The title for this blog was proclaimed by no less than the science and technology adviser to the US Secretary of State. Dr. E. Williams Colglazier, was praising the Israeli government for its investment in Israeli entrepreneurship and thus promoting the Jewish nation’s innovation. Israel is also a global model in many other areas.
The world’s medical experts keep their eyes firmly focussed on the advances emerging from the Jewish State.
Delegates from 42 countries are to attend the Israel Life Science Industry’s BioMed expo. Thousands of top Israeli and international business executives, decision makers, and leading researchers, will participate in Tel Aviv’s annual ILSI event, famous for highlighting the bio-medical industry’s latest innovations and technologies. One of the breakthroughs that they are bound to discuss is the life-saving effect that the PLX stem cells from Israel’s Pluristem had on the 7-year old Romanian girl whose previous two bone marrow transplants had failed. After only 10 days, blood levels improved and nine months later she is to be discharged from hospital. No wonder an annual average of 30,000 US patients come to Israel to take advantage of its innovative treatments.
Israel’s technical advances in clean energy have won the admiration of the World Bank. Senior Investment Officer at the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation, Ruzgar Barisik said, “Israel is a very exciting place for us: market interest in a growing number of Israeli technologies makes this a very promising area we want to be part of.” And the United Nations has awarded its “World Summit Award 2011” to Israel’s JoyTunes, for its applications that inspire fun music learning. JoyTunes was selected from 460 projects and 105 countries and, believe it or not, received the award in Cairo.
Israeli technology is now at the core of most of the world’s largest hi-tech companies. Intel, Broadcom and Cisco have all modelled their operations around their Israeli R&D centres – as George Gilder (technology guru and author of “The Israel Test”) revealed at the ChipEx2012 industry show in Tel Aviv. Meanwhile, two “model” Israeli companies are revolutionising the digital printing industry. Landa has developed super-efficient, high quality nanometric ink. And Objet’s polymer sprays have the potential of actually producing 3D models direct from your printer.
Israelis have been using their technology skills to tackle several major social issues. Firstly, to promote eco-conscious consumerism, Israel’s Environmental Protection Agency has launched a free online game and iPhone application called “Thinking Green” – available in English, Hebrew, Arabic and Russian. And how’s this for a sensitive out-of-the-box Government idea to provide employment for female Arab citizens – a call centre inside a local mosque. Now, dozens of women from one Bedouin town are earning a competitive salary without breaking societal norms. Thirdly, the Together Project is showing how to promote public awareness of the hearing-impaired with this video featuring people of different races and religions dancing and signing in unison to Me’ir Banai’s “Shafshaf’s song”.
As an International business model, Israel’s hi-tech industry is winning order after order. The Bank of Israel’s survey of Israeli companies shows that business sector activity expanded in the first quarter of 2012, reversing the slowdown in the second half of last year. For example, Orbit Technologies was chosen by the Russian Federal Space Agency to supply low-earth orbit satellite tracking and communications systems. In the same week, Israel’s Aeronautics Ltd won a $30million order to supply hundreds of mini Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAVs) to the Finnish army.
Turning to specific personalities and a different kind of model. Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli will play a sly seductress in a new movie called “Kidon” about the 2010 assassination of a Hamas terrorist in Dubai. Rafaeli told reporters, “I would love to be in the Mossad and maybe I am. Who knows? I think that being a famous model is the best cover.” I’ll cut now to celebrity hairstylist Vidal Sassoon, who has died age 84. Sassoon was committed to fighting anti-Semitism and fought in Israel''s War of Independence. He may have styled the hair of many famous fashion models, however Sassoon passed away on the eve of the Jewish minor festival of Lag B’Omer – the day when orthodox Jewish boys traditionally have their first haircut.
Finally, renowned jeweller Henri Padani has passed away aged 92. He certainly fulfilled the model image of an Israeli “rags to riches” entrepreneur, having fled Antwerp with nothing when World War II began. Post WW2, he came to pre-State Tel Aviv working as a fruit picker and a barman. His pre-war jewellery design skills slowly allowed him to build a flourishing business. However, it was his courteous service, patience and quiet sophistication that made this “gem” of a man stand out.
A true role model.
Michael Ordman writes a weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.
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