Archive For The “Israeli Tech” Category

SeeTree Disrupts Tree Farming Bigtime

By |

SeeTree Disrupts Tree Farming Bigtime

The integration of technologies such as satellites, sensors, and drones into agriculture and farming has contributed to some dramatic changes in these fields over the past few years. The ability to observe crops from a bird’s eye view and detect ground conditions for better productivity adds perspectives that once seemed impossible.

These tools and others like data technologies have been helping farmers and agricultural professionals gain insights, making the world’s most important industry operate more smoothly and efficiently.


This article was originally posted by NoCamels.com. See Featured article: Artificial Intelligence

Follow Diane Israel on Facebook.
Follow Diane Israel on Instagram.
Follow Diane Israel on Twitter.
Connect with Diane Israel on LinkedIn.


Israeli entrepreneur Israel Talpaz has had an eye on these developments for years. He grew up on a kibbutz in the Sharon region with a father who was a professor of agriculture at Texas A&M before becoming the deputy head of the Volcani Center in central Israel.

Talpaz worked in the government sector for 30 years, overseeing multi-faceted, logistically challenging operations, before deciding to return to his farming roots with the insights he had gathered. In 2017, Talpaz teamed up with Barak Hachamov, an accomplished entrepreneur who recently served as an advisor for Google, to create SeeTree, an agriculture tech startup helping farmers manage and optimize the health and productivity of their trees.

Talpaz and Hachamov lead the young startup out of a beautiful, modern office overlooking the First Hebrew City, applying their business skills, logistical know-how, and passion for agriculture to solve some of the industry’s biggest problems – the modern management of trees and crops. The two knew that in Florida, for example, a state with a $10.7 billion citrus industry, a reported 80 percent of fruit trees were infected by deadly bacteria in 2015, leading to massive loss of production and revenue.

The founders communicated intensively with their early customers to understand what information drove their decisions and what it would take to provide a more complete picture to assist them. Concepts like optimizing irrigation on the level of an individual tree were previously inconceivable. Likewise, there was no way to accurately project crop yield before a harvest.

Initially, industry experts advised against the focus on trees; row crops are thought to be far easier to observe and analyze than trees which are larger and far more varied. Nonetheless, Talpaz and Hachamov pressed ahead and decided to bring the benefits of data, business intelligence, and first-rate technology into the fields.

Talpaz observes that agriculture is very similar to defense. “A big farm has a lot of threats and a limited amount of resources to effectively respond to them,” he tells NoCamels. “Farmers need to detect problems as early as possible if they want to succeed. Up until today they use their eyes and their feet to keep track of their crops,” says Talpaz.

Instead of using the good old “green thumb” that rules much of the agricultural world until this day, SeeTree uses technology to create a clear scoring system to evaluate the health of each individual tree as it produces.

“It was like trying to sell a thousand dollar iPhone to someone in the mid-90s who had only ever seen a flip phone,” Talpaz tells NoCamels of his early efforts to convince farmers to take the quantum leap in monitoring and optimizing the production of fruit.

SeeTree raised its early funds from local investors and had a viable product that was used by farmers in a pilot in California within three months of founding. The startup has since generated considerable traction⁠— a recent $30 million investment round attracted significant investors in the agriculture industry such as Brazilian company Citrosuco, one of the world’s largest orange juice concentrate producers, Orbia Ventures, the corporate VC arm of Orbia (formerly Mexichem), which acquired Israeli drip irrigation company Netafim, and Kubota, a Japanese manufacturer specializing in tractor and agricultural equipment. The lead investor in the round was the International Finance Corporation(IFC), the private-sector arm of the World Bank Group.

“It’s all word of mouth. They call us. We are managing a waiting list to ensure that we can provide high-quality service and don’t overflow,” says Talpaz, explaining the critical importance of gaining the trust of farmers who have never employed advanced technology.

SeeTree’s solution relies on flying drones that provide high-resolution images and give a detailed aerial picture of orchards with a minimum of 700,000 trees. The drones scan 20,000 trees per hour and the images are analyzed carefully using machine learning to mimic an agronomist observing a tree. SeeTree gives each tree a score by checking for dryness, excess shade, weeds, bacteria, and other harmful actors that can interfere with growth. The score is comfortably accessible in a dashboard that the farmers use. This allows them to easily and intelligently activate their workforce and choose how to spend valuable resources such as water or chemicals

The drones work in tandem with a rover that drives through the orchards at night while using special, contrast lighting and computer vision cameras to get a clear, ground-level picture of the trees. The footage provides a fruit count, a better picture of the tree’s health, and an accurate prediction of crop yields before harvest. This gives a comprehensive picture of each tree and allows monitoring that helps salvage fruit before it is lost and, by extension, profit. Additionally, knowing the exact conditions in which the best trees grow helps farmers learn what works and optimize their treatment.

The footage taken by each rover produces one terabyte of data per night requiring advanced connectivity and cloud storage. The data from the rovers and drones is used in Israel by imagery analysts, software developers, and data scientists who manage the models that process the data. The teams then provide an aesthetic and intuitive platform for farmers to study their orchards down to the resolution of a single tree.

“It’s like an intelligence desk for farmers,” says Talpaz.

The insights gathered and provided by SeeTree are promising to an industry that has been rather slow to massively adopt advanced tech.

Farmers can now ask questions they didn’t know they could ask: How much viable fruit is growing in each section of an orchard or on a given tree before harvest? Where can early signs of bugs and bacteria be spotted? Which are the first areas that require manual labor to remove weeds or dead trees?

SeeTree currently has offices in Brazil and California to serve some of the world’s largest fruit-producing markets in North and South America. With its new funding, SeeTree says it plans to make high-impact improvements on its current offerings that will go towards enhancing the data-collecting operations by employing drones and rovers to capture more footage at once and operate for longer. In addition, there are plans to automate key elements of the service, allowing for swift growth as the startup expands into markets such as Europe and Southeast Asia.

With its unique solution, SeeTree is in the process of letting farmers worldwide reimagine what it means to manage an orchard.

Read more »

Israeli EdTech Helps Universities Adopt Remote Learning Solutions

By |

Israeli EdTech Helps Universities Adopt Remote Learning Solutions

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for more innovative and consistent distance learning methods in schools and universities. As education facilities across the world shuttered due to the global crisis, teachers and staff were forced to scramble together online learning resources and figure out ways to teach differently.

These changes were deeply felt in higher education as a new “hybrid” era of traditional teaching, online learning, and knowledge-sharing methods was conceived. While the idea of virtual education isn’t new — the first university to launch fully online degrees did so in 1989 — this mixture of in-person and remote education also demanded a “digital transformation.”


