ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Non-invasive eye test for Covid-19
Israel’s AdOM Advanced Optical Technologies has developed the Tear Film Imager (TFI) which, in 40 seconds, measures the tear film layer of the eye to detect if someone has coronavirus. Israel’s Sheba Medical Center is now recruiting volunteers for a clinical study of the TFI.
Nasal spray effective against coronavirus
Phase 3 clinical trials confirmed that the Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray (NONS) from Israel’s SaNOtize represents a safe and effective antiviral treatment that shortens the course of COVID-19 and could prevent the transmission of COVID-19. It also received regulatory approval in India.
Cutting the cost of cancer laser treatment
Israel’s HIL Applied Medical (see here previously) is poised to deliver proton-beam radiotherapy to millions of cancer patients who cannot afford it today. HIL plans to produce 200-250 much lower cost proton therapy rooms every year.
Routine prenatal ultrasound to detect autism
Researchers from Ben Gurion University have shown that routine prenatal ultrasound in the second trimester can identify early signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Anomalies occurred in 30% of fetuses who later developed ASD. It means autism could be treated from birth.
Brain Monitor rolls out
Israel’s Montfort (Mon4t – see here previously) is expanding the operation of its brain monitor device in the US. It is already in use at Baltimore’s John Hopkins Medicine and the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. It could benefit the million and more Parkinson’s sufferers in the US.
Taking smart health tech to the UAE
Israel’s Healthy.io (see here previously) has been authorized to deploy its smartphone image diagnostic technology in the United Arab Emirates. It has finalized a deal with Dubai’s Royal family-founded Seed Group, to sell its self-performed kidney disease urine analysis kits in the UAE.
A boot camp for wellness tech
Several Israeli health-tech startups have applied to participate in the Wellness Tech Bootcamp, an international program supporting startups developing technologies to improve physical and mental health. New to this newsletter include Happy Things, CoBe Labs, and Kai (personal wellness coach)
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
The supermarket where people shop for free
Shani and Osher run a store in Petah Tikvah full of donated items that those in need can take for free. They have set up special WhatsApp groups and invite needy families, single parents, elderly etc. to visit once or twice a month. The only limit is just one item of each kind.
Help for victims of abuse
Google Israel has launched a life-saving search engine feature that will help victims of abuse to get help. It recognizes search words and highlights helplines. After testing locally, Google will roll this innovation to other countries. Global incidents have increased by 300% during the coronavirus pandemic.
Israel’s doctor with Cerebral Palsy
Worth reading these two articles describing how Hodaya Oliel (see here previously) overcame challenges to become the first Israeli with Cerebral Palsy to qualify as a medical doctor.
No age limit at this “special” summer camp
Camp Eitan is a unique Israeli camp for older teens and adults with cerebral palsy or Down syndrome. It is run by volunteers from Avnei Eitan – a village in the Golan Heights. Whilst there is an age 21 limit at most other camps, there is no upper limit at Camp Eitan.
Druze woman sets new Israeli athletics record
Karawan Halabi, from Daliat el-Carmel, set a time of 2:43:99 in the 1,000-meter race, shattering the 25-year Israeli national record. She became the first Druze athlete to set an Israeli track and field record.
World record strawberry
An Israeli berry has won the Guinness record for the world’s largest strawberry. The 289-gram giant was grown at the Strawberries in the Field plantation run by the Ariel family in Kadima-Zoran, central Israel. The weather and late season caused multiple berries to combine, over 45 days.
While I was in Haifa last week I mingled with Bar-Ilan University students attending a conference on nanotechnology. I then discovered that the city was hosting 30 international conferences next week. Thanks also to Sharon for her article that included conferences and events in Jerusalem.
The first ever Israeli PM visit to Bahrain
Great video showing the warm welcome that Israel’s Prime Minister received in his groundbreaking meeting with Bahrain’s Crown Prince.
Personal greeting for Energy Minister
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi crossed the room at the Middle East Energy Conference to greet Israeli Energy Minister Karine Elharrar, who is confined to a wheelchair. She is the first Israeli Minister to participate in the conference and the Egyptian President warmly welcomed her.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Israeli tech in first US autonomous store
The world’s first fully autonomous store Nourish + Bloom Market has opened in Fayetteville, Georgia. It features the Smart Shelf weighing system developed by Israel’s Shekel (see here previously).
