Archive For The “Israeli Tech” Category

Israeli Startup Releases Novel Peer-to-Peer Anti-Terrorism App

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Israeli Startup Releases Novel Peer-to-Peer Anti-Terrorism App

Navin Systems, the Israeli pedestrian guidance and navigation app developer, has mapped out locations of bomb shelters and protected spaces in Tel Aviv and throughout the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, the company reminded Israelis on Tuesday, amid escalating security concerns surrounding the barrage of rockets launched from Gaza into Israel earlier in the day.

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While allowing users to navigate all space without the need for GPS, the Tel Aviv company’s patented peer-to-peer crowd mapping technology also automatically creates detailed maps of indoor spaces, which are often difficult to navigate with GPS due to weak signals.

The company says “security mapping” is necessary as visitors to buildings typically remember the locations of stores in the mall or university classrooms, but most do not know where the protected spaces of the building are located or remember the routes that lead to them.

This isn’t the first time Navin’s “security mapping” of southern Israel has been reported, due to mounting security concerns.

The mapping in Beersheba includes several major buildings in the city, including the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the Negev Mall, and the Grand Canyon Mall, along with shelters across the city. The project is being expanded to additional locations throughout the country, the company said.

Using artificial intelligence and complex algorithms that are part of its cutting-edge technology, the Navin app can immediately identify the location of a user inside a building, including the exact floor. The app enables navigation for users in stores, hospital departments, university facilities, and bathrooms.

Users will be able to access detailed walking routes, including escalators or regular stairs. The app is constantly updated with crowd-sourced info.

“We invite users to add shelters to the app in the buildings that they visit,” says Shai Ronen, co-founder and CEO.

Navin was co-founded in 2012 by Ronen, a former Israeli Air Force F-16 pilot and an expert in navigation systems, along with Lior Ronen and Gidi Barak. The company has already mapped out Tel Aviv spaces like Dizengoff Center, TLV Fashion Mall, Sarona Market, Ichilov Hospital, the Tel Aviv Museum, and Azrieli Towers.

Building upon its current success in Israel, the company has expanded to the US, creating maps for museums and stores in San Francisco and Palo Alto, California. They have mapped out escalators, elevators, specific departments, and transitions between floors in stores like Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, IKEA, and more.

Ronen has said that future goals include mapping out major cities in Europe and the Far East, which the CEO believes are particularly challenging in terms of the complexity of the buildings.

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Israeli Space Vest Heading To International Space Station

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Israeli Space Vest Heading To International Space Station

The AstroRad, an Israeli antiradiation vest for outer space developed by the US-Israeli startup StemRad, is set to be launched onto the International Space Station (ISS) along with an assortment of science-related supplies this weekend.

The Tel Aviv-based company in collaboration with the Israeli Space Agency (ISA) at the Ministry of Science and Technology said that a prototype of the vest would be launched on Saturday, November 2nd at 9:59 am EST time (3:59 am Israeli time.)The International Space Station photographed in 2010 by an STS-132 crew member on board the Space Shuttle Atlantis after the station and shuttle began their post-undocking relative separation.

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The International Space Station photographed in 2010 by an STS-132 crew member on board the Space Shuttle Atlantis after the station and shuttle began their post-undocking relative separation. The AstroRad vest, a suit designed to help protect astronauts from radiation and mitigate its damaging effects, is made out of high-density polyethylene, a thermoplastic polymer, which is thicker around the more sensitive organs.

Three American astronauts will wear the suit during routine activities and under the space station’s gravity conditions for varying periods of time. The vest will be used to gather feedback from astronauts on ergonomics, range of motion, experience, and overall comfort level in the environment.

The vest protects the bone marrow, lungs, chest, stomach, colon, and the ovaries among women, organs that are particularly sensitive to the formation of malignant tumors as a result of exposure to radiation.

This will be the first time in history that the Israeli flag, mounted on the AstroRad vest, will be displayed at the International Space Station, a low-orbit space station that serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory between five participating space agencies: NASA, Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada).

