Daily Briefing: ISRAEL REACHES TECHNOLOGICAL MILESTONES DURING PAST DECADE (January 28,2020)

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Table of Contents:

The Top Israeli Tech Trends in the Last Decade:  Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel 21C, Dec. 26, 2019 


7 Israeli Initiatives Embracing High-Tech For Holocaust Education and Remembrance:  Simona Shemer, NoCamels January 22, 2020


Top 5 Israeli Innovations of the Past Decade:  Yafit Ovadia, Israel Hayom, Dec. 12, 2019


How Israel’s Venn Arrived At The Future Of Urban Community Living:  Amir Mizrach, Forbes, June 25, 2019

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The Top Israeli Tech Trends in the Last Decade
Abigail Klein Leichman
Israel 21C, Dec. 26, 2019 

The rise of serial entrepreneurship is the most significant trend that Saul Singer sees when he looks at Israel’s startup phenomenon over the past 10 years.

Singer is in a unique position to spot the trends in Israel’s high-tech world.

In late 2009, on the cusp of the new decade, he and Dan Senor published the ground-breaking bestseller Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle. The book was translated into about 30 languages and propelled a worldwide fascination with Israel’s innovation culture. “The most powerful change over the years is that we have more and more serial entrepreneurs who have done a number of startups — that have either succeeded or failed, or a combination — and almost without exception are thinking about their next startup even before they have an exit,” Singer tells ISRAEL21c. “Each time they do another startup, it’s more ambitious,” he notes.

“The second or third time around, they often want to work in an area that’s more meaningful to them — for instance, health or environment — where they think they can take a whack at a big global problem.”

A good example is cybersecurity pioneer Marius Nacht, one of the founders in 1993 of the highly successful Check Point Software Technologies. In 2016, Nacht cofounded the aMoon health-tech and life-sciences venture fund to accelerate cures for the world’s most life-threatening conditions.

Bigger and more mature by any metric

Serial entrepreneurship is just one manifestation of a robust and maturing innovation ecosystem in Israel, says Singer. The year Start-Up Nation was published, Israel had 3,850 startups. Despite a globally high rate of failure for new businesses, today there are 6,418 startups in Israel. That number comes from Tel Aviv-based independent non-profit Start-Up Nation Central, founded in 2012 to connect business, government and NGO leaders from around the world with Israeli innovation. “In the past 10 years, the startup nation has grown bigger and more mature by pretty much any metric — number of startups, number of large corporate development centers here from all over the world, venture capital investment, visits and interest from governments and companies around the world, global awareness that Israel is a major innovation center, and the desire to partner with us in innovation on a corporate or government level,” Singer says.

Thanks to early innovators such as Nacht, cybersecurity technology was one of Israel’s first strengths and continues to be successful. Lately, verticals such as agriculture, digital health, finance, food and automotive have joined cybersecurity as leading Israeli high-tech sectors. “Israel has always been very diverse,” says Singer. “That’s part of its maturity as an ecosystem. The areas are changing all the time as technology changes and investment fashions change. However, the world has been going in the direction of particular Israeli strengths.”

The dominant direction nowadays is artificial intelligence, he says. “Right now, we’re seeing a process of AI permeating everything, digitizing everything and collecting data on everything. The process of collecting massive amounts of data and creating algorithms to get insights from that data, and the ability to predict things from that data and do things like computer vision — these are Israel’s strong suits.”

Singer points out that AI has applications in every sector of the economy. “It’s why an auto-tech company like Mobileye had the largest exit in Israeli history,” he says.

Mobileye, the world’s leading developer of advanced driver assistance systems using computer vision, was acquired by Intel in 2017 for $15.3 billion. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
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7 Israeli Initiatives Embracing High-Tech For Holocaust Education and Remembrance
Simona Shemer
NoCamels January 22, 2020

Forty-nine delegations from countries across North America, Europe, and Asia are set to converge in Jerusalem on Thursday for the Fifth World Holocaust Forum organized by the World Holocaust Forum Foundation in cooperation with Yad Vashem and the World Holocaust Remembrance Center. The delegations include 41 heads of state, monarchs, members of royal families, and parliamentary leaders.

