Dona Gracia Festival

Friday, May 27th, 2011

The 2nd Dona Grazia Festival, celebrating 500 years since the birth of Dona Gracia Mendes,  will take place in Tiberias on 12-15 September 2011 under the slogan “Empowering Women’s Leadership.”  
Thousands of visitors and tourists are expected to participate in the colorful festival which includes several events that focus on the unique cultural heritage of the Ladino-speaking communities.

Drinking water for China, Israeli style

Friday, May 27th, 2011

As reported in Israel 21c

Normally, “green” and “desalination” are two words that don’t go together. Desalination is a process that takes brackish inland or sea water and makes it drinkable.

This can be a lifesaver in countries with limited or no access to fresh water, such as Saudi Arabia or Jordan, but the processes involved gobble massive amounts of energy and produce an unfavorable amount of salt discharge, causing environmentalists to argue that desalination is not a sustainable solution to meet the world’s water needs — especially in countries that can’t afford to power the desalination plants.

Now, the Israeli desalination company IDE Technologies has introduced a greener way to pull salt from the world’s water. Putting it to the test in China, the Israeli company has created a win-win solution for the environmentally conscious Chinese: using runoff steam from a power plant to help run the desalination plant. The result is water for the power plant, drinking water for the community and salt to sell.

The UK trade magazine Global Water Intelligence is so impressed by the Israeli desalination technology, that in April it named IDE as the “2010 desalination company of the year.”

Making what it called “the greatest overall contribution to the desalination industry during 2010” the magazine praised IDE for its “unique competitive position in the global desalination arena during 2010, winning a significant portion of the Chinese desalination business and competing strongly for tenders in the Americas, Southern Europe and elsewhere in Asia.”

For its innovation, the magazine put IDE’s MED desalination plant China on its short list, as a testament to the company’s leadership and ability to take on new environmental challenges and specifications.

Runs on 50 percent less power

Created in Tianjin, China, the Israeli-built IDE MED desalination plant is the country’s largest and greenest one yet, says IDE’s CEO, Avshalom Felber. Using a process called multi-effect distillation (MED), the plant is claimed to be 50 percent more energy efficient than any other thermal desalination plant today.

In IDE MED, salt water from the sea is heated with steam and then circulated through an evaporator to create an end result of fresh water and salt.

The green element in the design is that the steam used to heat the water before the evaporation process comes from a nearby power plant, making sure that some wasted energy is put to good use.

According to Felber: “The first phase of the Tianjin project is already operating for the last year or so, at 100,000 cubic meters of water per day. Currently we are in the execution process of Phase II, for another 100,000 cubic meters. This is by far the largest desalination plant in China.”

The plant consists of four 25,000-cubic-meter units, and an additional four are underway.

read more here

Israel: Communication satellite superpower

Friday, May 27th, 2011

As reported in Israel21c

Many people are surprised to learn that Israel is among the world’s top communication satellite superpowers.

Israeli company Spacecom will launch the fourth in its AMOS satellite series this year, to be followed by the fifth in 2012, the sixth in 2014 and more to come.

The AMOS satellite fleet will provide coverage over many of the world’s fastest-growing and highest-demand satellite markets, including the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), Asia and Africa, and positions Spacecom as a multi-regional satellite operator reaching more than 80 percent of the world’s population.

Rapidly growing satellite market

Spacecom’s AMOS-3 and AMOS-2 satellites, located at Spacecom’s 4°W orbital spot, already provide multi-regional coverage.

“Our focus at 4°W has been CEE, certain parts of the Middle East and the US East Coast,” says Gil Ilany, vice president for marketing at Spacecom.

“We are readying the AMOS-6 satellite, scheduled for launch in 2014, for pan-European coverage, with extended bandwidth for broadband services and additional capacity for the Middle East,” he tells ISRAEL21c.

“We believe that the CEE markets continue to be very viable and growth will continue in the future. The Russian and Ukrainian markets, for instance, are growing rapidly. We also anticipate growth of the TV market in Africa and the upcoming launch of our AMOS-5 will provide a solution for that market.”