NASA joined forces with ISA in April 2018 to tap into StemRad’s cutting-edge technology. The ISA, along with the company that developed the wearable radiation protection solution, announced in July 2018 that the vest was ready for launch.

At the time, the ISA, which was sponsoring StemRad’s space activity, signed an agreement with Lockheed Martin to launch the vest for advanced ergonomic studies in microgravity.

Dr. Oren Milstein, CEO of StemRad, said in a statement that the success of the AstroRad trial is “a critical contribution by the State of Israel to NASA’s most ambitious research program since landing on the moon.”

“The Israeli Space Agency and StemRad are proud to work with NASA, Lockheed Martin, and our other partners in developing critical safety equipment to protect space astronauts’ lives, thus advancing a new era of deep space research,” said Avi Blasberger, director of the Israeli Space Agency, in the statement.

The vest is part of some 4,600 pounds (2086kg) worth of equipment to be delivered to the station aboard a Cygnus Northrop Grumman (Cygnus NG-12) spacecraft. The Cygnus NG-12 is the 13th planned flight of the robotic resupply spacecraft and its 12th flight to the ISS under the Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA. It will be launched from the NASA flight facility on Wallops Island, Virginia.

Other experiments that will be on the spacecraft include space mice, robotic avatars, and recycling polymers for 3D printers. Analog-1, a study led by the European Space Agency that will head to the space station with this launch, will explore how humans can best operate and communicate with robots in space. Also, Zero-G Oven will be used by astronauts to bake cookies in space for the first time.

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Never Easier To Do Business With Israel Says World Bank

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Never Easier To Do Business With Israel Says World Bank

Israel may be the Startup Nation, with the highest number of startups per capita in the world, first among 141 economies in entrepreneurial risk, companies’ innovative growth and R&D expenditure, but the red tape in this country is notoriously convoluted. From trying to get simple things done, like changing your address at the bank, to opening a business, Israeli bureaucracy can be a trip down a rabbit hole.

But a new World Bank report ranking 190 economies on how they have tackled burdensome regulation showed that Israel has markedly improved since last year, jumping 14 spots from 49th to 35th in the “Ease of Doing Business” ranking as part of the latest “Doing Business 2020” report. Israel’s ranking rests below Azerbaijan but above Switzerland.

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The annual report looks at regulation in 12 areas of business activity including the processes for incorporating a business, getting a building permit, obtaining an electricity connection, transferring property, getting access to credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, engaging in international trade, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency, employing workers, and contracting with the government.

According to the report, Israel improved in four key areas: starting a business, access to credit, paying taxes, and easing export requirements. Israel made starting a business easier “by allowing joint registration of corporate tax and value-added tax, reads the report”; it “improved access to credit information by reporting both positive and negative data on individual borrowers”; it made paying taxes easier by “implementing an electronic system for filing and paying value-added tax and social security contributions” and less costly by “reducing the corporate income tax rate”; and it made exporting easier by “eliminating the certificate of origin requirement, thereby decreasing the time and cost of export documentary compliance.”

This summer, Netanyahu presented his cabinet with an internal report detailing ministry-wide efforts to lower Israel’s regulatory burden. The report is an annual update on the Israeli government’s five-year regulation reduction initiative and detailed 58 different plans enacted by various government ministries to reduce procedures in the market and that have saved the economy approximately NIS 1.5 billion (approximately $42 million) since last year, the Prime Minister said in a July statement.

The report included plans formulated by 12 government ministries and three authorities (the Tax Authority, the Consumer Protection Authority and the Competitiveness Authority) to cancel or reduce over 50 requirements that would prohibit employment and work, such as the cancellation of the demand for a license and test to become a real estate broker, the cancellation of the requirement for a minimum number of vehicles to receive a license to operate a vehicle leasing company, and the cancellation of structural requirements for small pastry bakeries. The plan also detailed over 50 government processes that have been digitized (such as the transition to online licensing examinations, tax payment receipts, etc.)