This article was originally posted by NoCamels.com. See Featured article: Artificial Intelligence

Follow Diane Israel on Facebook.
Follow Diane Israel on Instagram.
Follow Diane Israel on Twitter.
Connect with Diane Israel on LinkedIn.


One organization that understood the need to embrace technologies to operate better long before the pandemic is Ex Libris, an Israeli company whose cloud-based solutions help institutions around the world improve their library management systems, research outcomes, and student engagement.

“We support higher education through its digital transformation processes and help institutes to integrate technologies in a way that helps those facilities improve their education and research performances,” Bar Veinstein, President of Ex Libris, tells NoCamels.

Ex Libris, meaning “The library of…” in Latin, began as an internal project at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1980 to develop a new library management system, as no system was able to handle Hebrew and Latin character sets at the time. The software was called ALEPH (Automated Library Expandable Program.) Yissum, Hebrew University’s technology transfer company, founded Aleph-Yissum, a new company to commercialize the software, in 1983. Between 1983 and 1988, all eight universities in Israel bought the program and became part of a network. Aleph-Yissum started to sell the product abroad in 1989, mostly in Europe. By 1995, 200 libraries in 27 countries bought it.

Since then, the company was acquired four different times by American capital funds and companies, including the latest acquisition in 2015 by US firm ProQuest for more than $500 million, a purchase that was marked as the second-largest exit in the Israeli market that year

Today, Ex Libris is an Israel-based edtech company working with more than 7,500 academic institutes such as Harvard, Yale, and Oxford, in more than 90 countries

The company shifted to a SaaS (software-as-a-service) model back in 2010, as such solutions became increasingly more common due to their benefits for both software providers and customers.

Veinstein tells NoCamels that 100 percent of the company’s new sales are cloud-SaaS subscription.

“The thing that’s unique about how we moved to cloud is that the shift was done ‘organically.’ We didn’t acquire or merge with another cloud-based company in order to turn into one ourselves,” he says. “Our SaaS business model helped us to develop more efficient systems.”

Ex Libris offers SaaS solutions for the management and discovery of the full spectrum of library and scholarly materials, as well as mobile campus solutions that drive student engagement. The company’s products and services include four library management platforms, three discovery products, two resource sharing programs, a mobile campus solution, course resource lists, and a plethora of research, cloud, content, professional and support services

Alma, one of the company’s “best-known products” is a cloud-based library services platform that manages various tasks in a single platform.

“We usually refer to Alma as the ‘ERP’ (enterprise resource planning) system of libraries as it tracks down orders and bills, it manages print, electronic and digital materials and provides a cost-effective solution for libraries,” Veinstein says

learning remotely

Alma is currently used in 39 countries, among more than 45,000 librarians in 1,800 universities, the company says. During the COVID-19 pandemic, library staff were able to continue working remotely to support students’ online learning, even amidst social distancing or lockdown restrictions.

Another notable library-management product offered by Ex Libris is Primo, a system that gives access to the collections found in the library and helps better discover academic resources and scholarly materials. Ex Libris also provides resource sharing solutions that simplify the process of lending library resources between libraries, Veinstein says.

Veinstein highlights Pivot-RP, one of the company’s newest platforms, a global database of funding opportunities that facilitates access to funding for researchers. The company also recently launched CampusM, a mobile campus app and portal for students.

“The way I see it, these two products serve as a great example of how we, as a company, expand into new fields and lead innovation within the higher education – even outside of the library management context,” Veinstein says.

While Ex Libris is a longtime player in the burgeoning field of education technologies, the coronavirus pandemic has thrown even the most enduring companies for a loop.

“Like most tech companies, the sudden shift to remote work caught us by surprise. We had to close the doors of our several global offices and manage the work of over 1,000 employees from afar. I’m proud of how we [managed] to quickly adjust ourselves and move our customer engagement activity (sales, support etc.) to a virtual format,” Veinstein explains. “We recruited dozens of new employees that had never been to our offices, which is certainly strange. We still navigate our way through the new reality and try to figure out how to preserve our work culture and address the needs of our workforce within this bizarre situation.”

Veinstein says Ex Libris did have to make some changes to address the shift to remote mode, and these improved the company overall.

Read more »

6 Israeli Innovations Make Times Top 100 Best Inventions of 2020

By |

6 Israeli Innovations Make Times Top 100 Best Inventions of 2020

TIME magazine has listed six Israeli-made innovations among its annual list of 100 Best Inventions of 2020 that are “changing how we live.” In 2019, the magazine featured nine Israeli innovations.

This year’s list was published late last week and features gadgets, devices, products, and services in multiple categories such as artificial intelligence, accessibility, electronics, augmented reality, design, finance, and entertainment. There is also a “special mention” category where one Israeli innovation was listed.

The magazine said the list was compiled through solicited nominations from TIME editors and correspondents around the world, and through an online application process. Each contender was then evaluated on key factors such as “originality, creativity, effectiveness, ambition, and impact.”

“The result: 100 groundbreaking inventions—including a smarter beehive, a greener tube of toothpaste, and technology that could catalyze a COVID-19 vaccine—that are changing the way we live, work, play and think about what’s possible,” the magazine wrote.

Among the best inventions were a power wheelchair accessory, a smart baby crib, an AR training platform for frontline workers, a made-to-order manicure service, a phone that doubles as a notebook by Microsoft, a robotic tutor, a vegan pork offering, and an indoor gardening solution.

Here are the six Israeli innovations that appear on the list:

Beehome by Beewise
Beehome, the first automated beehive created by Israeli startup Beewise, was listed in the artificial intelligence category.

Beehome is a solar-powered, retrofitted shipping container that can house up to 40 bee colonies in an automatically controlled climate for optimal humidity conditions that can be monitored via app. The beehome also has pest control functions that monitor for parasitic mites that can have detrimental effects on colonies. AI technology adjusts conditions in the Beehome when it identifies that a colony is preparing to swarm, and Beehomes send alerts to beekeepers once a container of honey reaches its 100-gallon capacity.

All of these changing conditions ensure that yields improve, pollination occurs more efficiently, and bee populations are protected. Beehome costs $15 per month per hive.

Israeli company Beewise created an autonomous beehive. Screenshot
The Beehome is a welcome development in a world where global bee populations have been declining over the last few decades. Bee populations often face colony collapse disorder, which occurs when the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear and leave behind a queen and a few nurse bees to care for the queen and the remaining immature bees. This disorder, on top of excessive use of agricultural chemicals and climate change, has significantly reduced bee populations, yet agricultural production must grow by 70 percent by 2050 to avoid food scarcity.

Beewise raised $10 million in funding in July for its innovative solution.

