Two Israeli startups cut deals with Japanese firms this week. Israeli cleantech company H2Pro reached its agreement with Japanese Fortune Global 500 conglomerate Sumitomo Corporation to partner on a variety of green hydrogen initiatives in a deal valued at $250 million. And Kardome, an Israeli voice technology startup, brought in a $1 million investment from the Tokyo based Automotive Fund.
Founded in 2019, Kardome boasts that its patented Spatial Hearing technology simultaneously enhances speech signals from multiple speakers in real time, isolating the target speech with unsurpassed accuracy and enabling users to achieve high-quality results. The company says its audio experts hold “vast experience” in acoustics, signal processing, and machine learning, leverage advanced AI algorithms to develop a solution that “makes individual voices understandable for speech recognition engines and human listeners.”
“Voice user interface design technology has the immense potential to open a doorway to a new age in the way humans interact with machines,” says Kardome. “Today, voice-enabled devices make their way into every imaginable environment, from homes and offices to family cars, malls, and airports.”
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Headquartered in Caesarea, Israel, H2Pro was founded in 2019 and says the firm is accelerating the global transition to net zero carbon emissions by enabling affordable green hydrogen this decade. H2Pro’s E-TAC (Electrochemical – Thermally Activated Chemical) technology solves the key challenges of traditional electrolysis by time-separating hydrogen and oxygen generation. E-TAC reaches its unparalleled 95% efficiency (compared to 60-70% efficiency of alternative methods) by avoiding the inefficient electrochemical Oxygen Evolution Reaction, replacing it with a Thermally Activated Chemical (TAC) reaction that doesn’t consume power or heat. Additionally, as hydrogen and oxygen are generated at separate times, an expensive membrane is not required. Combined with low-cost, mass-produced electrodes, E-TAC systems benefit from a safe and easily scalable design at a greatly reduced cost.
In the initial phase of the agreement, Sumitomo Corporation and its partners will collaborate with H2Pro on operations for H2Pro’s technology pilot and demonstration, and will supply H2Pro with various manufacturing equipment through its extensive network. In turn, H2Pro will provide Sumitomo with data to support Sumitomo’s strategic planning for its pipeline of green hydrogen projects. By the second half of this decade, Sumitomo plans to incorporate H2Pro’s electrolyzer technology, both within and outside the Sumitomo Corporation Group, toward the production of several hundred tons of green hydrogen per day.
Talmon Marco, CEO of H2Pro said “As H2Pro scales from a breakthrough technology startup to a commercial-scale manufacturer, a partnership such as this with Sumitomo Corporation is invaluable.” He continued, “From pilot system deployment to the eventual integration of our commercial class system into their pipeline, we will benefit tremendously from Sumitomo’s operations expertise and diverse industrial experience. We are confident this partnership will help us bring E-TAC to the world and make affordable green hydrogen a reality this decade.”