Netanyahu said the improvement was seen in the latest OECD Product Market Regulation index, published every five years, which saw Israel jump 16 spots from the next-to-last place between Turkey and Mexico in the 2013 index to 18th place in the 2018 index.

The 2013 index essentially prompted Netanyahu to establish a ministerial committee to cut regulation and bureaucracy. “Five years have passed and the OECD issued a new report …. We were almost last and now we have jumped 16 places. This is unheard of,” he said.

But, he went on, “I want another jump forward. I want to be above the average; in the middle is not a good place. I want to be one of the least bureaucratic countries, least regulated countries, in the world, because this means money in consumers’ pockets.”

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Intel’s New “Ignite” Accelerator Program Selects 9 Israeli Startups

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Intel’s New “Ignite” Accelerator Program Selects 9 Israeli Startups

Intel kicked off the launch of its new accelerator program in Israel on Tuesday for early-stage startups, announcing the nine data-centric companies that will be participating in the 16-week initiative.

The program, called “Ignite,” was first announced in June. Its aim is to “leverage Intel’s global market access, business, and technology leadership to provide early-stage startups [with a] unique advantage on their path to disrupt the future,” the tech giant said at the time.

“Intel has always worked in concert with open ecosystems to scale new technologies so they can be transformational for our customers, business and society,” said Intel CEO Bob Swan in June during a trip to Israel for the announcement. “Israel has the deep skill base in AI, autonomous systems and the underlying technologies critical to these inflections that make it a natural choice to launch our Ignite program,” Swan said.

They are:

  • Cloudwize – a startup that enables organizations to maximize the value of their cloud architecture.
  • Addionics – an Israeli startup with offices in the UK founded in 2017 that accelerates smart electrification by redesigning battery architecture.
  • GleanLabs – a Tel Aviv-based startup founded in 2017 that offers an automatic employee competency mapping and management platform for large R&D organizations.
  • Deci AI – a startup that provides acceleration of deep learning models, substantially reducing latency and cost-to-serve.
  • Hi Auto – a startup that helps OEMs reinvent how customers spend their time in the car by offering a whitelabel voice platform that converses naturally with customers and works under any noise conditions.
  • Granulate – a startup that developed software to reduce compute costs by up to 60 percent while maximizing performance.
  • Mine – a startup that developed a platform to empower individuals and businesses to discover their digital footprint in order to reduce redundant risk.
  • HourOne – a company with offices in NYC and Vancouver that developed a synthetic video creation platform powered by artificial intelligence.
  • NOVOS – an Israeli startup founded in 2017 that developed a training platform for gamers who want to improve their skills.

The program has recruited leading mentors in various fields to deliver workshops and training focused on technology and entrepreneurship, including Gil Hirsch, founder of, Roni Zahavi CEO and co-founder of Hibob, and Ron Yekutiel, founder and chairman of Kaltura, Intel said. The participating companies will also receive financial advice from Deloitte, legal guidance from Pearl Cohen, and IT services from Intel.

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“Ignite will supply these selected startups with the tools for success,” said Tzahi (Zack) Weisfeld, head of Ignite, in a statement.

Weisfeld, a former global head of Microsoft for Startups added: “Intel is responsible for much of the world’s technological infrastructure and aims to be twenty steps ahead of the game. The participants have the opportunity to take part in our vision, and can have an enormous impact on their fields through leading innovation globally.”

“For the startups to succeed is for Intel to succeed — it goes both ways,” Weisfeld said.

He tells NoCamels in a phone interview that Ignite is not just another accelerator. “It’s a high-intensity program that’s very thorough with a dedicated team and strong mentorship backing,” he explains.

Weisfeld says the startups will benefit from four types of mentors: industry mentors where they’ll be “matched” with committed, serial entrepreneurs in a managed process; Intel tech mentors where startups will be partnered with experts who will help drive the technical aspects; industry experts based on the needs of the individual startups; and workshop leaders who will help with the development of processes like product development and go-to-market strategies.

