10 Israeli Technologies That Are Changing The World
Feb 20, 2014
Israel has been coined the “Startup Nation”; the country with the highest concentration of startups in the world. Over the past 63 years, thousands of Israeli startups have given rise to innovations in fields as diverse as irrigation; GPS navigation; and cherry tomatoes.
But which are the Israeli startups that are truly changing the world?
We’ve picked 10 startups that we believe have impacted the world for the better or are in the process of changing lives forever.
One technology that is gradually being integrated into an increasing number of fields is 3D printing, and no company has more 3D printing technology in its arsenal than Israeli-American giant Stratasys. Bringing printing to a new level, Stratasys is bridging today’s most innovative ideas with reality. The company’s printers (and scanners) can be used in various fields, ranging from 3D-printed cars to clothes and medical devices. Already, Japanese fashion designer Yuima Nakazoto used Stratasys’ 3D printer for his latest collection, printing futuristic sportswear. Perhaps more importantly, 3D printing can be used in medicine for its geometric capabilities linked with patient care and advanced experimental work. In all fields, Stratasys seems to be adding another dimension of possibilities.
Predicting the Future
A graduate of the Technion, 27-year -old Dr. Kira Radinsky has developed software that can predict pandemics and genocides several months in advance. By scanning 500-years-worth of literature, including all the materials published in the New York Times from 1880 onwards, she was able to find strong correlations between various historical events. Among her other findings, Radinsky also discovered that the combination of droughts and storms is a good indicator to a potential Cholera outbreak. Already, her software predicted the Cholera pandemic in Cuba last year, several months before it actually happened. Radinsky started university at 15, earned her PhD at 26 and founded two startups on the side. She even landed a spot in this year’s MIT list of Top 35 Innovators Under 35, alongside the likes of Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
The ReWalk aims to give those with lower limb disabilities, such as paraplegia, an experience that resembles walking. ReWalk consists of an exoskeleton suit, developed by a granduate of the Technion, Israel’s Institute of Tcehnology, which uses patented technology with motorized legs to power knee and hip movement. Battery-powered to allow all-day use, ReWalk is controlled by on-board computers and motion sensors, restoring self-initiated walking and stepping without the need of tethers or switches. ReWalk controls movement using subtle changes in center of gravity, mimics natural gait and provides functional walking speed. The system senses a forward tilt of the upper body, which triggers the first step. Repeated body shifting generates a sequence of steps, which allows natural and efficient walking. The ReWalk also sits, stands, turns and can even climb and descend stairs. ReWalk does more than make people walk – it gives hope. “It is an amazing feeling to be walking again,” said Dan Webb, a client from the US, who is paralyzed. “Doing the Rewalk, it’s cutting edge, it’s very exciting for me that I’m part of something that might be the future.” Dan was paralyzed after a spinal cord injury and is now on his feet again.
Israeli researchers at the Technion in Haifa have engineered drought-resistant plants that could be game-changers in the current global food crisis. Currently, 40 countries worldwide are suffering from food shortage and 870 million people, or one in eight, are chronically undernourished. Many of these countries’ food shortages are linked with drought. It appears as though the time is right for a change of strategy. The engineered plants require less water, yield bigger harvests and stay fresh for longer. They can go on for a month without water and only need 30 percent of the amount of liquid that normal plants do, so are therefore able to survive droughts. Could this be a big step in the direction of a hungry-free world?