The forum, entitled “Remembering the Holocaust, Fighting Anti-Semitism,” marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and the UN-sanctioned International Holocaust Remembrance Day (marked annually on January 27) to remember the six million Jews murdered across Europe during World War II.

The gathering is considered the biggest diplomatic event in Israel’s history and comes less than a year after a startling report on the resurgence of anti-Semitism worldwide was released by Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center in conjunction with the European Jewish Congress. The report noted a 13 percent increase in “major” anti-Semitic incidents worldwide in 2018 — 387, compared to 342 in 2017.

Serious incidents of violence and vandalization of Jewish gravestones continued to occur worldwide the past year, particularly in the United States, where Jews have previously felt safe. In the New York area alone, more than half of the 423 reported hate crimes in the city were directed at Jews and attacks in Jersey City, New Jersey, and Monsey, New York shocked the world.

Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that leaders such as US Vice President Mike Pence, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and French President Emanuel Macron will be at the large-scale event. Other guests include German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zolensky, and Britain’s Prince Charles, among others.

While the forum has been marked by some controversy — Israel’s Army Radio reported Monday that there were only 30 spots out of 800 reserved for actual Holocaust survivors at the event being held at Warsaw Ghetto Square at Yad Vashem — a response from Yad Vashem said that there are some 200,000 Holocaust survivors living in Israel and it would be impossible to invite even a fraction of them.

This event is “not a public ceremony but rather a gathering of leaders,” Yad Vashem told Army Radio, but it’s important to note that even as leaders urge action against increasing anti-Semitism, the Holocaust survivors themselves won’t be around much longer to tell their stories.

According to a report by the Central Bureau of Statistics published last year ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the number of survivors currently alive in Israel will shrink to 26,200 by 2035. These figures raise concern because as survivors pass, so too do their personal accounts, many of which have not been documented. Some accounts remain undiscovered and untold. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
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Top 5 Israeli Innovations of the Past Decade
Yafit Ovadia
Israel Hayom, Dec. 12, 2019

While Israeli discoveries reach far and wide, the past decade marked a high number of Israeli technological milestones in an astounding variety of fields – from medicine to high-tech to space exploration. Some of those startling advancements include finding potential cures for diseases such as cancer and diabetes, and improvements in transportation by using artificial intelligence-run devices. Leaping into the unknown, Israel launched objects into orbit, such as the Amos communications satellites, and earlier this year made history as the seventh country to send a spacecraft to the Moon.

Below is our countdown for the top five Israeli innovations of the decade:

5. Electric-powered airplane

Eviation, an Israeli startup introduced its first electric airplane, capable of flying short distances of up to 650 miles (1,050 kilometers) at around 270 mph (440 kmp). The craft, named Alice, is not only cheaper to produce, it also produces zero emissions, as it relies mainly on electricity and uses very little fuel. As the world grows greener and numerous attempts are made to reduce the human carbon footprint on the planet, this innovation is a creative endeavor by far.

Alice can transport up to nine passengers, including two pilots. It is equipped with revolving seats and even portable chargers for mobile phones. Unveiled at the Paris Air Show this past June, Alice is capable of embarking on shorter flights, such as from Israel to Cyprus or from Paris to Toulouse. Eviation expects its main customers to be American aviation companies, which can service short-haul lines within the continental US like the New York-Boston route.

