some of the companies from the delegation were, Earnix, ControlUp, Morphisec, Secret Double Octopus and InnovoPro from food tech and Agrint in agritech. The delegation attended several meetings with senior officials, entrepreneurs and investment counterparts in Dubai as well as Abu Dhabi during their visit. The invitation to the delegation was extended by the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC).

    These newfound ties are laying the foundation for a stronger and newer region. With the Emiratis contributing through their expertise in infrastructure and planning and their abilities to execute complex projects, the Israelis can bring technology and innovation to the table and build a strong groundwork for a commercially successful association.

    In conclusion, the economic ties between Israel and the UAE are currently being pursued in a fast pace and below are some of the preliminary highlights of the same:

    • Israel based Mobileye and UAE based Al Habtoor Group (AHG) have announced strategic cooperation to operate autonomous vehicles and robotaxis.
    • The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) and the Israel Export Institute have signed bilateral trade agreements to foster trade and investment opportunities.
    • The Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) and Israel’s 2nd largest lender, Bank Leumi have signed an MOU to explore future cooperation in both countries and other markets internationally.
    • DP World from Dubai and DoverTower, a company owned by Shlomi Fogel, the co-owner of Israel Shipyards and Port of Eilat signed MOUs to promote trade routes and be able to do business in a more efficient manner.

    Given the current situation and the fact that a few more deals are in the pipeline, the bilateral trade is estimated to be up to $4 billion by 2022.

  • OTT Digi-tainment- A “sneak-peek” into Israeli Technology

    The global pandemic has been a mixed bag of outcomes for technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) businesses. As with most sectors, disruptions to supply chains and the economic slowdown are likely to have a negative impact on these businesses. However, there has been an upswing in the demand for digital services across sectors in response to the changing consumption habits and the need for ensuring business continuity. Within TMT, the hardest-hit segments are likely to be those that monetise social and physical interaction – such as cinema, hospitality, sports/events and out-of-home advertising (OOH) advertising. Telecom operators offering the critical commodity of reliable connectivity are reasonably isolated from the COVID-19 fallout.

    As people are forced to work remotely, enterprises are expected to accelerate their pace of digitisation, powered by cloud, automation, artificial intelligence and big data. Thus, the other segments that are likely to benefit are over-the-top (OTT) players, internet service providers (ISPs), data warehousing companies. The new ‘at home’ environment has led to a significant rise in over-the-top (OTT) viewership, including paid subscriptions, as compared to the pre-COVID period.

    Here are few Israeli companies that offer innovative OTT solutions: 

    Applause: Improve digital quality speeding time to market while reducing risk.

    Applause harnesses the power of the world’s largest community of vetted, digital professionals to create custom teams that provide you with a full suite of testing and feedback solutions hence Increase customers, development velocity & deliver high-quality digital experiences.

    Compira Labs: Solving Quality of Experience from the Edge.

    Compira Labs develops an innovative software solution that dramatically improves user-experience for multimedia services such as video streaming, cloud gaming, video conferencing, the advancement of communication technologies, like fibre-access, 5G and Internet over Satellite, provides end-users with Internet connectivity at speeds well above 100 Mbps.

    FlashNetworks: provider of optimization solutions that enable operators to improve RAN spectral efficiency.

    FlashNetworks boosts network speed, optimize video and web traffic and generate over-the-top revenues from the mobile Internet.

    Mantis-vision: Leading 3D imaging from mobile to live holographic communication.

    Core Technology for depth acquisition utilized in mobile devices, industrial scanners and now, live holographic telepresence for immersive communication and broadcasting to drive the XR revolution.

    NEXOG: Network management and orchestration solutions.

    Leading provider of network management and orchestration solutions specially designed for managing and monitoring multi-vendor wireless, satellite, broadcast and IoT network

    Panorama: World Leaders in Autonomous Telecom Intelligence.

    Panorama is the world-leader in data analytics & AI for telecom. Panorama can integrate to any Network, OSS, BSS and IoT solution to transform CSP’s data into actionable insights that boost revenues, increase LTV, and streamline processes.

    Saguna: The edge cloud computing pioneer.

    An advanced Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) solution. It creates edgecloud-computing environments inside the access network; Close to end users and connected devices.  Fast & simple to develop & deploy new Edge Applications for (IoT) industry 4.0, AR/VR, connected cars, drone control, 4K video delivery, enterprises & more.

    Screenz: Advanced interactive digital events platform for live streaming.

    Screenz partners with telecom operators, broadcasters, OTT apps, and digital publishers to increase audience engagement and build new revenue streams.

    Talamoos: Real-time predictions, personalization and recommendations of users’ future events.

    Talamoos Provides OTT players, broadcasters and any direct to consumer app access to the next generation of content discovery, individual recommendations and true real-time personalization, across all channels.

    XVTEC: Ultra low-latency encoding and decoding technology.

    Develops high-resolution, real-time video compression and layout technology. XVTEC develops all IP in house, including H/W, S/W, FPGA and algorithms.

    TEXEL: Enabling content-owners to revolutionize their watching experience.

    TEXEL enables viewers to connect households into a shared viewing experience together with family and friends. TEXEL is offered as a cloud/edge-based service to OTT providers.

    Sources:
    https://www.export.gov.il/api/Media/Default/Files/Technologies/Mobile/Mobile_G5_2020_Catalog.pdf
    https://www.pwc.in/assets/pdfs/industries/technology-media-and-telecommunications/tmt.pdf

  • Human Ageing Process Biologically Reversed in World-First
    Article from: https://news.yahoo.com/human-ageing-process-biologically-reversed-153921785.html?guccounter=1

    The ageing process has been biologically reversed for the first time by giving humans oxygen therapy in a pressurised chamber.

    Scientists in Israel showed they could turn back the clock in two key areas of the body believed to be responsible for the frailty and ill-health that comes with growing older.

    As people age, the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes – called telomeres – shorten, causing DNA to become damaged and cells to stop replicating. At the same time, “zombie” senescent cells build up in the body, preventing regeneration.

    Increasing telemere length and getting rid of senescent cells is the focus of many anti-ageing studies, and drugs are being developed to target those areas.

    Now scientists at Tel Aviv University have shown that giving pure oxygen to older people while in a hyperbaric chamber increased the length of their telomeres by 20 per cent, a feat that has never been achieved before.

    Scientists said the growth may mean that the telomeres of trial participants were now as long as they had been 25 years earlier.

    The ageing process has been biologically reversed for the first time by giving humans oxygen therapy in a pressurised chamber.

    Scientists in Israel showed they could turn back the clock in two key areas of the body believed to be responsible for the frailty and ill-health that comes with growing older.

    As people age, the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes – called telomeres – shorten, causing DNA to become damaged and cells to stop replicating. At the same time, “zombie” senescent cells build up in the body, preventing regeneration.

    Increasing telemere length and getting rid of senescent cells is the focus of many anti-ageing studies, and drugs are being developed to target those areas.

    Now scientists at Tel Aviv University have shown that giving pure oxygen to older people while in a hyperbaric chamber increased the length of their telomeres by 20 per cent, a feat that has never been achieved before.

    Scientists said the growth may mean that the telomeres of trial participants were now as long as they had been 25 years earlier.

    The therapy also reduced senescent cells by up to 37 per cent, making way for new healthy cells to regrow. Animal studies have shown that removing senescent cells extends the remaining life by more than one third.

    “Since telomere shortening is considered the ‘Holy Grail’ of the biology of ageing, many pharmacological and environmental interventions are being extensively explored in the hopes of enabling telomere elongation,” said Professor Shai Efrati of the Faculty of Medicine and Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University.

    “The significant improvement of telomere length shown during and after these unique protocols provides the scientific community with a new foundation of understanding that ageing can indeed be targeted and reversed at the basic cellular-biological level.”

    Many scientists now believe ageing itself is responsible for major conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, arthritis, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

    It is also known that obesity, smoking, lack of physical activity, vitamin deficiency and inflammation can speed up the shortening of telomeres, demonstrating that they have a major impact on longevity.

    The trial included 35 healthy independent adults aged 64 and older who did not undergo any lifestyle, diet or medication adjustments. Each patient was placed in a hyperbaric chamber for 90 minutes for five days a week over three months while breathing 100 per cent oxygen through a mask.

    The pressurised chamber allows more oxygen to be dissolved into the tissues and mimics a state of “hypoxia”, or oxygen shortage, which is known to have regenerating effects.

    Previous trials have shown that eating a healthy diet can preserve telomere length, while high-intensity training for six months has been proven to lengthen telomeres by up to five per cent.

    The Israeli team has also previously demonstrated that pressurised oxygen therapy can improve cognitive decline.

    “Until now, interventions such as lifestyle modifications and intense exercise were shown to have some inhibition effect on the expected telomere length shortening,” said Dr Amir Hadanny, chief medical research officer of the Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research.

    “However, what is remarkable to note in our study is that, in just three months of therapy, we were able to achieve such significant telomere elongation – at rates far beyond any of the currently available interventions or lifestyle modifications.

    “With this pioneering study, we have opened a door for further research on the prolonged cellular impact of the therapy to reverse the ageing process. After dedicating our research to exploring its impact on the areas of brain functionality and age-related cognitive decline, we have now uncovered, for the first time in humans, biological effects at the cellular level in healthy ageing adults.”

  • Sports-Tech Industry in Israel

    Israel is a country not particularly known for success in the competitive sporting arena, however, its high-tech prowess is helping to establish the nation as the Silicon Valley of sports tech.

    Driven by more than 200 sports-related startups, Israel is considered one of the worldwide leading countries in developing groundbreaking technologies for the sports tech industry.

    From innovative platforms that redefine fans’ viewing experiences to tools for honing athletes’ performance, Israel has witnessed a boom in sports tech startup activity in recent years.

    The fast-growing multibillion-dollar market is expected to triple in the next few years as it transforms our approach to personal fitness and changes the way we view, play and enjoy sports, on and offline.

    The sports tech industry in Israel may be divided into the following technology segments:

    • Data Analytics
    • Media and Broadcasting
    • Wearables and Performance Enhancement
    • The Stadium of the Future
    • Fan Engagement
    • E-Sports

    Below we mention randomly selected few Israeli startups from different technology segments in sports-tech.

    In data analytics segment, PlaySight (https://playsight.com/) is a sports analytics system which provides automated video originally built for court-based sports and is able to record an athlete’s activity and motion during an entire match or training session.

    In media and broadcasting segment, ABonAir Ltd (https://www.abonair.com/) provides video and wireless technologies for broadcast professionals and production teams. The company’s wireless broadcasting solutions are designed for news coverage, outdoor sports, reality shows, and other live events. The innovative technology allows for providing robust and reliable wireless video transmission while ensuring a continuous and stable broadcast session.

    In performance enhancement, Acceler8 (https://acceler8.co.il/) focuses on high-speed decision making in sports, training athletes to see clearer, think quicker and respond faster using advanced technology. The training process begins with a lab assessment, continues through a comparison to a sport-specific database, and then generates an on-field training program to improve the necessary skills.

    In smart stadium segment, Kwik (https://kwikme.wixsite.com/kwik-final) is an end-to-end push-button commerce solution for consumers to re-order their favourite products or services. Kwik’s open marketplace offers brands the ability to develop a direct customer relationship, increasing engagement, loyalty and sales. Unlike existing solutions, brands or services can choose their own delivery and fulfilment partners.

    In the fan engagement segment, Pico Buzz (https://www.picogp.com/) provides sports marketing solutions for fan and brand engagement. It builds a tool for collecting user-generated content across social media platforms. These tools automatically collect the content which brand followers are sharing. It is then aggregated, tagged and uploaded across the brand’s social media platforms for brand promotion. It also builds up the user profile of the followers of the brand and recommends the necessary action for building further engagement.

    In e-sports segment, Overwolf (https://www.overwolf.com/) specializes in reinventing user-generated content in the hardcore gaming space by creating apps to help players win and have more fun in their favourite PC games.

    Reference: https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/il/Documents/finance/sport_tech_report_short.pdf

  • Zero Egg Raises $5 Million in Series A Funding
    Zero Egg is the egg for everyone. Amazingly made from plants. Made from a unique blend of plant proteins, it scrambles, bakes, and fluffs just like an ordinary egg.

    Powerplant Ventures, Unovis Asset Management-New Crop Capital and Strauss Group invest in a global food tech startup as they crack U.S. plant-based egg market

    Following its U.S. launch, Zero Egg, a plant-based egg alternative for foodservice and food manufacturers that tastes, looks, and functions like an ordinary egg, announces that it has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Powerplant Ventures, and joined by existing investors Unovis Asset Management-New Crop Capital and Strauss Group-The Kitchen Hub.

    The company will use this funding to grow the brand in the U.S. and support its ambitious new product launches in the coming year. With 100 billion eggs consumed each year in the U.S. alone, Zero Egg is focusing on providing affordable, versatile and tasty plant-based egg products with the mission to make a positive impact on the environment, animal welfare, and people’s health.

