- Written by Silvia G Golan
The Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) will open its 63rd overseas office in Tel Aviv.
Please join us in witnessing the launch of this new platform for economic cooperation between Israel and Taiwan!
Israel and Taiwan-Complementary Advantages
Israel and Taiwan have many things in common. Both are small countries surrounded by the challenging environment; both have limited natural resources but worked hard and stood out in the world economy; both are democracies that recognize the value of education, and both foster high levels of entrepreneurship.
Israel is a startup nation and a global hub of tech and R&D centers that gave rise to successful stories such as Mobileye, Gett and many more. Meanwhile, Taiwan is a supply chains nation and home to the world's most powerful electronics industry. Taiwan is one of the world’s top ICT manufacturers: 83% of global laptops, 50% of desktops, 90% of motherboards are made by Taiwan. Taiwan was ranked the world's 18th largest trader in 2017, registering 317 billion dollars in export and 259 billion dollars in import, and the world's 13th most competitive economy in the 2018 Global Competitiveness Report released by The World Economic Forum.
Located in the heart of Asia, Taiwan has formed deep connections with the markets of China and South East Asia. Israel has great influence in America and Europe. Together, the complementary advantages of Israel and Taiwan could enable both countries to achieve new heights in the international market. A close partnership synergizing the idea innovations of Israel and the manufacturing innovations of Taiwan will generate immense benefits for everyone in the world to enjoy.
Facts about TAITRA/Taiwan Trade Center, Tel Aviv
Founded in 1970, TAITRA is Taiwan’s foremost trade promotion organization. With the inauguration of Taiwan Trade Center, Tel Aviv, TAITRA now operates 63 offices around the world with a team of 1,300 specialists. Nowadays, TAITRA serves as a smart integrator that connects businesses with opportunities. In the future, Taiwan Trade Center, Tel Aviv will focus on facilitating cooperation and exchange between Taiwan and Israeli businesses.
For more about TAITRA, see: https://www.taitra.org.tw/About-TAITRA#
Facts about Taiwan
- 18th largest exporter (2017)
- PPP per capita: US$ 49,827, 21st in the world (2017, IMF)
- Investment Climate: 3rd/50 (2018, May Business Environment Risk Intelligence)
- Index of Economic Freedom: 13th/186(2018 Feb, Heritage Foundation & The Wall Street Journal)
- Innovation: 11th /137(Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018, World Economic Forum)
- Literacy rate (15 or older): 98.8% / Institutions of higher learning: 144(2017)
- Outlays for education, science, and culture: 20.2% of central government budget (2017)
Photos Silvia G. Golan
- Written by Weizmann Institute of Science researcher
Scientists are not generally required to display prowess in modern dance, but Dr. Roni Zohar of the Weizmann Institute of Science’s Science Teaching Department recently showed her moves in an award-winning science/dance video. Her video placed first, over the weekend, in the social sciences category of the “Dance your PhD” contest held by Science magazine, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The competition, now in its 11th year, picks its winners from entries in which PhD students and former students describe their PhD subjects through dance, and it is judged in four categories – biology, physics, chemistry, and social sciences – by a panel of judges that includes scientists and figures from the world of the arts.
Zohar did not just use dance to interpret her work: Dance is an integral part of her research. She investigates ways of using movement to teach high school students basic concepts in physics. In the video, dancers pose in the bubble-like space at the top of the Institute’s particle accelerator as Zohar weaves between them, waking them up; and 10thgrade students are filmed demonstrating such concepts as angular velocity and balance by walking in a line or leaning in various poses. Titled Movements as a Door for Learning Physics Concepts – Integrating Embodied Pedagogy in Teaching, the video describes Zohar’s PhD research conducted under the guidance of Prof. Bat Sheva Eylon of the Science Teaching Department and Prof. Dor Abrahamson of the University of California at Berkeley. Zohar will soon be undertaking postdoctoral research into the phenomenon of movement in learning at the Institute under the guidance of Prof. Ehud Ahissar of the Neurobiology Department and Prof. Atan Gross of the Biological Regulation Department.
