Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will, this year, for the second time, award the "Prime Ministers Prize for Initiatives and Innovations" in order to encourage initiatives, innovational thinking, imagination and creativity among various population groups, including young people. The goal of the Prize is to lead to significant changes in society, the environment, science, technology, etc.
The Prizes, which are worth NIS 170,000, will be awarded this year to entrepreneurs in two categories: The Prime Minister's Prize for Initiative and Innovation for Financial Profit and the Prime Minister's Prize for Initiative and Innovation not for Financial Profit. Two honorable mentions will also be awarded, one in each category. The award ceremony will be held in the framework of Global Entrepreneurship Week, due to be held from 13-20.11.11, and in which over 100 countries are participating.
The winners were chosen by a seven-member committee chaired by Prof. Eugene Kandel.
The Prime Minister's Prize for Initiative and Innovation not for Financial Profit will be awrded to Avichai Kramer for his efforts in founding the Prize4Life non-profit association in 2007, after he was diagnosed with ALS. Kramer and his friends developed an innovative financing strategy that combines incentives for medical research into diseases for which conventional methods are less applicable. Through a combination of vision and creative thinking, Kramer succeeded in creating a framework that gives hope to many sufferers and their families.
The Prime Minister's Prize for Initiative and Innovation for Financial Profit will be awarded to Inas Said and Jimmy Levy for their efforts in founding Nazareth-based Galil Software, a pioneer Arab sector high-tech company. The company develops software and employs over 150 engineers. The Prize is being award to Said and Levy for changing the employment map for engineers and tech professionals in the Arab sector and for thus providing an example for young Arabs who aspire to careers in engineering and high-tech and becoming entrepreneurs themselves.
The Honrable Mention for Initiative and Innovation not for Financial Profit will be awarded to Lubimer (Lubi) Tsuma Katx for her efforts in founding the Friends by Nature non-profit association, which is involved in community empowerment among Ethiopian immigrants and veteran Israelis. Friends by Nature affects the lives of approximately 2,000 people by developing leadership, strengthening the family unit, bring different population groups together, strengthening youth at risk and increasing voluntarism.
The Honrable Mention for Initiative and Innovation for Financial Profit will be awarded to Avi Buzaglo-Yoresh hor his efforts in founding Geomine, Ltd., a company dedicated to the location and discovery of landmines. Buzagl-Yoresh developed a unique system for locating mines through aerial photographs and remote sensing, thus making it possible to map minefields and significantly reduce search areas.
Prime Minister Netanyahu noted that Israel is among the world's leaders in initiatives and innovation thanks to its human capital. "We have many entrepreneurs who are working in various frameworks – universities, start-ups, etc. We are investing NIS 7.5 billion in the coming years so as to strengthen higher education in order to be a leader in global research and continue maintining our qualitative edge in innovation and initiatives. In the end, all of these are the key to the State of Israel's economic advantage."