Archive For The “Israeli Tech” Category
It’s that time of the year for the granddaddy of all consumer electronics shows, CES (International Consumer Electronics Show) to turn heads with groundbreaking innovations in Las Vegas. It’s the proverbial Disneyland for tech geeks and those more inclined to adopt early in the emerging technologies sector.
Here’s a flash summary of the top Israeli companies participating at CES and why their worth writing about. (Summary information originally published in NoCamels.com.)
- Edgybees, an American-Israeli startup founded in 2016 that combines AR, drones, computer vision, multi-sensor data analytics, and 3D video generation to improve “situational awareness” for rescue teams and emergency responders. Its real-time platform relays vital information over video captured by drones to help lead rescue efforts in natural disasters and public safety incidents.
- 2sens —A Tel Aviv-based company that developed computer vision tech for capturing 3D video and 3D graphics with smartphones.
Anagog— The developer of JedAI, the first on-handset AI engine that converts sensors data in real-time and predicts mobility status and location information. The company has nabbed investments from Daimler AG and Skoda; Porsche Digital GmbH, a subsidiary that identifies trends and invests in startups for Porsche AG, purchased a “minority stake” earlier this year
- Brodmann17 — A software technology company founded in 2017 that can run deep learning vision on edge devices. Its tech can be used in applications such as augmented reality, robotics, home security, smart cities, and autonomous vehicles.
- Byond developed a virtual reality publishing platform aimed at allowing “brands, media companies, and businesses to create their own interactive experiences.”
- CipherSiP, an Israeli-Swiss company that provides end-to-end communications and authentication solutions for connected mobility and industrial platforms, using watermarking technology.
- FireDome, a cybersecurity company that provides home IoT vendors with highly specialized, continuously evolving software solutions.
- Gauzy, an Israeli company with offices in California, Germany, and Hungary that developed patented Liquid Crystal Glass (LCG) panels. Gauzy combines high-tech and low-tech by embedding film technology into raw materials, like glass, to allow for control of various forms of light, where the surface can be switched from opaque to transparent on demand. The former is ideal for projection and privacy, while the latter invites the outside world in. Images and videos in HD quality can be projected onto the LCG, potentially turning any such surface into a projection platform.
- Gauzy Car Ads: Ads projected in a car window using Gauzy’s LCG technology.
- Hexa, a Tel Aviv-based company that uses a unique AI framework with a complex computer vision algorithm to reconstruct 3D assets from ordinary photos. The tech focuses on fashion, furniture, and electronics.
Lishtot, the award-winning Jerusalem startup that develops and builds products to detect for drinking water contamination and safety. Lishtotwas named by TIME Magazine among 50 “genius companies” for 2018 and was selected among 15 “superhero” startups for NoCamels’ end-of-year review.
- Lumen, an Israeli startup founded in 2014 that developed a single-breath device that tracks the metabolism for better nutrition and overall health. Lumen is currently crowd-funding on Indiegogo.
Nanoscent, a Haifa-based company that specializes in scent recognition technology, developing a sensor-chip and AI platform. Its first scent recognition app was for “match-making,” predicting a match likelihood based on skin scent.
- NFT Inc, an Israeli company developing an autonomous, electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (
eVTOL) vehicle that would function as a car and a plane for two-to-four passengers. Qlone, a startup that has developed an app, based on five patented technologies, that allows users to scan real objects, using a smartphone camera, “modify them in app and seamlessly export the result” to a number of platforms “for 3D printing, 3D sharing, 3D selling or to use as a 3D asset in your game or app.” The startup has already partnered with LEGO and number of other companies for product launches.
- Sixdof Space, a company that combines “optics, electronics, and algorithms in a single package for deployment in products currently in development in multiple industries – with an initial market focus on the VR market.”
- Superb Reality Ltd., a startup founded in 2015 that developed hand gesture control and motion tracking software solutions for AR and VR glasses and phones.
Syteai, also a Tel Aviv-based startup that “combines object recognition, artificial intelligence, and machine learning” to make images and videos become instantly shoppable. Talamoos, a company developing prediction platforms based on AI’s machine learning and Big Data to track behavior. The startup participated in the first cycle of a unique accelerator launched Israel’s Internal Security Agency (ISA, also known as the Shin Bet in Hebrew) and TAU Ventures, the investment arm of Tel Aviv University.
- TriEye, a startup founded in 2016 that is “developing technology to maintain smart and autonomous vehicle safety in adverse weather and low-visibility conditions. Its semiconductor design uses patent-pending technology that allows the production of shortwave infrared cameras at a fraction of their current cost.”
