Top 10 Israeli inventions of the decade
Every time you turn around, it seems the Jewish state has created yet another startling new invention or start-up. Here are the top 10 of the decade.
The Jerusalem-based start-up, founded in 2010 by the team behind Mobileye, is leading a revolution for the blind and visually impaired. The company’s artificial intelligence wearable devices, equipped with high-quality cameras, seek to change the lives of many by empowering them to read text, recognize faces and more. OrCam is valued at over $1 billion.
Developed by quadriplegic Israeli entrepreneur Dr. Amit Goffer, ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton enabling paralyzed individuals with spinal cord injuries to stand and walk again. Providing powered hip and knee motion to users, the company’s technology is the first exoskeleton device to receive FDA clearance for personal and rehabilitation use in the United States. Earlier this year, the exoskeleton helped paralyzed veteran Terry Hannigan Vereline complete the New York City Marathon.
The eight-year journey of Israeli lunar lander Beresheet may have ended in disappointment, but the engineering innovation that brought the spacecraft to the Moon’s surface inspired a generation of children and the entire nation. Beresheet, developed by SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries, made Israel only the seventh country to successfully place a spacecraft in the Moon’s orbit. The team behind the achievement is currently planning its next challenge. We are sure it will equally capture the imagination of the nation and far beyond.
Rishon Lezion-based Watergen is the ambitious company behind groundbreaking technology to create fresh drinking-quality water from nothing but plain air. The company’s devices tap into atmospheric water to produce safe water wherever it is most needed, including disaster zones and rescue scenes. Chaired by Israeli-Georgian philanthropist Mikhael Mirilashvili, Watergen’s large-scale generator can produce up to 5,000 liters of clean water every day, requiring no infrastructure other than a standard electricity supply.
5. Iron Dome
The Iron Dome air defense system, which first went into production in 2011, has changed and saved the lives of countless Israeli residents under rocket fire. Developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries, the Iron Dome intercepted over 700 rockets during 2014’s Operation Protective Edge alone. In February 2019, the United States Army purchased two Iron Dome batteries from Rafael to protect troops against aerial threats.
6. Drone Dome
Rafael is the only company to make the list twice, this time for protecting infrastructure from a different aerial threat. The company’s Drone Dome system, first displayed in 2016, is able to neutralize hostile drones operated by terrorists and criminals. The anti-drone technology was deployed in December 2018 at London’s Gatwick Airport by the British Army after unmanned aerial vehicles caused the UK’s second-busiest airport to completely cease operations for almost 36 hours.
7. Aleph Farms
One of a growing list of Israeli food-tech companies, Aleph Farms announced in December 2018 that it had successfully grown the world’s first “cell-grown minute steak.” Grown from a few cells extracted painlessly from a living cow, the mass production of slaughter-free meat has long been considered the Holy Grail of the food and agriculture industries. Not content with growing meat in the lab, Aleph Farms said it successfully cultivated meat aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in October.
As the United States turns its attention to advancing space exploration, a radiation protection vest developed by Tel Aviv-based StemRad could play a key role. Founded in 2011 by Dr. Oren Milstein and Daniel Levitt, the AstroRad vest offers personal protective equipment for astronauts to wear beyond lowEarth orbit, mitigating space radiation exposure outside the Earth’s magnetosphere. Developed in partnership with the Israel Space Agency and Lockheed Martin, the vest is currently being tested by NASA prior to the launch of manned deep-space missions.
9. 3D printed heart
Researchers at Tel Aviv University grabbed the attention of the medical world earlier this year when they “printed” the world’s first 3D vascularized, engineered heart. The development, using a patient’s own cells and biological materials, was hailed as a breakthrough for future engineering of personalized tissue and organ replacement. Within a decade, the researchers hope, organ printers will be located in hospitals worldwide.
10. Zebra Medical Vision
As the mammoth global healthcare market rapidly embraces innovation, Shefayim-based healthcare start-up Zebra Medical Vision’s suite of diagnostic solutions is transforming the world of triage. The company’s technology has received four FDA approvals to date, using deep-learning and artificial intelligence to automatically identify medical conditions from patient scans, quickly notifying radiologists and enabling them to both effectively address and prioritize urgent cases.
AN IMAGE taken by Israel spacecraft ‘Beresheet’ on its way to the moon, obtained from Space IL on April 11.
IN MOTION with a ReWalk electric-powered exoskeletal suit in New York City’s Mount Sinai Medical Center.