“These connections that they build can be invaluable and can last a lifetime,” Weisfeld says.

Intel will take no equity from the startups but the program will demand their time and energy. Weisfeld himself will meet weekly with each startup to assess progress and help guide them through any challenges, he says.

“This program’s KPIs [key performance indicators] are the business success of startups, their traction, and any follow-up funding,” Weisfeld explains.

Like the program, the selection process was also rigorous, he says. The startups were evaluated by two teams of between six to seven judges made up of industry experts and Intel executives. “We wanted to see a tech-based big idea that seeks to provide a solution to something, a good team, a good CEO, good energy, and coachability,” Weisfeld says, describing the whole process “more like a VC than an accelerator.”

“As Israel’s largest high tech company, we want to support the major technological changes emerging across our startup community,” Yaniv Garty, general manager of Intel Israel, said back in June.

“Ignite is an important step in this direction, focused on our efforts to transform the world through working on innovations in AI, autonomous, cyber and next-generation computing. With our advances in these areas, Intel is positioned to help companies charge forward. I’m confident that Intel’s unique expertise in hardware, software, and manufacturing will help the startups grow and succeed,” he added.

Intel employs about 11,000 people in Israel and another 1,000 from the Jerusalem-based autonomous systems company Mobileye which it acquired in 2017 for $15.3 billion. It is considered the largest employer in the high-tech sector.

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Israeli Content Recommendation Firms Taboola and OutBrain Merge to Challenge Google and Facebook

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Israeli Content Recommendation Firms Taboola and OutBrain Merge to Challenge Google and Facebook

Rival Israeli content recommendation companies Taboola and Outbrain announced that they are merging to form a combined company that will hopefully become a meaningful advertising competitor to Google and Facebook.

As part of the deal, Taboola is set to pay $250 million for 30 percent of Outbrain’s shares and will hold a 70 percent stake in the merged entity, Globes first reported on Thursday.

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The companies said in a statement that the merger “will provide enhanced advertising efficacy and reach to marketers worldwide, while helping news organizations and other digital properties more effectively find growth in the years to come.

They also said that their consolidated buying platform will provide advertisers with greater efficiencies, increased revenue, accelerated innovation through two strong R&D teams, and better customer experience. “By joining forces, we’ll be able to create a more robust competitor to Facebook and Google, giving advertisers a more meaningful choice,” said Taboola founder and CEO Adam Singolda in a press statement, citing recent data that showed that almost 70 percent of total US digital advertising revenue in 2019 is controlled by only three companies – Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

“We’re passionate about driving growth for our customers and supporting the open web, which we consider critical in a world where walled gardens are strong, and perhaps too strong. Working together, we will continue investing to better connect advertising dollars with local and national news organizations, strengthening journalism over the next decade. This is why we’re merging; this is our mission,” Singolda said.

Singolda, who will head the combined company as CEO, founded Taboola in 2007 with headquarters in New York. Taboola’s major partners include the Daily Mail and USA Today and it has said that it was on track to hit the $1 billion revenue mark in 2019. The company also says its partnered publishers, mobile carriers and handset manufacturers, use Taboola to drive audience monetization and engagement with a reach of over 1.4 billion a month.

Outbrain was founded in 2006 by Yaron Galai and Ori Lahav as an online advertising company specializing in presenting sponsored website links. The company has grown to hold 18 offices worldwide and boasts an impressive 275 billion monthly recommendations in 14 different languages. Customers include CNN, the BBC, Mashable, MSNBC, Slate Haaretz, and Le Parisien.

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Now That’s Wifi. Israeli Satellite to Provide High-Speed Internet Access to Africa and MidEast

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Now That’s Wifi. Israeli Satellite to Provide High-Speed Internet Access to Africa and MidEast

Israel’s Amos-17 satellite by Ramat Gan-based company Spacecom was successfully launched into space overnight Wednesday in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The launch, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, came almost three years after a spectacular launchpad explosion destroyed Spacecom’s Amos-6 satellite and the SpaceX rocket it was on in September 2016.