It helps us to understand that these rules were not useless discoveries, but are a part of the world around us
Dance has long been a part of Zohar’s life. She studied dance in the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance at the same time as she was attaining her undergraduate degree in physics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her MSc, in Neurobiology, focused on motor control. Today, in addition to training science teachers' through the Ministry of Education, Zohar teaches classes in movement and improvisation. And this year, for the first time, she is leading a course on “movement, science, and learning” at the Feinberg Graduate School, the academic arm of the Weizmann Institute of Science.
Zohar was assisted in creating her video by a choreographer, Rotem Lev, and a movie maker and editor, Yael Leibovitz-Zand.
“When the learning material is not just on the board, it helps us to understand that these rules were not useless discoveries, but are a part of the world around us. Experiencing them reduces the fear of learning,” explains one of the 10th-grade students at the end of the video.
Dr. Roni Zohar’s research and this project are supported by the Maurice and Ilse Katz Center for Science Teaching; the Trump Foundation; the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations; and the Sandy Wall Endowment Fund for Science Teaching.
- Written by Israel Innovation Authority
Innovating for the Environment: The Israel Innovation Authority, the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection, and the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry will support the establishment of a new technological innovation lab specializing in environmental protection and sustainability with NIS 14 million
Corporations are called upon to submit proposals in a competitive process for the establishment and operation of a technological innovation lab
Anya Eldan, VP of the Israel Innovation Authority and Head of the Startup Division: “Our vision is that the innovation lab will develop into an entire ecosystem of unique startups, investors, and Israeli and multinational companies that will help implement innovative technologies and impact the lab with their vast experience in the industry.”
Galit Cohen, Senior VP of Planning, Policy, and Strategy at the Ministry of Environmental Protection: “The Innovation Lab project is designed to promote early enterprises and is a significant and additional layer to the Ministry of Environmental Protection’s work in promoting Israeli environmental technologies and supporting commercial proofs of concept of mature projects. The lab will also give traditional industries access to innovative environmental technologies that can be implemented to improve Israel's environmental performance."
Oz Katz, Head of the Industries Administration at the Ministry of Economy and Industry: “The Ministry of Economy and Industry promotes environmental and emerging industries through numerous assistance programs – this lab being one of them. Achieving environmental sustainability goals has massive economic potential, including higher rates of productivity and industrial innovation. The lab will promote more sustainable manufacturing processes and implement innovative methods that solve industry-based environmental requirements."
February 7, 2019 – Jerusalem - The Israel Innovation Authority, the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry have embarked on a new initiative to support the establishment of a new technological innovation lab that will specialize in the fields of environmental protection and sustainability. The corporations that will establish the laboratory will receive funding to build out a unique technological infrastructure and ongoing lab operations, as well as financing for participating startups to create their “proof of concept.” The overall government investment in the program stands at NIS 14 million.
Israeli and foreign corporations interested in exploring open innovation in such an innovation lab, and that wish to bolster Israel’s unique tech ecosystem, are invited to submit proposals. The innovation laboratory will be established and operated by those corporations that win a competitive tender to run the lab for a three-year period. Under this model, the lab will scout for startups in the fields of environmental protection and sustainability and support their proof of concept projects. This involves providing startups with access to technological infrastructure, assisting them in determining their product’s commercial viability, supporting project execution, opening marketing channels, exposing them to know-how and expertise, and creating connections with investors, partners, and corporate clients.
The cooperation between the entrepreneurial community and industry will improve the competitive performance of these startups and the cleantech ecosystem in Israel. The lab will also serve as a broad platform for cooperation between industry and academia and serve as a source of growth and strategic development for participating companies.
