Highroad is proud to be headquartered in Israel, one of the world’s most innovative countries.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) recently released its 2019 list of the world’s most innovative countries. The 12th version of the annual index is designed to help policymakers better understand innovation activity across the globe, as WIPO believes it to be the “main driver of economic and social development”. This year’s theme: “Creating Healthy Lives – The Future of Medical Innovation.”
At Highroad, we seek to promote promising urban tech start-ups, those poised to take the smart city industry by storm. As smart cities necessarily include the collection and gathering of data for lifesaving purposes, we thought we’d applaud this year’s most innovative countries, including our homeland, Israel, by highlighting some of their smartest, most innovative lifesaving developments – including, but not limited, to those pertaining to medical innovation.
For the ninth year in a row, Switzerland has topped the WIPO’s list. The country is home to Smart City Lab Basel, where new ideas, prototypes and services in the area of mobility, logistics, communication, energy, public space and more are tested, promoted and prepared for implementation. Switzerland’s friendly regulatory environment and access to broad funding opportunities additionally foster a robust technology and start-up ecosystem. Some top start-ups include: Ava, developers of a fertility tracking sensor, Dfinity, a start-up focused on reducing the costs associated with running cloud-based service applications, Intento, which developed a user-friendly neuro-stimulation device geared towards recovering motor function in severely paralyzed stroke patients, and senseFLY, developers of end-to-end data collection drones.
Ranked second by WIPO, Sweden is world-renowned for its developed city infrastructure, innovative business sector and knowledge and technology-based outputs. The country is home to over 100 testing and demonstration facilities, supported by ecosystems of experts and financiers, and government bodies such as RISE, Research Institutes of Sweden, and Swerea enable cutting-edge competences from academia, industry and the public sector to create a Triple Helix model that promotes many collaborative initiatives. Swedish start-ups are world leaders when it comes to the field of digital healthcare, providing access to different forms of healthcare through mobile, artificial intelligence (AI) and other technological innovations (Check out Min Doktor, Flow Neuroscience, Doctrin, Enjo and Joint Academy and see for yourself). What’s more, Sweden is laying the foundations for the transition towards electric vehicles, is committed to having a 100 percent fossil fuel-free vehicle fleets by 2030, and is readying for its startup, Uniti, to launch its first electric vehicle model later this year.
The United States
For the past five decades, the US economy has thrived on technological developments, and indeed, America is home to many urban tech and other innovative start-ups designed to improve everyday life. For example, Rentlogic uses advanced technology to objectively grade 1.1 million apartment buildings in New York City-based on physical inspections and health and safety standards. Sapient Industries uses machine learning technology to power its autonomous energy management system to eliminate energy waste in buildings. Open Data Nation leverages a machine learning engine to analyze billions of public data records to predict and proactively prevent problems and make life far easier and more transparent for cities and insurance carriers. And Verge Genomics employs a unique approach that uses artificial intelligence to determine which drugs have a higher likelihood of success, so patients can receive better, FDA-approved medications, faster.
While not among the very top world innovators, Israel has scored a coveted slot in the WIPO’s top ten list. This, of course, comes as no surprise to the Highroad team, as we are very-much immersed in the everyday innovation culture that serves as the fabric of the Start-up Nation’s character. The country may be geographically small, but it is a hub for tremendous innovation, in every possible field. Israel’s Innovation Authority currently includes 24 incubators: 22 in technology, one in industrials and one in biotech, and at Highroad Launchpad, we nurture up to five promising urban tech start-ups during each of our 12-week cohorts. This is why Israeli innovation includes developments from start-ups such as: Telicomm, a start-up developing a wireless connectivity solution for mass video cameras based on cellular or WiFi infrastructure; RoadSense, a start-up developing technology poised to turn any road into a safe, smart and efficient-to-drive-on road; ITC, a start-up developing a unique smart system designed to optimize traffic lights, and RealView Imaging Ltd., a start-up revolutionizing the field of surgery with live medical holography. .
The world is a giant, ever-evolving innovation hub, with some countries developing lifesaving – and life changing technologies poised to make everyday life better, smarter, safer and more efficient. At Highroad, we applaud all those countries that made the WIPO’s 2019 list of most innovative countries, and are proud to hail from lucky #10, the Land of Israel.