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Roundup of 21th International Fair for Technological Innovations


Post Date: 08 Sep 2011    Viewed: 1027

The metal-working tools company Iscar, founded by Israeli industrialist Stef Wertheimer and sold to Warren Buffet for a cool $4 billion in 2006, is one of Israel's biggest business success stories - even though it doesn't make silicon chips or show-stopping high-tech apps. This June, about 2,000 Iscar employees went on a field trip to the biennial industrial fair called Technology, held in North Tel Aviv's Trade Fairs & Convention Center.


This two-day event lets international investors and companies network with the machine and metal trade in Israel - companies that supply the aviation, automotive, security and defense industries in Israel and abroad.

 

Technology is one of Israel's oldest conferences. This year, its 21st, there were about 28,000 registered attendees and 350 exhibitors. The theme was technology in the metal industry, technological innovations and advanced robotics. Those in attendance saw large, state-of-the-art robotic arms welding, sorting and flexing their metallic muscles in six pavilions covering 25,000 square meters. One of the pavilions was earmarked for foreign companies to show their wares to the local market.


Heavy metal for men

 

Women in attendance could be counted on one hand, and testosterone was clearly the dominant hormone at the fair, which included stands of tools, sorting machines, filters, cutting lasers and more - the stereotypical "toys for boys."

 

Dganit Aharonov, project manager for Israel Trade Fairs, the company that produces the every-other-year event, says organizers focus each time on doing bilateral business with different regions. This year, the conference included a talk sponsored by the Israel Africa Chamber of Commerce on business opportunities in African countries, which explained how to collaborate with Israeli purchasing managers.


"Even if we are a small country and [small] industry, there are many things going from this country to the outside. Israel is more dominant in the high-tech industry," she says, "but also in low-tech because of our marketing, quality, and due to the fact that we don't have so many companies in this industry." In fact, it's an "Israeli brain," Aharonov reveals, that built the software running some of the robotic arms that were maneuvering around bedazzled attendees.


Setting up business between companies


Aharonov says the organizers work with foreign consulates to help align new business activities between countries. The event was sponsored by the Association of Craft and Industry in Israel, the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce and the Manufacturers Association of Israel.

 

Israeli companies such as Tekteam, which provides international aviation and automotive sales, service and support, were well represented at the event, as was the calibrating company Globus. In the high-tech software CAD/CAM category, there were companies like SolidCAM and Cimatron displaying their software for the heavy machinery industry.


Says Amir Tamari, executive director of the Trade Fairs & Convention Center: "This is the only exhibition in its field in Israel, bringing together leading companies in Israeli industry and many international companies. We are seeing increased faith in the Israeli economy, and a change in approach on the part of foreign suppliers in terms of support for Israeli representatives. Naturally, I hope that this positive trend will continue in the years to come."


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