CIIRDF Enables Intelligent Transportation Solution For Smarter, Safer and More Efficient Border Crossings


Canadian Company: Amika Mobile

Israeli Company: Mobility Insight (Mobi)

Sector: Information and Communication Technologies (ICT); Transportation; Security; Intelligent Mobility; Connected Vehicles (V2X)


Every day, hundreds of thousands of people and commercial vehicles cross international borders around the world. In 2017, 52.4 million two-way passenger vehicle movements were recorded at Canada/U.S. border crossings alone. With increasing traffic and demand at international borders, it is essential to consistently enhance the management, efficiency and safety of cross-border vehicle transportation. This includes the ability to reduce wait times at border crossings and respond rapidly and effectively during an emergency to help save lives. A Canada-Israel R&D team aims to help address this objective through an integrated Intelligent Border Crossing and Connected Vehicle System.


This CIIRDF-supported R&D project brought together:

  • Amika Mobile, a Canadian firm that delivers critical and emergency communication and control solutions to first responders and border security with an internationally patented and much awarded platform. This technology addresses security for the Internet of Things (IoT), automatically discovers mobile devices in public places such as airports, issue alerts to their location. It also integrated with many physical security systems including gunshot detection.
  • Mobility Insight (Mobi), an Israeli company established to reduce congestion in the connected car era. The company has developed a turnkey mobility management platform leveraging data fusion, machine learning and simulation. Employing traffic network demand analysis, predictive alerts and real-time simulation, this solution helps cities and transportation authorities to predict future usage, and proactive mitigation of traffic congestion.

Leveraging critical support from CIIRDF, Amika Mobile and Mobi combined their expertise to advance technology that enhances the efficiency and safety of border crossings with an Intelligent Border Crossing and Connected Vehicle System that:

  • Allows border agents to receive advance information based on emerging standards;
  • Implements intelligent workflows to efficiently manage border-crossing traffic and associated emergency communications;
  • Analyzes traffic at border crossings in real time; and
  • Triggers automatic alerts, responses and directives from border agents to target recipient groups and locations.

These capabilities allow drivers to schedule border crossings at the most efficient times; border crossing agents to better predict and manage high traffic demand; and first responders to undertake more rapid life-saving action in emergencies.


“CIIRDF enabled us to collaborate on a proof-of-concept that demonstrates how our platform technology can be used to enhance the safety and productive management of international borders. It also targets smart cities that will require our IoT and AI capabilities to better identify and manage urgent threats. Our recent announcement as an OEM to Dell will help leverage the Amika Mobile platform in smart cities and AT&T’s FirstNet, the first responder network for police, fire and emergency medical services (EMS) in the U.S. This solution will be a gamechanger at borders around the world, improving traffic management, border productivity and communications in critical emergency situations.

Dr. Sue Abu-Hakima, Co-Founder, President and CEO, Amika Mobile.

“Writer William Gibson said: ‘The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed’, which perfectly describes connected vehicle space today. At Mobi, we are building tools that leverage connected vehicle technology with our advanced Road Network Management platform. This creates a new kind of mobility management system. Our project with Amika Mobile enabled us to develop novel proof of concept capability for borders showcasing the promise and opportunity of connected vehicle enabled intelligent mobility systems. CIIRDF support was integral to the creation of this new, disruptive system. We expect our integrated Intelligent Border Crossing and Connected Vehicle System will be operational within five years and generate millions in revenues over time.

Dov Ganor, CEO, Mobi

Wearing Heart Technology on your Sleeve: CIIRDF Enables the First Smart ECG Monitoring Garment of its Kind


Canadian Company: CardioComm Solutions, Inc.

Israeli Company: HealthWatch LTD

Sector: Medical Technology; Life Sciences


Each year, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) claim the lives of 17.9 million people worldwide. Four out of five CVD deaths are attributed to heart attacks and strokes. Early detection, diagnosis and proactive management of CVD risks can reduce cardiac incidents, minimize hospitalization and help save lives.

A Canada-Israeli R&D team is working together to help those who suffer from CVDs to live longer and healthier, while helping to reduce healthcare costs and wait times. The collaborators have revolutionized the electrocardiogram (ECG), a common cardiac diagnostic devices used to monitor the electrical activity of the heart. They aim to address the need for real time, long-term ECG monitoring while patients are walking (ambulatory) and performing daily activities. This represents a key segment of the global ECG equipment and management market which is expected to reach USD $7.63 million by 2025.


