Dear guests and entrepreneurs,
Welcome to the President’s Conference: “Facing Tomorrow”.
We are proud to take this opportunity to put on display the extraordinary produce of Israeli minds, which never cease to excite and innovate. You are the sons and daughters of a people who, since time immemorial, could not rest on its laurels. A people who is never satisfied with what is, but rather rises up against injustice and strives to shape its future.
I sympathize from the bottom of my heart with the unrelenting urge ingrained in each one of you to create, transform and discover new horizons. Your work is a perpetual rebuke to the spirit of despair and stagnation.
Tomorrow anxiously awaits you - your talent, your inventiveness, your imagination and your Chutzpah.
Israel cherishes your contribution. The fruits of your labor - in the workshop or the laboratory, out on the field or in school - make their way across the land and leave their mark on the entire world.
There is no proportion between the geographical size of our country and the breadth of the vision which you represent. Your achievements feel us all with faith and a deep sense of optimism that our tomorrow will be better and even more promising.
We are proud of you,
President of the State of Israel
We are delighted you have chosen to take part in the Israeli President’s Conference: “Facing Tomorrow”, a unique event focused entirely on tomorrow and how we can shape a better future for Israel for the Jewish people and for the world at large. Over the next few days, you will participate in a challenging experience that will signal the beginning of a long tradition.
The exhibition “Tomorrow’s Spaces”, which will accompany us throughout the conference, is designed to pay tribute to extraordinary entrepreneurs as well as stimulate and provide impetus for innovation, fresh thinking and bold initiative that will impact our tomorrow.
The documents you hold portray the exciting projects on display at the conference and give you the opportunity to glimpse the future and the inventions that will affect it. The developments before your eyes are the culmination of the hard work, creativity, vision and audacity of Israeli entrepreneurs.
These exceptional men and women follow in the footsteps of Israelis who have already made their dreams into reality: ICQ, the Arrow Missile, drip irrigation and many other fascinating creations that have established Israel’s international reputation as a small country blessed with great minds.
The exhibition “Tomorrow’s Spaces” embodies the rational for this conference - our desire to discern the trends which will change the face of tomorrow and leave their mark on our future. That is not, however, all we seek to achieve. We also wish to actively influence the world around us. For this reason, we hold your work in such high regard as men and women of vision and accomplishment, whose present is dedicated to the realms of tomorrow.
Adv. Israel Maimon, Chairman
President’s Conference Steering Committee 2008
Israel is well known around the world as one of the leading countries in the number of academic publications per capita, in entrepreneurship and in R&D investment. The “Tomorrow’s Spaces” exhibition, on the occasion of Israel’s 60th anniversary, embodies Israel’s entrepreneurial spirit in a wide range of pursuits: Medicine and Biotechnology, Cleantech, Water and Agriculture, Transportation, IT, High-tech and Communications. Suitable projects were defined on the basis of their Israeli origin, technological innovation, stage
of development and potential for impacting the Israeli and global tomorrow. We also decided to include several social and community oriented projects, which contribute to shaping a viable, pluralistic and more welcoming Israeli society.
The panel of judges reviewed about four hundred applications and was charged with the difficult task of selecting only 60 projects - symbolizing sixty years of independence. Among those we did not select, we found many worthy and even ground-breaking initiatives that could not yet meet the proof of applicability criteria. We have no doubt we will hear of them in the near future and that some of them will shape Israel’s tomorrow on its 70th anniversary.
We are proud to present to the participants of the President’s Conference: “Facing Tomorrow” the sixty projects that we believe will influence our common future. I am full of hope you will enjoy reading and learning about them in the exhibition and beyond.
I would like to thank my colleagues on the panel of judges - Prof. Rivka Carmi, Dr. Miki Haran, Prof. Izzy Borovich and Mr. Maiki Yoeli for their commitment and wonderful work. I am personally grateful for the honor and pleasure of taking part in this amazing undertaking.
Prof. Yitzhak Peterburg
Chairman of the Panel of Judges
Since the beginning of time, the world’s history has been intertwined with the achievements of Jewish philosophers, visionaries, scientists and inventors who transformed the lives of nations and people through their ingenuity.
These men and women have influenced every aspect of life: social thinking, culture, philosophy, religion, science, medicine, industry, technology. And yet, despite these varied realms of achievement, all these people shared a common link: they all sought a better, more just and more advanced future
for all mankind.
This proud list of Jewish accomplishment has been reinforced with the establishment of the State of Israel. Since that day, hundreds of internationally acclaimed inventions and innovations were made here and went on to make a decisive contribution in the fields of science, agriculture, medicine and technology.
From the cherry tomato to ICQ’s instant messaging, from Netafim’s drip irrigation to Teva’s groundbreaking medication. In its sixty years of existence, a small country, deprived of any substantial natural resources and under permanent existential threat has turned into a giant in innovation and research that contribute to a better future worldwide. There is no equivalent to this ratio between population size and the impact of ideas here conceived. There is no other nation of comparative size that has been such a font of creative contribution to the world.
This heritage has motivated the conference steering committee to seek out the new ideas, products and technologies that will help shape the face of tomorrow.