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AMOS-6 was then touted as Israel’s most advanced satellite, operated by Spacecom and developed with its partner, the Israel Aerospace Industries. Its goal was to beam free internet across sub-Saharan Africa as part of a project with Facebook. The tech giant had in 2015 launched, a non-profit initiative that would bring together technology leaders, nonprofit organizations and local communities to provide Internet access to the most remote regions of the world.

The Amos-17, built by Boeing, will have much the same objective: to provide satellite communication services including broadband and high-speed data services to Africa as well as the Middle East and Europe.

The satellite was originally scheduled to be launched on Saturday but was delayed to fix a suspected faulty valve during tests.

Once operational, Amos-17 will be the most technologically advanced satellite over Africa, providing extensive C-Band HTS capabilities, Ka-Band and Ku-Band to a range of markets, and combining broad regional beams and high throughput spot beams to maximize throughput and spectral efficiency, Spacecom says.

Amos-17 will operate from 17° East to expand and strengthen Spacecom’s coverage of the growing satellite service markets in the continent which suffers from snail-pace internet speeds and inadequate infrastructure. According to a 2018 joint report by the World Wide Web Foundation, the Alliance for Affordable Internet, and UN Women, internet penetration across the continent stands at 22 percent.

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To get connectivity via Amos-17, a simple solar-powered terminal is required, the Times of Israel reported citing remarks at a press conference last month by Eran Shapiro, director of business and technology ventures at Spacecom.

Spacecom says the Amos-17 “will be a state-of-the-art multi-band high-throughput satellite, utilizing Boeing’s advanced digital processor platform, that will provide reliable and flexible satellite solutions and offer a significant competitive advantage for our customers.”

The satellite’s “inherent flexibility of the digital platform with a mix of fixed and steerable beams ensures a fast response to changing customers’ needs.”

The $250 million Amos-17 is expected to operate for at least 20 years.

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Israeli Developers Deliver ‘Village-in-a-Box’ Integrated and Sustainable Technology

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Israeli Developers Deliver ‘Village-in-a-Box’ Integrated and Sustainable Technology

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No matter how hard we try, living a sustainable life is a constant uphill battle. We carry around metal straws and reusable bags to cut down on plastic consumption, turn off the water while brushing our teeth to conserve, try to buy organic produce to support sustainable agriculture. And yet, we all have a carbon footprint – some negative environmental impact that is just unavoidable.

Our planet’s resources – clean water, soil, clean air – are not infinite and Earth Overshoot Day, when humankind will have used up its allowance of resources for the year (according to calculations by the Global Footprint Network, a sustainability-focused think tank), was marked earlier this week. Five months early.

Israeli entrepreneurs Jonathan Haran and Victor Hajaj want to see drastic transformation in how we think about resources and consumption rates. And they’re aiming to effect this change on the societal and communal level.

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“All the resources we need for living are part of the food-water-energy-nexus,” Haran tells NoCamels in a phone interview. “That’s all we need.”

Societies, he says, have just not understood this well enough yet, and so many municipalities, regions, and countries are managing the three realms independently of each other. “That’s inefficient because, on a macro level, food, water and energy really cannot be separated from each other. They are inseparably intertwined,” he explains.

The leapfrog in sustainability can therefore only come from an approach that sees this nexus as a whole, and enables innovation in all three sectors, he says.

Haran and Hajaj founded The Sustainable Group in 2017, an initiative that seeks to establish sustainable neighborhoods, with a focus on developing countries, while integrating technological systems “to provide for residents’ basic human needs without being dependent upon state infrastructures,” the group says. At a later stage, the systems may provide resources for the wider infrastructure network.

These technological systems include energy production systems (sun, steam, solar, hydrogen, turbines, wind, etc), food production systems (hydroponic greenhouses, aquaponics, permaculture and organics), water production and desalination systems, infrastructure and innovative sewage systems, computing systems that manage resources and report malfunctions, and construction and development systems, the group says.