This CIIRDF-supported R&D project brought together:

  • HealthWatch LTD, an Israeli medical device technology company with expertise in smart textile, sensors and analytics. The hardware firm develops cutting-edge next generation sensor technology that transforms clothing into health monitoring devices. This includes the first commercial 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) smart digital garment that unobtrusively measures vital signs, and has acquired FDA approval in the US, and the CE Mark in Europe.
  • CardioComm Solutions, Inc. (CardioComm), a Canadian company in the medical diagnostic industry that develops, sells, and markets medical software and devices. With international recognition as an ISO certified company with FDA, Health Canada, and CE Mark approval, CardioComm specializes in the development of computer-ECG management and reporting software that enables the accurate recording, transmission and viewing of ECGs.

With support from CIIRDF, the collaborators combined CardioComm analytic software with the HealthWatch sensor to develop a new ECG based patient management platform. The co-created 12-lead ECG smart shirt addresses key markets including:

  • Cardiac patients who require consistent monitoring but are unable to wear a Holter monitor, or hold a device;
  • Ambulatory ECG monitoring and arrhythmia screening in sports; and
  • Traditional primary or secondary cardiac disease prevention markets.

In addition, the collaborators established a new ECG viewer that improves the cardiac images, enabling more accurate diagnosis and treatment.


“CIIRDF funding enabled us to partner with HealthWatch in a highly productive way. Our respective companies each hold FDA Class II approvals for medical devices, reinforcing our internationally recognized leadership in this field. With the support of CIIRDF, we leveraged our collective strengths and jointly developed new technology that will revolutionize cardiac care. We are particularly excited about the new ECG viewer created as part of this Canada-Israel project, and its potential application in telemedicine and related biotech fields. We look forward to evolving our collaboration with HeathWatch, enhancing the functionality of this product, and bringing it to markets around the world.

Etienne Grima, CEO, CardioComm Solutions, Inc.

“This CIIRDF project allowed us to fast-track the co-development of this wearable ECG garment. It also enabled us to execute a co-marketing strategy that promises to open-up new markets, and catalyze new sales and revenues. In support of these goals, we recently attended Medica 2018 in Germany to promote our solution to prospective customers in Europe. Our smart EGC monitoring shirt offers a superior alternative to existing ECG recording products that typically feature patches, straps, electrodes and cables. It is also ideally suited for athletes who routinely monitor their cardiac activity. Our technology will improve quality of life of many users, and most importantly, help save more lives.

Israel Schreiber, CEO, HealthWatch

Adapting Defence Technology for Smart Grids

Canada-Israel Collaborators Revolutionizing Energy Management

Canadian Company: EllisDon

Israeli Company: RAFAEL Advanced Defence Systems

Sector: Energy


EllisDon, a world-leading construction services company with more than 60 years of experience; and RAFAEL Advanced Defence Systems, a world leader defense command and control, computing and communications system are combining their expertise to revolutionize energy management.

Valued at $14 million, this ground-breaking Canada-Israel R&D project is adapting technologies developed for civilian defense applications and develop a next-generation smart grid management system that improves energy efficiency and conservation, reduces waste, and lowers costs for utilities, operators and customers. CIIRDF awarded $1 million to this Canada-Israel team through the CIEST Fund. The project also engages municipal partners, Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc. (GMHI), industry partners, and academic collaborators at the University of Guelph, the University of Waterloo and Sheridan College. Once developed, the companies aim to pilot and commercialize the new product, and capitalize on the global smart grid market, which is expected to exceed $60 billion by 2020.


With support from CIIRDF, EllisDon will apply RAFAEL’s defense technology expertise to its energy assets, and develop a new system that revolutionizes the management of district energy and microgrid systems. The emerging system will use command and control, and situational awareness capabilities developed for the defence sector to monitor and manage thermal and electrical energy delivery to a region. It will gather accurate, real time information from the grid; facilitate access to renewable fuel sources such as solar power and biofuel; and provide a central point of smart grid control. This will enable smart grid operators and service providers to take action that lowers operational expenses while reducing carbon emissions and waste. There are no competing products with such capabilities on the market today, creating a wealth of opportunity for the collaborators.

