Preventing kidney failure; Women in science; Speeding up on-line shopping; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Sniffing out cancer
Israel’s SpotitEarly (see here previously) has just reported a 93% success rate in its study using a combination of dogs, sensors, and AI software to detect and identify breast, lung, colon, and prostate cancer. And another Israeli startup Early Labs reported similar results using trained rats to detect lung cancer.
Preventing kidney failure
Israel is the first country in the world to ban treatments with glyoxylic acid, a common ingredient in hair-straightening products. Scientists at Israel’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center showed that the chemical is absorbed by the skin, often causing pain, vomiting and acute kidney injury.
Better than antibiotics
Israel’s Mileutis (see here previously) is “bullish” about its Imilac peptide alternative to antibiotics in dairy cows. Imilac boosts the immune system to fight infections and doesn’t increase antibiotic resistance. The cows also produce more milk. Mileutis says the same technology could even protect humans.
Microclimate suit manufacturer revealed
Israel’s Rambam Medical Center has been testing a microclimate suit that evaporates fluids to help heart failure patients (see here previously). The manufacturer – Israel’s AquaPass Medical – states that patients no longer need daily diuretics or periodic six-hour infusions.
Field hospital treats hundreds
Israeli medics treated around 470 injured victims of the Turkish earthquakes at their field hospital outside the Turkish city of Kahramanmaraş. They included 150 children and several Syrian refugees. The teams also performed ten surgical and orthopedic operations.
Thousands of AR surgical procedures
Israel’s Beyeonics (see here previously) is now rolling out its 3D Byeonics One Augmented Reality (AR) surgical headset across Europe. It has already been used for 2,000 surgeries in the US including recent endothelial keratoplasty, to remove abnormal matter from the cornea.
AI to increase cancer awareness
The Israel Cancer Association has used Artificial Intelligence in a new campaign to highlight the importance of early cancer diagnosis. Videos show people asking AI to show them as a grandparent, or at their child’s wedding, but the future will only become reality if the person avoids cancer.
The most memorable moment at OurCrowd Summit
My highlight at the OurCrowd Global Investor Summit in Jerusalem last week was 10-year-old Itai, saved thanks to Surgical Theater’s Augmented Reality system. Itai ran on stage to greet Surgical Theater’s CEO, Alon Zuckerman – Itai’s father. Please watch this.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Developing tools for autism
The Israeli NGO HackAutism has organized 4 annual hackathons – 24-hour competitions focusing on solving autism-related challenges. These have produced 42 ventures, 15 of which have raised funding. This year’s winner Dive uses AI to help employers identify and hire workers with autism.
Women in science
100+ Israeli women and girls marked the UN International Day of Women and Girls in Science at the sleek new Margalit Startup City Galil building in Kiryat Shmona, Northern Israel. It was initiated by Galiladies, a community of 1,000 entrepreneurial Jewish, Arab, Druze, secular, and religious women.
Academy to prevent violence against women
The Michal Sela Startup Academy has just graduated its third cohort of seven new startups. They will join the team of the Michal Sela Forum which has partnered Google for Startups to help develop startups specifically to prevent violence against women. See the video of Ruthi below.
Doctors remove ring from toddler’s throat
(See X-ray photo at TPS source article) Specialists from the otolaryngology department at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center successfully removed a ring stuck in the throat of a two-year-old boy. His father Muhammad praised the Shaare Zedek team for saving his son’s life.
Jenin Arab saved at Israeli hospital
18-year-old Izz ad-Din Dar Yassin almost died when electrocuted at work in the PA city of Jenin. He was transferred to Haifa’s Rambam hospital where medical teams stabilized Yassin’s condition of burns, infections, and kidney failure, and put him on the road to recovery.
Jerusalem to host Arab-Africa-Israel Security Conference
Representatives of 14 African and Arab countries will convene in Jerusalem in March for the first ever Arab-Africa-Israel conference on Middle East security. The 3-day conference is titled “Trusted Regional Partnerships at a Time of Shifting Alliances.”
Rare, good news in UK media
Normally anti-Israel UK Independent has highlighted that 25 sea turtles have received medical treatment in Israel after being injured in a severe winter storm. Following rehabilitation at the Sea Turtle Rescue Center in Mikhmoret they will be released back to the sea.
Turkiye (Turkey) thanks Israel
Turkey’s Ambassador to Israel Shakir Ozkan Torunlar welcomed Israeli teams returning from their earthquake rescue mission and thanked the Jewish state for saving 19 Turkish lives. He also noted Israel’s civil society and NGOs who “displayed exemplary solidarity with the Turkish people.”
Eye-opener in Ben Gurion restroom
South African BDS leader Klaas Mokgomole couldn’t understand why Ben Gurion Airport officials laughed when he asked for the Blacks-only restroom after his 9-hour flight from Jo’burg. He was dumbfounded as Jews and Arabs went in and out. It was transformational.
