Israel’s technology innovations

Compiled and edited by Jon Sutz

Quick facts:

  • Israelis create more start-ups, and file more patent applications for innovative technologies, on a per capita basis, than any nation except the U.S.
  • Tel Aviv was ranked the world’s 5th “best startup city” by, a major technology industry publication (Silicon Valley, New York City, Los Angeles and Boston being the first four).
  • Ten of the world’s largest corporations have research centers in Israel
  • 30 technology companies in Israel are valued over US$1 billion (“unicorns”), more than all of Europe combined.

Israeli researchers give goldfish the ability to “drive” a tiny car

Japan’s Fujitsu to open new R&D center in Tel Aviv, to focus on data security tech, Times of Israel, November 29, 2022. Excerpt:

Japan’s IT multinational Fujitsu said it will open a new R&D center in Israel in a move to expand its research activities and technologies in the field of data and security of artificial intelligence-based systems.

For the Tel Aviv-based center, which is expected to launch in April 2023, Fujitsu plans to recruit 10 employees from Israel alongside researchers from Japan and Europe.

The R&D center will be dedicated to focus on security technology solutions for AI-based communications networks as part of Fujitsu’s global data and security strategy, which is one of five key R&D technology areas the company has earmarked globally.

“As one of the world’s most technologically advanced countries, Israel offers Fujitsu a concentration of talent and an environment to sustain innovation like few other places,” stated Fujitsu’s chief technology officer Vivek Mahajan during a visit to Israel. “I anticipate that our newly established teams in Israel will work with our global research network to play a central role in leading the development of Fujitsu’s future security and AI technologies.”

With a 93-million-mile zoom, a Netanya stargazer snaps the sun up close and personal, by Jessica Steinberg, Times of Israel, October 10, 2022. Excerpt:

A self-taught astronomer in the coastal city of Netanya is dazzling viewers around the globe with his close-up, time-lapse photos of the sun.

David Dayag, who goes by Deddy, has been showing off his 30-second clips of the sun all over social media, offering fiery glimpses of the star as few have seen it before.

Dayag, 39, isn’t the first astrophotographer to photograph the sun. But he’s among the first to take photos from this angle and depth.

On forays out in the Negev desert to stare at the skies, Dayag was told by fellow astronomers that he couldn’t photograph the sun, that it just wasn’t possible.

Dayag, however, doesn’t usually take no for an answer.

“People tend to do what they’re told to do,” said Dayag of his telescopic activity. “I have to understand why.”

Microsoft: “The innovation in Israel is mindblowing”, by James Spiro, CTalk, December 14, 2021. Excerpt:

Speaking at the Unicorns Forum, Idit Gazit Berger, Digital Native Lead at Microsoft shares what makes Startup Nation so unique

“The innovation here is mindblowing – I spent 15 years in the UK and coming here looking after Digital Native across the Middle East and Africa, what we see here is unprecedented,” explained Idit Gazit Berger, Digital Native Lead at Microsoft. Speaking to James Spiro, Gazit Berger elaborated on what makes Startup Nation such a success.

Watch the video at the link above.

US Treasury, Israel to partner to combat ransomware; The task force will develop a memorandum of understanding supporting information sharing related to the financial sector, including cybersecurity regulations and threat intelligence, by Reuters, November 14, 2021. Excerpt:

The US Treasury Department said on Sunday it will partner with Israel to combat ransomware, with the two countries launching a joint task force to address cybersecurity.

The task force will develop a memorandum of understanding supporting information sharing related to the financial sector, including cybersecurity regulations and threat intelligence, the Treasury Department said.

The announcement follows a virtual meeting on ransomware that held at the White House in October with the European Union and more than 30 countries, including Israel.

Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo asked then for international cooperation to address the abuse of virtual currency and disrupt the ransomware business model.

The partnership follows measures taken to combat a surge in ransomware that has struck several big US companies, including an attack on the largest fuel pipeline in the United States that crippled fuel delivery for several days.

Israel’s Weizmann ranks 8th worldwide for scientific performance; The institute is one of only two institutions outside of the US that made it into the top ten, by Jerusalem Post, November 8, 2021. Excerpt:

Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science has maintained its reputation as one of the top research institutions worldwide, with a recent ranking placing it at No. 8 globally for scientific performance.
The Rehovot-based institute was ranked in the annual proportional ranking published by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) of Leiden University, the Netherlands. This ranking, also known as the Leiden Ranking, sees Weizmann listed alongside Harvard, MIT, Caltech, Stanford, Princeton and other great luminaries. Out of all of the institutions in the top 10, it is one of only two not located in the United States, the other being École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland coming in at 9th place.
The ranking is not subjective and is based on the number of publications and citations to indicate the quality of research, as well as the institution’s size.
Overall, 19% of Weizmann papers were ranked in the top 10% for scientific impact, as were over 20% of papers written by Weizmann’s biomedical and health science researchers. A total of 2.5% of Weizmann papers were in the top percentile for scientific impact, and 65% were in the top half of those with the greatest impact of all.

Israeli ‘foldable’ electric cars to make debut as emergency response vehicles; City Transformer signs $22m deal to provide United Hatzalah with vehicles that can contract to just 1 meter wide for easy parking and maneuvering, by Ricky Ben-David, Times of Israel, October 17, 2021. Excerpt:

City Transformer, the Israeli automotive company behind an electric car that can shrink in size to squeeze into parking spots, announced a new partnership with the emergency medical response organization United Hatzalah to incorporate the startup’s “foldable” urban vehicles into the organization’s fleet.

The deal would make United Hatzalah, which operates a network of trained volunteers with specially equipped motorcycle ambulances, a major client of City Transformer.

Founded in 2014, the company developed the CT-1 electric car, a 2.49-meter long (8.2 feet) and 1.4-meter wide vehicle with a patent-registered folding mechanism that can contract the wheelbase down to just one meter (39 inches) wide for easy parking or maneuvering through traffic. Inside, there is room for a driver and another adult, sitting in tandem. Alternatively, the passenger seat can take two children. The cabin does not shrink or change shape as the wheelbase narrows.

