Growing Israel’s digital health sector; Special mission aircraft for NATO; All IDF positions open to Haredim; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Covid-19 immunity testing
A team of Israeli immunologists, epidemiologists and other researchers have successfully used the levels of antibody markers to predict the risk of Covid-19 infection. IGG antibodies for 608 healthy adults were monitored over 90 days. The 239 subsequent infections were then correlated.
Weakening the virus
Israeli-UK biotech Eleven Therapeutics is developing RNAi therapy that attacks the genetic structure of respiratory viruses such as SARS-COV-2. Eleven has just received a $9 million grant from the Gates Foundation.
Ultrasound scans on MDA Ambulances
Magen David Adom (MDA) paramedics on Israeli Intensive Care ambulances and helicopters will use ultrasound probes to monitor patients’ hearts and locate IV points in hard-to-detect veins. If an ultrasound detects a heartbeat but no pulse, fluids should be used – not shocks or CPR.
A molecule to repair all cells
Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have discovered a molecule, 1,8-diaminooctane, that helps cells repair damaged tissue. It could eventually prevent age-related disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and increase life expectancy and wellness.
ECG for the lungs
Israel’s Nanovation-GS (see here previously) is now undergoing clinical trials in Israel and the EU of its SenseGuard first-of-its-kind nano-sensor for monitoring and managing chronic respiratory conditions. It is also working to obtain CE certification, with FDA approval to be sought later.
Chipping away at cancer
Israeli pharmacist Eliana Steinberg realized her medicines were not curing cancer patients and went back to university to get a doctorate. She then developed a transparent chip, which takes a sample of the tumor to test numerous treatments to discover which works best. It was even tested in outer space.
The medical condition fibromyalgia is hard to diagnose. Now, researchers at Haifa’s Rambam Health Care Campus and Canada’s McGill University can identify it in blood tests using an algorithm that analyzes the bile acids produced by gut bacteria. The scientists are developing a tool for use in clinics.
Intel & Sheba partner to detect Crohn’s disease
Intel Corporation is working with the ARC Innovation Center at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center to develop an AI-enhanced app to help physicians diagnose Crohn’s disease at an early stage. 12,000 images taken by a “capsule pill” can be analyzed in just two minutes.
Avoiding the need for amniocentesis
Israel’s Identifai Genetics is developing a noninvasive prenatal test for the early detection of severe genetic disorders. A simple blood test of the mother in her first trimester can detect every single-point mutation, insertion-deletion, and structural variation in the entire embryonic genome.
Improving visual perception for those with autism
Tel Aviv University scientists have developed a new learning method for people with autism that may significantly improve capabilities in terms of visual perception. It uses “memory flashes” to reinforce the duration and repetition of new skills.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Program to combat hunger
Israel’s government is partnering the charity Colel Chabad and its Blavatnik Food Bank in a new $44 million program. 50,000 most needy households will receive an extra 500 shekels a month for grocery items. They will also attend courses that will empower them to increase their income.
First female Military Secretary is inaugurated
Brigadier General Naama Rosen Grimberg has been formally appointed as the first female Military Secretary to the Israeli President (see here previously). For the first time there are now three women serving simultaneously on the IDF General Staff Forum.
All IDF positions open to Haredim
The IDF has opened all roles to ultra-Orthodox recruits who meet the criteria and is providing a package of services to meet the needs of soldiers from this sector. Recruits may postpone their service until they can complete core studies matriculation, to improve their classification.
Joint US-Israel cybersecurity projects
The US-Israel BIRD Foundation, the US Department of Homeland Security and the Israel National Cyber Directorate are awarding $1.5 million grants to joint US-Israeli approved projects that improve cyber protection and resilience of critical infrastructure and economies of both countries.
Israeli innovator in Automotive Hall of Fame
Mobileye founder and CEO Prof. Amnon Shashua has won the Mobility Innovator Award from the Automotive Hall of Fame. It recognizes “the outstanding work individuals have accomplished introducing new technologies and services that are redefining mobility.”
Special mission aircraft for NATO
Israel Aerospace Industries has won a $200 million contract to provide special mission aircraft to a NATO member country in Europe. The unique aircraft use miniaturized sensors alongside artificial intelligence and machine learning software and algorithms.
