Tour at Peres Center for Peace and Innovation
Recently I went for a tour at Peres center for Peach and Innovation. They are an association that operates since 1996, dealing with a variety of activities, mainly in areas of sport, education, business, and health. Including games encouraging peace, tween schools projects, a project to encourage companies innovation in the periphery and project to encourage export from Israel to other countries.
The Peres Peace and Innovation Center building is an impressive building located right on the Jaffa cost line. As you enter the building, you’ll immediately see it’s not another regular office building, but a building design to deliver a clear message of how much innovation is a core part in the Israeli state of mind.
The building location selected due to it’s importance to Shimon Peres. It’s close to the place where he first arrived in Israel. When Peres ended his presidency in 2014, they noticed that most of the association activities occur away from the building and that this building, which was a regular office building, is not being used.
At this point, a decision was made to transfer this building to a national innovation center. A place open for everyone, a place encouraging innovation, a place connected to the community, mostly the local community of Jaffa. About 4 years ago all the approvals and budgets received, ‘innovation’ was added to the association title and the building renovation project began, with a goal to express innovation and serve the public.
The opening of the innovation center, which was one of Peres’s flag projects, before his death, presents the incredible story of Israel as an innovation nation. The center 4 floors include several experimental compounds telling and demonstrating the story. The entire place builds as an interactive experience, and therefore the tours are accompanied by local guides and available in 4 languages: Hebrew, Arabic, English, and Chinese. More languages will be added in the future.
A few weeks ago the pace opened for visitors and had lots of visitors and delegations from around the world. Now you can book your tickets online and come for a guided tour. You can find all the details and buy your tickets on the center website.
At the entrance of the building, you will pass through the “Hall of Inspiration”. In this hall, an audiovisual display is shown, demonstrating the influence of Israeli technology on the world. You’ll see inventions like the drips (Taftafot) that irrigate fields all over the world, Pillcam, a camera in a pill that shoots your body from the inside, and many other technologies that changed the world.
Next phase of the tour will take us to an interactive holograms room called “Innovation Secrets“.
Here we can meet leading figures in the Israeli innovation. The interactive characters will tell you all about the long way to get to the breakthrough inventions and how their inventions have changed the world. You can choose to talk with any of the characters you find interesting and ask them questions that interest you.
There are many different characters, such as:
Professor Hossam Haick: Scientist and entrepreneur, inventor of the electronic nose and electronic skin for diagnosis of diseases.
Professor Amnon Shashua: A scientist at the Hebrew University, entrepreneur, one of the founders of Mobileye and OrCam
Professor Ruth Arnon: A scientist, one of the developer of Copaxone, a medicine for Multiple Sclerosis.
Gil Shwed: Check Point co-founder and one of the pioneers in cybersecurity world.
You can find many other which will surely inspire you to investigate, study and act to make the world a better place.
Next, we’ll go to a large hall, which is basically a long interactive timeline. The hall walls display 100 events that turned Israel from a desert to the startup nation, distributing innovative ideas all over the world.
The events are divided into several subjects (agriculture, society, security, technology, and medicine), and you can research and read about various events interactively, filter by a particular topic or scroll simply between the different events.
On the other side of the hall, you can watch the “Innovation Collection”. These are rare items that were presented to the center, presenting some of the most important inventions that have grown in Israel, such as Dov Moran‘s personal DOK (Disk On Key) collection, a model of “Ofek 1” (Israel first observation satellite) from IAI, a Centrino processor developed in Israel, The flag of the Israel Air Force that survived Colombia shuttle space flight with Ilan Ramon and many more unique items.
In the center of the room are interactive game tables displaying puzzles whose answers can be found throughout the space. I highly recommend this for families with children who already know how to read and explore.
On the same floor, you can take a look at the reconstructed office of President Shimon Peres, emphasizing on his activities to promote science, technology, and innovation in Israel.
Let look into the future. At the entrance to the compound, a friendly robot will greet you, telling you about Israel research and development. You can also ask him to perform various activities. The robot may seem to most of us like something from the future, but soon a similar robot will be part of every home. A nice bonus will be discovered when you arrive and find out who is dubbing the robot.
Once you have finished playing with the robot, step into the “capsule“. A VR (Virtual Reality) journey to the future challenges of humanity and Israel. In this area we will get a glimpse into the future challenges of the world and the Israeli developments, being developed, in order to deal with these challenges.
Step into the capsule, grab a seat, buckle your seat belt, wear the VR glasses and start experiencing the future as scientists and futurists predict it 20 years ahead, when 9 to 10 billion people will be on Earth. I tried the future flight demo (I can’t wait for it to become a reality), but you can experience other experiences in digital medicine, artificial anatomy, flying between countries through space, printing home food or managing autonomous transportation in the sky.
The last part of the tour will be dedicated to the “Contemporary Innovation” gallery, which presents 50 pioneering Israeli companies and inventions that are divided into several areas: ICT, security and space, agriculture, energy, and health.
The exhibits were picked by a dedicated committee that includes a number of bodies such as the Authority for Innovation, the Ministry of Economy, the Israel Export Institute and, of course, representatives of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation.
The primary goal of the complex is to enable the many delegations traveling to see the Israeli innovation, see the most relevant innovations in one place. The exhibition will change once a year and will provide visitors a rare insight into the wide variety and quality of the groundbreaking Israeli inventions currently taking place in Israel.
Few of the inventions you can find here are:
EYE CONTROL – a wearable communication device by which patients with muscular dystrophy, ALS and other people “imprisoned in their bodies” can communicate verbally using eye movements.
CORTICA – creating the brain of the next-generation machines and robots in a matter enabling them to understand the environment at a human level, identify unusual events and even predict failures and prevent them. Their technology mimics the operation of the human cortex to develop autonomous artificial intelligence that learns alone, without any humans’ involvement.
SPACE IL – a copy of the first Israeli spaceship to the moon.
These are only 3 of the 50 amazing inventions you can see here.
To show that this area has always been innovative, Israel Antiquities Authority has contributed some exhibits that show fabrics, jars and other exhibits that illustrate the innovation that existed in the area thousands of years ago.
As you leave the building, facing the amazing view of the beach of Jaffa, you will encounter a sculpture that perfectly sums up the tour and the story of Shimon Peres: Dream Big.
For those of you arriving from far away, or you may have come with your team on a tour, it is recommended to continue the tour in this amazing area and enjoy countless experiences that only Jaffa can offer. I am sure you will experience an inspiring day that will allow you to continue and innovate.
I would like to thank Sarit Arditi, the spokesperson, and Alon Meidan – Director of Innovation Communities, Director of the Knowledge Body and the City Zoom community, for the hospitality and the tour, I am sure I’ll visit again in the future.