The vehicle runs up to 45 kilometers an hour (28 mph) in its narrow mode and up to 90 kph when wide. It remains a static length, and can go 100-150 kilometers (62-93 miles) on a single charge.

A City Transformer CT1 vehicle with the United Hatzalah colors and logo. (Illustration – City Transformer)

Oracle CEO: Underground cloud security system ‘critical’ to Israel; Safra Catz told The Jerusalem Post that a big announcement about Oracle’s underground cloud data center in Jerusalem is expected this week, by Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman, Jerusalem Post, March 31, 2021. Excerpt:

A big announcement about Oracle’s underground cloud data center in Jerusalem is expected this week, the company’s CEO, Safra Catz, hinted Tuesday at the annual Jerusalem Post Conference.

“We thought this was absolutely critical for the country, the country’s security, for the citizens of Israel, that we make that investment even before we signed up a single customer,” Catz said. “We believed it was absolutely necessary because of the security profile of Israel.”

She said “with more to come. I don’t want to steal Eran’s thunder for later this week,” referring to Oracle Israel country leader Eran Feigenbaum.

The tech giant announced in February that it was going to be the first global tech giant to open a cloud region in Israel, together with Bynet Data Communications.

A previous release by the company explained that the data center would extend over four floors and thousands of meters across at a depth of 50 m. below ground level. It is meant to provide advanced cloud services to companies and government offices in the defense, banking, insurance and technology arenas.

Israeli startup’s robot will clean your house; Unlimited Robotics’ “Gary” is equipped with AI, enabling it to perform almost any task in home or office environments. by Noga Martin, Israel Hayom, October 12, 2021. Excerpt:

Is good help still so hard to find? Maybe not – an Israeli startup’s robotic applications platform can be integrated into its first service robot, Gary.

On Oct. 12, Unlimited Robotics announced the launch of its developer’s platform, Ra-Ya, which is designed to make it easier for software engineers to build robotic applications even without prior experience in hard-coded environments.

The hardware and software applications can be integrated into Gary, Unlimited Robotics’ first service robot, which is scheduled to hit the market for sale to consumers, businesses, and offices in 2022.

Guy Altagar, CEO of Unlimited Robotics, explains that programming a robotics application is “not that simple for most software developers,” and says that his company is “democratizing the way people can build applications for robots.”

Israeli startup's robot will clean your house

Israeli scientists create the world’s thinnest tech – just 2 atoms thick; In layman’s terms, it could significantly boost the speed and efficiency of electronic devices, while also cutting down on energy consumption, by Jerusalem Post staff, June 30, 2021. Excerpt:

Researchers at Tel Aviv University have made a new scientific breakthrough, engineering what is currently the single smallest and thinnest piece of technology ever seen, and it has the thickness of just two atoms.

The result of a multi-disciplinary effort from TAU’s Raymond and Beverly Sackler schools of Physics and Astronomy and of Chemistry, the findings of the study were published in Science magazine.

But this breakthrough isn’t just defined by its size. Rather, it also possesses useful utility. Essentially, the technology works by using quantum-mechanical electron tunneling, which allows information to travel through the thin film.

Right now, state-of-the-art devices have tiny crystals with a million atoms (one hundred atoms in height, width and thickness). Essentially, this means a million of these tiny divides could fit into the area of a coin, each device switching over a million times per second.

This breakthrough means that the tiny crystals can be shrunk to just two atoms thick, meaning that memories and information can move with greater speed and efficiency.

Israel Found a Way to Make Soldiers Invisible; Thermal visual concealment could change the future of the battlefield, by Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, June 30, 2021. Excerpt:

The Israeli government has teamed up with a defense contractor to invent a new material matrix that can hide soldiers from infrared sensors, making them more difficult to detect.

Polaris Defense’s Kit 300 system is a “thermal visual concealment” system that uses a combination of “metals, microfibres, and polymers” to mask a soldier’s thermal signature, according to Business Insider.

Thermal imaging technology creates a visual representation of an object via the invisible infrared (“heat radiation”) the object emits. If that object radiates heat, a thermal imager will show an image of it, with different colors representing relative levels of heat.

A warm-blooded human being, for example, will show up as a human-shaped blob, with the level of fine detail depending on the acuity of the sensor. A tank will appear as a tank-shaped object, and if the tank’s engine is running, the engine will look like a “hot” spot.

kit 300

How Israel’s leading technology institute drives so much innovation; What’s the secret sauce of Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Israel’s first university?, by Renee Ghert-Zand, JTA (via Jerusalem Post), June 23, 2021. Excerpt:

In the century or so since its founding as Israel’s first university, the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has acquired a reputation as a driving force of Israeli innovation.

Four Nobel Prize winners and several recipients of the prestigious Israel Prize are among its more than 100,000 graduates and faculty — not to mention creators of billion-dollar companies, life-saving medical technologies, and too many startups and innovative technologies to count.

So what’s the school’s secret sauce?

That’s the question that longtime Technion professor Shlomo Maital, senior research fellow at the Samuel Neaman Institute for National Policy Research, recently set out to discover. For his project, he teamed with Israeli high-tech pioneer Rafi Nave, a Technion graduate who spent 21 years at Intel Israel leading development of the company’s math co-processors, managing its Haifa Design Center and working on the second-generation Pentium processor.
Together they spent much of the COVID year conducting interviews via Zoom with more than 100 notable Technion graduates asking them about their life journeys, innovations and how it all came about.

Israeli firm Eviation wins prestigious aircraft innovation award; The Crystal Cabin Award recognizes leaders in the field of aircraft cabin innovation, by Jerusalem Post, March 31, 2021. Excerpt:

Israeli firm Eviation Aircraft took home one of the top prizes at the 14th Crystal Cabin Awards at a ceremony in Hamburg livestreamed around the world.

The particular award is meant to recognize leaders in the field of aircraft cabin innovation. However, the ceremony took on a greater meaning this year, as they come after the aviation industry as a whole suffered heavy losses across the board due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eviation took home the trophy in the Cabin Concepts category with its new innovation, Alice, the first purely electric commuter jet. It had first made its debut in the 2019 Paris Airshow and can carry nine passengers over a 1,000-kilometer distance. However, its innovative cabin setting is what really won the prize. Developed with Portuguese firm Almadesign, the cabinet concept consists of a fishbone seating layout.