- Unbotify, which detects anomalies in human-device interaction using Machine Learning, in real-time on a specific user-flow.
Waycare, a company founded in 2016 in Palo Alto, CA with offices in Tel Aviv that leverages artificial intelligence and predictive analytics for proactive traffic management optimization. It recently made headlines for helping the city of Las Vegas improve road safety and reduce vehicle crashes by some 17 percent on a stretch of one of its busiest highways.
- Woojer Ltd., a New York-based Israeli startup founded in 2011 that developed a “polyphonic haptic transducer that enhances music and audio.” The wearable devices (strap or vest) “accurately reproduce[…] bass frequencies and deliver[…] the emotional tactile sensation directly to the wearer’s body,” according to the company.
- OurCrowd, a leading global crowd-investing platform for accredited investors based in Jerusalem (and a NoCamels sponsor), also has a startup pavilion at CES 2019 with exhibiting Israeli startups that include:
- TechSee, an AI-powered visual customer engagement company that recently raised $16 million in a Series B funding round. Founded in 2015, TechSee developed a visual engagement solution powered by artificial intelligence and augmented reality that aims to revolutionize the customer experience, enabling consumers to receive augmented reality-based visual guidance through their smartphones from a virtual technical assistant.
Engie, a Tel Aviv-based startup founded in 2014 that developed an app that tracks car conditions and diagnoses malfunctions.
- C2A Security, a Jerusalem-based cybersecurity company that combines large-system security, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and hardware and software security to develop solutions for connected vehicles.
Vayavision, a startup founded in 2016 that combines raw data fusion, AI and machine vision for a platform for autonomous vehicles that gives a complete environmental model outside a vehicle using a system of sensor technologies – LiDAR, radar, and camera. It recently raised $8 million in a seed funding round led by Viola Ventures, OurCrowd, and MizMaa Ventures, with participation from LG Electronics, and Mitsubishi UFJ Capital.
A few dozen more Israeli Startups had booths at the show as well, including MobileEye, Arbe Robotics, Arberobotics, Karamba Security, Innoviz Technologies, Mantis Vision, Valerannn, and Temi.
Courtesy of NoCamels.com, here’s the list of top Israeli movers, shakers, and influencers for 2018 spanning the arts, sciences and just about everything in-between.
Nuseir Yassin, aka NAS Daily
With over 11 million Facebook followers, it’s hard to miss one of the 1-minute, often-charming videos posted daily by Nuseir Yassin, better known as NAS Daily (“Nas” means “people” in Arabic). Yassin grew up in the northern Israeli-Arab city of Arraba and went on to study at Harvard before becoming one of the most successful content creators on social media over the past two years.
Alyne Tamir, aka Dear Alyne
Any fan of NAS Daily has seen and heard Alyne Tamir, Yassin’s American-Israeli girlfriend and travel companion, who appears in a majority of his videos. But she is also an authentic, master creator in her own right.
Netta Barzilai, Winner of the Eurovision 2018
Israeli singer Netta Barzilai shot to international fame after clucking her way to first place in the 63rd annual Eurovision international song contest (much to the bewilderment of Americans). Her female empowerment hit “Toy” for the #MeToo era resonated with audiences and she earned Israel its 4th win in the contest since its debut in 1973.
Erel Margalit, Social and Tech Entrepreneur
Dr. Erel Margalit is one of Israel’s most prominent social and tech entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. The founder and chairman of Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), which invests in and builds startups, he also served in the government as a Knesset member for the Labor party in 2015-2017
Lior Raz and Avi Issacharoff are known to international audiences as the co-creators of the wildly popular, award-winning series “Fauda,” which first premiered in Israel in 2015 and on Netflix in late 2016. The show portrays the complicated conflict between Israelis and Palestinians through the story of an Israeli counter-terrorism unit operating in the West Bank and trying to capture (or kill) Hamas terrorists.
Dr. Tal Rabin heads the Cryptography Research Group at the IBM T.J.Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY. She grew up in Jerusalem and earned a PhD in Computer Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, after which she pursued an NSF postdoctoral fellowship at the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science.
Hossam Haick, Award-Winning Scientist
Professor Hossam Haick of the Wolfson Faculty of Chemical Engineering at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology is the developer of a unique technology enabling medical diagnoses based on breath.