    “By filling the white space in the foodservice industry for plant-based egg alternatives, Zero Egg aims to make plant-based foods the norm and empower the era of sustainable foods,” said Liron Nimrodi, CEO, and co-founder, Zero Egg.  “Our goal is to meet growing consumer demand for an egg replacement that is effective, nutritious, versatile, and kind to animals and to the planet. We are elated to join Powerplant Ventures’ portfolio of brands. We can’t imagine a better partner to help us grow the brand and transform the industry.”

    Veteran plant-based restaurateur and Powerplant Ventures co-founder and partner, T.K. Pillan, joins the Zero Egg board of directors. “I’ve been on a mission to offer practical plant-based options for consumers at both the retail and restaurant level for many years. What has been missing until now is a complete, affordable plant-based alternative for eggs,” said Pillan. “Zero Egg is a game-changer for the industry. We’re proud to invest in their team and confident it will be the much-needed affordable and versatile solution for operators looking to continue to reduce their use of animal products.” 

    The success of plant-based milk, which now makes up 14 percent of the U.S. milk category and has more than 40 percent household penetration*, has laid the groundwork for major increases in other plant-based dairy categories, like plant-based eggs, which was the fastest-growing plant-based category in 2019, with 192 percent growth over the prior year according to The Good Food Institute.

    “The egg category is massive and the potential to disrupt it with an accessible plant-based solution is fairly untapped in the food industry. As investors, we are looking forward to continuing to support the expansion of Zero Egg in the U.S. market,” said Dan Y. Altschuler Malek, managing director, Unovis Asset Management-New Crop Capital and Zero Egg board member. “It was an easy decision to continue investing in Zero Egg because it is uniquely positioned given its functionality, taste, and competitive pricing.”

    This round of funding includes reinvestment from Zero Egg’s first supporter, Strauss Group-The Kitchen Hub.

    “We are proud to see Liron and her team materialize the Zero Egg vision,” said Amir Zaidman, vice president business development, Strauss Group-The Kitchen Hub. “The company was started under the framework of “The Kitchen” incubator. The support of investors such as Powerplant Ventures and Unovis-New Crop Capital are strong votes of confidence, and what we see as a big step forward for the plant-based egg category.”

    *Sources: SPINS and The Good Food Institute.

    About Zero Egg:
    Animal friendly, sustainable, and a healthier alternative,Zero Egg is the plant-based egg for everyone. Founded in 2018, the company believes the plant-based egg should be an everyday choice and is on a mission to make plant-based food accessible to everyone. With a feather-light footprint, Zero Egg offers the taste and texture of an ordinary egg, has better-for-you attributes, and is easy on the planet. It is made of plant proteins including soy, potatoes, peas, and chickpeas. With only 15 calories compared to 68 calories in an actual egg, it is not only low in calories but it has no cholesterol and is low fat.  Manufacturing Zero Egg uses radically less land, water, and energy, and produces significantly less greenhouse gas emissions than eggs from hens. Zero Egg is determined to meet the growing demand for egg alternatives that taste, cook, and function like traditional eggs, specifically in foodservice and food manufacturing.  In addition to the U.S. Zero Egg is also distributed in Israel and Europe. The company received early accolades at launch, including Calcalist’s 2019 Food Innovation competition in Israel. More atwww.zeroeggfood.com,Instagram and Linkedin.  

    For images, click here.

    Media Contacts:
    Janette Rizk, 258729@email4pr.com; 805-895-4940
    Kate Lowery, 258729@email4pr.com; 512-657-0925

    SOURCE Zero Egg

    Related Links

    http://www.zeroeggfood.com

    https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/zero-egg-raises-5-million-in-series-a-funding-301170797.html

    NEWS PROVIDED BY Zero Egg 

    Nov 11, 2020, 09:01 ET

  • Israeli AgriFood Startups helping to Feed the World

    According to the first global UN-led work on food security, the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) report, there is a pressing need for greater resilience so as to ensure the sustainability of future food supplies.

    Traditional industrial agriculture is far exceeding the planet’s ceiling on production capabilities. Its emphasis on short-term results and overdependence on synthetic chemicals has an extreme, negative impact on the climate and biological systems humans require to thrive.

    In the past few years, unnoted and uninspected, a group of people have been leading the way in agricultural technological innovation. AgFunder the world’s leading information company in the field of agriculture and food innovation, ranked Israel among the top five countries in the world this year in innovation initiatives and breakthroughs in the industry.

    Until very recent years, there were limited numbers of AgriFood companies. Only in the past three to four years, the ecosystem has seen major developments: new investment sources were established or developed, and the number of companies has grown to about 800.

    In foodtech, two of Israel’s major food producers, Strauss Group and Tnuva, are partners in incubators (Strauss is a partner in The Kitchen FoodTech Hub and Tnuva is a partner, together with beverage manufacturer Tempo, in the Fresh Start Incubator and Finistere Ventures.

    Some interesting Israeli companies in this sector include:

    DouxMatok

    Founded in 2014, Israeli startup DouxMatok, developed a patented sugar reduction solution that retains the texture, sweetness, and appearance of sugar. The company says its proprietary tech is based on loading sugar molecules to form clusters that release them right next to gland receptors, resulting in an increased perception of sweetness.

    DouxMatok has 18 registered patents and over 40 patent applications pending. Last year, it won the Prime Minister’s Innovation Award in Israel and announced a partnership with German company Südzucker, the largest sugar producer in Europe, to set up production, joint marketing and sales of DouxMatok sugar to Europeans by 2020. It is also currently collaborating with multinational food companies to integrate their technology into various food brands.

    In June, DouxMatok raised $22 million in a Series B funding round led by Singapore’s BlueRed Partners to further commercialization and scaling efforts.

    Hargol FoodTech

    Grasshoppers are at least 70 per cent protein and full of health benefits, says Hargol FoodTech founder and CEO Dror Tamir, who started the company after learning that grasshoppers provided a sustainable protein alternative with numerous advantages.

    The firm sells two products: one is the whole grasshopper, sold to restaurants and food produces and sometimes retail chains as a snack; and the other is a protein powder, sold as an ingredient.

    EggXYt

    Founded in 2016, EggXYt developed technology that can detect the gender of chicks before hatching, answering the demands of conscious egg consumers who abhor the practice of male (which don’t produce eggs) chick culling.

    Using gene editing and slightly tweaking the DNA, Elram and Offen have created a binary solution where the male chicks are marked using a special scanner.

    EatSane by A1C Foods

    Founded in 2016, A1C Foods developed a patent-pending formula to lower the glycemic index of food products to make them low-carb. It claims not to use artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes, relying instead on the expertise of a team of doctors, dieticians, chefs, and food technicians “passionate about flavour and extremely conscious about health.”

  • US President Allegedly Approves Sale of Upgraded F-22 to Israel

    In a surprise move, President Donald Trump has reportedly approved the sale of an upgraded F-22 Raptor variant to Israel, with a number of sources alleging Defense Secretary Mark Esper confirmed the sale to Israeli authorities during an official visit to Israel, which raises the question, can Australia and other allies like Japan get their hands on the platform?

    Designed to establish and maintain air superiority or air dominance, fighter aircraft have evolved from relatively simple wood and canvas air frames during the First World War, to the highly manoeuvrable, long-range aircraft that dominated the skies of Europe and the Pacific during the Second World War.

    Designed to establish and maintain air superiority or air dominance, fighter aircraft have evolved from relatively simple wood and canvas air frames during the First World War, to the highly maneuverable, long-range aircraft that dominated the skies of Europe and the Pacific during the Second World War.

    It is as a result of this perfect synthesis of capabilities and technologies incorporated into the Raptor, combined with congressional concerns about espionage undermining the platform, which precluded it from wide-spread export to key US allies, including the UK, Australia, Canada, Japan and Israel.

    Despite this, US Air Force Colonel Brian Baldwin, Group Commander 13th Air Expeditionary Force, who is in Australia to participate in the 2019 Exercise Talisman Sabre, has set tongues wagging with statements made to the Australian media regarding allied access to the formidable air dominance platform. 

    “I wish we had more of them. I wish all of our closest friends could have some. We obviously have to take care of where we take the jet so we keep it as a special capability and it’s a pleasure to be able to bring it down to Australia,” Col Baldwin is reported saying at RAAF Base Amberley in south-east Queensland. 

    This export ban, combined with shrinking post-Cold War budgets and a lack of credible peer competitor platforms and capability saw the original US Air Force order of 750 units cut to 195 and ultimately 187, which also saw the unit price rise beyond what was sustainable, even for the US, in turn paving the way for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter family to fill the role. 

    However, it is appears as if that is all about to change, as Toi Staff and Judah Ari Goss of the Times of IsraelNazir Magali of Saudi-backed Asharq Al-Awsat and Robert Gottliebsen of The Australian are reporting that US President Donald Trump has officially signed off on the sale of upgraded F-22 variants to Israel, that is, a platform combining the best technology of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, with the best technology of the F-22 to produce what would be the world’s undisputed air superiority aircraft. 

    A major turn of events

    Many US allies have lobbied albeit unsuccessfully for export access to the F-22 Raptor, including Israel, which ironically was the original point of concern for Congress leading to the initial export ban, however it appears as though the request by the United Arab Emirates and a continued backing by the US to help maintain Israel’s technological edge over regional competitors is the driving force behind the major back flip in US defence export policy.

    Staff and Goss state, “US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told Israeli officials during a visit to Israel this week that the Trump administration has approved selling F-22 stealth fighters to the Jewish state, according to a Friday report in a Saudi-owned newspaper.

    “US President Donald Trump okayed the sale of the F-22 Raptor and precision-guided bombs to Israel, the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported, citing senior sources in Tel Aviv.”

    Building on this, Staff and Goss add, “Israeli defence officials asked to buy the F-22 — one of the world’s most advanced fighter jets — to maintain Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region after the US agreed to sell F-35 fighters to the United Arab Emirates, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Tuesday.

    “Israel had previously expressed interest in buying the F-22, but the US declined. The US halted production of the fighter in 2011 and legally barred its sale to foreign countries. Trump would not be the first American president to recommend selling the F-22 to Israel. In 2001, at the end of his second term, then-president Bill Clinton similarly came out in favour of providing Israel with the aircraft, but left the decision ultimately in the hands of his successor, George W. Bush, and Congress.”

    It is expected that the platform on offer to Israel will not be the same aircraft that rolled off Lockheed Martin’s production lines at Fort Worth between 1992 and 2011, rather the aircraft proposed is expected to be what Australian journalist Robert Gottliebsen refers to as a revamped “Australian proposal” first championed by AirPower Australia and later Japan as both lobbied the Australian and US governments, respectively. 

    This proposal would see the combination of both the F-22 and F-35 to deliver a “best of both worlds” option for Israel, which Gottliebsen explains: “Japan is believed to have put forward the ‘Australian proposal’ that the best of the JSF be incorporated in the revamped F-22 but it was not accepted by the US. But the US has been reviewing its total defence situation and discovered that too much effort and money has been spent in the wars in the Middle East and not enough in developing in matching the giant technology strides that are been made by both Russia and China.

    “Australian defence officials have constantly stated that the US is not prepared to sell the F-22 to Australia or any other country and that it is too expensive. If the offer to Israel is confirmed by the US House of Representatives, it breaks down the first barrier. At the same time, the cost barrier has been substantially reduced.

    “It is vital for the nation that we actually recognise the JSF’s problems and put our hand up for an F-22 that incorporates some of the brilliant technology in the JSF.”

    Gottliebsen goes further detailing the challenges and opportunities in jumping on board with the proposal, stating, “It is vital for the nation that we actually recognise the JSF’s problems and put our hand up for an F-22 that incorporates some of the brilliant technology in the JSF.

    “If we can achieve that goal it will transform the air defence of Australia are and make us a much safer nation. The first hurdle is the US election and then there are lots of hurdles in Congress. But the decision is so sensible that it may appeal to both parties. And the Democrats will be reminded that back in the Clinton presidency they approved the sale to Israel of the F-22. But under the Bush administration it lapsed.”

    By our powers combined 

    In response to the rapidly changing global environment and air combat capabilities, allies in Japan, the UK and across Europe have initiated the development of their own fifth and ‘sixth’-generation fighter aircraft – Japan in particular has been one of the most vocal aspirants of a potential lax in America’s ban on the Raptor – beginning the collaborative development of a replacement for the Japanese Air Self Defense Force’s (JASDF) fleet of F-15J.

    Recent changes within the US political establishment, notably the election of President Donald Trump, has triggered a major rethink in the policies that govern America’s arms exports, opening the door for Japan to engage with major US defence contractors like Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman to support Japan’s domestic development of a large, low-observable air superiority fighter to replace its fleet of locally built F-15J aircraft. 

    While Japan has publicly committed to acquiring a fleet of 147 F-35s, including a fleet of 42 short-take off, vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B variants, the Japanese government has remained focused on procuring a fifth-generation air dominance fighter, with or without US help, to counter the growing challenges it faces in its direct region.