El Al gets permission to fly over Saudi Arabia
El Al has received official permission from Saudi Arabia to fly over its territory. Duration of flights to Thailand drops from eleven hours down to eight-and-a-half hours.
Aid to Ukraine
MASHAV – Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation – has sent 25,000 instant meals for residents of Kharkiv, Northeastern Ukraine. Meanwhile, Israeli NGO IsraAID is providing the 475,000 residents of Mykolaiv, South Ukraine, with four reverse-osmosis water filtration systems.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
$1m. scholarships to Israeli science students
Six outstanding Israeli doctoral students in the exact sciences, mathematics and life sciences received awards of NIS 100,000 a year and full exemption from tuition fees. They also received the equivalent of $3,000 a year for active participation in activities overseas.
A novel rechargeable silicon battery
Researchers at Israel’s Technion Institute have developed a proof-of-concept, design, and architecture for a novel rechargeable silicon (Si) battery. The breakthrough could lead to cheap, available silicon replacing rare and expensive lithium in Electric Vehicle and other batteries.
Ultra-fast charging stations
Israel’s ZOOZ (formerly Chakratech – see here) and Israel’s Afcon Electric Transportation (see here) are piloting “ultra-fast” electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. They will operate where the electricity infrastructure is unable to provide the typically required high-power capacity.
Safer US roads
Israel’s Autotalks (see here previously) has partnered Atlanta’s Yunex Traffic to deploy V2X (Vehicle to Anything) technology in Florida and Colorado. Yunex’s RSU2X system, with Autotalks’ chipsets, lets a bus or emergency vehicle turn traffic lights to green, increasing safety, punctuality, and lowering CO2.
Turning night into day
True Night Vision from Israel’s visionary.ai (see here previously) transforms low-light photography so that cameras can literally see in the dark. It can even penetrate fog. Its use stretches far beyond amateur photography but to drones (rescues, crops etc.), endoscopes, CCTV cameras, and more.
Israel’s Lavie Bio (see here previously) has delivered, to US customers, its total production of Result™ – its sustainable microbial-based inoculant for improving wheat yields. The product will help US farmers increase wheat production – vital, due to the impact of the Ukrainian crisis.
Boosting crop yields
Israel’s ICL together with Israeli startup PlantArcBio (see here) have developed non-GMO RNAi technology that improves crop yields with minimal impact on the environment. Early-stage field trials significantly increased seed weight per hectare for canola crops. Larger-scale trials are planned in 2022.
The next generation of fresh greens
Israel’s GreenOnyx (see here previously) has developed a technology for growing the next generation of fresh whole and natural green vegetables. They can be eaten with a spoon, directly from the package, without any preparation such as cutting, peeling, or removing inedible parts.
Proteins from plants with zero waste
Israel’s Gavan Technologies (see here previously) has developed a novel, sustainable method to extract proteins from plants. These are then used to produce natural pigments, gluten substitutes, nutrients, and flavors, using little or no energy and producing no disposable waste.
The world’s strongest organic vanilla flavor
Israel’s Vanilla Vida (see here previously) is revolutionizing the vanilla flavor industry. Its business clients say it is the strongest-ever vanilla flavor and end-customers love the taste. It also eliminates the risks of tropical open-air drying in Indonesia or Madagascar.
Cutting out the racing driver
The Formula race car team from Israel’s Technion Institute has unveiled its first-ever autonomous electric racing car. It will be entered into the Formula Student International Design Competition in Europe next month. The team won the competition in the previous two years.
Bringing World Cup soccer to the deaf
Israel’s Sign Now is to make the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar accessible to the deaf community. Its app provides live video translation services in sign language. It will also help when talking to doctors, banks, or customer services.
Israel’s Peech (see here previously) has developed an AI-powered automatic video editing solution which transforms raw video footage into professional branded videos in seconds. It uses natural language processing (NLP) technology to turn in-house media content into high-quality branded videos.
We live in the Jetson age
“The Jetsons” was a 1960’s cartoon TV series that “showcased” many Israeli innovations – flying cars, video phones, etc. “The Jetsons” was first broadcast on July 31, 1962. It was set in 2062 and George Jetson was 40. So, this clever article figures he would have been born on July 31st, 2022!
