Blog / Infrastructure
Recently, the Ministry of Communications ordered Bezeq to begin implementing a “wholesale market” and selling its competitors access to telephony infrastructure at a regulated price. The objective of this directive is to expand competition in the fixed-line telephone market and to establish a separation between the infrastructure market and the communications services being purchased by consumers.
Despite the many internal and external challenges unique to Israel, the country has successfully transformed itself into a powerhouse of technological innovation. Israel has become an excellent destination for international business, boasting a strong local currency, an active local economy, and robust export industries.
One of the great ironies of life on earth is that, on a planet that is approximately 75 percent covered in water, the demand for safe drinking water is higher than the supply. Fresh water makes up only about 2.5% of the total water supply, and for a continuously growing population, this creates some limits. Fortunately, technological innovations are creating solutions for a world that needs more water, and Israel is leading the way. Israeli Drip Irrigation Israel, as a small, desert nation, may seem an unlikely water leader in the world. But the limits in natural water resources it faces, combined with a national focus on fostering technological innovation, have led to a boom in developments that are helping the world. Israel leads the way in applying drip irrigation solutions to use water efficiently. This technique allows farmers to use exactly what is needed to help grow crops. And compared to flood irrigation, drip uses between 25 percent and 75 percent less water, maximizing the efficiency of an increasingly scarce resource. Companies like Netafim, the inventor of this technology, continue to find new ways to improve and expand the use of this work; Israeli companies are working with countries as diverse as Kazakhstan and the United States to efficiently irrigate in arid regions around the world. Desalination to Increase Usable Supplies With most of the world's water supply coming from salt water, conservation is not enough; desalination techniques are critical for helping increase the amount of water you can use every day. Here again, Israel's tech-savvy environment has helped turn challenges into opportunities. The world's largest desalination plant belongs to Sorek in Israel, which applies reverse osmosis to create a daily production capacity of 627,000 cubic meters of water. Israel now obtains 55 percent of its domestic water through desalination. Processes to remove salt and purify the water supply continue to evolve. For example, Israeli inventors have developed a chemical-free desalination process aimed at improving the safety of drinking water over what previous technologies have allowed. For investors, this creates a market opportunity to help improve the world and generate a fourfold or greater return while doing so. The world will continue to grow in population, and the innovative power of intelligent people working together will continue to yield solutions to better the living conditions we experience. Israel's experience and expertise in water innovation is leading the way. Source: barlaw.co.il
Technological solutions are developing every day, world-wide. In Israel, the transportation sector provides impressive examples of innovation at work. Urban growth naturally reaches a saturation point, at which people either need to move or commute farther each day, creating higher costs and greater safety concerns. Smart mobility consists of the movement to make transportation easier, safer, more environmentally friendly, and more efficient. And Israel has taken a leadership position in developing companies and technologies that help make it possible. Autonomous Driving One key area of innovation in which Israeli companies are developing key technologies is autonomous driving. Human errors account for most auto accidents, driving up insurance rates and creating havoc in highly populated areas. Waze pushed navigation tech to new levels through data sharing. Otonomo is working to connect cars to the Internet of Things by increasing the data that vehicles can share among owners, automakers, and commercial service operators. These technologies represent a key component to helping automate not only drivers' daily commutes, but commercial delivery fleets as well. Meanwhile, Innoviz Technologies and Mobileye are improving 3D imaging and mapping around vehicles to improve their ability to sense and respond to what is around them. The more sensitive vehicles become to their environments, the greater their capability to advance beyond human perception, making this a critical development area in smart mobility. Connecting Technologies Together These technologies serve as part of a broader ecosystem of smart mobility developing in Israel, in what could be a $9 trillion industry by 2030. Companies like Softwheel and Aquarius are working to help cars work better and more efficiently to improve the world around the vehicle in which it drives and to help reduce the number of vehicles. Companies like Moovit connect users to public transportation. Combining these with the data capabilities and the technologies emerging from Israeli companies helps build a thriving system of innovation in the area. Businesses succeed by developing ideas that build on each other. Smart mobility depends on creating new applications that lift the transportation sector. And Israel's national focus on innovation and startup development serves as an ideal breeding ground for this kind of whole-sector development. To work through the legal and regulatory structure and help create growth in smart mobility, you need experienced guidance from people who understand how to do business in Israel. Contact Barnea & Co. to take the next step toward a better world. Source: barlaw.co.il
