17 February 2019 - 12 Adar I 5779 - י"ב אדר א' ה' אלפים תשע"ט
Chinese water-filtration company purchases AMS Technology E-mail

Chinese water-filtration company Newater Technology Inc. has acquired 100% of the equity of Israeli water filtration company AMS Technologies for US$13.5 million. The acquisition agreement was signed in the Chinese city of Yantai on 28 November.

Newater is a service provider and manufacturer of membrane-filtration equipment and related hardware and engineered systems that are used in the treatment, recycling and discharge of wastewater.

Based in Or Yehuda, AMS develops and markets chemically and thermally stable and resistant ultrafiltration and nano-filtration special membrane materials used in wastewater treatment. Through this strategic acquisition and additional partnerships, Newater believes it will realise vertical supply chain integration from the preparation of special membrane materials, to the production of membrane elements, to the manufacturing and assembling of the membrane equipment and projects.

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New research: Artificial sweeteners contain toxins E-mail

FDA-approved artificial sweeteners and sport supplements have been found to be toxic to digestive gut microbes, according to a new paper by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Israel and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. The paper was published in the journal Molecules.

The collaborative study indicated the relative toxicity of six artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, saccharine, neotame, advantame and acesulfame potassium-k) and 10 sport supplements containing these artificial sweeteners. The bacteria found in the digestive system became toxic when exposed to concentrations of only one mg./ml. of the artificial sweeteners.

“We modified bioluminescent E. coli bacteria, which luminesce when they detect toxicants and act as a sensing model representative of the complex microbial system,” wrote Prof. Ariel Kushmaro, John A. Ungar Chair in Biotechnology in the Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering, and a member of the Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology and the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev. “This is further evidence that consumption of artificial sweeteners adversely affects gut microbial activity, which can cause a wide range of health issues.”

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Philippines and Israel sign Palawan oil-exploration deal E-mail

Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Itay Raphael Tabibzada, President and CEO of Ratio Petroleum Ltd., signed an oil-exploration agreement on 17 October.

As reported by the Philippine Star newspaper, the agreement covers the East Palawan Basin or Area 4 of the fifth Philippine Energy Contracting Round. The signing was purely ceremonial, as the deal had already been inked during Duterte’s visit to Israel in September.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte was the one who signed the agreement on behalf of the Philippine government because such an exploration contract required the President’s signature.

The petroleum service contract will allow Ratio Petroleum to explore 416,000 hectares across the East Palawan Basin for potential oil and gas resources. The deal is expected to cost at least US$34.35 million, including data-gathering and drilling activities over the initial seven-year contract period.

“We’ve been dependent on oil-producing countries for our oil. So we need to boost the exploration of our own resources,” said Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo.

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Flipkart buys Upstream Commerce E-mail

Flipkart, India’s largest ecommerce marketplace, has disclosed that it has acquired Israeli startup Upstream Commerce. The Israeli company builds cloud-based, automated competitive-pricing and product-analysis solutions.

Flipkart says that these solutions will strengthen its ability to deliver insights to its sellers, helping to optimise product assortment and pricing strategies and find gaps in the market to serve customers better. According to Globes, no financial details were disclosed, but sources close to the deal say the acquisition is for about US$30 million.

Upstream Commerce’s Tel Aviv office will become Flipkart’s development centre in Israel. Upstream Commerce was founded in 2010 by CEO Amos Peleg and CTO Shai Geva on the premise that automated retail intelligence capability should simplify and streamline the highly complicated data-gathering process so retailers can concentrate on optimising their merchandising, marketing and profit-making efforts.

Peleg said: “We are excited to become a part of India’s largest e-commerce player. During our discussion, as we got to know more about Flipkart, we realised that we share the same passion for technology, and the same vision for the contribution of data science to the future and success of online retail. The choice and vision of Flipkart to establish its presence in Israel through acquiring Upstream Commerce is a significant vote of confidence in the company’s team, technology and domain expertise, and are looking forward to help growing the presence of Flipkart in Israel.”

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IAI and Tech Mahindra team up on cybersecurity solutions E-mail

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) unit ELTA Systems and India’s IT giant Tech Mahindra announced in October a collaboration to combine IAI’s cybersecurity technologies and Tech Mahindra’s digital expertise to provide cyber solutions and services to government and enterprise customers in India and globally.

The partnership will enable the companies to design and deliver Security Operation Centres (C-SOCs), Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) and Forensic Laboratories, leveraging on leading-edge automation and orchestration tools, AI and machine-learning analytics and best-of-breed technology. The partnership will also offer consultation, training and managed security services, based on national-grade methodologies and procedures, and will develop new future-ready technologies that meet the evolving challenges of the cyber domain.

Tech Mahindra CEO CP Gurnani said: “This strategic partnership will herald a new chapter in tackling the advanced global cybersecurity threats in today’s digital age, by developing a future-ready cybersecurity framework. Partnership with IAI will be a multiplier force for Tech Mahindra’s robust cyber security expertise world over.”

IAI Cyber Division VP and general manager Esti Peshin said: “We are excited to collaborate with our strategic partner, Tech Mahindra, a company present in 90+ countries. We are confident that Mahindra’s experienced cyber security professionals will equip IAI with a sustainable competitive advantage, improving our ability to scale rapidly and prevent cyberattacks with cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions.”

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