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Israeli Innovation

Israeli Innovation

“Necessity is the mother of invention.”- Plato

The state of Israel was established in 1948. It was a country with very limited natural resources, however, there was one thing this country was blessed with – people with natural creativity.
Today, over 70 years after, despite all struggles, Israel stands as the number one country in innovations per capita.

Declared as a “startup nation” with numerous breakthroughs in science, technology, agriculture, medicine, military and other fields, Israel was transformed into a hub of innovations that addresses key issues affecting human life on our planet.
It is a home for many entrepreneurs and indeed, a key player in high-tech innovation that attracts giant countries to its shores in search of investments. 

There are several factors which have led Israel to successful innovations:

  • Israel’s government is dedicated to supporting all innovators by allocating 4.1% of its budget. It is ranked as the second country in the world to allocate such a large percentage. 
  • Israeli education system produces a high number of scientists and engineers per capita. 
  • The key factors influencing business performance are flexibility and creativity, and those are the driving force of innovation. Israel’s ability to rapidly transform consumer demands into organizational action is attributed to its consistent success in the versatility index and its widespread recognition as a capital for innovation.
  • Investment legislation permits a reduced company tax rate and investment grants to support international companies in Israel.
    Another government incentive program offers job grants for R&D centers and large corporations.
    The program provides a four-year grant scheme that covers an average of 25% of the employer’s payroll costs for each new employee.

In this article, we have picked some of the exciting startups and ventures you can learn and see in Israel. 

Iron Dome

Developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and funded mostly by the US, Iron Dome was born as a response to the modern warfare going on in the Middle East and as a result of the 2nd Lebanon war in 2006, during  which Hezbollah shot over 4000 rockets at Israel.
The system, used by the Israeli Defense Forces, has the ability to intercept missiles
launched from ranges of 4-70 km, and can operate day and night in any weather.
Israel has 10 Iron Dome batteries equipped with a radar, 4 launchers and 20 missiles. It is one of the most successful projects of the Israeli military industry, with a success rate of about 90%. 

“Netafim” Irrigation System

Water was a key problem for farmers as there was not enough water to irrigate the fields. The main reason for this struggle is the fact that Israel’s climate is mostly arid.
However, Engineer Simcha Blass came up with an idea that has changed farmer’s life forever.
Blass’s concept, which was named “Netafim”, came about as he was observing two trees: one was bigger than the other, despite growing in the same environment.
Simcha noticed that there was a dripping water pipe next to the bigger tree.
He realized that the few drops of water dripping at the tree were enough to make it grow taller than the other one.

Later, Blass came up with a pipe pierced with small holes – from water drops to crops.
The farmers could now grow crops, while utilizing the limited water available.
Netafim’s innovative project allowed the crop yield to increase by 70%, and at the same time, water usage by farmers reduced by 5%.
Today, the same technology is used by farmers in 110 countries.

Watergen – drinking water produced from thin air

In 2009, Arye Kochavi founded Watergen – a company that creates drinking water from air.
Watergen devices have the capability of extracting humidity from air through patented genius technology.
The device vaporizes water molecules from air, liquidizes it and produces quality drinking water safe for consumption. 
This unique, life-saving invention aims to solve the lack of clean water in various locations across the world.
Watergen was selected as one of the ten most prominent Israeli technology inventions.
Additionally, in 2019, it was selected by the Time Magazine as one of the 100 most innovative and unique inventions in the world.   


In 1999, Amnon Shashua and his business partner Ziv Aviram came up with a special car technology innovation.
They developed a tiny camera with unique algorithms capable of preventing car accidents.
The device warns in real time about hazards, vehicle deviation from its lane, and detects pedestrians, cyclists and speed signs.
This technology is used as an aid to the driver, an additional car-safety system and an infrastructure for autonomous vehicles.

In 2017, Mobileye was acquired by Intel for $15.3 million, and dozens of car manufacturing companies have come forward to adopt this technology. 

Water Desalination 

Water shortage is a major issue in the Middle East.
To cope with its water problem, Israel turned to desalination of water coming from the Mediterranean Sea and briny wells.

The innovation has made Israel a global leader in water desalination, and as of 2015, half of the water consumed in the country comes from desalinated water.

Today, Israel has 10 water desalination plants and 2 more will be established by 2023.