AMOS-2 and AMOS-3 provide direct-to-home (DTH) services, video distribution to cable head-ends, broadband Internet and VSAT — small dish antennas that enable satellite communication for banks and other institutions with global branches. They can also help telecommunications carriers extend their reach to rural areas lacking adequate ground infrastructure.

AMOS-5, scheduled to be launched later this year at the orbital location at 17°E, and AMOS-4, scheduled for liftoff in 2012 to a new orbital location at 65°E over the Indian Ocean, will provide fast communication services to enterprises with wide geographical reach in Africa and Asia, such as telecoms, cellular operators, banks, hospitals and government institutions.

read more here

Israel Water Technology Delegation to Brisbane

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Australian natural resources boom attracts foreign investment from Israel, and leads to a trade delegation visiting Brisbane to explore opportunities for Israeli Water Technology in the mining and coal seam gas industries.

Since its founding, Israel has been coping with water scarcity and has been treating the subject as a national priority. The country has been constantly developing novel and efficient water and energy technologies, which can benefit the world as it is increasingly dealing with water and energy scarcity concerns. From the comprehensive management of water resources and water-saving irrigation technology to cost-saving purification, reclamation and desalination methods as well as water security and water treatment solutions, Israel is leading the world in producing water technology for sustainable development.

Australia is a dry continent with competition for scarce water resources.  Water is therefore a key business risk for top companies. From a broad Australian perspective, drought, over-allocation, inefficient water supply (loss driven) and climate change has resulted in a strong focus by many leading Australian companies on their water management solutions, and practical ways to address these critical issues. In addition, the treatment of waste water in the mining and Coal Seam Gas industries is of vital importance given the increased environmental issues and regulations facing Australian companies.

There are many challenges facing CSG & mining companies in Australia such as water treatment,  protecting ground and surface water, power-efficient desalination plants, linking power and water efficiencies to reduce greenhouse gas footprints, and economic modeling of value/cost of water management.

With Australia’s current resources boom and Israel being one of the world leaders in clean tech and water technology, there is a clear synergy between these sectors and vast opportunities for collaboration between the two countries.

The Israel Trade Commission hosted a delegation of 12 Israeli Water Technology Companies in Brisbane from 17th to 19th May 2011 to meet with the mining and coal seam gas (CSG) industries in Queensland. The purpose of the delegation was to introduce new and world leading water technologies to the booming Queensland natural resources industry and to explore investment opportunity in QLD. The Israel Trade Commission  also hosted an Industry seminar as well as exhibiting at the Austmine Expo and Conference. The delegation was supported by Trade and Investment Queensland, the Australian Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ).

Israel Water Technology for Mining and CSG – Delegates Information

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

The Israel Trade Commission recently hosted a delegation of  Israeli water technology companies to Brisbane to explore opportunities in the mining and coal seam gas companies. The delegation met with major exploration and engineering companies involved in these sectors, as well as hosting a Breakfast seminar attended by over 100 people.

To find out more about NewTech, Israels Water Technology project, CLICK HERE and HERE

Please click on the companies names below to see more information on each of  them and to view their Powerpoint Presentations:

Click here to view the Full Profile Catalogue

Will Israel’s Electric Cars Change the World?

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Everything you need to know — the locations of switch stations and charging posts, the number of motorists already there, your own distance from each — is visible on a dashboard GPS screen. Employees have been testing the system for weeks, seeing, for instance, how much juice it takes to drive from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem with a car full of fat people, a carload of skinny people or just a car. By July, Better Place expects to begin taking individual orders for the Turkish-made Renault Fluence Z.E. (for Zero Emission), a four-door sedan that looks like any other car. Ordinary Israelis could be driving them as early as November.

“It’s going to depend on the price — of the car, and any charge for the battery, or charging the battery,” says Dror Aikar, a Hyundai owner waiting for a tour of the Better Place showroom that 75,000 people have already passed through. Within sight of the beach north of Tel Aviv, it was built on the ruins of an oil-tank farm. Aikar wants to help the environment, he says. “But you can’t do it if you don’t have the money to do it.”