    This resulted in the development of the X-2 Shinshin, a technology demonstrator that proved Japan’s domestic aerospace industry could produce an indigenous stealth fighter design capable of competing with the world’s best.

    Both Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman have actively supported Japan’s continued development of the Shinshin concept, raising renewed questions about a US commitment to reopening the F-22 Raptor line.

    Recognising the increasing proliferation of fifth-generation technology and the emerging peer competitor capabilities and previous attempts at acquiring the F-22, both Japan and Australia are well positioned to support the reopening and modernisation of the US F-22 Raptor line, estimated to be worth approximately US$9.9 billion for non-recurring start-up costs according to a US Congress report, and an additional US$40.4 billion to acquire 194 Raptors for the US Air Force.

    What this House armed services committee report fails to account for is an allied acquisition and integration within the advanced Raptor development supply chain – most notably by Japan and Australia.

    Such collaboration with two widely respected US allies and industrial partners already established within the existing F-35 supply chain, provides an opportunity to spread the costs, however it should be noted that the acquisition is not without risk, as both Japan and Australia would need to at least match the US order of 194 air frames – even in a combined manner – bringing the second production run to 388 airframes.

    This proposal would result in a unit cost for the US, Japan and Australia of approximately US$105 million per aircraft, without accounting for any proposed Israeli acquisition or broader alliance partners. 

    Expanding the export opportunities of the Raptor to include other key ‘Five Eyes’ allies like Canada and the UK, both of which are currently undergoing an air force recapitalisation, modernisation or research and development programs of their own, would further reduce the costs associated with reopening the line and acquiring new Raptor air frames.

    Australian procurement could mean enjoying a highly capable, interoperable and future-proofed air frame operated by Japan, a key regional ally, and potentially the US and UK, which agreed with the Japanese government in 2017 to collaborate in the joint development of a fifth-generation aircraft to replace the Royal Air Force’s Typhoons within the next two decades.

    Published 3 November on https://www.defenceconnect.com.au/strike-air-combat/7121-us-president-allegedly-approves-sale-of-upgraded-f-22-to-israel?utm_source=DefenceConnect&utm_campaign=04_11_20&utm_medium=email&utm_content=8&utm_emailID=8e7720da268792899bb89c95244462822443a5d72655520f427996a8aead2fbe

  • Israeli Technology to Navigate 2020’s Turbulent Political Landscape

    The political polarization of media coverage is pervasive globally; but, can be found recently and potently in the press treatment of the 2020 US elections. As the President of the United States remains largely (or at least in its own perception) the most powerful and influential position in the word, the upcoming election matters.

    An international study conducted before the 2016 US election found that 83% of US respondents described themselves as interested in the US presidential election. Comparatively, 84% of Australian respondents described themselves as interested in the US presidential election, which makes Australians, a nation located on the other side of the world, apparently more interested than Americans are. There is no doubt that this election is of immense importance both to the US as well as to the rest of the world, as is, its media coverage, is the direct line of communication to the masses. The issue of media outlet bias is an ongoing one, its solution I do not claim to be able to provide. However, a closer examination of the problem and a discussion around innovative Israeli technology working actively to reduce that bias, aids in deciphering the meaning from the medium.

    The United States undergoes a hotly contested 2020 presidential election year, with new studies from Pew Research Centre finding Republicans and Democrats place their trust in two, nearly inverse, media environments. The study asked about the use of, trust in, and distrust of 30 different sources. Greater portions of Republicans expressed distrust rather than trust of 20 of the 30 sources asked about. Only seven of the outlets generated more trust than distrust among Republicans, including; Fox News, The Rush Limbaugh Show (a popular conservative American talk radio show), and similarly The Sean Hannity Show.

    Conversely, the Democratic numbers were almost exactly reversed. Larger portions of Democrat supporters expressed trust rather than distrust in 22 of the sources. Only eight generated more distrust than trust, including; Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity.

    In September of 2020, a poll taken by Gallup revealed: “69% of Americans say they are more concerned about bias in the news other people consume than its presence in their own news (29%).” In other words, more Americans are prejudiced against information-sources that do not fit their ideology than are not. Further, America currently has a record high of voter engagement but nearly half say they will have difficulties voting. A recent study reveals 50% of Americans say it will be ‘very’ or ‘somewhat easy’ to decide who to vote for, while about the same share, 49%, say they will have difficulties in deciding. By comparison, in October 2018, 85% of voters indicated it would be easy to vote. The engagement has never been higher, confusion has never been worse. In these grave circumstances, how can technology assist in leveraging this engagement and dealing with the confusion brought on by media outlets?

    The first Presidential debate of 2020 was widely criticized for the childlike behaviour exhibited by candidates and their wholly fruitless discourse. The content of the debate imitated opinions delivered in largely belligerent tones that more often than not lead to hollow arguments of polarized views, than anything resembling informative. Israeli tech company: OpenWeb, tackles the issue of toxic political conversations at a grassroots level.

    OpenWeb’s technology leverages decentralized principles of the internet to create an online environment that enables all points of view to be a part of the conversation and empowers online media publishers to create healthy communities with engaged users. Founded in 2012, Openweb has offices in Tel Aviv and New York, and is used by top tier publishers, including but not limited to AOL, Huffington Post, MSN, and SkySports. OpenWeb is one platform that is striving to take a stance and provide a solution to the dichotomy of political views and toxicity that often ensues in dialogue.

    Additional to the conversely opinionated and ill-tempered dialogues between leaders and often ourselves, we can find further sources of our problematic media, namely, fake news. Americans rated untrue information intending to damage the reputation of a person or entity or making money through advertising revenue, otherwise known as fake news, as being a larger problem than racism or climate change. Social media has exacerbated the issue of the authenticity of the information; millions of bots to help propagate fake news use these platforms. Unfortunately, fake news is a highly lucrative industry, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising a year. It additionally serves to galvanize already heavily prejudiced points of view and further segment those on either side of the political fence.

    According to Tamir Pardo, Mossad (Israel’s Secret Intelligence Service) Chief, “what we’ve seen so far concerning bots and the distortion of information is just the tip of the iceberg. It is the greatest threat of recent years, and it threatens the basic values that we share: democracy and the world order created since World War Two”. Cheq, an Israeli artificial intelligence technology that made the 2019 CNBC Upstart 100 list, provides a solution to the dissemination of information by identifying fake advertisements and fraudulent content on the web. 

    CEO Guy Tytunovich, a former member of the Israeli Defense Force’s 8200 Unit that deals with the military’s cybersecurity, leads Cheq. Tytunovich drew upon his existing cybersecurity and language processing knowledge he gained during his military service, to prevent advertisers from appearing on harmful content. Now, in the lead up to the 2020 elections, Cheq is using artificial intelligence to identify fake news and ensure brand agencies are not placing ads on them.

    The issue of fake news serves to reinforce the chasm of political opinions. Studies around the dissemination of disinformation have shown fake news actively targets a specific demographic of the population, who based on collected data, likely have the propensity to believe it. In addition to Cheq, there is further technology coming out of Israel that can assist with this issue, including, GeoQuant.

    GeoQuant uses machine-learning software that searches the web for large volumes of reputable data, news, and social media content. This data is used to fuel intelligent algorithms that generate highly objective risk data and analytics. Their forecasts are highly accurate as they are built on models and systems that are data-based rather than a pundit, and therefore inherently coloured with human prejudice. CEO of GeoQuant, Mark Rosenburg, has said the company designed a SaaS platform that will deliver political and country risk assessments in real-time through a customizable dashboard.

    Human understanding is immersed in polarity. If you look at any great story or tales of heroism there is a clear definition of good and evil – Star Wars, Braveheart, Harry Potter, James Bond, Lord Of The Rings, Avatar, etc.

    We think in stories, we understand in stories, we are story-telling animals. We do not think in facts or statistics. We think in stories of good and evil. What happens when the story of good and evil is too muddied and complex to cite a clear hero and villain? We fill in the gaps with our own bias.  In a turbulent political landscape, further convoluted by the volatility of a pandemic, it is vital to approach information from media outlets with the caution of its source and motive and to approach political views on an individual level with the patience and empathy necessary to have meaningful conversations.

    To overcome the gulf of dissemination of disinformation, news must be approached with a critical eye and individuals with an open ear; in conjunction with the clarity, that technology can provide.

  • Twelve Israeli-Founded Companies Recognized on Forbes Cloud 100 Ranking

    Cloud computing is having a major role in powering every sector and industry which facilitates the process conducive for businesses to grow and thrive, particularly in a post-COVID-19 world. 12 Israeli-founded companies have been selected among 100 startups to the Cloud 100 an annual ranking of the world’s top private cloud companies by Forbes.

    The companies on the list have been “selected for their growth, sales, valuation, and culture, as well as reputation score, derived in consultation with 43 CEO judges and executives from their public-cloud-company peers,” Forbes added.

    Below are brief summaries of the twelve Israeli companies that are recognized for their innovative industry-leading tech and solutions:  

    JFrog:

    JFrog is on a mission to enable continuous updates through Liquid Software, empowering developers to code high-quality applications that securely flow to end-users with zero downtime. The world’s top brands such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Uber, VMware, and Spotify are among the 5,000+ companies that already depend on JFrog to manage binaries for their mission-critical applications.

    Sisense:

    Sisense empowers everyday business users to independently manage, analyze, and visualize complex data quickly and cost-effectively. Their mission is to transform complex data into insights everywhere, enabling access to business intelligence across the entire organization.

    monday.com:

    monday.com is a cloud-based Work OS, where teams create workflow apps in minutes to run their processes, projects, and everyday work. Teams shape their workflows and projects, code-free, with a platform that adapts to shifting needs quickly, liberates teams from manual grunt work, and connects teams in a collaborative work space.

    AppsFlyer:

    AppsFlyer, the global attribution leader, empowers marketers to grow their business and innovate with a suite of comprehensive measurement and analytics solutions. Built around privacy by design, AppsFlyer takes a customer-centric approach to help 12,000+ brands and 6,000+ technology partners make better business decisions every day.

    Gong.io:

    Gong.io enables revenue teams to realize their fullest potential by unveiling customer reality. The patented Gong Revenue Intelligence Platform captures and understands every customer interaction then delivers insights at scale, empowering revenue teams to make decisions based on data instead of opinions.

    TripActions:

    TripActions is the leading global business travel platform that empowers companies and travelers to show up and create growth. Nothing can truly replicate the value of being there face-to-face –– and are on a mission to power the in-person connections that move people, ideas and businesses forward.

    Armis:

    Armis is the first agentless, enterprise-class security platform to address the new threat landscape of unmanaged and IoT devices. Fortune 1000 companies trust Armis unique out-of-band sensing technology to discover and analyze all managed, unmanaged, and IoT devices—from traditional devices like laptops and smartphones to new unmanaged smart devices like smart TVs, webcams, printers, HVAC systems, industrial robots, medical devices and more.

    WalkMe:

    WalkMe pioneered the Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) to simplify user experiences by combining insights, engagement, guidance and automation capabilities. Founded in 2011, WalkMe’s mission is to make digital adoption for employees and customers simple, while increasing enterprise productivity. WalkMe’s platform works as an invisible layer of visual cues and personalized content placed on top of your website or enterprise software.

    Yotpo:

    Yotpo is the leading eCommerce marketing platform, helping thousands of forward-thinking brands like Rebecca Minkoff, MVMT, Bob’s Discount Furniture, and Steve Madden accelerate direct-to-consumer growth. Yotpo’s single-platform approach integrates data-driven solutions for reviews, loyalty, SMS marketing, and more, empowering brands to create smarter, higher-converting experiences that spark and sustain customer relationships.

    Snyk:

    Snyk’s mission is to help developers use open source code and stay secure. The use of open source is booming, but security is a key concern. Snyk’s unique developer focused product enables developers and enterprise security to continuously find & fix vulnerable dependencies without slowing down, with seamless integration into Dev & DevOps workflows.

    Riskified:

    Riskified is the AI platform powering the eCommerce revolution. Commerce has transformative powers, and at Riskified they believe everyone should have the opportunity to take part. Riskified use advanced artificial intelligence to eliminate barriers to eCommerce. AI platform collects and analyzes eCommerce data to spot patterns that no one else sees, recognizing opportunities for increased revenue and reduced risk.

    BigID:

    BigID redefines data privacy and protection. BigID helps organizations manage and protect their customer data, meet data privacy and protection regulations like the CCPA and GDPR, and leverage unmatched coverage for all data across all data stores.

    Information for this article was gathered from:

     NoCamels: https://nocamels.com/2020/10/12-israeli-founded-companies-forbes-cloud-100-list/

     Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/cloud100/#35d060d45f94 

     *Company summaries were sourced from each of their individual LinkedIn company profile pages

  • How Israeli Companies are Helping to Renovate the Construction and Property Tech Sector

    Construction and matters relating to physical property and infrastructure are often expensive and time-consuming endeavours, but they are activities that appear to be going through a period of rapid advancement, both in terms of techniques and materials.  Now, Israeli companies are helping to take the sector to new levels of sophistication.

