22 March 2018 - 6 Nisan 5778 - ו' ניסן ה' אלפים תשע"ח
India approves MOU fund with Israel E-mail

On 30 August, India’s cabinet approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Israel to set up US$ 40 million fund for industrial research and technological innovation.

“The union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Israel on ‘India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F)’. The MoU was concluded in July, 2017,” an official statement said.

India and Israel will make a contribution of US$4 million each for the fund annually for five years, which will be governed by a joint board comprising four members from each country.

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Israel, Japan to co-operate on cybersecurity efforts for 2020 Olympics E-mail

Japanese officials preparing for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo are seeking Israeli anti-terror expertise amid a rising tide of global Islamic terrorism.

Israel and Japan announced plans for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), laying down the foundation for joint cybersecurity efforts between the two countries ahead of the 2020 Olympics, Nikkei reported.

Japanese officials are also looking to their Israeli counterparts for assistance in preparing for more conventional attacks, particularly terror attacks involving hostage situations and time-critical negotiations.

According to a report by the Israel Hayom newspaper, intelligence and security officials from six countries travelled to Israel to meet with members of the Israeli security establishment as part of a recent counterterror conference hosted by Israel Police, focusing on negotiations in the age of global Islamic terrorism – an issue of particular interest to Japanese officials as they prepare for 2020.

“The world can learn a great deal from our experience with terrorism,” a senior police official told Israel Hayom. “But today there is also a lot we can learn from the rest of the world.”

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Japan’s “Schindler” granddaughter visits Australia E-mail

The granddaughter of Japan’s “Schindler”, diplomat Chiune Sugihara, paid a special visit to the Sydney Jewish Museum last month to meet the descendants of those whom Chiune “Sempo” Sugihara saved.

Madoka Sugihara travelled from Japan with her daughter Oriha, and gave a presentation about her grandfather, who helped save tens of thousands of lives during WWII, risking his life in the process.

“My grandfather issued visas according to his conscience,” Madoka told the small gathering. “I was surprised to hear the stories from my grandmother and father before my grandfather died because I never heard it from him.”

Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who saved thousands of Lithuanian Jews from the Holocaust by issuing transit visas so they could travel through Japanese territory. He was a Japanese government official who served as vice-consul for the Japanese Empire in Lithuania, and had been ordered by his government not to issue visas.

In 1985, Israel honoured Mr Sugihara as one of the Righteous Among the Nations for his actions.

Oriha read out a passage her great-grandfather wrote in 1978: “I admit that I myself agonised over the decision all night after receiving the orders. After much struggle and torment, I ultimately reached the conclusion that humanity and compassion come first. I risked my career and duly executed my mission without hesitation. I’m confident even now that I did the right thing.”

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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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