A reminder that the free Brightcode 6-months hi-tech training course (see here previously) is available to anyone 18-32 who has been to Israel on a Taglit-Birthright program. It is followed by two-years paid work experience in Israel with a high-tech company. In conjunction with Experis Academy (see here).
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Record exports predicted
Israel’s exports of goods and services in 2022 are already up 15% over the same period last year and are projected to reach record high of $165 billion in 2022. Exports of services are again expected to exceed that of goods.
Promoting business with Bahrain
Yariv Becher of StartUpNationHQ describes a recent meeting between Israeli startups and the Bahraini Embassy to discuss business opportunities in the key areas of fintech, manufacturing, travel & tourism, logistics, ICT, and healthcare.
300+ desert tech companies
The first report of DeserTech and Start-Up Nation Central highlights Israel’s strength and potential for tackling desert challenges. More than 300 Israeli start-up companies are developing agriculture, energy, water, and infrastructure technologies geared to or adaptable for desert environments.
Growing Israel’s digital health sector
AstraZeneca, Accenture, Amazon Web Services, and Israeli health organization Clalit have together launched a new startup program called BeyondBio SCALE. It aims to help Israeli startups develop and implement healthcare solutions globally.
3D-Printed Seafood for Singapore
Israel’s MeaTech 3D (see here previously) has partnered Singapore’s Umami Meats to develop 3D-printed cultured structured seafood. Meatech believes it will lead to new markets throughout Asia and worldwide while solving the challenge of diminishing ocean food sources.
New e-Passport system for Andorra
Israel’s Pangea-IT (see here previously) has won the Andorran government’s international tender to design the country’s new passport system and deliver a complete system for issuing e-Passports for the residents of the European country.
Innoviz’s $4 billion client is Volkswagen
Israel’s Innoviz (see here previously) revealed that Volkswagen is the carmaker that placed a $4 billion order with it. Innoviz will be the direct LiDAR (light detection and ranging) laser sensor supplier for Volkswagen’s autonomous vehicles.
Exits, takeovers & mergers
Investment in Israeli startups to 7/8/22:
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
The story of “Hawkeye”
Fascinating article and autobiography about Israel’s Giora Epstein (Even). He retired from the Israel Air Force at the age of 59 and then worked for 20 years as an El Al pilot. He is officially the world’s most prolific modern fighter pilot and was promoted to Brigadier General at the age of 80.
From Jerusalem to Tel Aviv and back
Sharon has been shuttling between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv recently. Her blog includes the Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem’s Food Trucks.
Focus! – a slam dunk
Developed by Israelis, the Hour25 AI app receives advice from former NBA stars, including Eddie Johnson, to help ordinary people to block out distractions and develop the focus of superstar Steph Curry. Hour25 improves focus in real-time by reducing the negative emotions that get in the way.
Turkish Muslim NBA star’s masterclass in Jerusalem
Turkish NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom is leading a basketball camp in Jerusalem for 40 Muslim, Jewish, Christian and Druze girls and boys ages 10-15. His help includes Yoseph Haddad’s NGO “Together Vouch For Each Other” and ex-Israeli hoops star Tamir Goodman.
PSG win French Super Cup in Tel Aviv
In front of a capacity crowd of 30,000 at Tel Aviv’s Bloomfield Stadium, Paris Saint-Germain won the prestigious French Super Cup (Trophée des Champions), beating F.C Nantes 4-0. The match was also broadcast to millions of viewers in 140 countries around the world.
THE JEWISH STATE
84 South Americans start new lives in Israel
The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) brought 84 new South American immigrants to Israel. Originally from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, and Peru, their reasons for Aliyah varied, but for most it was to have a better quality of life.
Talmud period storage jars found at Shiloh
Five intact large storage jars have been unearthed at Shiloh in Samaria, under the floor of a building from the Talmudic period (200-400 CE). Previous finds date from the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Early Muslim periods. Shiloh was the site of the Tabernacle c.1250 BCE.
A nation that helps others
Israel is just a sliver on the map in the Middle East, but has earned a global reputation for effectively and sacrificially helping other nations in times of crisis – even enemy countries like Syria. Judaism emphasises giving help to others, so a Jewish state will always make it a priority.