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Wednesday, 23 August 2017

El Al Israel Airlines details Boeing 787 cabin plans

Rendering of Boeing 787 in El Al livery


El Al Israel Airlines is preparing to take delivery of its first Boeing 787, which will include ViaSat Wi-Fi, a new premium-economy cabin and lie-flat business-class seats supplied by Recaro.
The Israeli flag carrier is acquiring ​16 787s, which will start arriving in August. The aircraft will enter commercial service on routes to Europe in September, before being deployed on long-haul routes to the US and Far East.
Giving an Aug. 15 update, El Al CEO David Maimon said the airline was rolling out a “massive investment” in advanced seats and upgraded IFE with the 787 arrival, after 18 months of preparations.
The aircraft will feature a new service class, a 28-seats premium-economy cabin, as well as a 32-seat business-class equipped with Recaro lie-flat seats. The economy cabin will be configured with 222 seats.
“High-speed internet by ViaSat will be launched in 2018 on the Dreamliner aircraft fleet,” El Al said. The 787s will also have high-definition Panasonic AVOD IFE.
The new aircraft will be phased in by 2020, replacing El Al’s 747-400s and 767-300s, building on El Al’s 737-900 short-haul fleet renewal which is already underway.

Israel's TowerJazz to set up China chip plant with Tacoma Semi

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli chipmaker TowerJazz is linking up with Tacoma Semiconductor Technology Co to establish a fabrication plant in Nanjing, China to make 8-inch wide wafers, as it seeks a foothold in the world's second-largest economy.
TowerJazz shares jumped 6.5 percent to $26.64 in early Nasdaq trading on Monday.
TowerJazz, which makes chips for smartphones, battery chargers, AC/DC adapters and image sensors, is not investing any money in the plant. But it will provide technological expertise together with operational and integration consultation.
It will receive payments based on milestones during the next few years, subject to a definitive agreement.
Tacoma will be responsible for funding the project, including the construction of the facility, which is being supported by the Nanjing Economic and Technology Development Zone Credito Capital. Funding could also come from third party investors and other entities, TowerJazz said.
TowerJazz noted it had already received its first payment of $18 million from Tacoma.
Under the deal, from the start of production at the facility TowerJazz will be entitled to a capacity allocation of up to 50 percent of the targeted 40,000 wafers per month capacity.
This will provide TowerJazz with additional manufacturing capability and flexibility to address growing global demand.
TowerJazz operates two plants in Israel, one in California, one in Texas, and three in Japan through a joint venture with Panasonic.
Earlier this month it reported a more than 20 percent rise in second-quarter profit and said it was on track for record revenue in the current quarter.
Last year, TowerJazz bought Maxim Integrated Product's 8-inch wafer fab plant in San Antonio, Texas for $40 million in stock.
Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by David Holmes

'Miracle' in Jerusalem testifies to the devotion of Christian pilgrims 1,500 years ago

