Sheba Medical Center partners with Japanese OKI Electric Industry in dementia research; Israel’s SolarEdge acquires Italy’s industrial machinery company; Tel Aviv’s Black Food Festival uses natural ingredients only; and much more!
By Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Partners to prevent dementia
The innovation arm of Israel’s Sheba Medical Center has partnered with Japanese telecom manufacturer OKI Electric Industry to set up a new joint research project that will focus on the prevention of dementia in high-risk middle-aged individuals.
Multiple attack on cancer
Israel’s Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies (AEBi) is developing an anti-cancer technology that identifies multiple peptides (small proteins) for targeting specific cancer cells and any mutations. Each treatment will also include a toxin to suppress the cancer’s ability to deactivate the treatment.
Using antibodies to treat damaged cells
I’ve reported previously (see here)on Israeli medical innovations to boost the immune system to fight diseases. Israeli biotech Biond Biologics is developing a platform to enable antibodies to enter cells, destroy tumors or treat autoimmune diseases. Biond just raised $17 million of funds.
Using yeast to find cures for metabolic disorders
Tel Aviv University researchers have uncovered a new pathway that can speed up the search for cures for hundreds of metabolic disorders that are fatal to infants. They have modified yeast cells to generate a toxic build-up of metabolites in the lab, for testing possible therapies.
US approval for bio bone-fixing pins
The US FDA has granted clearance to Israel’s Ossio for its OSSIOfiber family of bio-integrative bone pins, which secure broken bones during the healing process while leaving no permanent hardware behind.
Pfizer partners with Israeli AI biotech
I reported previously (16th Dec) on Israel’s CytoReason which uses an Artificial Intelligent learning model to discover treatments related to the human immune system. CytoReason has just partnered with Pfizer – its fifth alliance with a major company.
How to measure pain
Israelis Yariv Adan and Ariel Assaf are the co-founders of Lab 39, developer of the Genie pain tracker. It comprises a wristband with sensors that track sleep patterns, physical activity and heart rate. Its partner is a smartphone app which requests the patient to enter a pain score several times a day.
Israeli medic saves life in Mecca
Refai Amer, a Muslim Israeli-Arab from Kfar Qassim is a volunteer medic for Israel’s United Hatzalah. He recently went to Mecca for the Haj, taking his medkit with him. In the middle of prayers, surrounded by around 7 million worshippers, he saved the life a man suffering from a hypoglycemia.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
One of the front runners to be Israel’s representative at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is the Shalva Band. It is made up of eight special members – a group which was formed at the Shalva National Children’s Center in Jerusalem, through their music therapy program. Amazing video.
Buying land to save endangered species
The NGO TiME (This is My Earth) founded by Israel’s Uri Shanas, has purchased a marine area off the coasts of Belize containing corals with several endangered species. It is TiME’s third land purchase and first ocean site. The area will become a locally managed nature reserve.
Urban communal living
For those people who yearn for the Kibbutz social experience without leaving the big city, Israeli startup Venn has devised urban communal living. It comprises shared living spaces, shared transportation, community amenities, services and neighborhood events.
Celebrating Jerusalem’s mosaic of cultures
Jerusalem’s mayor Moshe Leon held the traditional annual reception for the heads of the city’s religious denominations – Jewish, Greek Orthodox, Catholic and Muslim. All spoke of their commitment to interfaith coexistence, tolerance, freedom of worship and the status quo.
Israeli rescue team flies to Brazil
Israel was the only country in the world to send a team to help search for survivors of the collapsed mining dam in Brumadinho, Brazil. The 130-member IDF search and rescue team recovered many bodies and tracked down a group of 15 people, believed dead but very much alive and well.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Wolf Foundation prize laureates
There were seven winners of the prestigious Wolf Prize in the fields of medicine, architecture, agriculture, chemistry and mathematics. They included Haifa-born architect Moshe Safdie, and Jerusalem-born Prof. David Zilberman who is an expert in agricultural and resource economics.
Purifying nuclear-contaminated water
he Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear disasters released deadly radioactive isotope Caesium-137 into the water supply. Researchers at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem have developed a new material known as the Alloxan Tray, that can bind Caesium-137 in water, thereby purifying it.
Ensuring the best quality screens
Israeli startup InZiv produces inspection equipment that identifies defects in the pixels of high-resolution screen displays. InZiv has just raised $2.5 million of funds to develop its tools for the new generation of advanced flat panel displays. https://inziv.com/
An app to make educational games
Israeli startup Tiny Tap is a social platform where families, teachers and students can create personalized educational apps. They can also play thousands of new games shared daily by a global community of educators and students.
