Archive for the ‘innovation’ Category

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Israel is the Silicon Valley of the Mediterranean

March 16, 2008

In other words: Israel’s Technology Creates an Investment Goliath

Yes, ladies and gents, as many of us here in Israel know (and few of us outside of it know), Israel is a powerhouse when it comes to technology and medicine. It is third only to the US and Canada in terms of number of companies listed on Nasdaq (75!!!), well ahead of England, China, and Germany.

For those of you who don’t know (again, probably most of you), Israelis have invented much of the technology used today such as instant messaging (ICQ), firewall security software, Intel wireless computer chips, numerous medicines, and miniature video camera capsules to examine internal organs. Other Israeli inventions: the cell phone (invented by Motorola, with it’s largest R&D center being in Israel), most of the Windows NT operating system, voice mail technology, and VOIP technology.

More Israeli patents are registered in the US than from Russia, India, and China combined, despite the enormous population disadvantage (about 7 million in Israel vs. 2.5 billion combined in the other 3).

Click here to read about Israel’s robust economy in this great Fox Business article.

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Microsoft Acquires Israeli Start-Up YaData

February 28, 2008

 YaData provides advanced tools for the discovery of unique customer segments. Its technology will enable Microsoft to provide its advertisers with richer targeting capabilities so they can connect with their audience more efficiently and in more engaging ways, while providing more relevant and focused ads to its customers.

The YaData team will join the Microsoft’s R&D center in Herzelia.

It’s always wonderful to hear about another successful exit for an Israeli company. Way to go!

You can read the entire press release here.

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Israel helps Iraqi children and other cool snippets of info

May 21, 2007

I try every week to give you some positive info about Israel as well – sports achievements (no one getting hurt at a soccer game sounds like a win to me!), international relations, cooperations, medical breakthroughs, etc. Many of these come from the Good News newsletter which you can read in its entirety here. So let’s get to it:

There’s a program at Schneider Children’s Hospital in Petach Tikva that performs life-saving heart surgery on children from all over the world, all expenses paid. And now five children from Iraq are here in Israel with various life-threatening problems and they will be attended to at the Rambam Hospital in Haifa. The country has done all it can to get them into surgery as soon as they can. This isn’t the first time Israel has treated Iraqis. Back in 2005, an Iraqi man came to Israel to get a birth defect in his heart fixed.

In medical news, Dr Shulamit Levenberg of the Technion in Haifa has been chosen by “Scientific American” as one of the worlds fifty leading scientists. Basicall she has produced muscle tissue in the laboratory that is not rejected when implanted in the body. This is an enormous step forward in effectively replacing damaged or injured tissue.

I will continue to update about other cool stuff as it happens when I have more info to give. Have a wonderful week!

Update: Mark Cohen of Good News Israel updates me that the oeprations took place at Rambam hospital in Haifa, and not at Schneider where the program takes place. Thanks!

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Since I’ve been gone

May 15, 2007

I’ve been offline for quite a few months, so I will only give an update from the past few weeks:

  • In a survey published recent an Switzerland, Israel was first in terms of investment in research and development out of the 55 most developed countries. It was also second in raising capital and second in development of IT.
  • New York Magazine named Tel Aviv as one of the four recommended cities for spending a brief holiday. They even suggested Betty Ford, the restaurant where my co-workers and I do lunch often (it’s not a rehab!)
  • Some science stuff:
    • Israeli astronomer Prof. Zvi Mazeh and his team have discovered a new planet that they named HAT-P-2b. This is especially great since Pluto isn’t a planet anymore. 🙂
    • The robotics class at Ostrovsky High School in Ra’anana won the 14th annual World Robotics Championships for the second year in a row.
  • Some sports stuff:
    • The Israeli youth team for pairs bowling won the Gold in the European Bowling Youth Championships, gold in the boys’ masters final, bronze in the boys’ team even, and silver in the all events competition.
    • The girls won a silver medal in the girls’ trio and one of the participants, Roni Aharonowitz, was the first female ever to bowl a perfect 300 game in the history of the competition.
    • Israel’s delegation to the World Swimming Championships for Disabled Youth brought home six gold medals and four silver medals.
    • Arik Ze’evi the Judoka won a bronze medal from the European Judo Championships. So did Gal Yekutial (different weight categories).
  • Some medical stuff:
    • Newsweek called Dr. Eyal Gur, head of microsurgery at Ichilov Hospital as one of the best microsurgeons in the world.
    • They also named Prof. Lior Gepstein from the Technion for developing heart tissue and pacemakers from stem cells.
    • And Dr. Shulamit Levenberg, also from the Technion, for creating muscle tissue that they body doesn’t reject.
    • AND Dr. Hossan Haick, also from the Technion, for inventing an electronic “nose” that can diagnose cancer.
  • And some good news to finish off with: The Jewish National Fund is working with the Palestinian Authoriy, Egypt, and Jordan to plawn 5 million olive trees along the common borders.

I’d like to mention that some of these items were taken from the Israel Good News Digest.

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Israeli Defence Forces Present: Anti-Missile Tables

October 26, 2006

This ain’t no joke, folks. Due to the enormous amount of missiles being launched at Israel, the IDF has decided to place concrete tables in classrooms across Ashkelon. In the event of a missile launch at Ashkelon, students would be able to hide under their tables.

Sderot, which has been hit significantly more times than Ashkelon, already has fortified classrooms in all their schools.

The problem with Ashkelon, however, is that there are too many schools in the city, therefore making them safe will take years.

Ahskelon schools all have shelters in them, however the ones in the south of the city are old and don’t have enough room for all the students.

The problem in the newer schools isn’t much better, seeing as the shelters are too far away for the children to reach them with the short (under a minute) warning system that is currently in place.

Click here for a full article about this from Ynet.

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A Possible Solution from Sydney Students?

October 24, 2006

I came across this, and while it seems like a cool idea (and temporary solution), I’m not sure it’s feasible and even worth development costs. It’s not like Israel stops everyone at the border crossings just for fun and to torture people. A suicide bomber can easily send the SMS saying that they want to come into Israel to visit their sick cousin, but still try to smuggle a bomb into the country. It’s a great way to tell you what the closest checkpoint is, but I’m sure that they already know (not the bombers, the people in general).

Then again, at least someone has some initiative in trying to make the situation better.

After reading about long queues at Palestinian-Israeli border crossings, and the frustrations and even deaths that can occur as people wait for medical care, a University of Sydney student decided to create mobile phone technology to solve the problem.

After entering your personal details, the reason for your visit and your time of travel into your phone Amal Abdo’s program tells you which checkpoint to go to. It will even give you a unique code to use when you get there.“The phone tracks your GPS location to know which checkpoint is closest to you,” says Abdo, who created the work as part of a final year design project set by new media lecturer Andy Dong.

Her design gives “Israelis the security they want, but at the same time minimises disadvantage to the Palestinians,” she says.

For the rest of the article, click here.