An important ancient inscription has been unearthed near the Damascus Gate in JerusalemAssaf Peretz, Israel Antiquities Authority
A 'miracle' inscription has been unearthed in Jerusalem that testifies to the devotion of Christian pilgrims just 550 years after the birth of Christ.
The Greek inscription mentioning the Byzantine emperor Justinian was exposed on a mosaic floor near the Damascus Gate.
It was found in a room believed to have been used as a hostel for pilgrims and has 'surprised and excited' the Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists who discovered it.
A 1,500 year old mosaic floor with its Greek inscription was discovered this summer during building work for communications infrastructures.
David Gellman, excavation director, said: 'The fact that the inscription survived is an archaeological 
'The excavation in a relatively small area exposed ancient remains that were severely damaged by infrastructure groundwork over the last few decades.
'We were about to close the excavation, when all of a sudden, a corner of the mosaic inscription peeked out between the pipes and cables. Amazingly, it had not been damaged. Every archaeologist dreams of finding an inscription in their excavations, especially one so well preserved and almost entirely intact.'
The Damascus Gate served for hundreds of years as the main northern entrance to Jerusalem.
Gellman said: 'Knowing that, it is no surprise that this area is rich with archaeological remains. In the Byzantine period, with the emergence of Christianity, churches, monasteries and hostels for pilgrims were built in the area north of the gate, and the area became one of the most important and active areas of the city.' 
Dr Leah Di Segni, of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, deciphered the inscription which read: 'In the time of our most pious emperor Flavius Justinian, also this entire building Constantine the most God-loving priest and abbot, established and raised, in the 14th indiction.'
Di Segni said: 'This inscription commemorates the founding of the building by Constantine, the priest. The inscription names the emperor Flavius Justinian. It seems that the building was used as a hostel for pilgrims. Indiction is an ancient method of counting years, for taxation purposes. Based on historical sources, the mosaic can be dated to the year 550/551 AD.'
The two people mentioned in the inscription are well known from both ancient historical sources and archaeological finds.
The emperor Flavius Justinian was one the most important rulers of the Byzantine period, and was one of the most colorful and charismatic rulers of antiquity. Under his reign, the Roman empire was at its strongest, and its conversion to Christianity was completed. In the year 543 AD he established a large church in Jerusalem, dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, known as The Nea Church.
This was the largest church built in Jerusalem and one of the largest in the entire empire.
The abbot of the church was Constantine. Remains of the church were partially excavated in 1970, in the Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, even then sparking interest among archaeologists and scholars of Jerusalem, throughout Israel and across the globe. This excavation was a part of the Jewish quarter excavations carried out immediately following the Six Day War in 1967.
According to Di Segni, the inscription found near the Damascus gate is fairly similar to an inscription found in the vaults of the Nea Church, currently exhibited in the Israel museum. The same two people are mentioned in the inscription, the emperor Justinian and the abbot Constantine. Di Segni said: 'This new inscription helps us understand Justinian's building projects in Jerusalem, especially the Nea Church. The rare combination of archaeological finds and historical sources, woven together, is incredible to witness, and they throw important light on Jerusalem's past.'

Indian Space Agency, Israeli Counterpart to Formalize Strategic Collaborations

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) says it is looking for greater cooperation with Israel in the field of electric propulsion system of space technology and optical communication technique.
New Delhi (Sputnik)  ISRO chief A.S. Kiran Kumar has said that the organization hopes to soon formalize key collaborations in space technologies with Israel Space Agency (ISA), taking forward a cooperation agreement signed between the two during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Middle Eastern country last month. The agreement mainly focused on developing technologies in the areas of electric propulsion for the small satellites, atomic clocks and GEO-LEO Optical Link.
"We are looking for cooperation in the field of optical communication technique and electric propulsion system of space technology," Kumar said on Monday in New Delhi.
The electric propulsion system is critical for sending heavy-weight satellites in the orbit while the optical communication technology transmits data, using light, from satellite to the earth station.
India’s collaboration with Israel in the fields of communication and aeronautics is low compared to India’s cooperation with other countries like the US, Russia and countries of the European Union.
In 2011, Israel had supplied India with a radar imaging satellite, later named RISAT-2. A nano satellite from Israel was one of the 104 satellites launched by ISRO in its record-breaking feat in February although the first launch of an Israeli satellite was done by the Indian space agency in 2008.
Kumar, who also serves as the secretary of the Department of Space, informed that ISRO has been already working with and share resources with international agencies on collaborative projects.
A case in point: ISRO and NASA’s NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellite that can help in providing crucial information on the biomass estimation and agriculture production estimation. The NISAR will also help in studying earth surface deformation, which could provide valuable inputs for future earthquake precursors.

Israel’s Mossad Submits Report Detailing Iran’s ‘Growing Influence in Syria’


