As 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. This month marks yet another full plate of Israeli startup acquisitions by multinational corporations like Samsung, EMC and Apple. Just today, AOL announced the acquisition of video advertising company Adap.tv for $405 million. Israeli exits this summer already exceed a billion USD, and the apetite for innovation only seems to be increase. Browse the headlines below for more news. For the Invest in Israel archive, click here.
LOCKHEED MARTIN TO BUILD TECHNOLOGY HUB IN ISRAEL
Lockheed Martin recently announced plans to set up a technology development center in Israel. The decision follows an April agreement according to which Israel Aerospace Industries, flagship of the country’s defense sector, will build the wings for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Lockheed Martin will collaborate with Israel’s Bynet Data Communications to build the Israeli military’s Intelligence Corps center in the Negev Desert, south of Tel Aviv, a program known as Project 5/9, whose worth is estimated at $210.6 million. “The intention is to establish a local branch of Lockheed Martin in Israel in the field of information systems,” said Lockheed Martin’s Vice President for Global Solutions, Robert Eastman.
SAMSUNG BUYS ISRAELI WEBTV START-UP, BOXEE
Korea’s Samsung has announced the purchase of the Israeli-developed software application Boxee for $30m.
Boxee, based in Tel Aviv, offers a device that connects to TVs and enables users to view, rate and recommend content through social network services and interactive media.
ISRAELI MINISTRY OF ECONOMY’S INVESTMENT CENTER TO REWARD INNOVATION AND PRODUCTIVITY
The Investment Center Administration at Israel’s Ministry of Economy has finalized the professional criteria upon which companies operating in Israel will be granted government assistance in accordance with the Law for the Encouragement of Capital Investment.
The Administration announced that, beginning in FY 2014, parameters measuring productivity and innovation will play a role in determining which companies receive government assistance. The purpose of these changes is to continue to encourage innovation and productivity while also supporting greater use of technology by traditional industries.
EMC BUYS ISRAELI START-UP SCALEIO FOR APPROXIMATELY $300M
The U.S. data-storage company EMC has announced its acquisition of ScaleIO, an Israeli start-up company that manufactures server-side storage software.
The company has developed software that helps businesses create a virtual pool of server-based storage by combining resources from solid-state drives, PCIe flash cards and traditional hard drives. The unique technology will be incorporated into EMC’s Flash Products Division.
EMC Corporation is a leading information infrastructure and IT company. The company has been active in Israel since 1999 and has emerged as a serial buyer of Israeli start-ups. Its investments have totaled hundreds of millions of dollars since 2005, with the current deal constituting its second acquisition in Israel in just over a year, following the purchase of the flash storage firm XtremeIO for $430 million in May 2012.
INTEL ACQUIRES OMEK INTERACTIVE
Intel Corporation has acquired Omek Interactive, an Israeli technology software development company that specializes in the development of gesture recognition and tracking systems.
With this acquisition, for a reported $30-40 million, Intel is continuing its efforts to develop perceptual computing, gesture recognition and 3D cameras, with the aim of improving computer user experience. In January 2012 it bought Israel’s Vision Biometrics, making the recent acquisition Intel’s second purchase in the field.
32 YOUNG ISRAELI SCIENTISTS GRANTED PRESTIGIOUS ERC GRANT
32 young Israeli scientists – a striking 31% of Israel’s applicants – were awarded the prestigious European Research Council grant last month, making Israel the third leading country in grant recipients after only Germany and Britain.
The award, granted to promising young scientists from across the globe, can reach as much as 2 million Euros and is considered a prestigious mark of honor for recipients as well as a major factor in the ability of young scientists to advance their research . Figures for grants to population size ratio show Israel receiving proportionally far more grants than any other of the 22 participating countries.
The research supported in Israel includes the development of technologies that have the potential to make significant medical advances on numerous fronts.
INVESTORS TO MEET ISRAEL’S RISING STARS IN AMSTERDAM
A new initiative launched by the Investment Promotion Center at Israel’s Ministry of Economy will enable investors from across the globe to explore strategic partnership opportunities with some of Israel’s emerging stars in the digital media and broadcasting sector.
Building upon the vibrant exchange platform of Amsterdam’s annual International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) in September, a special session hosted by “Invest in Israel” on September 16th will showcase ten up-and-coming Israeli companies that have developed cutting-edge technologies ranging from satellite services, content management and distribution, Smart TV and OTT.
ISRAELI YOUTH SHOWCASE THEIR TALENTS AT INTERNATIONAL PHYSICS COMPETITION
One gold medal, three silver medals and a bronze medal are what Israel’s physics team has to show for its efforts at the International Physics Olympiad in Denmark, where high-school students from across the globe gathered to compete from July 7th through 15th.
The impressive showcase of talent comes on the heels of the Israeli computer science team’s achievement of four medals in its field, sending it into the top ten-ranked countries globally, at number 8.
At the 44th annual Olympiad, Israeli students competed over four days with 82 other participating countries. Its high ranking positions the team to continue its ascent through the rankings in upcoming years, reaffirming and reflecting global recognition of Israel’s status as a center of creative thinking and innovation and demonstrating the promise of its human capital.
AN ISRAELI MEDICAL INNOVATION THAT COULD SAVE MILLIONS SUBMITTED TO FDA FOR APPROVAL
SciVac, an Israeli pharmaceutical company, is seeking FDA approval for a widely-used Hepatitis B vaccine. The application for approval comes as part of an effort to increase global sales, which could curb the growth of a disease that is the cause of some 1.2 million deaths annually.
The company’s Sci-B-Vac is already being administered to a majority of Israeli children after birth and aims to improve upon older vaccines by containing three native proteins of the virus, versus just one in earlier versions. It has distributed more than 500,000 doses of its vaccine since 2009 and is registered for use in India, Hong Kong, Vietnam, the Philippines and a number of countries in Africa. After launching clinical trials in the U.S., the company hopes to achieve FDA approval and subsequently to seek approval in Europe.
PHILIPS HEALTHCARE ANNOUNCES PLANS TO ESTABLISH ISRAELI INCUBATOR
After meeting some 30 Israeli medical start-ups, senior VP for business development, strategy, and M&A at the Dutch multinational engineering and electronics conglomerate Philips Healthcare, Arnaud Bernaert, affirmed the company’s conviction that it must expand the scope of its activity in Israel. According to Bernaert, as a company that specializes in imaging and home healthcare, Israel is a natural site of investment for Philips, which already operates a large development center in Israel, boasting more than 600 employees.
The past few years has seen the company enter into ties with numerous Israeli medical companies, including CDP Medical, which it purchased in 2010, and U.S.-Israeli start-up Corindus Vascular Robotics Inc. with which it is engaged in close collaboration. In the hopes of furthering cooperation with Israeli start-ups in earlier stages and avoiding missed opportunities to capitalize on innovative solutions, Philips has decided to establish an incubator style model in Israel.