Those who wish to shape tomorrow face myriad challenges: developing alternative energy sources, conserving Nature’s resources, prolonging and improving human life and much more. One can find Israeli initiatives aiming to address nearly every one of these challenges.
A large team of experts came together to help us locate and carefully select the most mature ideas, those already in various stages of implementation and with proven concepts. Ideas that purport to provide a unique, pioneering solution to the problems and challenges they seek to address.
Of the hundreds of applications the panel of judges reviewed, sixty projects have been selected. It wasn’t an easy choice. The panel looked at many brilliant and novel ideas developed by tireless entrepreneurs seeking to resolve the world’s problems with that rare combination of effective and
practical solutions. The sixty projects on display are a representative
group of these initiatives. They provide a glimpse of contemporary “Jewish genius” and Israeli resourcefulness in a wide variety of interests.
We believe that among these projects lie the potential seeds of the next breakthrough, the next revolution in Israel and the world. The desire for a better future and solutions for the problems of tomorrow in the Israeli-Jewish
and global spheres is one all conference participants must share. This desire also permeates the tens of thousands of Israeli entrepreneurs, inventors, researchers, scientists and industrialists who stand at the forefront of Israeli innovation. They are the secret of Israel’s success and endurance and the reason it is so important to the entire world, as the cradle of a better future.
The professional panel of judges included five Israelis, each one a specialist in his field, who have volunteered to take part in selecting the sixty projects on display at the “Tomorrow’s Spaces” exhibition. Members of the panel:
Chairman - Prof. Yitzhak Peterburg
Prof. Israel (Izzy) Borovich
Prof. Rivka Carmi
President of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the incumbent of the Kreitman Foundation Chair in pediatric genetics. A specialist in medical genetics. Member and advisor to various professional and public
committees and organizations, editor and scientific reviewer of international magazines and research foundations. Prof. Carmi is involved with initiatives to prevent genetic diseases in the Bedouin communities of the Negev. Her research in this field has yielded discovery of 12 new genes and 3 genetic syndromes (one even named after her). She was also involved in Ben-Gurion
University’s biotechnology initiatives.
Dr. Miriam Haran
Dr. Miriam Haran is the Head of the Ono Academic College MBA Environmental Management major and an active environmental consultant for prominent Israeli companies. She is also currently the Chair of the Environmental Committee of the UJC “Tel Aviv - Los Angeles Partnership”, board member of the “Environmental Services Company” and a member of the public committee of “Maala”. Dr. Haran completed a term as Director General of the Israel Ministry of the Environment. Prior to this she was the
Mr. Maiki Yoeli
Deputy Director General at The Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute (IEICI), heading the Global and Technology Business Development Divisions. Has over 25 years of experience in high-level management of
international high-tech companies. Former positions include, among others, U.S. West Coast Operations Manager and Corporate Director of Sales for Optrotech, CEO of Cimatron, CEO of Expand Networks, CEO of ALD, International Business Manager of PC Soft, and International Manager of Edunetics. Specializes in general management of technological companies, international marketing and business development and setting up Start-Up ventures. Holds MBA, BSc. (Electronics Engineering) and LLB university degrees, all with honors.
Prof. Yitzhak Peterburg
Prof. Yitzhak Peterburg, entrepreneur and businessman. Former President and CEO of Cellcom. Served as Director General of Clalit Health Services, and as Director of Soroka University Medical Center, Beer-Sheba. He
holds an M.D. degree from Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem and is board-certified in Pediatrics and Health Services Management.
He also holds a Doctorate degree in Health Administration from Columbia University, New York, and an MSc degree in Information Systems from the London School of Economics, London. He holds an academic position as Professor in the School of Business, Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheba.
Chief Scientist of the Ministry as well as Deputy Director General. She held positions both in industry and academia, including Executive Assistant to the Director at the Center for Applied Studies of the Environment at Hunter
College, New York. Dr. Haran earned her PhD in Chemistry at Brandeis University.
Following our public appeal, we received applications from hundreds of visionaries and entrepreneurs in various fields representing a new kind of innovation, creativity and originality. The judges reviewed each project during
extensive deliberations, which sought to measure each project in the context of its sphere of expertise, innovation and potential impact on our tomorrow.
Selecting the final sixty projects was no easy task. Israeli creation is undoubtedly at the front of global innovation and ingenuity. Therefore,
the projects presented at the exhibition reflect modern trends in our world, which will shape the face of the future.
The Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute.
Israel Venture Association (IVA).
Office of the Chief Scientist - Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor.
Office of the Chief Scientist - Ministry of Science, Culture and Sport.
Promarket - Producers of the exhibition
Prof. Israel Borovich Chairman of the Board, “El Al” Israel Airlines,
Vice Chairman, “Knafaim Holdings Ltd.” And Chairman of the Board, “Ayalon Highways Co. Ltd.” Professor Emeritus of Computers and Information Systems at the Faculty of Management, Tel Aviv University, member of
the board of directors of The Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya and member of the board of trustees, Polytechnic University, New York.
Recipient of the Hugo Ramniceanu Prize in Economics for 2005, Tel Aviv University. Deeply involved in support of the community and author of several books.