For the first time ever, Israel will host an international fair to introduce inventors to investors, patent attorneys, engineers and startups.
By Avigayil Kadesh
The Israeli Patents Exhibition, the first of its kind in Israel, is set to take place in September at the Tel Aviv Exhibition Grounds.
According to Israel Solodoch, one of the initiators of the show, the idea is to foster direct contact between inventors and investors from Israel and abroad, in order to help get inventions off the drawing board and into the market.
Israelis are keen inventors. A 2009 study revealed that the US Patent and Trademark Office has approved more patents to Israeli inventors than to any other nation of the G-7 countries. That same year, the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization recognized Israel as an International center for the search and testing of patents.
About 7,500 patent applications are filed annually with the Israeli Patent Office, 80 percent of them by foreign entities. The Weizmann Institute of Science files the most applications per year through its transfer tech company, Yeda. But thousands of Israeli patents are filed in other countries, especially the United States.
Inventors, investors and service providers
Solodoch, managing director of Nufar Natural Products in the Galilee, says the idea for the exhibition just struck him one day.
“It’s very important for inventors to meet investment people and not have to pursue them because it’s very difficult to do that,” he says. “At the exhibition, they will be there together on equal footing.”
He is hoping to attract 10,000 participants from far and wide, representing a broad range of product innovation. Although there’s no requirement for participants to be Jewish, sponsorship from the Jewish Agency will help the organizers to pitch the program to Jewish inventors in many countries.
“They can do business here and bring investments, and maybe some of them will make aliyah (immigration to Israel) in the future,” says Solodoch.
Also in attendance will be service providers such as patent attorneys, mechanical engineers and computer programmers, in addition to representatives of Israeli startup companies.
“Perhaps with your new invention you can do business with a startup,” suggests Solodoch. “Sometimes startups already have investment money but get stuck developing their idea into a product, so they are looking for new ideas to get their product going.”
Another invention with patent pending is a low-tech
device for hands-free collection of dog droppings
Strengthening commercial contacts
Solodoch says the hardest part of getting an invention to the patent stage is finding an investor. “The purpose of this exhibition is to solve this difficulty through direct face-to-face contact with investors,” he says.
He will be displaying his own invention, an innovative water-saving tap that can cut water consumption up to 80 percent, and thus cover its purchase price within a month.
“It’s in the middle of patent application process,” he says. And it’s not just aimed at the water-thirsty Israeli market. “The problem of water is global, because even if you have enough water, it takes a lot of energy to bring it to your home, and after it goes down the drain it causes environmental problems.”
A few of the other inventions to be featured at the exhibition are TransBiodiesel’s method for producing natural fuel from crude oil and cooking oil; a product to prevent car tires from cracking or bursting; a 360-degree camera on top of a car to do away with driver “blind spots”; an Israeli iPhone app that helps users find a parking place in the city; and a hygienic, hands-free gadget for disposing of dog droppings.
Solodoch, 61, launched a website last year intended as free advertising space for inventors from Israel and other countries. He believes the exposure could help give good ideas a boost toward becoming viable, marketable products, and at the same time strengthen commercial contacts between Israel and the rest of the world.