Grow your own vegetables in a box
A previous newsletter (see here) featured the Living Box hydroponic farm in a box. Now another Israeli company AgwaFarm has developed the AgwaGarden with 59 seed “slots” LEDs and AI for tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, arugula, and even strawberries – enough for a small family.
Another reduced-sugar juice
Israel’s Better Juice (see here previously) is being challenged by Israel’s Blue Tree. Its innovative technology selectively removes sugars from sucrose without affecting taste.
Sugar-reduced chocolate chip
Incredo Sugar from Israel’s DouxMatok (see here previously) makes Blommer Chocolate Company’s chocolate-flavored chips 50% less sugar and fewer calories compared to traditional chocolate chips. Blommer is the largest cocoa processor and chocolate ingredient supplier in North America.
A sustainable partnership
Israel’s UBQ (see here previously) has partnered Mexican plastic polymer producer, Resirene, to create a sustainable, UBQ-infused polystyrene material. UBQ will now be able to recycle waste plastic into new end-products, in addition to those produced from its current thermoplastic material.
3D printing of large industrial products
Israel’s Largix has developed the first 3D printer able to produce large industrial-strength items from common and recycled polymers. Its robotic systems, sensors and machine learning can produce room-size objects such as storage tanks, with the required bonding and welding strengths.
A good clean fight
New York is holding another Smart Energy Challenge for Israeli startup technology companies to help solve the state’s utility challenges. Last year’s winner was Israel’s Prisma Photonics (see here previously) with its “real-time transmission line issue” detection system.
Bringing products to life
Israel’s Verto has developed AI-driven 3D visualization technology that creates a fully-fledged 360-degrees 3D video image of any item from just a few pictures taken from any smartphone. Verto has begun a 2-month joint venture with the Israel Diamond Exchange.
The first unmanned hybrid helicopter
Israel’s Steadicopter has unveiled Black Eagle 50H – the first unmanned hybrid helicopter of its kind. Powered by a combination of gas and electricity, it is on display at the Singapore Air show (Feb 15 – 18). Its uses include search and rescue, cyber, offshore rigs etc.
UAVs authorized for civilian airspace
Israel’s aviation authority has given the go-ahead for the Starliner Unmanned Aerial System (drone) made by Israel’s Elbit, to fly in civilian airspace “as any other civilian airplane” without any restrictions. The certification process took six years to complete.
Earthquake warning app
Israel’s Geological Survey have launched a new earthquake alert system. Its name “Teruah” is the same as one of the notes blown on the shofar (religious ram’s horn). It can send a warning to your smartphone just 10 seconds after the first tremor.
The camera that sees through walls
Another article about the amazing new camera developed by Israel’s Camero-Tech (see here previously) that can see through walls, even from more than 300 feet away.
Kinneret Innovation Center
The Kinneret Innovation Center’s purpose is to create an engine of growth in the north of Israel. It is aims to help startups and entrepreneurs in agriculture technology, water technology, and sustainability. It bridges the gap between academia, industrial and agricultural communities.
To save water she founded a startup
Esther Altura is the founder of DrizzleX (see here previously) and its water metering system that detect leaks and water overuse. She said that saving precious water was an Israeli characteristic – part of her “Israeli DNA”.
The EnergyTech map
There are now nearly 100 Israel startups working in the field of renewable energy and carbon capture – a 20% increase from 2020. Start-Up Nation Central has unveiled the 2022 Israel EnergyTech map to help multinational companies and VC investors identify relevant Israeli companies and solutions.
Turning polluted air into oxygen
Some 8.8 million people die every year from respiratory illnesses resulting from air pollution. Israel’s Airovation Technologies turns indoor air pollution into oxygen, while eliminating viruses (e.g., coronavirus) and bacteria.
3D imaging of buried assets
Israel’s Exodigo (see here previously) has developed a subterranean mapping platform for construction, mining, and utility companies. It can create a digital geolocated 3D map of buried assets – from man-made pipes and cables to soil layers, rocks, minerals, and groundwater across any terrain.
“Limited only by your imagination”
That’s the marketing slogan for Israel’s Classiq, which develops solutions for the quantum software market. It says it helps build complex quantum circuits that could not be created otherwise.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
EU to fund Israel, Cyprus, Greece power cable link
Cyprus’ Energy Minister has announced that the European Union has earmarked 657 million euros ($736 million) for the construction of a 2,000MW undersea electricity cable that will link the power grids of Israel, Cyprus and Greece (see here previously).
2021 GDP shatters forecasts
Israel’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 8.1% in 2021, beating the Bank of Israel forecast of 7.5% and the OECD forecast (see here previously) of 6.3%. GDP in Q4 was over 16%.
