Did You Know?

ISRAEL21c brings together some of the biggest achievements that have come out of Israel.


• Life is about to get a lot quieter thanks to an Israeli company, Silentium, that has developed an award-winning noise cancelling technology that can be applied to almost everything – from home appliances to airplane seats.

• Israeli company Project RAY has developed the world’s first smartphone for people with visual disabilities, opening up the benefits of digital access to a population excluded up to now. Already in use in Israel, the smartphone is now launching in the US.

• New Yorkers are finding parking in their city a great deal easier with a new Israeli app called Pango that lets users locate, book and pay for parking spots via their smartphone. Other US cities in Arizona and Pennsylvania are also using the system.

• Trucks will be a lot safer and greener thanks to an Israeli company, Neomatix, which has developed a device to check tire pressure remotely, when trucks park for the night. Improperly inflated tires waste energy, wear down tire treads, and are a safety hazard.

• Israel has designed the first flight system to protect passenger and freighter aircraft against missile attack.

• Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin – 109 per 10,000 people – as well as one of the highest percapita rates of patents filed.

• In proportion to its population, Israel has the largest number of startup companies in the world. In absolute terms, Israel has the largest number of startup companies than any other country in the world, except the US (3,500 companies mostly in hi-tech).

• Israel is ranked #2 in the world for venture capital funds right behind the US.

• According to industry officials, Israel designed the airline industry’s most impenetrable flight security. U.S. officials now look to Israel for advice on how to handle airborne security threats.

• Israel has the highest percentage in the world of home computers per capita.

• Israel leads the world in the number of scientists and technicians in the workforce, with 145 per 10,000, as opposed to 85 in the U.S., over 70 in Japan, and less than 60 in Germany. With over 25% of its work force employed in technical professions. Israel places first in this category as well.

• The first PC anti-virus software was developed in Israel in 1979.

• AirTrain JFK – the 8.1-mile light rail labrynthe that connects JFK Airport to New York City’s mass transit – is protected by the Israeli-developed Nextiva surveillance system.

• An Israeli company M-Systems was the first to patent and introduce the disk on key.

• A team of Israeli and US researchers has designed a watermelon-picking robot endowed with artificial vision to do the job of harvesting.

• A small Israel company called Lenslet has developed a revolutionary electro-optic processor which operates one thousand times faster than any known Digital Signal Processor.

• An Israeli-developed alogrithm enabled NASA to transmit images from Mars.

• Israel hosts IBM’s largest R&D facilities outside the United States.

• Israeli researchers have developed an engineless, nano-RPV (remote piloted vehicle).

• The U.S. Marines in Iraq are using an Israel-developed hand-held computer for communication purposes.

• Israel engineers are behind the development of the largest communications router in the world, launched by Cisco.

• Israeli air force pilot technology is being used to train American college basketball and hockey players.

Intelligym software

Intelligym software

• An Israeli physicist-turned-inventor has developed the world’s first air-conditioned motorcycle.

• Millions of American youngsters will soon be able to surf safely in Internet chat rooms thanks to Israeli technology.

• Jerusalem-based SnapKeys is bringing smartphone users a whole new way to type ñ with an invisible keyboard.

• A new Israeli iPhone and iPad app called GroupShot flawlessly cobbles together the best images from a variety of group shots where somebody’s blinking, yawning or clowning.

• A winning proposal by Israel’s Technion Institute of Technology and Cornell University will form the basis of the future NYTechinstitute in the Big Apple.

• An Israeli smartphone app already in use worldwide enables drivers to avoid jams, and navigate their way through crowded city streets, using data from their phone’s GPS.

• The new American state-of-the-art F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft will be equipped with Israeli-developed mounted display systems in their helmets which incorporate and display all vital flight data.

• Israeli mini-unmanned aerial vehicles are being used by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

• Intel has sold more than $5 billion worth of the Israeli-developed Centrino chipsets since they were introduced in March 2003.

