from the September 2010 issue

A Decade of Change

In the past ten years Israel's economy has created major changes. The defense sector, for one, has moved away from offensive weaponry, to defensive ones. At one time unmanned aerial vehicles and rockets dominated the scene. Today, anti-rocket systems that can protect the country from short distance scuds, lead the way. The Arrow system has proved to be effective and the Iron Dome, used to knock out short distance rockets will go into operations in two months time. What this means is that the defense industries are succeeding in meeting the challenge of this era. Even greater changes have taken place in the domestic sector, with its ever changing and challenging needs. Water desalination has become a leading export item. The world's largest desalination plant, located along Israel's southern Mediterranean coast, is operational. The water treatment plant provides 100 million cubic meters (mcm) of desalinated water per year.

A young Israeli company called Watersheer Ltd. has developed a series of products, ranging from a personal purifier in a form of a bottle cap, to up to a 100 liter water processing system. The multi purpose purifying system for large capacity of water, is easy to use and is independent of external energy sources.

The Sulis Personal Purification System (PPS) takes all the ingredients needed to transform dirty water into clean water - and has miniaturized the technology to fit into the top of a cork that can be plugged into virtually any size bottle, container or tap. Solar heating, once a major industry in Israel that was felled by falling oil prices is back in vogue.

Expertise in these fields has drawn international attraction. China and India have become major trading partners. Both have shown interest in desalination. Israeli units are being used in California.

Israeli farmers have succeeded in producing new varieties of tomatoes. The tomato, named Antonella, retains its firmness, flavor and aroma and does not begin to rot even after a week at room temperature.

These allow them to maintain exports. Israel was the first country to raise seedless watermelons. Essentially it is the ability to meet current needs that continues to give Israel an edge in its global exports.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report September 2010

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