London – The Israeli Mossad agency voiced on Tuesday Tel Aviv’s concern over Iran’s growing power in the region.
It delivered a report on Iran’s influence in Syria to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Russian city of Sochi on Wednesday.
Mossad Director Yossi Cohen alerted the government to the fact that Iran’s influence, in Syria in particular, and the region in general is growing stronger by the day.
The report noted the constant flow of fighters from Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran commanded by Qasem Soleimani and backed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). It also addressed the supply transports by air and sea. The report was prepared by intelligence analyst Ronen Salomon and published by Russia Today.
Salomon’s research shows that Iran is shoring up its presence in Lebanon through the IRGC’s Quds Force, headed by Soleimani.
The Quds Force works with the IRGC’s intelligence division to carry out operations outside of Iran, with the assistance of the Ministry of Intelligence and other ministries and agencies.
The Iranian presence in Syria, meanwhile, begins at the Damascus International Airport region, the Iranian embassy, Mount Qasioun, which overlooks Damascus, and near the Presidential Palace.
Yedioth Ahronoth, which also published segments of the report, stated that Israeli Air Force carried attacks meant to stop ammunition shipments to Lebanon’s “Hezbollah” both at the Damascus airport and in the Qasioun area.
“These are accompanied by ‘interests sections’ used by the Quds Force in aviation and transportation, such as Iran Air and Mahan Air, the ministries of Islamic culture and direction, science and technology, housing and commerce and trade,” explained Salomon.
He claimed that the Quds Force is occasionally using the Iranian Red Crescent both to insert Revolutionary Guard and intelligence ministry operatives and to transport shipment and military aid by air and by sea, as they have already done in Lebanon, Sudan and Yemen.
Research showed that over the past few years, Iran was able to transport a large number of containers carrying advanced implements of war by sea under the guise of commercial shipments. Among other methods, transpiration is carried out through companies connected to Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL).
Meanwhile, and according to the report, Iran started running an airlift to Syria out of Tehran’s airports and Iranian airbases adjacent to the Iraqi border.
Iran’s activity covers four fronts with the main command stationed in Damascus international airport’s area and is entrusted with the airborne supply array and forces spread over greater Damascus.
Salomon stated some eyewitnesses testimonies of the accelerated construction of military complexes in the coastal strip of northwestern Syria, reportedly linked to armament development and storage.
Recently, Iran has made a concerted effort to gain control of the Tanf border crossing between Syria and Iraq with the goal of connecting Iran’s bases and those of its Iraqi branches, according to Salomon. This will also be used to achieve control of Iraq’s shared border with Deir al-Zour in eastern Syria.

Joint Bulgaria – Israeli flight training exercise to be held in September 2017

Written by  on August 23, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Joint Bulgaria – Israeli flight training exercise to be held in September 2017

A joint flight training exercise by the air forces of Bulgaria and Israel is to be held in Bulgaria in early September 2017, according to a statement after the Cabinet met in Sofia on August 23.
The statement said that Bulgaria’s government had authorised the entry of Israeli Air Force “non-military” aircraft and their crews for the flight training.
The exercise will involve 42 Israeli aircraft and their crews, as well as 40 Israeli military personnel for co-ordination and technical support.
“The holding of the joint training activities will lead to increased interoperability and expansion of military co-operation between the armed forces of Bulgaria and Israel, as well as to the improvement of the preparation of the units of the Bulgarian Air Force,” the government statement said.


 In Andersen Tax

Dan DePaoli AndersenAndersen Global has announced the appointment of the Regional Managing Partner for the U.S., Canada and Israel, Dan DePaoli. Dan serves on the Board of Directors in the U.S. and has been the U.S. Country Managing Director of Andersen Tax LLC for nearly two years.
Dan, along with two other regional leaders, will focus on specific regional strategies and is part of the larger structure that will support the growth of Andersen Global and its member and collaborating firms. The regional leaders for Latin America and Europe will be announced in the coming weeks.
Dan’s background includes providing tax consulting and compliance services to high net worth individuals and families, while also providing tax and financial services to family offices. Dan began his career at Arthur Andersen over 25 years ago.
“Dan’s collaborative nature combined with his experience on the U.S. Board and as a line partner makes him an excellent fit for this role. He is a steward for our firm and fully embodies the culture and values of our organization,” noted Global Chairman and Andersen Tax LLC CEO, Mark Vorsatz. “I am confident in Dan’s leadership and vision to implement key strategies in this region that will take us to the next level.”