• An Israeli company has developed the world’s first video ringtones for cell phones – the Vringo.

• Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technology was pioneered in Israel.

• Bill Gates called Israel a major player in the high tech world.

• Intel’s new multi-core processor was completely developed at its facilities in Israel.

• Motorola has its largest R&D center outside of the US in Israel.

• Most of the Windows NT operating system was developed by Microsoft-Israel.

• The Pentium MMX Chip technology was designed in Israel at Intel.

• Voice mail technology was developed in Israel.

• Both Microsoft and Cisco built their only R&D facilities outside the US in Israel.

• The technology for AOL Instant Messenger was developed in 1996 by four young Israelis.

• With more than 3,000 high-tech companies and start-ups, Israel has the highest concentration of high-tech companies in the world (apart from the Silicon Valley).

• Prof. Robert Aumann is the fourth Israeli in the last four years to win a Nobel prize.

• Israeli technology is behind the successful testing of in-flight cell phone use.


• An Israeli company has developed a revolutionary new tool that could allow surgeons to close wounds without stitches or staples minimalizing scarring and risk of infection.

• Israeli researchers believe they may have found a way to preserve the fertility of young female cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

• Israeli researchers have discovered that bursts of gentle electricity may slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s.

• Israeli scientists developed the first fully computerized, no-radiation, diagnostic instrumentation for breast cancer.

• An Israeli company developed a computerized system for ensuring proper administration of medications, thus removing human error from medical treatment.

Every year in U.S. hospitals 7,000 patients die from treatment mistakes.

• Israel’s Given Imaging developed the first ingestible video camera, so small it fits inside a pill.

The camera, which views the small intestine from the inside, helps doctors diagnose cancer and digestive disorders.

• Researchers in Israel developed a new device that directly helps the heart pump blood, an innovation with the potential to save lives among those with congestive heart failure. The new device is synchronized with the heart’s mechanical operations through a sophisticated system of sensors.

• A new acne treatment developed in Israel, the ClearLight device, produces a high-intensity, ultraviolet-light-free, narrow-band blue light that causes acne bacteria to self-destruct – all without damaging surroundings skin or tissue.

• Christopher Reeve called Israel the “world center” for research on paralysis treatment.

• Israeli research has shown that dancers display consistent differences from the general population in two key genes.

• Israeli researchers are playing an important role in identifying a defective gene that causes a rare and usually fatal disease in Arab infants.

• An Israeli company has been given a U.S. grant to develop an anti-smallpox first aid treatment kit.

• Israeli microbiologists have developed the first passive vaccine against the mosquito-borne West Nile virus.

• Israeli researchers are using video games to investigate future treatments for memory disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

• An Israeli company has developed sensors that pick up signs of stress in plants.

• Israeli medical researchers have shown that lycopene – the red pigment found in tomatoes – lowers blood pressure.

• Israeli stem-cell technology is being used in the U.S. to regenerate heart tissue.

• An Israeli company has developed a device that could enable millions of American diabetics to painlessly inject themselves with insulin.

• Scientists in Israel have used strands of DNA to create tiny transistors that can literally build themselves.

• Israeli research shows that a tonsillectomy could be the key to solving sleep apnea in children.

• An Israeli company has developed a new device for monitoring coronary disease that will be integrated into future generations of cellphones.

• An Israeli has invented a ‘bone glue’ that will reduce the need for bone transplants and heal bone defects caused by cancer.

• Israeli researchers have found a connection between sleep apnea and impotence.

• The founder of the Cancer Prevention and Wellness Program at New York’s prestigious Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is Israeli.

• Between 150 to 200 multinational clinical trials are regularly taking place in Israel.

• An Israeli company is the world’s leading sleep disorder sensors manufacturer.

• Israeli scientists have created a DNA nano-computer that not only detects cancer, but also releases drugs to treat the disease.

