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. See the April 2011 edition after the jump. For previous editions, click here.
ISRAELI ECONOMY TO EXPAND 3.8 PCT IN 2011
The International Monetary Fund recently increased its growth prediction for the Israeli economy to 3.8% in 2011 and 2012.
Israel was cited along with Australia, Canada, Korea, Norway and Sweden, as a country in which economic conditions and underlying price pressures are somewhat stronger than in other advanced economies. The IMF also predicted that unemployment in Israel will drop to 5.5 percent in 2011 and 5 percent in 2012 from 6.7 percent last year.
The Bank of Israel has forecast the Israeli economy to grow 4.5% in 2011 and 4% in 2012. The Israeli economy grew 4.5% in 2010, and reached a 4-year record of 7.7% in the fourth quarter of 2010.
WORLD LEADER EMC TO OPEN R&D CENTER IN BEER SHEVA
“Over the next five years, we expect to continue to grow our business tremendously in Israel and will benefit significantly by being able to leverage the academic network and the talented engineers in the region.” – Dr. Orna Berry, vice president and general manager of EMC Israel COE.
EMC Corporation, one of the world’s leading companies in information infrastructure solutions, is strengthening its investment and presence in Israel through the launch of a new research & development Center in the southern Israeli city of Beer Sheva.
The new facility will be located in the Beer Sheva High-Tech Park, directly adjacent to Ben-Gurion University (BGU) and SCE, the College of Engineering, which will enable the company to work with the country’s leading young technologists.
EMC’s new facility in the Negev will also benefit from the Israeli government’s incentives for multinational companies which open up facilities in peripheral areas of Israel. These incentives are designed to encourage investment and boost technological, economic and academic growth and cooperation throughout Israel.
ASSET MANAGEMENT GIANT ORBIMED CREATES $200 MLN ISRAELI FUND
OrbiMed, the world’s leading asset management firm in the global health sciences industry, is forming a $200 million fund to invest in research and development in the Israeli life sciences industry. The new fund will be one of the largest venture capital funds in Israel.
The new fund is the result of collaboration between OrbiMed and the Israeli government which will invest approximately $40 million in the fund. The fund will invest in medical devices, biotech, and diagnostics directing a significant part of the investments toward biopharmaceuticals, an area with outstanding infrastructure in Israel, which is considered to be not fully tapped.
Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor in 2009 established a Biotech Fund to help boost growth in Israel’s biotech sector. The fund aims to raise up to 1 billion shekels ($250 million), of which 250 million shekels will be provided by the Israeli government.
FDA APPROVES ISRAELI ALTERNATIVE FOR CHEMOTHERAPY
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Novocure’s non-invasive NovoTTF-100A System for the treatment of brain tumors. The NovoTTF, a portable, wearable device that delivers anti-cancer therapy as patients pursue their normal daily activities, is the first ever medical device for the treatment of cancer as an alternative to chemotherapy.
The device was approved for the treatment of patients with so-called recurrent glioblastoma, or cancer that continues to grow after treatments like surgery and chemotherapy.
Novocure, which has a research center in Haifa, is also conducting clinical trials of the NovoTTF on newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients in addition to standard treatments as well as in non-small cell lung-cancer.
ISRAELS MEKOROT WATER COMPANY TO DEVELOP UGANDAN WATER INFRASTRUCTURES
Mekorot National Water Company will develop Uganda’s water infrastructures under an agreement signed with the government-owned National Water and Sewerage Corporation. Mekorot will ultimately build 11 dams and reservoirs to supply water to two million residents.
Mekorot will first build projects in Karamoja district in Uganda’s arid northeast, but hopes to expand its work throughout the country and to include the development of sewage treatment plants.
Mekorot is one of Israel’s many innovative companies in the field of water technologies to participate in WATEC 2011, Israel’s bi-annual water event to be held on November 9-11 (www.watec-israel.com).
ISRAEL PARTNERS IN 16% OF EUREKA’S 89 APPROVED INNOVATIVE PROJECTS
EUREKA’s representatives from 40 countries are investing 134 million euros ($194 million) in 89 initiatives across Europe, 14 of which have Israeli partners.
Israel has been one of the five most active members in EUREKA, the leading industrial R&D initiative in Europe, boasting the same number of projects as much bigger [EU] countries. In 2011, Israel became the first non-European state to head the EUREKA Network. Since the start of Israel’s chairmanship year, nearly 200 EUREKA projects have been approved, totaling more than 280 million euros ($405 million) of private and public investment.
The approved R&D projects cover a variety of areas, including renewable energy, agrofood technology, biotechnology, physical and exact sciences, IT and electronics, industrial manufacturing, and more. EUREKA initiatives look to meet challenges such as climate change, energy security, and limited water resources.
ISRAEL TO BECOME 1ST NON-EUROPEAN MEMBER OF EXCLUSIVE CERN NUCLEAR GROUP
Israel’s cabinet approved the country’s membership in the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) that currently includes 20 states, 18 of them from the EU.
Israel first joined the organisation in 1991 as an observer state, and became a special observer state in 2009.
Based in Geneva, CERN is the world leader in the research of particle physics. It’s star project is the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most sophisticated particle collider, a $10 billion project that aims to bash together the tiny particles making up the universe at phenomenal speeds to allow scientists to observe phenomena that occurred immediately after the Big Bang.
Israel is expected to become a full member of CERN by 2013, after two years as an associate member.