A Canadian philanthropist has linked up with the Jewish Nationwide Fund of Canada and different Jewish organizations in Israel and overseas to kickstart a US $1 million annual Local weather Options Prize geared toward bringing Israeli innovation to the forefront of expertise to combat local weather change worldwide.
It’s the largest incentive prize to this point for Israeli-based innovation expertise, and will likely be awarded to a non-profit.
In parallel, and as a part of the identical general program, Begin-Up Nation Central, a company that connects worldwide companies and authorities leaders with Israeli expertise, is searching for to lift the identical sum for a prize for start-up corporations.
The $1 million prize for the non-profit sector has already been raised and was formally launched Wednesday in Tel Aviv at a personal “name to motion” ceremony for organizers in addition to potential philanthropists and companions.
By coincidence, the launch occurred simply two days after the United Nations Framework Conference on Local weather Change issued the primary of a collection of stories on international warming, which can make up the Sixth Evaluation Report.
Monday’s paper on bodily science indicators, the primary to be launched on this topic since 2013, confirmed that the tempo of warming is rushing up and that the worldwide aim of limiting it to 1.5 levels Celsius in contrast with earlier than the commercial revolution could possibly be breached earlier than 2040.
Particular person researchers and establishments akin to universities and innovation hubs who’re engaged on methods to scale back or take up (sequester) emissions of carbon dioxide, the primary international warming fuel, will likely be invited to use for the prize from October, through the prize web site.
The topics they’re researching may embrace something from power, transportation, manufacturing, constructing and building to agriculture and higher land use.
Candidates will likely be vetted by two teams of judges which can overview a shortlist of 20 and decide as much as 4 prizewinners, to be introduced subsequent June.
Jeff Hart, the Montreal-based philanthropist behind the prize, and the chief chairman of the prize committee, has made what he was solely prepared to explain as a “substantial contribution” to make sure that this sum will likely be obtainable for the primary prize for the non-profit sector.
“That is about constructing a coalition, not about some sensible philanthropist,” he instructed the Instances of Israel on Thursday, simply earlier than boarding a flight from Tel Aviv to Montreal.
The 53-year outdated businessman, who runs a community of medical spas throughout Canada, famous the instance of the Google Lunar X Prize contest, which challenged nongovernmental teams to land a spacecraft on the moon and spurred the event of Israel’s Beresheet 1, the world’s first privately funded moon lander. Beresheet efficiently reached the moon however collided with the lunar floor in April 2019 throughout an tried touchdown, because of technical failure. A second sortie to the moon is being deliberate.
“Simply as Israel obtained to the moon, our perception is that Israel will give you the most effective resolution to what we’re seeing with local weather change and can actually allow tikkun olam to happen,” stated Hart, citing the Jewish idea of repairing the world.
His conviction that humanity is going through a local weather change-driven “existential disaster” was solely bolstered by the acute heatwave occasions that hit Canada this 12 months, he added. These killed dozens and took the mercury as much as a file 49.6C (121.3F) in Lytton, British Columbia in June. The subsequent day, a wildfire gutted a lot of the village.
“Israel has solved so lots of the world’s issues,” Hart stated, “for instance within the water sector.”
The Jewish state invented desalination and different water-related applied sciences, and leads the world in recycling sewage water for reuse in agriculture.
“Can we, the Jewish individuals, give you the most important breakthroughs, utilizing Jewish ingenuity and chutzpah, to result in change for our kids and future generations?”
Requested if he was optimistic that humanity will curb international warming, he stated,
“The Jewish concept is that you need to be an optimist. Did anyone consider that Israel would change into a nation within the Nineteen Forties and survive the assaults on it by the Arab nations? Did anybody consider that Israel would obtain lots of the issues it has achieved?”
“This time it seems to be like the percentages are towards humanity, but it surely’s my perception that if anybody could make miracles occur, it’s the State of Israel, which is why we’re supporting the initiative and hoping that when extra, we are able to mobilize the Jewish individuals and shock ourselves and the world by turning issues round.”
JNF Canada is partnering with the Israel-based KKL-JNF Jewish Nationwide Fund to lift donations. The latter has pledged to match each donation by 25%. Together with this matching, $3 million out of a goal sum of $10 million has already been raised towards the prize for not-for-profits.
Daniella Kandel of Begin-Up Nation Central, stated that whereas the $1 million for start-up corporations had solely been partially raised, the plan was to observe the identical software timetable and to have individuals from the business concerned as judges.
Her group is behind the week-long Local weather Innovation Competition in Israel, deliberate for June, throughout which the prize winners will likely be introduced.
Kandel stated that of the innovation corporations based in Israel and finishing up R&D within the nation, greater than 390 are centered on agricultural expertise, 700 on transportation, 190 on water expertise and greater than 90 on power.