Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV) is hosting a yearlong exhibition on Israeli innovation that underscores the country’s reputation as the world’s “Start-up Nation”. Travelers through Israel’s main gateway are treated to an overview of 60 scientific and technological inventions and discoveries, several hailing from the labs of Ben Gurion University, with emphasis on Israel’s Nobel Prize winners.
It’s an excellent way to pass time between flights, but if you’re not one of the 8 million annual passengers who use TLV, allow us to introduce you to three of the best entrants which address themes close to Green Prophet’s heart – water security and organic food production.
Welcome to “Israeli Discoveries and Developments that Influenced the World,” launched by Israel’s Science, Technology and Space Ministry.
“We are showing the vast contributions of Israeli science and technology to the world and all humanity,” Israel Science, Technology and Space Minister Ofir Akunis said at the launch. And the featured projects are indeed vast, and varied.
Our lead image, photographed by Roei Greenberg, is part of the exhibit representing the work of Professor Emeritus Yossi Mizrahi of Ben Gurion University’s Department of Life Sciences who was part of a scientific team that developed the cherry tomato.
Other featured inventions include the flash drive, Israeli-grown Intel microchips, and a wide range of robotics and pharmaceuticals that improve the lives of millions around the world. We encourage you to watch the video clips, and check out the companies’ websites for more information.
And if you happen to be at TLV, look for the full exhibition located just beyond passport control.
Netafim is the world’s leading manufacturer of drip irrigation systems, which save up to 70 percent of the water used in agriculture. Did you know that drip irrigation is an Israeli invention? The technique emerged in the 1960s on Kibbutz Hazerim, developed and refined by engineer Simcha Blass, who began manufacturing primitive drip systems on site. Netafim has taken it further, developing other water-saving tech including overhead sprays and oscillating sprinklers now used around the world.
TaKaDu tackles water delivery. offering smart solutions to leaking pipes. Amir Peleg founded the company in 2009 which collects data from already existing network meters and sensors to allow clients to monitor their water networks, detect leaks and inefficiencies, and track equipment performance in real-time. A boon to operations of industrial and utility-scale water systems everywhere.
BioBee, where Green Prophet’s Karin has worked, is the anti-Syngenta, developing sustainable methods of natural pest control for agricultural purposes. They fight fire with fire, using beneficial insects and mites to control unwanted pests in greenhouses and in open fields.
Israel’s Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu has been a pioneer in organic agriculture, establishing it’s corporate entity – Bio-Bee Biological Systems – in 1984. Its subsidiary Bio Fly also markets pollinating bumblebees. Bio-Bee products are currently exported to 30 countries.
flux, a technology you won’t see there yet (but hopefully soon), has developed a device to make it super easy for any one to grow the most sustainably produced food in the world using hydroponics. The product launches this summer and I can’t wait.
The airport exhibit aims to increase public awareness of science and promote Israel’s prowess on the global playing field of innovation and invention. According to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a recent survey showed that 43% of Israelis are unaware that Israel’s first President, Chaim Weizmann, was originally a chemist. Approximately 50% of Israelis were unable to name even one Israeli Nobel laureate scientist (there are eight!). Sections of the exhibit are devoted to Israel’s three Turing laureates and one Fields Medal winner. Renowned scientists Albert Einstein, Chaim Weizmann, and Aaron Aaronsohn also get a nod.
Israel leads the world in the highest number of startups per capita, giving rise to thousands of innovations in a range of fields, from agriculture to medicine to technology, which directly influence on the lives of millions of people around the world.
Lead photo: Israeli Ministry of Science; videos from the featured companies