Trialjectory – a guide to cancer trials
TrialJectory, a startup launched in 2017 with offices in Tel Aviv and New York, also appeared in the Ai category on TIME’s list. The company has set out to optimize clinical trial matching for cancer patients.

CEO and co-founder Tzvia Bader has had extensive experience in the high-tech sector, particularly in big data, and conceived of the idea for TrialJectory after her own struggle with cancer.

The service she helped develop uses AI algorithms to sift through a myriad of available trials and produce recommendations for patients looking to participates.

Patients can log in to the company website and submit information on their particular situations. Bader told NoCamels in 2018 that one of the difficulties with trial matching is that the criteria are “very specific,” differing on cancer type and phase as well as other features peculiar to each patient. She said TrialJectory is able to achieve such precision: “Based on the patient profile we have, we run an algorithm to find the right trials so instead of a list of a few hundred, you’ll end up with two, three, [or] five that are right for you.”

The company generates revenue from pharmaceutical companies running trials to which TrialJectory refers patients. “As a principle, our mission, part of our values, we don’t charge the patient,” Bader said at the time. After TrialJectory returns trial recommendations on a patient profile, the patient can select one. The company then contacts the pharmaceutical company running the chosen trial to arrange for participation.

Augmedics
Xvision by Israeli company Augmedics featured in the Augmented and Virtual Reality category of TIME’s list.

The device is an AR headset with goggles that projects an “x-ray vision”-like 3D visualization of the spinal anatomy of a patient in real-time for surgeons. This allows the surgeon to accurately navigate instruments and implants while looking directly at the patient, rather than at a remote screen.

Augmedics was founded in 2014 by Nessi Benishti and Nissan Elimelech. The Xvision received 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration last year.

“Augmedics’ mission is to give surgeons more control by creating technological advances that cater to their needs and fit within their workflow,” said Elimelech, who serves as CEO, at the time of the FDA announcement.

“Xvision is our first product of many to follow that will revolutionize surgery, as it gives surgeons the information they need, directly within their working field of sight, to instill technological confidence in the surgical workflow and help them do their jobs as effectively and safely as possible,” he added.

The device is in use at top US hospitals like Johns Hopkins and Rush University Medical Center, TIME reported.

Mifold Hifold by Carfoldio
The parenting category of the TIME list of inventions featured the Mifold Hifold, a fit-and-fold car booster seat touted by the Israeli company behind it – Carfoldio – as the “world’s most compact, portable and adjustable highback booster.”

The Mifold Hifold has adjustable head, torso and seat panels – 243 individual settings in total – and offers seatbelt fit for children of all sizes from 33-100 lbs. (14-45 kg) and 36-59 inches (91.44 – 149.86 cm). The booster folds down to a compact and convenient size for storage, travel, and carpooling and is lightweight and convenient. TIME magazine called the seat a “Transformer-like device.”

TIME magazine has listed six Israeli-made innovations among its annual list of 100 Best Inventions of 2020 that are “changing how we live.” In 2019, the magazine featured nine Israeli innovations.

This year’s list was published late last week and features gadgets, devices, products, and services in multiple categories such as artificial intelligence, accessibility, electronics, augmented reality, design, finance, and entertainment.

The magazine said the list was compiled through solicited nominations from TIME editors and correspondents around the world, and through an online application process. Each contender was then evaluated on key factors such as “originality, creativity, effectiveness, ambition, and impact.”

“The result: 100 groundbreaking inventions—including a smarter beehive, a greener tube of toothpaste, and technology that could catalyze a COVID-19 vaccine—that are changing the way we live, work, play and think about what’s possible,” the magazine wrote.

Among the best inventions were a power wheelchair accessory, a smart baby crib, an AR training platform for frontline workers, a made-to-order manicure service, a phone that doubles as a notebook by Microsoft, a robotic tutor, a vegan pork offering, and an indoor gardening solution.

Here are the six Israeli innovations that appear on the list:

Beehome by Beewise

Beehome, the first automated beehive created by Israeli startup Beewise, was listed in the artificial intelligence category.

Beehome is a solar-powered, retrofitted shipping container that can house up to 40 bee colonies in an automatically controlled climate for optimal humidity conditions that can be monitored via app. The beehome also has pest control functions that monitor for parasitic mites that can have detrimental effects on colonies. AI technology adjusts conditions in the Beehome when it identifies that a colony is preparing to swarm, and Beehomes send alerts to beekeepers once a container of honey reaches its 100-gallon capacity.


This article was originally posted by NoCamels.com. See Featured article: Artificial Intelligence

Follow Diane Israel on Facebook.
Follow Diane Israel on Instagram.
Follow Diane Israel on Twitter.
Connect with Diane Israel on LinkedIn.


All of these changing conditions ensure that yields improve, pollination occurs more efficiently, and bee populations are protected. Beehome costs $15 per month per hive.

Israeli company Beewise created an autonomous beehive. Screenshot

The Beehome is a welcome development in a world where global bee populations have been declining over the last few decades. Bee populations often face colony collapse disorder, which occurs when the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear and leave behind a queen and a few nurse bees to care for the queen and the remaining immature bees. This disorder, on top of excessive use of agricultural chemicals and climate change, has significantly reduced bee populations, yet agricultural production must grow by 70 percent by 2050 to avoid food scarcity.

Beewise raised $10 million in funding in July for its innovative solution.

Trialjectory – a guide to cancer trials

TrialJectory, a startup launched in 2017 with offices in Tel Aviv and New York, also appeared in the Ai category on TIME’s list. The company has set out to optimize clinical trial matching for cancer patients.

CEO and co-founder Tzvia Bader has had extensive experience in the high-tech sector, particularly in big data, and conceived of the idea for TrialJectory after her own struggle with cancer.

The service she helped develop uses AI algorithms to sift through a myriad of available trials and produce recommendations for patients looking to participates.

Patients can log in to the company website and submit information on their particular situations. Bader told NoCamels in 2018 that one of the difficulties with trial matching is that the criteria are “very specific,” differing on cancer type and phase as well as other features peculiar to each patient. She said TrialJectory is able to achieve such precision: “Based on the patient profile we have, we run an algorithm to find the right trials so instead of a list of a few hundred, you’ll end up with two, three, [or] five that are right for you.”

The company generates revenue from pharmaceutical companies running trials to which TrialJectory refers patients. “As a principle, our mission, part of our values, we don’t charge the patient,” Bader said at the time. After TrialJectory returns trial recommendations on a patient profile, the patient can select one. The company then contacts the pharmaceutical company running the chosen trial to arrange for participation.

Augmedics

Xvision by Israeli company Augmedics featured in the Augmented and Virtual Reality category of TIME’s list.

