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June 2023

Tastings of Ecomotion Week

Paola Zaccheroni

On May 22 to 24, the week of digital and sustainable mobility was held in Tel Aviv, the capital of startups. We went to see what interests investors and industrial groups from all over the world
In Tel Aviv every dinner begins with a heap of small bowls: starters full of Mediterranean scents, flavors and colors. The 200 startups that crowded the exhibition pavilion on the key day of the mobility week render the same image at a glance: a myriad of small containers full of energy, offers, news. Of these two intense days, as a member of the delegation promoted by the Intesa San Paolo Innovation Center and organized by the Italy-Israel Chamber of Commerce, I can therefore provide you with a few samples.

Israel is today, notoriously, the "Startup Nation" and the anything but secret ingredient of this peculiarity lies in the constant research and development activity in the military field, in a country where there is a compulsory two-year military service for girls and three years for boys. But it's easy to say technology transfer: where does this continuous flow of applications in the civil field come from? The transfer does not happen by osmosis and can be complex and with a high dispersion of results. This is how they solved it: after a schooling similar to ours and before entering military service, with a mandatory psychometric test, students are distributed according to talents and aptitudes. Those with the highest scores are assigned to research and development departments. After military service, the patents of the technologies remain the property of the young developers for civilian use only, who can therefore start their own business without owing anything to the army.

Returning to Ecomotion Week, what have been the "hot topics" of the 2023 edition discussed in the forums, workshops and proposed by startups to investors and industrial groups from all over the world? Fleet management platforms have been a hit, as the problems they offer solutions to are urgent: conversion from ICE to EV, availability of charging points, driver safety, carbon emission reporting are just a few. So here are young digital companies like Brightmerge, Clearly, Make My Day, to simulate, calculate and optimize investments, consumption, time and resources.

In that order, ADAS follow: here, improvements are proposed in terms of quality of detections and response times, as in the case of 0.10 of a Second, two-wheelers options (Ridedome), ADAS in connection with urban systems to contribute to traffic management and the overall reduction of emissions (V2Roads) as well as off-board ADAS, installed at intersections, to provide the driver with information “around the corner”.

As for energy production, NT-Tao and Electriq are engaged in the applications of compact and scalable technologies based one on nuclear fusion, the other on the on-demand production of hydrogen.

Cybersecurity is lacking, maybe because Israel has a long tradition in the industry, and companies are well beyond the startup stage, but Luchs Security has raised the bar: its platform can carry out on-site and remote IT security tests, therefore applies to pre- and after-sales. The platform translates IT security regulations and requirements into security tests and performs Penetration Tests, Fuzzing Tests, Vulnerability Scanning on different mobility interfaces.

Although it is not as appealing as OEM to the younger generations, nevertheless Applango Wirelogic has focused on the aftermarket, developing a predictive maintenance system on the vehicle's wiring: it consists of a chip and a workshop terminal, so it’s easy to retrofit, making it interesting for fleet managers.

This proliferation of startups is supported by a remarkable ecosystem of incubators, accelerators, technology hubs, study centres and partnership facilitators linked to ventures, funds and corporates from the four corners of the world: Drive TLV, Deloitte Catalyst, Startup Nation Central, MobilityXlab, Startup Autobahn, to name a few.

In closing, let me mention the Israel Innovation Authority, a public agency that "offers the know-how, experience, funding, policy support, governmental backing and proven success to facilitate true international collaboration". The opportunities - says Neta Gruber-Perry, International Business Development Director - are accessible to multinationals as well as entrepreneurs and medium-sized companies, the goal is to form strategic alliances and to provide financial support with the help of the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation as well as bi-national funds and bilateral support for joint R&D and pilot programmes.

Photo credits to EcoMotion 2023 | Noga shadmi van de reep

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