    According to the database Start-Up Nation Central, there are more than 150 Israeli companies involved in construction and related technologies which cover many aspects of the industry. Innovative companies that provide products such as functional glass coatings (Gauzy), sophisticated composite material products (Neo Composites), and smart locking systems (Smart Door Systems) are now well established, but newer firms are entering the market with disruptive and valuable tools.

    It was recently reported that the company Siteaware (https://siteaware.com) closed a  $10 million Series A financing round for its Digital Construction Verification (DCV) solution. Using Artificial Intelligence, autonomous drones, and smart devices, the system continuously captures the project’s status. It then analyzes the data to identify any anomalies and inconsistencies in the project in real-time. In this way, developers are alerted to errors much earlier than would usually be the case, which allows them to employ corrective measures and avoid costs associated with fixes and time delays on projects.

    Reflecting the apparent demand for such technologies in the sector, another Israeli startup is doing something similar, but by leveraging existing construction staff on-site and combining it with Artificial Intelligence.

    Buildots (https://buildots.com), founded in 2018 by three graduates of the IDF’s Talpiot Unit, designed a system that puts cameras on managers’ hardhats to capture images of every detail of an ongoing project during regular site inspections. Using image process technology and AI, the system continually compares images and data with the building plans and timetables. Any errors or deviations which could have a cost, time, or other impacts on the project are then flagged and can be addressed. Buildots has to date raised $16million in funding, including several hundred thousand dollars in a grant from the Israel Innovation Authority.   With such endorsement from the private and government sectors, it is clear that these technologies are in demand.

    In this era of Coronavirus, many offices and communal spaces have become less usable due to social distancing requirements, so building managers and owners need to find solutions and implement modifications to make them functional again and safer for their inhabitants. Israeli companies, once again, can help. Aura Air (www.airair.io) has developed a smart air management platform that cleanses and disinfects indoor air while vigilantly monitoring its quality in real-time, while Dolphin Vision (www.dolphinvision.net) has patented a system designed to keep public transportation, elevators, and buildings free from viruses and bacteria, including COVID-19. These companies are certain to grow fast and can help mitigate challenges for property owners and managers while enhancing public health.

    Even when it comes to all-important safety in the sector, Israeli firms like SafetyFirst (https://margad.wixsite.com/safetyfirst) helps workers and managers prevent accidents and injuries. SafetyFirst uses a proprietary IOT technology and AI to allow real-time monitoring of any worker, activity, vehicle, or moving equipment in a specified area. It identifies potential risks and actively alerts to the hazard, allowing preventive action to be taken.

    Observing these companies establish and develop is not a surprise, given that just a few years ago, in 2017, the world’s first construction tech hub was established in Israel to provide construction firms and real-estate developers worldwide with access to disruptive high-tech innovation. This Construction Innovation Zone is a unique collaboration between the Israel Builders Association, the Tel Aviv-based SOSA platform for global startup ecosystems, the Israeli Construction and Housing Ministry, and the Israeli Economy Ministry.

    Efforts to promote this hugely valuable sector continue apace, and next month, TLV Contech & Proptech 2020 will take place on November 24 and 25. This virtual international conference & exhibition for applied innovation in construction & real estate industries will bring together disruptive start-ups, industry leaders, experts, and multinational corporations to collaborate and discuss cutting edge products and technologies for this changing industry.  For further information, please contact your local Israeli Commercial Representative.  

  • Is Israeli A.I., the Doctors of the future?

    We all know what it likes to see a doctor. From a baby to a grown adult; the anticipation, the instruments, the exam, the diagnosis; it’s usually the same. But in the day in age of medical artificial intelligence, who knows how long we’ll actually be seeing a physical person? Patients believe that their medical needs are unique and cannot be adequately addressed by computers, but many have not yet realized that algorithms and AI can traditionally analyze and diagnosis quicker, and more accurately than any human can.

    Algorithms have been solving the world’s toughest problems for years. From simple mathematics to solving complex theories; these groups of ones and zeros exist with only one purpose in mind. Think about if you didn’t have to live with all of the constant distractions we humans face? How much would you be able to accomplish? This goes hand in hand with the concept of AI-based medicine. A program that has one goal; diagnosing your condition with almost 100% accuracy. Medical companies are already starting to utilize this fascinating phenomenon, and Israel is at the forefront. It’s with these technological breakthroughs, Israeli medicine is becoming the pinnacle of the medical world.

    Companies such as:

    Binah.ai: Video-based, AI-powered Vital Signs Monitoring

    Binah.ai’s ready-to-use, AI-powered Digital Healthcare applications address the challenges of remote, contactless Health, and Wellness monitoring. Its video-based-only monitoring solution removes the need for wearables and enhances telemedicine, remote patience monitoring, and preventive medicine services. Binah.ai’s AI-based, unique technological mix transforms any camera on any device (smartphone, laptop, tablet, etc.) into a medical-grade monitoring solution. Binah.ai’s heart rate variability (HRV) measurements offer the basis for a wide range of body measurements such as blood pressure, mental stress level, oxygen saturation, respiration, alcohol blood level, and more.

    Vocalis Health: VocalisTrack for Remote Detection of Shortness of Breath

    VocalisTrack: A Voice-Based Tool for Remote Detection Shortness of Breath. AI-based software device that analyzes patients’ voice recordings: Passive using the patient’s own voice uses the patient’s smartphone without additional hardware or physical examination. Detects shortness of breath. Displays daily comparison results on provider dashboard: 1) worse or 2) improved or 3) no change. Bridges the gap between the patient and the healthcare system.

    FDNA: Determining Phenotypic Information from Facial Photos

    FDNA develops AI technologies and SaaS platforms used by thousands of clinical, research, and lab sites globally in the clinical genomics space. Using advanced deep learning, FDNA’s next-generation phenotyping technologies capture, structure, and analyze complex human physiological data to produce actionable genomic insights.

    FDNA’s database includes a depth of phenotypic and genotypic information associated with more than 10,000 diseases, crowdsourced from real-world patient cases through a broad network of the company’s users. This de-identified data is collected and stored in a private and secure cloud-based clinical warehouse and integrated to LIMS, EMR, and variant interpretation systems through a set of open APIs.

    Diagnostic Robotics: Predictive Healthcare Analytics

    Diagnostic Robotics develops AI technologies for the healthcare industry. By integrating its products into existing systems, the company aims to make healthcare more effective, efficient, and affordable. Diagnostic Robotics develops predictive analytics models to address pressing clinical and financial challenges in healthcare. The company’s solutions enable healthcare systems to deliver more-effective care at lower costs. Diagnostic Robotics’ suite of products is currently in use at healthcare institutions, HMOs, and providers in Israel and the United States.

    The Elegant Monkeys: AI Emotion-monitoring Solution

    The Elegant Monkeys is developing a subscription-based API/SDK that utilizes AI algorithms to extract information about users’ emotional state from physiological sensor data. The company’s Kenko Technology is meant to improve quality of life, using widespread parameters like heartbeat and skin conductance to measure emotions. The technology can detect extreme stimuli and levels of excitement in real-time and offline. It can also tag the emotional event’s start and end time for backward investigation. Kenko also offers a long-term analysis of common emotional responses throughout the day, noting when they usually happen and more.

  • Israeli Startups will help Feed a Climate-Changed World
    touch screen food and drink

    As traditional agriculture in Israel dies out, local innovation is reinventing it.

    There aren’t many things that unite the Israeli public more than seeing farmers being forced to destroy produce. Stories of tons of crops destroyed in recent months due to the coronavirus crisis have tugged at the heartstrings of most Israelis – who have a hard time finding things they can agree on these days. Every post posted by a farmer in distress is shared, and channels through which consumers can buy produce directly from growers have become commonplace.

    This is happening not only because it hurts us to see such blatant waste – tens of thousands of tons of agricultural produce are destroyed every year, with 33% of domestic food production thrown in the trash – but also, probably, because of how hard it is to witness the downfall of an industry that was once a symbol of Israeli national pride. The ethos of pioneering agriculture was among the strongest upon which the state was established. But in recent years, the agricultural sector has become battered and shrunken, with Covid-19 only exacerbating the situation.

    We have largely come to terms with the thought that Israel is less and less engaged in agriculture, and has ceded the stage to other countries, some of which once needed agronomic assistance from us.

    Still, we may have bid adieu to our national ethos too soon. In recent years, under the radar, a different kind of vanguard has developed here: agricultural technological innovation. A report by AgFunder, the world’s leading information company in the field of innovative developments in agriculture and food, ranked Israel among the top five countries in the world this year in innovation initiatives and breakthroughs in the industry.

    The Israeli ecosystem has about 800 companies in this area. About half of them are classified as innovators in agriculture, and the other half are engaged in innovation in food. The umbrella overall name for the two categories is agri-foodtech. Today, by the way, these two categories are closer than ever, and are commonly termed “farm-to-fork” – a continuum ranging from traditional agricultural products to alternatives for meat, milk and eggs. Israeli start-ups in this area are catching investors’ eyes, from angel investors, on through dedicated agricultural investment funds, to private equity funds.

    This boom began in earnest only recently. Until a few years ago, there were very few agri-foodtech players. But over the past three to four years, the picture has changed: new funds were established, and investment entities developed specializations in the field. In foodtech, two of Israel’s major food producers, Strauss Group and Tuva, are partners in incubators (Strauss is a partner in The Kitchen FoodTech Hub and Tnuva is a partner, together with beverage manufacturer Tempo, in the Sparks FoodTech incubator).

    Is Israel on its way to becoming a technology powerhouse in food and agriculture? According to Zachi Schnarch, deputy director and CTO of the Israel Innovation Authority, this is definitely the trend: “Israel can certainly be ranked among the world’s leading countries in many foodtech areas, especially in those connecting agritech with foodtech. For several years now, Israel has been an incubator for innovation in alternative proteins, in particular cultured meat, and is among the world leaders. In our opinion, through continued government and private support, Israel has the potential to be among the first to enter the market for such products and could even become a leader. “

    “There is an interesting process of building up and development in this area,” agrees Dr. Nitza Kardish, CEO of the Trendlines Agrifood Fund and vice chair of the Trendlines Agrifood Innovation Centre. “For a long time, Israel has brought change to traditional, classical agriculture, in methods, seeds, and irrigation. Over the years, as circumstances in Israel and around the world have driven the need to produce food from fewer resources, the idea developed of bringing in technologies from other disciplines.”

    This field is relatively new outside Israel as well. About ten years ago, when agricultural innovation started to become a topic of conversation, the total global investment in the field was about $100 million. “That’s a joke,” says Kardish, “Nowadays, we’re talking about almost $6 billion.” Around the world, there are 35 privately-owned foodtech companies valued at $1 billion and more (“unicorns”), with a total value of €169 billion.

    2020 marks a year of growth for the industry; According to a new report by US-based venture capital fund Finistere Ventures, investment in agri-foodtech amounted to $7 billion in the first half of 2020 alone, (which included the global Covid-19 economic crisis).

    Farmers born again

    And what of the farmers themselves? Will this advanced agricultural industry now beginning to flourish in Israel leave them behind? “Today, there are entrepreneurs who come from farming families in which the great-grandfather would record the weather each day so that he could forecast what would happen at that time the following season,” says Kardish. “Today’s farmer doesn’t need to go to the vineyard to count yellow leaves. You fly a drone overhead that transmits data to an information center which sends the result to the farmer.”

    There are also farmers who go one step further and become entrepreneurs themselves. Take, for example, Shlomi Kadosh, 66, co-founder of start-up Vanilla Vida. Kadosh is a fourth-generation farmer. His mother’s grandfather, Shlomo Mizrahi, left Safed in 1872 for what later became the Yesud HaMa’ala, one of the Jewish agricultural settlements founded during the First Aliyah period, where he cultivated the family’s land. In the early years, Kadosh relates, “The family grew vegetables – rain-dependent crops because there was no irrigation system.” The family later moved over to orchards. “That’s still pretty basic agriculture,” Kadosh recalls, “and as a kid I was mostly transferring irrigation pipes from one place to another, because there was no drip irrigation yet.”

    After the army and agricultural studies, Kadosh moved to greenhouses – already more controlled growing conditions than the family’s fields and orchards – beginning with seedlings for local flower growers, and then expanding to the export market. Today, he is an entrepreneur. His company, Vanilla Vida, aims to cultivate natural vanilla beans improved through agricultural and technological methods. “These days, we control the temperature, water, light, humidity and everything else, and actually ‘fool’ the plant,” he says. “I’ve been involved in development for many years, but this is the first time I’ve done it so intensively. At my age, it provides a challenge and interest.

    “My own background is in farming, I’m a graduate of the Mikve Israel agricultural school, and I remember the days when I would go out to the field at four in the morning, counting how many leafworms per square meter there were, and according to that, deciding how much pesticide to spray. That goes on to this day, but we’ve got to find other ways,” says Kardish. “Nowadays, there are sensors that can detect a single leafworm in Field C, and then you can spray right there and not flood the entire field with unreasonable amounts of pesticide.