Driving test for autonomous cars
Israel’s Foretellix develops a vehicle verification system for testing autonomous vehicles against a common standard. It includes millions of potential safety scenarios, even as unlikely as what to do if the car encounters a tsunami. Foretellix has just raised $14 million of funds.
4D imaging radar
I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Arbe Robotics and its ultra-high-resolution 4D imaging radar. Arbe has just launched Phoenix – its automotive 4D product. The images are 100 times more detailed than other top industry radars and it separates stationary and moving objects in real time.
Decoding the strawberry genome
Israel’s NRGene, in partnership with Toyota’s environmentally-friendly DNA analysis initiative, has decoded the strawberry genome – one of the most complex in nature. It will help farmers in Japan breed local strawberry varieties. Japan is among the world’s highest raw strawberry consumer.
Sustainable farming with seaweed
I reported previously (21st May) on Israel’s Seakura which is growing 100 tons of seaweed a year on land in purified seawater pools. Yossi Tal, Seakura’s Chief Technology Officer sees the 30% protein seaweed as the future of low cost, sustainable, environmentally friendly farming.
A smarter seed
More information on Israel’s Equinom (reported here 23rd Oct) which is developing non-GMO seeds that produce high-yielding, protein-rich crops (including chickpeas, sesame, and soy) with less water consumption and reduced waste. See how Equinom solved a 3000-year-old problem with sesame.
Israel Space Week
Israeli Space Week began on 28th Jan 2019 – 50 years after mankind’s first moon landing. Events held included Netanya (see here)and Jerusalem (see here) (and here) and at the cinema (see here). NASA’s Scott Kelly visited Israel – he holds the record for most time spent in space for an American.
How black holes feed
A team led by Tel Aviv University researchers have reported that supermassive black holes grow suddenly by devouring a large amount of gas in their surroundings. It follows an event in Feb 2017 known as AT 2017bgt when radiation emitted around the black hole in the Milky Way grew 50 times brighter.
New data about Saturn
Professor Yohai Kaspi and Dr. Eli Galanti of Israel’s Weizmann Institute led the study into Saturn’s jet streams on the spacecraft Cassini’s space mission. They also helped calculate the age of Saturn’s rings – less than 100 million years.
Satellite startup award nomination
I reported previously (see here) on Israeli-founded Sky and Space Global and its nano-satellites. Sky and Space has just been shortlisted for an award in the category “Best Mobile Innovation for Emerging Markets”. The winner will be announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Israel’s future scientists
Meet Rom Bachar and Hila Riblov – members of the team that, even before they reached the age of 18, launched nanosatellites into space. Also, Idan Raen and his pioneering work in astrophysics. Finally, budding neurologist Orit Shahar. Israel’s future is as bright as its stars.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
From solar power to electric vehicles
Israeli solar energy company SolarEdge has acquired Italy’s industrial machinery company SMRE. SMRE manufactures integrated powertrain technology and electronics for electric vehicles. https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3753695,00.html
Israeli bonds are so popular
The Israeli government had its most successful ever issue of Euro bonds. It sold 2.5 billion of 10-year and 30-year bonds. Demand was six times the amount issued, reflecting confidence in Israel’s economy.
Israeli government invests NIS 1.7 billion
In 2018, the Israeli government’s Innovation Authority invested in 920 Israeli companies, financing around 1500 projects worth a total of NIS 1.7 billion.
Intel to invest $11 billion in Israel
Intel is to invest NIS 40 billion (approx $11 billion) in its Israel enterprises and will open another plant in the southern city of Kiryat Gat. Intel will also recruit 1,000 additional local staff.
Converting offices into hotel rooms
Israeli tourism is booming so much that the Israeli Ministry of Tourism is giving some $6.8 million of grants and holding a conference on converting offices in Tel Aviv and Jaffa into hotel spaces. They are expected to create thousands of hotel rooms.
Mellanox revenue exceeds $1 billion
Israel’s Mellanox earned over $1 billion for the first time in its history. Mellanox’s high-speed solutions accelerate the fastest supercomputers in the world. Intel is reportedly about to make a multi-billion dollar bid for the company.
NASDAQ launch for biotech
I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s BioCanCell which is developing treatments for bladder, ovarian and pancreatic cancers. It has changed its name to Anchiano and plans to list on NASDAQ. In December, Anchiano began a pivotal trial of its BC-819 H19 gene therapy for bladder cancer.