The pricing will be in two parts: First there’s the car itself, which the consumer buys outright, except for the battery. That remains with Better Place, and comes with the “subscription,” which is what Better Place calls access to the power infrastructure to run the car. The model is cell-phone coverage, with a variety of rate plans that vary with how much you drive. Rates for Israel are not yet final, but in Denmark, where the company is also setting up, the lowest rate is equivalent to about $300 a month for mileage of 6,200 miles (10,000 km); the highest rate — for unlimited miles — is about twice as much. The customers also pay a one-time fee equal to $2,000, but even so, in both Israel and Denmark where gas runs about $9 a gallon, Better Place calculates that the typical customers would stand to save 10% to 20% against a comparable gasoline car — and enjoy most of its satisfactions. “The car is very, very, very fun to drive,” Agassi says.

The electric sedan Agassi says will change the world, well, feels like a regular car. On the test track, the Renault four-door (a retrofitted Laguna, the Fluences are not yet on site) zooms smoothly down the straight, silent and more comfortable than, say, a Prius. The one similarity is that from a standing start there’s a wee lag, more like the Prius than the G-force jackrabbit start of the Tesla, the torqued-up all-electric sports car with a base price of $108,000. “It’s sub–10 seconds zero to 60,” says Agassi, of his ride. “If you want to go zero to 60 in five seconds you want the Tesla. If you’ve got another five seconds to spare, I can save you $80,000.”

Work begins on largest private power station

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

As reported in Globes.co.ilThe $870 million project for Dorad Energy is being built by Wood Group, the UK company’s first activity in Israel.

Scotland-based Wood Group plc (LSE: WG) has begun construction of Israel’s largest private power station that Dorad Energy Ltd. is establishing on land owned by Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company Ltd. (EAPC) in Ashkelon. The $870 million project is Wood Group’s first activity in Israel.Wood Group will carry out the earthworks, frame, construction, and electrical work for the power station. Wood Group GTS, the company’s gas turbine services unit, will install the natural gas turbines, which are scheduled to arrive in Israel by the end of the year. The power station will have 12 General Electric gas turbines and two steam turbines.

The company will employee 300 people – mostly Israelis – on the project, and the number of employees will peak at 1,000 during the height of construction. Dorad shareholder Uri Dori Engineering Works Corp. (TASE: DORI) is the subcontractor for the earthworks.

Wood Group said that the power station will be completed in 2013. Wood Group Israel manager Shlomo Cohen said, “The company considers this project as a cornerstone for extensive operations in Israel. It considers construction of such a large project as a challenge and a breakthrough in the construction of power stations in Israel.” He added, “This project is Wood Group’s first project in Israel and Wood Group GTS intends to expand its operations in Israel in its areas of expertise.”

Dorad is owned by EAPC (37.5%), Turkish conglomerate Zorlu Industrial and Energy Holding AS (25%), Adeltech Ltd. unit Adelcom Ltd. (18.75%), and Gazit-Globe Ltd. (TASE: GLOB) contracting arm Uri Dori U. Dori Energy Infrastructures Ltd. (18.75%). The company’s 840-megawatt power station will cost NIS 4 billion and provide 8% of Israel’s electricity. The company has a contract for natural gas with Egypt’s East Mediterranean Gas Company (EMG).

No wires: The power is in the mat

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Millions already use Israeli startup Powermat’s wireless charging system. Soon it will be embedded in airport and office furniture, the Chevy Volt and kitchen appliances.

Just five years after going into business, the small Israeli company Powermat (www.powermat.com) is revolutionizing the way people charge their cell phones and other handheld devices.

The user simply places the device on a small charge pad — no cord, no plug –– and after the required charge is achieved, Powermat shuts down.

Shoppers have already snatched up more than five million Powermats after Homedics distributed the units to more than 30,000 US retailers. Now, to make wireless charging as widely available as wi-fi, the company is working with major makers of airport seating and office furniture to embed Powermats in their products.

General Motors has invested $5 million to build in Powermat chargers between the seats of its hybrid electric Chevy Volt. The device may also one day wirelessly power the vehicle itself.

Look for Powermat receivers in home appliances as well, as tangle-free charging becomes the watchword of the future.

Facts Regarding Israel

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

The Middle East has been growing date palms for centuries. The average tree is about 18-20 feet tall and yields about 38 pounds of dates a year.