    “That’s part of precision agriculture, which is also aided by sensors that can detect exactly how much water to use, both for saving water and for achieving higher yields, and when is it exactly right to pick the fruit so that it has the longest possible shelf life, and more.”

    And what effect has Covid-19 had on the sector? According to Kardish, it hurt both farmers and growers by creating a manpower shortage. “Workers could not get to slaughterhouses, either because they were sick, or because they were afraid. There was no one to slaughter the calves, so they just shot and killed hundreds of thousands of heads of cattle. There was also a serious problem with milk because there was no one to do the milking. This has further illustrated the need for automation. In general, today we’re dealing with things that we’ve never dealt with before, and without mobilizing technologies for the benefit of agriculture, it’s doubtful whether we’ll be able to produce enough food that will be sufficiently healthy, while also preserving the planet.”

    The climate crisis is the catalyst

    In truth, what has really accelerated technological developments in agriculture is the idea that climate change will harm it, and thus harm the food supply for the planet’s ever-growing population. In 30 years, 10 billion people will live on our planet. There will be many more mouths to feed, and there will be fewer and fewer cultivatable land resources in an unstable climate causing damage to arable land around the world.

    According to UN data, 40% of the earth’s land is currently used for growing food, while the food industry is responsible for about 30% of the greenhouse gases emitted and consumes about 70% of the potable water. Meaning, the way we grow food causes unprecedented ecological damage. Meanwhile, the climate crisis will further impair our ability to produce food in the future.

    Over the years, heat waves have become longer and more numerous, as have droughts. The UN predicts that, by 2050, feeding the world will require a 20% increase in global agricultural water use. But water use is already limited in many places: aquifers are disappearing, rivers are failing to reach the sea. Glaciers that supply water to half the population of Asia are rapidly receding.

    Global warming may reduce the amount of rainfall in areas where much food is grown, and turn fertile plains into dust bowls. Other agricultural areas are losing their fertility due to erosion and pollution, while the supply of phosphates – essential for agriculture – is declining.

    In light of these circumstances, the agri-food technology challenge has become a race against time. The way we grow and consume food must change rapidly and become more efficient and sustainable, in order to continue feeding us all. This industry is promoting, among other things, technological developments to reduce food waste (1.3 billion tons of food are wasted every year, exacting a huge price from the planet), streamline supply chains, reduce resource use, meet health challenges, create environmentally-friendly packaging, and more.

    “Agri-food technology is the key to future foods,” says Dr. Kardish. “All of the resources that served the farmer of yesteryear – water, soil, predictable weather conditions (meaning that summer is summer and winter is winter) – have changed. Even the population growth rate, which was slow until the 1950s, has accelerated phenomenally since then.

    “In addition, people have started flocking to the city. A great many second and third-generation farmers no longer want to do this hard work; they despise traditional agriculture, thus reducing the number of people who grow food. Another trend is that the middle class, around the world, wants better quality food. This means we face a triple challenge: we need more food, we have fewer resources with which to produce it, and we also want to save the planet.

    “Previously, there was no answer to these challenges. Now, a combination of artificial intelligence, image processing, data collection and analysis, can do much faster and more accurately what the farmer’s great-grandfather would do.”

    NIS 10-20 million from the government

    One of the first start-ups in the field was US-based Google offshoot The Climate Corporation, founded in 2006, which brought big data tools to agriculture. It was acquired by seed company Monsanto in 2013, for $ 1.1 billion. Since then the field has evolved. “We’ve begun seeing IDF Unit 8-200 graduate entrepreneurs, people who’ve already made it in high-tech, and now want to do something interesting that’s also beneficial to the world,” says Kardish.

    Most investment in the field is private, but there is also government support. The two entities that support this industry on behalf of the state, through grants and promotion, are the Innovation Authority and the Ministry of Agriculture. Three and a half years ago, the ministry also created a new position, deputy director for agriculture innovation, a position filled by Dr. Michal Levy.

    “My activities,” says Levy, “focus on the initial phases of entrepreneurship: technology transfer from academic institutions to industry, cooperation between early-stage companies and large companies, and also working with governments from other countries.” Naturally, the ministry concentrates more on agricultural innovation rather than foodtech. “We’ve made an informed choice, and are not yet participating in the area of animal protein alternatives,” says Levy, “but there’s a very fine line between agriculture and food, and we may expand our activities later.”

    Levy says that since entering the field, she has already witnessed accelerated activity. “Most of the 400 start-ups in agricultural innovation were established during the last three years. When I arrived, one of the first things I did was contact the Innovation Authority, and together we began looking at what was happening in agriculture. For years, they were focused on high-tech, while agriculture had been neglected to the point where most agricultural start-ups didn’t even try to get funding from them.”

    Why is that? After all, that too is innovation.

    “Technological innovation is a very important yardstick for the Innovation Authority, and many agricultural innovations seem to fall short of their criteria. For example, the development of different strains, even using innovative techniques, or new – and harmless – compounds don’t necessarily fall under the definition of technological innovation.”

    In light of this, she says, “We have jointly established a new qualitative standard called ‘impact’. Meaning, what significance can this invention or product have for the development of the field. And this has opened the door for many companies to apply and receive funding from the Innovation Authority. The budget is shared equally between us, in all NIS 10-20 million per year. True, it’s not a large amount, but it should be remembered that it finances up to 50% of the requested budget (after a young company presents an additional funder such as an incubator or fund) and that it is a fairly early-stage investment.”

    Steak without cows, omelets without eggs

    At the forefront of the agri-food tech world, today are mainly the dairy and meat industries, meaning the animal protein industries. There is a fascinating race to invent an alternative to those proteins currently derived from animals. A JP Morgan analysis estimates that, within a decade, the alternative protein sector will take at least 10% of the global meat market, currently worth $2 trillion annually. The meat alternative market has grown significantly in recent years, with revenue nearing $6.6 billion in 2018.

    The reasons for this boom in alternative proteins are mainly environmental benefits and climate change. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, livestock farming – including the growing of grain and other necessary feed crops – is directly responsible for about 18%-39% of the overall greenhouse effect. This is higher than the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted from all global transport.

    Undoubtedly, the star standout is Beyond Meat, maker of the meat-like patty that has doubled in value since the beginning of 2020, and is currently traded at a $9.5 billion market cap (although the share price is still far from its peak of July 2019, shortly after the IPO). Beyond Meat’s main competitor, Impossible Foods, has already raised close to $800 million. The two companies are now competing to win over carnivorous consumers, and persuade them to abandon the meat industry in favour of their products.

    The milk alternatives market is also looking towards a bright future and is one of the world’s fastest-growing markets. But these days, the most intriguing race is probably the steak race. This is not a protein alternative – not a plant-based analogue that mimics meat – but the real thing: real meat, but without polluting farms, animal suffering, or health drawbacks. This is laboratory-grown “cultured meat”.

    Unlike alternative protein patties such as Beyond Meat, “cultured meat” is not yet available in supermarkets. There are already several companies in the world with prototypes, but as yet there is still no industrial process or the economic justification for large-scale production. The global industry leaders expect to market products as early as next year. The Innovation Authority expects that commercialization of laboratory meat will begin over the next five years – first at prestigious restaurants – and that, within a decade, cultured meat will begin competing with regular meat.

    There are currently four Israeli start-up companies in the field: Aleph FarmsSuper MeatMeaTech 3D and Future Meat Technologies (which also appears in the list of start-ups to watch published in this issue). The companies benefit from investments by food corporations such as Tyson Foods, Cargill, supermarkets giant Migros of Switzerland, Israel’s Rami Levy and Neto, and the Strauss Group.

    “The alternative protein market is expected to grow at a very rapid pace in the coming years and overtake other significant markets in size,” says Schnarch of the Innovation Authority. “It’s expected that this market, which is currently estimated at $27 billion worldwide, will reach sales of about $280 billion by 2030.” The Innovation Authority believes that Israel has the potential to be one of the first countries in the world to commercialize such products. “While there are still technological challenges to mass-produced cultured meat, we believe these will gradually be resolved and that price levels will reach those of meat – perhaps even less – by as early as 2030,” says Schnarch.

    11 Israeli agri-food tech start-ups

    Following is a list of 11 Israeli agri-food technology start-ups. Naturally, it is very difficult to choose from the 800 companies operating in this field, and of course, such a limited list does not purport to represent the entire activity of the industry. However, our selection seeks to focus on intriguing companies operating in different disciplines that seem to have a significant year ahead of them.

    We’ve tried to choose, among other things, lesser-known start-ups that have not yet had exposure, especially those with real potential and benefit not only for investors but also for health, the environment, and the preservation of the planet. The selections were based on information from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Israel Innovation Authority, and leading incubators in both areas.

    (Full-length articles on these startups appear in the original Hebrew version of this project)

    Imagindairy

    • Entrepreneurs: Eyal Afergan, Prof. Tamir Tuller
    • Product: Cultured milk production using fermentation and genetic engineering methods.
    • Founded: 2020
    • Funding to date: About $1.5 million from The Kitchen and other entities
    • No. of employees: 6

    Groundwork BioAg

    Entrepreneurs: Dr. Yossi Kofman, CEO; Dan Grotsky, VP Sales and Marketing; Danny Levy, VP R&D and Production

    • Product: Mycorrhizae – fungi that form symbiotic relationships with plants, and improve agricultural products.
    • Founded: 2014
    • Funding to date: Millions of dollars (the company declines to specify the amount) from dedicated agricultural investment funds: MoreVC, Middleland Capital, AgriNation, and other funds
    • No. of employees: 45

    Future Meat

    • Entrepreneur: Prof. Yaakov Nahmias
    • Product: Cultured meat from connective tissue that can be converted into muscle tissue without the use of stem cells.
    • Founded: 2018
    • Funding to date: About $17 million. Investors include: Swiss fund S2G Ventures, Emerald Technology Ventures, Chinese fund Bits x Bites
    • No. of employees: 25

    Amai Proteins

    • Entrepreneur: Dr. Ilan Samish
    • Product: A natural protein that will serve as a healthier and cheaper substitute for sugar
    • Founded: 2016
    • Funding to date: $4 million, in part from The Kitchen, PepsiCo, Danone, Amazon, Google and the Israel Innovation Authority. Another funding round is currently being closed.
    • No. of employees: 10

    NutrliLees

    • Entrepreneurs: Dr. Meir Shlisel, Yohanan Gerber, Yaki Harel
    • Product: Schnitzel and food products derived from wine production process residue.
    • Founded: 2019
    • Funding to date: NIS 1 million from IFF (Frutarom) and the Israel Innovation Authority. Currently holding another funding round to raise $1.25 million
    • No. of employees: 4

    FreezeM

    • Entrepreneurs: Yuval Gilad, Yoav Politi and Idan Alyagor
    • Product: Growing and freezing black soldier fly larvae as an animal feed alternative protein.
    • Founded: 2018
    • Funding to date: $500,000 plus another $250,000 in grants from the European Union and the Israel Innovation Authority. Currently closing a $2 million private placement.
    • No. of employees: 8

    SaliCrop

    • Entrepreneurs: Dr. Rca Godbole, Omar Massarwa, Dr. Sharon Devir. CEO: Dotan Borenstein.
    • Product: Saline-tolerant seeds (soil and water)
    • Founded: 2013
    • Funding to date: Estimated at $1.5 million
    • No. of employees: 6 full-time; dozens of freelancers

    AgroScout

    • Entrepreneur: Simcha Shor
    • Product: Drone software replaces agronomists by using artificial intelligence and cloud services to detect pests and inform farmers as to how much pesticide and water are needed.
    • Founded: 2017
    • Funding to date: Nearly $4 million from Trendlines Group, Israel Innovation Authority, Kibbutz Yir’on, BIRD Foundation and ExitValley

    Soos Technology

    • Entrepreneurs: Yael Alter and Nashat Haj Mohamad
    • Product: Process to affect sex development of poultry embryos, turning genetic males into functional female chicks, preventing the destruction of male chicks in the egg industry.
    • Founded: 2017
    • Funding to date: $2.2 million from Israeli investment funds Southern Israel Bridging Fund (SIBF), Takwin Labs, and Michael Group. Another funding round is currently underway.
    • No. of employees: 10

    Phytolon

    • Entrepreneurs: Dr. Tal Zeltzer, Dr. Halim Jubran, Dr. Guy Polturak
    • Product: Natural yeast cell-based food colorants
    • Founded: 2018
    • Funding to date: $5.3 million, from the Trendlines Group, Millennium FoodTech, Agriline (controlled by real estate tycoon Vincent Tchenguiz), EIT-Food (an EU body that invests in the development of innovative and sustainable initiatives); Yossi Ackerman (former CEO of Elbit Systems), Israel Innovation Authority, and private investors
    • No. of employees: 9

    Vanilla Vida

    • Entrepreneurs: Shlomi Kadosh, Oren Zilberman and Raz Krizevski
    • Product: Improved vanilla bean using agricultural and biotechnological methods.
    • Founded: 2020
    • Funding to date: $1.2 million from The Kitchen (owned by Strauss) and a private investor
    • No. of employees: 5

    Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on October 7, 2020

  • Australia Securities Exchange Eases Terms for Dual Listing of Israel Tech Firms

    ASX recognizes Tel Aviv Stock Exchange rules, reducing compliance burden; in September, payments firm Splitit became 1st Israeli company to enter a Down Under index.

