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BGU and Google Israel Launch App Competition

BGU and Google Israel Launch App Competition

June 20, 2018

Leadership, Awards & Events, Robotics & High-Tech

Ben-Gurion University and Google Israel joined together to launch the “Students Innovating in the Public Sector 4.0” competition with the goal of improving Israeli governmental services online. BGU students presented their projects to a panel of judges. Students who made it to the finals were awarded a cash prize that ranged between NIS 1,000 ($276) to NIS 5,000 ($1,380).

Appotropus won the event, held on Wednesday, June 13, at the Israel Ministry of Justice. Appotropus provides a one-stop platform for legal guardians to manage paperwork and day-to-day care of their dependents. It also offers an information database about rights and responsibilities.

Top row left to right, five of the seven judges: Ami Palmor, Shimon Shmueli, Dana Gavish, Yogev Shamani, Dror Margalit. Bottom row, Team Appotropus: Amit Turner, Roi Hershkovitz, Rotem Baruch, Shir Milstein

It was designed in conjunction with the Office of the Administrator General and Official Receiver in the Ministry of Justice and in collaboration with the staff of the Fighting for Long-Term Care Patients organization.

Another innovative BGU student team developed Air-Pal, a personal security app that enables local authorities to respond quicker to emergencies. Users who feel threatened (walking down a dark street alone, for example) will be able to summon a drone that will transmit live video images to a person of their choosing or to public safety entities.

The judging committee was comprised of Justice Ministry Director-General Ami Palmor, Esq.; Yogev Shamani, head of the Accessible Government Initiative in the Government ICT Authority; BGU Vice President and Director-General David Bareket; Eldad Kanety, deputy director-general for strategy and policy in the Justice Ministry; Keren Katzir Shtiebel, Government ICT Authority;  Dana Gavish-Fridman, vice president for entrepreneurship, BGN Technologies, the BGU technology-transfer company; and Dror Margalit, Digital Israel.

“The Justice Ministry is proud of this collaboration, which promotes innovation in our areas of focus,” says Palmor. “The connection with Google and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is part of a variety of activities that I am promoting to improve customer service and to develop skills and services in unconventional ways, while promoting an organizational culture that encourages creativity and innovation.”

“Entrepreneurship is a central part of the academic enterprise in the Negev,” says Bareket. “We believe that this initiative with Google will carry on for many years and will boost Israel’s economy and society.”