Despite the fact that water covers three quarters of Earth's surface, countries all over the world suffer from potential or current water shortages. Water consumption well outpaces supply, particularly in arid nations that struggle to meet their agricultural water needs. Israel, as a nation more than 50 percent covered in desert, has grappled with this problem since its beginnings. The technologies it has developed in response allow it to flourish, and it is doing more every year to expand those technologies around the world. Technologies to Gain Usable WaterThe two ways to adjust to the conditions that lead to water shortages are straightforward: creating more usable water and conserving the water that is available. Israel has long worked for ways to get the most out of the water available to it. Mekoret, for example, is a state-owned company that focuses on all aspects of water provision. It has created and applied water desalination techniques, deep drilling techniques, and an abundance of water treatment and purification techniques that increase the total amount of water available to the country. It has been developing the technologies it uses for over 50 years. Other private companies like Amiad Water Systems focus on particular aspects of the process--filtration in Amiad's case. Ways to Use Less WaterCleaning and reusing water provides an important strategy that nations are learning to use more and more efficiently, often following the leadership Israel provides in this area. The country's best known water technology, though, is drip irrigation. This technique focuses on applying water directly to crops, rather than flooding the area. The concept, led by Netafim, is that you should use only the amount of water needed for the plants consuming it, rather than enough to flood the entire area. While the precise savings has yet to be scientifically determined, the concept in a world where 80 percent of water usage is agricultural holds significant promise. Israel's leadership in water technology provides a fertile source for startups and investment opportunities that stand to help the world address an ongoing environmental problem. Barnea & Co. has broad experience in guiding investment strategies and legal considerations in water tech areas. Contact us today to learn how we can help you approach these opportunities wisely and legally. Source: barlaw.co.il
Agtech: Why Israel Makes Sense
July 31, 2016 / by Gal Oren
July 31, 2016 / by Gal Oren
If you think about fertile land for agricultural development, Israel probably doesn't immediately come to mind. But perhaps it should. Despite a desert climate and the relative youth of the country, Israel's technological development has created a boom in agricultural innovation, with technology that helps farmers and companies develop healthier, higher-quality foods. With the challenges facing the world's farming and crops markets, this tiny country provides a wealth of opportunity moving into the future of agriculture. Addressing Agricultural ChallengesAgriculture today needs technology to succeed. Climate change is creating growing uncertainty in how and where plants will continue to grow well, and natural resources are diminishing over time. On the other hand, the world population continues to grow. This means that, absent technological solutions, the farms of the world will struggle to keep up with demand in the decades to come. To address these concerns, technological developers must lead the way. Irrigation techniques continue to advance, reducing further the dependence on natural water supplies near farms. Bioengineering strategies are also emerging. Farmers today can scientifically approach crops to make them healthier and increase their overall quality in safe, effective ways. Why Israel Makes SenseIn its sixty-eight years of existence, Israel has had to create and use technologies to grow crops. An arid desert climate requires engineering to help agriculture meet the needs of its population, so as early as the mid-1960s, companies like Netafim were revolutionizing irrigation technology in Israel. The country leads much of the world in agricultural technologies, and continues to push ahead to meet more of the surging world demand for science and farming to intersect.From its work to feed its own citizens, the agricultural technology market in Israel has expanded. Its companies, like Afamilk, Evogene, and Biobee, have grown in both size and number, and are now capable of managing and running farms all over the world. Hundreds of Israeli agtech startups emerge each year. In 2015, a Harvester Venture fund of $40 to $50 million was established, and a pledge by Bayer of another $10 million was made in 2016. Israel's agricultural technology prowess represents a growth area well into the future. Investors and nations looking to capitalize on Israel's capabilities need to work within its legal and regulatory system to fully realize the potential there. Contact Barnea & Co. to learn how we can help you develop in this space. Source: barlaw.co.il
5 Myths About Renewable Energy
May 3, 2016 / by Gal Oren
May 3, 2016 / by Gal Oren
Sources of renewable energy include, among others, wind energy, solar energy, and hydroelectric energy. With different groups fighting to maintain or increase their relevance on the world energy stage, many myths about these energy sources pervade our understanding of how, and how well, they work. Five myths in particular emerge consistently, and should be overcome for you to better understand how the world is powered. 1. Renewable Energy Is ExpensiveMany forms of renewable energy require up-front investments, whether for individual consumers, companies, or governmental organizations. But those investments tend to pay off quickly in energy cost savings. Further, as competition increases for providers of equipment and services in this industry, those up-front costs are diminishing steadily. 2. It Is Still NewRenewable energy use actually predates our reliance on fossil fuels. For centuries people have harnessed wind, sun, and water to provide energy, going back as far as medieval windmills in the Netherlands. Modern technological solutions include the Hoover Dam, which has been providing electricity since the 1940s; and commercial solar plants have existed since the 1980s. 3. It Is UnreliableThe wind does not always blow, and the sun does not always shine. Still, technology has improved and continues to improve constantly. For example, we are now able to store enough solar energy on a sunny day to continue to produce at night, and harness enough wind to continue to power over time. 4. It Doesn't Create Much PowerAccording to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, about 21% of the world's energy generation in 2011 came from renewable sources - and much more in countries that have adopted renewable energy policies (Germany for example). Renewable sources cannot yet completely replace fossil fuels or nuclear energy, but this provides a significant portion of the world's energy. These sources allow smaller companies and nations to emerge with a greater role in the global market. 5. It Is InefficientTechnological developments allow energy to be stored, backed up, and distributed over time. And once the initial apparatus is set up, you can produce steady levels of energy over time without having to add in resources in the way non-renewable sources require. Over time, renewable sources become much more efficient than other sources of energy.Barnea & Co. has vast experience in providing legal support and advice for the development of energy infrastructure projects. Contact us to help bring your renewable project concept into reality.