On Independence Day, Honoring Israel’s Innovative Spirit

In Israel, in order to be a realist, you must believe in miraclesDavid Ben Gurion

It began with drip irrigation in the 1960s: Israelis innovating to make their country – and indeed the planet – a better place. Israelis never lost that innovative spirit, even as they battled to survive in a sea of hostile neighbors, a fight that sadly continues to this day. 

And that creative spark, born of need, has blossomed into an impressive array of technological wonders that keep the world connected, protected and even entertained. From voicemail to smartphones, computing to medtech, almost every field bears an Israeli footprint. 

Dr. Erel Margalit. Courtesy
Erel Margalit: ‘Israelis have mastered the art of turning setbacks into stepping stones’ (Photo: Courtesy)

“In Israel’s high-tech landscape, overcoming challenges isn’t just the norm—it’s the driving force behind success,” says leading Israeli venture capitalist Erel Margalit. 

“Through resilience and determination, Israeli innovators turn obstacles into opportunities. They’ve mastered the art of turning setbacks into stepping stones, showing the world that with grit and ingenuity, the impossible is achievable,” he says.

“We’ve done it many times before, and we will do it again, no matter what the challenges.”

This Independence Day, NoCamels honors that grit and ingenuity – highlighting just some of the innovation we have brought to you this year, each showing different aspects of Israeli soul: resilience; vision; healing; and unity in the face of hatred.

Terror-Hit Startup Vows To ‘Keep Going’ 

Cleantech startup Kenaf Ventures, which created a versatile biomaterial from the easily cultivated plant that gave it its name, saw its home and business partner – Kibbutz Kfar Aza – devastated on October 7.  

The company’s proprietary method transforms the Kenaf plant into a biomaterial that can be used as a substitute for plastics, building materials and more. It also absorbs high levels of carbon dioxide compared to other plant-based materials. 

“Most of the people that we work with are either murdered, kidnapped or not functioning,” CEO Asaf Ofer told NoCamels in November, less than a month after the Hamas terror attack on southern Israel. 

“That will not stop us, and we are not the only ones,” he said. “We don’t need to continue, we have to continue.” 

‘We need to look after our soldiers’

When hundreds of thousands Israel Defense Forces reservists were called up in October to wage war on Hamas in Gaza, a different front also opened up: the battle to provide the troops with as much comfort and convenience as possible.  

Individuals and organizations rushed to offer a range of innovative, creative and even downright unusual solutions to the soldiers – everything from hot showers and mobile laundromats built on the back of trucks to cardboard beds that can be assembled on the fly. 

“We need to look after our soldiers who are looking after us,” Terry Newman, spokesperson for Brothers and Sisters for Israel, told NoCamels. 

“We will go wherever needed to ensure that they are fed, clothed and clean.” 

A Voice For The Voiceless

Voiceitt’s AI-powered platform is designed to recognize and translate speech by people with an underlying medical condition, disability or age-related condition that means their speech can be hard to understand. 

Driven by their own experiences with family members who struggled to communicate, the platform’s creators developed technology that adapts to each user’s unique way of speaking. 

“Enabling in-person communication is transformative and very empowering for people with speech disabilities,” Voiceitt co-founder Sara Smolley told NoCamels. 

“In this new world of voice-activated smart homes, smart cars, smart speakers, smart appliances, we could do a lot more by not just building a product, but essentially opening the world of these new technologies for people with speech disabilities.”

Support And Solutions For Wounded Troops

Who better to understand the challenges of Israel Defense Forces troops wounded in the war against Hamas than former soldiers who once endured the same experience? 

Restart, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of Israel’s wounded veterans, shifted its operations after war began, now doing its utmost to support those wounded troops through their recovery and rehabilitation.  

The organization is run almost entirely by volunteer wounded veterans, who are now visiting hospitalized soldiers to understand their unique problems and create tailor-made solutions for them – setting up stands in hospitals that include scanners, 3D printers and textiles. 

“This is an unprecedented event in Israel’s history whose scope and intensity is different from anything we’ve ever seen,” Restart CEO Noam Dadon told NoCamels. 

“So we decided to concentrate on the soldiers’ needs – here and now.”

Lifesaver Who Gave His Own For His Country

When Israeli businessman Adam Bismut saw a man lose his life by drowning at the Dead Sea because help was too far away, he was determined to stop such tragedies from happening again.  

Bismut founded Sightbit, a drowning prevention platform that uses AI to spot dangers on and in the water, alerting lifeguards to people in peril in real time. It is now in use in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, the UAE and the US, in a host locations from public beaches to private resorts.  

“We believe that every beach around the world can be safe,” Adam told NoCamels in January. “Our focus today is to save lives.” 

And just like in his civilian life, Adam was dedicated to that mission as an IDF reserve soldier. Just days after talking to NoCamels, he fell in battle in Gaza, fighting Hamas terrorists.

May his memory forever be a blessing. 

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