UK Trade Secretary seeks even stronger partnership
Secretary of State for International Trade, Rt. Hon. Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, made her first visit to Israel. She enjoyed the “huge opportunity” to deepen ties with a fellow democracy and tech superpower, to boost trade and strengthen cooperation in science and tech.
A Unicorn in one step
Israel’s Cloudinary has just raised its first funds at a valuation of $2 billion. Cloudinary allows users to “quickly and easily create, manage, and deliver their digital experiences across any browser, device, and bandwidth”. I don’t understand that either, but 9,000 customers and a million developers do.
Stock lending for all
Maybe not for all, but those with more than £0.5 million in shares, bonds and ETFs may wish to take advantage of the services of Israel’s Sharegain. It says it offers the private individual the ability to emulate large financial companies and lend out their holdings. (Warning – take financial advice first.)
Check out your ideas
ESRA (English Speaking Residents Association) is hosting Revital Rauchwerger, Head of the Gvahim Entrepreneurship Center. She will be giving a Zoom lecture on Mon 21st Feb entitled “How to Validate Your Business Idea in Israel”. It is part of their joint “Get it Right in Israel” program.
Takeovers and exits
Intel is acquiring Israel’s Tower Semiconductor (TowerJazz) for $5.4 billion; Nintex of the US is acquiring Israel’s Kryon for $100 million; Israel’s Fireblocks acquired Israel’s First Digital for $100 million;
Investment in Israeli startups to 20/2/22:
Cloudinary raised $110 million; WSC Sports raised $100 million; Sharegain raised $64 million; Classiq raised $33 million; Exodigo raised $29 million; Legit Security raised $26.5 million; Deepdub raised $20 million; Trullion raised $15 million; Vee (volunteering) raised $12 million; Vanilla Vida raised $11.5 million; Permit.io raised $6 million; Verto raised $1.2 million;
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
NbN Events Calendar.
See what activities are available for English-speaking immigrants by viewing the Nefesh b’Nefesh Events Calendar. It provides information on virtual and in-person programs, including Hebrew lessons, lectures, performances, tiyulim (tours), job fairs, social and financial advice, and much more.
Lecture about Maronite Christians in Israel
Great opportunity to hear a presentation by Israeli Aramaic Maronite Christian Shadi Khalloul. IDF Captain (reserves) and former IDF Spokesman of 160,000 Israeli Christian soldiers integrated into Israeli society. Mon 21st Feb @ 12:30pm ET; 17:30 UK; 19:30 Israel.
The history of Israeli fashion
A recorded lecture, available through ESRA, by fashion manager and historian Liraz Cohen Mordechai available on Sun 27th Feb after advance registration. Liraz founded “Fashionating by Liri”, a social enterprise that tells the story of Israel while promoting Israeli fashion designers and brands.
Netflix supports budding Israeli film makers
Netflix is supporting a new program at the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School. Series Lab will help up-and-coming creators in the field of scripted television. Netflix’s producer and screenwriter Jill Condon will lead workshops on script development and mentor participants.
The world’s best healing spot
The Dead Sea has taken the top spot on the top ten list of the prestigious tourist “Travel and Leisure” magazine as the most recommended “healing” destination. It wrote that the Dead Sea’s black mud can treat psoriasis, cure asthma, joint inflammation, osteoporosis, and more.
THE JEWISH STATE
Training on how to defend Israel
A new initiative has just been launched to train key influencers in countering antisemites, especially those who hate and demonize Israel as the State of Jewish people. The ProZ course is designed to empower young people who want to defend Israel on social media.
A family reunion 77 years after the Shoah
An old photograph started Suzanne Hecker on a 25-year quest to find family members. Thanks to Yad Vashem, a Jewish Genealogy site and a school project, it culminated in a reunion in Israel with over 30 cousins.
I have everything
An Israeli business owner won the NIS 80 million jackpot on the Israel lottery with the first ticket he ever bought. When he heard of his win he still went to work, only collecting his prize after finishing work. He said he already had everything he needed, but it was great that his children’s futures are now assured.
Only in Israel
Last week I gave a talk to students at the Reali Hebrew school in Haifa. Before the lecture, I attended the morning (Shacharit) service in a Haifa hotel that coincidentally was hosting the Bar-Ilan University Conference on Nanotechnology. After prayers, dozens of young scientists learned about VeryGoodNewsIsrael.