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/australia-securities-exchange-eases-terms-for-dual-listing-of-israel-tech-firms/ 5 October 2-20.

    Companies that are listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) and are seeking to list their shares on the Australia Stock Exchange (ASX) as well will now find it easier to do so, as the ASX now sees Tel Aviv as “acceptable home exchange.”

    This latest development reduces the compliance burden for TASE-listed companies that seek to list their shares both on the TASE and the ASX, said Max Cunningham, executive general manager of Listings at the ASX.

    The ASX will recognize the rules that the TASE-listed company is already complying with for the purpose of listing on ASX, and the company won’t have to comply with two separate rulebooks, he said in a phone interview from Sydney. “Dual listings could already take place. But this makes it easier.”

    TASE now joins exchanges such as Deutsche Börse, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Toronto, NASDAQ, New York and New Zealand as acceptable exchanges under ASX rules, he said.

    Cunningham spoke to The Times of Israel with the coronavirus ravaging economies globally, and with Israel in its second lockdown. The spread of the coronavirus has contributed to a slowdown of Israeli firms seeking listings in Australia, mainly because ASX officials have not been able to visit Israel to drum up business as they have been doing since 2016.

    “With Israel it is a little bit of a challenge, not being able to be there,” Cunningham said. Getting new listings from the US has been easier, because the ASX has people on the ground there all the time.

    Even so, Cunningham expects to see “between two and three potential Israeli initial public offering of shares between now and the end of the year.” Exchange officials are also “engaging in conversations” with a couple of additional firms as well.

    Twenty Israeli companies have to date listed shares on the ASX since 2011 — some of which have seen their stock surge, while others have seen a plunge in value since their listing. Those companies that have executed larger IPOs and have been able to attract a larger pool of investors have “invariably performed better,” as their businesses is more developed and their risk was lower pre-IPO, Cunningham explained.

    Audio Pixel Holdings Ltd., a digital speakers maker, for example, which issued shares on February 1, 2011, at a price of $3.85, saw its shares surge 483% by August 31, 2020, according to data provided by the ASX. Similarly, Splitit, a tech firm providing payment solutions, has seen its shares surge 830% from its IPO in January 2019 to the end of August 2020.

    First Israeli on Aussie index

    Because of its share price surge and the jump in its market value, which on August 31 reached almost AUD 727 million ($518 million), Splitit has become the first Israeli company to be added to an Australian stock index, when it was included in the exchange’s new tech index.

    Entering the index allows Splitit to be the first Israeli firm to benefit from funds of Australian institutional investors, Cunningham said.

    “Splitit has been transformational, as it is the only Israeli company that has widespread institutional support,” he said. Previously the Israeli companies that came to the exchange largely relied on the funds of retail or individual investors, he said, because they were smaller companies and raised a small amount of money on the exchange.

    Splitit, which entered the new index on September 21, is showing the way for other Israeli companies to benefit from institutional funds, once they are eligible for entry into an index, Cunningham said.

    “I think the institutions that are investing in Splitit are getting to see Israel through the same eyes that we have seen Israel,” he said.

    The ASX launched the S&P/ASX All Technology Index on February 24, just weeks before the coronavirus started to spread in Australia. “It had a terrible birth,” Cunnigham said. “It went up a bit and then fell away with the rest of the market – dramatically so.”

    But once global markets turned around, and especially the tech shares, the S&P/ASX All Tech Index rallied, and local funds are investing in the index, Cunningham said. The index has a market capitalization of some AUD140 billion. The index today comprises 58 companies: 48 from Australia, five from the US, three from New Zealand, one from Ireland and one, Splitit, from Israel.

    The launch of the index is perhaps the apex of the strategy the ASX has been pursuing for a number of years — to get more tech firms onto its exchange, which had been focused mainly on natural resources and commodities firms. Drumming up listings from tech firms in Israel, seen as a global technology hot spot, was a key part of that effort.

    “The tech strategy we have been focused on for many years now, and that Israel is part of,” has come to fruition this year, Cunningham said, “when so many important ingredients have come together.”

    “We finally had this year what we thought was a real critical mass of tech companies listed on ASX to launch a dedicated tech index,” he said.

    The index was launched with a market cap of AUD$100 billion. The index had a quarterly rebalance in June, and four firms were added in September to the index, including Israel’s Splitit.

    Not all Israeli firms that have listed on the ASX have done well, however. G Medical Innovations, a developer of health monitoring solutions, which listed its shares in May 2017, has seen its stock plunge 80% from its IPO to August 31, 2020. Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies, which listed its shares on the exchange in December 2017, saw its shares drop 76%. AppsVillage, a mobile apps development company, saw its shares plunge 45% from its IPO in August 2019 to August 31, 2020.

    The smaller companies with higher risk associated with their businesses have performed less well, said Cunningham. They have also been more impacted by COVID-19.

    “A lot of smaller companies are reliant only on retail shareholders which makes it hard to gain access to emergency capital during COVID,” he said. “Typically, these are companies with smaller and less developed business models.”

    Though there is just a trickle of companies coming to list from Israel at the moment, the ASX is seeing a “heavy load of IPOs coming to market between now and the end of the year” from Australian, New Zealand and US firms, Cunningham said. These will be mainly tech sector and gold mining firms, as both tech and gold are doing very well amid the economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

    “In times of uncertainty tech stocks have done very well because they don’t require a lot of capital, and gold is always is a store of wealth,” he said.

  • Going Into 2021: Biggest Trends in Retail Tech, Sports Tech, and New Media

    How Israeli technology is shaping our everyday experiences with the way we consume both goods and entertainment.

    In 2020, COVID-19 disrupted our everyday lives alongside the industries we rely on for our essential and non-essential needs. As we approach the final quarter of 2020 and begin to look ahead to what 2021 has in store, emerging trends have appeared that look to be staying permanently.

    Retail consumerism has further accelerated away from brick and mortar stores. 2020 has shown us that online sales growth is unstoppable and online sales will reach $4.5 trillion in 2021, with 73% of those completed via mobile devices. The implementation of artificial intelligence changes how consumers interact and purchase from their favourite brands. From the rise of voice commerce and visual commerce to a more personalized online shopping experience, consumers have more options than ever before.

    Consumers are also adjusting to the inaccessibility of attending their favourite locations, be it a sporting venue, a new film at the theatre, or even the gym! More than ever before, the pandemic has people searching for new ways to replicate a pre-COVID world as closely as possible.

    With large in-person happenings likely not back for the foreseeable future, innovation is what will lead us to the “new normal.” Implementing new engaging technologies across the way we consume fitness, films, sports, and beyond will make for experiences as close to reality as possible.

    Our eyes have never committed so much time to devices and screens. With the pandemic still brewing, and most of us at home alternating between iPhone to laptop to TV and back to the iPhone, advertisers are in paradise. Israeli companies like Innovid positioned themselves as a one-stop solution to omnichannel personalized advertising, from serving ads to sharing analytics. The company offers a holistic, cross-device, data-driven solution to meet audience fragmentation demands and personalize the customer journey. Innovid’s patented technology and advanced measurement capabilities allow marketers to thrive in an ever-changing digital television landscape and engage viewers at scale via immersive, interactive storytelling. Innovid powers cross-channel video marketing efforts for some of the largest brands in more than 28 countries, including Bank of America, Best Buy, Citi, Comcast, Kraft, L’Oréal, Microsoft, P&G, Walmart, Samsung, Sprint, and Toyota.

    But what good is that advertising if your actual content isn’t compelling to the viewing audience? Luckily for us, Arti.tv is creating a new brand of storytelling with the power of their augmented-reality stories into our regularly broadcast shows. Arti provides content producers, no matter the level of technical knowledge, to implement broadcast-quality AR. Sports show producer? No problem, add infographics and athletes in AR to your broadcast. Movie producer? Implement the grandest of assets all with Arti. Fitness YouTuber? Connect like never before to your followers with interactive assets that are sure to brighten anyone’s workout. Arti.tv provides the ability to create augmented-reality stories full of insights, data, and information.

    After some well-deserved relaxation, we can turn on the Vi Trainer from Vi Labs to get back to our active fitness lifestyle, all with the help of a virtual trainer powered by artificial intelligence. Vi develops products to help people get fit through personalized, goal-oriented coaching, and social play. Vi created an outdoor fitness game called Torch, a social running experience featuring one-on-one virtual races with friends and fairly matched competitors worldwide. With the Vi Trainer, an AI-powered coach’s voice guides people through immersive and entertaining workouts matched to their unique goals and abilities.

    After an exhilarating run and a purifying sweat, what better way to show your newfound fitness lifestyle than through what you wear. But what if you could forego the age-old text search to find that perfect summer top? Donde is one such example, an Israeli based company that focuses on ways to improve online retail UX (User Experience). Donde is a platform that enhances the customers’ online shopping experience by utilizing artificial intelligence to think like the shopper and display results that they have in mind. Rather than traditional text-based searches. Donde uses visual cues coupled with proprietary algorithms that aim to mimic the way customers engage with products, providing the most relevant recommendations. Forever 21, one of the largest female apparel brands, has adopted Donde Search. With shopping moving further and further online, the pressure of creating a best-in-class shopping experience is permeating the e-commerce space. Donde Search continues to lead the way with their vision of visual shopping.

    Too tired to move your fingers to order your next outfit, meal, or household good? With VoiceFront, a SaaS platform for eCommerce merchants provides a solution to enable voice sales on virtual storefronts quickly. Using virtual assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant, your voice is all you need for ordering online. VoiceFront is looking to disrupt Amazon’s over 95% market share of voice-enabled shopping. By 2022, the voice commerce space expects to grow 55%. Positioned to be the leader in enabling shopping with your voice from the comfort of your couch, VoiceFront is shaping a new frontier of e-commerce shopping.

    With three months remaining in 2020, our newly adopted habits, lifestyles, and technologies will follow us closely into 2021 and beyond. As we have heard over this year, the “new normal” is upon us. With innovative Israeli technology, the transition into settling into this new reality will be made more seamless. From the industries we discussed and far extending to every industry and facet of life, we must embrace change to continue to move forward in an ever-changing world.

  • How the Start-up Nation Keeps the Lights On

    If you want to see the future of warfare, look to Ukraine. Two days before Christmas in 2015, a massive cyberattack on an electricity generation station in Western Ukraine knocked out power for 250,000 people in the region—the first confirmed hack to take down a power grid. Exactly one year later, attackers struck again, this time taking out Ukraine’s national grid operator Ukrenergo, causing blackouts across a large chunk of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. While Kyiv’s power remained out barely one hour, subsequent research demonstrated the 2016 attackers’ real objective was to cause widespread physical damage to Ukraine’s grid, something which could have knocked power out for months on end. In the dead of winter, this could have been catastrophic.

    It’s not just Ukraine, though. Last March, the first Western electricity infrastructure—a part of the transmission grid in Utah, Wyoming and California—was also knocked out. And widespread reports of hackers penetrating and mapping Western power grids—perhaps laying the groundwork for future attacks—have also been documented.

    While cyber defenders traditionally have concentrated on threats to organizations’ IT networks, the real threat to critical infrastructure operators are their operational technologies (OT)—the complex industrial control systems used to manage the generators, pumps, valves and other equipment used to run factories, power and water utilities, trains, oil refineries, ports, chemical plants and other industrial assets.

    Historically, the OT remained separated, or “air-gapped,” from the internal IT networks connected to the internet; however, this is now changing dramatically. However as organizations seek to leverage AI and big data analytics to drive efficiencies in their operations through “smart networks,” IT and OT networks are converging. In a word, these complex industrial control systems are now connected to the internet, making them vulnerable to hacking. Because many of these industrial control systems were not designed with cybersecurity in mind, it’s not surprising they draw hackers’ attention when these older systems are connected to the internet. Throw in the exponential growth of the internet of things (IoT), and it’s clear the threat vector faced by critical infrastructure operators has grown substantially.

    Luckily though, there are several Israeli companies that are world leaders in cybersecurity, and the Start-up Nation offers a nice mix of established firms, and very early stage new entrants:

    Waterfall Security develops industrial cybersecurity solutions. Based on Waterfall’s Unidirectional Security Gateway technology, the company’s products offer an alternative to firewalls. Its solutions enable safe and reliable IT/OT integration, data sharing, cloud services, and all required connectivity for industrial control systems and critical infrastructures. 

    Claroty was conceived to secure the safety and reliability of industrial control networks. The Claroty platform is an integrated set of cyber-security products that provide extreme visibility, unmatched cyber-threat detection, secure remote access, and risk assessments for industrial control networks (ICS/OT).  

