Diplomatic Technology Summit Highlights Israeli Innovation in Post-COVID World
JNS.org – The global DiploTech summit brought together ambassadors and technology leaders to explore Israel’s sustainable innovations in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as recent diplomatic victories in the region. The summit, “DiploTech Global Summit 2020: Israeli Innovation, Our Collective Future,” was a first of its kind with future in-person summits planned for 2021.
Former US and Israeli ambassadors to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Danny Danon, respectively, headlined the Dec. 16 summit alongside MC Fox Business Network anchor Liz Claman, chairman of Sagol Holdings Yossi Sagol, world leaders, policymakers and Israeli innovators.
Experts in digitech, medtech and agtech joined panels to discuss and identify how to best overcome global challenges and proactively prepare for a post-COVID world and collective sustainable future, when innovation and technology will play even greater roles.
Israel is known as “The Startup Nation” because of its ground-breaking new companies and sustainable solutions in agtech, water tech, digital health and cyber security, and now, in the post-COVID era, its technology has the ability to enable the world to effectively emerge from the pandemic, said various panelists.
In one of the tech panels, Rafi Kaminer – founder, president and CEO of Pangea Group Ltd. – highlighted the air-sniffer technology that can sense if a person has COVID-19, which he anticipates happening by 2021 in highly frequented places such as airports and sports events. He also spoke about opening the economy with a mobile vaccine card and green passport.
Masood Al Awar, Emirate CEO of Medallion Associates, said, “There are lots of technological advances that Israel is exploring, and we know that the UAE is at the forefront to acquire the latest technologies. … I have no doubt about further collaboration with Israel and technology has no boundaries. This is what really makes the difference. The UAE is always looking towards advancement, so I think there is a lot of room for collaboration.”
“It is an interesting time for Israeli diplomacy,” Danon, former Israeli Minister of Science and Technology (Likud) and current chairman of World Likud, told JNS.
The summit comes days after normalization was reached between Israel and Morocco, joining the list of several Arab Nations to begin the normalization process.
Normalization and collaboration, said Danon, will increase global preparation for future large-scale challenges, such as another pandemic. “We learned the lesson during this pandemic that we are better with cooperation—every nation in the beginning of the pandemic was working by itself in the, and only after a few months, did countries work together. Collaboration will allow us to share knowledge and technology,” he emphasized.
At the end of the day, continued Danon, countries choose to partner with Israel and gain from its tech advances because “they want to support their own citizens.”
Danon previously brought more than 100 UN ambassadors to Israel, explaining “though we spoke a lot about security, they were amazed by the agritech, water tech and cared most about what they can bring back to their own countries.”
“Innovation allows us to have an idea in one place that can affect millions around the world; globalization is part of sustainability, and once you help a nation or community, they will be grateful forever,” he said. “Wherever we can put Israeli know-how on the ground, that is the best diplomatic effort we can make.”
DiploTech, said Danon, not only showcases technology but “will help build bridges and create connections between Israel and the global community. … These authentic connections will help change the lives of societies for the better in a real and tangible way,” he added.
During the summit, Danon and Haley discussed their days in the United Nations, a nuclear Iran, normalization agreements and technology.
“We all know the research, innovation and technology that comes out of Israel,” said Haley. “The world knows how smart Israel is; now it’s time to collaborate and really use the technology for good. The Arab countries now want to normalize relations with Israel also. They now know that a partnership with Israel is good for them—that a partnership with Israel will bring additional technology, additional innovation, additional friends and additional partnerships in the fight against Iran and terrorism.”
Other honored guests, each speaking about increased collaboration with Israel once the coronavirus has subsided, included H.E. David Kabua, president of the Marshall Islands; H.E. Pedro Brolo Vila, minister of foreign affairs, Guatemala; and H.E. E.P Chet Green, minister of foreign affairs, international trade and immigration, Antigua and Barbuda.