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Israel Investment News - October, 2006

THE WSJ: INTERNATIONAL INVESTORS SEE MORE OPPORTUNITIES THAN RISK IN POSTWAR ISRAEL (10/2006)

"Warren buffet's decision to buy an 80% stake in Iscar . . . is regarded here as proof that Israel remains a good place to do business."

In an article in "The Wall Street Journal," Michael Corkery writes of Israel's "world-class economy" and its position as "a leading exporter of high-tech products and services as well as an incubator of entrepreneurs." The article points out the economy's resiliency during the recent conflict in Lebanon and emphasis that major acquisitions, such as Warren Buffet's of Iscar, Hewlett-Packard's of Mercury and SanDisk's of mSystems are a "powerful symbol."


MICROSOFT ACQUIRES ISRAELI STARTUP GTEKO (10/2006)

Software giants 2nd Israeli acquisition for the year, 6th acquisition overall in Israel

The acquisition of Gteko, for an estimated $100-120m, exemplifies Microsoft's strategic decision to enhance R&D activity in Israel. Microsoft already has an R&D center in Haifa and is currently building a new center in Israel. Gteko specializes in automated technical support for personal computers and electronic end-user devices and was picked by the "Red Herring" as one of the hundred most promising technology companies in Europe.


HEBREW UNIVERSITY RANKED 12TH GLOBALLY FOR BIOTECH PATENTS IN 2005 (10/2006)

Tel Aviv University ranked 21 globally out of 424 universities

A study published by the Milken Institute, an independent economic think tank that provides research and analysis, of Los Angles called, "Mind to Market: A global Analysis of University Biotechnology Transfer and Commercialization," ranked the worlds top universities based on number of patents, patents' impact on biotechnology developments, scientific research and technology cycle time. Hebrew University outranked leading universities including Yale University, ranking 18th, Oxford University, ranking 24th and the University of California San Francisco and Johns Hopkins University.


31 ISRAELI START-UPS ACQUIRED SINCE JANUARY 2006 (10/2006)

2006 foreign investment in Israeli start-ups has totaled $2.1 billion to date

According to a Globes survey, three of the acquisitions were in the life sciences sector, while the majority of the remaining acquisitions were in the technology sector. EMC made the greatest investment in Israel, with three acquisitions totaling $233 million. Microsoft also acquired two Israeli start-ups this year, totaling $196 million. Other U.S. giants that invested in Israel include: Xerox and McAfee. Out of the 31 acquisitions, seven were sold for over $100 million.


INTEL ISRAEL TO RECRUIT 1,500 WORKERS FOR ITS SITES IN ISRAEL (10/2006)

Israeli recruitment occurring in midst of cutting 10 percent of its global workforce

Intel Israel will not be significantly impacted by Intel's recent announcement to layoff 16,000 employees. Intel has already recruited 1,000 workers since January 2006 in Israel and is set to recruit another 1,500. About 55 percent of the new recruitment will join the production workforce, mainly in Kiryat Gat. The remaining 45 percent of the intake are set to be employed at Intel's R&D centers.


MICROSEMI ACQUIRES POWERDSINE FOR $245M (10/2006)

Acquisition strengthens the semiconductor manufacturer's presence in the global communications market

Microsemi designs and manufactures high-performance analog integrated circuits for communication systems, PCs and aviation and military products. James J. Peterson, Microsemi's President and CEO said, "We are . . . excited to develop Microsemi's presence in Israel to leverage the country's outstanding engineering talent base." PowerDsine is a pioneer in the development of PoE, a technology that allows data and power to be transmitted over the same cable network.


AGILENT OPENS R&D CENTER IN ISRAEL (10/2006)

U.S. test and measurement giant hiring Israeli team for R&D in solutions for wireless communications measuring equipment

Agilent, a spin off of HP with $5.6 billion in sales in 2005, has chosen to build a new R&D center in Petah Tikva. Patrick J. Byrne, company president stated: "I see the convergence of market forces in Israel as something that enables us to be in the forefront of the semiconductor industry, solutions that will later go to equipment companies." The company is planning on gradually increasing its investment in Israel, including investments in Israeli research institutions.


XELERATED ESTABLISHES NEW DESIGN CENTER IN ISRAEL (10/2006)

Design center will accelerate the development of Xelerated’s next-generation products

"Israel is an excellent resource base for skilled system engineers and ASIC designers. We have been able to identify and recruit key engineers with immediately relevant skills and experience for the development of our next generation products," said Mats Lofling, VP of Engineering at Xelerated. A fabless semiconductor company, Xelerated, is a leading supplier of high performance network processors.