Protein discovered that ‘turns off’ desire for alcohol

Researchers from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre have discovered a protective response in the liver that could be targeted to help treat alcoholic liver disease.
The finding involves a protein called fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), which was previously found to help protect mice against diet-related toxicities to the liver.
Increasing levels of the protein – in lab mice – caused them to prefer water over alcohol.
The same protective response may be involved in aversion to alcohol and could therefore be utilised in the treatment of alcoholism.
The study’s co-senior author, Eleftheria Maratos-Flier, said: ‘Looking at the relationship between alcohol-induced liver disease and FGF21 was the next step.’
‘We showed that alcohol consumption induces FGF21 as a protective response in the liver that reduces the degree of alcohol-induced damage,” said Maratos-Flier. “Because humans and mice have similar responses, mice may be a good model for studying this further.’
The study, which has been published in the journal Molecular Metabolism, found that people who binged on alcohol over a one-hour period exhibited massive increases of FGF21 in their blood six hours later. Similar results were seen in mice. Also, in mice bred to lack FGF21, binging on alcohol led to more liver damage than that seen in wild mice, along with an increased expression of genes involved in inflammation and scarring in the liver.
Alcohol was cleared normally in mice lacking FGF21, suggesting that FGF21 does not play a role in acute alcohol metabolism. Also, mice that were bred to overexpress FGF21 consumed less alcohol than wild mice. A similar effect was observed when wild mice were administered extra FGF21.
The findings suggest that the protein has a dual role in alcohol metabolism. The rise in FGF21 in response to alcohol consumption seems to inhibit further drinking. Simultaneously the rise in FGF21 expression in the liver may protect against liver damage.
‘Our results may encourage the development of drugs that mimic FGF21 for the treatment of alcoholic liver disease, and possibly to produce alcohol aversion,’ Maratos-Flier said.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Baghdad schoolmates hold reunion in Montreal

 When alumni of the Frank Iny School, the last Jewish school in Baghdad, held a reunion last week in Montreal, it was a chance to reminisce and catch up with old friends, most of whom had fled Iraq after 1967. For blogger Marcus E. Smith, attending the event was to open his eyes to a close-knit but oppressed community, which he had no clue existed when he was a soldier in Iraq.  

Looking at old school photos
Named after its benefactor, the school had been one of many Jewish schools in the city but when it moved to a newly completed facility in the old Baghdad neighborhood of Alwiyah in 1951 it then served as the sole Jewish high school and, thus, a focal point of the now small Jewish community in Baghdad.

Weddings, Bar-mitzvahs, Graduations. The school acted like a magnet, drawing its students and their families closer inward, strengthening the bonds of the community.

Meanwhile, the persecution that precipitated the mass migration abated significantly and the remaining Jewish community carried on working, going to school, and raising their families. Like other Iraqis in Baghdad, they swam in the cool waters of the Tigris and slept away the hot summer nights on their terrace rooftops. They tuned in to radio Baghdad as revolution brought an end to the monarchy in 1958. Regimes came and went in the decade or so following the revolution but daily life continued largely undisturbed for the residents of the Iraqi capital, including the Jews.  
PictureAt the Frank Iny School the students tackled the most rigorous curriculum in the country, studying their subjects in English and French as well as their native Arabic. The program was so renowned for its quality education that a number of prominent Muslim families sent their children there. Jewish families, wary of what the future held for them in Iraq, sought education for their youth that would provide opportunities abroad, yet they continued to enjoy their lives in Iraq.

Attending the cinema with friends. Weekend trips to the countryside. Long evenings at the Jewish country club or at a local café playing games and socializing.On weekdays many went to work alongside Muslim and Christian business partners and clientele. Some Jews called this period in the 1950s and early 60s a “return to normalcy.” Others “a golden age.” Whatever they call it, they all agree that 1967 was a turning point.
Many Iraqis continued to conflate all Jews with the Zionist project in Israel, which Iraqis considered an affront to Arab independence. When Israel dealt a crushing blow to its Arab adversaries in the Six Day War of 1967, many Iraqis including some in the government once again turned on their Jewish neighbors.
Accused of espionage, their phone lines were cut.Assets were frozen.
Travel restricted.Arbitrary searches, surveillance, and arrests ensued.
Relationships with Muslim acquaintances were tested as associations with Jews could invite trouble.
The Ba’th Party coup a year later brought an escalation of this crisis as the new government played up the false claims that Jews were engaging in espionage for Israel. It fabricated evidence of an elaborate spy ring and brought several Jews up on charges in a widely publicized show trial. Nine Jews and three others were convicted and executed, their bodies displayed in public squares in Baghdad and Basra where thousands gathered to celebrate what the state touted as a victory against Zionism and Imperialism.

Read article in full 

Ben Yair: 'Give E. Jerusalem properties to Arabs'

The government should expropriate disputed properties in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of east Jerusalem and give them to Arabs living in them, The Jerusalem Post has reported former attorney-general Michael Ben-Yair as saying. Ben Yair claims that an exchange has already taken place, with Jews given 'double compensation', as they are able to sue for restitution, as well as  living in Arab property in west Jerusalem.  But this is not always the case. Additionally, the Israeli courts have always protected the rights of the Arab tenants, except where these have failed to pay rent.