    SCADAfence develops solutions for operational technology (OT) cyber security. The SCADAfence platform enables organizations with complex OT networks to use Industrial IoT technologies by reducing cyber risks and mitigating operational threats.The non-intrusive platform provides full coverage of large-scale networks, offering high-quality detection accuracy, asset discovery, and user experience with minimal false positives.

    Radiflow is a leading provider of cybersecurity solutions designed for critical infrastructure networks (i.e. SCADA) such as power utilities, oil and gas, water, and others. The company’s security toolset validates the behaviour of both M2M applications and human-to-machine (H2M) sessions in distributed operational networks.Radiflow’s security solutions are available both as inline gateways for remote sites and as a nonintrusive intrusion-detection system (IDS) that can be deployed per site or centrally. Its solutions are sold either integrated into a wider end-to-end solution of global automation vendors or as a stand-alone security solution by local channel partners.

    IXDen provides security software solutions for IoT devices, industrial control systems, and sensors. IXDen introduces patent-pending technology to protect critical infrastructure from attacks via IoT devices by implementing a biometric-like multi-factor authentication approach. IXDen provides a solution for operational technology and enables users to manage their IoT assets safely and remotely. IXDen employs a new technology to secure IoT devices and brings the equivalent of human identity verification (something users have, something they know, something they are) into M2M communication security while establishing elaborate and strong device identity.

    Cynamics is a network monitoring solution built specifically for smart city, public safety, and critical infrastructure networks. The solution uses just 1% of network traffic to achieve 100% visibility, offering city operators unlimited visibility at exceptional scalability. Cynamics provides a complete, continuous, holistic view of what is taking place on smart city networks without needing all traffic to be routed through the solution. 

    OTORIO delivers industrial-native cyber solutions that enable reliable, safe, and resilient digital manufacturing. The company empowers secured-by-design rollouts of industry 4.0 initiatives by making cybersecurity an integral part of the operational lifecycle. Simplifying complex operational-technology cyber-security processes, OTORIO enables continuous management, qualification, and remediation of production cyber risks based on their business impact, safety, reliability, and productivity.

    Check Point‘s ICS security solution minimizes risk exposure across IT and OT environments and blocks attacks before they reach critical assets, all in a way that is easily scalable and non-disruptive to critical processes.

  • Bis Continues to Innovate with Launch of Disruptive New Mining Automation Joint Venture

    Bis and Israel Aerospace Industries have today announced a world-first joint venture to deliver the next generation of mine site automation to the global resources sector.

    “The Auto-mate joint venture represents a significant advancement in mining automation,” Bis CEO Brad Rogers said. “The flexible and scalable solution is the ultimate partner in mining automation, delivering superior technology, to a wider range of miners, at a lower cost.”

    The 50-50 JV uses IAI’s proven technology which has been operating in heavy off-road vehicles in remote and harsh environments since the early 1980s, making it a highly complementary fit for application to mining operations.

    Offering fully-scalable and adaptable levels of automation, Auto-mate’s technology is tailored to each mine site’s requirements. With an open architecture model, the system connects any asset to the operation’s fleet management system, regardless of brand, age or type of asset or desired level of automation.

    “Auto-mate is a game-changer because of its exceptional utility,” Mr Rogers said. “It is a gateway to automation for small and big miners. It is uniquely flexible so that a customer can choose how far down the pathway to automation they want to go. It is asset agnostic. It can be deployed at any mine, on any asset and to any degree of automation the customer chooses.

    “From today, automation will be accessible by a larger section of the mining industry because the Auto-mate technology platform, created by IAI, allows miners to automate any asset, and retain long term optionality on fleet decisions.”

    Mr Rogers said the global value uplift and efficiency gains from automation in the resource sector had been estimated at more than $50 billion which represented a significant international opportunity for the Auto-mate partners.

    “Auto-mate makes automation a reality at mines where it would previously never have been thought possible,” he said. “It can be delivered efficiently and at a lower whole of life cost than other technologies in the market.”

    Bis is renowned for delivering innovative haulage and equipment solutions to mining customers for over 100 years. IAI is a large, advanced engineering company with a 20000-strong workforce, 5000 of whom are engineers with world-class expertise in robotics and automation. IAI have been designing and deploying robotic and autonomous vehicle and asset solutions for air, sea and land for over four decades, and have automated over 35 different asset classes.

    Mr Rogers said the JV was an important strategic initiative for the company.

    “As a trusted resource logistics partner, we identified a gap in the market for flexible automation technology that offered greater interoperability to our customers,” he said. “We’re extremely pleased to have forged a partnership with IAI to become their global partner for this industry first in mining automation.”

    IAI subsidiary ELTA’ CEO, Yoav Tourgeman, said the interoperable scalable system was the perfect union of cutting-edge technology and practical application.

    “Auto-mate delivers a flexible approach to automation, delivering usability for multiple levels of automation across all haulage assets and ancillary equipment, with one central command centre,” Mr Tourgeman said.

    With more than 20 years’ experience in the global energy and mining sectors, Auto-Mate CEO Daniel Poller is well-placed to lead the launch of the joint venture.

    “Auto-mate is set to make a significant impact on the mining and automation sector and will ultimately enhance safety and efficiency outcomes for our customers,” Mr Poller said. “I am thrilled that we are able to bring it to the global market.”

    Mr Rogers said the Auto-mate JV was a significant step in Bis’ commitment to customer-led innovation.

    “Auto-mate is a compelling commitment to innovation and disruption in the mining and automation sector to deliver new solutions to our customers which drive value at their operations,” he said. “This is just the latest in a series of innovations to emerge from the Bis development pipeline, following the development of the ground-breaking mine haulage vehicle, Rexx, and cutting-edge underground grader, Razor.”

    The combination of IAI’s leading capability in autonomous technology solutions and Bis’ demonstrated experience in mine site logistics and supply chain management delivers the perfect combination of experience to Auto-mate.

    To read more about Auto-mate advanced technology, visit the website www.auto-mate.me

    Published 22.9.20 by:

    Media Relations
    Camille Henderson
    M: +61 449 513 163
    Camille.Henderson@bisindustries.com

    Pictured is Bis CEO Brad Rogers and IAI representative, Elta CEO, Yoav Turgeman, at the JV signing.

    No alt text provided for this image

  • Israeli Companies on the NASDAQ

    Not every country receives an aspirational nickname. The State of Israel has rightly earned two.

    The monikers “Innovation Nation” and “Start-up Nation” are often used as shorthand to illustrate Israel’s unparallel technological ecosystem. The nicknames depict, in part, the numerous start-ups Israel produces, the backing that technological companies receive by the government, capital from global investors, and the “can-do-anything” attitude of the Israeli entrepreneur. 

    Whether you measure a country’s technological prowess by its research and development budget, per cent of foreign venture capital dollars, start-ups per capita or global market share in tech-heavy areas such as cybersecurity, Israel generally shows up at the top of the lists.

    Exciting arrays of innovative start-ups attract a lot of attention. This leads to Israeli companies often merging or becoming acquired by larger multinational companies. Intel, for example, purchased Mobileye, for $15.3 billion and Google purchased Waze for $1 billion. Of course, for every headline about an Israeli company acquired, there are many other deals executed each month.

    But not every Israeli start-up chooses to exit through M&A. Some choose an international initial public offering, often on a large exchange. The NASDAQ is one option and its orientation toward tech-companies makes it naturally compelling for Israeli companies to list there.

    With 79 companies and a combined market capitalization of $88 billion, Israel represents the only Middle Eastern country listed on NASDAQ.  In short, Israel is a powerhouse country for the exchange.

    Israeli listings on NASDAQ include 38 healthcare companies, 24 technology companies, and 7 capital goods companies. So far in 2020, three new companies, Ayala Pharmaceuticals (AYLA), Nano-X Imaging (NNOX), and PolyPid (PYPD), joined the NASDAQ.

    While each company listed has an incredible story and innovative solutions, we highlight three below. If you have interest in working with these, or any other Israeli company listed (or not listed), please contact your local Israeli Trade Representative.

    You can find them here: http://www.itrade.gov.il/

    ­­­Cyberark – (NASDAQ: CYBR) – Cyberark was established in 1999 and now has over 1,480 employees, 480 of which are located in Israel. In 2019 they had sales of $411M. CyberArk is focused on eliminating the most advanced cyber threats; those that use insider privileges to attack the heart of the enterprise. Dedicated to stopping attacks before they stop business, CyberArk proactively secures against cyber threats before attacks can escalate and do irreparable damage. The company is trusted by leading companies to protect their highest-value information assets, infrastructure and applications.

    SolarEdge – (NASDAQ: SEDG) – SolarEdge was established in 2006 and now has over 2,078 employees, 650 which are located in Israel. In 2018 they had sales of $914M. SolarEdge provides an intelligent inverter solution that has changed the way power is harvested and managed in solar photovoltaic systems. The SolarEdge DC optimized inverter system maximizes power generation at the individual PV module-level while lowering the cost of energy produced by the solar PV system. The SolarEdge system consists of power optimizers, inverters, storage solutions, and a cloud-based monitoring platform and addresses a broad range of solar market segments, from residential solar installations to commercial and small utility-scale solar installations.

    WIX.com (NASDAQ: WIX) – Wix was established in 2006 and now has over 2,600 employees, 1,800 which are located in Israel. In 2019 they had sales of $761M. Wix is a leading cloud-based web development platform with over 90 million registered users worldwide. Wix was founded on the belief that the Internet should be accessible to everyone to develop, create and contribute. Through free and premium subscriptions, Wix empowers millions of businesses, organizations, professionals and individuals to take their businesses, brands and workflow online. Wix ADI, the Wix Editor and a highly curated App Market enable users to build and manage a fully integrated and dynamic digital presence.

    Together with the activity in Israel, the Foreign Trade Administration operates a network of economic representatives who constitute the operational arm of the Ministry in markets around the world. The main activities of the economic and trade offices include activities for the promotion of trade and export, initiating and maintaining trade agreements for the improvement of Israel’s trade conditions, attracting and encouraging foreign investments and creating strategic cooperation with foreign companies.

  • The Israeli Tech Investments Locomotive Not Halted Due to the COVID-19 Crisis

    According to a report by IVC and ZAG S&W Zysman, Aharoni, Gayer & Co, in Q2 2020 Israeli high-tech investment making climbs to new quarterly record with 170 deals, with an increase of early-stage deals in April-May in comparison to deals in February-March.

    Despite the COVID-19 pandemic continues sending shudders across the world economy, there is some relief in the knowledge that Israeli high-tech funding, is behaving almost as usual. The positive trend in early and late rounds has continued in H1/2020, with $5.25 billion in 312 deals.

    In February –March, the number of financing deals, especially for early financing rounds (Seed and A rounds), was down significantly. However, in April –May the number of deals for earlier rounds resumed normal ranges and even compensated for the decline in Q1/2020.

    Investor behaviour was a major topic during H1. VC investors did not shy away from either first or follow-on investments, bringing the number of VC deals to a record in Q2/2020. This is an important point given the high level of economic uncertainty.

    Israeli high-tech companies had a successful second quarter in 2020*, raising $2.5 billion in 170 deals. This was the second strongest quarter in terms of total amounts raised. More deals were made, though the median amount decreased slightly due mostly to an increase at the lower end of the financing rounds –more seed financing at smaller amounts.

    Here is a recap of the top deals of Q2 2020:

    Biocatch, which delivers behavioral biometrics, analyzing human device interactions in order to protect users and data, closed an investment of $ 145.

    Vast Data, which develops cost-effective flash infrastructure solutions and consolidates applications into a highly scalable all-flash storage system to meet the performance needs of demanding workloads, completed a $100 million Series C financing round.

    Pagaya, a global financial technology company using artificial intelligence (AI) to reshape asset management and institutional investment, closed a $102 million Series D funding round.

    The data for H1 is solid, but in the current global environment, they carry no promises for the rest of the year. The full magnitude of the economic impact could still be felt in Q3/Q4 and onwards.

    Altogether, H1 2020 struck also an increase in the number of deals over $50 million with 22 deals in H1 2020, in comparison to 15 deals on H1 2019.

  • Israeli Companies Disrupting the Digital Health Space

    Last week, 5 Israeli firms were listed in the 2nd annual Digital Health 150 ranking, by New York-based research firm CB Insights. The list features the 150 most promising private digital health firms in the world.

    Israel is amongst the 2020 Digital Health 150 cohort that highlights startups that are “reimagining” the lines of the traditional healthcare experience across twelve categories ranging from Online Care Delivery and Clinical Trials, to Drug Discovery & Specialty Care.

    Israeli companies on the list are:

    • Zebra Medical Vision, an Artificial Intelligence powered medical imaging company that recently received its sixth FDA clearance for a mammography solution
    • IO, a medical technology startup that developed a smartphone-based urine albumin test that helps diagnose chronic kidney disease
    • TytoCare, a telehealth company that develops remote medical testing devices and recently raised $50 million
    • ai, a stroke detection platform that uses Artificial Intelligence to identify the source of a stroke in seconds
    • Nuvo Group, a firm commercializing a prescription started a remote pregnancy-monitoring platform cleared by the Food and Drug Administration.

