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How Israel Is Jump-Starting Cleantech Innovation

Even before Israel achieved statehood 70 years ago, the country’s pioneers harnessed their fierce determination, forward thinking, and more than a little chutzpah to overcome the challenges posed by the land’s limited natural resources. Just as the nascent state of Israel defied daunting odds with its widely acclaimed innovations for agriculture, manufacturing, and water technology, the country is similarly rising to some of the 21st century’s biggest resource challenges via its thriving cleantech sector.

Amid climate change, the push for more sustainable resource usage, and the shift toward a new energy economy, a vibrant cleantech industry is more essential than ever – and Israel’s dynamic innovation ecosystem is helping to create precisely that.

With more than 600 companies specializing in a wide range of areas, including energy efficiency, water management, agricultural technology, and waste and recycling, Israel is driving sustainable change in the global energy and environmental ecosystems.

Ranked first in the world on the 2014 Global Cleantech Innovation Index, Israel continues to pioneer some of the most exciting developments in the field. Take MercuRemoval, which won first place in the 2017 Global Ideas competition at the Cleantech Open awards for their unique mercury-removal technology; or the Israeli startups in the Global Cleantech 100, selected from almost 10,000 companies worldwide, including BreezoMeter, a global air quality analytics provider helping cities make informed decisions about air standards for their inhabitants. BreezoMeter provides real-time air quality data and can be personalized for kids, athletes, people with health sensitivities, and more. Netafim, founded in 1965, has forged new frontiers in irrigation and sustainable agriculture technologies. The company developed the world’s first-ever system for drip irrigation, which remains the most efficient and sustainable way to water and grow crops. Among the other Israeli standouts in the Global Cleantech 100: Kaiima, and TaKaDu.

Given its track record of success, Israeli cleantech is drawing attention from investors worldwide. The European Investment Fund, for instance, recently announced a $20 million investment in Israel Cleantech Ventures (ICV), a venture capital fund that concentrates on supporting the growth of companies developing state-of-the-art, sustainability solutions. Similarly, the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) is scoping the Israeli cleantech market, with an eye toward investing in some of the country’s top companies in the sector.

Here’s a glance at a few of the companies which have helped put Israeli cleantech on the map:

With funding received from Samsung among other major investors, StoreDot is the Israeli startup disrupting the future of battery charging. The company is using groundbreaking organic compounds to enable five-minute fast charging of mobile devices and electric vehicles.

  • GenCell is an off-grid power solution designed to provide reliable and cost-effective power sources for telecom-based stations. While the company is headquartered in Israel, it distributes globally to deliver an affordable power backup platform all over the world.
  • Raycatch offers AI diagnostics for solar energy and was recognized by the World Economic Forum for the design and development of potentially world-changing technology as a tech pioneer.

Given the pressing environmental concerns affecting the global community, Israel’s leadership in cleantech is more than just testimony to the country’s prowess in innovation and making the most of limited resources – it’s also a shining example of how Israeli tech can benefit the entire world.

For more information, please email Johannesburg@israeltrade.gov.il