TechNation: Three Israeli Schools Make Reuters 100 Most Innovative Universities List

Chief scientist: Women, Arabs, Haredim must help stem Israel’s tech labor shortage | Reporty raises $5.15 million for emergency rescue app | Samsung opens incubator in Tel Aviv.

Tomer Neuberg

Three Israeli schools make Reuters 100 most innovative universities list

Three Israeli universities made Reuters 2016 list of the world’s 100 most innovative universities. Haifa’s Technion Israel Institute of Technology was ranked 59th, jumping 17 places from last year. Tel Aviv University was 89th, a drop of 14 places. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which did not make the top 100 in 2015, placed 94th.

In contrast to some other university rankings that use subjective factors, Reuters relies exclusively on empirical data such as patent filings and research paper citations.

Stanford, MIT and Harvard earned the top three spots. The Technion applied for 209 patents from 2009 to 2014, of which 45.2% were approved. It was rated 61.9 for the influence of its research was 61.9. TAU was awarded 43.5% of its 299 patent applications, but its influence rating was just 45.4. Hebrew University filed 284 patents and its influence rating was 64.8, but only 26.1% of its patent applications were approved. (Israel Fisher)

Chief scientist: Women, Arabs, Haredim must help stem Israel’s tech labor shortage

Women, Arabs and ultra-Orthodox Jews must be tapped to meet the growing shortfall of skilled workers for Israeli high-tech industry, Economy Ministry Chief Scientist and Israel Innovation Authority Chairman Avi Hasson said Wednesday. He recalled that as the industry was taking off, in the 1990s, it got a big boost from the wave of Russian immigration.

“Today Israel needs another influx of human capital, and we have it here,” Hasson told the DLD Conference in Tel Aviv. “It’s a disaster that not enough women are interested in technology professions. On the other hand, it is encouraging that 20% of the students in the Technion’s computer science and electrical engineering programs are of Arab extraction. That is potentially huge,” he said.

He warned that the absence of instruction in English, “the mother tongue of high tech,” in ultra-Orthodox schools was an obstacle, but added that Haredim showed a high capacity for rapid learning. (Rafaella Goichman)

Reporty raises $5.15 million for emergency rescue app

Ehud Barak speaking at the Herzliya Conference, June 16, 2016.
Ofer Vaknin

Reporty Homeland Security, whose backers include former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, said on Tuesday it had raised $5.15 million for its smartphone app to connect people at the scene of an emergency to rescue-service control rooms. T

he free app lets users transmit real-time audio and video, as well as pinpointing the emergency’s location to within around a meter, including floor-level information.

“We expect it to become the gold standard for 911-like operations, 311-like operations,” Barak, who is the startup’s chairman, told FoxNews.com. “In Israel, it is already operated by the nationwide equivalent of the Red Cross, the Magen David Adom.”

Proceeds from the funding round, which Reporty said included foreign strategic investors, will be used to open a New York office, double its workforce of 20 and launch a product for the global market. The company expects its first big revenue-producing contract with a Singaporean customer within the coming year. (Ruti Levy)

Samsung Electronics opens startup incubator in Tel Aviv

Samsung Electronics, the South Korean tech company and maker of the Galaxy line of smartphones, said Monday it was opening a startup incubator program in Israel.

Samsung Next Tel Aviv will typically invest about $1 million in Israeli startups, but Eyal Miller, general manager and CEO for the program, said there would be no ceiling on the number of companies funded or the how much each one could get. Samsung, which has invested in a total of 18 local startups there over the past three years, operates similar programs in New York and San Francisco.

“For us to continue to innovate three, five, seven years out, we want to play with individuals who are very, very early on, at a concept phase with a vision, as opposed to something that is fully established,” Kai Bond, CEO of Samsung Global Innovation Center in New York, told Bloomberg news. (TheMarker)