December 11th Israel Innovation Impact–I-3—Event
December 12, 2012
From the Leadership
December 13, 2012
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Economic News from Israel

  • Rehovot-based BioView has signed a cooperation agreement with Abbott Molecular Inc. under which BioView will develop an automated cancer screening system to carry out Abbott’s lung cancer diagnostic test.  Under the new collaboration, the two companies will jointly conduct clinical trials in order to certify the test for marketing in the US.
  • Yokneam-based Given Imaging has applied to the FDA for approval to market the PillCam Colon 2 endoscopic capsule for visualization of the lower gastrointestinal tract.  They had originally intended the device to replace colonoscopies, but it is now indicated as complementing them, thus reducing the target market for the product from $4 billion to $1.7 billion.  The company’s North American headquarters is in Atlanta.
  • KLA-Tencor has opened a new center in Yokneam in addition to its R&D, production, and sales center in Migdal Haemek in the lower Galilee.  Yokneam is the Atlanta Jewish community’s Partnership city in Israel, and the company believes that at its location will attract employees from central Israel while still being near to the company’s main offices.
  • 3M has announced an equity investment collaboration in Yokneam-based VocalZoom that has developed a speech enhancement technology and voice enabled user interface that allows voice communication and recognition in any environment.  The terms of the investment through its corporate venture capital fund, 3M New Ventures, was not disclosed, although reports in the Israeli media have indicated that it was several million dollars.
  • Atlanta-based Vumii has been recognized at the GSN’s 4th Annual Security Awards competition for its Accuracii 1500 long-range camera system.  The winners were announced at the Government Security News gala dinner in Washington, DC on November 29th.  Vumii is the Atlanta-based subsidiary of Karmiel-based Opgal.
  • Google has opened its start-up incubator and R&D center in the Electra Tower in central Tel Aviv, and will occupy a full 1,500 square meter floor in the building entirely devoted to entrepreneurs, with the goal of encouraging innovation in Israel.  The campus will give entrepreneurs access to Google’s teams and other experts, as well as a wide range of smartphones and tablets for developing and testing mobile apps.  The heart of the program will be the Launch Pad, a 2-week bootcamp for training new start-ups.
  • Avi Gross, founder of US textiles company Divatex Home Fashions which he sold in 2007, will invest up to $2 million in Caesaria-based Elbit Vision Systems, a developer of inspection systems for in-line and off-line applications and product quality control. The company will use the investment to expand operations in Asia.  The company’s US headquarters is in Greenville, South Carolina.
  • Philips Healthcare announced the establishment of a new development center in Haifa that will focus on image processing and analysis, and conduct long-term research in the field as well develop applications for contemporary markets such as virtual colonoscopy and virtual catheterization applications.  The company currently has 600 employees in Haifa at a center that specializes in 3D CT scanners.
  • Tel Aviv was ranked as the world’s #2 region for start-up activity according to a worldwide study released by Startup Genome and Telefonica Digital of more than 50,000 entrepreneurs.  Key findings included Access to Capital, Role of Angels, Show me the Money, and Smaller Markets.  Silicon Valley ranked #1, and following Tel Aviv were Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York.
  • Israeli pupils have been ranked as 7th in the world for math, following the results of 2011 tests for primary and junior high school students.  The results show that Israeli pupils rose from 24th place worldwide in the TIMSS test, a significant improvement.
  • Imports into Israel (excluding diamonds, ships, and aircraft) fell by over 16% in seasonally adjusted figures in January-November 2012, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.  However, exports rose by an annualized 5% in September-November. High-tech industrial exports (half of total industrial exports) rose by an annualized 36.1% in September-November (a monthly average of 2.6%), driven by pharmaceutical exports (mostly by Teva).
  • Israel’s unemployment rate jumped to 7.3% in October from 6.9% in September according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.  The number of unemployed rose to 267,000, and labor force participation over the age of 15 fell to 63.8%.

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