The ‘Innovation Across Borders’ conference was held on Wednesday at the European Parliament, hosted by MEP Frédérique Ries in partnership with the European Jewish Congress (EJC), with the aim of highlighting Israel’s contributions in the fields of innovation and technology.
“Cooperation between Israel and the European Union, which began in 1996 and continues today, shows just how beneficial this relationship can be,” said MEP Ries. “Over 3,000 projects submitted by Israeli entities were approved by EU programs, involving 4,435 participants. Of these, 2,450 were academic researchers, 1,270 were industrial researchers, and 715 researchers from other sectors.
“Because of these programs, Israeli and EU scientists have worked together on many challenges ranging from child tumors, smart irrigation to robotics and education science. As a result, they have furthered the frontiers of knowledge, and contributed to the well-being of our citizens here in Europe and beyond Israeli borders. But we can go even further,” Ries added.
Two innovative projects that have already made immense contributions to the global fields of water supply and cyber security were presented.
In a conversational format, MEP Frédérique Ries discussed with Arye Kohavi, Founder and Co-CEO of WaterGen, and Irene Abezgauz, Co-Founder & VP Product of Cymmetria the social impact and the benefits of their technologies, not only for Europe but for a worldwide sector.
“Israel is a Silicon Valley on Europe’s doorstep, a country whose innovative resources are truly remarkable – and beneficial for Europe and the rest of the world,” EJC Executive Vice-President Raya Kalenova said. “Both initiatives that were debated today are excellent examples of this reality.”
Arye Kohavi presented the devise he created in order to extract drinkable water out of air, and how this can bring hope for the 780 million people living in those countries that have difficulty in providing water for their population due to drought, poor infrastructure and strong demand for farming. This new technology could also help to address the challenges related to climate change.
After the recent global cyber-attacks, Irene Abezgauz demonstrated with concrete examples how to shift the balance of power to the defender’s side, which means ‘hack the hackers’ and intercept attackers during the reconnaissance phase, reveal them and confiscate their tools. Her innovative technology has benefited from EU funding through the Horizon 2020 program.
“Many devices that are key to European citizens’ health and well-being as well as to Europe’s economy, were in fact originally invented in Israel and most of the time, it is unknown to the general public,” Kalenova said. “Through the EU supporting cooperation with Israel, encouraging collaboration among scientists, many of our society’s challenges can be addressed. And as they do, they will help promote greater understanding between our two societies and greater tolerance and even reconciliation among peoples.“