Want a Glimpse of Future Tech? There’s an App for That

Spider silk transformed into fiber for tissue reconstruction, paper that conducts electricity, renewable diesel fuel, and new techniques for regenerating aging or diseased skin

Neuroderm medical research lab
Ofer Vaknin

These are just a handful of examples from a new database of over 1,300 new technologies currently making their way through Israeli Technology Transfer Organizations [TTOs] associated with universities, research institutes and medical institutions. The new searchable database, designed as a layer in Start-Up Nation Finder, makes it possible to anticipate the fields that have not yet been developed yet will be important parts of our lives in the future.

A database of emerging technologies

Start-Up Nation Finder’s new TTO layer gives users the ability to look over the horizon at emerging technologies in drug discovery, advanced materials science, gene sequencing, robotics and other fields, through cataloguing the patents, companies and researchers that are registered at 16 TTOs in Israel.

SNC combined data from the TTOs themselves, the Israel Technology Transfer Network, and its own data from Start-Up Nation Finder. SNC was assisted by IBM’s Watson AI engine to help tag complex technologies into simple industry language.

Start-Up Nation Finder maps the Israeli innovation ecosystem in real time, supplying data and analytics on Israeli tech, and providing a holistic and interconnected view of Israeli innovation. Finder includes data on some 6,000 currently active Israeli innovation companies, over 300 local and global investors, major hubs where start-ups operate and some 290 multinationals with R&D operations in Israel.

Several examples from the database include:

Start-Up Nation Central
  • An artificial vision system for sight restoration using sensory substitution devices, which utilize small cameras that convert visual information to auditory (or tactile) input.
  • Transforming spider silk protein into fibers, for use in tissue reconstruction, cell growth scaffolds, and support for bone, ligament and tendon in implantable medical devices. Other possible uses include mini drones and personal armor.
  • A kit for immediate and accurate evaluation of skin burn depth and scope, leading to appropriate burn treatment.
  • Electrically conductive paper.
  • Regenerating aging skin.
  • Automated detection of tunnel excavation.
  • Renewable diesel fuel.
  • Optical sensor for remote estimation of glucose concentration in the blood.

Spun out of university research

The role of TTOs is to identify the cutting-edge technological advances made by the research institutions, and find the best partners to develop them further, sometimes even helping establish start-up companies.

Some well-known Israeli companies spun out of university research include Mobileye, OrCam, ReWalk Robotics, Zebra Medical Vision, Neuroderm, and BriefCam.

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Amnon Shashua
Amnon Shashua with glasses developed by OrCam that enable blind people to read Emil Selman