Science & Technology
- Written by Silvia G Golan
VDroom has launched a machine-learning based smart gallery that displays the hotel’s best images in an optimized order. Israeli start-up VDroom continues to surprise and reinvent the field of hospitality
In recent years, the field of hospitality has gone through a virtual revolution of the booking process, and this is precisely where VDroom is aiming - Led by Michal Hubschmann and her team, the company has recently begun working with several multinational chains and is increasing the number of clients joining at a rate of over 100% a month over the past year.
Following this success, VDroom has launched a smart 360°/VR gallery that is displayed right by the hotel’s 2D gallery. Based on machine-learning, the gallery has the ability to identify and display the best performing images in order to increase chances of conversion. The algorithm knows how to calculate the most relevant parameters in order to display the images in the most efficient order.
"In recent years something has been happening in the virtual field," says Hubschmann. "There is also a push on Google and Facebook’s part, and we are taking advantage of this opportunity, using our intuitive user interface - we run hundreds of tests simultaneously in real time to achieve this level of search engine optimization. In fact, we approach the hotels and apartment owners and tell them - if you leverage your images you can also leverage your revenue.
"The hotels and rental apartments invest millions of dollars in commissions to keep their properties at maximum capacity. Property owners need to ask themselves how they can distinguish themselves from the competition in order to increase their revenues and the value they provide to their customers"
What is the secret that makes this technique work so well?
"The secret is in the simplicity and in the efficiency of the technique. Nowadays, hardly anyone makes a hotel room booking without looking through TripAdvisor and getting an opinion about the hotel. In fact, it's the most trusted advice available to anyone who orders a room. We managed to prove that 360°/VR images provide the optimal solution to this issue, by allowing your guests to feel as if they were actually present in the room and touring the hotel. All the other solutions on the market are technologically very heavy, have long loading times and have no machine-learning in the picture display. The simplicity is that in two clicks you get to feel like you are right in the room - in a room that suits you!
What does the hotel need to do in order to connect with this service?
"In fact, the hotel doesn’t need to make any developments or change anything on the site - You receive a finished product that links to the existing hotel or rental apartment site and can begin leveraging direct bookings and revenues”.
Where did you acquire your experience in this field?
"I lived in the Netherlands for about 16 years and that was where we first established a company in the field of online hotel reservations - and with about 80 employees and a turnover of 100 million euros a year it is already a proven success. Together with the team that worked with us for years, we reunited to establish VDroom. All of our employees are from the hospitality industry and are well acquainted with this field. We can provide a solution that’s simple to operate and proven to work, increases hotel room bookings by 35 percent and exposure on Google SERP while remaining very affordable and cost-effective."
- Written by Weizmann Institute of Science
The Nature Index of Innovation 2017 points industry to institutions providing ideas behind inventions
The Nature Index, 2017, of the Innovation supplement published today, placed the Weizmann Institute of Science in sixth place in an international ranking of the world’s top 200 research institutions. The Index ranked the institutions according to the impact academic research is having on innovation by examining how research articles are cited in third-party patents.
Their rationale: By looking at patents owned by third parties – informed by and citing academic work – rather than those held by institutions themselves, the influence of research on the development of products and services are exposed.
According to Nature, the academic players featured in the index are those “whose ideas may shape tomorrow’s inventions. The top of these tables is occupied by both institutions with global reputations for high-quality research and others whose published work is having a disproportionately high impact relative to their size.”
The Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel is the only non-US institution in the top ten. It follows such heavyweights as The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, Rockefeller University in New York and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston.
David Swinbanks, founder of the Nature Index, said: “This analysis comes at a time when following the transfer of scientific knowledge into industry and the economy is a growing priority for governments and research funding agencies – for them, the need to demonstrate that publicly funded science is being used for society’s benefit is paramount.”
Prof. Daniel Zajfman, president of the Weizmann Institute of Science said: “Our high place in this index reflects our guiding philosophy, which says that we recruit scientists who are among the best in the world and let them follow their curiosity. That is what leads, in the end to innovative and surprising new applications that shape the future.” The Nature index also revealed that the Weizmann Institute of Science not only contributes to third-party patent applications but ranks fifth in applications for patents of its own. This ranking is normalized to the breadth of the scientific activity of the institute.
The supplement is published by Nature together with The Lens and Clarivate Analytics. These provided analytic tools to, in the words of Richard Jefferson, founder of The Lens, create “‘innovation cartography’ – rendering the complex process of science- and technology-enabled problem solving (STEPS) transparent. It will enable scientists, investors, businesses and policymakers to make better, evidence-based choices of partnerships and pathways to deliver new products, services and practices for society.”
This is the first time that the Nature Index data has been normalized against the total research output of an institution in the natural sciences, as indicated by the number of research articles an institution has published in Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science. This provides a measure for comparing institutions’ output in the Index relative to their research capacity, which can then be compared to the normalized.
About the Nature Index
First launched in November 2014, the Nature Index database tracks the author affiliations of research articles published in a group of 68 high-quality natural science journals, which have been selected by independent panels of active scientists.