Dr. Orna Berry is an award-winning scientist, high-tech entrepreneur, and senior executive with over 30 years experience in the tech and science fields. A leading businesswoman dubbed the “first lady of Israeli high-tech,” she was Israel’s first (and only, so far) female chief scientist at the Economy Ministry’s Israel Innovation Authority, serving in that role in the late 90s
Professor Yuval Noah Harari is the best-selling author of the 2014 book “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind,” which shot him to fame and is set to be adapted into a movie. The book focuses on human history within the framework of evolutionary biology, tracing the evolution of our species to the modern age and has sold some 10 million copies in over 50 languages.
Linoy Ashram and Sagi Muki, Star Athletes
Rhythmic gymnast Linoy Ashram thrilled Israelis in August this summer when she broke the world record in the clubs-handling round at the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup in Minsk, and then went on to win gold in the
Israeli judoka Sagi Muki, meanwhile, generated headlines for two reasons this year. First, he won two gold medals, one at the 2018 European Championships for the under-81 kg class, held in Tel Aviv in April, and a second at the Judo Grand Competition held in Abu Dhabi in October. Second, he participated in the latter competition wearing an emblem of the Israeli flag in an Arab country (amid threats from the International Judo Federation), and for the first time ever, the Israeli national anthem was played – a historical moment for all Israelis.
Eyal Shani and Yotam Ottolenghi, Celebrity Chefs
Israeli celebrity chef Eyal Shani is world-famous for his signature dish – roasted cauliflower – and stands behind the Miznon, a popular Tel Aviv restaurant, which he then took to Paris, Vienna, and Melbourne. This year, the Miznon made its debut in New York, bringing Israeli high-end “street food” to the Big Apple.
Israeli-British chef Yotam Ottolenghi, who co-wrote the best-selling book “Jerusalem” with Sami Tamimi, has a similar take on the evolution of Israeli cuisine.
Gal Gadot, Wonder Woman
Israeli actress and model Gal Gadot, famous worldwide for playing Wonder Woman, was selected by TIME magazine this year for its annual list of 100 most influential people of 2018
Adam Neumann, ‘We’ Entrepreneur
Another return entry is Israeli-born WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann, who was also listed this year in TIME magazine’s “100 most influential people of 2018” for “revolutionizing the way we work and reimagining how we live.”
Real issues remain with mass acceptance blockchain technology beyond early adaptors and those with enough political capital include it in the development portfolio, usually one
The remainder of this post was excerpted from original reporting in NoCamels.com
Startups in the sector are expected to continue to multiply and developers and academics are being relied on for new, transforming uses for blockchain technologies.
“Israel is on the forefront of solving the real issues plaguing the blockchain world,” Josh Liggett, a
“Blockchain will be the next big thing in Israel because it mixes all the technologies that we have here including AI, IoT, cloud, cybersecurity, etc., we have them all. Most of the products blockchain needs are here. We’re well positioned and on the front line,” says Yael Rozencwajg, founder and CEO of Blockchain Israel.
If foreign investments are anything to go by, it would seem the global community agrees that Israel is a good place to look for blockchain innovation. This past year, European investment bank Benson Oak, Swiss VC fund Lakestar, and South Korea’s Kakao Investment, among others, have all put money in Israeli startups focused on blockchain.
“Under the radar, some of the top people in the world are investing in Israeli companies in blockchain. Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin, Polychain Capital, Naval Ravikant. These are high profile,” says Liggett, who blogs at OurCrowd about blockchain developments.
Israel secured numerous blockchain-related headlines in 2018 for its startups, ICOs, investments, and educational initiatives. Most of the headlines were positive but some Israelis were allegedly linked to the initial coin offering (ICO) scams.
While 2016 and 2017 were all about ICO offerings and new startups using crypto to raise funds, 2018 will be remembered as the year of the great crypto crash. Many of the startups that used crypto and blockchain technology to raise funds either turned out to be frauds or couldn’t deliver what they promised.
“The ICOs we saw in 2017 and 2018 are gone. They’re not coming back. This was a situation where you could say, ‘hey I might decide to open something, I’ll give you a token. If I don’t open, then too bad. There’s no recourse.’ You can’t do that anymore,” says Liggett. “ICOs are not coming back.”
The ICO crash, however, is seen by some industry experts as a way to clean the blockchain image and now propel it forward to the significant technology it can be for mainstream companies, charities and financial institutions.