• An Israeli doctor claims that he has succeeded in developing a female equivalent to Viagra called Sheagra.

• A newly developed Israeli cooking oil is capable of breaking up blood fats such as cholesterol.

• Israeli scientists have alleviated Parkinson’s-like symptoms in rats.

• Israeli scientists are developing a nose drop that will provide a five-year flu vaccine.

• Israeli researchers are successfully using magnets to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.

• An Israeli vaccine for West Nile virus is being tested in the U.S.

• Israeli scientists have discovered how to turn mismatched cells into cancer fighters.

• An Israeli-developed device can painlessly administer medications through microscopic pores in the skin.

• Israeli researchers have shown that a daily dosage of Vitamin E is effective in helping to regain hearing loss.

• Israeli researchers have created a ‘biological pacemaker’ which corrects faulty heart rhythms when injected into the failing hearts of pigs.

• Two Israelis have won the 2004 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their groundbreaking work in cancer research.

cancer cells
• An Israeli-developed elderberry extract is one of America’s best-selling flu prevention medicines.

• An Israeli computer program has been clinically proven to accurately provide a prognosis of how effective chemotherapy will be for breast cancer patients.

• Israeli medical teams are training Ethiopian doctors to fight AIDS.

• An Israeli team has made medical history with its ability to transform skin stem cells from heart-disease patients into healthy heart tissue.

• An Israeli biotech company can generate healthy new bone using stem cells harvested from the patientís own fat.

• Israel has one of the most progressive medical marijuana programs in the world. For thousands of Israelis suffering cancer, MS, Crohn’s and chronic pain, pot provides vital relief.

• A 91-year-old scientist has developed a simple bedside test that can detect killer superbugs in minutes, rather than days, providing one of the most potent weapons against hospital-borne infections to date.

• An Israeli pharma company is testing an advanced weapon against pancreatic and prostate cancer.

• An Israeli ‘super-sensor’ has been installed in Sealy mattresses to control snoring problems.

• An Israeli discovery of a gene that could cure a blinding eye disease has been licensed by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

• The success of GlaxoSmithKline’s once-a-day breast cancer pill Tykerb – which has won approval by the FDA for use by women with metastatic or advanced breast cancer – is thanks in part to clinical trials conducted by Israeli researchers.

• An Israeli innovation could make many diagnostic catheterizations for clogged arteries unnecessary.

• In a breakthrough in male infertility, Israeli researchers have developed an artificial testis to produce sperm.

• Israeli scientists have developed a genetically engineered cleaning solution that makes today’s deadly new strains of superbugs resistant to antibiotics.

Superbugs are now the leading cause of preventable death in the developed world.

• Israeli research has found that citrus oils may hold the key for asthma treatment.

• An Israeli study has shown that anger may trigger strokes.

• An Israeli study has shown that people who suffer from job burnout may be prone to developing type 2 diabetes.

• An Israeli scientific team from the Technion has succeeded in creating in the laboratory beating heart tissue from human embryonic stem cells

• Israeli infectious disease experts have been recruited by the World Health Organization to help prevent the spread of avian flu.

• Israeli scientists have found that a drug once used to treat vertigo can now help people lose weight.

• Israeli laser technology is powering the latest hair removal devices on the American market.

• A team of Israeli genetic researchers has identified a genetic defect that causes a severe neurodegenerative disease in Bedouin children resulting in premature death.

• A team from the Weizmann Institute has demonstrated for the first time how tissues transplanted from pig embryos might, in the future, be able to induce the human body to produce blood-clotting proteins for hemophilia patients.

• Israeli researchers have discovered a new way to create effective substitutes for antibiotics based on a combination of amino acids and fatty acids.

• An artificial pancreas developed in Israel could revolutionize diabetic care by monitoring blood sugar levels and delivering insulin automatically, even at night.

• An Israeli system to help dyslexic readers is being used throughout the US and Europe.