Ben-Yair, whose family owned properties in the neighborhood before 1948, was speaking from the house of the Shamasneh family, who are under threat of eviction and supposed to leave their home on Sunday.

“If the Israeli government would have acted decently toward all its residents, including you [the Arab residents], it would have appropriated the properties in the neighborhood [from their Jewish owners who lived there before the War of Independence] and given these properties to the Palestinians who live there today,” said Ben- Yair, who served as the attorney-general under prime ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Benjamin Netanyahu from 1993 to 1997.

“My family and the family of my cousin who were forced to leave the neighborhood in January 1948 got properties of Palestinians refugees on Jaffa Road and in the Katamon neighborhood in west Jerusalem,” he added.

“They were worth much more than the properties that we left in Sheikh Jarrah.”

Ben-Yair said if Israel will conduct land registration in Sheikh Jarrah, he would demand that the ownership of the building that his family had would go to the Arabs who live in it today.

“The current Israeli law that enables double compensation only for Jews for [lost] properties in east Jerusalem from the times before 1948 is unjust,” he said.

The Jerusalem Post
 has learned that the Bailiff’s Office issued an order to the Shamasneh family to leave the house it has been living in by last Wednesday, following a Supreme Court ruling from 2013.

After appealing to the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, the family received a five-day extension that will expire on Sunday. The family is now carrying out a legal battle along with activists to prevent the eviction.

Eyal Raz, an activist opposing the eviction, told the Post that the family’s lawyer, Sai’id Ghalia, plans to appeal to the magistrate’s court once again on Sunday.

These kind of evictions happen in cases where Arabs are living in properties owned by Jews from before 1948, who were forced out when Jordanian seized eastern Jerusalem. Under Jordanian rule, these properties were under the jurisdiction of the Jordanian Custodian of Enemy Property, and Arab refugees, mainly from the Jerusalem area, were housed there.

Since Israel reunified the city in 1967, legal disputes have been taking place over some of these properties.

Read article in full

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Tel Aviv startup scene guide to be published

A new venture focuses on Tel Aviv, Israel's technology capital, offering a Lonely Planet-style guide to Israeli high tech in English.

Israeli innovation has been attracting unprecedented interest worldwide in recent years, among other things following the publication of the "Start-Up Nation" bestseller. A new venture focuses on Tel Aviv, Israel's technology capital, offering a Lonely Planet-style guide to Israeli high tech in English. Most of the guide will be free of charge, but it also contains parts for which a fee is charged.

The book, slated for publication towards the end of the year, will be the 13th in the international Startup Guide series. The 12 books published so far offer a guide to the high-tech scenes in London, Berlin, Paris, and other cities.

Responsible for the guide series is Sissel Hansen, an entrepreneur who moved to Denmark in order to found a business there. Hansen found no regular guide with relevant information, and decided to take up the challenge by writing such a guide herself. The series of books is designed mainly for entrepreneurs, business tourists, investors, and representatives of international companies. The book about Tel Aviv is expected to include information about startups, accelerators, and worksites, as well as interviews with prominent representatives of the venture capital industry in Israel. Erez Gavish and Natan Leibzon, who are responsible for the local edition, recently founded TLV Starters, which will promote the book. They have also recently published a call for concerns wishing to be included in the book. More information about the venture can be obtained on the website.

Gavish said, "As a city that lives and breathes entrepreneurship, with dozens of accelerators, cooperation spaces, and the presence of all the world's major technological firms, it's about time for a practical and impressive visual guide that provides insights. Natan and I are excited about making this venture a reality."

Leibzon added, "We intend to give a different, interesting, and excellent angle. Tel Aviv deserves a book that will give readers the right feeling."

Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - - on August 17, 2017

Mobileye deal making Israel smart car hub

Tier-1 auto industry players are already starting to flow to Israel and the mobile communications industry is showing interest too.

2017 is far from over, but it can already be stated that the Intel-Mobileye deal completed last week was one of the most important events of the year for Israel, if not the most important of all. We are not referring only to its tremendous macroeconomic effect. The billions of shekels from the deal that will stream into the state treasury will give tax revenues a big boost that will compensate to a large extent for decline in GDP resulting from weakness in important real indicators. Yes, it is a one-time event that did not even appear in the preliminary growth forecasts, but we are willing to bet that it will provide a great deal of fuel for the politicians' public relations machinery.