Companies that win the tender to operate the labs will receive financial support of 33% of the cost of setting up technological infrastructure (50% if the lab is established in peripheral areas), at a maximum of NIS 4 million, as well as financial support of 50% of the costs of ongoing lab operations, at a maximum of NIS 500,000 per year over the course of three years – with no requirements for financial investment in the startups accepted to the lab.
Companies selected to participate in the lab will be eligible for financial support of up to 85% of the approved project's budget up to a maximum of NIS 1 million and for up to a one-year operational term.
The new lab will be part of the Israel Innovation Authority’s existing innovation labs program, operating via incentive track number 29 - which, since its launch in 2017, has already established five technological innovation labs, all active today. Under the framework of this program, the Israel Innovation Authority is launching a competitive process to establish a new innovation lab for which the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection will provide data, information, and regulatory assistance to the new lab.
The current initiative is part of an Environmental Protection Ministry program started in 2018, when the ministry and the Israel Innovation Authority joined forces to create pilot programs to support Israeli environmental technologies ripe for commercial application on an industrial scale.
The Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry seeks to leverage opportunities created by environmental regulations by developing new industrial technologies that improve productivity while reducing pollution, according to existing regulations. Priority will be given to a technological innovation lab in the field of environmental protection and sustainability that provides solutions for processing and manufacturing industries with high pollution rates and in proximity to population centers.
- Written by President’s Spokesperson’s Office
President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin today, Sunday 17 February / 12 Adar I, received the first Israeli spacecraft, SpaceIL’s ‘Bereishit’ (Genesis) as a national project ahead of its launch to the moon. President of SpaceIL Morris Kahn presented the initiative to the State of Israel as a national project around a week before the historic launch. Eight years of intensive work by SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries will come to fruition with the launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida this Thursday.
The spacecraft will carry a time capsule, a copy of which was presented to the president. The time capsule has a huge database saved on special disks that can be removed from the spacecraft. There are hundreds of digital files, including the Bible and details about SpaceIL, the building of the spacecraft, Israeli national symbols, cultural items and materials collected by the public over the years. The time capsule will remain on the moon after the mission is completed.
“This is a historic moment. In a few days, the first Israeli spacecraft will be sent to the moon. ‘Bereishit’ will make history!” began the president. He added “when I was a child, we used to write fortunes on bubblegum wrappers – ‘by the time you’re 21, you’ll go to the moon’. Then, it seemed fantastical, impossible. Until now, only great powers have landed on the moon – the United States, the Soviet Union, and China. But if everything goes to plan, the State of Israel – our young and small country – will be the fourth country in history to land a spacecraft on the moon.”
The president added, “I hope that in a few months we will be able to say ‘we are on the moon, and we are staying on the moon’. Let me thank you for the decision to display a model of ‘Bereishit’ here at Beit HaNasi, and for transferring the project from private hands to the state. This project is of the greatest national importance. It is a national project!”
The president emphasized, “I am delighted and proud that you decided to turn this project into not just a wonderful technological achievement, but also an educational undertaking. You are an example of groundbreaking, audacious Israeli innovation. This is Zionism at its finest.”
Morris Kahn, President of Space IL, thanked the president, saying “Mr. President, it is a tremendous pleasure for me to present this wonderful project to the State of Israel. It is a tremendous achievement and I am proud to be part of it, and that the Israeli flag will soon fly on the moon. I also want to present you with a copy of the time capsule that will be sent to the moon on the spacecraft. It includes pictures sent by Israelis from all around the country, a miniature Bible and Israeli songs. Thank you for your support.”
Nimrod Sheffer, CEO of Israel Aerospace Industries: “IAI put Israel on the map many years ago when we joined the small club of developed nations that send satellites to space. As the Israeli home of space exploration, it was only natural that we would join SpaceIL’s wonderful and visionary project. The cooperation between us is a shining example of the extraordinary accomplishments we can achieve in the State of Israel.”