• An Israeli company has developed a device that helps nurses locate hard-to-find veins.

• A portable electrocardiograph machine developed by Israeli company SHL can transmit highly detailed data on heart activity to physicians by mobile phone.

• Israeli startup Audiodent has developed an innovative hearing aid that clips easily inside the mouth, using the teeth and jawbone to transmit sound to the brain.

• Israeli researchers are developing the second generation of drugs to treat diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.

Marta Weinstock-Rosin

Marta Weinstock-Rosin with AD drug Exelon. Photo by Nati Shohat/Hebrew University’s “Innovator’s Way” exhibition

• Israeli company Ultrashape has developed a safe replacement for liposuction – a unique new body-contouring device that “blasts” unwanted fat from the body.

• Israeli research has shown that dancers display consistent differences from the general population in two key genes.

• An Israeli-initiated project is drastically lowering the mortality rate of Ethiopian children infected with the AIDS/HIV virus.

• Israeli companies are going to require models in their advertisements to take tests to insure that they have a normal BMI (Body mass index).

• An Israeli company has developed a simple blood test that distinguishes between mild and more severe cases of MS.

• Israeli scientists have discovered the cause of chronic bad breath and a painless solution.

• Hawaiian singer Don Ho underwent an Israeli-developed stem cell treatment to strengthen his heart.

• An Israeli company has unveiled a blood test that can diagnose heart attacks via the telephone.

• The Israeli-developed Ex-Press shunt is providing relief for American glaucoma sufferers.

• An Israeli research team has found that the combination of electrical stimulation and chemotherapy makes cancerous metastases disappear.

• The Weizmann Institute of Science has been voted the best university in the world for life scientists to conduct research.

• On a per capita basis, Israel has the largest number of biotech start-ups.

• An Israeli doctor headed the Merck team that developed a vaccine against cervical cancer.


• An Israeli inventor has developed the world’s first cardboard bicycle from recycled materials. The bike is resistant to rain and sun, and costs around $9 each.

• Israel has the largest raptor migration in the world, with hundreds of thousands of African birds of prey crossing as they fan out into Asia.

• Israeli engineers and agriculturalists developed a revolutionary drip irrigation system to minimize the amount of water used to grow crops.

• An Israeli company was the first to develop and install a large-scale solar-powered and fully functional electricity generating plant, in southern California’s Mojave desert.

BrightSource Energy solar field
• An Israeli company is providing the technology behind an American all-electric bus for urban use.

• Some 500 million birds representing 300 species migrate across Israel’s skies twice a year in the autumn and spring along the Great Valley Rift.

• Israeli biologists have successfully managed, for the first time, to prepare the flowering of the “Madonna Lily” – a rare white Easter lily – in time for Easter.

• An Israeli company – Evogene – is developing cotton plants that are resistant to adverse salinity conditions and drought.

• An Israeli company has developed the world’s first jellyfish repellent.

• An Israeli two-flush system is saving Americans billions of gallons of water a year.

• Drinking water for visitors to Indiaís Taj Mahal has just got a great deal safer thanks to Israelís Aqwise, which will be purifying 150,000 cubes of water daily from the cityís nearby Yamuna River.

• A new IBM-Israel partnership is helping toward a goal of reducing California water usage by 20 percent by the year 2020.

• Israelís Univerve is breeding a strain of algae to fuel your car.

• Israel’s Etenergy can get 40 percent more power from the sun with lightweight solar energy trackers based on the principles of kite surfing.

• For many years, conservationists believed Israelís Hula painted frog was extinct after its swampy habitat was drained in the 1950s. Now, the frog has been found alive and jumping in the Hula valley after massive conservation efforts.

• Israel is one of the leading countries in providing ornamental fish to aquariums around the world.

• NASA is interested in knowing what Israeli researchers can learn about conditions on Mars by studying the Negev desert.

