BDS is failing – a continuing series (Dec. 2015)

Here’s the latest installment in our monthly series of posts detailing BDS fails:

Economic BDS Fails

Texas-based end-to-end merchandize optimization developer Revionics Inc. has acquired Israeli company Marketyze, which develops advanced on-line competitive pricing intelligence, inventory optimization and merchandising solutions. No financial details about the deal were disclosed but Revionics is believed to be paying several tens of millions of dollars for the Ra’anana based company, which was founded in 2011.

Bosch will soon set up a development center in Tel Aviv, sources inform “Globes.” The German engineering and electronics giant already has development centers in Silicon Valley, Shanghai, Moscow and Singapore. Bosch’s development center will initially employ six people. Bosch invests 10% of its annual revenue of €5 billion in R&D.

Australia has decided to create two high-tech incubators abroad, one in Tel Aviv and the other in Silicon Valley in California. The country’s $1.1 billion “Ideas Boom” project was announced this weekend by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The project is aimed at helping Australia become a leader in the field of new technologies, while the money allocated to the project will be distributed by the Australian government over the next four years.

Israel and China’s science ministers signed a joint research declaration on Monday, the latest in a string of Sino-Israel accords.

The document, inked in Beijing by Israel’s Ofir Akunis and his Chinese counterpart Wan Gang, resolved that China would invest some $5 million and Israel more than $1 million in joint scientific studies.

Research fields will include the human brain, nano-technology, 3D printing, bio-medicine, renewable energy, computer science, smart cities and aging populations.

China seeks to tap into Israeli technical know-how to help it upgrade from an increasingly high-cost manufacturing nation to a lean and innovative, high-tech producer of advanced products and services.

Political BDS Fails

PARIS — A day after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras visited Jerusalem, his foreign minister Nikos Kotzias sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, informing him of the opposition by Athens to the EU guidelines, The Times of Israel has learned.

Another European country, however, has already declared its intention to defy Brussels’s instructions on labeling.

“We do not support that decision,” Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó declared earlier this month at an event of the Israel Council on Foreign Relations. “It is an inefficient instrument. It is irrational and does not contribute to a solution [to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict], but causes damage.

Reynders is the first European foreign minister to pay the price for the new Foreign Ministry measures, first reported in Yedioth Aharonth, taken against the countries that supported the EU decision to label settlement goods. Among other things, a decision was made to limit meetings with ministers and delegations from these countries during visits to Israel.

As part of the ongoing campaign to fight the Jew-hating BDS movement, Jewish Human Rights Watch issued in October proceedings to have boycott decisions made by Gwynedd County Council and Swansea City Council overturned.

In response to these legal claims both councils have formally stated that not only were the motions non-binding but that they have had no practical effect and have been entirely superseded.
JHRW welcomes these U-turns and is delighted to declare that now no local councils in Wales support anti-Jewish boycotts. There remain now 5 BDS-supporting councils in the UK -West Dunbartonshire, Highland, Newry & Mourne, Stirling and Clackmannanshire. JHRW will be redoubling its legal efforts against them. JHRW calls upon them to follow Wales’ lead and bring to an end their Jew-hating campaigns.

The student government’s ethics committee at the University of Michigan unanimously voted on Sunday not to take disciplinary action against a Jewish student who was under investigation for challenging anti-Israel demonstrators on campus, The Algemeiner has learned.

The Central Student Government (CSG) Ethics Committee released a report concluding that sophomore and CSG representative Jesse Arm “did not engage in unethical behavior or engage in conduct unbecoming of a representative.” The decision was made after the committee heard testimonies from all involved parties and reviewed footage of Arm confronting the protesters.

Scientific, Cultural, Technological BDS Fails

Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have developed a new method to destroy HIV-positive cells without damaging the healthy ones. When the HIV virus attacks, it inserts a portion of its DNA into the genome of the healthy cell through an enzyme called integrase. However, research led by Prof. Abraham Loyter and Prof. Assaf Friedler has discovered that certain peptides (amino acids) can interfere in this DNA-transfer process, and ultimately cause the infected cell to self-destroy.

The procedure was tested on cultures of human cells infected with HIV-1, the most common form of the virus, and within two weeks, those cells were destroyed. The study is still in progress; the researchers have signed a partnership with Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, as well as with the Hebrew University’s technology transfer company, Yissum, in order to find investors and continue with clinical trials.

Internationally recognized and the winner of major awards – including a million-dollar award presented by US cellphone firm Verizon last year – the Sesame Enable device uses voice commands and gestures – very slight ones – to control the device. The Sesame phone is a specially rigged Nexus 5 smartphone that includes the Sesame software system – an adjustment of the Nexus device’s Android operating system – which takes control of the device, with voice commands used to open up applications, make calls, etc.

Jewish actress Mayim Bialik took to Facebook on Tuesday to condemn those boycotting her on social media due to her pro-Israel beliefs.

“For those of you who refuse to follow me and discourage others from doing so because I am a Zionist (as if that’s a crime!!), I highly recommend you look up Zionism in a dictionary rather than using the definition perpetrated by anti-semitic media and leaders,” Bialik, who is also a neuroscientist, wrote.

The European Research Council (ERC) has announced the awarding of its Starting Grants to 291 early-career researchers, 24 of them from Israel – putting Israel in the first place in the number of research grants per capita.

Four Israel-based companies are among 10 winners of 2015 Medica App Competition held in Dusseldorf, with applications enabling people with speech disabilities to use their own voice, offering smarter visual cervical cancer screenings, helping asthma patients breathe effectively and enabling provision of online medical services.

In light of the International Day of People with Disabilities on Thursday, Dvir Brand, vice president of research and development at Ziv-Av Engineering (ZAE), says that Israeli innovation in medical devices is burgeoning as the country continues to make a significant impact on the growing worldwide industry.

Israel is recognized as the world leader per capita in start-ups and patents for medical devices.

The Jewish state has more than 700 companies in the field, comprising 53 percent of Israel’s total life sciences industry, according to the 2015 report by the Israel Advanced Technology Industries (IATI) umbrella organization for hi-tech and life sciences.

 “We’re starting with a $6 million project there but I don’t have any doubt that it’ll grow exponentially over the years,” said Sharp, explaining that research in Israel often leads to startups and new commercial ventures.

“They don’t call it ‘startup nation’ for nothing,” he said.

The A&M System has achieved a primary goal of expanding into Israel to take advantage of the country’s growing reputation as a high-tech hub.

“There really is a remarkable amount of research and innovation occurring in Israel,” said James Hallmark, vice chancellor for academic affairs at A&M. “There’s just so much going on there and we wanted to be a part of that.”

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology broke ground on Wednesday to launch the Guangdong Technion Israel Institute of Technology (GTIIT) in Shantou, in Guangdong Province, China. GTIIT, an historic partnership between the Technion and Shantou University, will offer high-level, innovative and research-oriented undergraduate and graduate education.

GTIIT will offer three units: the College of Engineering; the College of Science; and the College of Life Science. Areas of study will eventually include chemical engineering, materials engineering, environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, mathematics, physics, biotechnology and food engineering, biology, and biochemical engineering. Majors may be adjusted or replaced, depending on the need of Guangdong and the development of the GTIIT.


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