MCAFEE ACQUIRES ISRAELI IT SECURITY STARTUP ONIGMA FOR $20M AND CREATES NEW R&D BASE IN ISRAEL (10/2006)

Acquisition is company's first investment in Israel

McAfee will integrate Onigma technology in its enterprise security solution and turn the start up into its local R&D center. Christopher Bolin, chief technology officer and executive vice president, McAfee, Inc. said, "Onigma gives us additional capabilities and expertise to help customers reduce the risk associated with compliance violations, corporate governance concerns, internal policy infractions and information leaks." Onigma focuses on technology that enables companies to monitor workers and ensure that they do not improperly distribute confidential information. The technology will be available within days via all McAfee outlets worldwide.


TELECOM GIANT NORTEL NETWORKS TO BASE ITS NEW WIMAX CHIP ON ISRAELI TECHNOLOGY (10/2006)

New technology developed by Runcom Technologies triples performance speed and doubles data capacity

The Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology, developed by Israeli start-up Runcom Technologies, is expected to be used in applications such as television on the Internet and high-bandwidth mobile applications.


PFIZER ACQUIRES LICENSE TO HUMAN GENE FROM ISRAELI BIOTECH COMPANY QBI (10/2006)

Gene will aid in breakthrough treatment for blindness

In a multi-million dollar deal which is one of the largest of its kind in Israel's biotech industry, Pfizer acquired exclusive worldwide license to human gene RTP-801 discovered by Quark Biotech Inc.'s and molecules that modify its expression. The gene is involved in the development of pathologic blood vessels, which accelerate the progression of age related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in the developed world.


FIRST U.S. HEDGE FUND, MANAGING $4 BILLION IN ASSETS, MAKES ENTERANCE INTO ISRAELI MARKET (10/2006)

Old Lane buys stakes in Hydro-Industries

The acquisition represents one of the first entrances of a large hedge fund into the Israeli market and is the first time that a U.S. hedge fund has made an investment in an Israeli technology company. Old lane acquired 9% of the stake in Hydro-Industries.Hydro-Industries has developed proprietary technology that utilizes water pressure to generate kinetic and other forms of energy.


ISRAELI RESEARCH ON HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELL IS RANKED 2ND IN WORLD (10/2006)

According to journal Stem Cells, Israel has the 2nd highest number, in absolute terms, of publications on stem cells in scientific journals

Israel was ranked by the journal ahead of the UK, Korea, China, Singapore, Australia, Sweden and Canada for number of publications on stem cells in scientific journals. Stem Cells also ranked the best human Embryonic Stem Cell (hESC) research papers ever published in peer-reviewed journals, four of which were written by Israelis.


NANOTECHNOLOGY R&D TO RECEIVE $230M FUNDING (10/2006)

Government to finance a 3rd of funds worth $82 million over the next 5 years

The Israeli government announced that it will strengthen funding in nanoscience and nanotechnology research centers. The new financing uses a triangle model, where both the universities and the government match all private donations. This program makes nanotechnology one of Israel's most heavily invested in R&D fields in Israel. Research institutions participating in the program are Bar Ilan University, Tel Aviv University, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Weizmann Institute of Science. The funding will be invested into three channels: nanotechnology education, applied research and derived developments by companies.


INTERNATIONAL ENTREPRENEUR, ALFRED MANN HELPS ESTABLISH NEW $100M BIOTECH RESEARCH CENTER AT HAIFA'S TECHNION TECHNOLOGICAL INSTITUTE (10/2006)

Mann simultaneously invests in Israeli startup Biomimic Pharma

The new biomedical research institute will focus on creating products based on the knowledge developed at the Technion. The Technion is the first university outside the U.S. selected to be part of Mann's vision of establishing 12 Alfred Mann Institutes at the world's top research centers. Mann stated, “The Technion’s interdisciplinary nature allows for the melding of biomedicine and science with engineering and technology not possible at most universities." Mann also invested in Biomimic Pharma, an Israeli startup that uses technology developed at the Technion and is currently developing technology for engineering antibodies to fight cancer cells and viral infections.


VERIFONE BOOSTING INVESTMENT IN ISRAEL (10/2006)

Company planning on transferring manufacturing and R&D activity to Israel

VeriFone, which acquired Lipman Electronics in April 2006 for $793 million, is planning on investing another $300 million in Israel. VeriFone chairman and CEO, Douglas Bergeron who recently met with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said, "We intend to make our Israeli R&D center one of great importance to the company. We also plan to boost the manufacturing center in Israel . . . and plan to invest in this segment of our business to ensure its continued success going forward.”

Source: Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor - The Investment Promotion Center


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