SwitchMed visits the University of Haifa's Charney School of Marine Sciences

On Thursday, July 6, 2023, SwitchMed held face-to-face meetings with the latest participants of the SwitchMed Program in Israel.

Published on Wednesday 19 July 2023· START-UPS AND ENTREPRENEURS

This visit coincided with the Demo Day organized by the Charney School of Marine Sciences and Haifa Innovation Labs to celebrate the achievements of the second cohort of the SwitchMed Blue Economy Entrepreneurship Program. The program brought together 20 talented entrepreneurs from various locations in Israel, and the Demo Day provided an opportunity to showcase the outcomes of the Blue Economy program and facilitate connections between entrepreneurs, investors, and academia.

University of Haifa's Charney School of Marine Sciences Hosts Successful Demo Day for Second Cohort of SwitchMed Blue Economy Entrepreneurship Program

During the visit, additional meetings were conducted with the latest participants of the SwitchMed Program in Tel Aviv. The purpose of these meetings was to gather valuable insights into the firsthand experiences of these entrepreneurs and understand how the training has supported their current operations. The objective was to explore collaboration opportunities and foster innovation within the SwitchMed community.

With their companies successfully launched and established, the entrepreneurs now face the final challenge of utilizing the impact measurement tool to demonstrate the economic, social, and environmental ripple effects of their businesses on society. They have committed to synergistic collaboration with other entities within the program and are dedicated to receiving support for international diffusion and promotion within the Switchers community.

The ventures

The ventures, guided by Doron Fahima, Tomer Udi, Sharon Liper, and Ilana Berman-Frank, have successfully developed 10 unique projects that hold great promise for the future of the blue economy sector in Israel. These innovative ideas were presented to a distinguished panel of co-judges, each focusing on various topic implementations. The projects included concepts such as: wine turbine energy at sea, Image analysis solutions for the shipping industry, commercialization of cell culture products derived from marine colonial animals, a tool in the gas/oil industry to detect tiny leaks and reduce the chance of ecological catastrophes, chromatography methods to filter impurities in water sources, a multi-task robot for beach cleaning and rescue services, an interdisciplinary center for metabolomics (the large-scale study of small molecules), a microplastic-collecting beach robot, an interface for the maritime industry based on AI and big data, utilizing mushrooms as a tool for waste decomposition and microbial processes, etc.

These ventures demonstrate the diverse range of ideas and solutions being developed to address challenges and opportunities in the blue economy sector.

Celebrating Success

After the Demo Day presentations, the judges acknowledged the exceptional accomplishments of three ventures, and the following were declared as the winners:

  1. Dr Oshrat Ben-Hamo – Alternative Model Animal for Clinical and Scientific Research
  2. Dr Tal Luzzatto Knaan – Interdisciplinary Center for Metabolomics
  3. Amir Dayan – Microplastics Collecting Autonomous Robot

Looking Ahead

By bringing together entrepreneurs, mentors, and industry experts, the program provides a platform for the development of innovative ventures with the potential to drive positive change in Israel and beyond, thanks to the practical implementation of the SwitchMed methodology. Noelia Martínez, representing SwitchMed, emphasized the importance of supporting innovative methodologies and tools for sustainable business development offered by TheSwitchers.org interactive platform. Specifically, she highlighted the Access to Market and Access to Finance tools for the final stage of the ventures’ deployment.

The University of Haifa’s Charney School of Marine Sciences remains fully committed to supporting these entrepreneurs throughout their journey. They will continue to provide guidance and resources to assist them in transforming their ventures into successful and sustainable businesses.

Judging Panel

The event provided an invaluable opportunity for the ventures to showcase their innovative ideas and receive valuable feedback from a panel of esteemed judges. The esteemed panel of judges included:

  • Sharon Alaluf, Head of ESG at Bank Hapoalim
  • Yoni Essakow, Owner and Managing Director of Coral Group
  • Eti Finkelstein, Innovation Catalyst and Managing Director of the Accelerator Program at Tel Aviv University’s Entrepreneurship Center
  • Or Haviv, Partner and Head of Global Innovation at Arieli Capital
  • Itay Tagner, Managing General Partner and Co-Founder of Keren-Yam
  • Dr. Shai Einbinder, C.O.O, and Co-Founder of the Morris Kahn Marine Research Station at the Charney School of Marine Sciences

Their expertise and insights greatly contributed to the evaluation and recognition of the ventures’ accomplishments.

Acknowledging Supporters

The success of the SwitchMed Blue Economy Entrepreneurship Program would not have been possible without the support of various organizations. The University of Haifa’s Charney School of Marine Sciences extends its heartfelt appreciation to Bank Hapoalim, the Israeli National Center of Blue Economy, Coral Energy, and Tel Aviv University’s Entrepreneurship Center for their generous support. These supporters play a vital role in fostering collaboration between academia and industry, enabling the development of innovative ideas and driving positive change in the blue economy sector.