“The Israeli blockchain industry is currently experiencing both a boost and a transformation. On the one hand, we see unprecedented growth among blockchain startups, but on the other hand, many of them are skipping ICOs in favor of equity financing. Today there are fewer startup founders coming out of morally questionable markets, such as Forex, binary trading, and gambling. Instead, more institutional players are starting to enter the market. Thus, the market is going through a self-purification,” Roman Gold, founding partner of the Israeli Blockchain Association, told Forbes.
Rozencwajg says blockchain technology will become a crucial part of everyday life.
She says fintech, medical and biotech, agriculture, and the gaming industry will show the greatest benefits from blockchain technologies in the coming year. “We need blockchain to secure all the networks,” she explains.
Blockchains record, collect and transfer all sorts of data. Industry experts believe that it is only a matter of time before blockchain platforms will be used for asset management, insurance claims, cross-border payments, property rights and real estate contracts, healthcare management, music ownership rights, voting, and a host of other possibilities.
Israel has some 300,000 developers, according to Blockchain Israel, and many are working on enterprise web application, advanced solutions and blockchain and crypto technologies.
“It will take some time for people to understand how truly powerful this technology is. There are so many technologies that still need to be developed,” says Liggett.
The OurCrowd analyst sees 2019 as a year to tweak blockchain protocols as opposed to implement the technology into new sectors.
“I don’t think the solution will come in 2019. I think Israel is going to work more on the technology because blockchain is a protocol, people will work on the technologies. Once the tech is established, people will build on top of it and apply it to different industries. I don’t think the focus will be on sectors, I think the focus is on underlying tech,” he tells NoCamels.
Liggett says some names to keep tabs on in the coming year include: Technion professor Eli Ben-Sasson, who co-invented Zerocash – a privacy-preserving cryptocurrency, and co-founded the startup behind its implementation – Zcash; Maya Zehavi, blockchain entrepreneur and a founding board member at Israeli Blockchain Industry Forum; Gal Landau-Yaari, former acting CEO of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, who is researching blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies, governance of emerging technologies and financial stability at the University of Haifa; and Yonatan Sompolinsky, a PhD candidate, and Dr. Aviv Zohar, both of the Hebrew University, who proposed the GHOST protocol.
“These are the people who are busy working on building the next big thing [in blockchain],” says Liggett.
The smart home, which some predict will be a reality by as soon as 2024, is exactly what you think it is. A control center for all the electronic anatomy that comprises a home. Furnace/AC, security, household appliances such as washer and dryer, stove, frig, dishwasher, and so on…plus a lot more than you
The following content was first reported by NoCamels.com
Eran Barkat, Partner at BRM Group, says that just like we imagine an autonomous, smart supermarket, the same autonomy can be applied to the home. The future indeed lies in the transformation of our private residences into smart, autonomous spaces, he says.
“Imagine coming back home from work and having your house connected to your personal calendar, a robot setting up the table for dinner and washing your clothes and hot water at your immediate disposal,” he says.
The trend of smart homes is already happening and incorporates everything from a robot that anticipates people’s needs to a fridge that indicates if the right ingredients are on-hand while regulating its own temperature.
This trend sheds light on the opportunities that come with autonomous utilities, namely privacy, comfort, and security.
As part of this ongoing phenomenon, attention is also drawn to autonomous home logistics, whereby emotional needs are anticipated and met. Barkat imagines a future where visits to the supermarket will become obsolete, while home logistics will be seamlessly automatized.
The Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) said on Tuesday that it completed a “groundbreaking scientific development” toward a potential treatment for COVID-19 based on an antibody that neutralizes SARS-CoV2, the coronavirus that causes the disease.
The Israeli Ministry of Defense speaking on behalf of the institute emphasized that this achievement could potentially develop into a treatment for COVID-19 patients but that the development was not a vaccine.
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The IIBR is a governmental research center specializing in biology, chemistry and environmental sciences that falls under the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister’s Office. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tapped the secretive institute in early February to begin development on producing a vaccine. In early April, the center reported “significant progress” and trials on animals.
The institute has also been involved in plasma collection from Israelis who have recovered from COVID-19 to research antibodies, proteins made by the immune system that can attack the virus.
“This is an important milestone, which will be followed by a series of complex tests and a process of regulatory approvals,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that the process could take several months given “the nature of this breakthrough.”
The development has three key parameters, according to the IIBR: first, the antibody is monoclonal (lab-made identical immune cells that are all clones of a unique parent cell), and contains a low proportion of harmful proteins; second, the institute has “demonstrated the ability of the antibody to neutralize the coronavirus”; and third, the antibody was specifically tested on SARS CoV2.
