Mr. Assaf Barnea, CEO of Kinrot Ventures (www.kinrot.com), the world's first dedicated water technology incubator and seed investor, was in Dublin yesterday to give a presentation at The Green Way (www.thegreenway.ie), Dublin's Cleantech Cluster promoting clean technologies in Ireland. This event was the first-ever collaboration between The Green Way and the Commercial Office of the Embassy of Israel, in recognition of the fact that Ireland and Israel are both ranked within the top 10 countries for Cleantech Innovation in the recent Global Cleantech Innovation Index, and was an effort designed to promote cooperation, trade, investment and joint business ventures between the Cleantech sectors in the two countries and further afield.
Almost 50 members of the academic, business, investment and finance communities attended the event. The Cleantech industry employs 19,000 people in Ireland and is worth EUR 3 billion to the Irish economy. It is one of the major growth industries in Ireland today: by 2015, it is estimated that it will employ 29,000 people. The potential for cooperation between countries in this area provides a valuable opportunity to promote sustainability and employment opportunities. Water is a critical resource – often referred to as this generation's oil. A report published this week by HSBC concludes that the world's economic growth is likely to be "severely hampered" by water scarcity; investing in access to safe water and sanitation will generate an annual economic gain globally of $220 billion, while countries could gain a return on investment of $5 for every $1 spent.
Due to the scarcity of water in Israel since its foundation the country has had to develop novel and efficient water-saving technologies. Israel now recycles 75% of all its water – the highest rate of recycling the world – and is today recognised as a world leader in this field. OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria recently stated that the OECD will use Israeli technology and know-how in third world countries in efforts to halt global water crisis www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4239225,00.html
Israel is also widely regarded as a world leader in the field of renewable energy and the Eilat conference in Israel later this year will showcase Israeli Renewable Energy projects, startups and innovation. Details are available at http://www.eilatenergy.org/