Israel technology headlines

A new venture set up by General Electric (GE), ConocoPhillips, and NRG Energy has plans to potentially invest part of its $300 million in early-stage technology firms from Israel. Gesture control company Omek Interactive has raised an undisclosed sum from investors and Iway and Cellcom have launched the first full entertainment and Internet system for the car. See below for these stories and more.

Cleantech
1. Israel to train Indians in modern harvesting methods
“The year of 2010 wasn’t outstanding when it came to venture capital and the funding of start-ups, but it ended on a positive note, with 32 fourth quarter IPOs of venture capital-backed start-ups on Nasdaq, double the third quarter’s figures…”

2. 72% Efficient ZenithSolar Gets Demo Down Under
“ZenithSolar’s first 16-unit project has been up and running successfully in Israel for a year at Kibbutz Yavne, making electricity to sell the grid, and hot water for its 230 residents, producing at peak production 250 KW Combined Heat and Power on a relatively small footprint of only 352 square meters (3,789 square feet). Now the breakthrough Israeli firm is about to bring a high profile demo to Australia, where Greenearth Energy Australia plans to show a combined heat and power solar technology that could revolutionize solar energy…”

Investment
3. 3 giants launch venture to fund energy tech startups
“GE, Conoco­Phillips and NRG Energy have partnered to create a venture to invest $300 million in early-stage energy technology firms. The partnership, Energy Technology Ventures, will help fund 30 companies over the next four years, focusing on investments in North America, Europe and Israel…”

4. Omek Expands Management Team, Closes Series B Funding Round
“Omek Interactive, the leading provider of software for gesture recognition and full body tracking, today announced the appointments of gaming and technology industry executives Jonathan Epstein as president and Jon Grande as executive vice president, publishing. The company also announced the closing of a series B round of funding from an international group of private investors…”

5. Cloud gaming co Playcast raises $10m
“Cloud gaming start-up Playcast Ltd. has raised $10 million in its second financing round led by Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) and MK Capital of the US. Current investors Xenia Venture Capital Ltd. (TASE:XENA) and C. Mer Industries Ltd. (TASE: CMER) also participated in the round…”

6. Nothing ventured
“The role of venture capital, as is well known, is to invest capital in risky start-up companies. However, what happens when the venture capital funds don’t have capital, and aren’t prepared to take risks?…”

Information Technology
7. Cellcom and Iway launch Internet system for cars
“Start-up Iway Mobile and Cellcom, Israel’s largest mobile phone operator, launched on Sunday a communications, Internet and entertainment system for the automobile…”

8. SURF Communication Solutions Selected by Texas Instruments as Third Party Provider of Mobile Video Enabling Technology
“SURF Communication Solutions (SURF) (http://www.surfsolutions.com/), a leading provider of high-capacity multimedia (data, voice and video) enabling technologies and end-to-end communication solutions, today announced that Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) has selected SURF to provide their H.223 module affording mobile video content delivery with TI’s TMS320CC64x+ and TMS320CC66x digital signal processors (DSPs)…”

Miscellaneous
9. Israel Turning to Technology Prowess to Enhance Global Economic Role
“Israel is weighing steps to leverage its place in the global economy by acting as technology mentor to the rising powers like China, India and Brazil, according to Eugene Kandel, chief economic adviser to Prime Minster Binyamin Netanyahu…”

10. Media love Tel Aviv
“2010 was a record-breaking year for media coverage of Tel Aviv, with over 100 television crews and 200 print journalists from over 30 countries descending on the city that never sleeps, a study released this week found…”

11. Can airports be better protected?
“To those of us with a watching brief or professional association with the aviation world, a grim inevitability surrounded the events that unfolded at Domodedovo airport on Monday afternoon…”

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