Israel technology headlines

Investment in Israeli biofuel and energy efficiency companies is expected to rise in 2011. Groupon entered the Israeli market with its purchase of group coupon savings site Grouper and more details about the Stuxnet worm and the role Israel and America probably played in its creation continue to unfold. For these stories and more, see the rest of this week’s headlines below.

Cleantech
1. Israeli sewage treatment technology – effective, cheap
Mapal Green Energy has seen its business surge over the past several months as kibbutzim and local authorities start figuring out how to meet new sewage treatment regulations set down by the Inbar Committee…

2. Investment in Israeli biofuel, energy efficiency to rise in 2011
This year will see a steady rise in investment in biofuel and energy efficiency companies in Israel, a government-sponsored investor based in the state has revealed to NewNet…

Investment
3. PrimeSense raises round for motion-control chips
PrimeSense has raised a round of private equity funding as part of its plan to expand its motion-control chips beyond Microsoft’s Kinect game console product…

4. Groupon buys into Israeli market
American grouped purchases giant Groupon has acquired the Israeli coupon website, Grouper, in a multi-million dollar deal. Local media reports estimated the deal at $8- 15 million…

5. Viola Private Equity Pumps $7 Million into Zend
Viola Private Equity, an Israeli PE fund with $164 million under management for technology buyouts, has announced a $7 million investment in Zend, the leading provider of open-source and commercial solutions based on PHP web applications…

Information Technology
6. Israel Tests on Worm Called Crucial in Iran Nuclear Delay
Over the past two years, according to intelligence and military experts familiar with its operations, Dimona has taken on a new, equally secret role — as a critical testing ground in a joint American and Israeli effort to undermine Iran’s efforts to make a bomb of its own…

7. Peer39 Is Now Semantically Plowing Through 47 Billion Pages A Month
Back in the day, and by that I mean six months ago, a ‘Pivot’ was simply known as ‘a change in strategic directions’. Call it what you may today, Peer39 made one of these eighteen months ago, and hasn’t looked back…

8. NDS enters connected TV market
NDS is premiering a ready-made software solution designed to provide a framework for over-the-top services. It has developed a platform based around the dual ARM Cortex-A9 processor and ARM Mali-400 MP GPU and its NDS InfiniteTV product…

Miscellaneous
9. IBM Haifa lab receives most US patents in Israel
IBM inventors received a record 5,896 US patents in 2010, marking the 18th consecutive year the company has topped the list of the world’s most inventive companies. Samsung was second, with 4,551 US patents, and Microsoft was third with 3,094…

10. Motion-control startup Omek is bringing gesture controls to the PC (video)
After the smashing success of Microsoft’s Kinect motion-control system for the Xbox 360, a bunch of companies are getting excited about taking the technology to PCs and other devices. We profiled Sixense earlier today, and here’s a snapshot of motion-sensing software firm Omek Interactive, which was founded in 2006…

11. MasterPad prototype marries Windows 7 to 11.6-inch IPS screen (video)
Check out this 14mm-thin contender: built by Pegatron and still at the prototype stage, the MasterPad looks to be the embodiment of Steve Ballmer’s incoming armada of desirable Windows 7 tablets…

12. Modu expected to close its doors after raising $123M
A few years back, Modu was considered a hot Israeli company. Headed by Dov Moran (pictured), the company created what it called the world’s lightest phone and made modular designs that could change the phone’s functions by replacing its outer shell, or jacket…

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