Israel technology headlines

Extreme Reality impressed the crowd at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week when it unveiled its gesture control technology for mobile devices. The technology will be on some new mobile phones debuting later this year. Content recommendation engine Outbrain raised $11 million and Israeli consumer web companies have attracted the attention of at least one prominent VC. For these stories and more, see this week’s headlines below.

1. Arison Group’s Solaria Teams With Soltec To Build Solar PV Field in Israel
“Israel-based Shikun & Binui Solaria, a subsidiary of the Arison Group’s Shikun & Binui Renewable Energies, will build a 6.7 MW solar PV (photovoltaic) field in southern Israel in collaboration with the Spanish multinational Soltec Renewable Energies. According to the agreement announced this week, the solar power facility will be built at the site of the Timna copper mines, not far from Kibbutz Ketura, where Arava Power is building Israel’s first land-based PV array following a landmark power purchase agreement (PPA) signed in November…”

Investment and Economy
2. Europe’s Top VC On “Covering The Ground Between San Francisco And Tel Aviv”
“Saul Klein is generally thought of as the top VC in Europe. He’s a partner at Index Ventures, which invested in companies like MySQL, Skype, and BetFair.”

3. Economy expands 7.8% in 4Q
“The economy grew at the fastest pace in four years in the fourth quarter of 2010, driven mainly by private consumption and investments, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported Wednesday.”

4. Has Silicon Valley Relocated To Tel Aviv?
“Tech oracle George Gilder is not a fan of investing in alternative energy – he sees it as a worthless side pursuit that is diluting the power of Silicon Valley. So the chip guru is looking elsewhere for investment opportunities, namely Israel. “Israel has become a new Silicon Valley just as our own Silicon Valley gets paled over by green goo,” he puts it bluntly.”

5. Content Recommendation Engine Outbrain Nabs $11M in New Funding
“Internet startup Outbrain just grabbed $11 million in a third round of funding, bringing the company’s total financing to $29 million. Previous investors Gemini Israel Funds, Carmel Ventures, GlenRock Israel, Rhodium and Lightspeed Venture Partners all participated in the latest round…”

Information Technology
6. My6Sense Brings Digital Intuition To Twitter On Chrome
“My6Sense offers a content curating service based on the company’s trademark, ‘Digital Intuition’ which relies on an analysis of user online preferences . The company’s product has so far been offered as a content curating solution for the entire spectrum of digital venues, the new Chrome extension breaks away from this. The Chrome extension takes My6Sense proven abilities, and applies them just to a person’s Twitter stream. Once installed, the extension adds a new ‘My6Sense’ column to Twitter’s on-site GUI…”

7. 55 Israeli start-ups at Mobile World Congress
“The Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute brought together 55 start-up companies to present at the booth it is renting at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year…”

8. Coming soon: Wave your hand to control your phone
“Here’s another reason besides video chat that you might want a front-facing camera on your next mobile phone: controlling it by waving your arm or moving your hand…”

9. The 72,000-to-1 ratio
“Here’s a secret: I really have an easy job, writing about Israeli startups and technology; there is so much innovation and creativity in this country, there’s always something to write about. If I were doing this kind of column in, for example, South Korea, Japan, Canada or even Germany, I’d have a much harder time of it…”

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