In a first, 3 Israeli (nano)satellites to launch simultaneously, by Israel Hayom, March 19, 2021. Excerpt:

The “Adelis-SAMSON” project, an autonomous group of three nanosatellites built and developed by the Technion – Israel institute of Technology, will be launched into orbit on March 20, 2021, the Technion announced Thursday.

This is a passion project from a research team led by Professor Pini Gurfil of the Asher Space Research Institute (ASRI) and the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, with support from the Adelis Foundation, the Goldstein Foundation, and the Israel Space Agency in the Ministry of Science and Technology.

The satellites will piggyback on a Glavkosmos Soyuz rocket from a site in Kazakhstan, and once in orbit, will be used to calculate locations of people, planes, and ships. The cluster of satellites will fly in formation in space by utilizing autonomous communication and control, without needing guidance from the ground.

The Adelis-SAMSON formation includes three miniature satellites (CubeSats), each weighing about 8 kg (17.5 lbs). Each CubeSat includes sensors, antennae, computer systems, control systems, navigation devices, and a unique and innovative propulsion system. The satellites will travel at an altitude of 550 km (341 miles) above ground and will detect signals from Earth using a mission receiver developed by IAI. The CubeSats will then transmit these signals to a mission control center located at Technion’s Asher Space Research Institute.

“Basic research over the course of many years, combined with advanced Israeli technology, allows Israel to take an important step forward in the field of nanosatellites,” Gurfil explained.

One of the Technion’s miniature CubeSats | Photo: Technion

Meet the Israeli robot that ‘hears’ through a dead locust’s ear – Watch; When the researchers clap once, the locust’s ear hears the sound and the robot moves forward; when the researchers clap twice, the robot moves backward, Jerusalem Post, March 2, 2021. Excerpt:

In an unprecedented biological and technological development, researchers from Tel Aviv University (TAU) have successfully connected the ear of a dead locust to a robot that receives electrical signals from it, and responds accordingly.

Video from the study reveals extraordinary results: When the researchers clap once, the locust’s ear hears the sound and the robot moves forward; when the researchers clap twice, the robot moves backward. [..]

“In general, biological systems have a huge advantage over technological systems – both in terms of sensitivity and in terms of energy consumption,” he said. “This initiative opens the door to sensory integrations between robots and insects – and may make much more cumbersome and expensive developments in the field of robotics redundant.”

He also elaborated on future sensory directions that research of this kind can take, including sight and smell. Certain animals have been known to see spectrums of light which go beyond the capabilities of the human eye. Others can sniff out drugs, bombs, certain diseases and even earthquakes.

“The sky is the limit,” he concluded.

Sky-high, carbon-free: Israeli firm to launch eco-friendly airship; “One of the companies’ major goals is to introduce a tourists’ airship, which will offer aerial sightseeing tours in the most beautiful places on Earth”; by Aaron Reich, Jerusalem Post, February 24, 2021. Excerpt:

Newly established Israeli firm Atlas LTA has developed an innovative first-of-its-kind airship made of the most the most eco-friendly technology available.

Titled Atlas-11, these airships are modernizations of previous AU-30s. But while AU-30s were used for surveillance and photography in the early 21st century, the Atlas-11 is designed for tourism, and to that end, it maximizes comfort, affordability and being eco-friendly.

The airships are each equipped with an electric propulsion system and its launch ability received by safe helium. This not only ensures the flight will be eco-friendly, having eliminated its carbon footprint entirely, but it will also be silent due to the lack of loud motor.

This makes the Atlas-11 an ideal alternative for aerial sightseeing tours. In the current market for aerial tours, the main choices are helicopters, which are extremely loud and stiff, and paragliders, which according to Atlas LTA, are “the exact opposite” of comfort.

On board the Atlas-11, however, is a wide internal space with large chairs and a watching deck with huge windows.

An Atlas-11 airship is seen flying near Dubai.

Israeli Aviation Company Develops Car-Sized Aircraft, Vertical Mag, January 5, 2021. Excerpt:

Urban Aeronautics Ltd., a leading Israeli aerospace company, announced it has reached an agreement to provide four CityHawk VTOL aircraft to Hatzolah Air for emergency medical service (EMS) applications.

In addition, Hatzolah Air will become Urban Aeronautics’ official sales representative and distribution channel to other EMS and rescue organizations worldwide. The companies previously signed an MOU to develop, produce, and market the CityHawk aircraft for EMS applications.

“Hatzolah’s pre-order of four air ambulance CityHawks is an amazing show of confidence in our program and in our company,” said Nimrod Golan-Yanay, CEO of Urban Aeronautics. “We look forward to delivering on our promise to revolutionize urban air mobility and the emergency response capabilities of major cities across the world.”

CityHawk is a lightweight twin-engine VTOL (vertical take-off and landing aircraft), with a uniquely compact footprint that can be optimized for urban transportation or emergency response. It will utilize jet propulsion, with cabins that are 20 to 30 percent larger and much quieter than comparable helicopters. The aircraft is planned to complete its development and FAA certification for EMS use and be ready for production within three to five years.

Urban Aeronautics Photo

Futuristic device from Israeli firm puts music in your head, without headphones; Sound beaming’ 3-D technology from Noveto Systems tracks ear and sends it audio using ultrasonic waves, creating personal listening pockets, by Louise Dixon, Times of Israel, November 13, 2020. Excerpt:

Imagine a world where you move around in your own personal sound bubble. You listen to your favorite tunes, play loud computer games, watch a movie or get navigation directions in your car — all without disturbing those around you.

That’s the possibility presented by “sound beaming,” a new futuristic audio technology from Noveto Systems, an Israeli company. On Friday it will debut a desktop device that beams sound directly to a listener without the need for headphones.

The listening sensation is straight out of a sci-fi movie. The 3-D sound is so close it feels like it’s inside your ears while also in front, above and behind them.

