Easier to visit Israel

From May 20, Israel has dropped the time-consuming mandatory PCR test for passengers arriving at Ben Gurion airport. Also, non-Israelis will be allowed to take a rapid (antigen) test at an authorized site in the 24 hours before boarding their incoming flight as an alternative to a PCR test within 72 hours.

Unemployment at 50-year low

Israel’s underlying unemployment rate dropped to 2.9% in April from 3.7% in March, the lowest in 50 years. There were 120,000 job seekers and 150,000 vacancies. The overall rate, including those affected by the pandemic, dropped to 4.4% in April from 4.8% in March, the lowest since 2020.

The world’s largest cow-free milk facility

Israel’s Remilk (see previously) is to open a 750,000 square feet cow-free milk production facility in an eco-park in Kalundborg Denmark. Its proteins will make cheese, yogurt, ice cream etc., in volumes equivalent to that produced by 50,000 cows each year.

Investment in Israeli startups to 8/5/22:

raised ; raised ; raised ; raised ; raised ; raised ; raised

America’s Israeli Unicorns

California now hosts the global or U.S. headquarters for 32 Israeli-founded Unicorns – privately held companies valued at $1 billion or more. 17 of those companies became Unicorns in the last 12 months.  Most are in Silicon Valley.  Meanwhile, New York City hosts 26 Israeli Unicorns.

From NBA to VC

Israel’s Omri Casspi has transitioned from retired NBA basketball star to Venture Capital Fund manager. He has just launched "Sheva", a new VC fund, raising $30 million of its $50 million target, for investing $1 - $2 million in each of 20 early-stage startups.

Innoviz lands $4 billion order

Israel’s Innoviz Technologies (see previously) has won a $4 billion deal by one of the largest vehicle manufacturers in the world to become its direct LiDAR sensors supplier across multiple brands. The new Innoviz 360 sensors have improved resolution and 360-degree peripheral vision.

Israeli on-demand buses on the BBC

BBC Radio 4’s Sangita Myska featured Israel’s Via ride-sharing taxis on her “Positive Thinking” program about key innovators on a mission to change our world for the better. Via redefines urban transportation by matching multiple passengers travelling in the same direction.

Volkswagen to test Israeli cooling tech

Israel’s SolCold (see previously) is partnering Volkswagen to test its eco-friendly cooling technology and jointly develop a concept vehicle. At its demo site,  SoCold’s product reduced the temperature of a Volkswagen Polo by 12-14 °C (53.6-57.2 °F).

Economy at pre-Covid strength

With the end of the fifth morbidity wave (the Omicron wave) Israeli economic activity has returned to the strong level before the COVID-19 crisis. Industrial production, Imports of production inputs and Services revenues all increased and job vacancies remain at a record high.