Autism is no obstacle in the IDF; Generators and radiation suits for Ukraine; 4 top “intelligent” startups; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Novel cancer treatment begins trials
Israel’s Nectin Therapeutics (see here previously) has started human trials of its NTX1088 cancer treatment. NTX1088 blocks the protein PVR expressed by tumors to suppress the immune system. The treatment also restores DNAM-1, needed to activate anti-cancer T & NK cells.
Cystic fibrosis treatment begins trials
Israel’s SpliSense (see here previously) has begun a first Phase 1/2 human trial of its SPL84 treatment for a specific genetic mutation that causes cystic fibrosis. SpliSense utilizes proprietary RNA therapies called ASOs (antisense oligonucleotides) to correct mutations.
It’s a wrap
Tel Aviv University researchers have developed a new technology to encapsulate (i.e., wrap) molecules and then release them within the body. They designed a peptide that forms compartments for the molecules and then UV light to break up the compartments. It can deliver therapies to wherever it is needed.
Warning – impending heart failure
A new tool developed at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center and the US’ Mayo Clinic is saving the lives of patients with myositis (weak, painful, and inflamed heart muscle). Using 20 years of ECG data, the AI system has an 80% accuracy of predicting and preventing impending heart failure.
Warning – your medication may harm you
Israel’s MDI Health Technologies (see here previously) is now up and running in the USA and Israel with its AI-based system to detect adverse interactions of medication. 20% of patients 65+ take dangerous combinations of medicines, causing 12 million hospitalizations in the US.
Infusion at home
The Covid pandemic has impacted positively on many of the patients using infusion systems from Israel’s Eitan Medical (see here previously). What was once regularly a long visit to hospital is often now a 5-minute procedure performed at home. Earlier this year Eitan received Israel’s Outstanding Exporter’ award.
A mattress to decompress your spine
Israeli startup Daily Backup has developed the CogniSpine – a semi-inflatable mattress that returns your spine to its natural curvature when lying on it in a prone position. It also stimulates the vagus nerve, which regulates heart rate, etc., switching it into “relaxed mode”.
New research center for autoimmune diseases
Thanks to a generous donor, Tel Aviv University is to establish a multidisciplinary center for the research of autoimmune diseases. The new Colton Center will fus on big data analytics, sourced by Israeli medical institutions, to direct traditional scientific lab work.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Autism is no obstacle in the IDF
97 autistic new recruits completed their basic training last year. Three more have just begun officer’s training. And as their recent meeting with the IDF Chief of Staff shows, they won’t be the last.
Promoting Arab entrepreneurship
Israel is encouraging entrepreneurship and tech careers in the Arab sector. It is investing in three innovation centers, two tech accelerators, and an angel investors’ club. They include the North-Med Innovation Center, Hasoub Labs Center, and Kfar-Qasem Park-High-Tech Center.
The only Middle East country for Christians
Some important facts in this opinion piece. Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the Christian population is growing (by 1.4% in 2020) and satisfied with life (84% in Dec 2021 survey). Not so in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, Gaza, the PA, etc., etc.
Israel attends Arab cyber conference
Israel participated in the inaugural Arab International Cybersecurity Exhibition and Conference in Manama, Bahrain (Dec 6 – 8). It joined the UAE, Morocco, Kuwait, Oman, and other countries. Israel’s National Cyber Directorate head Gabi Portnoy also led a joint workshop.
Jerusalem Leaders Summit
The fourth Jerusalem Leaders Summit (Dec 28) brings together leaders from America, Britain, Europe, and India. It will focus on law, economic freedom, free trade, cyber security, energy, innovation, and technology.
Israelis celebrate Chanukah in Qatar
The Israeli Foreign Affairs mission in Qatar celebrated Chanukah with Israelis who had attended the Soccer World Cup, plus many Qatar Jews. Qatar does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, so the Israeli Ministry team lit Hanukkah candles at the United States Embassy in Doha.
Generators and radiation suits for Ukraine
Israel has donated 17 generators to Ukraine for use in the electricity-starved Kherson region of southeastern Ukraine. Meanwhile, Oren Milstein, co-founder of Israel’s StemRad travelled to Kyiv to donate 20 StemRad radiation protection suits to first responders.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Juniors win six science medals
Israel’s junior science team won six medals at the 2022 International Junior Science Olympiad, in Bogota, Columbia, which Israel participated in for the first time. The 10-day event was contested by 203 participants from 39 countries, who took exams in Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.
