Good news from the 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world's population.

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Israel to Build World's Largest Solar Power Plant. "Israel is prominent on the world stage for developing solar technology, but until now, we haven't really harnessed that knowledge for our own needs," Prof. David Faiman, director of the Solar Energy Center told Israel21c. The plant is planned to initially supply 100 megawatts of power and grow to 500 megawatts, about 5 percent of the country's current generating capacity. Israeli solar technologies are the most advanced in the world with a proven record of high efficiency, high reliability, cleanliness, and low system cost.

Italy: More scientific-technological cooperation with Israel. Italian Ambassador to Israel Giulio Terzi was speaking to the Italian-Israeli Forum on Computer Science, in the framework of an agreement between Israel and Italy for industrial cooperation, and scientific and technological research. Terzi asserted that after receiving the presidency of the European Commission on July 1, Italy would further demonstrate its interest in scientific cooperation with Israel.

Israel tops list in EU's 'wider Europe' initiative. Israel has been singled out as a leading candidate for a closer partnership with the enlarged European Union. The EU commissioner for enlargement was in Jerusalem this week for the first of a series of consultations with states that border the enlarged EU in the framework of the Commission's "wider Europe" initiative. Mr Verheugen said Israel should have no difficulty in fulfilling the political and economic requirements to join the European Economic Area, a status that would put it on a par with such countries as Iceland and Norway. EEA membership would give it the benefits of exchanging, goods, capital, services and workers with the states of the EU. The relationship would go beyond the association agreement that Israel presently has with the EU.

Motorola Israel starts field trials for next-generation army phones Motorola Israel started field trials for a cutting-edge secure mobile phone system that is hard to disable and ensures Israeli army commanders can contact officers in the field anytime, anywhere. The $90-million "Mountain Rose" system will make the Israeli army one of the few forces in the world using advanced cellphone technology, Motorola said in a statement. The system allows the secure transmission of voice and data running at a speed consistent with intermediate 2.5-generation mobile technology.

Israel dominates drones at Paris Air Show At the Paris Air Show, considered the premier venue for the world's aerospace industries and the place for defense officials to meet, Israel is comfortably ranked on the world's top ten list of leading defense manufacturers. According to one recent estimate, Israel now has the third largest arms export industry after the US and Russia. Israel revealed an unusually large number of recently declassified military hardware items, among them air-launched missiles, pilotless planes, aircraft upgrades and homeland security systems.

New Israeli unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Israel's Rafael's Skylark is new man-portable, canister launched, electrically powered loitering surveillance and reconnaissance platform, with features such as:
  • Long endurance (flies for over an hour over the target)
  • Real-time high resolution imagery (recognition of armed persons is possible)
  • Designed for autonomous operation by tactical units
  • Independent operation by the infantry unit, rapid and automatic launch, recovery and recondition, without requirements for external support
  • Can be launched from enclosed spaces and crowded urban settings

22% drop in Israeli traffic accidents Israel Radio reports that there has been a 22% drop in Israeli traffic accidents since the same period last year.

Facts about the 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world's population.


  • Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world.
  • Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.
  • In 1984 and 1991, Israel airlifted a total of 22,000 Ethiopian Jews at risk in Ethiopia to safety in Israel.
  • When Golda Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1969, she became the world's second elected female leader in modern times.
  • When the U. S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya was bombed in 1998, Israeli rescue teams were on the scene within a day - and saved three victims from the rubble.
  • Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship - and the highest rate among women and among people over 55 - in the world.
  • Relative to its population, Israel is the largest immigrant-absorbing nation on earth. Immigrants come in search of democracy, religious freedom, and economic opportunity.
  • Israel was the first nation in the world to adopt the Kimberly process, an international standard that certifies diamonds as "conflict free."
  • Israel has the world's second highest per capita of new books.
  • Israel is the only country in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees, made more remarkable because this was achieved in an area considered mainly desert.
  • Israel has more museums per capita than any other country.
  • Israel leads the world in the number of scientists and technicians in the workforce, with 145 per 10,000, as opposed to 85 in the U.S., over 70 in Japan, and less than 60 in Germany. With over 25% of its work force employed in technical professions. Israel places first in this category as well.
  • Israel has the highest per capita ratio of scientific publications in the world by a large margin, as well as one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed.
  • In proportion to its population, Israel has the largest number of startup companies in the world. In absolute terms, Israel has the largest number of startup companies than any other country in the world, except the US (3,500 companies mostly in hi-tech).
  • Israel is ranked #2 in the world for VC funds right behind the US.
  • Israel has the highest percentage in the world of home computers per capita.
  • Outside the United States and Canada, Israel has the largest number of NASDAQ listed companies
  • Israel has the highest average living standards in the Middle East. The per capita income in 2000 is over $17,500, exceeding that of the UK.
  • With more than 3,000 high-tech companies and start-ups, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world (apart from the Silicon Valley).
  • With an aerial arsenal of over 250 F-16s, Israel has the largest fleet of the aircraft outside of the US.
  • Israel's $100 billion economy is larger than all of its immediate neighbors combined.
  • The cell phone was developed in Israel by Motorola-Israel. Motorola built its largest development center worldwide in Israel.
  • Windows NT software was developed by Microsoft-Israel.
  • The Pentium MMX Chip technology was designed in Israel at Intel.
  • Voice mail technology was developed in Israel.
  • AOL's instant message program was designed by an Israeli software company.
  • Both Microsoft and Cisco built their only R&D facilities outside the US in Israel
  • The city of Beer Sheva in Israel has the highest percentage in the world of Chess Grand Masters per capita one for every 22,875 residents.
  • On a per capita basis, Israel has the largest number of biotech start-ups
  • Israel has the largest raptor migration in the world, with hundreds of thousands of African birds of prey crossing as they fan out into Asia.
  • Twenty-four percent of Israel's workforce holds university degrees -- ranking third in the industrialized world, after the United States and Holland -- and 12 percent hold advanced degrees.