4. Clean drinking water

In order to provide clean water for underdeveloped communities, Israeli startup WaterGen unveiled its GEN-M, a medium-scale atmospheric generator (AWG) that makes water out of air. The device can produce over 200 gallons (800 gallons) of clean drinking water per day. GEN-M creates water by cooling air at its natural dew point, and then filtering it, and purifying it with carbon. By using ultraviolet rays, any remaining bacteria is subsequently eliminated, making it suitable for consumption.
While the product was first presented in 2010, it has been put into service in far-reaching countries like Puerto Rico during the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 2017, in a small village near Cúcuta, Colombia, and in various other disaster zones. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
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How Israel’s Venn Arrived At The Future Of Urban Community Living
Amir Mizrach
Forbes, June 25, 2019

Venn, an Israel-based urban-tech startup that buys, renovates, leases and manages homes and shared spaces in developing neighborhoods, on June 25 announced the completion of its Series A round with total funding to date of $40 million.

Tapping into a growing sense of personal dislocation and loneliness in cities, as well as growing inequality and socioeconomic tensions fueled by globalization, Venn’s mission is the “positive renewal of gentrifying neighborhoods through the creation of a sustainable urban community.” Along the way, it hopes to bring community spirit back to urban life.

Venn’s members, those who rent its apartments or pay for access to communal services, enjoy access to community workspaces and workshops, and various services like on-demand laundry, locally sourced and marketed food, and any other service that can utilize the purchasing power of its members to achieve a high-quality lifestyle at affordable prices. The company then reinvests revenues from its home management operations directly back into the neighborhood with local small business support, cultural and creative projects, educational opportunities, safety initiatives, and programs to minimize displacement.

The aim is to raise the local GDP of a neighborhood, enhance the business and social connections within that neighborhood, while reducing the hassles and friction of urban living. High profile and mission-driven investors have taken notice. Venn’s backers include Pitango Venture Capital, one of Israel’s most successful VC firms, Hamilton Lane, on behalf of the New York State Common Retirement Fund, and Bridges Israel, an Israeli social venture fund backed by The Portland Trust. Bridges has a mandate to invest in for-profit mission-driven businesses in Israel’s most underprivileged communities as well as in businesses that aim to make an impact in the areas of health and well-being, education and environment.

“Venn is a unique endeavor which combines an amazing prop-tech business with real impact on the way people live in cities,” said Gigi Levy Weiss, Venn’s first investor. 

“With millennials looking now more than ever to belong to their local communities and battle the growing loneliness in modern cities, Venn is offering them the perfect combination: great living spaces which meet their needs at reasonable prices coupled with a vibrant community of like-minded people, content and events, completely reinventing the way we live in cities,” Weiss adds. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]

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For Further Reference:

Prof. Yaffa Zilbershats, Chair, Planning and Budgeting Committee, Council for Higher Education:  IPS and Herzliah Conference, YouTube, July 2, 2019.

 

Israeli Kids Go Back to School With New ‘Jewish Values’ Curriculum David Lazarus, Israel Today, Aug. 27, 2019 — “Jewish-Israeli Heritage” is a broad new program that has been added to the curriculum for the more than 2 million students beginning school on September 1st, 2019.

 

This is a Rare Photo of a Smartphone-Hacking Device sold by the NSO Group, the Billion-Dollar Israeli Spyware Company Accused of Helping Hack Jeff Bezos:  Aaron Holmes and Becky Peterson, Business Insider, Jan 22, 2020 – A UN report published Wednesday places a secretive, billion-dollar Israeli spyware company at the center of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s possible hack of Jeff Bezos’ personal phone.

The Top Israeli Medical Advances:  Aufgang Travel –The Israeli medical field is arguably considered one of the world’s best. 

Israeli High-Tech Report 2019 ZAG – S&W International Law Firm, IVC Research Center — Robust disparities persist in Israeli tech-related investment patterns in 2019: large or late stage rounds continue to grow in numbers and amounts, while allocated capital for seed rounds and early stage companies declines.

The 21st Century Israeli Economic Surge: Yoram Ettinger, Jewish Press, Jan. 27, 2020 — 2000 to 2019: *Population – from 6.2 million to 9.1 million (47% growth); *Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – from $132BN to $404BN (206% growth)