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Israeli innovation meets Australian delegation

Imagine standing in front of your TV and without holding or wearing any electronic device, you start shadow boxing with your onscreen rival opponent who is reacting to your every move?

Meet Israeli start-up, PrimeSense, that empower consumer electronic devices such as TVs, set-top boxes, living-room PCs and more with natural interaction capabilities.

PrimeSense was just one of the leading companies that the Chamber’s April trade mission to Israel visited.

The delegation was led by Graham Bradley AM, President of the Business Council of Australia and comprised more than 30 senior executives including The Hon Andrew Robb MP, Shadow Minister for Finance; Paul O’Sullivan, CEO, Optus; Heather Ridout, CEO, AIGroup; Tom Dery, Worldwide Chairman, MC Saatchi; Grant Harrod, CEO, Salmat; Chris Jordan AO, NSW Chairman, KPMG; and Trevor Rowe AM, Executive Chairman, Rothschild.

The intense week in Israel focused on areas of great concern to Australia including climate change, infrastructure, communication, information technology and population. The objective of the mission was twofold; one, to understand how Israel deals with similar challenges and how it claimed the ‘start-up nation’ title, and two, to explore bi-lateral business opportunities.

Other companies that the delegates met with included; Waze, which has developed a social mobile application that provides free turn-by-turn navigation based on the live condition of the road. 100 per cent powered by users and; Better Place, that delivers the network and services for the electric car vehicle. Better Place aims to wean the world from its addiction to petrol. The delegates visited the Better Place state-of-the-art visitors centre and had the opportunity to take the EV car for a spin.

Austin Bryan, Optus’s director of digital media and a member of the delegation, said his company “actively seeks out companies in Israel to partner with and to bring innovation to our company in Australia today.”

He said he had noticed a marked increase in awareness in the Australian business community of the benefits of trading with Israel since his first visit to Israel nine years ago.

“Bilateral trade is good for both of us,” Bryan said. “It’s incredibly important for the Australian economy for us to be able to partner effectively [with Israel] and to build a lasting business relationship.”

The delegation also received presentations on the ongoing political turmoil in the Middle East. Bradley’s impression from the visit was “that Israel is getting on with the business of being a successful economy and is not allowing any of this [regional instability] to distract it, and certainly I can’t see any reason why the trade relationship between Australia and Israel should be in any way negatively affected.”

The Chamber Head of Trade, Ori Danieli, mentioned that he was particularly excited to have both Optus and the Pratt Foundation sponsor several young business leaders to join the delegation, including Zhenya Tsvetnenko, who was named by Ernst and Young as the 2010 Australian young entrepreneur of the year, Australian Youth Climate Coalition National Director Ellen Sandell, and Australian Indigenous Minority Supplier Council CEO Natalie Walker.

”The wonderful support from both Optus and the Pratt Foundation clearly demonstrates their commitment to the future generation” Ori said.

This is the 35th time in just over two decades that the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce has led a trade mission to Israel.

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