The device is an AR headset with goggles that projects an “x-ray vision”-like 3D visualization of the spinal anatomy of a patient in real-time for surgeons. This allows the surgeon to accurately navigate instruments and implants while looking directly at the patient, rather than at a remote screen.

Augmedics’ xvision headset. Courtesy

Augmedics was founded in 2014 by Nessi Benishti and Nissan Elimelech. The Xvision received 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration last year.

“Augmedics’ mission is to give surgeons more control by creating technological advances that cater to their needs and fit within their workflow,” said Elimelech, who serves as CEO, at the time of the FDA announcement.

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter

SUBSCRIBE

“Xvision is our first product of many to follow that will revolutionize surgery, as it gives surgeons the information they need, directly within their working field of sight, to instill technological confidence in the surgical workflow and help them do their jobs as effectively and safely as possible,” he added.

The device is in use at top US hospitals like Johns Hopkins and Rush University Medical Center, TIME reported.

Mifold Hifold by Carfoldio

The parenting category of the TIME list of inventions featured the Mifold Hifold, a fit-and-fold car booster seat touted by the Israeli company behind it – Carfoldio – as the “world’s most compact, portable and adjustable highback booster.”

The Mifold Hifold has adjustable head, torso and seat panels – 243 individual settings in total – and offers seatbelt fit for children of all sizes from 33-100 lbs. (14-45 kg) and 36-59 inches (91.44 – 149.86 cm). The booster folds down to a compact and convenient size for storage, travel, and carpooling and is lightweight and convenient. TIME magazine called the seat a “Transformer-like device.”

TIME magazine has listed six Israeli-made innovations among its annual list of 100 Best Inventions of 2020 that are “changing how we live.” In 2019, the magazine featured nine Israeli innovations.

This year’s list was published late last week and features gadgets, devices, products, and services in multiple categories such as artificial intelligence, accessibility, electronics, augmented reality, design, finance, and entertainment. There is also a “special mention” category where one Israeli innovation was listed.

The magazine said the list was compiled through solicited nominations from TIME editors and correspondents around the world, and through an online application process. Each contender was then evaluated on key factors such as “originality, creativity, effectiveness, ambition, and impact.”

“The result: 100 groundbreaking inventions—including a smarter beehive, a greener tube of toothpaste, and technology that could catalyze a COVID-19 vaccine—that are changing the way we live, work, play and think about what’s possible,” the magazine wrote.

Among the best inventions were a power wheelchair accessory, a smart baby crib, an AR training platform for frontline workers, a made-to-order manicure service, a phone that doubles as a notebook by Microsoft, a robotic tutor, a vegan pork offering, and an indoor gardening solution.

Here are the six Israeli innovations that appear on the list:

Beehome, the first automated beehive created by Israeli startup Beewise, was listed in the artificial intelligence category.

Beehome is a solar-powered, retrofitted shipping container that can house up to 40 bee colonies in an automatically controlled climate for optimal humidity conditions that can be monitored via app. The beehome also has pest control functions that monitor for parasitic mites that can have detrimental effects on colonies. AI technology adjusts conditions in the Beehome when it identifies that a colony is preparing to swarm, and Beehomes send alerts to beekeepers once a container of honey reaches its 100-gallon capacity.

SEE ALSO: 7 Israeli Bee Tech Firms Protecting Bee Populations And Global Agriculture

All of these changing conditions ensure that yields improve, pollination occurs more efficiently, and bee populations are protected. Beehome costs $15 per month per hive.

Israeli company Beewise created an autonomous beehive. Screenshot
The Beehome is a welcome development in a world where global bee populations have been declining over the last few decades. Bee populations often face colony collapse disorder, which occurs when the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear and leave behind a queen and a few nurse bees to care for the queen and the remaining immature bees. This disorder, on top of excessive use of agricultural chemicals and climate change, has significantly reduced bee populations, yet agricultural production must grow by 70 percent by 2050 to avoid food scarcity.

Beewise raised $10 million in funding in July for its innovative solution.

TrialJectory, a startup launched in 2017 with offices in Tel Aviv and New York, also appeared in the Ai category on TIME’s list. The company has set out to optimize clinical trial matching for cancer patients.

CEO and co-founder Tzvia Bader has had extensive experience in the high-tech sector, particularly in big data, and conceived of the idea for TrialJectory after her own struggle with cancer.

The service she helped develop uses AI algorithms to sift through a myriad of available trials and produce recommendations for patients looking to participates.

Patients can log in to the company website and submit information on their particular situations. Bader told NoCamels in 2018 that one of the difficulties with trial matching is that the criteria are “very specific,” differing on cancer type and phase as well as other features peculiar to each patient. She said TrialJectory is able to achieve such precision: “Based on the patient profile we have, we run an algorithm to find the right trials so instead of a list of a few hundred, you’ll end up with two, three, [or] five that are right for you.”

The company generates revenue from pharmaceutical companies running trials to which TrialJectory refers patients. “As a principle, our mission, part of our values, we don’t charge the patient,” Bader said at the time. After TrialJectory returns trial recommendations on a patient profile, the patient can select one. The company then contacts the pharmaceutical company running the chosen trial to arrange for participation.

The device is an AR headset with goggles that projects an “x-ray vision”-like 3D visualization of the spinal anatomy of a patient in real-time for surgeons. This allows the surgeon to accurately navigate instruments and implants while looking directly at the patient, rather than at a remote screen.

Augmedics was founded in 2014 by Nessi Benishti and Nissan Elimelech. The Xvision received 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration last year.

“Augmedics’ mission is to give surgeons more control by creating technological advances that cater to their needs and fit within their workflow,” said Elimelech, who serves as CEO, at the time of the FDA announcement.

“Xvision is our first product of many to follow that will revolutionize surgery, as it gives surgeons the information they need, directly within their working field of sight, to instill technological confidence in the surgical workflow and help them do their jobs as effectively and safely as possible,” he added

The device is in use at top US hospitals like Johns Hopkins and Rush University Medical Center, TIME reported.

The parenting category of the TIME list of inventions featured the Mifold Hifold, a fit-and-fold car booster seat touted by the Israeli company behind it – Carfoldio – as the “world’s most compact, portable and adjustable highback booster.”

The Mifold Hifold has adjustable head, torso and seat panels – 243 individual settings in total – and offers seatbelt fit for children of all sizes from 33-100 lbs. (14-45 kg) and 36-59 inches (91.44 – 149.86 cm). The booster folds down to a compact and convenient size for storage, travel, and carpooling and is lightweight and convenient. TIME magazine called the seat a “Transformer-like device.”

