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The Daily TIP: Israel and South Korea: A Match Made in Tech Heaven?

Posted by Tip Staff - October 24, 2018

Israel and South Korea: A Match Made in Tech Heaven?
Israeli Company Wins $777 Million Contract with India for Barak-8 Missile Defense Systems
Israel Resumes Fuel Shipments to Gaza
Technion Researchers Use $100K Grant to Study Effects of Positive Emotions on Cancer

Israel and South Korea: A Match Made in Tech Heaven?

One of the countries with which Korea can deepen its ties to explore ideas that promote innovation is Israel, with which it has much in common. Both are relatively young countries (established within a few months of each other) born out of war and living under constant military threat. Korea and Israel have both become regional economic superpowers, though they have few natural resources other than brainpower. There is a tremendous amount these two democracies can do to leverage their relationship for the greater benefit of their societies.

Both countries have strengths and weaknesses, which seem to complement the other. Israel is strong at creating highly innovative core technologies, while Koreans know how to take core technologies and turn them into commercially viable products. Korean conglomerates have traditionally engaged in low- to medium-risk technology projects, while Israel excels in innovative technologies and startups, does well with risk and improvisation and does not fear failure. Korea does exceedingly well in creating large international corporation, while for Israeli companies, scaling up has been a major challenge.

Israeli innovations today are collectively changing the lives of billions of people around the world by feeding the hungry, curing the sick, protecting the defenseless and making the desert bloom. And Israeli technology is also improving the lives of Koreans every day. To cite just a few examples, Waze is not only popular in Korea after its launch of a Korean voice last year, but also is the world’s most popular app for navigating traffic and reducing gas consumption; drip irrigation helps conserve more water and grow more food throughout the country; a GPS-like technology for brain surgeons that guides them as they carry out deep brain stimulation procedures for disorders like Parkinson’s is on the rise; and the use of PillCam, an ingestible camera that can travel through the intestines to take pictures of your insides, is increasing in Korea, and has changed the way doctors screen, diagnose and treat internal diseases.

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Israeli Company Wins $777 Million Contract with India for Barak-8 Missile Defense Systems

A leading Israeli defense company, state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), has won a $777 million contract with India for the supply of Barak-8 long-range surface-to-air defense missiles and missile defense systems for the Indian Navy, The Times of Israel reported Wednesday.

The contract is with India's state-owned Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), which is the main contractor in the project. According to IAI, the company will supply Long-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LR-SAM) Air and Missile Defense (AMD) systems, the marine version of the AMD system Barak-8, for seven ships of the Indian Navy.

The Barak-8 system is designed to defend against a variety of short-to-long-range airborne threats – including fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, drones and projectiles. The advanced defense system incorporates a state-of-the-art phased array multi-mission radar, two-way data link, and a flexible command and control system, enabling users to simultaneously engage multiple targets day and night and in all weather conditions. The system was jointly developed by Israel and India.

With the new contract, sales of the Barak-8 over the past few years total over $6 billion, IAI said.

“IAI’s partnership with India dates many years back and has culminated in joint system development and production,” IAI Chief Executive Officer Nimrod Shefer told Reuters. “India is a major market for IAI and we plan to… reinforce our positioning in India, also in view of increasing competition.”

Last year, IAI struck a deal worth nearly $2 billion to supply India’s army with medium-range surface-to-air missiles, launchers and communications technology. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Israel in 1992, bilateral trade and economic relations have progressed rapidly – climbing 2,000% since the countries formalized relations 26 years ago.

Israel Resumes Fuel Shipments to Gaza

Israel's defense minister has allowed Qatari-bought fuel shipments to Gaza to resume, after canceling them a week ago when a rocket launched from Gaza struck and severely damaged a house in Beersheba, The Times of Israel reported Wednesday.

“In accordance with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s decision from Sunday and in accordance with recommendations from security bodies, it has been decided that the supply of ‘Qatari fuel’ to Gaza will be renewed starting tomorrow,” Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), which is the liaison between Israel and the Palestinians, said in a statement.

On Sunday, Israel reopened the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza for goods and the Erez crossing for pedestrian traffic, after having closed them in response to the rocket attack.

The Times reported that there has been a "significant decrease" in the violence along the border fence with Gaza, where violent Hamas-led riots have been taking place since March 30. Defense officials were said to have described the past week as some of the quietest days in the area since the so-called "March of Return" began.

Earlier this week, Hamas official Ahmed Yousef charged that the failure of Hamas, the terrorist group that dominates Gaza politically and militarily, and Fatah, the main Palestinian faction, to reconcile has made Palestinians into "beggars."

Also this week, Human Rights Watch issued a report accusing Fatah and Hamas of creating “parallel police states” in the West Bank and Gaza. In a 149-page report, HRW accused both major Palestinian political parties of “systematic” arbitrary arrests, and torturing dissidents.

Technion Researchers Use $100K Grant to Study Effects of Positive Emotions on Cancer

Artificially activating the “reward system” in the brains of mice with two types of cancer led to a dramatic reduction in the size of their tumors, according to authors of a study conducted at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

“The relationship between a person’s emotional state and cancer has been demonstrated in the past, but mainly in relation to negative feelings such as stress and depression and without a physiological map of the action mechanism,” said Assoc. Prof. Asya Rolls of the Technion Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, who supervised the study.

“Several researchers, for example Prof. David Spiegel of the Stanford University School of Medicine, showed that an improvement in the patient’s emotional state may affect the course of the disease, but it was not clear how this happened. We are now presenting a physiological model that can explain at least part of this effect,” she said.

The results were published in the journal Nature Communications by Rolls along with doctoral students Tamar Ben-Shaanan and Maya Schiller, as well as Hilla Azulay-Debby, Ben Korin, Nadia Boshnak, Tamar Koren, Maria Krot, Jivan Shakya and Michal A. Rahat, and Technion Asst. Prof. Fahed Hakim, medical director of the Scottish EMMS Hospital in Nazareth.

According to Hakim, “Understanding the brain’s influence on the immune system and its ability to fight cancer will enable us to use this mechanism in medical treatments. Different people react differently, and we’ll be able to take advantage of this tremendous potential for healing only if we gain a thorough understanding of the mechanisms.”

The authors emphasized that the study is preclinical and that they tested only two cancer models (melanoma and lung cancer) and only two developmental aspects – tumor volume and weight.

The study was supported by the Adelis Brain Research Award, a $100,000 research grant won by Rolls in June 2017. The prize is intended to encourage excellence in the field of brain research in Israel and to translate the research into global impact for the benefit of all humanity.

(via Israel21c)

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