18 February 2018 - 4 Adar 5778 - ד' אדר ה' אלפים תשע"ח
Indian protection against fruit flies E-mail

An Israeli company says it has developed a no-spray, environmentally friendly solution that can protect Indian farmers from the deadly oriental fruit fly, which has destroyed 300 fruit species in India.

The Oriental Fruit Fly (Bactrocera dorsalis) is considered to be the most destructive, invasive and widespread of all fruit flies, and is also a menace in 65 other countries in Asia, Africa and the Americas.

The agri-tech company Biofeed’s “lures”, which are hung on trees, contain a customised mix of organic food and feeding stimulants, and control or therapeutic agents delivered by a patented gravity-controlled fluid-release platform.

Attracted by the odour, the fruit flies take a sip and soon die, without any chemicals reaching the fruit, air or soil.

“We were hoping to bring a solution that will replace spraying and increase productivity by 50 per cent. I am excited by the results, demonstrating the future potential for some farmers to bring about 900 times more marketable produce to the market,” said the company’s CEO, Nimrod Israely.

“We don’t have the Oriental Fruit Fly in Israel. However, until now there was no solution for this problem. So we took the challenge and chose to focus on India,” Israely told Israel21c, an online news magazine.

Biofeed was one of the six innovative Israeli companies invited to give a demonstration to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu during the former’s July visit.

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Strong Chinese student enrolment at Israeli universities E-mail

The influx of Chinese students at Israeli universities has been growing steadily in recent years, the Jerusalem Post reports.

At the forefront of this enrolment boom is the University of Haifa, which currently boasts some 200 Chinese students among its student body, compared to 20 in 2013, representing a 1,000% increase. A majority of those students come from the University of East China Normal University in Shanghai, which is a sister city of Haifa.

University of Haifa president Ron Robin welcomes the addition. “The co-operation with strategic partners from Chinese industry and academia serves the strategic goals of the university,” he said. “We have positioned ourselves as a leading international institution. As such, we welcome all the Chinese students to Israel, and intend to continue to deepen the ties and co-operation with the Chinese academy.”

These ties can result in profitable research and development in which millions of dollars are currently being invested in the hopes of further strengthening the bonds between the two countries.

This past March, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Economy Minister Eli Cohen were present when Robin, along with the Hangzhou Wahaha Group and the Institute of Automation at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, signed a US$10-million deal that finalised the construction of three Israeli-Chinese artificial intelligence technology centres in Haifa, Hangzhou and Beijing.

Across town, the TechnionIsrael Institute of Technology has also seen an influx of Chinese students in recent years. During the 2016-2017 academic year, the school had 117 fulltime Chinese students, and 177 Chinese students enrolled in its summer school of engineering.

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Israel-Asia Leaders Fellow brings China’s “She Loves Tech” to Israel E-mail

Launched at an event in Tel Aviv in July, “She Loves Tech” emerged from “Lean In China” as the first global women-impact startup competition and conference series with a focus on the China market. The goal is provide a platform for international and Chinese tech companies, investors, entrepreneurs, start-ups and consumers to promote tech for women and women in tech.

According to Andrea Lee, the background of She Loves Tech lies in the “She Economy”, referring to the rising economic power of modern women in spending and financial management around world. Women consumers now account for more than 70% of US$18 trillion in global consumer spending.

“Here in Israel, ‘She Loves Tech’ would like to be the platform for women-impact start-ups to open their doors to the China market, to bridge the business gaps between Israel and China, and – most importantly – to help acquire resources and relevant social capital for them to expand their business there,” said Lee.

In China, the country’s female economy will grow from US$1.3 trillion in 2010 to US$4 trillion in 2020, which is paving the way for woman-impact startups.

In addition to Israel, She Loves Tech has also been launched in Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Pakistan, Canada and Germany.

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More success for Hong Kong delegation at Maccabiah Games E-mail

International sporting events often feature a series of special moments that live long in the memory. At this summer’s 20th Maccabiah Games in Israel, held from 4 to 18 July, members of the Hong Kong delegation were privileged to enjoy many special moments, both on and off the field of play.

The Maccabiah Games is the third-biggest sporting event globally and is held every four years in Israel. The 10,000 athletes who participated in this year’s Games were Jewish people from over 85 countries around the world. Considering the number of delegates (26) in the Hong Kong team, a haul of eight medals was mightily impressive. This was achieved by one remarkable individual, Krysia Allard, who won medals in all eight swimming events she participated in!

Four years ago another swimmer representing Hong Kong, Ana Scherer, won four gold medals and two silver medals in various swimming events. Para-swimming participant Aaron Zweig won a silver and a bronze, Eli Bitan won a silver medal in the Masters squash, and Tal Moriah won bronze in the Open taekwondo.

This year’s delegation was chaired by Dr Rafael Aharoni, Chairman of the Maccabi World Union-Hong Kong-Macau-China chapter, which he founded in 2004, and was professionally led by Steve and Erica Lyons. The real success of the delegation should be judged not on medal haul alone. Indeed, up against largely professional athletes, there was much to be proud of. The Open and Junior Futsal teams challenged and scored goals against illustrious football nations. Swimmers and triathletes, as well as chess, tennis and squash players, smashed personal bests and reached the latter rounds of their competitions.

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Strong results for students at Elsa High School E-mail

Mrs Rachel Friedmann, Principal of the Carmel School Association in Hong Kong, recently announced the results of the Elsa High School 2017 International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP).

The overall results of Class of 2017 exceeded the global IB average by several points. This is testament to the cohort’s hard work and perseverance over the two years of the Diploma, and to the personalised education provided by a high-quality faculty.

The overall average Diploma score was 34.5. Three students were awarded the Bilingual Diploma. And of particular note this year was the outstanding achievement of Saar Shtoser, who was awarded the perfect IBscoreof45outof45–the second student to achieve this in Elsa’s short history.

Commenting on Saar’s exceptional accomplishment, Mrs Friedmann said: “Saar is Elsa’s first student to study Hebrew Language A: Literature, which he did at Higher Level. In writing his other subjects in English, Saar was awarded a Bilingual Diploma, the highest-level IB Diploma, and in the view of many, the most prestigious High School graduating qualification in the world. Two other students who studied Mandarin as their Language A also received Bilingual Diplomas. We are delighted by these outstanding results, reaching new heights both at Hong Kong and global levels. Please join me in sending our warmest Mazal Tov wishes to the graduates and their families.”

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