Read more »

Mel Brooks fulfills Prophecy — Jews in Outer Space — 2nd Israeli Astronaut Slated for 2021

By |

Mel Brooks fulfills Prophecy — Jews in Outer Space — 2nd Israeli Astronaut Slated for 2021

A second Israeli astronaut, former fighter pilot Eytan Stibbe, will take off to space to take part in a national, historic and scientific mission scheduled for the end of 2021. The announcement was made on Monday at a joint press conference hosted by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and the Ramon Foundation together with the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Stibbe’s mission comes 18 years after the country’s first astronaut, Colonel Ilan Ramon, was sent to space and died alongside six fellow astronauts when their space shuttle broke up upon re-entry to Earth after a 16-day research mission in 2003.


This article was originally posted by NoCamels.com. See Featured article: Artificial Intelligence

Follow Diane Israel on Facebook.
Follow Diane Israel on Instagram.
Follow Diane Israel on Twitter.
Connect with Diane Israel on LinkedIn.


Rivlin said the announcement of a second Israeli astronaut being sent to space was “a day of national celebration and immense pride.”

An Israeli pilot, with the blue and white flag embroidered on his uniform, is proving once again, as we have proved here over the last 72 years, that even the skies are no limit,” he said in his speech.

“The absence of Ilan, Rona and Asaf Ramon today reverberates in the heavens. The family is a source of true Israeli inspiration and pride,” he said, referring to the astronaut, his widow, Rona, a public activist, STEM influencer and supporter of the education and advancement of youth in Israel who died in 2018, and their son, Asaf, an F-16 pilot who died in a training accident in 2009.

Rona Ramon established the Ramon Foundation in 2010 and ran the organization until her death. Stibbe is also one of the founders of the Ramon Foundation and is a prominent veteran voluntary member of its board of directors. According to the Ramon Foundation website, Stibbe and Ilan Ramon flew together as fighter pilots.

The foundation runs advanced programs in the STEM fields, and encourages generation of Israelis toward academic excellence, and social leadership.

Stibbe is expected to launch from Florida to the International Space Station at the end of 2021, on behalf of the Ramon Foundation in partnership with the State of Israel.

His mission marks new territory in the private space industry.

The Israeli astronaut will be taking part in an international mission, initiated by Axiom Space, and which will be manned by two other private astronauts.

Stibbe will pay for the trip, the launch and all necessary equipment, according to a Haaretz report.

Stibbe is the founder and chair of Vital Capital Fund and, over the last 35 years, has worked on developing business and financing initiatives for projects in the developing world on vital infrastructure projects.

On arriving in space, Stibbe and a number of other astronauts will go to the International Space Station (ISS), pending NASA approval. The mission commander for Axiom Space is veteran US astronaut and VP of Axiom Space Michael López-Alegría, who has over 40 years of aerospace experience. He has flown to space four times and commanded the 14th ISS mission.

“Next year, I will have the opportunity to participate in a mission to the International Space Station – a fascinating mission to science, education and the exploration of human nature. The International Space Station is one of the greatest points of cooperation in the world, where astronauts from many countries live and work together. This is the kind of fellowship that is so vital, particularly at this time as we deal with the coronavirus crisis,” said Stibbe, a Colonel in the IAF reserves and who has logged 43 years as a fighter pilot.

“After the tragic loss of Ilan and Asaf, we created the Ramon Foundation with Rona to see how space research can heighten the senses, spark our curiosity and even challenge our wildest imagination. I hope that our mission to space will open new channels of cooperation, peace and believe in our ability to look after our beautiful planet for future generations,” he said at the press conference announcing the mission.

Minister of Science and Technology Yizhar Shai said the ministry was “proud to be a partner in the mission of the second Israeli astronaut, Eytan Stibbe, on a national mission that brings together the best brains of tens of thousands of children and adults, men and women, scientists and industrialists.

“The State of Israel is already considered a global power in the field of space. The mission of the second Israeli astronaut will contribute to the development of the New Space industry that will create tens of thousands of jobs and a new and important branch of the innovation and entrepreneurial economy,” he added.

The Ramon Foundation will lead all aspects of the Israeli mission – scientific and educational – together with the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Israeli Space Agency, which will lead the government ministry’s partnership, according to the announcement.

The plan calls for Stibbe to spend 200 hours at the ISS, during which he will perform a number of experiments using Israeli technology and scientific developments from researchers and startups that he will take with him to space.

He is also expected to bring the world of space to Israeli children.

Addressing the newest Israeli astronaut, Rivlin said: “My dear Eytan, up there, beyond the seventh heavens, you will do Israeli technological experiments, some of which have been developed by our young people. You will be the envoy of those brilliant brains, the present and future generations of Israeli research, and will help them understand how the world works when we look at it from afar. You will be Israel’s representative in a human effort to understand the wonderful workings that allow life on this planet, and uncover the secrets of the universe.”

The Ramon Foundation announced that in the three months before he blasts off, Stibbe will undergo a concentrated training period in the US, Germany and Russia.

“This mission to space, for science and research, on behalf of humanity’s unending search for knowledge, for discovery, for understanding, is being launched at a time when humanity is facing one of its greatest challenges. It is a crisis our generation has not known. Because of the virus, we have come to realize how many great concepts – like science, medicine and research – can fundamentally shake our lives,” said the president.

“We have come to realize how much we do not know, not only about distant planets and infinitely huge galaxies, but even here on our own small planet. Dealing with this microscopic, tiny virus, in an effort to find a vaccine, we must work together, scientists from different countries and peoples. That is the power of science. It reminds us that we are part of something much bigger, that speaks to the human spirit that is within us all,” said Rivlin.

“Go in peace and return in peace, and do not forget to wave to us from up there,” Rivlin signed off.

Read more »

Anti-Anxiety, Stress Proteins Discovered By Israeli Researchers

By |

Anti-Anxiety, Stress Proteins Discovered By Israeli Researchers

By Diane Israel

Anxiety and its kinfolk, namely fear and stress, are by definition traumatic experiences for which we would all like to rid ourselves, go hand-in-mind with the human condition. And while we cannot extract it like special forces from a hostile environment, we can do something almost as good.

Almost everyone would like to be happier. But what we often focus is on just that. Happiness. Meaning, when we project future happiness upon our being, rarely, if ever, do such musings consider how merely reducing those moments, those moments when we can’t think straight, might be another path to the same end.

An acquaintance of mine put it this way:

When you’re reacting instead of responding, your suffering some degree of an anxiety attack.

And while her words are true, and qualify as an important self-awareness tool to add to our personal psychology, more traumatic experiences call for scientific innovations like the recent breakthrough by Israeli researchers that addresses this problem head-on.

Many people have difficulties with turning off their response to stress factors. According to Weizmann Institute of Science researchers, they may be missing a special set of proteins.

