Published On: Sun, Apr 6th, 2014

The Weekly Good News From Israel : Business, Science, Technology And More

In the 6th Apr 2014 edition of Israel’s good news:


Another A+ from S&P.  Standards & Poors has given Israel,  yet another top rating.  S&P expected average per capita income to grow to almost $42, 000 by 2017, up from $28, 000 in 2009.  Meanwhile, confidence in Israel’s stock market has resulted in the largest increase in investment into Israeli mutual funds since 2002.


The year in 2 minutes.  A new Israeli Government video heralds its achievements since coming to power.


Geothermal energy for Indonesia and New Zealand.  Israel’s Ormat Technologies will supply the energy converters for the $1.7 billion 330-megawatt Sarulla geothermal power plant in North Sumatra, Indonesia.  Also, New Zealand inaugurated its 13th and largest Ormat Power Plant – the 100MW Ngatamariki facility.


The ‘Red-Med’ rail link.  Israel, China and Europe are getting excited about the building of a $2 billion, 300-kilometer rail link connecting Eilat, on the Red Sea, with Ashdod on the Mediterranean.  Construction of the alternative to the Suez Canal will commence within 12 months and take five years to complete.


Now that’s what we call an exchange.  Daniel Abrahams is emigrating to Israel and taking his innovative currency exchange comparison website with him. can make significant savings for import-export Israeli businesses.


Mission-driven investing.  Stephen Schoenfeld is the Chief Investment Officer of BlueStar Global Investors, a firm he launched in 2010 with the explicit purpose of driving investors towards Israeli capital markets.  He markets Israel as a sound investment, with Israeli equities increasing by 324% since 1997.


PA increases imports from Israel.  The Palestinian Authority may be telling others to boycott Israeli products, but its imports from Israel in Jan 2014 grew at a rate of 17.2%, while imports from other countries were down 16.4% compared to January of 2013.  Merchants said Israeli goods are higher quality than from Arab countries.


IKEA opens another Israeli store.  Swedish retailer IKEA has opened its third Israeli store, to join those in Netanya and Rishon Lezion. The new 2, 700-square-meter facility is in Kiryat Ata, near Haifa.  IKEA expects to sell 25 million products to 5.4 million Israeli customers in 2014.


Israeli telecom reaches Far East.  Bezeq International is the first Israeli telecommunications company to establish a physical presence in the Far East as a result of its deployment of an undersea cable.  The company has established a point of presence in Hong Kong for customers seeking communications services with Israel.


California receives Israeli “water of life”.  Paul Miller writes that California is in dire economic straits, experiencing a drought of near-Biblical proportions. That is why it has turned to the People of the Book to help hydrate its economy.


Hong Kong likes Tel Aviv. (Thanks to Size Doesn’t Matter) Time Out Hong Kong classifies Tel Aviv as one of the most vibrant cities in the Middle East.


Tel Aviv – the world’s 6th most searched destination.  (Thanks to rates Tel Aviv the sixth most popular destination according to travelers using its site and those using Twitter.


AOL buys Israeli TV series.  AOL has bought the format for Israeli docu-series “Mechubarim” (Hebrew for “Connected”) for adapting and broadcasting in the US.  Five participants are given TV cameras to film their own lives for the audiences.  The format has already been sold to Finland, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Ukraine, Estonia and Ireland.  It is the first time AOL has bought a long format produced outside of the US.


Everyone will be watching Israel.  Israel will be the center of attention at the Cannes MIPTV event starting on April 7.  In its “Focus on Israel” series of lectures and screenings, the world’s top television industry executives will learn how such a tiny country has emerged as a silver screen powerhouse.


Israelis are happy.  86% of Israelis are satisfied with life in general and more than half of Israelis are happy with their financial situation.  40% also say they expect their situation to improve over the next few years.



Israeli system saves Chileans from tsunami.  No Chileans died in the tsunami caused by the recent 8.2-level earthquake, thanks to the automatic alerts sent by the geo-targeted notification system developed by Israel’s eVigilo. The system was installed after 400 Chileans died in an earthquake and tsunami in 2010.


Water technology to Mexico.  Israeli cleantech Desalitech moved to Boston last year in order to bring its advanced, cost-effective water solutions to Mexico and countries worldwide.  Desalitech uses Closed Circuit Desalination Reverse Osmosis technology to minimize waste generation and energy consumption.


An ecosystem of tech innovation in southern Israel.  Advanced Technologies Park in Beer-Sheva will eventually have 16 buildings on 23 acres adjacent to the main Ben Gurion University campus. Confirmed tenants include Deutsche Telekom, EMC-RSA, NESS, Oracle and incubators Elbit Incubit and CyberLabs.


Building a green future.  Tel Aviv University’s Porter School of Environmental Studies is a study building for green construction in Israel.  Set to open in May, its sustainable structure demonstrates Israel’s green technologies and serves as a living lab for green building practices.


Cool Technion technology.  Two student projects from the Control Robotics and Machine Learning Lab at Israel Technion’s faculty of Electrical Engineering. First, a tiny drone follows someone by tracking his face. Secondly, a Kinect device for the blind, that directs a blind person by telling him or her where to walk.


See it in your home before you buy.  (Thanks to Israel’s Cimagine can show you what products will look like in your home before you purchase them.  Cimagine lets you download photos from the web or an on-line catalog and place them on a real-time image of your room.


The first robot-cleaned solar park.  Every night, nearly 100 water-free, energy-independent robots from Israel’s Ecoppia clean the panels at the Ketura Sun solar energy farm in Israel’s Negev desert.  They prevent soiling of the panels, which previously reduced energy production by up to 35%.


Israeli mom invents the Upsee.  Israeli mother Debby Elnatan’s son, Rotem, has cerebral palsy. She would not accept that Rotem would never walk, so she invented the Firefly Upsee. The harness places the child on top of the shoes of an adult who wears specially designed sandals. The child “walks” as the grown-up moves.

Smartphone spellchecker for dyslexics.  Israel’s Ghotit has just released the Android version of its spellchecker for dyslexics.


 Calcium absorption trial successful.  Israel’s Amorphical has successfully completed a clinical trial of its amorphous calcium. The trial found that the patients’ absorption of amorphous calcium was double the average absorption of crystalline calcium.  Amorphical aims to develop a product as a nutritional supplement.


Sleep Apnea treatment for US citizens.  Israel’s Itamar Medical has signed an exclusive marketing agreement with Medtronic Corporation to market the company’s sleep apnea diagnostic product to a select segment of the US market – patients with atrial fibrillation..


Innovative endoscope gets USA approval.  The US FDA has just approved the MUSE system from Israel’s Medigus.  MUSE is a unique medical device that allows doctors to examine the stomach and esophagus with a tiny camera. The same device can then be used to stop acid reflux.


US patent for Israeli stem cell technology.  Israeli biotech Brainstorm has received a US patent for its autologous stem cell technology for the treatment of neuro-degenerative diseases.  Brainstorm is preparing for its US upcoming multi-center Phase II trial with its proprietary NurOwn stem cell therapy.




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- Michael Ordman highlights Israel's latest achievements in the fields of technology, health, business, and co-existence in a free weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.

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