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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.  This month’s trend continues to be acquisitions of Israeli firms by large US corporates.

COVIDIEN ACQUIRES ORIDION FOR $346M

OridionSytems,Ltd. (SWX: ORIDN) an Israeli manufacturer of capnography respiratory monitors and modules was bought by Ireland’s Covidienplc.(NYSE: COV) for $346 million in cash. Following the acquisition, the company will become part of Covidien’s oximetry and monitoring product line. Oridion is Covidien’s second Israeli acquisition within less than a month, following the acquisition of pulmonary endoscope developer superDimension for $300 million in March. Oridion’s Microstream capnography systems measure carbon dioxide level in exhaled breath to provide an early indication of restricted airways, facilitating patient care.

ISRAELI INVENTS DIGITAL PRINTING SYSTEM BASED ON NANOTECHNOLOGY

Landa Corporation has announced a major breakthrough in digital printing based on nanotechnology. The process uses tiny pigment water-based particles that are only tens of nanometers in size (a human hair is about 100,000 nanometers wide), and can print on almost any material. The technology will be unveiled officially at the Drupa Print Media Fair in Dusseldorf in May. Inventor Benny Landa, who previously founded digital printing technology company Indigo, which was sold to HP in 2001 for $830 million said:“Each press can print in up to eight colors and operate at 600 dpi or 1200 dpi resolution, at speeds up to 11,000 sheets per hour.”

BG NEGEV LICENSES PARKINSON’S DRUG PLATFORM

BGN Technologies, Ben Gurion University’s technology transfer company, has signed a licensing agreement for its V-Smart drug delivery technology with New York’s Lauren Sciences LLC. Lauren will develop the technology as a platform for treating central nervous system diseases, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, and brain malignancies. The V-Smart technology pinpoints where the drug will be released in the brain, increasing effectiveness and reducing adverse effects. Lauren was recently awarded a grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation to develop a V-Smart therapeutic for Parkinson’s disease.

ISRAELIS WORK LONGER HOURS THAN OECD AVERAGE

According to OECD figures, Israelis work 2,000 hours a year, which is 251 hours more than the OECD average. This compares with 1,650 hours by the British, 1,419 hours by Germans, and 1,414 hours by Norwegians. The Israeli work week is 43 hours, more than the 40 hours in the US and 37 in Denmark. Israelis are online 32.1 hours a month, on average, compared with 43.5 hours a month by Canadians, 35.3 hours by Americans, 24.1 hours by Germans, and 11.9 hours by the Japanese.

MICROSOFT TECHNOLOGY CENTER TO OPEN IN ISRAEL
Microsoft has recently announced that it intends to open its first Israel-based Technology Center in Ra’anana. The center will serve as a platform for the company’s engineers to set up complete IT ground works for their clients. In addition to the 11 such centers already operating in the US, the company also has such facilities in Paris, Munich, Beijing, Moscow and Dublin. Other openings now in the planning stage are Toronto and Sydney as well.

ORBIMED CLOSES $222M FUND FOR VC OPPORTUNITIES IN ISRAEL

US healthcare investment management firm OrbiMed has announced the closing of its first investment fund dedicated to life science venture capital opportunities in Israel. The $222 million fund, which will be called the OrbiMed Israel Partners Limited Partnership, includes an investment of approximately $40m provided by the Israeli government. The Israeli government also provided special economic terms through the initial tender process for the Fund.OrbiMed has had a longstanding investment interest in Israel, which has led to many investments here over the past decade, including early-stage investments in Given Imaging Ltd.and SuperDimension.

DIGITAL GENERATION INC. ACQUIRES PEER39 INC.

Advertising management and distribution platform company Digital Generation Inc. (DG) has acquired the Israeli advertising technology company Peer39 Inc. for $15.5 million in cash and shares. DG will integrate Peer39 into its MediaMindonline division. MediaMind is an Israeli company that was acquired by DG 10 months ago for $514m.

MORFLORA FINALIST FOR 2012 RED HERRING TOP 100 EUROPE

Morflora, focused on innovative non-transgenic trait delivery technology for plant protection and enhancement, has been selected as a finalist for Red Herring’s Top 100 Europe Award, a prestigious list honoring the year’s most promising private technology ventures from the European business region. The nominees are evaluated on both quantitative and qualitative criteria, such as financial performance, technology innovation, quality of management, execution of strategy, and integration into their respective industries.

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Eze Vidra

Head of Google for Entrepreneurs Europe and Campus London at Google
Eze is the Head of Google for Entrepreneurs Europe and Campus London. In 2005, he started VC Cafe to shine a spotlight on startups and Venture Capital in Israel, and in 2012, Eze founded Techbikers, a non-for-profit that supports education through cycling challenges for techies.
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