Marlee Long

Aidoc CEO Elad Walach awarded Peres Heritage Award for social and technological innovation

CERNOBBIO – Shimon Peres was a regular guest at the Cernobbio Forum. He came there 24 times, until just before his death (it was his last visit abroad), which took place two years ago at the age of 93. The legacy of the Israeli politician and Nobel Prize winner continues on the shores of Lake Como through “The Peres Heritage Initiative”, launched by The European House-Ambrosetti in collaboration with the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation and sponsored by the Israeli foreign ministry, which awarded a “social award” this year at its second edition.

The award is dedicated to young innovators (inventors, researchers, founders of start-ups or even activists), under 35, who are distinguished by their achievements in fields belonging to the “credo” of Simon Peres: from the promotion of peace to green economy; dedicated to research in the improvement of society and the world.


At the event, Chemi Peres, son of the former Israeli president and a very well-known personality in the world of innovation,  announced the upcoming official inauguration of the new Israeli Innovation Center at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation. It will welcome about 200,000 visitors a year, from students to CEO to heads of state. The Peace House is designed by Massimiliano Fuksas. It intends to be more than a showcase of innovations, from advanced agriculture to the fight against cyber threats, in which Israel is at the forefront. Preceded by a welcome event the evening before in the presence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – the Grand Opening will take place on October 25  and include an Innovation Summit intervention by numerous international technology leaders, in addition to the presentation of Israel as an “Innovation Nation”. “We will host various Italian researchers – states Chemi Peres – between Italy and Israel there are strong possibilities for further collaboration. And, as Valerio De Molli points out, in about ten years there will be a sort of community of technology experts that TEHA and Peres Heritage Initiative will be proud to have helped to generate “.

The winners

This year in Cernobbio the awards went to: Julian Melchiorri, Italian-British, founder and CEO of Arborea, who is carrying out a visionary project of “artificial leaf” capable of producing oxygen, with potential broad implications in the conversion of waste and elements polluting in sustainable resources; Samantha Payne, co-founder of the British start-up Open Bionics, who promises to revolutionize the prosthesis sector through a 3D technology able to reduce costs; and Elad Walach, co-founder and CEO of the Israeli company Aidoc, specialized in artificial intelligence solutions for radiology/diagnostics. These young talents are leading spirits for others – highlighted Chemi Peres, who came to Cernobbio also to talk about innovation to a group of young leaders in the field of technologies. “My father really believed that young entrepreneurs who create new technologies that can make social improvements can really help the world change for the better”. The initiative takes into consideration every year 500 cases and projects, which are selected from a list of 10 from which TEHA’s advisory board chooses the three to reward.

Great changes

“We are living in a phase of great change, in which the power of economies and the greatness of human beings is shifting from the earth and natural resources to the capacity for technological innovation to the creation of new products and services”, observes Chemi Peres. With science and technology, we can extract much more energy, more clean water, produce more food and provide better health care and so on ”

There are no risks. “There is also a problem of responsibility. The power of technology companies is increasing exponentially. They are not states or nations, but they become superpowers, with a huge impact on our lives. The role and responsibility of those who lead these giants go far beyond that of their company: they are becoming not only managers or CEOs but leaders. They have to realize and ensure that what they do is measurable, in an assumption of responsibility on how they impact the world, the environment, people, the economy. My father believed that these people should understand that the responsibility on their shoulders is superior: it is not enough to achieve success from a financial point of view. And this message is conveyed through the Peres Heritage”.

New dangers

“I am optimistic by nature and by choice – he concludes – but I am aware of the risks we see today. First of all, cybersecurity is increasingly important: nations can be destroyed resulting in disastrous consequences for millions of people by interrupting essential services and operations. More than 50% of people in the world are connected to the Internet and soon to the Internet of things. We are already experiencing phenomena such as the creation of fake news or alternative news; we see countries interfering in the internal or external affairs of other nations, influencing the elections. If moral values do not apply, then technological advances can become very, very dangerous. And on this, my father had spoken. So the basic idea of Peres Heritage, in carrying out its legacy, is to do something good for the world through science and technology “.


Originally posted on Ilsore24ore

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Marlee Long