Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Day 4

Today our first stop was Itamar Medical and we were given a presentation by Dr. Giora Yaron.  He gave an interesting presentation about the Israeli high-tech sector and then an overview of Itamar.  Dr. Yaron is a very accomplished businessman who has created and exited many companies and hearing him speak was impressive.  He certainly knew a lot about the high tech business, he has a PhD in physics and worked at National Semiconductor for years as an engineer so he knows it from the ground up.
He spoke about how a lot of innovations come initially from defense and then make their way into the commercial world and that a lot of Israel's advancement has grown from the defense sector.  He also spoke about how much large multinational companies significantly helped Israel develop its economy, especially the tech sector.
From there we attempted to tour the Baha'i Gardens however they were closed so we could not walk through them but the view from the road was certainly impressive.  On that stop I was also able to get my first shawarma and it was really good but woa it was heavy I didn't need to eat for the rest of the day.
Then we went to the most impressive part of the trip, Iscar in the Tefen industrial area.  Iscar is a high tech precision tool manufacturer with incredible facilities.  They started off with an impressive video and we were able to tour the factory floor and see how their products are made.  Everything was automated and very high tech, not to mention extremely clean.  We also were able to see their R&D center which I found impressive also where all their scientists and engineers were working to design their products of the future.
One of my favorite things about Iscar was the fact that it was started by one guy who began making metal tools in his back yard in his twenties and now it is a giant international manufacturing company.  His name is Stef Wertheimer and he is now working to create peace in in this tumultuous area by expanding industry to provide jobs to more people.  He believes that once people have good jobs they will not concentrate on killing each other any more.  He is the richest man in Israel and his story is very inspiring.

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