JTA NEWS
21 January 2018 - 6 Shevat 5778 - ו' שבט ה' אלפים תשע"ח
JTA NEWS :
Business
Chinese millionaire to set up AI lab in Haifa E-mail

Zong Qinghou, the CEO of one of China’s largest companies, has announced plans to set up a research centre at the University of Haifa, focusing on artificial intelligence (AI).

Zong will provide the AI centre with at least US$10 million over five years, the research partners announced at a signing event in September. Much of the funding will go to constructing laboratories and obtaining high-end equipment, the University of Haifa’s President Ron Robin said.

“For us, this is a gamechanger. We get recognition by a major Chinese investor, that the work that we’re doing is significant,” Robin told The Jerusalem Post.

Zong, who heads the Hangzhou Wahaha Group, China’s largest beverage company, has visited the University of Haifa’s campus four times.

The research centre will focus on improving the camera lens behind driverless cars – necessary for operating a vehicle when it’s raining or foggy – as major automobile companies and tech companies race to perfect the technology in the multi-billion-dollar autonomous vehicle market.

“We have developed a series of cameras that are able to reproduce very high-level resolution movies using a very small number of pixels. And coming from our marine sciences [research], we’ve developed a camera that takes high-resolution shots even when it’s under water. One of our researchers developed a camera that can take underwater pictures at great depth with virtually no light,” Robin said.

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Taiwan legislator aims to boost high-tech platform with Israel E-mail

Taiwan Legislator Hsu Yujen spearheaded the recent launch of the Taiwan Israel Innovation Platform, aiming to boost high-tech exchanges between the two nations. On a governmental level, Israel’s Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei is also assisting with the initiative.

Hsu came up with the idea of the platform after his trip to Israel last year. The platform could help promote exchanges between the two countries’ private, public and academic sectors on several fronts, including information security, water-related infrastructure, agricultural technologies, augmented and virtual reality applications, selfdriving cars and artificial intelligence, Hsu explained. The platform could also help Israeli companies find Taiwanese firms for merger or acquisition opportunities.

Hsu added that he hopes Israeli incubators would invite Taiwanese firms to set up their own incubators in Israel, so that Taiwanese innovative startups have more chances to meet Israeli investors.

The lawmaker said he plans to take two delegations of Taiwanese businesspeople or students to Israel every year to explore and exchange innovative ideas.

Citing the Global Innovation Index, Hsu said that Israel has supplanted the US, Denmark and Sweden to become the global leader in terms of the density of researchers, gross expenditure on research and development, and the number of innovation linkages.

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Sharing Israel’s water-management expertise E-mail

Over 104 experts from 34 countries took part in a seminar on “Israeli Water Technologies as a Solution for the Challenges of the Developing World”, presented by MASHAV (Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) at WATEC Israel 2017.

Held from 12 to 14 September at the Tel Aviv Convention Center, WATEC (“Water Technology and Environmental Control”) showcased the latest water and environmental control technologies.

Following the success of prior WATEC events, which have attracted more than 20,000 visitors, with at least 4,000 from overseas, the event brings together thousands of top Israeli and international business executives, politicians, decisionmakers and researchers to foster substantive debate and insights on the key issues facing the world’s water and ecological systems.

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Israeli winery setting up in China E-mail

According to Haaretz, China is on its way to becoming the second-biggest wine market in the world as Chinese tipplers grow increasingly fond of the grape, and now one Israeli winery is set to get a piece of the action.

Hayotzer Winery, a unit of the Arza Winery, has reached an agreement in principle to help the Chinese group Hubey Pengdun to set up an US$8 million winery in Hubei Province and advise it on viticulture and winemaking, said Guy Edri, Hayotzer’s CEO.

Under the terms of the agreement, Hayotzer will get around a 25% stake in the new venture, which will take two years to erect once it has received all the regulatory approvals.

“In China, those who know Israel admire us because of our high-tech and admire the Jews because of history going back thousands of years and our Nobel Prizes,” Edri said, explaining why a Chinese company would turn to Israel rather than France or Italy for wine expertise.

Chinese wine consumption has experienced double-digit growth in recent years, and by one estimate it will have surpassed France and Britain by 2020 to become the world’s second-largest business market after the US. That adds up to US$21.7 billion in sales in 2020.

Even now, Chinese wine consumption amounts to 1.5 billion bottles annually. Only about a quarter of that, mostly cheaper labels, is produced locally; the rest comes from imports, mainly from France, Italy, Spain and Australia.

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LRSAM missile from Israel delivered to India E-mail

India announced on 29 August that the first long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) system had been delivered to the Indian defence ministry.

The missile is a product of a partnership between Israel’s aerospace industry and the Indian defence organisation. Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) announced in May that it had signed a deal worth US$630 million with Indian state-owned Bharat Electronics Limited.

As part of the agreement, IAI supplied the LRSAM missile, the marine version of the Barak 8 air defence system, to be installed on four Indian Navy vessels.

Arun Jaitley, India’s Minister of Defence, praised the delivery, affirming that it marked a turning point for India’s defence capabilities.

“This is an historical day for India, in which our navy becomes the proud owner of one of the most sophisticated systems in the world. This system will help the Indian Navy protect our country,” he said.

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