Friday, August 10, 2012

A World Leader In Clean Technology: Israel

Democracy & Innovation

It is said that necessity is the mother of invention; yet, not all nations understand its implications. Israel, a tiny sliver of a nation in the Middle East, has not been blessed with oil or much in the way of easily extractable natural resources. Yet, it has been become a world leader in innovation and clean technology, using whatever it can to turn lemons to lemonade. In The Jerusalem Post, Michael Ordman writes:
Israel’s proficiency in water technology is remarkable. Even the politically flawed United Nations can no longer ignore this fact. It selected the Dan Region Wastewater Treatment Plant, known as Shafdan, as a global role model for how local authorities can deal with environmental problems. Shafdan utilizes nearby sands as natural filters for part of the purification process. And the Agricultural Outlook 2012-2021 report of the OECD and United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stated “Israel is now a world leader in the management and technologies related to irrigation in arid environments”.

Israel’s Amiad Water Systems continues to flood us with its successful projects, this time in Russia. Its filters are protecting desalination facilities in Eastern Russia; whilst in the West it is removing iron at a municipal water treatment plant. Now please take a look at this amazing Israeli innovation to clean up oil spills. CleanTech start-up EcoBasalt has developed SB-1, a sustainable material made of basalt fibres that canabsorb oil spills faster and more efficiently than other solutions. After 15 minutes, 97% of the oil is absorbed and the oil and SB-1 can be recycled later.
Some might view this article as Israeli triumphalism, but it's more about the conditions necessary for scientific innovation. It only shows and proves that intellectual capital will always compensate for lack of natural resources and how to overcome obstacles; it also takes a government committed to science education; it also takes a political-economic system that favours creativity, liberal democracy being the best. Under such conditions, nations will encourage its people to think and work creatively and independently, which will always produce such notable results.

You can read the rest of the article at [The Jerusalem Post]


  1. In addition to technology, Israel has produced more than its share of musicians. It has given the world the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, the only orchestra on earth designed to include Arab musicians. Only Israel could have produced it--despite the fact that one of the orchestras founders was the ferociously anti-Israel Edward Said.


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