Working with a team of top-notch scientists from different professional backgrounds, The Sustainable Group has developed two core products.

First is the “Village in a Box,” a complete, shippable construction set to build a fully integrated village with an infrastructure solution that supplies communities with housing, energy, food, and water.

“Especially in remote areas that have weak infrastructure, taking this decentralized approach can have a huge impact,” Haran tells NoCamels. By giving communities their own, independent water, energy and food supplies, residents can use renewable energy and tap into the synergy of systems to their full extent, growing food locally through vertical farming, putting the village’s waste to good use and recycling water, he says. It can be an incredibly efficient approach to resource management which directly translates into as much as a 35 percent decrease in costs of living, Haran adds.

“The questions we looked at were: What will the future of community and housing look like? What challenges will humanity face? Should our homes be flexible and smart and know how to work for us, to create economic and existential security for us? Yes! How do we do that?” Haran wrote in a Facebook post earlier this year.

The challenge, he wrote, is “how to deliver more infrastructure solutions that will keep up with the fast growth of population and know how to adapt to changes. Village-in-a-box is the future of communities. A community that is sustainable and resilient; productive and self-sufficient. It can be built anywhere on the globe,” he said.

And the model is not just for villages. After all, big population centers around the world are where most resources are squandered, and where fundamental change could have the greatest impact.

The Sustainable Group is offering its resource-distribution software as a separate service. The AI mechanism is designed to learn the behavior of both humans and the environment, to understand how everything works together, after which it will be able to tell the integrated food-water-energy-system how to use its current resources in the most sustainable way.

“With that, we can save 30 percent of wasted energy, which leads to an impressive cost reduction,” says Haran.

The software is still in development and “should be done by the end of the year,” Haran tells NoCamels. “This ‘software-only’ solution would be great for cities or for industry, basically for everyone who wants to apply real-time resource management.”

The Sustainable Group recently participated in the Chivas Venture Competition, a no-strings-attached $1 million contest first founded in 2014 for social entrepreneurs with big ideas for solving the world’s biggest social and environmental issues. The Israeli group made to the finals, but the top spot went to a project from Mexico that proposes to convert agricultural waste into a natural sugar substitute.

The Sustainable Group is now focused on a joint venture with the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies to build a neighborhood based on its proposed model as a sort of proof-of-concept. Construction is set to begin next year in a kibbutz close to Mizpe Ramon. The village has been dubbed “Qayma” for now and registration for the first carbon-negative village in Israel is open.

“That’s a great place to start,” explains Haran “since Mizpe Ramon is the most remote city in Israel. If it works here, in the middle of the desert, that’s great proof that it can work anywhere in the world.” And especially in developing countries where many people are at “the mercy of nature,” the group says. Humankind, they write, has already severely impacted natural systems through “air pollution, mining and as a result of the quick development of unsustainable energy based on fossil fuels, the destruction of the oceans of fish stocks, pollution of streams and deep aquifers, deforestation, harm to the food chain and natural ecology that plants and animals depend on.” This is especially felt in these countries.

Haran and Hajaj also want to show that living sustainably has nothing to do with being a “tree hugger,” as Haran emphasizes. “Sustainability is for everyone, and The Sustainable Group aims to give back control over resource consumption to the communities themselves. That is not just a selfless social endeavor, but also highly economical.”

The project is garnering interest in neighboring countries and communities in Israel, Haran says. Resource scarcity is especially pronounced in the Middle East. Haran tells NoCamels that The Sustainable Group is “already working with some Bedouin and Arab communities in Israel,” and would like to see more such cooperation in the future.

For now, the pilot project in Mizpe Ramon will be the next big step on the way to sustainable community living.

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How Israel Ranks Among World’s Startup Ecosystems

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How Israel Ranks Among World’s Startup Ecosystems

Startup Genome’s 2019 Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER), one of the world’s most comprehensive reports on startup ecosystems and subsector trends, firmly states that there will be no “next Silicon Valley.”