• Israel is the only country in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees.

palm trees
• An Israeli company has developed a nano-lubricant that one day could mean the end of changing your car oil.


• Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world.

• Israel has the highest average living standards in the Middle East. The per capita income in 2000 was over $17,500, exceeding that of the UK.

• Israel’s $100 billion economy is larger than all of its immediate neighbors combined.

• Twenty-four percent of Israel’s workforce holds university degrees – ranking third in the industrialized world, after the United States and Holland – and 12 percent hold advanced degrees.

• Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship – and the highest rate among women and among people over 55 – in the world.

• Over 50 million Israeli flowers were sent to Europe for sale on Valentine’s Day.

• Tel Aviv has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

• Laplanders from Norway turned to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to learn how to revitalize their traditional language.

• Israeli artists have developed new bus stop libraries available free of charge to commuters and travelers across the country.

bus-stop books
• Israel annually exports more than 1.5 billion flowers to the US and Europe.

• The Israeli film ‘Sweet Mud’ won the jury prize for world cinema at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.

• Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers was produced by Haim Saban, an Israeli whose family fled persecution in Egypt.

• Israel has the world’s second highest per capita of new books.

• Israel has more museums per capita than any other country.

• Israel has two official languages: Hebrew and Arabic.


• The Waldorf-Astoria luxury hotel in Jerusalem hired eco-builders from a tiny kibbutz in Israel’s Negev Desert to provide the interior touches.


• A group of 40 American sheriffs were in Israel last week to learn about Israeli counter-terrorism techniques.

• A 26-year-old Israeli was named entrepreneur of the year by an international organization for his program to nurture future engineers using advanced Lego building skills.

• Israeli basketball star Shay Doron helped the University of Maryland win the women’s college basketball championship.

• An Israeli strategist has guided numerous UK sporting organizations to new heights with his ‘Winning Formula’.

• An Israeli ornithologist is utilizing barn owls to rid large cities of rodent problems.

Social Action

• Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.

• In 1984 and 1991, Israel airlifted a total of 22,000 Ethiopian Jews at risk in Ethiopia to safety in Israel.

• When Gold Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1969, she became the world’s second elected female leader in modern times.

• Relative to its population, Israel is the largest immigrant-absorbing nation on earth. Immigrants come in search of democracy, religious freedom, and economic opportunity.

• Israel was the first nation in the world to adopt the Kimberly process, an international standard that certifies diamonds as “conflict free.

• Israel is becoming integrally involved in helping to reshape the post-war Iraqi landscape?

• An Israeli medical delegation from the ‘Save a Child’s Heart’ project recently spent two weeks in China performing open heart surgery on children.

• Israeli-developed security precautions have been adopted in Maryland and Washington.

• A week-old Iraqi infant underwent an emergency operation in Israel to correct a congenital heart defect.

• A new generation of “Sesame Street” programs aimed at teaching tolerance is being produced and broadcast in Israel, Jordan, and in the Palestinian Authority.

• A joint Israeli-Palestinian expedition recently scaled a peak in Antarctica in the name of coexistence.

• Israel has helped farmers in Niger develop a horticultural production system called the African Market Garden (AMG).

Tal-Ya dew collector

• Israeli researchers have solved the mystery of Lenin’s death.

• Over 20 Israeli companies provided security and services for the 2004 Olympic games in Athens.

• Children injured in the school siege in Beslan, Russia in 2004 were able to convalesce at an Israeli coastal resort in Ashkelon – at the invitation of that city’s mayor.

• Israel has one of the world’s only playgrounds totally suitable for special needs children.

• A 100-member Israeli delegation flew to Kenya to rescue survivors of a building collapse.

• When the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya was bombed in 1998, Israeli rescue teams were on the scene within a day – and saved three victims from the rubble.

• An Israeli company – Patus Ltd. – has donated thousands of its OdorScreen olfactory gel product to counter the crippling odors faced by on-scene Tsunami disaster workers.