Can Israel end mosquitoes? A government-backed start-up is working on it

Five local startup companies won a total of NIS 5.3 million for demonstrating innovative solutions to pressing environmental-technological challenges. 

 Close-up of a mosquito. (photo credit: PIXABAY)
Close-up of a mosquito.
(photo credit: PIXABAY)

Five start-up companies won a total of NIS 5.3 million from the Environmental Protection Ministry and the Israel Innovation Authority for demonstrating innovative solutions in the areas of circular economy, air pollution, and hazardous materials, during a round of funding in the hope of tackling pressing technological challenges. 

The winning start-ups are Agrint (implementing a pilot to automatically monitor flies using seismic technology, thus allowing precise management of the spraying of harmful pesticides), Daika Wood (working on a wall cladding from wood without using plastic and hazardous adhesives), Diptera.ai (carrying out a pilot to exterminate mosquitoes by releasing millions of infertile male mosquitoes into the wild), Clean Flare (toward a facility for neutralizing and burning gases to reduce pollution), and Emma Sensing (ultra-sonic sensors to monitor chlorine pipes and storage vessels, allowing the discovery of developing corrosion and cracks in the pipe in anticipation of a gas leak).

“A few years ago, the Environmental Protection Ministry already identified economic opportunities in marketing climate and environmental technologies around the world, and in this context, Israel is not exhausting its local technological potential,” said Avital Eshet, head of Economic Policy and Tech Innovation at the Environmental Protection Ministry.

Eshet stressed the importance of the government’s continuing investment in environmental pilot projects run by Israeli-based start-ups.

 Avital Eshet, Head of Economic Policy and Tech Innovation at the Ministry of Environmental Protection. (credit: MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION) Avital Eshet, Head of Economic Policy and Tech Innovation at the Ministry of Environmental Protection. (credit: MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION)

“Governmental support is necessary because environmental technologies are characterized by market failure, ” he said. “In this field, capital investment is expected to give a significant boost to the economy. However, the risk is often too high, and the yield is in the far too distant future. Our successful collaboration with the Innovation Authority is expected to continue and expand, with the goal of nurturing an Israeli ecosystem that enlists local strengths for the sake of the struggle against the climate crisis, which is the most significant global risk we face today.”

Dror Bin, CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority, said Israeli climate technologies companies “have the potential to significantly help address the global climate crisis. The whole world is looking for technology to produce innovative and ground-breaking solutions for reducing the emission of greenhouse gases and for coping with further ramifications of the crisis.

 Dror Bin, CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority. (credit: Hanna Teib) Dror Bin, CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority. (credit: Hanna Teib)

“The innovative Israeli climate technology industry is a significant player in the war against the climate crisis, and the Israeli companies that are blessed with groundbreaking out-of-the-box thinking are likely to leave their mark on the entire world. As a government, we have a significant role in implementing the technologies being developed in Israel – on the one hand allowing Israeli companies to develop and gain real-time experience, and on the other hand, providing this benefit to the state and its entire population.”