Waze GPS 

A combination of the words “ways” and “maze”, it is a GPS app that was developed by Ehud Shabtai.
The idea was born following a certain incident, when Shabtai had to use a normal GPS and was disappointed due to its ineffectiveness.
He noticed that the GPS was somewhat successful at giving directions, but failed to provide traffic information in real-time.
Together with his colleagues, they created a community-based navigation system that provides traffic updates on the go.

Using crowdsourcing platforms to gather information about traffic conditions, such as warnings on accidents and roadwork, Waze serves as the main GPS app for almost 100 million users worldwide.
The company was sold for $1.1 billion to Google in 2013.

Checkpoint Software Technologies

Checkpoint Software Technology was founded by 25-year-old Gil Shwed and two of his friends in a small apartment in Ramat Gan back in 1993.
They built the modern firewall for the commercial computer network, offering computers worldwide protection from the dangers of cyberspace. 

Today, with some 100,000 users and 2,300 employees worldwide, the company is one of the world’s leading IT security providers in the world. 

SniffPhone – a device that detect diseases

This Israeli innovation will make a great impact on all sectors, but especially on the world of medicine.
Based on the NaNose Breathalyzer (a large device used only in laboratories), the SniffPhone is a portable tool that with a simple connection to the phone can analyze breath and detect certain particles that attest to a variety of diseases. 
With accuracy of 86-93% it can help identify certain cancer tumors, Parkinson’s disease dementia, multiple sclerosis, and many more.

According to its creators, it is estimated to become commercial within a few years and will be “highly accurate, inexpensive and easy to use.”

Nano Dimension

Established in 2012, this company produces and develops a variety of 3D printers for the electronics industry.
For the first time in history, electronics companies and engineers can print a whole PCB (
Printed Circuit Board) in a matter of hours.
This breakthrough technology is used for a wide range of industries, electronic consumer products, medical equipment, security, space, vehicles and more.


After a tragic accident leaving him paralyzed from the waist down, Dr. Amit Goffer spent years designing a way for people with paraplegia to be less reliant on wheelchairs.
ReWalk is an exoskeleton robot, powered by a backpack battery, which receives movement signals from a wristwatch and enables the user to stand upright, walk and even climb stairs.
This innovation received official recognition following the 2014 London Marathon and the 2012 London Paralympics. 


Scientist Gavriel Iddan came up with this great innovation after suffering from chronic stomach pain.
He developed a digestible and disposable camera with the ability to transmit data from the stomach to the receiver.
Helping patients to postpone trips to the hospital, and entering areas that are otherwise very hard to reach, the PillCam has revolutionized modern medicine. 
The FDA-approved PillCam is now used worldwide to diagnose digestive system diseases, intestinal disorders and cancers.
Iddan won the European Inventor Award in 2011, 14 years after the prototype was first created.


Akiva Falk, a bug lover from Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu in the Jordan Valley, founded BioBee in 1983.
The company focuses on biological pest control, intending to reduce the usage of pesticides in agriculture.
The goal is to use the natural ability of insects in order to make crops safer for consumption.
BioBee is currently running three projects:
breeding bumblebees in greenhouses for pollination; using “friendly insects” such as mites, wasps, and beetles to attack harmful pests; and reducing the number of harmful insects by genetically modifying their reproductive ability.
Over the years, BioBee developed into a multinational company, while its head offices remain in Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu, where it all began. 

The following are two innovation centers that we recommend visiting during your trip:

Peres Center for Peace & Innovation 

The Peres Center is an independent, non-profit and non-governmental organization that was founded in 1996 by the former Israeli president Shimon Peres.
Its goal is to create a dialogue and promote coexistence between Jews and Arabs through projects in a variety of fields such as sport, education, medicine and technology.
As the Peres Center seeks to pave the way to peace with our neighbors and shared living between Israeli and Palestinians, it is the first center of its kind for tourists, where you have a chance to explore the amazing stories of Israeli innovations in a fascinating and immersive journey inspired by the vision of late President Shimon Peres. 

Taglit Innovation Center 

In collaboration with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Taglit Center for Israeli Innovation is a cutting-edge visitor center that presents the Israeli Start-Up Nation.
A tour of this center serves as an introduction to the Israeli start-up community and usually features an intimate session with an Israeli entrepreneur sharing their personal story.

More than 80 leading Israeli firms, including the most dominant technology companies and promising Israeli start-ups, are represented at the exhibition.
Since being founded in summer of 2016, over 120,000 visitors have toured the center, including students, business delegations, and diplomats from across the world.

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