Israeli date trees are now yielding 400 pounds/year and are short enough to be harvested from the ground or a short ladder.

Israel, the 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world’s population, can lay additional claim to the following:

The cell phone was developed in Israel by Israelis working in the Israeli branch of Motorola, which has its largest development center in Israel.

Most of the Windows NT and XP operating systems were developed by Microsoft-Israel.

The Pentium MMX Chip technology was designed in Israel at Intel.

Both the Pentium-4 microprocessor and the Centrino processor were entirely designed, developed and produced in Israel.

The Pentium microprocessor in your computer was most likely made in Israel.

Voice mail technology was developed in Israel.

Both Microsoft and Cisco built their only R&D facilities outside the US in Israel.

The technology for the AOL Instant Messenger ICQ was developed in 1996 by four young Israelis.

Israel has the fourth largest Air Force in the world (after the U.S., Russia and China). In addition to a large variety of other aircraft, Israel’s air force has an aerial arsenal of over 250 F-16’s. This is the largest fleet of F-16 aircraft outside of the U. S.

Israel’s $100 billion economy is larger than all of its immediate neighbors combined. Israel has the highest percentage in the world of home computers per capita.

According to industry officials, Israel designed the airline industry’s most impenetrable flight security. US officials now look (finally) to Israel for advice on how to handle airborne security threats.

Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world.

Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin – 109 per 10,000 people –as well as one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed.

In proportion to its population,Israel has the largest number of startup companies in the world. In absolute terms, Israel has the largest number of startup companies than any other country in the world, except the U.S. 3,500companies mostlyin hi-tech).

With more than 3,000 high-tech companies and startups, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world apart from the Silicon Valley, U. S. Israel is ranked #2 in the world for venture capital funds right behind the U.S.

Outside the United States and Canada, Israel has the largest number of NASDAQ listed companies.

Israel has the highest average living standards in the Middle East.

The per capita income in 2000 was over $17,500, exceeding that of the UK. On a per capita basis, Israel has the largest number of biotech startups.

Twenty-four per cent of Israel’s workforce holds university degrees, ranking third in the industrialized world, after the United States and Holland and 12 per cent hold advanced degrees.

Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.

In 1984 and 1991, Israel airlifted a total of 22,000 Ethiopian Jews (Operation Solomon) at risk in Ethiopia, to safety in Israel.

When Golda Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1969, she became the world’s second elected female leader in modern times.

When the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, was bombed in 1998, Israeli rescue teams were on the scene within a day — and saved >three victims from the rubble. Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship –and the highest rate among women and among people over 55 – in the world. Relative to its population, Israel is the largestimmigrant-absorbing nation on earth. Immigrants come in search of democracy, religious freedom, and economic opportunity (Hundreds of thousands from the former Soviet Union).

Israel was the first nation in the world to adopt the Kimberly process, an international standard that certifies diamonds as “conflict free.”

Israel has the world’s second highest per capita of new books.

Israel is the only country in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees, made more remarkable because this was achieved in an area considered mainly desert.

Israel has more museums per capita than any other country.

Medicine… Israeli scientists developed the first fully computerized, no-radiation, diagnostic instrumentation for breast cancer.

An Israeli company developed a computerized system for ensuring proper administration of medications, thus removing human error from medical treatment. Every year in U.S. hospitals, 7,000 patients die from treatment mistakes.

Israel’s Givun Imaging developed the first ingestible video camera, so small it fits inside a pill. Used to view the small intestine from the inside, cancer and digestive disorders.

Researchers in Israel developed a new device that irectly helps the heart pump blood, an innovation with the potential to save lives among those with heart failure. The new device is synchronized with the camera, helps doctors diagnose heart’s mechanical operations through a sophisticated system of sensors.

Israel leads the world in the number of scientists and technicians in the workforce, with 145 per 10,000, as opposed to 85 in the U.S., over 70 in Japan, and less than 60 in Germany. With over 25% of its work force employed in technical professions. Israel places first in this category as well.

A new acne treatment developed in Israel, the Clear Light device, produces a high-intensity, ultraviolet-light-free, narrow-band blue light that causes acne bacteria to self-destruct — all without damaging surrounding skin or tissue.

