No one is immune to Bieber Fever, it seems. Justin Bieber was greeted in Israel this week by his usual welcoming committee: throngs of girls in danger of exploding. But they are not the story here—that honour goes to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who will host the young Canadian singer at his office on Wednesday. Netanyahu’s advisors have invited a group of children from communities near the Gaza Strip, many of whom were nearly hit by a Hamas rocket last Thursday. Bieber is performing at Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv on Thursday, but he plans to play tourist as well, with visits to the Dead Sea, Masada and Caesarea while he’s in the Holy Land.
Appropriately, Israel’s deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon tweeted his welcome to Stratford’s finest: “Welcome Justin Bieber to Israel! I know you will enjoy your time here as much as many Israelis will enjoy having you here.” Bieber also took to his favourite social networking site to express his excitement over arriving in Israel. The Biebs (a devout Christian) tweeted, “I’m in the holy land and I am grateful for that. I just want to have the same personal experience that others have here.”
Fat chance. Paparazzi found the pious popstar almost immediately. “You would think paparazzi would have some respect in holy places,” Bieber lamented via Twitter. “All I wanted was the chance to walk where jesus [sic] did here in Israel.” Could a cover of this be far behind? We hope so.
For the first time, Israel will sign Agreements of Cooperation with the World Health Organization and UNAIDS in Geneva
Israel will tomorrow (Wednesday, 13 April 2011), for the first time, sign an Agreement of Cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO). The agreement represents an enhancement of Israel’s relationship with the organization and is one of the measures of the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s initiative to participate in the challenges facing global development, especially in the developing countries of Africa and other global regions.
Within the framework of the agreement, several joint teams from Israel’s health authorities, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV) and relevant departments of the WHO will be established. The teams will be active in the following fields: emergency medicine, water and sanitation, mother and child health and food safety.
Israel will also sign on Wednesday a cooperation agreement with UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. UNAIDS was established ten years ago, and is involved in various aspects of HIV/AIDS – including awareness and infection prevention, medication, elimination of prejudice and international social assistance. Prior to this agreement, in cooperation with UNAIDS, MASHAV organized training courses on various aspects of the issue for public health and welfare representatives from developing countries in Africa and Central Asia. The signing of Israel’s first agreement of cooperation with UNAIDS will enhance Israel’s relationship with the organization.
Ambassador Aharon Leshno-Yaar, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations in Geneva, will sign both agreements on behalf of MASHAV. The signing will be attended by Professor Alex Leventhal on behalf of the Israeli Ministry of Health and by Ron Adam, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Mission of Israel to the United Nations in Geneva.
EUREKA’s representatives from 40 countries agree to invest €134 million in industrial initiatives across Europe, approve 89 project proposals
Assembled in Haifa and Nazareth for the third event held in Israel under the EUREKA Chairmanship year, EUREKA’s national delegates on Monday approved a series of promising cooperative R&D projects in a variety of areas, including renewable energy, agrofood technology, biotechnology, physical and exact sciences, IT and electronics, industrial manufacturing, and more.
During the EUREKA meeting, EUREKA’s decision-makers approved 89 innovative projects aimed at developing marketable products and solutions through the EUREKA and Eurostars programs, totaling €134 million (about $194 million) of investment.
This includes 71 projects endorsed through the Eurostars program, a joint initiative of EUREKA and the European Commission which supports small and medium sized R&D intensive companies.
Fourteen of the 89 approved individual EUREKA and Eurostars projects have Israeli partners – representing almost 16% of the total. Israel is only one of 40 member countries in EUREKA but represents just under one-fifth of the individual project proposals approved during this meeting.Matimop – the Israeli Industry Center for R&D, implements the Israeli EUREKA Chairmanship program on behalf of the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor. Dr. Eli Opper – former Chief Scientist, is the chairman of the EUREKA High Level Group (HLG) and Israel Shamay, Matimop’s Executive Director for European Programs, is the chairman of the National Project Coordinators (NPC).
Since Israel took the leadership of EUREKA, nearly 200 EUREKA projects have already been approved, totaling more than €280 million ($405 million) of private and public investment.EUREKA delegates, representing over 40 countries, gathered at the meetings to promote industry, technology, R&D, and international cooperation through funding and partner-matching. On a yearly basis, EUREKA supports more than 300 collaborative projects in a variety of industries, totaling over €1.5 billion ($2.17 million).
These industrial projects match up partners from two or more member countries – including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), large industry, and research institutes. Projects can be launched in virtually all industry fields and technological areas – IT, manufacturing, water technologies, communications, biotechnology and energy, among others. EUREKA initiatives look to meet challenges such as climate change, energy security, and limited water resources.
During this meeting of the EUREKA Network, a special emphasis was placed on highlighting cooperation opportunities with local high-tech companies and technological incubators in the Galilee.
The Israeli leadership of EUREKA provides an opportunity to showcase Israel’s culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. With over 3,800 technology-based start-up companies, innovation has become a key factor in the country’s economic stability and success – assets reflected in its participation in EUREKA projects.
From all of EUREKA’s 40 member countries, Israel is actually one of EUREKA’s most active participants, partnering in more than 10% of the overall portfolio of EUREKA projects. The chairmanship provides enormous opportunities for Israeli and European companies and highlights Israel’s unique contributions to European innovation and R&D.