Israel features a flourishing, highly-knowledgeable industry whose developments and scientific discoveries affect the world tremendously, as they have a significant impact on the quality of life of billions of people around the world. There are countless examples of ways Israeli breakthrough technologies have changed perceptions, here are a few:
ReWalk Robotics is an innovative medical device company founded by Dr. Amit Goffer of Israel in 2001. The company designs, develops and manufactures devices that allow people with wheelchairs or with limited mobility and other medical conditions stand and even walk again.
One day in 1997 Dr. Amit Goffer, an electronics engineer and entrepreneur in the field of medical equipment, went ATV riding for the first and last time in his life. Goffer spent nine months in rehabilitation, and when he arrived home he decided there was no reason disabled people must always sit in wheelchairs. After he realized that the possibility to build the product exists, and there are over a million paralyzed people in the Western world that could use it, it was launched with the help of a grant from the Momentum fund of the Israel Innovation Authority (formerly Office of the Chief Scientist).
“Rewalk’s unique feature is the user’s full control over the system. The walk is intuitive and there is no need to stop and figure out the next step. The user presses the “stop” button only before climbing up or down the stairs. At first he or she presses: “stand” mode and then picks “up” or “down” and goes on.”
The software was developed so that the sensors and motors understand the movement of the body, which makes it possible to use them for other applications in the future as well.
Bio-Bee Biological Systems is located in Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu and provides beneficial insects and mites for biological pest control. By this it works to undo the damage of chemical pest control and encourage what nature intended. In Israel alone, Bio-Bee products have enabled sweet-pepper farmers to reduce the use of chemical pesticides by 75 percent.
While not genetically engineered, BioBee’s line of predatory insects are unique enough to qualify for patents. The company has developed strains of insects – wasps, spiders and others – which (via natural selection) are “trained” to attack pests like aphids, thrips, and mites that cause untold billions annually in crop losses.
Last year, the company sent 600 million giant-sized spider mites to Colombian farmers to help them battle the smaller spider mites that threaten Colombia’s coffee crop; spider mites attack their own, and the strain that BioBee raised and released are interested only in spider mites, not plants.
Bio-Bee exports eight different species of biological control agents, plus pollinating bumblebees, to 32 nations from Japan to Chile.
Cancer is a terrible disease that develops in four stages. Usually only between the third and fourth stages, when the tumors are a few centimeters of size, do people start feeling the symptoms – such as vomiting, fatigue or other side effects. Many patients do not realize that they are ill until they see a sign in their body or until they feel sick. At this stage the disease is already advanced and the survival rates are much lower. Dr. Hossam Haick of the Technion developed an "electronic nose": an accurate and inexpensive device that will be available not only in hospitals, but rather it will be accessible for inspection at the local clinic. One will be able to visit his personal physician, take a breathalyzer test and get an early diagnosis to detecd whether there is a suspicion of cancer, allowing early treatment with much higher rates of success and less side effects. Its mobility allows it to be carried away to remote areas around the globe as well, joining the wide variety of Israeli exported solutions changing the world each day.