SIGNAL Note 22

Israel’s BIG Data Technology for the Belt & Road

Israel’s ‘Big Data’ startup scene can provide practical solutions to China’s data analysis needs as it crosses China and goes outward on the Belt & Road towards Central Asia and the Middle East. The Big Data technology now being developed in Israel can contribute to decreasing investment risk by providing a more comprehensive understanding of the elements which impact global markets, primarily in the domains of shipping/tracking and infrastructural support systems. The synergy of big data cutting edge technology from Israel and China’s growing maritime and land transport will surely bring win-win cooperation while strengthening Sino-Israeli ties.

‘Big Data’ is the term coined to define the utilization of an increasingly large digital footprint left by individuals and transactions to understand a causation of market shifts. Using Big Data can help predict connections between inputs and outcomes in economic, technological or agricultural mediums. The possibilities for Big Data analytics have only recently become a reality through mega processors and highly advanced computer systems. Big Data analysis offers the possibility of mitigating many of the complex issues arising in China’s broader BRI strategy, from irrigation solutions to security management to an array of approaches in dealing with long-standing transport interconnectivity issues.

In this Note, we will examine how the new technology can break down the data sets of the three main components of the BRI, product, infrastructure and financial mechanisms. By using cutting edge Big Data solutions, China will have the ability to analyze and decipher the data elements that can lead to pragmatic solutions for complicated multinational cross-border issues.

Big Data Applications in the Belt & Road

Due to its array of diverse programs, ranging from infrastructure construction in Central Asia to logistics and shipping support in the eastern Mediterranean, the BRI will generate enormous data inputs. The accumulation of data points on such a massive scale facilitates skilled analyses that reveal a wealth of valuable information from the haze. To concisely evaluate how Big Data can significantly impact projects in the BRI, we will focus on three core sectors. These include Big Data applications in Infrastructure, Agriculture, and Shipping management systems.

If China intends to successfully build the economic and peer-to-peer bonds needed for the BRI to reach its potential, it must form partnerships with industry-leading Big Data Startups. Large-scale data analytics operations could streamline the management components of many projects within the BRI, particularly within the Eurasian economic corridor and other areas of significant size. In sparse population centers, the use of remote data analysis could help increase transportation efficiency, without needing to import technicians to remote project locales. Through the analysis of remotely accessed agricultural sensors, processors and producers can, in real-time, adjust environmental conditions and market prices based on the development of vegetables in the ground. By connecting the agricultural product, its transportation hub and the shipment of the item, Big Data provides an interface in which all these systems can be analyzed and reviewed together.

Sifting through the overwhelming volume of data accumulated in every digital movement or interaction of a product transporting through a given area can be exhausting. However, by using a specialized algorithm or systems approach the massive amounts of information become more manageable. Israeli Big Data startups that implement advanced technology components can complement the expansion and integration of the BRI within Asia and other areas of strategic importance.

Israel’s Big Data Technology

As Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu said during his March 20-23 visit to Beijing, “everything is High Tech” and much of the most advanced technologies can be found in Israel’s Silicon Wadi. This heart and soul of Tel Aviv’s bustling high-tech engine could be the ideal place for potential Chinese partners to find Big Data analytics solutions. To illustrate the wealth of innovative Big Data ideas emanating from the Jewish State, we will highlight a few Israeli-based startups which are shaping the field of Big Data globally.

ATP Labs

ATP Labs creates hardware and software platforms designed to make data-driven farming simple and cost-effective. ATP’s Calvin IoT Module provides a precision agriculture interface which can integrate with numerous hardware devices for sensing and controlling crops through data-driven algorithms. ATP Labs presents a market-ready system which could significantly increase agricultural yields. By developing a process to manage and refine the array of agricultural data accessible to farmers today, ATP could be a valuable tool for Chinese partners aiming to increase agricultural production at a low-price point.

ATP Labs core technology is “the Calvin IoT Module’s cloud-based GrowOS platform. “[Calvin] integrates with multiple analog and digital sensors to control both irrigation and illumination. It also collects farming data and actions from a variety of data sources and runs advanced modeling techniques across different farms, seasons, and geographies, providing farmers with valuable, actionable insights.”
As China increasingly relies on a diverse landscape of agricultural zones to meet its domestic and international demand on production, the Big Data driven solutions of ATP Labs and others could provide an essential tool to understanding and sustainably increasing yield. In the context of the BRI, agriculturally directed Big Data solutions could increase agricultural efficiency across the core economic zones of the modern-day Silk Road. This would provide international markets new capital to increase economic prosperity and policy connectivity.