“Based on comprehensive scientific publications from around the globe, it appears that the IIBR is the first institution to achieve a scientific breakthrough that meets all three of the aforementioned parameters simultaneously,” the ministry said on Tuesday.
The Ness Ziona-based institute is now pursuing a patent for its development, according to the announcement, after which it will approach international manufacturers.
Meanwhile, a study in the Netherlands published this week in Nature Communications also claimed that a human monoclonal antibody neutralized SARS-CoV-2, and SARS-CoV, in a lab setting.
“Monoclonal antibodies targeting vulnerable sites on viral surface proteins are increasingly recognized as a promising class of drugs against infectious diseases and have shown therapeutic efficacy for a number of viruses,” the scientists of this study wrote.
The antibody known as 47D11, targeted the spike protein that gives the coronavirus its name and shape, and “exhibited cross-neutralizing activity of SARS-S and SARS2-S,” according to the researchers.
These neutralizing antibodies “can alter the course of infection in the infected host supporting virus clearance or protect an uninfected host that is exposed to the virus,” and the 47D11 antibody can either alone or in combination with pharmaceuticals and therapies, offer potential prevention and/or treatment of COVID-19, according to the study.
US multinational Intel confirmed on Monday that it is acquiring Israeli mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) solutions company Moovit for approximately $900 million. The deal was first reported on Sunday by Israel business daily TheMarker which reported the acquisition value at $1 billion.
Intel previously led a $50 million investment in Moovit in 2018 and announced a partnership with Mobileye, the Jerusalem-based developer of driver assistance system acquired by Intel Corporation for $15.3 billion in 2017 in what is the biggest deal in Israeli high-tech history.
Intel said in a statement on Monday that the acquisition of Moovit will bring Mobileye “closer to achieving its plan to become a complete mobility provider, including robotaxi services, which is forecast to be an estimated $160 billion opportunity by 2030.”
“With this acquisition, Mobileye will be able to use Moovit’s large proprietary transportation dataset to optimize predictive technologies based on customer demand and traffic patterns, as well as tap into Moovit’s transit data repository of more than 7,500 key transit agencies and operators, and improve the consumer experience for more than 800 million users worldwide,” Intel said.
Headquartered in Ness Ziona, Moovit was founded in 2012 by Nir Erez, Yaron Evron, and Roy Bick and developed the first free crowdsourced app that provides real-time bus, train, subway, and light rail schedules and offers route options to help users find the quickest, most efficient way to their destinations. In addition to its public transportation data features, Moovit’s mobility options are quite extensive and include ride-hailing companies, car-sharing companies, station-based bike-share systems, dockless bikes, scooters and Mopeds.
Today, Moovit has over 800 million users on its free mobile and web app, providing mobility options in 3,100 cities, 100 countries, and in 45 languages. The company also sells transit data analytics to municipalities and public transport operators through its Smart Transit Suite, a platform that provides real-time information on people’s movement, optimal routes, wait times, locations of buses and trains and other data for network managing. Moovit collects more than 6 billion data points daily about traffic flow and user demand.
Mobileye co-founder Professor Amnon Shashua, senior VP at Intel and a member of Moovit’s board of directors since 2018 said the company is a “critical piece to our mobility stack” and will accelerate “our way toward becoming a complete mobility provider.”
Mobileye has been developing self-driving technology and, earlier this year, announced two new partnerships for robotaxi-based mobility solutions powered by Mobileye’s autonomous vehicle technology, and an agreement with SAIC, a leading Chinese OEM to use Mobileye’s Road Experience Management (REM) mapping technology to prepare the country for autonomous vehicles.
Moovit “owns underlying assets and capabilities, which will give us the insight needed to turn on cost- and demand-optimized driverless mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) almost anywhere in the world,” Shashua wrote on Monday, explaining Intel’s strategy in acquiring the Israeli company.
By working together as part of Intel and Mobileye, Moovit will advance the company’s MaaS strategy and the global adoption of autonomous transportation, Intel said.
Moovit will join the Mobileye business while retaining its brand and existing partnerships, Intel indicated. Erez will join Mobileye’s executive team as an executive vice president.
“Intel’s purpose is to create world-changing technology that enriches the lives of every person on Earth, and our Mobileye team delivers on that purpose every day,” said Intel CEO Bob Swan. “Mobileye’s ADAS technology is already improving the safety of millions of cars on the road, and Moovit accelerates their ability to truly revolutionize transportation – reducing congestion and saving lives – as a full-stack mobility provider.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.