“The UK’s appetite for the technological advancements coming out of Israel continues to highlight the great opportunities that exist between these two countries.” So says Simon Spier, Senior Advisor for Trade and Economic Affairs at the Israeli Embassy in London.
Between 10-13 March, London hosted 27 of Israel’s most exciting and creative technology start-ups, including 12 of the very best of Israel’s water-tech industry. The water delegation visited as part of a unique UK-Israel technology exchange programme, which also featured 15 Israeli future Retail startups with solutions for the UK retail industry.
One of the attending companies was Mapal Green Energy, an Israeli company which develops unique aeration wastewater treatment systems. We spoke with Mapal Co-Founder and CEO Zeev Fisher: “The UK market has enormous potential for Mapal. Thanks to the excellent work done by Israel NewTech, The Israel Export Institute and the Commercial Attache Noah Shani and his team in the London office of the Foreign Trade Administration, we already have three orders to supply installations to British water utilities.” The utilities are Thames Water, Anglian Water and United Utilities and the orders total close to $1M, but according to Fisher, this is just the tip of the iceberg. “The UK market holds thousands of potential installations for Mapal, this is a very significant market for us and for other Israeli water companies. The UK water industry holds Israeli technology in high regard, and the different government programs are helping to translate this opportunity into business, through events like those we attended earlier in March.”
The Israeli water delegation visited London as part of an effort to identify opportunities for Israeli and British companies to collaborate in the water sector in international markets. The main feature of the delegation was the UK-Israel Water Tech Day 2014: “Innovation Today, Innovation Tomorrow”. The 50-person workshop, hosted at Arup’s London headquarters, set out to identify opportunities to align British and Israeli strengths in the water sector to promote a collaborative approach to tackling the biggest challenges surrounding water management globally.
Sir Mark Walport, Chief Scientific Adviser to HM Government and Head of the Government Office for Science delivered the keynote address on the UK government’s priorities in the area of water innovation. At the event were leading British water utility companies, engineering firms, SMEs and industry experts who all participated in the programme to address the future of the industry and the challenges it will face. These conversation allowed for in-depth discussions on how UK and Israeli companies could work together to address these challenges.
The business mission – the second of its kind – was a joint initiative by the Economic and Trade Mission at the Embassy of Israel in London and the UK Israel Tech Hub at the British Embassy, Israel, with the support of the Israeli Export Institute and Israel NewTech.
“Combining British and Israeli strengths in water-tech can have a global impact,” says Yoni Dolgin, Cleantech Manager at the UK Israel Tech Hub, a team based at the British Embassy Israel who aims to drive growth through partnership between British companies and the best of Israeli innovation. “This delegation provided an opportunity to strengthen relationships between the UK and Israel to promote a collaborative approach to tackling the biggest challenges surrounding water management globally. Last year we led a similar delegation which resulted in several exciting deals, and I expect to see several new partnerships to come out of this visit.”
In addition to participating in the UK-Israel Water Tech Day, the delegation also attended the World Water Tech Investment Summit, where 3 Israeli companies were amongst the high-profile speakers at the two day global summit.
Both the retail and the water delegations also attended a reception by the British Prime Minister’s Office at Number 10 Downing Street, as well as other general networking events. The success of both delegations demonstrated how Israeli innovation is giving British companies a global competitive edge and how British companies are helping Israeli innovation go global.
The participating Israeli companies included: AGM, Amiad, Aquarius-Spectrum, Ayyeka, Booky Oren Global Water Technologies, Curapipe, Hutchison-Kinrot, IDE, IOsight, Mapal Green Energy, Takadu and Top-It-Up.