A zero-emission heat engine
Israel’s Luminescent Solar Power is developing a small, efficient, and low-cost heat engine for markets including waste heat, solar, and cooling. The company enables any small gas turbine to be converted into a combined cycle potential of 100 GW and convert any waste heat into electricity.
The best of both worlds
Often solar farms are built on land that could have grown crops. But Israel’s TriSolar puts PV panels inside greenhouses covered by nylon sheets to generate electricity and provide heat and light to the crops grown under glass. TriSolar’s solution uses tilting panels and sensors to optimize diffused sunlight.
Fast-growing carob trees
The carob tree features in many Biblical stories, growing to maturity in seven years. But those grown by Israel’s CarobWay (see here previously) only take four years. The trees are grown on agricultural land rather than forests, using sensors and remote-controlled irrigation and fertilization systems.
Saving bats from wind turbines
Every year, wind turbines around the world kill millions of bats and other flying animals that collide with their blades. Scientists from Tel Aviv University and University of Haifa have developed a drone that transmits ultrasonic signals and lights to induce bats to fly above the danger zone.
Next gen sustainable packaging
Germany’s BASF SE has partnered Israel’s StePac (see here previously) to create the next generation of sustainable packaging specifically for the fresh produce sector. StePac’s modified atmosphere packaging will be enhanced with BASF’s Ultramid recycled polyamide to inhibit microbial decay.
Recyclable bowls for takeout orders
Israel’s OPA (Hebrew for “wow”) supplies Wolt-registered restaurants with its reusable, returnable, bowls for takeout deliveries in Tel Aviv and soon other cities. OPA is also consulting with Rabbis to ensure that the bowls can also be used in kosher establishments.
4 top “intelligent” startups
Four Israeli companies made the “AI 100” list of the most promising artificial intelligence startups of 2022 compiled by global tech market intelligence company CB Insights. They are AI21 Labs, Pecan.ai (see also Youtube below), Run:AI, and Zencity. All previously appeared in this newsletter.
The right song for the occasion
Israel’s MyPart uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to find the most appropriate song to match selected parameters. Its algorithm classifies thousands of tracks, by their lyrics, theme, and style. It can, for instance, save film producers wasting thousands of hours listening to irrelevant pieces of music.
Better writing for iOS users
Israel’s AI21 Labs has launched an Apple version of its Wordtune app (see here previously) to help people write better documents. Wordtune for iOS uses artificial intelligence to help Apple users rephrase and rewrite sentences and improve their grammar. There is already a Google Chrome version.
A personal professional photo editor
Israel’s Imagen develops AI-powered editing solutions for professional photographers. Imagen’s technology creates an individual profile based on a photographer’s previous work and unique creative style and can save up to 90% of post-production time. Used by thousands of photographers.
Intelligent property management
Israel’s MyTower uses IoT and AI technology to help property managers, real estate developers, and tenants. It includes rent collection, on-demand concierge services, a tenant loyalty program, and a marketplace of local and Israeli IoB (Internet of Buildings) solutions. 300+ towers managed.
A whole new world
Israeli Ofer Baharav is CEO of RealVR – a US-Israeli startup with just 10 employees. RealVR’s new 3D platform, Villa, is one of the most popular apps for the MetaQuest II Virtual Reality headset, with nearly half a million users. Create your own superhuman avatar. Use Villa for work, education, or play.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Benefits of free trade with Korea
As reported here previously, a new Free Trade Agreement with (South) Korea came into effect on 5th Dec 2022. This article lists many of the benefits for Israeli imports and exports.
Analyzing French wastewater
French water company CAPI is employing Israel’s Kando (see here previously) to implement smart wastewater data management for 22 municipalities serving 100,000+ customers in south-east France.
Preventing food waste in the Netherlands
Israel’s Wasteless (see here previously) is rolling out its dynamic pricing systems across 70 Hoogvliet stores in the Netherlands. The Wasteless algorithm will automatically update prices on the shelf, within Hoogvliet’s store operations app, and at the checkout.
Saving lives on the Autobahn
Israel’s Autotalks (see here previously) is partnering Germany’s Afusoft to deploy Autotalk’s V2X chipsets at roadside traffic signals along Germany’s autobahn. It will be Germany’s first fully functional V2X (Vehicle to Anything) project in Germany, aimed at saving lives on the federal highway.
