TechNation: Intel Trumpets Contributions to Israeli Economy

Report: Israel in major league of innovators; Therapix teams up with Hebrew U. subsidiary; Local branch of French energy giant to build solar field at Timna; Arabs studying high-tech on sharp rise.

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Report: Israel in major league of innovators

A report by the organizers of the Davos forum says the United States, Singapore, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and Israel are getting the biggest bang for their buck in economic and digital innovation. The Geneva-based World Economic Forum says in its new Global Information Technology Report released yesterday that trends suggest individuals, not business or government, are driving the digital revolution and an already large gap in infrastructure between rich and developing countries is widening. (AP)

Intel trumpets contributions to Israeli economy

Intel accounted for 11% of Israel’s high-tech exports in 2015, according to a report on local corporate responsibility the company published on Tuesday. Intel’s Israeli exports totaled $16 billion last year, of Israel’s $37.5 billion total. The company also made purchases from 1,200 local suppliers, most of them small and medium-sized companies, totaling $3.15 billion. Of the suppliers, 35 are near its Kiryat Gat factory, which employs 3,200 people. The company has some 10,000 employees in Israel, all told. In total, the company has exported $171 billion since launching operations in Israel, it stated. (Eliran Rubin)

Therapix teams up with Hebrew U. subsidiary

Therapix Biosciences, which develops cannabis-based medicines, signed a binding memorandum of understanding with Hebrew University’s technology transfer subsidiary, Yissum. Therapix, which works with cannabinoid molecules to develop therapeutic nasal sprays, would receive an exclusive license to use technologies developed in partnership at a laboratory at the university’s medical school. In exchange, Therapix would pay the university subsidiary a one-time fee as well as royalties on sales for the first 15 years. The company filed an application with the U.S. FDA to approve orphan drug status for its THX-TS01 drug four days ago, designed to treat Tourette syndrome. (Yoram Gabison)

Local branch of French energy giant to build solar field at Timna

The local subsidiary of French energy giant EDF won a tender to build a solar field at Timna. EDF-EN Israel beat out nine other contenders after offering the Israel Lands Administration a massive 213.2 million shekels ($60 million) for 1,100 dunams of land in the southern Arava desert. The company is planning to build a 60-megawatt photovoltaic power plant. The company will get preferred rates in selling electricity to the Israel Electric Corporation for the first 25 years, at 31.9 agorot per kilowatt-hour. This is the first time the state has based such a tender on the price for land, instead of the price of electricity. The state had set a minimum bid of 24 million shekels for the land. (Avi Bar-Eli)

Arabs studying high-tech on sharp rise

The number of Arab students studying high-tech related degrees is up 50% since 2012. As of 2012, Arabs accounted for 10% of all students studying computer sciences, engineering and programming at Israeli universities. As of this year, there are 1,562 Arab students, or 14% of the total. The main increase was at the University of Haifa and the Technion, also in Haifa. The number of students studying computer science and engineering at Israeli universities and state-funded colleges increased 10% since 2012. Fully half of that increase was from Arab students. Arabs compromise 21% of Israel’s population. (Tali Heruti-Sover)