An Israeli company was the first to develop and install a large-scale solar-powered and fully functional electricity generating plant, in southern California’s Mojave desert.

All the above while engaged in regular wars with an implacable enemy that seeks its struction, and an economy continuously under strain by having to spend more per capita on its own protection han any other county on earth.

Clouds in the IT forecast

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Israeli ‘cloud computing’ solutions such as CloudShare and Gizmox are helping to propel a massive worldwide move to virtual information technology services.

A cloud has descended on the computing world – and in that cloud, the lion’s share of the applications we work with, and even the data we produce, eventually will reside. As the cloud rolls in, Israeli companies are working hard to make sure it’s as safe and useful as possible.

With the recent rise of mega-data companies like Google and Amazon, the concept of “cloud computing” has spread like wildfire through the tech world. Cloud computing is based on the concept of IT-as-service, with most of the infrastructure – both hardware and software – owned and operated by service providers.

Online cloud services, from Google Docs to movie-making and video-conferencing tools, give businesses access to an always-available, safe and robust network without the need to build a costly dedicated IT system.

By 2012, it is estimated that 80 percent of Fortune 1000 companies will be buying cloud computing services, and 30 percent of them will pay for cloud computing infrastructure. A similar explosion is expected among mid-size and small businesses as well, given the potential infrastructure savings that is a prime motivator for companies to move to the cloud, says expert Eddie Resnick, who helps companies review and choose cloud services.

Although the cloud is largely in the hands of big organizations like Amazon that can provide wide-ranging IT services, there are plenty of opportunities for small companies’ niche products and services to establish a presence in what promises to be a major industry in Israel.

Israeli infrastructure and security tech

Israel’s got two of the most important components that will be necessary for successful wide-scale deployment of the cloud – IT infrastructure technology and security technology, says Resnick.

Tel Aviv-based CloudShare allows IT service providers to produce “virtual machines” for their customers, showing them how applications, business scenarios, Internet appliances, training programs and sales efforts would work – without the need to install anything on the customer company’s computers. “A year after coming out of stealth, CloudShare has built the first comprehensive cloud platform for simple, turnkey IT access for companies to power their application development, testing, demos and training,” says CloudShare CEO Zvi Guterman.

Security is perhaps the area of greatest concern to potential cloud users. What good is saving money in the cloud if your data is insecure? Israeli startups, which have a strong tradition of developing applications for IT security, such as Check Point, are working to make the cloud safer as well.

Gizmox’s Visual WebGui is a totally open-source, in-the-cloud web application development platform similar to – and meant as a secure replacement for – Adobe’s Flex, Microsoft’s Silverlight and other solutions being promoted by companies like IBM and Mozilla. VWG is touted to be perfectly immune to hackers.

“Since we’re just sending metadata and update commands, and the client does not contain any code, there’s nothing for a hacker to monkey with,” explains CEO Navot Peled.

In late 2008, VWG announced a hacker contest for the first time in the software industry, offering $10,000 to anyone who could successfully compromise the platform. The contest ran for four months, and can be still accessed on the corporate site. “Not a single one of the tens of thousands of hackers who tried were able to break the system,” Peled reports.

The VWG platform is already being used by Cisco, Sony, the US Army, the governments of Germany, Thailand and Canada, and several Israeli ministries, as well as thousands of individuals and small companies. And in January, Gizmox introduced Instant CloudMove, the first automated tool-based solution for transforming enterprise client/server applications from desktop to cloud/web and mobile deployment.

Entertainment in the clouds

Beyond business, Israeli companies have developed unique applications that harness the cloud power to make life a bit more entertaining.

Libox, founded in 2008 by Erez Pilosof, who previously founded Israel’s Walla! web portal, lets you stream and share music, photos, movies and any other media file on different devices. Creating private “clouds” between your devices allows you, for instance, to listen to music stored on your home computer or iTunes playlists at work or on your cell phone.

“We are changing the way people think about storing, sharing, and using media,” says Pilosof.

These and dozens of other creative uses of the cloud – from data backup to helping farmers manage their crops – guarantees that Israel is going to continue to be a world center of cloud application development.