    The digital era creates numerous opportunities to revolutionize delivery of healthcare services to patients. For instance, patients can receive healthcare services anywhere, through any web or mobile device, without requiring a presence of healthcare provider. Moreover, Israeli Digital Health sector has long been using innovative communication technologies to enhance healthcare efficacy and delivery.

    Other Innovative and interesting Israeli digital health companies include:

    • Koalys is a holistic Tele-Audiology Software as a Service platform for hearing care that provides means to perform hearing tests for screening, diagnostics, and hearing-aid fitting.
    • MobileODT develops software programs and optical diagnostic devices for early detection of cancer and numerous other medical purposes. The company has developed advanced optical technology components to turn smartphones into easy to use mobile point-of-care tools to help detect cancer. Additionally, this technology can also capture a range of biomedical images for diagnostic and different analytical purposes.
    • Elad Health is the developer of Chameleon, an electronic medical record (EMR) solution that enables tablets, PCs, and laptops connected to a wireless network to be used to deliver patient information. Chameleon provides a comprehensive medical view of the patient’s hospitalization processes as well as continuous interoperability across medical departments, units and clinics.
    • EyeControl is a medical device used in intensive care units. It uses pupil movements to allow bi-directional remote communication among ventilated patients and medical staff. Thus, enhancing accuracy of care, freeing up beds and equipment, and limiting contagion through decreasing the need for proximity.

    Source: https://nocamels.com/2020/08/digital-health-promising-companies-list-cb-insights/

  • Four Israeli Women Will Receive the ‘European Women in Tech’ Award

    The Israeli tech ecosystem enjoys a great reputation. It is considered creative, innovative and attractive for the international audience. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Israeli companies are acknowledged by the international tech community.

    This week, four Israeli female entrepreneurs will receive the ‘European Women in Tech’ Award at the London Tech Week, Europe’s largest tech festival. During this week, tech communities from all around the world will address the pressing topics facing the tech sector and society today, such as health and climate.

    The ‘European Women in Tech’ Award’s, will be given during a special event taking place on September 11th aims to showcase the achievements of women in the tech industry and encourage diversity and inclusion in business and tech. Out of 24 International entrepreneurs and founders who will be recognized, 4 are Israeli! This is definitely an impressive number.  

    The four Israeli recipients of the award are:

    Hillary Harel, the founder of Serenus.AI, which uses AI and machine learning technology to improve healthcare delivery.

    Orit Hashay, founder and CEO of Brayola, a smart personal bra shopper. Founded in 2012, Brayola teamed up with leading brands and designers utilizing technology, data, and community to enable personalized shopping for lingerie online.

    Inna Braverman, co-founder of Eco Wave Power. Founded in 2011, Eco Wave Power developed an innovative technology for production clean & affordable electricity from the ocean and sea waves, using a simple but smart design. Inna was also awarded the United Nations “Global Climate Action Award 

    Maya Guru, co-founder and CEO of Missbeez. Missbeez is a mobile platform for beauty services, connecting busy people with beauty & lifestyle professionals.

    These four women are a great source of pride to Israel. We’ve decided to take this opportunity and shine the light on some of the game changing, impact making technologies, which were founded and led by Israeli business and tech leaders in variety of fields, including health, digital, AI, HR and more. Yes, they are all women.

    1. Cassiopeia – A great example to start off with, which is also relevant to our time period, where more and more people shift to remote work mode. Cassiopeia analyzes network communication and provides actionable insights to improve team collaboration and mental health in the virtual workspace. Founded by Shiran Yaroslavsky.  
    2. Day Two – Day Two provides personalized nutrition and actionable insights that allow users to live healthier and maintain normal blood sugar levels. Its microbiome human discovery platform offers a glycemic control solution for people with type 2 diabetes. Founded in 2015 by Lihi Segal, CEO.
    3. Diagnostic Robotics – Diagnostic system which uses AI and predictive analytics models to help hospitals and emergency departments make informed decisions on patient care faster while improving patient experience and reducing costs of care and health systems loads. Founded by artificial intelligence (AI) expert Dr Kira Radinsky,
    4. Papayaglobal – Papaya Global is a Human Resource Information System (HRIS) that transforms global payroll, payments, and workforce management. Papaya Global’s automated cloud-based solution platform helps companies hire, onboard, manage, and pay people in more than 100 countries. Eynat Guez, co-founder and CEO, is a serial entrepreneur who’s changing the digital HR world.
    5. Bonobo AI – A platform for Marketing Automation and Behavioral Insights for Conversational Human-Machine Interactions. The company helps companies get insights from customer support calls, texts and other interactions. The company, co-founded in 2017 by Efrat Rapoport (CEO), was bought by Salesforce in May 2019.
    6. Cortica – A well-established company with a leading AI technology for autonomous platforms. The company’s Autonomous AI is based upon proprietary brain research and utilizes unsupervised-learning methodologies backed by more than 200 patents. This Autonomous AI is embedded in next-generation, ultra-scale platforms where understanding images is a critical task. Cortica provides intelligence that enables autonomous vehicles, smart cities, autonomous drones, and more. Co-founded by  Karina Odinaev in 2007.
  • How Israel became a global power in television

    For many years, Nordic noir was the dominant force in foreign-language television. Hits such as The Bridge and Borgen wooed British audiences with their melancholic landscapes, taut dialogue and impressive knitwear.

    But this small-screen pre-eminence has been replaced by offerings from a country that could not be further removed from the introversion and cautious pacing of Nordic TV. Israel is in some ways the anti-Scandinavia. The weather is hot, the people outspoken, the history bloody and disputed.

    Yet as a source of must-see television, the country has emerged as an international force to be reckoned with. And it has done so while avoiding becoming locked into a particular genre. Nordic TV can often seem to consist of different flavours of the same fatalistic murder mystery format. In Israel, by contrast, diversity is the watchword. From action to comedy via human-interest drama, anything goes.

    There are gripping thrillers such as mistaken-identity slow-burner False Flag and West Bank-set Netflix hit Fauda, which has just returned to the streaming service for a hugely anticipated third season. But Israel is also serving up escapist romcoms such as the brilliantly whimsical Beauty and the Baker, which has proved a surprise sensation on Amazon Prime. (The US adaptation, The Baker and the Beauty, airs on Stan. Nine is the owner of Stan and this masthead.)Advertisement

    Israel can do tender family drama, too. The Netflix hit Shtisel is about a Jewish orthodox father and son looking for love in Jerusalem’s traditionalist Geula neighbourhood. For any nation to produce so many high-profile series in so many genres would be impressive. However, that is doubly so in the case of Israel, with its population of just 8.8 million.

    Being an underdog in world broadcasting has worked in Israel’s favour, says Allison Kaplan Sommer, of Tel Aviv daily newspaper Haaretz. Unlike the big US and British networks, Israel’s producers work within comparatively minuscule budgets and so think on their feet. That, she suggests, is why Israeli TV feels so plugged in to life as we live it today. There simply isn’t the money to stage a Middle Eastern Downton Abbey. TV must be utterly of the now.

    “To get made, the concept, script and acting has to be excellent and creators have to think outside the box,” she says. “There’s no money to make fantasy/sci-fi like Westworld or Game of Thrones or a piece set in another century. Everything has to be here and now and current.”

    Talking to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, Keren Margalit, creator of TV drama Yellow Peppers, said: “The understanding is, if you can’t go wider, if you can’t explode anything or go big with special effects, you need to go inside. To go very, very deep and find real characters. I think a lot of Israeli television developed from this understanding.”

    For foreign viewers, Israeli TV serves as a window into a country that is largely mysterious. The highest-profile example is Fauda. This story of an undercover Israel army unit engaged in a brutal game of cat and mouse with terrorists on the West Bank may sound cliched, but rather than taking sides or caricaturing the Israelis and Palestinians, Fauda paints a nuanced portrait of men and women locked in a cycle of perpetual conflict.

    “It was actually something very new here, in that it wasn’t a white hat versus black hat story,” says Sommer. “The Israeli side was portrayed with all its flaws, and the Palestinians were fully formed characters and human beings, even the terrorists. And I think that twist is what gave it its appeal internationally, and showed the nuances of the conflict here.”

    That same soulfulness defines lighter fare such as Beauty and the Baker. Like a gender-swapped Middle East Pygmalion, it tells of a scrappy baker who embarks on a romance with a worldly supermodel. It’s funny while providing an insight into the complex striations in Israeli society.

    Within the global TV industry, Israeli television has been creating waves for some time. The US dramas Homeland and In Treatment were remakes of Israeli originals. With one or two exceptions, US adaptations of beloved British shows are unfaithful and unwatchable. Israeli TV, by contrast, seems to flourish when reworked by Hollywood. That has arguably given producers and writers the one thing all the budgets in the world cannot buy: self-confidence.

    TV from Israel also has a cinematic quality. “Israel is so small, it can’t support separate film and television industries, and while there are a handful of directors who work only in films, most directors and all actors and crew members go back and forth between film and television,” says Hannah Brown, of The Jerusalem Post.

    There’s also something appealingly unselfconscious about Israeli TV. Fauda is happy to borrow from the high-octane intensity of Hollywood: the very first episode begins in a flurry of hand-held camera action that could have come from a Jason Bourne film.

    Similarly, there’s a charming dollop of magic realism at the core of Shtisel. The story opens with a bravura dream sequence in which lovelorn Akiva (Michael Aloni) visits his local greasy spoon, only to encounter his deceased mother, covered in ice and dressed as an Eskimo.

    “There’s a lot that goes on in Israeli life,” says Jessica Steinberg, of The Times of Israel. “It’s a small country that’s fought hard to retain its place and is made up of people from many different nations.

    “It’s also a very tight-knit country because of its small size and the melting pot created by everyone serving in the army. All ingredients that make for intense situations, stories and outcomes. They have filmed entire seasons of Fauda for the same budget as one episode of an American TV series. That’s true of many Israeli series. They make do with what they have.”

    The Best Israeli Shows to Watch

    Fauda (Netflix)
    “Chaos” in Arabic, Fauda (now in its third series) chronicles a bloody game of cat and mouse between Israeli counter-intelligence soldier Doron (Lior Raz) and a Hamas terrorist “The Panther” (Hisham Suliman).

    Beauty and the Baker (Amazon Prime)
    Recently dumped by his girlfriend, a commitment-phobic baker (Aviv Alush) enters into a whirlwind romance with an international model (Rotem Sela). But can their fledgling relationship survive a nefarious campaign to drive them apart?

    Shtisel (Netflix)
    A father (Dov Glickman) and son (Michael Aloni) negotiate their multi-layered relationship as each goes in search of romance. As if that weren’t complicated enough, they must also obey the strictures of their Orthodox Jewish faith.

    Srugim (Amazon Prime)
    The country’s answer to Friends, this comedy follows young people dealing with the complexities of modern life in contemporary Israel.

    Article as seen on:

  • בריאות דיגיטלית בעידן הקורונה
    Written by the Israel Trade Commissioner – Shai Zarivatch
  • AI technology / 4IR in Israel and the Cleantech Sector

    AI is at the centre of the current industrial revolution, and its relevance is likely to increase in the coming decade. The growth of AI technologies can be seen by the investments made in this field. In 2011-2019, investments in Israel high-tech AI projects increased from 305 million dollars to 4 billion dollars. In 2019, 42% of the sum invested in Israeli high-tech was directed to AI technologies.

    In recent years, Israel’s high-tech has held a leading global position in the field of AI. Israel is now among the world’s top three countries operating in the field of AI after China and the US. Israel ranks second to the US, in its number of leading AI start-ups. The significant presence of roughly 90 R&D centres of multinational corporations working on AI in Israel indicates its global leadership in this field.

    4% of these AI companies are directly involved in the Cleantech Sector. Solutions such as smart grids and energy-efficient building technologies will reduce and optimize demand.

    • Grid4C Ltd smart grid predictive analytics startup develops artificial intelligence and machine learning-powered technology for analyzing information generated by devices such as smart meters and other IoT-enabled appliances, enabling energy providers and consumers to maximize operation and control.
    • SmartGreen Ltd. develops a system for monitoring, managing, and reducing energy consumption. The company’s system is meant for use in factories, commercial and industrial facilities, malls, shopping centres, hospitals, and schools. 
    • BreezoMeter Ltd. develops a location-based air quality collection and analysis technology. The company utilizes proprietary algorithms to aggregate data from multiple sources, offering it to businesses to increase user engagement and sales.
    • Zugreifen Ltd. offers energy usage monitoring, management, and electricity-theft protection services designed to optimize both energy providers’ and their customer’s energy consumption.
    • Raycatch offers AI diagnostics for solar energy and was recognized by the World Economic Forum for the design and development of potentially world-changing technology as a tech pioneer.

    Source:

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