Instead, there will be 30 “next” hubs throughout the world that don’t quite achieve the density of the Bay Area, but do go beyond “critical mass” driven by regional or sub-sector leadership, the report explains.

Among them are New York City, London, Beijing, Boston, and Shanghai, five cities the report claims to have as much VC funding in startups as Silicon Valley had in 1998. But also on the list – in sixth place overall – is Tel Aviv, Israel’s finance and tech capital, which has helped earn the country’s reputation as the “Startup Nation” with more startups per capita than anywhere in the world.

The report, released in May this year and published annually since 2012, is a joint effort between Startup Genome, a management consulting firm that advises startups, and the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), a producer of projects and platforms for entrepreneurs in 170 different countries. Startup Genome has collaborated with more than 300 partner organizations for over a decade and has collected data on over a million companies across 150 cities.

The 2019 rankings included a total of nine “success factors” that were used to evaluate the ecosystems: performance, funding, market reach, talent, experience, connectedness, knowledge, infrastructure, and policy. After being evaluated by these factors, the startup ecosystems are classified into four general types: leaders, major hubs, momentum, and challengers.

The report dubs Tel Aviv and other cities in the top seven as “leaders,” noting they have “strong performance across many ecosystem success factors, each of them creating at least $30 billion in ecosystem value, with a median of $56 billion.”

Tel Aviv came in sixth behind Silicon Valley, New York City, London, Beijing, and Boston. Los Angeles is on its tail in seventh place followed by Shanghai, Paris, and Berlin, all classified as “major hub startup ecosystems.”

“Tel Aviv’s startup ecosystem is one of the most highly developed in the world. Israel has more startups per capita than any other country and its startups collectively raised $6.47 billion in 2018,” the report quoted Uzi Scheffer, CEO of Israeli-founded global innovation platform SOSA, as saying.

The city received top marks for a number of “success factors,” ranking in the top tier for connectedness, referred to in the report in terms of links the city has to other top global ecosystems, and knowledge, as a result of “a culture of founders helping founders, frequent events, and entrepreneurs getting meaningful help from local experts and investors.”

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Tel Aviv’s abundance in tangible IP, in the form of patents, research, and favorable policy environments leads to its strong performance in the knowledge category, according to the survey. In the IP commercialization sub-factor, Tel Aviv scored 10 (out of 10).

The city also ranked in the second tier for performance, talent, experience, funding and market reach. Since Tel Aviv operates within a small local market, the ecosystem sells to global customers at high rates – over 50 percent of Tel Aviv’s startups’ customers are foreigners, the report says. A small local market facilitates an ecosystem’s globality and scale.

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Israeli Startup ReImagines Automobile Design

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Israeli Startup ReImagines Automobile Design

Imagine an entirely flat and modular platform in which the motor, steering, suspension, drivetrain, sensing, brakes, thermal systems, and electronics are all integrated into the vehicle’s wheels. All components previously found under the hood of the car would now be incorporated into the vehicle base, and the inner wheel space would contain electric motors and a miniature gearbox, with this revolutionary design.

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Cars have come a long way since they first emerged at the dawn of the 20th century. The first “modern motorcar” was the 1901 Mercedes, which could reach a peak speed of 53 miles (85 km/h) per hour. In 1908, American automaker Ford introduced the Ford Model T, the first affordable automobile credited with revolutionizing modern transportation.

The automobile granted individuals greater independence and mobility and spurred the growth of outdoor recreation, tourism, and construction. Although car ownership is virtually universal in the developed world today, the automotive industry is anything but static – autonomous vehicles, electric and hybrid cars, electrification of infrastructure, connected cars, and shared transport are all megatrends now remaking the auto industry.

Israel is a leading player in the transforming auto industry, with some 500 startups and companies in the auto tech arena. These companies’ efforts range from detecting sleepy drivers to creating digital cockpits, developing electrified infrastructure that can charge electric vehicles while in full motion over smart roads, intelligent transport systems, vehicle cybersecurity, and satellite navigation technologies.