About Nature Research
Nature Research is a portfolio of high-quality products and services across the life, physical, chemical and applied sciences – including journals, databases and researcher services – dedicated to serving the scientific community.
Nature (founded in 1869) is one of the leading, international weekly journal of science. Nature Research also publishes a range of Nature-branded subscription journals, the leading open access multidisciplinary journal Nature Communications, other open access journals including Scientific Reports, and a range of Nature Partner Journals published in partnership with institutions and societies. Together, these journals publish some of the world's most significant scientific discoveries.
About The Lens
The Lens is a free, open and secure global facility to make the innovation system more transparent, efficient, fair and inclusive. The Lens is run by Lens.org a US-registered benefit corporation owned by founders Cambia (a global non-profit social enterprise) and QUT (Queensland University of Technology). The Lens is dedicated to ‘Solving the Problem of Problem SolvingTM. In collaboration with global non-profit and public institutions, The Lens serves nearly all of the world’s patents as free and open digital public goods integrated and linked with scholarly and technical literature along with regulatory, legal and business data. The Lens creates applications to map the networks of the influence of scholarship on enterprise (In4M and PatCite) and to understand biological sequence patenting (PatSeq). The Lens allows documents, collections, and analyses to be shared, annotated, and embedded to enable Innovation Cartography: the open mapping of the science and technology innovation ecosystem to broaden participation in equitable problem-solving.
About Clarivate Analytics
Clarivate™ Analytics accelerates the pace of innovation by providing trusted insights and analytics to customers around the world, enabling them to discover, protect and commercialize new ideas faster. Formerly the Intellectual Property and Science business of Thomson Reuters, Clarivate Analytics owns and operate a collection of leading subscription-based businesses focused on scientific and academic research, patent analytics and regulatory standards, pharmaceutical and biotech intelligence, trademark protection, domain brand protection and intellectual property management. Clarivate™ Analytics is now an independent company with over 4,000 employees, operating in more than 100 countries and owns well-known brands that include Web of Science™, Cortellis™, Derwent, CompuMark™, MarkMonitor® and Techstreet™, among others. For more information, please visit clarivate.com.
The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world's top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions. Noted for its wide-ranging exploration of the natural and exact sciences, the Institute is home to scientists, students, technicians and supporting staff. Institute research efforts include the search for new ways of fighting disease and hunger, examining leading questions in mathematics and computer science, probing the physics of matter and the universe, creating novel materials and developing new strategies for protecting the environment.
Weizmann Institute news releases are posted on the World Wide Web at
Photo Credit Weizmann Institute of Science
- Written by Silvia G Golan
FinTech Junction 2018 conference is taking off
The conference will bring together the pioneers and leaders of the financial technologies in Israel’s largest international FinTech conference
This year’s edition will take place on Sunday, June 24 at Hilton Tel Aviv
Ben Pelled, FinTech Junction CEO: “Banking is at the end of an era. Startup companies are disrupting the financial services by creating new faster, more efficient and with lower costs. The FinTech revolution is here and at the conference, we’ll hear all about it.”
FinTech Junction 2018, Israel's largest FinTech conference, connecting leaders and startups in Finance, Technology, Blockchain & Crypto.
The conference, organized by People & Computers, will take place on Sunday, June 24, from 08:00 – 18:00, at Hilton Tel Aviv, and will attract 1,200-1,500 attendees: leaders and startups from the financial industry, banks, insurance companies, fintechs, investors, academia, fintech communities, from Israel and around the world.
Where Startups & Leaders in Finance, Technology, Blockchain & Crypto Meet
Building Together the Future of Financial Services
Israel’s largest fintech conference is back! Following the success of FinTech Junction 2017, we’re happy to present FinTech Junction 2018. This year we’re expecting 1,500+ professional attendees from Israel and from around the world: CXO’s, entrepreneurs, investors, innovation and fintech leaders from the leading startups, fintechs, banks, financial institutions, hubs, accelerators and investment companies, private, public, and government-owned.
Our conference will cover the latest and hottest trends shaping the future of financial services, including cryptocurrencies & ICOs, open banking, mobile banking, regulation, cybersecurity, AI, P2P platforms, and more.
FinTech Junction is brought to you by People & Computers – Israel’s leading tech media outlet and conference organizer. The company organizes and produces an average of 150 events a year attracting 75,000+ professional attendees and featuring the leading figures in technology and business.
Meet & Connect
Meet the leaders of fintech: the best startups, investors, CXOs, decision makers and fintech and innovation managers in the world’s leading fintech companies, banks, financial institutions, VCs, and governments.
Watch, Hear & Learn
Watch, hear & learn from the best thinkers and doers in fintech. Dive deep into the technology, business cases, latest trends and critical questions that are shaping the financial services industry.
Pitch your startup at the FinTech Junction Startup Competition for a chance to win some amazing prizes (and attract investors along the way).
At the conference, we expect exciting news items, thoughts, and announcements from interesting speakers from Israel and around the world. The full list of speakers and program is available on the conference website.
FinTech Junction is organized by People & Computers – Israel’s leading tech media outlet and event organizer & producer. The company organizes 150 conferences and events a year.