Photo credits: Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)
- Written by Rachel Amrani
I had the privilege to moderate a panel on the topic of “The Shoah, Strength, and Fulfillment” as part of the “Women in Zionism” conference organized by the World Zionist Committee. The panel was held on January 27, 2019, international Holocaust memorial day, and its unique composition bolstered the importance of the event, designed to be a key addition to the activities focused on preserving awareness of the Holocaust: We Remember.
During my opening remarks, I emphasized the ethical obligation on all of us to do everything possible to remember and remind others of the awful tragedy that befell our brethren during the Holocaust, people whose only “sin” was being Jewish. This ethical obligation is gradually becoming an existential need, in light of growing anti-Semitism, and proliferation of Holocaust-deniers. Moreover, we face continuous threats from terrorist organizations and hostile nations calling for the destruction of Israel.
In this dangerous reality, it is incumbent upon us to always remember and educate our youth about what happened so that these tragic events will never be repeated. Along with this, we must memorialize the courageous acts of the many who risked their lives to save others from the clutches of the Nazis. And of course we can’t forget the achievement of the dream of creating a Jewish state, the great victory of establishing Israel and the continued achievements of fulfilling the Jewish dream of 2000 years.
Speaking on the panel were:
Mr. Yaakov Hagoel - Deputy Chairman of the World Zionist Organization
Mrs. Rachel Pinkas - Survivor
Mrs. Magda Watts - Survivor
Mrs. Devora Weinstein - Survivor
Shaked Tubis - Student at the “Chen” Young Ambassadors school
Tal Zeidman - Student at the “Chen” Young Ambassadors school
Sheli Naziri - Student at the “Chen” Young Ambassadors school
Mr. Hagoel noted that it took years before the 60th United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution promoting Holocaust education, and emphasized that Holocaust education is all the more important today, in the face of rising antisemitism around the world.
Sheli wrote about the experiences of women during the Holocaust and how they different from that of men, and the approach since the 1990s to understanding these distinctions. She explained that although it might seem that everyone was treated the same in the Holocaust, even under such conditions women faced additional challenges, like having to undergo “selections” while naked; pregnancies and miscarriages in terribly un-hygienic situations, etc.
Shelly told Diplomacy: “I, Shelly Naziri, 10th grade, study at the “Chen” Young Ambassadors school in Petah Tiqva under Rachel Amrani. On international Holocaust memorial day, I took part in a panel of women that was organized by the World Zionist Federation in Eilat. There were women representing most of the cultures in Israel. On the panel, I spoke about the difficulties that women faced during the Holocaust, and I raised awareness about this topic in contemporary times. During my research I learned that some women refused to give up on their feminity even during these times, saving or improvising for things like hairbrushes and makeup. I was surprised to find that until recently even survivors themselves didn’t pay the subject much notice. They didn’t think that the topic merited attention relative to the other difficulties of the Holocaust.
For me, participating in this panel, and telling of the awful experiences that Jewish women faced then, was a privilege to help tell this important story to my peers.
Tal Zaidman from the Migdalor project said “I chose to speak of a heroine from that period, Hannah Szenes, a poet and playwright whose life was cut short due to her brave acts during the war. She was a woman who loved life, but her dedication to her ideals lead her actions. This is the eternal message, to go out and do, to fulfill the goals that we set for ourselves.
Shaked Tubis explained how important it is that we work to achieve our dreams and to take advantage of the fact that we can decide our own fate and make our own decisions, unlike those who went through the Holocaust and didn’t have such a privilege.
In conclusion, it’s difficult to comprehend the deep emotions of the audience and participants when they heard the personal stories of the survivors, who detailed in stirring simplicity the events they had to go through for being born Jewish. Likewise, when the youth presented their projects and research, and especially their commitment to preserving the stories and memories of our people. All that’s left is to say with a clear voice that we will do all that we can to ensure that the memory of the Holocaust will remain forever as an eternal witness for the world. Never Again.
By: Rachel Amrani
Photo Credit: "Chen" Young Ambassadors School