Five enterprising individuals will be receiving this year’s Prime Minister’s Prize for Initiatives and Innovation, and their names were announced on Thursday.
The prize, designed to encourage innovative thinking and creativity, totals NIS 200,000 and is awarded in two fields: nonprofit initiatives, and initiatives for profit.
The winner will receive NIS 80,000, and honorable mentions get NIS 30,000 each.
In the nonprofit category, the winner is Dafna Lifshitz, CEO of Appleseeds Academy.
According to its website, the organization’s goal is to “provide equal opportunity to Israel’s socially disadvantaged communities through technological tools and the development of life skills.”
Ayala Tal-El, founder of Israel AV, received the nonprofit category’s honorable mention. Her organization works with deaf and hard-of-hearing children and seeks to integrate them in regular educational frameworks and society as a whole, with the aid of innovative treatments and technology.
In the for-profit category, rather than the usual arrangement of one winner and one honorable mention, there are three honorable mentions: Zeev Birger, founder and CTO of Top-It-Up, which has developed floating modular covers for reservoirs in order to minimize evaporation and improve water quality; Amihai Miron, co-founder and CEO of User1st, which provides accessible versions of websites for users with a wide range of impairments; and Ziv Dubinsky, founder of Metabolic Robots, which has developed an automated poultry feeding system that significantly increases efficiency and profitability.
The prime minister will award the prizes for the fourth consecutive year at Tel Aviv University on May 19.
The winner-selection committee included Prof. Eugene Kandel, head of the National Economic Council; Tammy Hauspeter, adviser to the prime minister and initiator of the prize; Intel Israel general manager Maxine Fassberg; Prof. Dafna Schwartz of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Dr. Harry Yuklea from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology; Dr. Giora Yaron, co-chairman of the board at Itamar Medical; and Start-Up Nation co-author Saul Singer.