“The companies featured in Solution Nation are addressing acute pain points — blindness, amputations, food shortages, polluted water, radioactive contamination and more,” writes David Wanetick, author of a new book describing 62 Israeli companies developing solutions to problems “that threaten to end life itself or materially degrade the quality of life.”
The self-published Solution Nation: One Nation is Disproportionately Responding to the World’s Most Intractable Problems has a different focus than Avi Jorisch’s Thou Shalt Innovate, recently ranked No. 1 by Amazon in three categories.
“The primary audiences for Solution Nation are investors and business professionals,” explains Wanetick, a California resident who’s written company and patent valuation reports for Israeli companies and has also invested in Israeli companies for about 15 years.
Accordingly, these companies selected from 500 nominations are presented in a format that includes questions prospective investors, business partners or customers might want to ask the management.
“I wanted to enable readers to make a determination as to whether the featured companies will succeed in delivering their solutions to intractable problems to the market,” writes Wanetick.
Wanetick says that the ISRAEL21c website was “a great resource” in his research stage.
Indeed, we’ve written about many of the 62 companies in Solution Nation over the years. Below we highlight 10 from each section of the book, most of which we have not featured previously.
In Africa, a staggering 30 to 50 percent of post‐harvest corn (maize) fails to reach the market. A lot of that loss is due to rodent, fungus or aflatoxin infestation that happens when the grain is being dried and stored.
Tel Aviv‐based Amaizz resolves this problem with solar- or electric-powered modular drying, disinfection and storage units lined with thermoplastic and capped with anti‐algae meshes. The units’ unique ventilation system balances the humidity, precipitation and temperature.
Amaizz started sales with a unit in Senegal and is developing an add‐on disinfection system as well as a heating system that will be targeted to corn farmers in Latin America and Eastern Europe. The system also could be modified to deal with crops such as wheat, sesame, sorghum, rice, and coffee.
Caesarea‐based NUFiltration helped solve the problem of what to do with some of the 125 million dialyzers (artificial kidneys used in dialysis) discarded annually worldwide: They sanitize and repurpose these sophisticated filters as water-purification devices for developing countries.
Inside the NUF machines containing four to 640 dialyzers, a single dialyzer can purify 50 to 200 liters of water per hour. “A system with eight dialyzers that costs one‐third of an equivalent, leading filtration system can produce eight liters of water per minute. This is easily enough to supply all of the daily water needs to 200 to 300 people in Africa — in one hour,” writes Wanetick.
The water purifiers are operated with hand pumps or solar power, requiring no chemicals and little maintenance, as their membranes are self‐cleaning. NUF systems are currently operating in Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Fiji Islands, Cambodia, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria.
Senecio of Kfar Saba put a twist on an existing mosquito-control method of releasing sterile male mosquitoes in infested areas by using airplanes rather than vans, greatly increasing the coverage perimeters.
“Releasing millions of sterile male mosquitoes from airplanes travelling at 250 kilometers per hour, in what I call Operation Infinite Romeo, presents monumental challenges,” writes Wanetick.
Among these challenges are sourcing the fragile insects, packaging them in containers, estimating the number needed per acre (four sterile males for every wild female) and determining optimal flying routes and times of day for release. “Senecio has developed sophisticated algorithms and robotic processes set up in assembly‐line formation” to accomplish these tasks.
Netanya‐based BioGenCell is developing a stem-cell therapy to treat a painful vascular disease called critical limb ischemia, a leading cause of amputations. The company’s BGC101 compound, when mixed with the patient’s own stem cells taken from a simple blood draw, creates natural artery bypasses and enhances the formation of additional blood vessels to better supply blood to damaged tissue.
While other biotech companies are pursuing cures for the same disease using stem cells from bone marrow, BioGenCell’s method is less invasive. When injected, the BGC101 formula “knows” to grow only where revascularization is needed.
OutSense, based on Kibbutz Nahsholim, is developing a device that clips onto a toilet bowl to facilitate frequent and hands-free screening for signs of colorectal cancer.
The device’s spectral isolation and imaging technologies rapidly analyze solid waste for indicators including blood content, microbiome stability, texture and color that could be warning signs for cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis or Crohn’s disease. The smart device can even distinguish among different people in a household based on Bluetooth signals from their nearby devices.
“Such frequent screenings should be at least as successful in detecting digestive diseases as submitting to expensive and invasive colonoscopies once every decade,” writes Wanetick.
TaxiBot, a semi-robotic pilot-controlled towing tractor made by a division of Israel Aerospace Industries, allows pilots to leave their aircrafts’ engines off during taxiing and parking.
The result is a significant savings on jet fuel and carbon dioxide emissions, as well as reduced risk of hearing loss for ground crews. TaxiBot, already in use at the Tel Aviv and Frankfurt airports and certified for Boeing’s B737 and A320 planes, can reduce the number of gallons of jet fuel consumed when a plane is taxiing by 84%.
“Given the fact that each gallon of fuel emits 9.57 kilograms of carbon dioxide, the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions would be more than 6,000 kilograms per hour,” writes Wanetick.
Fighting Treetop Fire of Jerusalem is developing infrared laser technology for pruning the tops of trees to prevent the spread of active forest fires. “Fires occurring on the tops of trees can be fifty times hotter, and move much faster, than fires on the ground,” Wanetick explains.
Firefighters will be able to use FTF lasers to trim leaves off high branches just by scanning the lasers across treetops from as far away as one kilometer, including from helicopters over difficult terrains and in windy conditions.
Another Jerusalem firm, Salamandra Zone, developed a technology enabling people to use elevators to escape high‐rise fires. Ordinarily, elevators are avoided in case of fire because they’re not protected from flames, extreme heat and toxic gases. Salamandra Zone’s B‐Air E unit, placed on top of elevator cabs, converts toxic gases into breathable air in nanoseconds.
Sensors in B-Air E determine the types, concentrations, and mix of chemicals that should be released to convert the smoke to air depending on which materials are burning.
The pressure of the purified, cooled air being pushed into the elevator cab prevents smoke from entering when the elevator is moving or when its doors open. For added safety, the units contain an extra battery, pump and sensor. Backup electricity can operate it for at least three hours.
GuardKnox of Ramla has a Communication Lockdown product that prevents any app, patch or upgrade from making contact with a connected vehicle unless it was specifically sanctioned by the automaker. The device protects vehicles from cyberattacks even when traveling in areas lacking communications signals.
“Suppose an automaker sets the upper range of a particular car’s speed signal at 120 miles per hour. Separately, suppose that the activation of automatic braking requires agreement from two independent sensors. No matter which access points hackers use to try to manipulate the car’s speed or braking protocols, GuardKnox blocks any instructions that are not sanctioned by the car manufacturer,” writes Wanetick.
The Eyes‐On system from Foresight Automotive in Ness Ziona uses stereovision cameras to capture a range of data about objects in the path of the car that pose a potential hazard, and warns drivers visually or audibly about these objects.
Foresight has demonstrated in hundreds of tests that at medium distances of 20 to 30 meters, Eyes‐On can determine the distance to the object with an accuracy of 20 to 30 centimeters. The cameras capture between 30 and 45 images per second and achieve near 100% accuracy beginning with the first frame.
For more information on Solution Nation, click here.