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Keeping it clean: the future of technology


“‘CHUTZPAH’ was a word I heard a lot during the Tel Aviv trip,” says Geoff Cook, CEO of Jersey Finance. “The Israelis use it almost like the Nike ‘Just Do It’ slogan – they have an idea and they implement it. Failure isn’t bad, it’s just a chance to work on what went wrong.” You have to admire the entrepreneurial drive. Just look at Israel’s work in clean technologies. First up: the electric car. The main hurdle to the much-lauded system has always been the problem of charging the batteries, but Israeli company Better Place took the brief from former leader Shimon Peres (who was understandably keen to drive oil independence in transport) and pioneered a radical method that uses technology developed to change missiles on its fighter jets. The country now boasts an extensive network of stations, which keep racks of fully charged batteries – cars simply pull in and swap them, in less time than it takes to fill a tank with petrol. Meanwhile necessity has sparked more ground-breaking technology in irrigation. Israel


has turned half the Negev desert into productive agricultural land. Meanwhile 75 per cent of Israel’s water is recycled. Its nearest rival in that area is Spain, which recycles only 25 per cent of its water. The recent Jersey delegation met a company called Netafin, which pioneers underground irrigation pipes that deliver a yield on potatoes that’s 35 per cent better than using the traditional spray methods found in Jersey and other countries. Jersey could undoubtedly do with some of that chutzpah too.


kjb301 businesslife.indd 1


October/November 2011 businesslife.co 27 26/09/2011 09:08:14


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