A pounding heart, sweating palms, tense muscles and that metallic taste in your mouth is normal – when you perceive a threat to your existence, be it through anxiety, fear, or stress, each of which overlaps the other considerably.

It’s a typical anxiety response, one that often comes along with the “flight or fight” reaction generated by an adrenaline rush brought on by stress.

People who have a tough time turning that response off often have suffered a psychological trauma as the result of a frightening experience such as a missile attack or other type of physical threat. Such victims can develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Other conditions related to stress and anxiety include anorexia, depression and a myriad of anxiety disorders.

According to the findings of a new study led by Dr. Alon Chen at the Weizmann Institute’s Neurobiology Department, however, there is solid evidence that three related proteins are responsible for the body’s ability to turn off the stress response.

The research, which appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), found that urocortin proteins 1, 2, and 3 are crucial for returning the body to normal.

To identify how exactly this is done, Chen and his team tested the gene expression levels of genes involved in the stress response in a group of genetically engineered mice who were lacking the proteins, and a control group of mice.

The levels remained constant both during and after stress in the engineered mice, who were missing the proteins. In contrast, patterns of gene expression in the control mice showed significant change 24 hours after the stress.

In other words, without the urocortin system, the “return to normal” program could not be activated, and the stress genes continued to function.

“This may have implications for anxiety disorders, depression, anorexia and other conditions,” noted Dr. Chen. “The genetically engineered mice we created could be effective research models for these diseases.”

Read more »

Artificial Intelligence For The Vision Impaired Is Here

By |

Artificial Intelligence For The Vision Impaired Is Here

By Diane Israel

If you can see a faint or shadowy image, but can’t tell what it is due to visual impairment, now by simply pointing to it, MyEye1 will tell you what it is. It’s like having a seeing-eye dog that can speak to you in English, but it’s much smaller and doesn’t poop! The device wears pretty much like any set of eyeglasses.

Consider my friend Larry as a case-in-point. Twenty years ago, Larry developed Diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy affects blood vessels in the light-sensitive tissue called the retina that lines the back of the eye. It is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes and the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness among working-age adults.

While Larry and I were on a road trip through Northern Arizona last summer, we stopped for a bite to eat and to walk his dogs. While in the parking lot, Larry asked me if the tall, skinny object behind me was a tree or a telephone pole. That’s the extent of his visual capabilities. And there’s no medical procedure that has any promise of restoring his vision to reasonable standards.

Until now.

Artificial Intelligence Meets Artificial Vision: Introducing Orcam’s MyEye!

Now Larry, and those like him, can enrich their daily experiences and enjoy greater independence with OrCam.

Israeli tech is on the rise.

OrCam MyEye 1 is a breakthrough wearable artificial vision device designed to assist people who are blind, visually impaired, or have a reading disability. The intuitive, lightweight smart camera instantly and discreetly reads printed and digital text aloud – from any surface – and recognizes faces, products, and money notes, all in real time.

 

 

And now, with the release of MyEye 2.0, the benefits go far beyond MyEye1, including…

  • Read from any surface. Real-time identification of faces is seamlessly announced
  • Recognize known faces. Intuitively responds to simple hand gestures
  • Identify products. Identification of products, enabling an independent shopping experience.
  • Easy to use. Intuitively responds to simple hand gestures
About Orcam

OrCam was jointly founded in 2010 by Prof. Amnon Shashua and Mr. Ziv Aviram, who are also the co-founders of Mobileye, the collision avoidance system leader, and autonomous driving innovator. The original OrCam MyEye device was launched in 2015, and the next generation OrCam MyEye 2.0 was launched in 2017.

Read more »

Israeli-UK Startup Raises Bar on Electric Vehicle Batteries

By |

Israeli-UK Startup Raises Bar on Electric Vehicle Batteries

As the COVID-19 pandemic shakes the global economy, the electric car sector continues to serve up a bright spot of expectation and innovation for a more sustainable future.

Norway hit the headlines in July, setting a world record as pure electric cars made up almost half of car sales in the country in the first half of 2020. Tesla, meanwhile, continues to cut prices for its electric cars and is snagging headlines for its rechargeable battery plans.


This article was originally posted by NoCamels.com. See Featured article: Artificial Intelligence.


Indeed, battery-powered vehicle innovation is gaining traction as oil demand plummets, according to a new UNCTAD report that highlights the growing importance of electric mobility and the main materials used to make rechargeable car batteries.

For smart 3D batteries startup Addionics, the Israeli-UK outfit which develops specialized rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles and other applications, this is prime time to show off its cost-effective, scalable, and game-changing battery structures.

Addionics is a startup keen on changing the dynamics of chemical reactions to improve battery performance, mileage, lifetime, safety, charging time and cost-effectiveness.

While others in the rechargeable battery sector are looking to new chemistries for batteries and cheaper materials, the Addionics scientists have come up with an out-of-the-box engineering approach that will enhance battery performance no matter the type of battery chemistry.

The company created a new way to store energy. It created a porous surface for electrodes that has a direct effect on how the cells behave. This smart 3D structure minimizes the internal resistance and improves mechanical longevity, thermal stability and other basic limitations and degradation factors in standard batteries.

“We believe there is a lot of room for improvement in batteries. All the focus is on the chemistry. We are taking a different approach,” says Dr. Moshiel Biton, Addionics CEO. “We can simulate how the architecture, the porous level, affects performance.”

If all goes as planned, the Addionics technology will transform the way we store and deliver energy and still have a positive effect on the environment. “We are reducing the cost of batteries by 10-15 percent by enabling higher energy density and a longer lifetime,” says Biton.

The startup is groundbreaking in its approach but wants to keep the integration into existing OEM battery assembly lines simple for easier adoption. The smart 3D metal structure for rechargeable batteries is considered a drop-in solution.

“We see that the industry is very traditional, so we want to offer a solution that will not change the chemistry or infrastructure or the supply chain. We want to offer minimum change but a maximum impact. We are taking existing technology and by better engineering, we can improve it and enhance it further,” Biton tells NoCamels.

The idea for changing the structure as opposed to the chemistry makeup came to Biton about seven years ago, after he heard about the battery defects in smartphones that was causing them to overheat and explode. At the time, Biton, a doctoral student at Imperial College London, decided to investigate and explore in real-time what the problem was.

He found that dendrites, needle-like structures that plague lithium batteries, were short-circuiting and causing the explosions.

Armed with a healthy dose of Israeli chutzpah, Biton turned to his then-teachers and asked them to join him on a mission to change the world of energy storage. Dr. Farid Tariq, co-founder and CSO, and Dr. Vladimir Yufit, co-founder and CTO, served as academic advisors before finally leaving their Imperial positions to cofound Addionics with Biton in 2018.