Israel Leads World in Water Recycling, FLUENCE, July 20, 2020. Excerpt:

With a focus on agriculture irrigation, nearly 90% of the country’s wastewater is now reused

Arid Israel has historically suffered from water scarcity, but now, it has achieved water security. While Israel’s use of desalination is well known, it is not as well known that the country has also revolutionized its water recycling system to provide 25% of its water.

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy, said:

Today, nearly 90 percent of our waste water is recycled. […] That’s around four times higher than any other country in the world. It is a remarkable achievement and this benefits not only Israel. Israeli companies are helping save water around the world, from Africa to California to India.

The Quantum Computer Is About to Change the World. Three Israelis Are Leading the Revolution, by Oded Carmeli, Ha’aretz, February 16, 2020. Excerpt:

The Israeli startup QM is the first company in the world to be building both the hardware and the software that will make it possible to use quantum computers – once they actually are a practical reality.

In October 2019, Google announced that its quantum computer, Sycamore, had done a calculation in three minutes and 20 seconds that would have taken the world’s fastest supercomputer 10,000 years. “Quantum supremacy,” Google claimed for itself. We now have a quantum computer, it was saying, capable of performing calculations that no regular, “classical” computer is capable of doing in a reasonable time.

Where do you buy a computer like that? You don’t. Google’s Sycamore can’t run Word or Chrome, it can’t even run a nice friendly game of Minesweeper. In fact, Google’s supreme quantum computer doesn’t know how to do anything, other than perform one useless calculation. It resembles the huge computer in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” which came up with the calculation of 42, as the “Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything” – although no one knows what the question is.

The question is now being worked on in Tel Aviv, on Derech Hashalom Street. In their generic office in the city’s Nahalat Yitzhak neighborhood, three physicists who received their doctorates at Rehovot’s Weizmann Institute of ScienceNissim Ofek, 46; Yonatan Cohen, 36; and Itamar Sivan, 32 – are developing instruments of control that will tame the quantum monster.

“Ten years ago, when I took a course in quantum computing, it was considered science fiction,” Dr. Sivan, the CEO of their company, Quantum Machines, relates. “The experts said that it wouldn’t happen in our lifetime or may never happen. As a physicist, quantum computing is a dream come true. Almost all our employees are physicists, even those who work as programmers, and most of them approached us. They read about an Israeli company for quantum computing and simply couldn’t restrain themselves. There’s nothing more exciting than to learn for years about Schrödinger’s cat and about all the wild quantum effects, and then to enter a laboratory and actually build Schrödinger’s cat and leverage the theory into a prodigious force of calculation.”

The Quantum Machines leadership team: Nissim Ofek, Itamar Sivan and Yonatan Cohen.

Israeli startup helps you take only the vitamins you need; Nutricco takes away the guesswork with a smart high-tech solution that suggests and supplies supplements based on what you actually ate – or not, by Naama Barak, Israel21C, February 11, 2020. Excerpt:

Eating healthfully is a tricky business nowadays. We know better than ever what’s good for us, but all this information makes the optimum diet seem like a distant and elusive goal.

Have we had enough omega-3 fatty acids this week? And what about our calcium intake? And who can keep track?

Israeli startup Nutricco wants to put an end to the confusion by providing a smart, comprehensive solution that monitors nutrient intake and fills in the gaps with dietary supplements.

Users will get an app that tracks dietary needs and a supplement dispenser stocked with the vitamins they need.

Not that Nutricco plans on pushing pills down people’s throats, founder and CEO Leonid Pirogovsky insists.

“We provide the nutrients people need in the amounts that people need at the time they need to take them,” he notes.

Israeli Water-From-Air Technology Named ‘Energy Efficiency Product of Year’, The Algemeiner, January 10, 2020. Excerpt: – An Israeli-made machine that creates fresh drinking water from air was named the “Energy Efficiency Product of the Year” in the 2020 Smart Home Mark of Excellence Awards at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

Presented annually during CES by the Consumer Technology Association, the Mark of Excellence Awards recognize the technology industry’s top smart-home innovations. The water-from-air appliance, named “GENNY,” was manufactured by the Rishon Letzion-based company Watergen.

“Our company’s mission is to eliminate the need to rely on outside sources for life necessities and to help people become more environmentally friendly,” said Dan Clifford, president of Watergen North America. “We are especially honored to be named ‘Energy Efficiency Product of the Year’ at this year’s CES show because this award directly supports one of the top values Watergen stands for.”

The machine, which resembles a typical water cooler, taps into atmospheric water using patented heat-exchange technology and can produce up to 30 liters of drinkable water every day. It is designed especially for homes and offices.

“GENNY” eliminates the waste caused by drinking bottled water, significantly reducing plastic usage and disposal, and makes water always available on demand.

Residents of El Talento, a small town in Colombia adjacent to the city of Cúcuta, have been introduced to the GEN-M, Watergen’s medium-scale atmospheric generator that produces water out of air, October 2019. Photo: Courtesy.

Israeli startup TriEye partners with Porsche to create autonomous tech; The SWIR sensing technology developed by TriEye was manufactured to enhance visibility in unfavorable weather and night-time conditions, by Zachary Keyser, Jerusalem Post, January 2, 2020. Excerpt:

Israeli tech start-up TriEye will be partnering with German automotive manufacturer Porsche to further revolutionize their Short-Wave Infra-Red (SWIR) sensing technology, with the hopes of advancing the performance of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicles developed by the tech start-up.

The SWIR sensing technology developed by TriEye was manufactured to enhance visibility in unfavorable weather and nighttime conditions. The technology itself is mainly used and developed to guide autonomous vehicles through low-visibility situations that would ordinarily disrupt these independent systems from working properly.

Automobiles and relying solely on sensing systems found within these types of vehicles is that when visibility is limited during travel – even the addition and combinations of radar – LIDAR and standard cameras still cannot always accurately or clearly detect and identify objects on the road. TriEye incorporated SWIR sensing technology into its systems to combat this issue.

Intel buys Israeli AI start-up for $2 billion; Habana Labs, whose 150 staff are developing dedicated artificial intelligence processors, was created by David Dahan and Ran Halutz, whose previous company PrimeSense was sold to Apple for $345 million in 2013, by Reuters (via Ynet), December 16, 2019. Excerpt:

Intel Corp has acquired Israel-based artificial intelligence firm Habana Labs for about $2 billion, the U.S. chip giant said on Monday.

