Israel’s problem-solving skills have been on display even more than usual during the past week. These culminated with a 66-member Israeli delegation flying out to Rio de Janeiro for the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. Israel’s Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan said, “Our main goal is to present Israel’s solution to the world crisis. As PM Netanyahu said, “It’s all about doing more, with less and in this area, Israel is pretty tough to beat”.
It was therefore very appropriate that Israel’s Daniel Hillel won this year’s $250,000 World Food Prize. Hillel is credited for the development of drip irrigation methods that conserve water while allowing food to be grown in some of the world’s driest climates. Meanwhile, at Haifa University’s event celebrating “The Israeli Mosaic“, nine honorary doctorates were conferred on people who have contributed to humanity and have made the world a better place.
Israel received another environmentally friendly international prize in the form of the solar-thermal award at the Intersolar Europe Exhibition. Israeli company TIGI Ltd. won thanks to its "Honycomb Collector" that uses new insulation technology to achieve minimal heat loss. Progress on the clean energy front took a further forward step when the Indian city of Bangalore decided to turn its landfills into alternative power units using Israel’s refuse-derived fuel (RDF) technology. The city needs to overcome its growing garbage disposal problem from the 3,000 tonnes of rubbish it generates every day.
The next new source for clean energy could be Aluminum. Israeli company Alchemy Research has developed a process that releases energy from a reaction between Aluminum grains and water. It has prospects for making for very efficient electric batteries to run electric cars for long distances. But whilst this is still in the pipeline, Israel’s new natural gas has started flowing just in time for this summer’s peak demand. The Yam Tethys'' Mari B satellite field, Pinnacles, is due to produce 150 million cubic feet of gas a day. It won’t be long before Israel ends its dependency on oil and will even be able to export some of its newfound resource.
News certainly was flowing last week about Israel’s latest medical innovations. If you need a bone graft, Israeli biotech Bonus BioGroup has produced human bones using fat tissue stem cells. The patient’s body will more easily accept these regenerated bones because they will be formed from the same patient’s tissue. Over 2 million bone grafts are performed annually. Next, Israel’s Mazor Robotics announced that its medical robots successfully carried out three procedures for obtaining brain tissue biopsies. The procedures were carried out on live patients. The video shows Mazor''s robots being used for spine surgery.
Peter Magabe originally sought help from Israel by emailing a Professor at Hadassah hospital. Now Dr. Magabe returns to his Kenyan homeland having been trained by Israel to work as one of the only two interventional radiologists in East Africa. Expert assistance was also on hand at Haifa’s Rambam hospital when two babies arrived in the same week with objects trapped in their lungs. Doctors used a broncoscope only 4mm in diameter and gently inserted a tiny pair of tweezers to pull the items out.
Senior Goldman Sachs strategist Abby Joseph Cohen praised Israel’s help to the United States in a lecture at Israel’s Technion entitled “Economic Growth and Innovation”. Almost simultaneously, we heard this week that Apple has gone to Israel’s Waze Ltd for help with its iOS6 Maps operating system. Another US giant, Intel, has chosen to use adaptors from Israel’s Mellanox Technologies for its I/O Expansion modules. Israel’s Elbit Systems will supply $80 million worth of structural components to Boeing over the next seven years. Finally, Israeli developers at Microsoft have produced a smart-phone application that can detect when you are walking or driving and then perform pre-programmed functions automatically. Or “you walk and your phone talks”.
So Israel is busy helping everywhere. From Alvarion providing broadband to Uruguay, to the Israeli Government helping the Dutch with hi-tech, cleantech and agriculture.
Finally, please spare a few thoughts for the oppressed citizens of Iran. Having had to suffer sanctions brought upon by their crazy leaders, they have taken solace by seeking help from the music of a female singing sensation. The Iranian-born star is fluent in Persian and has taken the Iranian music scene by storm. Imagine the shock when they discovered that Rita Jahanforuz is Israeli.
Michael Ordman writes a weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.
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