The project will play a key role in the Community Energy Initiative established by Guelph in 2007. As the population of Guelph is expected to catapult by 45 percent by 2031, the delivery of energy will be accomplished by an electrical and thermal distribution infrastructure. To address this challenge, Guelph aims to create the first North American city-wide district energy system to meet the energy demands of its rapidly growing population without expanding its borders. This CIEST Fund project will enable the development of an energy management system that supplies the city with fifty percent of the required energy demand by 2031, and provide economic benefit to the region. To achieve this objective and develop a robust commercial product, EllisDon will bring its wealth of construction and management services experience together with RAFAEL’s real time intelligence expertise and technology with CIIRDF Support.


When employed, the system will help to reduce Ontario’s carbon footprint, and directly support Canada’s goal to reduce national greenhouse emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. For the energy consumer in Ontario, this innovation is intended to provide efficiencies in the delivery of district energy and community energy projects with focus on lower energy delivery costs and improved environmental protection. Moreover, the firms expect to create 50 new jobs with ongoing development and consulting services in Israel and Canada by 2018. 

“This is a first critical step towards the development of a long-term relationship between RAFAEL and EllisDon. Together, we will build new products, technologies and systems that directly impact our local community, and improve the lives of citizens for generations to come.


Moreover, these innovations will enrich the energy management marketplace, and help to redefine the role of the smart grid. This project creates a unique opportunity for EllisDon and RAFAEL to demonstrate leadership on global energy solutions.”

Robert Barnes, Director of Managed Services

“RAFAEL is delighted to contribute to this CIEST Fund project, and apply decades of defence and system of systems development and knowhow to address energy challenges. This initiative will expand our market reach, creating new commercial opportunities for our firm. Today, more than 850 district energy systems are deployed across North America alone, and the capacity of combined heat and power is expected to grow by 40 gigawatts by 2020 according to GlobalData. Our collaboration with EllisDon will enable us to capitalize on this and other global smart grid markets, while creating a more sustainable approach to energy management.”

Dr. Roni Potasman, Executive Vice President, Research and Development of RAFAEL

Developing New Water Solutions for the Oil Sands Industry

Enabling More Responsible and Efficient Processing of Crude Oil

Canadian Company: Clean Harbors Energy & Industrial Services Corp.

Israeli Company: IDE Technologies

Sector: Energy and Environment


Today, the water treatment process employed to extract crude oil and bitumen from oil sands is costly and challenging. Mechanical Vapor Compression (MVC) Evaporators are a critical part of this practice. Comprised of a complex network of pipes that process heavy oil and sludge, these systems demand frequent chemical cleaning given scaling and the accumulation of unwanted materials. They also demand hundreds of thousands of gallons of water that cannot be recycled and reused. Moreover, processing plants must be shut down for days to cleanse the evaporator, impeding oil production. A Canada-Israel R&D team aims to address these challenges, and develop a more efficient and sustainable water treatment and cleansing process for oil sands producers.


Leveraging funding from the Canada-Israel Energy Science and Technology (CIEST) Fund managed by CIIRDF, this project brings together:

  • Clean Harbors Energy & Industrial Services Corp., the Canadian subsidiary of Clean Harbors, North America’s leading provider of environmental, energy and industrial services; and
  • IDE Technologies, an Israeli pioneer and world leader in water technologies.

This Canada-Israel R&D project aims to improve the operation, service and maintenance capabilities of MVC evaporators by integrating IDE’s unique horizontal evaporator design with Clean Harbors’ chemical expertise. The solution minimizes the evaporator downtime; improves the safety and reliability of the water treatment process; and ultimately boosts the productivity and profitability of crude oil processors. The evaporator includes a removable tube bundle that is easily accessed and cleaned by operators. Clean Harbors developed customized chemical blends and cleaning procedures to optimize the maintenance of the system.

This year, the companies conducted a bench-scale pilot program at an Alberta Innovates Technology Futures facility in Edmonton, achieving excellent efficiency at this early stage of development. Although it typically requires one week to cleanse an evaporator, the CIIRDF-supported technology achieved this objective within 24 hours. It also eliminated waste, and reduced water consumption by 97 percent, enabling recycled water to be used for steam generation. The pilot served as an excellent demonstration for prospective clients. Clean Harbors and IDE are now planning an industry-field demonstration of a semi-commercial evaporator system in Alberta’s oil sands.