The young startup, with headquarters in both London and Tel Aviv, has already raised $6 million in funding, a combination of a round led by Next Gear Ventures and winning a $2.5 million grant as part of the prestigious Horizon2020 EU competition.

The Horizon2020 EU committee described Addionics’ innovation as “disruptive and potentially a game-change in the energy storage market. The timing is right, as there is a strong demand in the market for such solutions.”

Of course, Addionics is just one of many players in the competitive battery innovation sector. In Israel, battery materials innovation developer StoreDot , Phinergy and CENS recently enjoyed the media’s spotlight for advances in the electric vehicle space.

“We believe there is a lot of room for improvement in batteries. We want to see more innovation and more success stories in this domain. In the end, it is the reputation of Israel in the field,” says Biton.

The Addionics team likes to compare their technology to a horse race – with the battery chemistry innovators as the horses and their technology solution as the race itself.

“No matter what chemistry technology will win the electrification race, we will improve it even more. We are betting on the race, and not on the horse,” says Yufit in a press statement.

At the moment, Addionics focuses on the automotive market but also develops technology for other products such as consumer electronics, medical devices, grid energy storage, drones.

Read more »

Israel Welcomes All to the Micromobility Sector

By |

Israel Welcomes All to the Micromobility Sector

A pilot initiative that will change how cyclists and scooter riders – as well as delivery messengers, couriers, and residents — get around cities is winning international attention, even before its planned July launch.


This article was originally posted by NoCamels.com. See Featured article: Artificial Intelligence.


Bird, the shared electric scooter transportation company, and Trailze, the Israeli navigation tech startup that is remapping the urban grid, announced in mid-June that they’re collaborating on a pilot, the Bird Maps app, which will offer navigation specifically created for riders of human-scale vehicles to safely navigate urban streets.

“We looked for the need, not the solution,” Ronen Bitan, CEO at Trailze, tells NoCamels about his company’s groundbreaking navigation software. “Google maps is amazing for cars. But there’s a huge vacuum when it comes to city navigation for cyclists and scooter riders.”A Bird rider using the Bird Maps powered by Trailze. Photo: PRNewsfoto/Bird

Bird Maps is a free standalone app, available soon on iOS and Android, that will allow riders the opportunity to enter their destination information and get in return audio and visual turn-by-turn navigation.

“Our vision at Trailze is to make riding human-scale vehicles the easiest and safest option for all,” says Bitan. “We couldn’t be more excited to join forces with Bird, the Apple of the shared micromobility space, and use our unique navigation technology to revolutionize the way people move around in our cities.”

Indeed, how people and goods get around our cities is changing every day. New shared mobility options propose lower emissions, better safety, and enhanced affordability.

“With millions of people embracing shared electric micromobility and cities everywhere committing more resources to the development of bike and micromobility lanes, we wanted to ensure that riders could more easily navigate and utilize city infrastructure,” Patrick Studener, Head of Bird EMEA, said in a press statement.

Before COVID-19, electric scooters and electric bicycles were slowly gaining traction as the transportation mode of choice for inner city destinations the world over. Shared electric scooters are used in 626 cities, in 53 countries and have made over 300 million trips, according to an EY report.

During COVID-19, over 300 cities introduced plans for more than 2,600 additional kilometers of slow streets and temporary bike lanes. Among them, the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality recently approved a strategic plan to double the length of bike paths in the city from 140km to 300km by 2025.

Read more »

Boom at Intel Israel Continues

By |

Boom at Intel Israel Continues

Intel Israel nearly doubled its exports in the past year, increasing by $2.7 billion to reach $6.6 billion in 2019, a figure that represents 12.5 percent of Israel’s total high-tech exports for the year, according to the company’s newly published Corporate Responsibility Report for 2019-2020 (Hebrew). Intel Israel also indicated that over the course of 2019, it made $1.8 billion of local procurement in Israel, purchasing materials and services from Israeli suppliers (up from $1.5 billion in 2018.)As the largest private employer in the country, Intel Israel said it added nearly 1,000 jobs in 2019 and now employs 13,750 people across the country, including over 1,000 from Mobileye, the autonomous driving tech company Intel bought in 2017 for over $15 billion.


This article was originally posted by NoCamels.com. See Featured article: Artificial Intelligence.


Intel Israel also released a number of corporate commitments it hopes to meet over the next decade as part of Intel’s overall corporate responsibility strategy and goals published last month including collaborations in health and safety, pandemic preparedness, carbon-neutral computing, and increased inclusion of women and minorities in senior roles.

Intel Israel said it currently spends NIS 250 million ($72 million) with diversified businesses and will double this amount to NIS 700 million (approximately $200 million) by 2030. It also announced it was launching a new training program next month to support 100 Israeli businesses owned by women, minorities, or situated outside Israel’s central region where more business and tech activity occurs.

Currently, women make up 25 percent of Intel Israel’s workforce and it hopes to increase the rate of women in tech positions to 40 percent with continued scholarship offers and empowerment programs such as Boost Your Career. In addition, Intel Israel said it will launch a separate program called “AI for youth” as part of a global project to equip over 30 million people with AI skill. A pilot of the program will open in September in four towns and is set to expand later to additional schools across Israel.

Intel Israel is also embarking on a number of sustainable projects including a commitment to purchase 100 percent of the energy it uses from renewable sources, send zero waste to landfills, and advance rehabilitation of water sources through funding, publishing a call for proposals for such projects from external parties. Intel Israel says that currently, 50 percent of the electricity it consumes is generated via green technologies and hope to implement a circular economy strategy on 60 percent of the waste it generates.

“The goals to which Intel Israel has committed to in our Corporate Responsibility Report for 2019-2020 are very ambitious,” said Yaniv Garty, general manager of Intel Israel. “They reflect our strong ambition, willingness and need to take the lead in collaborations that will address the challenges no one can overcome alone.”

Bella Abrahams, director of corporate affairs at Intel Israel, said the publication of the report was “a special landmark” that recaps “a decade of unprecedented accomplishments we are proud of and ushers a new decade, in which we strive to stretch ourselves even higher.

“As a company that attaches strong importance to transparency, the annual report serves the complete information of Intel Israel’s work. We look forward to continuing leading the Israeli high tech industry in technological innovation, as well as in impactful social initiatives,” she added.

Intel began operating in Israel in 1974 and has said that its investments in the Israeli economy have totaled over $35 billion since then.

Read more »

Israel’s Top Innovative Companies – FAST COMPANY

By |

Israel’s Top Innovative Companies – FAST COMPANY

Every year FAST COMPANY puts together its list of the top 400 innovative companies. Seven Israeli and Israeli-founded companies were among over 400 firms featured by US business magazine Fast Company on its annual “World’s Most Innovative Companies” for 2019.


