Invest in Israel Newsletter October 2011 Edition

Invest in Israel newsletter VC CafeAs every month, VC Cafe is re-posting the “Invest in Israel” Newsletter, published by the investment promotion center of Israel’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, which offers many helpful tools for prospecting investors.  For the Invest in Israel archive, click here.

COMMUNICATIONS GIANT ARRIS GROUP BUYS ISRAEL’S BIGBAND NETWORKS FOR $158 MLN

“We are delighted to welcome the BigBand employees to ARRIS.” – Bob Stanzione, ARRIS Chairman & CEO.

Communications-equipment maker Arris Group Inc. is acquiring digital-video networking company BigBand Networks Inc. for about $158.1 million in cash.

BigBand Networks, which has more than 200 customers in North America, Asia and Europe, provides broadband service providers with digital video networking solutions designed to make it easier to distribute, manage and monetize video.

ARRIS, headquartered in Suwanee, Georgia, USA, specializes in the design, engineering and supply of technology supporting triple- and quad-play broadband services for residential and business customers around the world.

ISRAEL CORP UNIT TO BUILD $680 MLN PERU POWER STATION

Israel Corporation unit Cerro del Aguila SA has agreed to build a 510-megawatt hydroelectric power station in Peru at an investment of $680 million.
The Cerro del Aguila power station, located in Tayacaja Province in central Peru, in March signed a 15-year power purchase agreement with Peru’s government-owned electricity company, which will come into effect when the power station is completed in the second half of 2015.
Israel Corporation is Israel’s largest holding company. Fifty of its manufacturing activities and 70% of its consolidated revenues derive from global operations. Its core holdings are fertilizers and specialty chemicals, energy, shipping and transportation.

US-ISRAELI R&D FOUNDATION TO INVEST IN $8 MLN IN 9 NEW PROJECTS

The Israel/U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation, approved $8.1 million of funding for nine new projects between Israeli and American companies. The approved projects involve innovations in the areas of life sciences, healthcare IT, electronics, software and energy.
In addition to the grants from BIRD, the projects will access private sector funding, boosting the total value of all projects to $24 million.

The BIRD Foundation promotes collaboration between Israeli and American companies in various technological fields for the purpose of joint product development. During its 34 years, the BIRD Foundation has invested in more than 820 projects, which have yielded direct and indirect revenues of about $8 billion.

ISRAELI START-UP WAZE DRAWS INVESTMENT FROM CHINESE BILLIONAIRE

Israeli navigation tech start-up Waze raised a $30 million investment from Hong Kong’s Li Ka-shing, greater China’s richest man.
Waze’s free mobile application provides a social network where drivers interact, reporting on road conditions. Its goal is to shepherd drivers by optimal routes to their destination by voice and offer data on traffic conditions, as supplied by users.

Waze, which was founded in 2008, has more than 7 million users in the United States, Italy, France, Spain and Israel.

Li, who invests in Israeli companies through his investments’ arm Horizons Ventures, earlier invested in Israeli video-editing startup Magisto.

ISRAEL’S BIRD-FUNDED GOUT TREATMENT GETS FDA APPROVAL

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved KRYSTEXXA, a drug jointly created by Israel’s Bio-technology General and US partner Mountain View Pharmaceuticals

According to a Phase III study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in August, KRYSTEXXA is the first FDA approved treatment to show significant clinical improvement within six months of therapy. The drug was developed using Bio-Technology General’s expertise in production and purification of recombinant proteins for parenteral use.

“KRYSTEXXA is the first-ever and only treatment approved by the FDA for adult patients who suffer with chronic gout that is refractory to conventional therapy,” said Paul Hamelin, president of Savient Pharmaceuticals, which has exclusively licensed worldwide rights to the jointly-developed technology and currently markets the drug worldwide.

HADASIT LAUNCHES JEWISH-ARAB BIOMED INCUBATOR IN GALILEE

Hadasit, the Technology Transfer Company of Hadassah Medical Organization, has launched Ways, an incubator for joint Jewish-Arab biomed ventures in the Galilee. In addition to an initial 7.5 million shekel investment by Hadasit, several million dollars have been pledged to Ways from social organizations as well. Ways will invest $500,000 in 12 projects each, which will be matched by the Office of the Chief Scientist.

ISRAEL AND EU SIGN SPACE AND TOURISM ACCORD

European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani and Israel’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Shalom Simhon, signed two joint statements of intent to improve cooperation in the fields of space and tourism.

The agreement paves the way for the EU’s Galileo global-navigation satellite system to establish a satellite receiving station in Israel, and it also strengthens bilateral cooperation in space-related R&D. To strengthen bilateral tourism cooperation, several actions were also agreed in order to facilitate tourism flows by promoting travel in the respective low seasons.
INNOVATION PIPELINE:

PLURISTEM REPORTS POSITIVE LIMB ISCHEMIA TRIAL RESULTS

Pluristem Therapeutics Ltd. reported positive 12-month results from the Phase I clinical trial of its placental stem cell treatment for critical limb ischemia (blockage of the arteries in the limbs, which can lead to gangrene and amputation).

The trial of the PLX-PAD cells, which was conducted under protocols approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Germany’s Paul-Ehrlich-Institute (PEI), met all its safety and efficacy endpoints at all dosage levels and found no malignancies, adverse events, or immunological reactions in the patients.

ISRAELI AIR FORCE TECHNOLOGY HELPS IMPROVE SPORT PERFORMANCE

Israel’s Applied Cognitive Engineering Ltd (ACE), which specializes in computer-based cognitive simulation training, and USA Hockey, the national governing body for the sport of ice hockey in the United States, have created a ground-breaking product called Hockey IntelliGym that helps players develop perception and decision-making skills.

The technology used for developing the Hockey IntelliGym was initially developed to train Israeli combat pilots on the cognitive brain level.

The program utilizes a software-based training environment containing automatic customization algorithms that adjusts the training program to each individual player according to his/her personal strengths, weaknesses and progress rate.

The program recorded an increase of 20% to 40% in players’ actual on-court/ice stats. Since its adoption three different IntelliGym-trained National teams participated in a total of 12 international tournaments, including three world championships, out of which they have won an unprecedented 9 gold medals.

The IntelliGym has been granted with the first ever Brain Fitness Innovation Award, reviewing 40 implementations in that area.

Eze Vidra
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Eze Vidra

Chief Innovation Officer at Antidote
Eze is the Chief Innovation Officer at Antidote, a startup helping patients search and match to clinical trial, to accelerate medical breakthroughs. Previously, Ezewas a General Partner at Google Ventures Europe. Before GV, Eze founded and led Campus London, Google's first physical hub for startups, and was the Head Google for Entrepreneurs in Europe. He's an experienced product manager and startup mentor. In 2012 Eze founded Techbikers, a non-for profit supporting children education in developing countries.
Eze Vidra
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Latest posts by Eze Vidra (see all)

Eze Vidra

Eze is the Chief Innovation Officer at Antidote, a startup helping patients search and match to clinical trial, to accelerate medical breakthroughs. Previously, Eze was a General Partner at Google Ventures Europe. Before GV, Eze founded and led Campus London, Google's first physical hub for startups, and was the Head Google for Entrepreneurs in Europe. He's an experienced product manager and startup mentor. In 2012 Eze founded Techbikers, a non-for profit supporting children education in developing countries.