Habana Labs will remain an independent business unit and will continue to be led by its current management team, reporting to Intel’s data platforms group.

The company was created in 2016 by David Dahan and Ran Halutz, the founders of PrimeSense, a 3D sensing company sold to Apple for $345 million in 2013. Habana, which employs more than 150 staff in Tel Aviv, Caesarea, Poland and San Jose, is developing a series of dedicated AI processors called Goya.

Goya comprises hardware and software, including a high-performance graphic compiler, hundreds of kernel libraries, and the tools needed to integrate software frameworks used by customers.

Israelis develop ‘self-healing’ cars powered by machine learning and AI, by Eytan Halon, Jerusalem Post, December 15, 2019. Excerpt:

Even before autonomous vehicles become a regular sight on our streets, modern cars are quickly resembling sophisticated computers on wheels. Increasingly connected vehicles come with as many as 150 million lines of code, far exceeding the 145,000 lines of code required to land Apollo 11 on the Moon in 1969. Self-driving cars could require up to one billion lines of code.

For manufacturers, passengers and repair shops alike, vehicles running on software rather than just machines represent an unprecedented world of highly complex mobility. Checking the engine, tires and brakes to find a fault will certainly no longer suffice.

Seeking to build trust in the new generation of automotive innovation, Tel Aviv-based start-up Aurora Labs has developed software for what it calls the “self-healing car” – a proactive and remote system to detect and fix potential vehicle malfunctions, and update and validate in-car software without any downtime.

An illustration of Aurora Labs’ technology (photo credit: AURORA LABS)

Israeli Technology Converts Air Into Water for Residents in Northern Colombia, by JNS, October 24, 2019. Excerpt:

Residents of El Talento, a small town in Colombia adjacent to the city of Cúcuta, have been introduced to the GEN-M, Watergen’s medium-scale atmospheric generator (AWG) that produces water out of air.

The machine, a technological innovation of the Israel-based company, arrived in Cúcuta at the beginning of October thanks to Andrés Suárez, pastor of the Christian Center and general manager of the alliance project with the State of Israel in Colombia.

Suárez said he was driven by a desire to show residents in northern Colombia that such technology can provide some of the most needy communities in the region with safe drinking water.

Requiring no external infrastructure to operate except for a source of electricity, Watergen’s GEN-M can make up to 800 liters of water per day. With a weight of just 780 kilograms, the machine is easily transportable and specially designed to help isolated communities that do not have adequate access to clean water.

Israeli develops piston engine that runs on water, alcohol – no gas, by Alan Rosenbaum, Jerusalem Post, October 22, 2019. Excerpt:

In the annals of business, successful companies that originated in the garages of their founders have assumed an almost mythic significance. Corporate giants such as Apple, Google and Hewlett-Packard all began in small workshops adjacent to their creators’ homes. Now, another small, garage-based family business run by three Israelis near Miami, Florida, that says that they have succeeded in reinventing the internal combustion engine is aiming to join the elite group of legendary garage-based startups.

The company is called MayMaan Research, LLC, and it has developed a system to operate a traditional piston engine with a combination of 70% water and 30% ethanol (or any other alcohol) – no gasoline or diesel required. This revolutionary system can be applied, say its founders, with simple yet sophisticated modifications of existing engine designs, and saves 50% on fuel costs, produces far fewer emissions than gasoline or diesel, and is up to 60% more efficient than gasoline. MayMaan has built four operating prototypes to date, including a car, a generator and various engines. While the company has outgrown its garage-based origins, and has grown into a research laboratory facility, it remains imbued with a start-up spirit.

MayMaan is the brainchild of Yehuda Shmueli, 81, a talented inventor, engineer and master mechanic. Assisted by sons Eitan and Doron, and backed by an impressive executive management team, including Joe Nakash, founder and chairman of Jordache Enterprises; Yedidya Ya’ari, company chairman and former president and CEO of Israel’s Rafael Armament Development Authority; Malcolm Hoenlein, CEO and executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents; and other distinguished individuals, MayMaan’s disruptive technology plans to revolutionize the world of transportation, from passenger cars, to trucks, locomotives and even ships.

Emissions free and pollution free: Israel unveils massive solar power plant, by YNet, October 19, 2019. Excerpt:

Israel has taken another step in moving from fossil fuels to environmentally friendly renewable energy, approving its biggest plant of unique solar panels to date. The plant, which is for commercial use, operates without generating pollution or any greenhouse gas emissions.

The Electricity Authority (TEA) and Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz have recently approved the commercial activation of the Ashalim photovoltaic power station – located in the Negev Desert, south of the city of Be’er Sheva – for a period of twenty years.

The power station consists of 360 solar power panels with an output of 121 Megawatt, double the energy output of Israel’s current, much-smaller photovoltaic power station, Mash’abey Sade.

Ashalim photovoltaic mirrors

Israeli Tech Pioneer Who Made It Possible to Talk on Skype and Watch YouTube Dies, by Ofer Aderet, Ha’aretz, August 23, 2019. Excerpt:

Danny Cohen’s name may not be familiar to members of the public, but people around the world have benefited from his pioneering research on computers. It is thanks to Cohen that we can make internet voice and video calls on platforms such as Skype, that we can watch YouTube videos or store data in the cloud, beyond the confines of our own computers. Cohen, who was born in Haifa, died in Palo Alto, California on August 12 at the age of 81. In his New York Times obituary, he was hailed for having “helped set the stage for the digital era.”

“His innumerable accomplishments in the computer sciences fields were enormous,” Prof. Yehoshua Kolodny, an Israel Prize laureate in earth sciences, remarked. “At my advanced age, I have had the privilege to meet a considerable number of brilliant people, including Nobel Prize winners,” but Cohen was a standout among those people of brilliance, he remarked.

Undated photo of Danny Cohen at an airport in California

Israel ranked among top 10 most innovative countries in the world, by Tamar Beeri, Jerusalem Post, July 18, 2019. Excerpt:

Israel was ranked among the top 10 countries in the Global Innovation Index (GII) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

The GII is an annual ranking of countries by their capacity for innovation and their success. Israel has been climbing the ladder of the index since ranking 21st worldwide in 2016. Since then, Israel ranked 17th in 2017 and 11th in 2018 and, for the first time this year, reached the top 10.