What we are interested in is the long-term effects of the deal, and it is no exaggeration to say that it constitutes a strategic milestone, and even a turning point in the history of the local high-tech industry. Even before the deal, the Israeli auto-tech sector was on the map of the auto industry and the venture capital entrepreneurs, which gave it the reputation of an incubator for interesting ideas and investments in the smart car sector. The creation of Intel's global smart car division in Israel, however, raises the Israeli industry into the big time.

Intel's ultimate goal in the merger is much broader than the realm of sensors and machine vision in which Mobileye specializes, and Intel is making no secret about it. At the recent annual Deutsche Bank auto-tech conference, Intel's autonomous driving group's CEO unveiled the company's plan to provide the auto industry with a comprehensive computer solution, entitled GO. This holistic ecosystem solution will provide all the autonomous vehicle manufacturers' needs: development of a platform for autonomous driving based on Mobileye's chips and Intel's processors, 5G communications between the vehicle and the cloud, and special data centers solutions for processing and commercialization of the data produced from the vehicle.

All of these areas are interdependent, and constitute an essential element and byproducts of the autonomous vehicle vision. Once you equip an autonomous vehicle with sensors that read the environment and provide the vehicle with connectivity to services on the cloud, an enormous quantity of information is produced - 1,000 times the information provided by a car that is not smart. This information is essential to the vehicle's autonomous functioning in time, and creates extremely valuable byproducts, such as collection of data, mapping, and commercial potential of the information about how the vehicle is used. In order to make these data relevant to driving and translate them into money, they must be streamed to and from the vehicle in real time through rapid and stable 5G communications. In order to process the information collected simultaneously from millions of vehicles, serious data centers are needed. On the road, the manufacturers will also have to equip a vehicle with serious processing power, artificial intelligence, memory components with hundreds of times as much capacity, etc.

This is a business bonanza for multidisciplinary chip producers like Intel, because each of these areas is currently regarded as a growth engine that will generate demand totaling tens of billions of dollars over the next decade. The fact that the focus of these events will be in Israel will bring tier-1 global players and projects here.

The ball is starting to roll

This is not a utopian vision. This process has already begun, and will move ahead much faster than many people expect. This week, for example, Toyota announced that it is forming a new consortium together with Intel for vehicle computing aimed, according to the founders, "at developing an ecosystem for a vehicle connected to the Internet and supporting future services, such as intelligent driving, creating maps, and giving information assistance in real time, based on cloud computing." In addition to Toyota, the consortium will have IT giants from Japan and elsewhere, such as auto parts manufacturer Denso, regarded as one of the largest in the world; Japanese communications company NTT DoCoMo, the largest mobile provider in Japan; and communications concern Ericsson.

This is the very serious dowry brought by the deal, especially in view of the fact that Toyota has been considered a very tough nut to crack when it comes to venture capital investments and smart car cooperative ventures in Israel. It should be noted that although Intel was the one that opened the doors to the creation of this consortium, Mobileye's weight is considerable, because it has been developing special algorithms for years that make it possible to produce frontal information from millions of cars, merge and reduce the information for the purpose of wireless communications and processing with today's computing tools, and turn it into highly accurate maps.

The mobile communications industry is also now showing great interest in the hub of smart car technologies created in Israel following the deal. Last week, for example, we saw an interesting headline in the South Korean press: "South Korean telecom operators are aiming at cooperation with Mobileye in order to maximize their presence in the smart car industry and integrate in it their big data capabilities." The story quotes the Mobileye representatives in South Korea as saying, "South Korea's high-speed mobile communications networks enable operators to collect big data from driver assistance systems and develop new safety technologies and high-resolution mapping capabilities."

South Korea is known as one of the most advanced countries in the world in Internet communications and mobile communications speed. In 2019, it is expected to become the first country in the world to deploy a nationwide 5G network. The South Koreans tend to jealously guard their technologies, but the Intel-Mobileye merger gives them access to information produced from vehicle sensors on a global scale, including in South Korea itself. The Intel-Mobileye merger agreement provides the major South Korean telecoms with very early access to the global forefront of communications networks, speed, and a considerable competitive advantage in the auto industry. These are only two examples in just one week of the advantages of putting Israel in the center of global smart car technological events.

