Israel: Facts to be Proud of

With all the Israel-bashing going on in the world – and fearful Jews in the Disapora avoiding confrontation with the anti-Semitism that surrounds them – I thought it would be uplifting to share some positive information about Israel with you, information that should make you proud to be a Jew.

Did you know that despite its small size, Israel is at the forefront in the field of high tech and new technologies? Unfortunately, those achievements are too often not known by the general public who only see Israel as a country at war.

It would do the world well to consider where they would be without a healthy and secure Israel vs. where they’ll be if they continue supporting Arab terrorists with their financial and media resources. Below are figures and a few examples which illustrate the vitality and creativity of the successes Israel has achieved in the fields of water, life science, clean energy, telecommunication, computers, etc. Achievements that have made a positive impact on the lives of just about everyone on the planet.

Technologies

Ranking
In comparison with the rest of the world, Israel ranked:

  • 1st for total expenditure on R & D as a percentage of GDP (4.8%) *
  • 1st for business expenditure on R & D *
  • 1st for availability of qualified engineers *
  • 2nd for information technology skills *
  • 3rd for Quality of Scientific Research Organizations **
  • 3rd for Registered Patents Per Capita **
  • 4th for higher education achievements *
  • 6th for overall innovation **

* IMD Global Competitiveness Yearbook 2007-2008
** WEF Global Competitiveness Report 2008-2009

Life-Sciences

Israel’s thriving Life Sciences industry is world renowned for its groundbreaking innovations, ingenuity and creativity. Israel is home to over 900 Life Science companies, with 50-60 new companies being formed each year. Multinationals including J&J, Perrigo, GE Healthcare and Phillips Medical, together with local companies such as Teva, Given Imaging, Insightec, Medinol, Disc-o-tech, and Brainstorm have been at the global forefront in the development and marketing of life-changing medical breakthroughs and valuable innovations.

Awards

  • Neurosonix received the European Association of Cardiac-Thoracic Surgery Techno-College Innovation Award for its EmBlocker, which uses ultrasonic energy to non-invasively divert emboli flow away from the cerebral arteries.
  • Red Herring selected Brainsgate, developer of the Spheno-Palatine Ganglion (SPG) stimulation platform used for stroke victims and other CNS related indications, as one of the most promising 100 private companies in Europe in 2007.
  • Transpharma Medical received a designation by Red Herring’s 100 Europe in 2007 for developing and commercializing drug products utilizing a proprietary active transdermal drug delivery technology.
  • Scientific American Magazine listed Dr. Beka Solomon of Tel Aviv University and her research into the use of antibodies in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease as one of the 50 most significant breakthroughs in 2007.
  • Dr. Shulamit Levenberg, Head of the Biomedical Engineering Faculty at the Technion, was named by Scientific Magazine in 2007 as one of 50 top research contributors for her work in implanting blood vessels in muscle tissue without the body’s rejection of the implanted muscles and for her efforts in tissue engineering using embryonic stem cells.
  • Scientific American Magazine cited a live tissue memory and processing chip created at Tel Aviv University, as one of the 50 most significant scientific breakthroughs of 2007.
  • Professors Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko of the Technion received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2004 for their discovery of Ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation, leading to breakthroughs in the understanding and treatment of diseases such as Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and Cystic Fibrosis.

Rankings

  • 1st in the world for Medical Device patents per capita and 4th in Bio-Pharma (USPTO).
  • Pioneering Stem Cell research & therapeutics:
    • 1st to demonstrate in-vitro differentiation of human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESC) and generation of human embryonic bodies.
    • 1st to genetically modify hESCs, including a line that represented a model for human disease (Lesch Nyhan disease).
    • 1st clinical trials of cell therapy treatments.
  • Israel is 2nd in Europe in the number per capita of private biotech companies with products in the pipeline.
  • Israel is 6th in the world in the number of scientific publications per capita.

Some Discoveries

  • Galil Medical’s minimally invasive cryotherapy solutions freeze and ablate benign cancerous tissue, thereby hastening a patient’s’ recovery.
  • Teva’s Copaxone for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis and Azilect for Parkinson’s disease are revolutionary drugs developed in Israel.
  • Medinol’s closed cell stent is used worldwide for heart catheterization.
  • Rebif, a treatment for Central Nervous System disorders was developed by the Weizmann Institute and Serono.
  • Insightec developed the ExAblate 2000 non-invasive surgery, which uses MR guided focused ultrasound to treat uterine fibroids.
  • Exelon, a drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s originated at the Hebrew University and was developed and marketed by Novartis.
  • A chemotherapy drug for the treatment of ovarian cancer, Doxil, was developed at the Hadassah Medical Center and sold to Johnson & Johnson.
  • Microneedle based systems for the painless intradermal delivery of drugs was implemented by NanoPass which collaborated with GlaxoSmithKline on optimization of its platform for vaccine delivery.

Water Technologies

Since its founding, Israel has been coping with water scarcity and has been treating the subject as a national priority. The country has been constantly developing novel and efficient water technologies, which can benefit the world as it is increasingly dealing with water scarcity concerns due to global warming.

  • Israel, with a 75% water recycling rate, is the world’s number one water recycler. The second largest water recycler is Spain, with a rate of 12%
  • Israeli-invented Drip Irrigation helped achieve70%-80% of water efficiency in agriculture -the highest rate in the world.
  • Israel has achieved the highest ratio in the world of crop yield per water unit.
  • Israel is home to the world’s largest Seawater Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) desalination plant, annually producing 100 million m3 at the low cost of approximately $0.52 per m3 of water – the most cost-efficient of its kind in the world.
  • Israel is a pioneer in the fight against desertification.
  • Israel created many innovative solutions in the field of water treatment and purification.

Some Israeli Inventions

Israel’s successful track record of innovations includes:

  • M-Systems was the first to offer Disk-on-Key and Disk-on-Chip flash memory products, and changed the way people store and handle information.
  • The Philips Brilliance CT Scanner, developed in Israel, takes a comprehensive picture of a patient in seconds instead of minutes, in the emergency room where every second counts.
  • IP Telephony was invented by the two Israelis who founded VocalTec.
  • ZIP compression technology was developed by two professors at the Technion, Israel’s Institute of Technology.
  • Given Imaging developed the first ingestible video camera to view the small intestine from the inside, and help doctors diagnose cancer and digestive disorders.
  • The technology for the AOL Instant Messenger ICQ was developed in 1996 by four young Israelis.
  • Comverse invented voice-mail.
  • Centrino and Pentium-4 Dotan were developed by Intel Israel.
  • Revolutionizing present day agriculture techniques, Netafim developed modern drip-irrigation technology and Israeli companies continue to lead this field with innovative breakthroughs.

And every day brings its share of new innovations. Here are two examples from the past few days:

Did you know that Cisco, IBM, HP, Intel, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and Motorola have research centers in Israel? Or that the first project of an electric car at the national level will be held in Israel (project Better Place)?

Want to learn more? Visit these web sites:

In closing, here’s a tongue-in-cheek video about the consequences of a boycott of Israeli products


Watch it on YouTube

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