The placement within the top 10 will only be divulged after the exposure event on July 24 in which Israeli Ambassador to India Dr. Ron Malka will represent Israel, along with Israeli Director of Digital Health Esti Shelly.

The GII chooses and ranks the most innovative countries in the world out of 129 countries using a complex algorithm and measuring 80 indicators, which examine the overall creative environment within the country. Some key categories include levels of education, investment in infrastructure, investment in research, business sophistication and political environment.

Watergen partners with Flint, Michigan where water quality is ‘third-world’, by David DiMolfetta, Jerusalem Post, July 18, 2019. Excerpt:

“For the past five years, there have been solutions promised to the community by many, yet no one has delivered,” said Armstrong Williams.

Israeli company Watergen just launched a new partnership with the community of Flint, Michigan, providing what could be the first large scale solution for drinking water by placing a 350 unit in the community church. If successful, it could be a model for similar towns.

As opposed to bringing in plastics that are associated with trucking in water bottles, Watergen uses a dehumidification apparatus to create water out of thin air.

“For the past five years, there have been solutions promised to the community by many, yet no one has delivered an affordable solution that is good for the people and for the environment by reducing plastics,” said Armstrong Williams, a nationally syndicated talk show host who partnered with WatergenUSA and NBC25 to bring the Watergen solution. “When I saw the Watergen unit, I immediately started working with the company to bring this technology to Flint.”

The unit was placed in the community church, Greater Flint Holy Temple.

“Now we need to make certain that every school in Flint has this solution, and we cannot allow the children’s health to be compromised,” Armstrong continued. “The people of Flint have now given their community and government leadership a solution to make certain the right options are implemented for the safety of their children.”

People drink from a Watergen machine in Florida after Hurricane Irma, September 2017 (photo credit: PR)

Researchers find solution to help prevent leaving babies in cars, by Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman, Jerusalem Post, July 2, 2019. Excerpt:

According to the safety organization Kids and Cars, an average of 37 American children die each year in hot cars.

A team of Israeli scientists has developed a new, machine learning-based thermal sensor that could help prevent parents from forgetting their babies and toddlers in cars, which can lead to vehicular heatstroke, hyperthermia and even death.

According to the safety organization Kids and Cars, an average of 37 American children die each year in hot cars. These include instances where a child has been forgotten in a car, accidentally locks themselves in a car or trunk, or, in a small number of cases, when a child has been intentionally left in a car.

There have been instances in Israel, as well. Last April, for example, a two-year-old boy died after he was left alone in a car in the northern town of Rechasim, police said. The boy was found after five hours.Temperatures in the town reached a high of 26°C (79℉) on the day of his death.

In July 2013, three Israeli children died in the first two weeks of the month from being left in hot cars. Those deaths included an 18-month-old girl who was left inside a car for five hours in the West Bank settlement of Dolev; a 5-month-old baby who was left in a car for seven hours in Shiloh, also in the West Bank; and a 9-month-old girl who died after she was left in a parked car in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan.

11 Israeli Inventions that Have Changed The World for The Better; Israel is a very young nation but it has given the world some very important inventions, by Christopher McFadden, Interesting Engineering, May 30, 2019. Excerpt:

Israel is only around 70 years old, yet it has developed from a fledgling nation to tech giant in quick order. Many Israeli inventions have literally changed the world beyond all recognition.

In the following article, we’ve collected 11 recent and past examples for your delectation. Trust us when we say this list is far from exhaustive.

Israel is one of the leaders in technological development in the world. It has more tech start-ups per capita than many other countries in the world.

What is more incredible is that, it has achieved this in a very short period of time.

Some of its greatest tech achievements include Netafilm (the first drip irrigation system), Pythagoras Solar (the world’s first solar window) and Viber, the epilator, to name but a few.

Israeli AI device ‘watches’ swimming pools to prevent drowning accidents, by Eytan Halon, Jerusalem Post, January 3, 2019. Excerpt:

As winter gradually gives way to spring in the coming months, Israeli families with private swimming pools will slowly start dreaming of enjoying a refreshing splash once again.

While for the vast majority, pools provide a way to cool off from the summer sun, 2018 was overshadowed by the tragic increase of children and adults who drowned at home.

After unsuccessfully searching for a drowning detection solution for his own private pool, entrepreneur and homeland security expert Eyal Golan partnered with computer vision specialist Dr. Tamar Avraham in 2014 to establish Haifa-based Coral Drowning Detection Systems and prevent the tragedies that strike dozens of Israeli families and many more worldwide every year.

Their first-of-its-kind, patent-pending Coral Manta system constantly “watches” and detects movement in private pools using a built-in underwater video camera, computer vision and artificial intelligence technology.

When it identifies a potential drowning situation, it sounds an ear-piercing alarm and immediately sends a smartphone alert to all household members.

The Coral Manta system designed by Coral Drowning Detection Systems (photo credit: Courtesy)

Chakratec introduces a 10-minute charge for electric cars, by Brian Blum, Israel 21C, July 12, 2018. Excerpt:

Israeli startup is starting its first deployments in Europe. The technology puts a very modern spin on the old-fashioned flywheel.

After years of sputters and stalls, including the billion-dollar failure of Israel’s Better Place, nearly every car manufacturer is actively working up an electric vehicle (EV) roadmap. General Motors, which plans to launch 20 EV models by 2023, has some 1,700 developers, including a team in Israel, working on batteries and EV design.

There’s one electric elephant in the room, though: the time it takes to recharge an electric car.

Even the best fast-charge technology available today takes a sluggish 40 minutes to fill a depleted battery. For drivers accustomed to pulling in and out of a filling station in under five minutes, that’s not good enough.

Israeli startup Chakratec aims to speed up battery charging through a unique technology that sounds like science fiction: floating flywheels suspended in mid-air by magnetic levitation.

Chakratec’s solution is intended for the charging stations, not the batteries, so any current-generation EV ready for fast-charging will work with its system.

