Showing posts with label Haifa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Haifa. Show all posts

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Haifa, an alternative to Tel Aviv?

Standup Surfing in Bat Galim beach Haifa. Slower lifestyle, quieter residential neighborhoods and affordable housing is luring Tel Avivians to north Israel. Haifa is one of the preferred destination © 2016 D-A Vider

Lifestyle and cost of living in Tel Aviv are compared to many European cities. Israel's central district (Gush Dan) has been on a growth spurt the last fifteen years. Most visitors who were here just a decade ago are amazed by the developments. But many Israelis are not happy. Housing prices are climbing steadily much faster than salaries. City centers (both Tel Aviv and surrounding suburbs) are crowded and noisy. The quaint Mediterranean beach cities, small communities hidden in sandy dunes, towns built in historical biblical locations and small agricultural settlements are gone. Simply put the last thirty years has turned central Israel from a quiet semi-rural land to a developed suburban sprawl. This is the lifestyle cost Israelis are paying for world leading economic success. When Israelis tell people about one of the most successful economies in the whole last century. Essentially creating a country from ideas and sand dunes. From colonial rule and antiquated laws to a modern fully functioning democratic republic - the personal cost is rarely mentioned. Yet this is the life in Israel.


Sunday, November 13, 2016

A Trip to Haifa

Bahai gardens surrounding the domed temple are an amazing example what can be done with gardening and attention to beauty, © 2016, D-A Vider
Haifa, Israel's third largest city is less than an hour by car. Haifa is probably Israel's least known tourists destination. The city has an image of an industrial center. Israel's largest sea port gives the shore and beaches a sense of not really ready for prime time sun bathing. But the city has upgraded it's beaches and even the locals are starting to make the place their destination.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Northern Israel Entrepreneurs Active and Working - Technion Conference

While the venture capitalists in Israel have been concentrating on the big deals, investment in the range of US$10 million, entrepreneurs have been busy away from the spotlights. In Israel venture capital investment has gone down to pre-2005 levels. The consequence is very few large venture capital backed start-ups. There was a talk of this lucrative sector in the Israeli economy turning into different type of financing models. In Israel where high-tech start-ups is a big economic factor many are having a hard time dealing with the drop in companies and jobs. But contrary to predictions from two years ago, this does not mean people stoped innovating. Technologists have been developing new ideas some even building products. Some small teams have started marketing their products.

Yesterday, at the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology, equivalent to USA's MIT) about 250 start-up workers and managers gathered to discuss the state of affairs. It seemed to me that most of the attendees were from northern Israel. Haifa is situated in the southern edge of Israel's gallil. Some of Israel's known start-ups are situated in northern Israel. But central Israel (the Dan region) is better known for start-ups, venture capital and entrepreneur services. Nevertheless, the meeting was well attended and a lecture hall in the engineering building was filled to capacity.


Monday, May 11, 2009

IBM Haifa Research Lab

Yesterday in Tel Aviv University, IBM Haifa Research Lab presented an introduction to their work [talk announcement]. IBM is the last of the behemoth's with a fully dedicated research lab. Gone are the days of pure research for the sake of "good for humanity and the world". Xerox research labs in Palo Alto California brought us windows, the mouse, laser printers and Ethernet networking. AT&T research labs in New Jersey brought us the transistor, Unix and the big bang. IBM brought us DRAMS, Hard Disk Drives, databases and sophisticated CAD for IC design. So what is so special about IBM research lab? specially in 2009? It is probably smaller and more practical in it's research projects. The talk covered six very different topics from AIDS gene database for determining therapy effectiveness all the way to cloud computing.
IBM has kept the research labs around the world going by directing them to more practical research in areas where IBM can develop a business. Researchers sometimes do not know where their work is going to end up. From past experience, it also seems that the researchers and the companies funding the work are not the biggest beneficiaries from the work. IBM seems to think that there is a way to change this. There are many areas in IT and computing where IBM's past leadership can direct future work. There are also new directions which IBM can use it's unique position in developing large systems and collaborating on a global scale.
Israel is one of the centers for technology research and development. Companies like IBM, Intel, Microsoft are aware of the high caliber technologist coming from Universities in Israel. While Israel is a small country in comparison to India, China and the US, there are still good number of people to tap for innovation and research. Like other business efforts in technology, research is not a sure thing. You have to take a chance, make and effort and hope that the work will yield something good - IBM thinks this is a worth while effort and they are doing it again and longer than others. If you are interested in the Haifa seminars, take a look at their web site and keep track of upcoming talks.