World’s largest wave power plant
Israel’s Eco Wave Power (EWP – see here previously) is to build the world’s largest-ever wave power plant at Ordu, on Turkey’s Black Sea coast. EWP signed a deal with Turkey’s Oren Ordu Enerji that will eventually create a 77MW plant costing $150 million.
Amazon’s security partner of the year
Israel’s Orca Security (see here previously) has been chosen as Amazon Web Services’ global security partner of the year for 2022 in recognition of its contribution to the web giant’s cloud computing platform and its customers.
Top deal for TopGum
Israel’s TopGum (see here previously) says it has inked a five-year agreement to develop nutritional supplements for a “large international corporate worth of over $150 billion that produces and markets its products in about 200 countries”.
$245 million to invest
Israel’s 10D Venture Capital focuses on investing in Israeli companies based on deep technology and new business models. 10D has just raised $245 million for two new funds, including a $185 million early-stage fund that has already made investments in four companies currently still in stealth mode.
Investment in Israeli startups to 25/12/22:
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Israel Philharmonic performs in UAE
The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra performed a historic concert at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Watch the Youtube recording of the first time that the IPO played the Israeli National Anthem HaTikvah (The hope) in an Arab country. The whole audience was on its feet.
Turning trash into art
The Center for Environmental Education inside Hiriya Recycling Park (see here previously) is exhibiting “Out of Sight” – an installation of thousands of discarded colored plastic bags. Also “Second Chance” – a model of artist Suly Bornstein Wolff’s own house, made from throwaway items.
Israelis celebrate Messi’s World Cup win
Most Israelis were happy that Lionel Messi finally achieved his ambition to help win the World Soccer Cup for Argentina. Messi has visited Israel several times (see here previously). Then in 2020, Messi became global ambassador for Israel’s OrCam Technologies.
Esports Peace Games
The first-ever Abraham Accords Esports Peace Games will take place in Tel Aviv (Jan 26 – 28). The digital video-gaming championship will feature competitors from Israel, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco, among others, aiming to win a share of the $82,000 prize fund.
THE JEWISH STATE
King Hezekiah’s inscriptions deciphered. In perhaps the most important archaeological discoveries of all time in Israel, inscriptions on seven stones from 709 BCE, found in the City of David, have been translated. In Paleo-Hebrew, they relate the main achievements of Hezekiah King of Judah who reigned from 726 BCE.
Children discover a 2,000-year-old lamp
Three children from Kibbutz Parod in the northern Galilee found a 2,000-year-old oil lamp in the kibbutz grounds. It sheds light on the size of the ancient Jewish community of that area as the discovery was outside the site where the Israel Antiquities Authority is conducting a dig.
Holiday Lights and Nights in Jerusalem
Jerusalem’s festive lights were enchanting – both in the Botanical Gardens and on the Streets of Jerusalem.
The largest Lego Hanukkiyah
LEGO Store Tel Aviv in the Dizengoff Center contains what is believed to be the largest-ever LEGO menorah. It comprises between 131,000 and 136,000 bricks, is 4.52 meters tall and 4.7 meters wide.
A brighter future
A “Flight of Miracles” during Hanukkah brought 100 Ukrainian immigrants to Israel, in the ongoing humanitarian effort by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), the Jewish Agency, the Joint (JDC) and ZAKA. They join nearly 14,000 Ukrainians who have made Aliya since February.
In August a terrorist shot a pregnant woman in the stomach. Doctors at Jerusalem’s Shaarei Tzedek Medical Center had to deliver her premature baby of 26-weeks. On erev Hanukkah, as mother and healthy son left the hospital, her husband said, “Blessed is He who performed a miracle for us in this place.”
The right place at the right time
United Hatzalah EMT Rafael was attending a family Hanukkah party when his grandmother choked on some food. Family members held her upright as Rafael used the Heimlich Maneuver to dislodge the food. Rafael’s Safta restarted breathing and was taken to hospital for further checks.
Waking up in the light
During Hanukkah 23-year-old Tzur was reunited with the Magen David Adom medics who saved him from drowning 21 years ago. Two-year-old Tzur was unconscious for 4 days, and the doctors said his chances of recovery were slim. Then, just as his parents lit the first candle for Hanukkah, Tzur woke up.
An amazing career
Israeli Pinhas Buchris’ life story reads like a movie script. One of 7 sons to poor Tunis immigrants, he learned to read at age 10; graduated from the Technion; fought at Entebbe; brought cyber-security to IDF’s 8200 Unit; initiated Iron Dome; founded startups; got rich; returned from near death and more.