7 Ways Israeli Innovation Has Changed the World in 70 Years

“In order to stand strong, we must empower the talented youth among us to dedicate their lives to scientific research and development. We must help them in any way possible, in all fields.” Those were the words of the late David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister. This guiding philosophy has since permeated Israel’s national ethos, helping pave the way for the Jewish State to be included among the ranks of the world’s most innovative countries.

As Israel celebrates its 70th birthday, the country remains as committed as ever to transforming the world with state-of-the-art technologies.

Here are seven significant Israeli inventions across different sectors that reflect the country’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit.

  1. Hardware: USB (DiskOnKey)

Once, anyone seeking to store, back up, and transfer computer files had to depend on CDs and floppy disks.

All this changed at the dawn of the 21st century when Israeli technologists at M-Systems invented the USB flash drive, vastly simplifying the way digital files are stored and transferred. In 2006, SanDisk acquired the company for approximately $1.3 Billion.

  1. Agritech: Drip Irrigation – Netafim

Drip irrigation heralded a watershed moment for agricultural technology. Drip systems maintain a uniform amount of water supply for plants and crops, greatly enhancing yield while saving significantly on water resources and costs.

Israel-based Netafim pioneered the technology, which is now used in countless countries throughout the world, revolutionizing the agricultural industry.

  1. Healthtech: PillCam

In 2001, Given Imaging became the first company in the world to develop a usable pill endoscopy technology – giving physicians a way to see inside a patient’s GI tract by having them simply swallow a pill-sized camera. The pill, called PillCam, is intended for one-time use, and is excreted from the body upon completion of the examination.

Currently sold in an estimated 100 countries, Given Imaging leads the global market with the production of more than three million pills to date.

  1. Cleantech: WaterGen

The technology developed at Israeli startup WaterGen produces clean drinking water from thin air. One generator produces enough drinking water for a large community center at low cost, which is why WaterGen’s products are found in homes and offices worldwide.

In 2014, WaterGen provided water for thousands of residents without clean drinking water in the hurricane-struck cities of Houston and Miami.

  1. Software: Waze

Popular Israeli app Waze is a crowdsourced, social navigation platform helping drivers find the quickest route to their destination. Waze was developed with an eye toward addressing the shortcomings of traditional GPS systems, which failed to take into account events like closures, accidents, traffic jams and road construction.

The free service is now available in more than 180 countries, helping drivers in some 50 languages. More than 100 million users rely on Waze to “outsmart traffic” and make their daily commutes faster, more seamless and efficient – making it the largest mobility community of its kind in the world.

  1. Cybersecurity: Digital Vault

After penetrating an organization’s firewalls, cyber attackers are often able to access highly sensitive information and wield dangerous control.

To meet these threats, CyberArk, one of the leading cybersecurity firms in the world founded in Israel, developed a technology called Digital Vault: privileged account security solutions protecting an organization’s most sensitive assets.

  1. Foodtech: Orri Mandarins

In 1987, International Tasting Tests named the Orri mandarin oranges one of the best fruits in the world.

With their sweet flavor and spicy aroma, these easy-to-peel, seedless mandarins are Israel’s largest fruit export. They are especially popular in France and Germany. And though China is the world’s top citrus grower, the Orri has taken that country by storm as well. Harnessing Israeli ingenuity, scientists recently announced a method of growing the fruit that minimizes pest control and is ecologically sustainable. The Orri is among the most delicious products of the Israel’s thriving foodtech sector, which has delivered the world a range of solutions for making our food tastier, more nutritious and more sustainable.

For more information on how Israel’s hi-tech scene is helping innovate our world, please visit https://itrade.gov.il/ or contact your local Israel Economic Attaché.

By Ellen Lam from our Hong Kong office