Prime Minister Naftali Bennett declared last week that Israel would need “global pioneers” in the field of green technology: individuals and companies “to develop technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for climate change.”
The Climate Innovation Summit, a PLANETech project, will take place on November 2 both in person and online. PLANETech is a non-profit climate technology innovation community, a joint venture of the Israel Institute of Innovation and Consensus Business Group.
“The summit presents, for the first time, the Israeli climate technology ecosystem that includes 1,200 Israeli companies and more than 600 startups,” said PLANETech Director Uriel Klar. “We encourage entrepreneurs to join the global climate technology movement and build new climate-positive startups.”
Nine climate tech startups that have collectively raised $ 1 billion in the fields of agriculture, energy, biodiversity, weather forecast, alternative proteins, circular economy, supply chains, materials, and mobility they will make presentations. Meet three of them:
Aleph Farms was founded by Strauss Group and Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, together with food engineer and biologist Didier Toubia, in 2017 with a mission described on their website as “feed the world and preserve the planet.”
Specifically, this company is in the field of cultivated meats.
“When we look for alternative proteins, there are two categories: meat alternatives and cultured meats,” explained Lee Recht, Aleph Farms vice president of sustainability.
He said meat alternatives are generally plant-based substitutes that attempt to mimic the taste and texture of meat, but are vegan products. Cultured meat, on the other hand, is less of an alternative protein than an alternative way of producing meat protein.
“This is how we can still grow meat, but in a more sustainable way,” Recht said.
The company uses only one starting cell of the bovine product. Then, he feeds the cells a plant-based soup, turning the cell into a fillet of beef in a “very controlled atmosphere.”
“We don’t need to kill, slaughter or harm the cow,” Recht said. “Because it is done under very controlled and sterile conditions, we can eliminate the use of antibiotics and we can greatly reduce the ecological impact of producing beef compared to the standard industrial way of making meat.”
A life cycle analysis the company conducted last year showed that Aleph Farms’ meat processing method reduced the carbon footprint by 92%, the water footprint by 78% and the land footprint by more than 95% compared to conventional forms of meat production today.
Recht said that when looking at some of the major environmental issues of the day, such as food security, climate change, biodiversity loss and the problems of antibiotic resistant diseases, it is clear that “what needs to happen is the transition of the food system to be more sustainable. “
He said that the food system is responsible for 30% of greenhouse gases in the climate and half of them (15%) are created from the meat industry.
But he said it is understandable that sustainable agriculture alone is not enough to supply food to anyone, anywhere and at any time for the entire population. Therefore, “innovation can complement sustainable agriculture.
“I think it is well known that Israeli entrepreneurship thrives when we are under threat,” Recht continued. “There is no doubt that our climate is threatened and we must think of different ways in which we can participate to solve this problem.”
This company is focused on developing transparent and agile supply chains that could ultimately reduce waste and improve quality.
“We are an IoT company,” said Wiliot CEO and Founder Tal Tamir. “What we do differently is that the focus is on the thing. Instead of making places smart, we make things smart. “
The company developed a small computer “tag” that can detect temperature, humidity, content level, proximity of people, and more.
The company’s website describes it this way: “Wiliot’s IoT pixels allow each of its products to act as self-sensing smart devices, continually reporting its own condition and location, communicating with the Wiliot cloud, and learning over time … pixels are data collectors and are meant to be part of your manufacturing process, rather than an IT add-on. “
Wiliot can label anything from vegetable boxes to trash cans to pharmaceutical shipments. In the example of a vegetable box, the pixel can inform its owners if the box was too long in a specific location, was emptied in the wrong place, or if something went wrong. Then it generates a report to help make the process better next time.
The results, Tamir said, are less food waste and better food quality, in the example of vegetables.
But take pharmaceuticals – the pixel can detect counterfeit drugs, prevent drugs from being stored under the wrong conditions or misused.
Or in the case of the garbage disposal system, it could be stuck in a plastic container and trucks could be told which containers are mostly empty, passing by those that do not need to be emptied and saving fuel.
You can also analyze carbon emissions by tracing a product from production through the supply chain and sales process and adding up all the emissions. In the future, this could give buyers more visibility on which products generate the most or the least carbon emissions so they can make more environmentally friendly purchases.
“The goal is to mirror the physical world in the digital world to be smart enough about our environment and act accordingly,” said Tamir. “Technology is the best tool in our toolbox and it should be the way forward” for the environment.
For the past 40 to 50 years, bees have become extinct. The challenge with this is that bees pollinate 75% of all fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts consumed by the 8 billion people on the planet. Tomatoes, avocado, cucumbers, watermelon, almonds, cotton, and coffee are pollinated by bees.
Today, the problem has become so acute that around 40% of all bee colonies are lost each year due to a combination of pesticides, global warming, disease, and other challenges. At the same time, the world’s population is growing and the demand for healthy food continues to increase.
“So the gap between supply and demand is widening,” Safra said. “It is a real risk to the world’s food supply. We don’t know how to grow tomatoes and cucumbers not through nature ”.
Beewise has a device in a box that the company calls “BeeHome” that houses up to 24 bee colonies. The robotic apparatus monitors the bees with computer vision 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Then, using artificial intelligence and machine learning, the robot identifies the bees’ needs, alerts its teacher, and can even manage the solution.
The robot can identify if the bees are sick and need medicine, if they need food, or even if it’s time to harvest their honey, all in real time. Inside the container is a six-month supply of medicine, water and food, for example, that the robot knows how to administer.
Everything is controlled remotely.
“You can be sitting in Israel and treating your bees in New York,” Safra said.
And it is working.
Only 7.59% of the bees within BeeHomes are lost per year, and the percentage continues to decline. The goal is to reach 1% or 2%, Safra said, which was the natural level of loss 50 years ago.
Beewise is already selling its BeeHome in the US and Israel.
“We have a great mission ahead of us,” Safra said. “Changing the world is difficult, but it is a dream. We are very excited and we feel privileged and fortunate to be involved in such an undertaking. How many times can my career make a real mark on the planet? “