- Written by Israel Innovation Authority
Six winning Israeli startups will take part in the “Israel-India Bridge to Innovation” program and will soon launch pilot programs in India. The program was initiated in meetings between the prime ministers of India and Israel.
Six Israeli startups with innovative technologies in the fields of healthcare, agriculture, and water management have made it to the final stage of the Israel Innovation Authority’s “Israel-India Bridge to Innovation” program, launched over the past year during bilateral meetings between the prime ministers of both countries. The 18 companies that were initially selected to participate in this program presented their technologies to CEOs and investors from Israel and India in a Demo Day held last week at the Urban Place complex in Tel Aviv. Six companies were chosen to continue to the final stage where they will pilot their solutions in India.
Among the notable participants taking part in the Demo Day were representatives of India’s Invest India agency. The keynote speaker was Rohtash Mal, Chairman of EM3 Agriservices, renowned in India as the “Uber of farmers.” The company rents out equipment to farmers based on time or acres farmed, doing away with the need for farmers to purchase expensive equipment and giving them access to advanced technology at low costs.
The six winning companies selected to continue to the pilot stage of the program are:
Amaizz, a company that has developed a portable drying device enabling dry storage of agricultural produce – of immense significance in the Indian market, where it is difficult to ship fresh produce.
Biofeed, a company that has developed a device to combat fruit flies, a pest destructive to India’s yield of mango and other fruit. India is one of the world’s key mango exporters.
Zebra Medical, a company developing medical imaging technologies.
MobileODT, a company that has developed devices to diagnose cervical cancer.
In Water Management:
Aquallence, a company that has developed a device to treat water with Ozone.
AMS Technologies, a company that has developed a system to filter industrial water.
The 18 companies initially selected were reviewed by a panel of judges from Israel and India who looked at over 150 applications. The companies took part in a six-month process that included training and workshops, including information regarding Indian markets, together with professional visits, networking events, mentoring and meetings with senior executives and officials, including investors, senior management and experts and entrepreneurs in the fields of water management, agriculture and healthcare.
The Demo Day judges included members of Indian and Israeli companies, including entrepreneur Ofir Shalvi; Adi Vagman, Managing Partner of the AgriNation venture capital fund; Sigalit Berenson, Sales and Service Manager of the Indian-owned Decco SafePack company; Deeksha Vats, Joint President of Sustainability at the Indian corporation, Aditya Birla Group; Rajit Mehta, CEO of the Max Healthcare Institute; and Avi Luvton, Executive Director of the Asia Pacific and Latin America desk at the Israel Innovation Authority.
Eli Cohen, Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry, said: “Following the government decision a year ago to invest 240 million shekels by the year 2020 to promote relations with India in the fields of innovation and technology, the “Israel-India Bridge to Innovation” program is a golden opportunity for Israeli companies in the fields of healthcare, water management and agritech to achieve prominence and to enter such a significant and developing global market – India.”
Dr. Ami Appelbaum, Chief Scientist at the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry and Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority, said: “The Israel-India Bridge to Innovation is a springboard for cooperation between Israeli innovators and Indian corporations. The collaboration between India, a massive economy with the largest growth rate in the world, and Israel, the “Startup Nation,” to develop technological solutions to various challenges, is synergistic and unique. There is a real mutual desire, backed by substantial investment, to pilot these cooperative ventures in India in order to solve pressing global challenges specifically in India but all over the world as well.”
Avi Luvton, Executive Director of the Asia Pacific Desk at the Israel Innovation Authority, emphasized that the “Bridge to Innovation” program comes at a peak in Israeli-Indian relations that began more than a year ago and which has been strengthened by bilateral visits by both prime ministers, reflecting an era in which many new opportunities are opening up within the Indian economy.
- Written by The Weizmann Institute of Science
Return of the Scientists
The Weizmann Institute of Science presents: Science on Tap 2018
When: Wednesday, May 23, at 8:30 pm. Dozens of top scientists and outstanding research students from the Weizmann Institute of Science will be in 51 bars in Tel Aviv to talk with the patrons. Their subjects will be open scientific questions that are being addressed on the cutting edge of world science.
Why are we so different from one another? Why in a democracy (a government of the people) are the people not really in control? Why does evolution sometimes need “a little help from its friends?” Why did I decided to “dance my doctorate?” Why do we need friends? Why won’t we be settling Mars anytime soon? Why does a zebra wear pajamas and how does this tie into brain research? Why do we humans still have noses, and how does this affect our relationship with the world? Why does G-d play dice with the world? Why is a crow like a writing table?
Science and the city: The Weizmann Institute of Science has a mission to share scientific knowledge and the excitement and adventure we experience when we expand the boundaries of human understanding. This is the ninth time that Weizmann Institute scientists have ventured into the Tel Aviv scene, and the 13th such event in the country. The first of its kind in Israel, the “On Tap” formula has since been copied by numerous organizations in Israel and around the world.
Science on Tap is organized in conjunction with Time Out Tel Aviv and the HEMDA school in Tel Aviv.
All lectures will be in Hebrew. For more information go our website:
or call 972-8-934-3856.