One in every six people in the world is diagnosed with a significant disability that makes it fifteen times more difficult for him or her to access and afford transportation, according to data from EIT Urban Mobility, an innovation community sponsored by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, which is a body of the EU. EIT Urban Mobility is therefore promoting a project this year to make life easier for such people.
One initiative in this context is the Access accelerator program for urban mobility and access solutions led by two Israeli entities: 8200 Impact, set up the 8200 Alumni Association; and CityZone, Tel Aviv-Yafo’s Urban Tech Open Innovation Lab and Sandbox, founded by the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, Tel Aviv University, and Atidim Park Tel Aviv.
8200 Impact and CityZone have issued a call for proposals from startup companies interested in participating in the program. Proposals must be submitted by March 14. Seven startups from Israel and from EU countries and third countries associated with Horizon Europe will be selected, and the program will begin about two weeks later.
The seven startups will participate in workshops and weekly online sessions, alongside personalized mentoring from industry experts. At the end of the program, the startups will convene in Israel for an intense three-day session during EcoMotion week, May 22-24, 2023. This will include networking events and a demo-day, when the startups will pitch their solutions to investors and other stakeholders from the Israeli and global ecosystems. Startups with relevant solutions will also be candidates for a pilot scheme with the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality.
8200 Impact managing director Leehe Friedman said, "The fact that there are so many who are excluded from the public domain today, due to difficulties in moving around it independently, safely and comfortably, is detrimental to their quality of life, as well as their environment’s and all of us as a society. We are looking for technological solutions that will enable all to exercise this basic right of freedom of movement, including people with disabilities, whether their disability is visible or ‘transparent’.
"Even though this challenge has a direct and meaningful impact on the day-to-day lives of a huge community of people, it is still not getting the attention it should from the industry. The selection of this topic by EIT Urban Mobility for a startup acceleration program, is a wonderful opportunity for us to shed some light on startup companies operating in this challenging niche, and provide them, together with our partners at CityZone, with tools and opportunities that will take them to the next level."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 13, 2023.
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