Chakratec battery-charging stations work with any current-generation EV ready for fast-charging.

Every Room With A View: Israeli Architect Designs Rotating Dubai Skyscraper, by Yonatan Sredni, NoCamels, February 27, 2017. Excerpt:

Do you prefer a sea view or a garden view? Sunrise or sunset? Well, if you can afford a $30 million apartment in the world’s first rotating skyscraper, you can have it all.

The brainchild of Israeli-Italian architect David Fisher, the Dynamic Tower Hotel in Dubai has been planned since 2008 and is scheduled for a grand opening in 2020. The opening is intended to coincide with that year’s World Expo, an event that the UAE expects will draw 25 million visitors to Dubai from across the globe.

When completed, the impressive structure will stand 1,375 feet tall, with each of its 80 storeys capable of rotating individually around a concrete core, offering 360-degree views of Dubai. The hotel’s residents will also be able to control rotation speeds and stop their apartment from spinning with voice commands. The skyscraper is expected to be completely self-powered, reportedly featuring as many as 79 horizontal-lying wind turbines between floors, as well as roof-mounted solar panels.

Israeli solar tech could make clean water a global reality, by Sharon Udasin, Jerusalem Post, September 21, 2016. Excerpt:

The Jerusalem-based SunDwater, whose standalone system harnesses heat through concentrated solar power, now has two fully operational pre-production models purifying water in the Arava Desert.

Remote villages around the world that lack access to both electricity and potable water may soon be able to quench their thirst, with the development of an Israeli solar powered water distillation system.

The Jerusalem-based SunDwater, whose standalone system harnesses heat through concentrated solar power, now has two fully operational pre-production models purifying water in the Arava Desert. The hope is, according to CEO Shimmy Zimels, to market the relatively low maintenance system to small villages in South America, Africa and Asia, ideally by means of aid organizations.

“You would reduce dramatically the mortality rate in those places, specifically among the young, who suffer the most from the lack of freshwater,” Zimels told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.

“Today, these people spend the vast majority of their time on the quest for water,” he said, noting how much time is wasted in walking to the nearest supply. “They could invest that time in building a better future for their families.”

Along SunDwater’s journey to build a distillation system, the company had four main objectives in mind, Zimels explained. These goals included creating a system that could process as many types of unsafe water as possible, remain sustainable, produce substantial quantities of water and did not involve sophisticated infrastructure, he said.

The SunDwater system at Kibbutz Ketura

Israeli women — and tech — connect African villages to water, electricity, by Times of Israel, March 6, 2016. Excerpt:

Innovation Africa, founded by Sivan Ya’ari, has brought solar energy, improved irrigation and cleaner water to as many as 1 million people.

A charity led by Israeli women and employing Israeli technologies has connected 104 villages across Africa to water and electricity.

Innovation Africa, the Israeli organization founded by Sivan Ya’ari, has sought to better the lives of rural villagers in Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa and elsewhere by mining Israeli technological innovation for solutions that fit the needs of hard-to-reach places across the vast continent. Its work was highlighted in a report on Israel’s Channel 2 on Saturday night.

In places with no electrical power, and thus no means for refrigerating medicine or food, or for turning on the lights in schools, Ya’ari’s organization turned to the solar panels that are a ubiquitous feature of Israeli rooftops. These new sources of power also allow villagers to recharge cellular phones without traveling outside their villages to find a working plug, expanding their access to communications and the Internet, the TV report showed. Computers designed to be powered by solar power are being used as educational tools.

Israeli-made locks also help cut down on theft. Israeli drip irrigation systems are dramatically increasing the efficiency of agricultural water use, leading to cheaper and larger crop yields. And a manual pump that can purify water – even sewage – to make it drinkable without the use of electricity is making water safer.

Innovation Africa’s founder and president Sivan Ya’ari and NBA all star Dikembe Mutombo visit Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital in Kinshasa.

“HomeBiogas” Makes Fertilizer and Cooking Gas, by Mila Luleva, GreenOptimistic, November 25, 2015. Excerpt:

This compact biogas unit, developed by a promising Israeli startup, can turn your organic waste into both garden fertilizer and cooking gas.

If your household generates large quantities of organic waste, but not enough to make you follow our tutorial on how to build your own biogas plant, this new invention might be the right choice for you.

Developed by HomeBiogas, a start-up based in Israel, this home-sized biogas unit promises to take care of all your organic waste, including meat, dairy and animal manure. The unit produces both rich fertilizer and cooking gas, and requires relatively little space in your garden. It measures 123cm x 165cm x 100cm (48” x 65” x 39.4”) and weighs just under 40 kg (88lb).

County Approves Water Pact with Israel, Santa Clarita Vally TV (SCVTV) Press Release, September 1, 2015. Excerpt:

To identify solutions to the drought-related water crisis, the Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Mayor Michael D. Antonovich and Supervisor Sheila Kuehl establishing a formal relationship with the State of Israel to exchange research and information on water conservation, reclamation and management.

“This vital partnership will provide opportunities for Los Angeles County to learn from the State of Israel which has become completely water-independent, maintaining total water consumption levels at 1964 levels while its population has quadrupled — and only receives about an inch of precipitation a year,” Antonovich said.

“The technology Israel has developed and employed to stretch its meager water resources is truly impressive,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “I look forward to working together on ways that Los Angeles County can benefit from their work on technology and research concerning point of reuse, recycling and groundwater recharge. ”

10 top ways Israel fights desertification, by Karin Kloosterman, Israel21C, July 15, 2012. Excerpt:

Israel has gained a worldwide reputation for its ability to turn barren desert into useful and arable land. ISRAEL21c takes a look at the country’s top 10 eco-strategies.

This past year’s erratic and violent weather is only a small taste of what’s to come, climate scientists predict, as the impact of global warming starts to hit. Weather will become more unpredictable, flooding will become even fiercer, and droughts and famine more widespread as land increasingly gives over to desert.

With desert covering a large part of its surface, Israel has had to quickly develop solutions for its lack of arable land and potable water. Israeli research, innovation, achievements and education on this topic now span the globe in tackling problems common to all desert dwellers.