In addition to the impressive advantages that the agreement will bring, it is also creating a business and technological giant in the local auto-tech industry with intangible resources, and this will definitely have side effects. It can be predicted, for example, that the merger will considerably speed up strategic investments in Israeli startups having complementary technologies in the smart car sector, and perhaps even mergers and acquisitions.

Creating an ecosystem in the auto industry requires access to other essential parts of the puzzle, for example vehicle cyber security technologies. This is an area far from Intel and Mobileye's core business, but it is critical: you cannot develop a computer platform for an autonomous vehicle that is dependent on high-speed connectivity to the cloud and data centers without protecting its flanks. The fact that the regulators are now making this a mandatory requirement for autonomous vehicle manufacturers will only accelerate the process.

Intel also has gaps to make up in areas such as commercialization of vehicle data, physical communications between the components within the vehicle itself, deep artificial intelligence, etc. All these things are within reach in Israel - all they have to do it reach out and take it. Incidentally, Intel's venture capital fund has already been active in Israel for a long time, and has made investments totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. This is obviously not good news for external investors and investment funds still looking for a good and logical point to enter the market. The merged company will also create considerable difficulty in competition for trained technological personnel, and that is an important problem in the global auto-tech industry, especially in Israel. This has already driven large veteran companies to find outsourcing solutions in India and elsewhere.

The bottom line is a major step forward, and when dozens of test vehicles with advanced autonomous capabilities begin traveling on Israeli roads, as Intel announced last week, our status as a global smart car hub will become consolidated. It is not yet clear what the result will be of the meeting between the autonomous vehicles capable of traveling without the intervention of a human brain and hundreds of thousands of vehicles that have been traveling for years on the roads without the intervention of a human mind, but it will certainly be interesting.

Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - - on August 20, 2017

IAI develops robot baggage loading for Singapore airport

The system will dramatically improve the passenger experience by reducing baggage loss and damages.

Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1) in collaboration with Singapore company ST Engineering has presented the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) with a comprehensive solution for improving baggage handling for both outgoing and incoming flights at Changi Airport. The system will dramatically improve the passenger experience by reducing baggage loss and damages.

The IAI - ST Engineering system was one of five proposals selected for the final stage of building a full scale demo system, with funding from CAAS out of 20 submitted.

A multi-flight baggage handling system tracks, sorts and transfers each baggage item to its respective flight for loading onto Changi Airport standard Baggage Trolleys (BTs). Specially designed transfer tables that are installed on existing baggage conveyors direct each baggage towards its designated BT for loading. Robotic arms carefully pick up each baggage item and place it within the BT directed to its designated flight. The BT is continuously scanned using advanced sensors to analyze the 3-dimensional volume of the BT, and identify the best location to place each baggage item. We also introduced autonomous baggage tractors (ABT) that navigate autonomously to the plane, utilizing RFID transponders and Global Positioning System (GPS) signals to transport loaded baggage trolleys to the plane.

IAI provided a model for special loading device facilitating fast loading and unloading of baggage onto the plane, enabling the workers to move easily within the plane's cargo hold, without having to bend their back within the confined space. In addition we provided first of its type, Changi BT Offloader. The Baggage Offloader automatically lifts and tilts the Changi BT filled with baggage from incoming flights, and transfers the baggage to the airport incoming baggage carousel. A fully loaded baggage trolley is offloaded within approximately 1 minute without the need for human workers to lift each baggage from the trolley. The system can also be modified to load and unload ULD containers.

IAI's system offers Changi Airport unique advantages including: increasing airport BT build-up and offloading capacity up to 600% with the same manpower; being cost effective, utilizing and compatible with existing airport infrastructure (BTs, etc.); multi-flight baggage sorting and transfer system; improved traceability of baggage; substantial reduction in damage to baggage; improved worker health; very easy to operate without requiring extensive training or technical know-how. IAI EVP and General Manager of the Military Aircraft Group Shaul Shahar said, "This state of the art robotics and autonomous technology success reaffirms IAI as a leading provider of cutting edge airport operations solutions. Singapore is highly respected as an early adopter of advanced high-tech solutions, with other countries closely monitoring its innovations."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on August 20, 2017