Collecting data for smart Mercedes
I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Otonomo when it partnered with Skoda and received funds from Tata Motors. Now it has partnered with Daimler to integrate Otonomo’s data gathering technology into Mercedes-Benz connected cars and offer owners 3rd-party services.
Buy when you commute
Israeli startup Enroute develops an e-commerce add-on for smart mobility apps. It encourages passengers to do their online shopping while on the train, bus, or taxi, by rewarding them with credit for future fares. Enroute has just partnered with DB Regio, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn railway.
The Game of Life
I reported previously (Feb 2016) on Israeli workload gamification startup GamEffective that incentivizes performance with rewards. Now, German Insurer Swiss Life Select has changed its entire sales operation to be handled through GamEffective’s workload tracking and productivity software.
Support Israeli small businesses
My Israel Products (MIP) is a first-of-a-kind marketplace –a place to find only Israeli products, produced mostly by small and medium-sized manufacturers in Israel. MIP was founded to allow Israeli manufacturers to expand their clientele and reach millions of households around the world.
Eurosport takes Israeli marketing service
TV sports service Eurosport has signed a multi-year partnership agreement with Israel’s Outbrain. It will use Outbrain’s content discovery technology for 13 of its global markets, including Australia, the U.K. and Germany. Outbrain’s clients include CNN and Wall Street Journal.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Tel Aviv’s Black Food Festival
Feb 6th marks the start of a special food festival in Tel Aviv. It showcases food that is the color black – from bagels to macarons, ice cream and cocktails. Creators must use natural ingredients such as black coffee, dark chocolates, blackberries, and balsamic vinegar.
Exhibition of recovered loot.
Jerusalem’s Bible Lands museum has assembled a unique exhibit of ancient Holy Land relics that have been retrieved from antiquities thieves. The exhibit is entitled “Finds Gone Astray” and includes the stories behind the recapture of the precious items.
The women of the Bible
Israeli photographer Dikla Laor brings female biblical figures to life through the camera lens. Her “Biblical Women Series” includes Eve, Sarah, Rivka (Rebecca), Leah and Rachel, Lot’s wife, the Queen of Sheba, Deborah, and Jezebel, among over 40 such photographs.
One of the world’s top wine destinations
Israel is fifth on Vinepair’s list of the World’s Top 10 Wine Destinations for 2019. They recommended the Golan Heights Winery, Cremisan Wine Estate and Recanati Winery, among the 50-plus wineries in a land just 260 miles long by 70 miles wide.
John Cleese and Tom Jones
Two British icons of comedy and music are set to perform in Israel this year. Monty Python co-founder John Cleese plans to visit Tel Aviv on 1st & 2nd Sept on his “Last Time to See Me Before I Die” tour. Meanwhile, Welsh music legend Sir Tom Jones has said he will perform in Tel Aviv in July.
Another baby rhino
Israel’s Ramat Gan Safari has announced the birth of a baby rhino – the 31st at the Israeli zoo. The new female rhino was born on Tu Bishvat – the mother, Keren Peles, had given birth to another calf, three and a half years earlier. Ramat Gan Safari has been prolific in its efforts to save the endangered species.
Seven medals as Israel hosts World judo event
373 competitors from 53 countries came to Tel Aviv for Israel’s first-ever hosting of an International Judo Federation Grand Prix event. Israeli judokas won 4 gold medals, 2 silver and a bronze to top the table and help them in their goal of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.
THE JEWISH STATE
Gaza border beer
Craft brewery Alexander Beer has launched a special edition “Otef Aza” (Gaza Border) wheat beer, made in part from wheat harvested from fields belonging to Israeli communities bordering Gaza. CEO Ori Sagi promised that all profits from sales of the beer will go to the Israeli farmers.
Bnei Akiva celebrates 90 years
Around 1,000 representatives from dozens of communities from all over the world participated in the International Conference of World Bnei Akiva at Binyanei Hauma in Jerusalem. The gala event marked the 90th anniversary of the founding of the religious youth movement.
What makes Israel a democracy
Video about the history of the Knesset – Israel’s parliament – and its central role today in the democratic State of Israel.
Innovation, Imagination, Integrity.
Please watch Jewish National Fund President Dr Sol Lizerbram at the 2018 JNF National Conference. Hear JNF’s plans for the Galilee and Beersheva, especially the JNF Institute of Technology. And the JNF Boruchin Israel & Zionist Education Center program for teens to go to Israel.
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