“We’ve done a lot of research on ecosystem response to drought because we have this problem on our doorstep,” says Prof. Pedro Berliner, director of Israel’s foremost research center for desert research, the Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research at Ben-Gurion University in the Negev Desert.

ISRAEL21c looks at Israel’s top 10 advances to combat desertification, putting special focus on the work done by researchers at the Blaustein Institute.

1. Looking to the ancients

They lived in the Land of Israel more than 2,000 years ago in the heart of the Negev Desert, yet found a way to survive and thrive. How did the Nabateans build a sustainable community that provided food, firewood and fodder for animals?

This is Prof. Pedro Berliner’s area of interest. He has developed a modern-day version of the Nabatean floodwater collection system, Runoff Agroforestry Systems, and travels the world teaching farmers in countries such as Kenya, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, India, and Mexico how to implement it. His low-tech approach redirects floodwaters to dike-surrounded plots or hand-dug pits in which trees or shrubs are planted.

Going one step further than the Nabateans, “In our system we not only plant trees and between them rows of crops, but gave the old a new twist by using legume shrub-like trees which can absorb atmospheric nitrogen through their root system,” Berliner says. Soil fertility is maintained at practically no cost, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the system.

Professor Pedro Berliner

Israeli invention powers screentime with exercise, The Jewish Standard, August 9, 2015. Excerpt:

Amazing Israeli invention a gamechanger: Kids have to earn their computer time with exercise.

Shai Shalev is a computer science and aeronautics engineer. He is also the father of three children. “As a parent, I was worried seeing my kids sitting in front of the computer for hours,” he said. “I was looking for a way to make them do some sport activity.”

“I’ve developed this system along with my kids, and it’s really working. They love it. I love it. It’s a win-win.”

How does it work?

The computer is connected to an exercise bike — and the screen is locked. it’s simple! You unlock the screen by pedaling the bike. Other options enable parents to preset free daily time for their kids, and allow kids to earn credits on the bike and save them to use later.

“The system is intended to be fair, and to give the kids a goal that they can reach,” Shalev said.

Israel’s drip irrigation pioneer says his tech feeds a billion people, by David Shamah, Times of Israel, April 21, 2015. Excerpt:

As his firm prepares to unveil world’s biggest project in India, Rafi Mehudar, one of this year’s Independence Day torch-lighters, says the battle against famine is far from over.

As the world’s population grows, governments around the world are questioning how the billions of new mouths will be fed. The answer, according to Israeli inventor Rafi Mehudar, is right under their feet – in the drip irrigation technology he perfected for water tech firm Netafim.

Now found in farms around the world, Netafim’s irrigation and watering technology is already helping feed hundreds of millions, and, according to Mehudar, “it’s the only technology that has been proven to significantly increase the supply of food. We are already saving large parts of humanity from starving, and this is just the beginning.”

Over forty years after Netafim acquired the rights to the pressure regulator, his first drip irrigation invention, Mehudar is being feted for his accomplishments with one of the greatest honors bestowed by the state – the lighting of one of the twelve ceremonial torches that inaugurate Independence Day in Israel on Wednesday night. The torches are usually lit by individuals who have made a significant contribution to Israeli life, with the theme this year focusing on individuals who have made “breakthrough innovations” in science, technology, business, and culture.

Israel is a small country, but Netafim, with which Mehudar has been working since 1972, is a company that operates on a world-wide scale. “Netafim has sold over 150 billon drip irrigation devices, which cuts down water use by up to 90%, allowing farmers to spend less on water and more efficiently use their resources,” Mehudar told the Times of Israel in an interview.

An aerial view of Alicante, Spain, where a Netafim system recycles wastewater and distributes it via a drip-irrigation system, watering all public areas in the southern Spanish town. (Courtesy Netafim)

Israeli Scientists Start to Bring Star Trek Tricorder to Life, by Hana Levi Julian, Jewish Press, April 2, 2015. Excerpt:

Israeli scientists at Tel Aviv University’s School of Electrical Engineering are in the process of bringing the iconic Star Trek “tricorder” to life.

Israeli scientists at Tel Aviv University’s School of Electrical Engineering are in the process of bringing the iconic Star Trek “tricorder” to life.

The essential multi-functional tool used on board the Starship Enterprise as it explored new worlds on its five-year mission in space was used to sense, compute and record data in a non-threatening manner.

So too is a new optical component and imaging processing software developed by Professor David Mendlovic and his doctoral student Ariel Raz.

Mendlovic states the obvious: “A long list stands to gain from this new technology. We predict hyperspectral imaging will play a major role in consumer electronics, the automotive industry, biotechnology and homeland security.”

The two men came together with a team of researchers at the Unispectral Technologies firm and patented an optical component based on existing microelecctromechanical (MEMS) technology that can be used in mass production and is compatible with standard smartphone cameras. The combination of the optical component and newly designed software, however, go further than the current smartphone cameras by offering superior imaging performance and hyperspectral imaging capabilities, Mendlovic said.

Israelis to dedicate largest solar field in East Africa, by Melanie Lidman, Times of Israel, February 4, 2015. Excerpt:

Gigawatt Global will formally open $23 million project to power 15,000 Rwandan homes.

A company with Israeli ties will dedicate East Africa’s first large-scale solar field in Rwanda on Thursday, which will bring power to 15,000 homes.

Gigawatt Global will officially dedicate the 28,360-panel solar field, built in the shape of the continent of Africa, on land owned by the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, a kibbutz-style orphanage for victims of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.

The project, which is part of the United States government’s Power Africa Initiative, an attempt to increase access to electricity throughout all of Sub-Saharan Africa, was constructed in just 12 months.

Government officials and aid workers in Africa believe that improving electricity access is the best way for countries to develop economically.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, around 70 percent of the population, 600 million people, do not have electricity, according to Power Africa.

The $23.7 million solar field will provide Rwanda with 8.5 megawatts of power for 12 million people. The country currently has only about 138 megawatts of power, so the solar field will increase the entire country’s electricity production by 6 percent. Comparatively, the US uses almost 100,000 megawatts of power over the course of a single summer.

The solar field has more than 28,000 panels built in the shape of the African continent, on land leased from the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda.