Israel is loudly announcing its place within the global climate solution sector during COP27 in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. Israel brought 10 startups to represent its climate tech marketplace, all housed in the first Israeli pavilion. The companies span different silos of the climate tech sector, from alternative protein production to clean energy systems to waste mitigation solutions.
The journey to COP27 began earlier this year when the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA), an independent publicly funded agency, and PLANETech, an NGO working to connect and grow Israel’s climate tech community, held the country’s inaugural climate tech conference, PLANETech World, in Tel Aviv. Hundreds of Israeli companies presented their ideas and products to investors largely based in firms abroad.
Dror Bin, CEO of IIA, told GreenBiz that 100 companies competed for a spot to represent Israel as the delegation to COP27 and 10 were selected — H2Pro, GenCell, Remilk, Aleph Farms, Groundwork BioAg, Tomorrow.io, Beewise, UBQ Materials, Wiliot and HomeBiogas. Each startup had to meet a multifaceted set of criteria to secure placement, such as current and potential climate impact, ease of scalability and team leadership and diversity.
Bin is excited to show the world that his nation can keep up with established climate tech hubs, such as San Francisco and London. "One out of every seven new startups founded in 2021 in Israel was engaged in the climate tech domain," Bin declared.
But he recognizes that there is still a lot of room for growth. "There are currently not enough investment entities in Israel specializing in climate tech," Bin said, referring specifically to venture capitalists. His hope is that sending a cohort of 10 technically impressive and diverse examples of Israel’s climate tech entrepreneurship will demonstrate that Israel is a country ready for international investment and cooperation.
Rachel Barr, UBQ Materials’ VP of sustainability, agrees. She eloquently laid out her company’s goal for COP, explaining that UBQ provides a singular solution — converting diverted waste from landfills into bio-based thermoplastic material — that can be deployed in the waste sector to help countries meet their methane pledges and national commitments. "We’re keen to help develop an environment where UBQ and companies like us have the capacity to develop and succeed, and that requires companies, countries and NGOs to consider the relevancy of startups having a seat at the table, to be a deliverer of solutions."
Director of PLANETech Uriel Klar emphasized that the 10 companies selected not only represent Israel, but its potential to contribute to the global climate tech sector. "Eighteen months ago, climate tech was not a thing in Israel, and today there are 700 startups and a record of $2.5 billion in investments," said Klar.
This trend was recently noted in a global study, "Scaling Climate Tech," released by Endeavor Insight and HSBC. The report recognized Tel Aviv as a growing center for global climate tech alongside its established peers in Berlin, London and Silicon Valley. Israel chose companies such as Aleph Farms, an alternative protein production startup focused on lab-grown beef production, and its dairy counterpart Remilk to attend COP27 before the report officially named Israel’s meat alternative sector a "subsector to watch."
Bin believes Israel’s burgeoning climate tech market can use COP27 to capitalize on the global interest in climate mitigating technological innovations. But his demeanor is anything but cynical. Bin affirms that when many minds come together to solve a problem, then we still have a chance, "I firmly believe that saving our planet’s future is still in the hands of mankind."