The following excerpts were originally published by NoCamels.com


The monthly publication’s editors and writers said they sought out groundbreaking businesses across 35 industries in every world region, listing the top 10 in 41 categories such as AI, Biotech, Branding, Health, Robotics, Food, Security, and Middle East, for a total of 410 organizations.

Fast Company also released its annual “50 Most Innovative Companies” but no Israeli firms made that list. In 2018, Israeli-founded navigational app Waze was featured in the top 50 alongside giants such as Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify, and Israel had its own category with 10 top startups. An additional 5 Israeli companies and startups were featured in other categories.

This year, Fast Company featured a Middle East category and named four Israeli startups to its list of 10 businesses in the region.

They are:

Sight Diagnostics

An Israel-founded company that develops lab-grade blood testing systems, and which recently raised $27.8 million for the technological and commercial expansion of diagnostics system OLO as well as regulatory efforts in the US and R&D.

OLO leverages AI with a revolutionary method to ‘digitize’ blood, allowing patients to receive blood test results within minutes at the point-of-care, and with just a finger-prick. The system takes detailed images of blood and then analyzes them with AI-driven computer vision algorithms. It was first deployed in African countries and India in 2014 to detect malaria.

Sight Diagnostics now says its technology offers Complete Blood Counts (CBCs) – the most prevalent blood test in the world, and plans to develop further applications.

Fast Company said Sight Diagnostics, No.1 in the Mideast category, was chosen “for accurately diagnosing illnesses from a few drops of blood.”

Vayyar Imaging

n Israeli company founded in 2011 that developed revolutionary technology that can “see” through objects, including liquids and human tissue, to deliver 3D images with a host of applications.

The tech is being used across industry sectors including automotive, construction, agriculture, smart homes, robotics and medical care.

Vayyar has also been named an innovative Israeli company to watch by a host of publications including WIRED, Business Insider, and the World Economic Forum.

Fast Company says Vayyar was selected “for making low-cost, 3-D-imaging technology to improve health and safety.”

NoCamels has reported that Vayyar’s sensor-based technology “can see through skin and tissue to detect cancer masses, look through walls and create a 3D image of hidden structural foundations; or, it can be used to create a smart home that tracks the location of persons needing care, as well as their vital signs as they move around the house.”

Last year, Vayyar launched what it called the “world’s most advanced millimeter-wave 3D imaging chip,” which provides a high-resolution, mobile, and cost-effective 3D imaging solution.

Innoviz Technologies

A leading Israel-based provider of solid-state LiDAR sensors and perception software for the future of autonomous cars.

Featured in fourth place in the Mideast category, Fast Company says Innoviz was selected “for helping autonomous cars see their surroundings.”

The company recently launched new offices across the world including in the US, China, Japan, and Germany, and opened new headquarters in the central Israeli city of Rosh Ha’ayin.

The new HQ , a 4,000-square meter facility, includes labs, garages for test vehicles, and other manufacturing capabilities.

Last month, Innoviz entered its newest strategic partnership with Harman International, a Samsung subsidiary that focuses on connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets

Last year, Innoviz entered an agreement to supply German auto giant BMW Group with its automotive-grade LiDAR InnovizOne and computer vision software for its autonomous vehicle production

Innoviz was founded in January 2016 by Keilaf, Oren Rosenzweig, Oren Buskila, and Amit Steinberg. The company has raised $82 million to date, including a $73 million Series B funding round in 2017, which included participation from Delphi Automotive and Magna International.

ECONcrete

An environmental tech company founded in 2012 by marine ecologists Dr. Shimrit Perkol-Finkel and Dr. Ido Sella, that develops sustainable concrete for constructing ecologically active infrastructures in coastal and marine environments as well as in urban landscapes.

In 10th place in the Mideast category, Fast Company chose ECONcrete “for pouring concrete that stimulates biodiversity, reducing the ecological footprint of coastal projects.”

The company was recently featured in an episode of the popular web series Nas Daily.

Three more Israeli companies were featured in other categories, including:

Nanit

An Israeli-developed baby monitor that uses computer vision, machine learning and advanced camera sensors to track a baby’s sleep cycle and development.

Nanit appeared in seventh place in the Data Science category “for helping babies – and parents – get more rest.”

Nanit says its product is the first smart monitor to merge computer vision with data-backed sleep science, to produce the most advanced and secure camera technology ever introduced to the home.

The company says its technology can be applied more widely “since tracking and understanding sleep patterns and anomalies can lead to early detection of other disease states like sleep apnea, seizures, autism and more.”

Nanit has ongoing partnerships with major universities and institutions including the Technion, Ben-Gurion University and the City University of New York to study the effects of infant sleep on the overall health of a baby and their family.

Last year, the company raised $14 million in a financing round led by one of Israel’s leading VC firms, Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP).

JVP chairman Dr. Erel Margalit said at the time that “Nanit takes the science of sleep one step forward and revolutionizes this field through computer vision and machine learning technology. Nanit’s unique home-based camera monitors and analyzes sleep patterns in real-time and updates parents on their children’s quality of sleep, something which directly affects their physical, mental and emotional development.”

Nanit was founded in 2016 in New York by Dr. Assaf Glazer, Tor Ivry, and Andrew Berman.

Waze

Israeli-founded Waze, sold to Google in 2013, featured in second place in Fast Company’s Transportation sector, down one spot from last year.

Founded in 2009 by Amir Shinar, Uri Levine, and Ehud Shabtai, the company, a social traffic and navigation platform that collects input from users to provide warnings of auto accidents and other disturbances on the road.

After experimenting with a carpool service since 2016, Waze officially rolled out Waze Carpool late last year in Israel and in the US.

TripActions

A US-based corporate travel tech company founded by Israeli entrepreneurs Ariel Cohen and Ilan Twig, that recently raised $154 million in a Series C funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz.

TripActions placed eighth in the Travel category for “incorporating a user-experience mind-set into managing corporate travel.”

This startup, said Fast Company, “is shaking up the sleepy corporate travel world by making it easier than ever for companies to book and manage employee travel.”

Twig has said the company is “re-thinking the way that corporate travel is run and supported globally. With AI and machine learning, we’re able to deliver a truly customized traveler experience at scale, allowing us to reduce the time to book a trip from more than hour to a mere 6 minutes.”

“We’re also using this technology to deliver incredible support. Imagine a world where every travel headache –– whether that be a flight delay or a lost hotel room –– is taken care of before you even knew something was wrong. This is exactly what TripActions is able to offer to our customers today,” he added.

Learn more about Diane Israel. Also, see Diane Israel on LinkedIn.

Read more »