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.
Full story via JPost
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.
Tell us about CamMe
CamMe is PointGrab‘s popular gesture based camera app which lets anyone easily take group shots or the ultimate “selfie” from a distance without even touching their iPhone or iPad. Users can take a picture even when their phone is not in hand (from up to 16 feet away) simply by raising a hand and making a fist to begin a countdown before the photo is taken. The app recently was awarded “Most Innovative App” in the 2014 Global Mobile Awards, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and has had over 1 million downloads to date.
Approximately 600 people use CamMe every min and approximately 400 photos are taken with the app each minute. CamMe has been described as “an app that changes the way we take pictures forever. Utilizing clever hand gestures, this cool and ingenious app is for the new age of the Selfie!”
How did you come up with the idea for CamMe? Who came up with the concept?
PointGrab decided to create this app as a simple example of how gesture expands the user experience on an app that people use almost every day on their mobile devices. CamMe was developed based on the PointGrab gesture SDK (software developer kit). The idea was to enable app developers to explore using hand gesture in the mobile space and give them the opportunity to create new experiences for existing apps, as well as develop new concepts and ideas for new apps.
It seems pretty easy to use. How does it work?
CamMe lets users take great pictures from a distance without even touching the device. This means users can take fun selfies without their forearm in the picture or group shots can finally include everyone in the party. PointGrab uses the standard camera on the device together with its award winning gesture based technology and algorithm to be able to detect and analyze hand gesture and act accordingly. All the user needs to do is put the device in front of them in a distance, raise the hand, and close it to activate the camera without touching.
PointGrab’s sophisticated machine-learning algorithm for hand recognition, tracking, and motion uses the standard camera on the iPhone or iPad to detect the user’s hand. Once the user is ready to take a photo, he/she will make a fist and the camera will recognize it and then will count down and take the picture. As opposed to a timer on a regular camera, CamMe allows you to take the picture whenever you are ready. CamMe takes pictures from a distance on your terms and changes the way we take pictures using mobile devices.
Why is it, in your opinion, that Israel is such an innovative hub?
Israel is an innovative hub because people here are not afraid to be daring, think outside of the box and be creative. Because of this innovative thinking, lots of good ideas come to life. Some might not make it, but then lots of them succeed. Israel invests in technology and education to encourage people to be daring and creative. It may also be partly due to the “Israeli Chutzpa” that enables us to go our way and move forward with ideas other people will probably wont allow themselves too…
When it comes to Israel and innovation, does Size Matter?
Size does not matter. Israel is small but very creative, very innovative, and brings lots of new and exciting ideas to the world.
Facebook is opening a direct marketing office in Israel, augmenting the Israelis who work out of the company’s offices in Dublin, the U.S. social-networking giant said Monday.
Leading the efforts at Tel Aviv suburb Ramat Gan will be Adi Soffer-Teeni, who has been appointed head of Facebook Israel. Soffer-Teeni, currently chairwoman of Ginger Software, will be putting together her own team.
“Millions of people in this country use our service every day; they connect to one another and share what’s important to them,” Soffer-Teeni said on Facebook. “Businesses are discovering the value of being part of this … both major brand names and small and medium-sized businesses.”
Before Ginger Software, Soffer-Teeni was director of the business-to-consumer division at 888.com, an online casino and poker website. She was also chief executive of the Kidum Group, a private education company.
We posted about the company winning the 2013 European Technology Innovation Award last year, and now they have come out with the CamMe app that leverages their gesture prompting technology so your camera can be set to take pictures without a selfie arm, or toying with an annoying timer. The app was recently on CNN’s list for 20 fun and useful new mobile apps and is a must for anyone who wants to get that perfect selfie. Read more at PointGrab’s website.
Check it out!
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