US teens return to study in Israel; Microsoft to invest $1 billion in Israel; Smarter than Amazon; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Bacteria can help anti-cancer immune response
There is a complex relationship between bacteria and cancer (reported here previously). Now, scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have discovered that bacteria inside cancer cells can provoke an immune reaction against the tumor, which chemotherapy can further exploit.
Jumpstarting the brain to treat “Covid depression”
Israel’s BrainsWay (reported here previously) is now using its transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) technology to treat patients suffering with depression due to Covid. It is focusing on those struggling with recovery, who have lost loved ones, in financial difficulties etc.
Background radiation and cancer
Ben Gurion University scientists studying naturally occurring ionizing radiation in the US, discovered that, contrary to expectations, higher levels of radiation lead to lower levels of many solid cancers. Levels of other cancers were not influenced by background radiation levels.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Partnering NASA to benefit global food security
Israel’s CropX (reported here previously) has partnered NASA Harvest (NASA’s Food Security and Agriculture Program) to provide NASA with soil insights for its global agricultural monitoring efforts. NASA is testing CropX across Arizona farms to fine-tune its algorithms.
US teens return to study in Israel
As Covid-19 infection rates fall, JNF-USA has launched Operation Zion to bring global students to Israel. They will study at JNF-USA’s Alexander Muss High School in Hod Hasharon, and travel around Israel. 240 teens, mainly from the US have just arrived and more are on their way.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Back on campus
Israeli students at Israeli institutes of higher education have returned to study physically at their colleges following the end of the Passover holiday. Those not fully vaccinated continue to study virtually.
Powering the Israeli nanosatellites
The high-functioning LEON processors of Israel’s Ramon.Space (reported here previously) powered the three Technion nanosatellites launched into orbit in March. Having powered missions from many countries, CEO Avi Shabtai was proud to be a key part of an Israeli one.
Helping the US re-open after Covid
Felicity Kay, from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), speaks at Atlantic City Airport about IAI’s Tamar COVID detection technology designed to keep airline passengers safe. She also describes IAI’s Grenada Covid-19 disinfecting UV flashlight (see here). See other IAI Covid innovations here.
Israel-based Nanomotion has developed precision motion technology that could revolutionize vision technology. It has potential benefits from complex surgery to emergency rescue drones. Miniature motors use ultrasonic standing wave piezoelectric technology, to form the basis of tiny, powerful high-resolution cameras.
Cyber security for ships
Maritime vessels, e.g. tankers, have no IT experts on board, slow Internet access, and spend weeks at sea. Israel’s Cydome Security provides a niche cyber solution to safeguard ships, including command and control, communications, guidance, sensors, and links to coastal infrastructures.
Teaching English to Israeli techies
Israeli online business school Jolt (reported here previously) is partnering TALMA, the Israel Program for Excellence in English (reported here previously), to help raise the standard of English speaking, writing, and reading, required for employment in the high-tech industry.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
IMF raises growth forecast for Israel
The latest International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Global Economic Report has revised Israel’s growth forecast for 2021 upwards from 4.1% to 5% due to the successful rollout of the country’s vaccination drive.
Water deal with Bahrain
Israel’s state-owned water company Mekorot has signed a $3 million deal to provide Bahrain’s Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) with consulting services on a number of water projects. It is the first major agreement between the two countries since the signing of the Abraham Accords.
Developing employees at UAE bank
Israel’s Gloat (reported here previously) has deployed its smart recruitment system to its first Arab bank. The UAE’s largest bank – First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) – has partnered with Gloat to launch its internal “Talent Marketplace” and enhance its career development program.
Microsoft to invest $1 billion in Israel
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has given details of his company’s planned new investments in Israel to the Israeli PM. They should total between $1 billion and $1.5 billion.
Security partnership with Microsoft
Israel’s Voyager Labs (reported here previously) has announced that its suite of AI cloud-based security solutions is now also available on Microsoft Azure. Also, the Microsoft One Commercial Partner program gives Voyager Labs the facility to sell to Microsoft customers in 170 countries.
E-vehicle batteries for India
Israel’s Phinergy (reported here previously) is partnering Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) to make Aluminum-Air battery systems. India’s Prime Minister Modi wants electricity to “de-carbonize mobility”, to recycle used Aluminum and increase made-in-India products.
Helping UK freelancers to get paid
The app from Israel’s Osu helps UK freelancers, sole traders and self-employed accept and manage payments. It has no transaction fees and allows its users to capture 100% of each sale. Osu has already collected hundreds of thousands of pounds of payments for 1,000 UK professionals.
Yum! acquires Israeli hi-tech platform
Yum! Brands – owner of Pizza Hut, KFC and more, has taken over Israel’s Tictuk. It gives Yum! customers the ability to order fast food via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, SMS, QR codes, and email, via Tictuk’s omnichannel ordering and marketing platform.
Smarter than Amazon
Updated news on Israel’s SuperSmart (reported here previously). Its supermarket shopping scanning system has now expanded to Germany, Brazil, and the U.S. and the startup has just raised $10 million of funds. At the same time, Amazon Go has shrunk from a target of 3,000 stores to just 25.
Motorcycle headset communications
Israel’s Cardo Systems has developed a next-generation headset intercom that allows motorcycle riders to communicate without distractions. Cardo has just been acquired by European private equity fund EMK Capital for $150 million. https://www.cardosystems.com/
Investment in Israeli startups:
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Artists for co-existence
Keter Group and the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation have opened a new exhibition titled “The New Shape of co-Existence. It comprises 30 artworks, chosen from some 400 submitted on the theme of peace, co-existence, innovation, and the connections between them.
THE JEWISH STATE
Rare 2,000-year-old shekel discovered in Jerusalem
As part of Jerusalem’s Tower of David conservation work, archaeologists found an ultra-rare high-quality silver “Tyrian shekel”. It was changed into local currency and used to pay the half-shekel donation before Temple offerings could be accepted. Three great new videos.
Grandmother protects Mount Carmel
Israeli Ruth Shefer is known as the “Grandmother of Mount Carmel.” Every morning, for the last 20 years, Ruth picks up garbage left by thoughtless visitors, taking environmental protection into her own hands. She is a beacon of inspiration to all Israeli nature lovers.
Israel’s Memorial Day and 73rd birthday
Join the Technion UK to remember its fallen soldiers on Memorial Day on Weds 14th April at 9am UK time. Then celebrate Israel’s 73rd Independence Day on Thurs 15th April at 8pm UK time, through film clips, live interviews and rare video footage. Free registration at the links below.
Dazzling aerial show for Independence Day
TY UWI) In 2020 Israelis observed Yom Ha’atzmaut Independence Day in lockdown. This year, proper celebrations return and the traditional flyover will reach more towns and cities than usual as a tribute to the Jewish State’s resilience.