Tel Aviv-based company REE has emerged from stealth mode this month after six years of development to introduce its unprecedented approach to vehicle design and functions, specifically for the electric vehicle (EV) market. This market, which includes both hybrid and electric battery-operated vehicles, is especially promising but still relatively small with just over two million units sold in 2018. The two main challenges it faces are cost and logistics. Battery packs are cumbersome and expensive, even as costs are falling, and charging infrastructure requires major investment.

REE sought to flip the script on these gaps and developed an entirely flat and modular platform in which the motor, steering, suspension, drivetrain, sensing, brakes, thermal systems, and electronics are all integrated into the vehicle’s wheels. All components previously found under the hood of the car would now be incorporated into the vehicle base, and the inner wheel space would contain electric motors and a miniature gearbox, with REE’s design.

The goal, REE said in a statement this month, was to “fundamentally change[s] the way electric vehicles are built to power widespread vehicle electrification.”

This design is a crucial addition to the electric and autonomous vehicle revolution and can be adapted to the use of SUVs, trucks and personal and shared vehicle models.

REE says the design’s low center of gravity maximizes efficiency and supports agility and stability and the integrated wheel offers manufacturers freedom for body configurations. The flat platform would reduce the weight of the vehicle by 33 percent, allowing for a higher load per ride while also freeing up space by 67 percent, reducing costs and increasing efficiency, according to the company.

REE co-founder and CEO Daniel Barel told Interesting Engineering in an exclusive interview this month ahead of the launch that “the single biggest expenditure for an OEM [original equipment manufacturer] auto manufacturer is the platform…it costs billions, it takes years, and each OEM has between two and six platforms at any given moment, and two or three in development. We went in and said ‘what if you might need only one? That might be worth something.”

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Sea-Bulance: An Ambulance At Sea Becomes Reality

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Sea-Bulance: An Ambulance At Sea Becomes Reality

Israel’s Magen David Adom (MDA), an emergency medical care and disaster response provider, announced that it inaugurated its new ‘Sea-Bulance’ service to assist people in need of critical medical treatment and rescue while at sea.

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The Sea-Bulance currently operates in the Sea of Galilee, a freshwater lake in northern Israel known in Hebrew as the Kinneret. MDA said the boat, a whale r500 professional, can reach speeds of up to 35 knots (more than 60 km / h) and can travel from one side of the Sea of ​​Galilee to the other in just 10 minutes.

It is equipped with advanced medical tools including a defibrillator, ventilation equipment, and a stretcher, and can carry up to six people, MDA said.

The Sea-Bulance enables the paramedics to arrive “with advanced medical equipment to patients while they are still in the waters of Lake Kinneret, thus saving critical minutes, versus cases where the injured person receives medical treatment only when he reaches the shore.”

MDA said that last summer, its medics treated over 160 people rescued from the waters around the country, including seven who drowned on the shores of the Sea of ​​Galilee.

“MDA did not wait for the next event and launched the Sea-Bulance in order to save lives,” the organization said in a statement.

“The boat is designed to provide medical assistance to all those who need us on the beach and especially in the water, including people who drowned, who are on a boat and feel bad, or those who were injured in a vessel accident,” explained the head of MDA Immediate Response Force, Yossi Halabi in the statement. “The bow of the boat opens and allows a quick and easy bringing the victim to the boat, within the water area.”

MDA said the Sea-Bulance has already been used in a number of occasions over the past week to treat a man who suffered a severe allergic reaction, a man who felt unwell while in the waters, a windsurfer who was in distress, and a young woman who was injured during a cruise. The boat also helped in the rescue of a man and his grandchildren who were stuck miles from shore due to their boat’s technical malfunction, and in the search of a man who was feared to be drowning in the waters, the organization added.

Magen David Adom Director-General Eli Bin said in the statement that the organization was “constantly thinking about saving lives, and with the Sea-Bulance we can provide medical treatment in water, in cases where every minute is critical.”

The boat was purchased with a donation. Note: This article originally appeared on

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