Taranis

Taranis provides a new method of processing Big Data for agricultural applications. To build a comprehensive image of growing conditions, including weather, irrigation, and pest infestation status, Taranis has developed an “advanced forecasting” process. “[Tyranis] proprietary, hyper-local weather model and algorithms analyze data aggregated from sources such as satellite images, sensors, and irrigation, helping farmers increase their yields and cut costs.”

Through extensive R&D, the Taranis system “allows agronomists [the ability] to plan their entire season’s tasks; it optimizes them using algorithms, which minimize costs and maximize profits.” Practically speaking, the industry-leading advancements of Taranis in agricultural Big Data analytics could dramatically reshape agricultural production across the globe. For China, as it aims to meet rising domestic demand for food production, the innovative algorithms of Taranis could be used to increase yield and build important international industry connections. As is often the case, complicated problems demand creative solutions. For the BRI and China’s domestic agricultural quotas, the implementation of Israeli Agricultural technologies (driven by Big Data) could help enhance the use of semi-arid terrain and make the deserts bloom.

Windward, Maritime Data and Analytics

Understanding the ever-expanding digital imprint left by the transportation of goods and services has already revolutionized agricultural production. The field of maritime data tracking could have similar game-changing results as directed by Big Data analytics. In the world of transportation, the precise understanding of a product location and condition can be the difference between market stability and collapse. Consequently, the impact of Big Data in transportation systems is already changing how items traverse the globe. For ‘China’s Dream’ of an interconnected system of transportation infrastructure across Asia and Europe, the need to manage this dizzying quantity of products is absolute.

Leading the Israeli Big Data community in providing comprehensive maritime data and analytics is Windward Maritime Solutions. “Security agencies worldwide use Windward’s system to combat maritime challenges ranging from smuggling to sovereignty issues. Fishing authorities use the data to combat illegal fishing. Commercial players access the platform to understand their maritime stakes.” In essence, the proprietary technologies and algorithms created by Windward can enable viable partners a clearer picture of the movement of goods across the globe.

The BRI, with its maritime shipping network, provides a significant opportunity for Chinese partners to invest in innovative solutions to 21st-century shipping problems. With the use of Windwards maritime data analytics, Chinese investors could gain a comprehensive image of the movement of goods, mitigating risk while increasing logistical systems synergy.

ThetaRay

Completing the set of Israeli-based Big Data solutions to the BRI, ThetaRay represents Israel’s inroad into digital infrastructure security. Equally as important as tacking and agricultural inputs to Big Data technologies, the infrastructural aspect of Big Data is game changing. Shaping the Israeli Startup scene, ThetaRay provides “[a] big data analytics platform and solutions for advanced cyber security, operational efficiency, and risk detection, protecting financial services sectors and critical infrastructure against unknown threats. ThetaRay’s core technology is based on state-of-the-art algorithms that power its proprietary hyper-dimensional, multidomain big data analytics platform. Organizations whose operations rely on highly heterogeneous and complex environments leverage ThetaRay’s unmatched detection and low false positive rates.”

The BRI has forced China to create a modern, digital interface which protects and analyzes large-scale infrastructure investment throughout Asia and the world. In formulating a system which provides real-time analytical assessments as well as comprehensive security solutions, Chinese investors are perpetually seeking new methods to stabilize important assets. The technology and algorithms developed by Israeli industry leaders, such as ThetaRay, could fill the gap between Chinese aspirations and pragmatic solutions applicable in the market today. If Chinese policymakers bring these innovative approaches to existing infrastructure projects, cost and risk will surely decrease, while the implantation of industry leading standards will reverberate throughout the BRI.
How is this Relevant to China?

China’s significant investment across the BRI has promoted a leap towards innovative solutions to wide stretching problems. In tackling a complicated mix of logistical, structural and environmental factors, the Middle Kingdom should look to form partnerships with industry leaders based in the Start-up nation. This is especially true when considering these factors often impact the production and construction of projects across the BRI. With a vast and vibrant high-tech community, Israel offers Chinese partners the chance to build creative, data-driven solutions to the BRI. In utilizing Israeli Big Data R&D, Chinese partners can decrease investment cost, while promoting broad digital stability to existing projects. With the catalyst of broad global development, Israeli-based Big Data analytics could help China increase its understanding of risk while generating new approaches to management systems.

How is this impactful to Sino-Israel Relations?

As the bastion of international innovation culture, Israel’s methods and creative solutions to global problems have become legendary. From drip irrigation to the Iron Dome, Israel’s approach to life and death issues has defined its success. Consequently, improved Sino-Israel ties enable more and more Israeli innovation to reach China’s shores while enticing Chinese investment. The BRI, with its diverse economic investments, represents an important avenue for promoting win-win cooperation. With Israeli Big Data high-tech solutions partnering with larger scale Chinese infrastructure investment, the possibility of valuable contributions from both parties are limitless.

Published: 02-04-2017