Nominations are being accepted for the second annual million-dollar prize for alternative transportation fuels – an international competition sponsored by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
The Science and Technology Ministry, in conjunction with the Prime Minister’s Office and Keren Hayesod- UIA, is accepting applications through April 30 for the Second Annual Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation in Alternative Fuels for Transportation.
This year’s prize, which will be awarded in December, will be granted based on global innovation and a technological breakthrough in the field of alternative fuels. Nominees must be engaged in “paradigm- shifting research or technology development” worthy of widespread recognition, and may be citizens of any country.
“Israel will be a hub of knowledge and practice in the field of oil substitutes,” Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri said.
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In honour of World Water Day, we have put together a list of five hot Israeli tech companies that focus on water! Situated on the edge of the desert with limited access to fresh water, Israelis have leveraged cutting edge technologies to improve and ensure access to water while sharing these technologies around the world. In 2012, exports of water technologies totaled $2B, representing an increase of 170% over six years. In no particular order:
The company that invented drip irrigation innovation through smart drip and micro-irrigation solutions is now leading the way with greenhouse solutions to foster growth in arid and otherwise challenging climates. From potatoes in China to pomegranates in Israel, tea in Tanzania, and cotton in India, this firm is succeeding in growing a range of key crops in all corners of the world.
A world leader in water treatment, this company specializes in all aspects of water desalination, from development and engineering to the construction and operation of plants. Through the work of companies like IDE, the prospect of Israel becoming a country with a water surplus becomes a very real possibility!
This company is in the business of developing novel methods for storing, preserving, and moving water for use in various industries such as construction and mining and in emergencies and disaster relief.
TACount recently won the Massachusetts water industry competition, Water Export Technology (WET) Revolution. Global Water Intelligence ranked TACount in the top 20 most viable water technologies, and the Office of the Israel Chief Scientist selected it as one of Israel’s most promising start-up companies. Their proprietary technology allows for real-time microbial detection, massively improving delivery of data, with typical technologies taking days or even weeks!
Amiad has been on the water tech scene for more than 40 years, working to develop state-of-the-art filtration technologies. Their unique technology is environmentally sound, using no chemicals, polymers, minimal back flush water, and reduced energy. Some of their systems do not even require electricity.
By: Andrew Lee
In Jerusalem, most of the trees are slightly yellowed and fragile. Basically, the trees look like they are constantly clinging onto life. The heat and dry climate certainly have something to do with this! However, last weekend I did the Yam-to-Yam hike, from the Mediterranean sea to the Sea of Galilee, and I truly came to understand that Israel cradles three ecological zones. Past Rosh Hanikra, towards the Sea of Galilee, the land becomes much more lush and green. In a way, it reminds me of the boreal forests of Ontario — yet it was much more dynamic. Rather than being primarily one type of forest, as we walked closer towards the Sea of Galilee, the land would slowly shift. From rocky terrain flanked by mountains, to lush landscapes with water spouting from the ground in such a small piece of land (compared to Canada) — it was truly mindboggling. I never would have expected to experience such biodiversity in Israel.
Andrew Lee is a Canadian student currently studying in Israel.
The switch that Netanyahu and Edelstein symbolically flipped for this day of conserving energy is located near the entrance of the Knesset, beside Edelstein’s office.
Earth Day encourages people around the world to switch off lights for one hour beginning at 8 pm to stress awareness of conserving the planet.
The international Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) competition, held in Denmark, has begun taking entries, and is now also open to Israeli teens.
The contest means to encourage teens and youths to investigate and report on environmental issues and their solutions via journalistic vehicles, such as writing, photography or video.
Teenagers who are interested in entering the competition are required to prepare a short written or video article focusing on a local environmental issue and its solutions and post it, via their school newspaper, local media or social networks. A digital copy must be submitted by March 21.
The works will be reviewed by the judging panel as well as leading environmental journalists.
The judges are comprised of representatives of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the European Environment Agency (EEA), the International Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and The Times.
The winners of each category – who will be the semi-finalists – will be announced in April.
The winners will be announced in Denmark on the next Earth Day, in June.
Entry details and instruction are available be emailing the competition or on the competition’s Facebook page.
This year, 27 counties will be participating, including Israel, Canada, the United States, China, Cyprus, France, Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Malta, Morocco, Montenegro, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Britain, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia and the UAE.
Fashion students at Israel’s Shenkar College of Engineering and Design were recently given a unique challenge – creating innovative designs using surplus clothes deemed disposable by a local leading fashion retailer.
The project marks the growing green trend in the fashion industry, as it – much like its contemporaries in the consumer product sector – is becoming more eco-conscious. The industry is making a global effort to offer consumers fashion items made from recycled materials, turning the “reclaimed” into super-chic must-haves.
As part of this growing trend, students at the Master’s program of Shenkar’s Faculty of Fashion Design have recently taken part of a project exploring “design as an engine of social impact.”
The students were also asked to design their clothes in the spirit of a potential target-market, and find an association that represented that market.
The items designed were then mass-produced and sold on discount, or designed as a unique one-piece, to be auctioned off. All proceeds went to the respective associations.
“The clothes we were given to work with were surpluses garments that were not sold, as well as items that had small defects,” class instructor Ayelet Carmon explained.
“We’re used to thinking of surplus from purely industrial point of view, but many companies actually get stuck with inventory because the law states that you can’t import goods that are not for immediate sale. Since the system encourages buying in bulk to get a better price, importers later face having to deal with surplus inventory.”
But if the students are using ready-made garments, where is the challenge? Carmon summed it up with “scarcity”: “Students would start working with something and then literally run out of it, so they had to improvise. The projects approach was ‘what you get is what you use.'”
The growing trend has been noted by retail giants as well: in December, Sweden’s H&M announced recently that as part of its social and environmental responsibility practices, it will offer customers a chance to recycle their old clothes.
The Israeli franchise is included in the venture, which will span 48 nations worldwide.