Business in Brief

Petitioners demand Israel-Silicon Valley airline service, IBM Israel contributed nearly 300 registered patents last year.

High-tech workers petition for nonstop Israel-Silicon Valley flights

More than 3,000 people from the high-tech industry have signed a petition urging an airline to begin nonstop flights between Tel Aviv and San Francisco that would provide more efficient travel for passengers flying between Israel and California’s Silicon Valley. Those signing the petition promised to join the frequent flyer program of the first company to establish the service.

The website promoting the route projects that those who have signed the petition so far would account for about 17,500 tickets a year. The petition explains that air carriers don’t think there is sufficient demand to justify the route.

“We think their calculations are wrong and we’re trying to prove it with this petition,” the site explains.

The organizers promise to share the names and email addresses of those signing onto the petition only with the first airline to commit to offer the service. (Orr Hirschauge)

IBM’s Israeli operations responsible for 284 American patents in 2013

IBM registered about 6,800 patents in the United States last year, the largest number of American patents registered by a company – for the 21st year in a row, according to IFI Claims Patent Services.

IBM Israel says the company’s operations here accounted for 284 of those patents, including 120 developed at the company’s Haifa research labs.

IBM’s operations in Israel produced a range of new technologies in a number of fields, including water systems management, banking, medical systems and security-related innovations, according to IBM Israel’s intellectual property counsel, Suzanne Erez.

IBM will be launching a consumer-related product shortly that was developed in Israel and uses GPS-type technology to offer promotions to shoppers in connection with items on the shelves near their location in a particular store.

Another piece of Israeli technology will enable firefighters to locate the source of a fire. (Amir Teig)

Israeli-U.S. energy fund to invest $3.6m in clean technology

BIRD Energy, a cooperative venture of the U.S. Department of Energy and Israel’s Energy and Water Resources Ministry, is investing a total of $3.6 million in four clean-technology energy projects that will be carried out jointly by entities from the two countries.

A total of $8.8 million is expected to be invested in the four projects, including other sources of funding. The projects involve a joint venture by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and U.S.-based Aquion Energy; another bringing together EnStorage Israel and Princeton Power Systems; a joint project of GenCell of Israel and Innovative Machine Corp. of the United States; and a fourth involving Israel’s Winflex and General Electric.

BIRD Energy is affiliated with BIRD, the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation. (Ora Coren)

AP