Good News From Israel No. 11 : Business, Science, Technology and More
In the 15th Dec 2013 edition of Israel’s good news:
OECD praises Israel’s economic growth. “Israel’s output growth remains relatively strong, unemployment is at historically low levels, its high-tech sector continues to attract international admiration, and new off-shore gas fields have come on stream,” The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said in the executive summary of its 2013 Israel Economic Survey.
Israeli deficit shrinks further. The cumulative deficit for the last 12 months dropped sharply in November and totaled NIS 31.7 billion, 3% of GDP – much lower than the original target of 4.65% of GDP.
The Chinese market. (Thanks to Uri) Israeli firms are finding billions of new middle-class customers in the far-east superpower for Israel’s advanced medical and hi-tech products. Weekly flights between Tel Aviv and Beijing have just been increased from three to fourteen to cater for the increased business demand.
First European showroom for Israeli-Chinese cars. Car manufacturer Qoros Auto Co. Ltd., a joint venture controlled by Israel Corporation and China’s Chery Automobile Co. Ltd. has officially opened its first showroom in Europe in the Slovakian capital Bratislava. The price of the Qoros 1.6 turbo will be 20,960 Euros.
Flying to Israel will be “easy-er” (and cheaper). UK low-cost airline easyJet is introducing three new routes to and from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport. They are London Gatwick (three flights a week starting April), Milan Malpensa (four times a week starting March) and Berlin (3 times a week starting February).
UK tourists love Israel. A survey of easyJet passengers from the UK showed that 65 percent of first-time tourists had improved views of the Jewish State following their trip. 78 percent would visit again and 82 percent would recommend it to others as a holiday destination.
Israel’s Pillcam is swallowed up. Irish medical devices company Covidien has bought Israel’s Given Imaging, manufacturer of the unique digestible Pillcam colon diagnosis camera, for a reported $860 million.
Israel’s Frutarom is flavor of the month. One of Israel’s biggest companies, Frutarom has just purchased US-based flavor manufacturer Hagelin & Co for $52.4 million. It follows Frutarom’s recent acquisitions of Russia’s Protein Technologies Ingredients for $50.3 million and Guatemala’s Aroma SA for $12.5 million.
Technion’s revolutionary program for Haredim. Rabbi Dov Lipman outlines the Israel Technion’s goal to help ultra-orthodox citizens reach the highest Talmudic, academic and professional standards.
Scholarships for evacuees. Yedidut Toronto is granting University scholarships to 202 students formerly evacuated from Gush Katif as part of Israel’s disengagement from Gaza. The scholarships will be distributed by the employment organization JobKatif, which has already found work for 2,500 ex-Gush Katif residents.
Arabs rush for Technion course. Thousands of Arab students, including 600 Egyptians, have applied for Israel Technion’s online course in nanotechnology and micro sensors. Technion Professor Hossam Haick, who invented Israel’s NaNose cancer detection device, offers the course beginning in March in Arabic and English.
Better English for Israeli kids. Israeli and UK education ministers signed an agreement promoting English studies in Israel. A national plan developed by the British Council, includes joint seminars and on-line tools to help improve the professionalism and English language skills of hundreds of Israeli teachers.
G8 taskforces take up Israeli social initiative. The organization Social Finance Israel presented an innovative blueprint for preventing type-2 diabetes to the G8 Taskforce on Social Impact Investment. Social Impact Bonds invest in companies tackling social or medical issues and governments pay dividends based on results.
Two UK TV channels to air Israeli series. Israel’s original hit series “Hostages” will be broadcast on BBC Four in Hebrew with English sub-titles. It is the first time that the BBC has shown an Israeli series. Meanwhile, Channel Four will show the US remake in which the family of a woman surgeon is taken hostage in order to coerce her into killing the US President.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Israel, Jordan & PA sign agreement. Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority have agreed to build a pipeline from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea. The initiative will produce millions of cubic meters of drinking water for the region, hydroelectric power and replenish the critically dwindling Dead Sea.
Jordan chooses Israeli as VP of science project. The Jordan-based SESAME scientific research project has chosen an Israeli as vice president. Professor Eliezer Rabinovici of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University is the new Vice President of the Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East.
Airport security – El Al is the best. UK Daily Mail’s travel editor praised the Israeli airline for ensuring safety. “Maybe it’s time to ditch the security scanner and actually talk to people at airports…it works for El Al”
Israeli aerosol wins International green-tech award. Israeli start-up GreenSpense represented Israel in the International Cleantech Open Ideas Competition in San Francisco, the “Oscar” of clean-technology awards. Its no-gas eco-friendly aerosol can won 1st place in the Chemistry & Advanced Materials category.
Israel is a world leader in cyber security. This article describes why Israel is to host January’s Cybertech 2014 International Exhibition and Conference.
Israel is the first and only non-Euro member of CERN. The prestigious CERN European nuclear physics Council in Geneva unanimously accepted Israel as its 21st full member state. The organization is the largest center for the study of nuclear particles and operates the longest particle accelerator in the world.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Accurate test for cancer gene. Thanks to scientists at Hadassah Medical Center, a simple blood test will now detect the presence of harmful BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in otherwise healthy women. Gene expression profiling is far quicker, cheaper and more accurate than the previous method of full gene sequencing.
Slowing down to speed up DNA sequencing. Technion scientists have made a breakthrough that will improve the accuracy and speed of calculating an individual’s genome. A focused low-power green laser slows down the flow of DNA nanopores to enable sensors to get a higher-resolution analysis of the proteins in the DNA.
Seeing is believing. I featured the “talking glasses” from Israel’s OrCam in a previous newsletter, but here is a new video showing the power of the unique Israeli device for the visually impaired.
Israeli experts at G8 Dementia Summit. Israel has participated in an international summit on dementia in London, England, bringing its know-how to bear on a disease that is set to treble globally by 2050.
Digital dentistry has wide-open benefits. Thanks to the Israeli-developed Objet30 OrthoDesk 3D printer, small dental labs can now produce stone models, orthodontic appliances, delivery and positioning trays, retainers and surgical guides, which were previously only accessible by large labs.
Crossing Boundaries Through Medicine. The “Heart for Peace” Foundation and Israel’s Civil Administration for the Territories organized a party at the Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital, for Palestinian Arab and Israeli children who underwent cardiac surgery and catheterization.
Uriel scores a touchdown. 11-year-old Uriel Wang from Jerusalem has had two bone marrow transplants to treat his leukemia. Thanks to the Jerusalem Big Blue Lions football team, Uriel achieved his dream of playing for the team and scored a dramatic touchdown, with a little help from both sides.
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