“The oil sands industry represents a critical global market for IDE. This sector faces unique water and environmental challenges that are complex and costly to address. The time to market for water management solutions for the oil sands can exceed five years. It is a high risk and expensive venture to undertake independently. This CIIRDF project provides the opportunity to reduce our R&D risk by partnering with a Canadian chemistry leader, and working shoulder-

to-shoulder on a new water solution. CIIRDF’s project management structure and financing is accelerating our product development, time to market and revenue. It is also catalyzing our growth as an internationally-recognized water partner for the oil sands industry.”

Gilad Cohen, Director, Industrial Water Business Unit, IDE Technologies

“Clean Harbors possesses in-house chemistry expertise, enabling us to develop new chemical compounds for different applications. Working with the specifications provided by IDE and oil sands producers, we are developing novel chemical compounds for MVC evaporator cleansing. This CIIRDF project will enable us to add value to IDE systems and their multinational client base, increasing our global exposure and our global sales. Moreover, we can customize the chemistry emerging from this project, and apply it to a host of other challenges. This will enable the development of new products that expand our market reach into different sectors, and generate new revenue streams for our firm.”

Chris Porter, Senior Vice President, Industrial Services for Clean Harbors (Canada)

Developing Hardier, Disease-Resistant Strains of Canola to Meet Growing Global Demand

Collaborating Firms Develop Valuable IP for the Production of New Canola Seed Lines

Canadian Company: Crop Production Services (CPS)

Israeli Company: Evogene

Sector: Agriculture; Life Sciences


Canola, a vegetable oil made from rapeseed, has the potential to help us address global sustainability challenges by producing healthier food stuffs; contributing to climate change solutions; and creating alternative energy sources. Developed by Canadian plant scientists, canola is low in saturated fats, generating extensive use as a primary food oil. While global demand for canola is high, its growth is limited by short growing seasons and environmental challenges.

Canada and Israel bring unique strengths to bear in this industry. Canada is the largest canola producer in the world. This crop contributed $19.3 billion to the Canadian economy in 2013. Israel is a global leader in multidisciplinary innovation and the development of agricultural technologies. This includes noteworthy breakthroughs in the efficient use of water, and the development of marginal lands for agriculture.

Global demand for canola production is expected to jump 40 percent by 2025. This prompted a Canada-Israel R&D to pool their expertise and address key challenges that inhibit the growth of this crop.


This R&D project brought together:

  • Crop Production Services (CPS), a leading Canadian supplier of quality products and services that help customers grow the best crops possible;
  • Evogene, an Israeli plant genomics company that uses proprietary technology to enhance seed traits underlying crop productivity.

CPS and Evogene aimed to develop hardier strains of canola that are capable of growing in harsh environmental conditions to enable increased production of this multi-purpose crop. The companies sought to produce new canola seed lines with improved resistance to abiotic stresses such as drought, heat and salinity. CPS integrated genes identified by Evogene into its canola germplasm, living tissue from which new plants can be grown. The companies then tested many different combinations to determine those with the greatest potential to increase canola yield and abiotic stress tolerance.


Bringing new crops to market is a long, risky and regulation-heavy process. Although the team did not commercialize a new variation of canola, this collaboration yielded important outcomes for both firms. CPS improved its knowledge of new seed line production, while Evogene gained valuable experience in the conduct of transgenic field trials, akin to clinical trials for new foods.

“This CIIRDF R&D project helped CPS to achieve an important breakthrough: a two-fold increase in efficiency within our canola breeding program. We achieved significant breeding process efficiencies that allowed us to double the capacity of our doubled-haploid inbred canola pipeline. Within our industry, this is considered valuable intellectual property. The resulting efficiency gains will enable CPS to develop new high performance canola hybrids more rapidly, accelerating our breeding process. This is essential to help CPS generate new revenue streams, and capture a greater share of the global canola market. This project also provided our team with unique training opportunities in the lab and the field, in addition to cultivating new expertise within our firm. This helps us to successfully create high performing hybrids for Canada and nations around the world.”

Bruce Harrison, Director, Research and New Business Development, CPS

“The CIIRDF project proved invaluable for Evogene even though commercialization of new hybrid canola seed did not occur as originally proposed. Working closely with CPS, we gained extensive experience in the design and conduct of field trials. We are now applying this knowledge to enhance our future commercialization plans, and strengthen our business more broadly. This know-how represents a critical element of Evogene’s intellectual property, and on-going success.”

Ofer Haviv, President and CEO, Evogene

Capitalizing on a Billion Dollar Market

CIIRDF Helps to Catalyze Acquisition of Recon Instruments and Solidify Vancouver as a Tech Hotspot

Canadian Company: Recon Instruments

Israeli Company: Lifebeam

Sector: Wearable Technology


With the arrival of wearable technology in the world of sports, athletes are adding intelligent tools like smart eyewear, watches, and shoes to their training arsenal to improve their performance. These connected accessories feature combinations of sensors, electronics, computing power, and wireless technology. Dubbed ‘wearables’, these products gather, process, and share a host of information with the user—including heart rate, power output, speed, and cadence. Instant access to this data allows users to make educated decisions about their physical activity. The global wearable technology market is projected to grow to more than $6 billion by 20162. This lucrative opportunity prompted a Canadian-Israeli R&D team to pursue the development of novel wearable technology for athletes.


Initiated in 2013, this bilateral R&D project brought together:

  • Lifebeam, an Israeli firm that develops and manufactures the world’s most advanced wearable physiological sensors for measuring human performance; and
  • Recon Instruments, a Canadian world leader in smart eyewear technology for sports and high-intensity environments.

This Canadian-Israeli R&D team integrated Lifebeam sensors into early prototypes of Recon’s Jet smart eyewear for athletes, demonstrating that heart rate could be measured directly from the user’s temple during intense physical activity. The ability to see heart rate data on the Recon Jet display allowed users to train more safely and optimize their performance. While heart rate data can be tracked using dedicated chest- or wrist-mounted sensors, the ability to measure this data directly from the head of a user offers many advantages. This approach eliminates the need to wear a separate measurement device, reduces the latency of the displayed data (by removing the need for a wireless connection between the sensor and the smart eyewear), and offers athletes a single, integrated device that truly does it all.


Following the completion of an initial prototype in 2014, Recon and Lifebeam confirmed the ability of the head-worn sensor to record highly accurate heart rate data. As the prototype trial concluded, Recon was already committed to its first hardware design for Jet. This design shipped in early 2015 and did not include Lifebeam sensors. However, the trial validated Lifebeam’s consumer-oriented sensor technology and expedited the expansion of Lifebeam’s consumer product portfolio, including head-mounted heart rate sensing integrated in cycling helmets, hats, and visors. This collaborative R&D demonstrated the feasibility of integrating head-mounted heart rate sensors into future smart eyewear products.

In June 2015, Intel Corporation announced the acquisition of Recon Instruments, with the intention of jointly expanding the market for head-mounted display products and technologies. Recon products continue to be sold under the Recon brand name, and the team will remain in Vancouver, BC.

“This CIIRDF project enabled us to validate our world-class sensor technology in partnership with the leader in smart eyewear for sports. This creates an invaluable opportunity to establish our brand with early adopters of wearable technology among athletes, and generate new revenue streams. Building on the outcomes of this collaboration, we expect to grow our team by 20 percent over the next two years, and pursue additional applications for our biotechnology.”

Omri Yoffe, CEO, Lifebeam

“Recon Instruments was the first company in the world to develop smart eyewear tailored to the needs of the athlete, and we are constantly pushing the boundaries to better fit the active lifestyles of our customers. Data-driven athletes view heart rate monitors as a necessary evil. The data is immensely helpful in optimizing their training, but the chest strap itself is annoying. When Lifebeam suggested a CIIRDF-facilitated project to address this customer pain point, we jumped on it. With CIIRDF’s non-dilutive funding and project management support, we developed a working prototype and demonstrated the ability to acquire accurate heart rate measurements from the user’s head. CIIRDF’s vote of confidence also helped Recon to secure additional investment during the critical development period of Recon Jet, the product that convinced Intel to initiate its acquisition of Recon. As an Intel company, we will remain in Vancouver, BC and gain access to the invaluable resources, technology, and expertise of the world’s most successful semiconductor company. This will significantly accelerate our development efforts, expand our reach into new sports and activities, and enable new enterprise and public sector uses. It also allows us to further establish Vancouver as a Canadian technology hotspot. CIIRDF played a significant role in helping us achieve this success, and the associated impact on our local economy.”

Rudi Airisto, Head of Business Development and App Ecoystem Recon Instruments