Syrians shocked to be treated by Israelis
Israeli Lt.-Col. Dr. Ofer Almog described the reactions of some of the Syrians after learning they were being treated by Israelis. “In some cases, they were very emotional, very surprised. One person said that everything he was taught all his life about Israel was a lie.”
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Global 5th for AI
Tiny Israel is ranked number 5 in the world for innovation, implementation, and investment in Artificial Intelligence, according to the UK news website Tortoise Media. It ranks 3rd in commercialization of AI, 5th in talent, and 9th in development. The article features GreenOnyx, Imagry, and Wasteless.
Israel’s nuclear fusion Institute
Israel’s Energy Ministry is allocating NIS 40 million to fund a National Nuclear Fusion Institute. It will be established and operated jointly by five Israeli universities. Additional partners include the Soreq Nuclear Research Center, and Israeli startup NT-Tao (see here previously).
More Israeli tech that saved earthquake victims
Israel’s Camero-Tech (see here previously) supplied its Xaver 400 and 100 radar systems to locate survivors trapped in the ruins of the recent Turkish earthquakes. Also, Israel’s Stolero Group deployed tech from Israel’s Magal, XTEND and Polaris.
Catching out “robot students”
The emergence of ChatGPT to write speeches and more has opened the door for lazy students to use AI tools to generate their work without any individual effort. Israel’s Copyleaks (see here previously) helps academic institutions check the originality of students’ submitted material.
Speeding up on-line shopping
Watch this StandWithUs video of a robot from Israel’s 1MRobotics (see here previously) helping to speed up online shopping.
Israeli tech inside Ferrari F1 racecars
Samsung subsidiary Harman (see here previously) builds audio, video, and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in Israel. This technology and more will be integrated by Ferrari in all future vehicle lines – including, starting this year, cars built for Formula 1 races.
A private microchip
Israel’s Chain Reaction has launched microprocessors specially designed to encrypt data. The technology significantly speeds up systems that rely on real-time, trusted transaction processing, such as blockchain. It could transform medical research, finance, cloud-based systems and much more.
Fake products to upskill hi-tech employees
Israel’s Wilco (see here previously) has created some whimsical items to help IT engineers develop their non-IT skills. They include a “dry-water canister” (just add water), organic sawdust, roast beef bath bubbles and a yodeling pickle. Don’t ask – just read more at the link below.
From unlocking phones to global crime solving
10 years ago, Israel’s Cellebrite (see here previously) began life unlocking phones which helped police break an international crime organization. It has grown into a world-leader in digital intelligence, providing software to over 5,200 law enforcement agencies in 120 countries.
Seven new Israeli spider species
Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and University of Madison-Wisconsin have discovered seven new species of funnel web spiders (Agelenidae, Tegenaria), unique to caves in Israel. The lack of light has led to exceptional adaptations e.g., enlarged sensory organs.
An accessible beehive
Two Israeli brothers have designed a new beehive that allows you to watch the secret life of bees. The inspiration was when one of the brothers lost the use of his left hand. The cylindrical hive can be managed using only one hand.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Economy grew 6.5% in 2022
Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics reports that Israel’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 6.5% in 2022. GDP per capita growth last year was 70% above the OECD average of 2.6%.
Israel exports crude oil
Israel has exported its first-ever shipment of crude oil. The cargo of hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGLs) was extracted from Israel’s Karish natural gas field. This was then converted into high-demand light sweet crude oil and sold through Vitol commodity traders to European customers.
Hundreds of startups
The 2023 OurCrowd Global Investor Summit in Jerusalem featured 200+ Israeli startups that exhibited, presented, and pitched to 6,400 (some say 9,000) attendees.
World number two in FoodTech investments
The non-profit Good Food Institute (GFI) Israel has estimated that Israel invested $454 million in alternative proteins in 2022. This was about 15% of the capital raised for the sector globally – second only to the US.
Commercializing biofuel from castor beans
Israel’s Casterra, a subsidiary of Israel’s Evogene (see here previously), is partnering with a major energy company to cultivate its unique Israeli castor varieties at commercial scale. The aim is for these to provide the basis for a new biofuel for countries in Africa.
5-star hotel news
The Vera Hotel is Tel Aviv’s first boutique hotel to banish single-use plastic entirely. Soap and shampoo bottles replaced by dispensers; water-filter systems, and biodegradable coffee cups. Meanwhile Israel’s Fattal Group has acquired UK’s Brighton Grand and London’s Dilly hotels.
AI camera shopping trolleys
By the end of March, thirty of Israel’s Shufersal’s 395 Israeli stores will deploy 2,000 smart shopping trolley cameras and screens from Israel’s Shopic (see here previously). The AI system will allow customers to skip the checkout.
Liquidity Group becomes a Unicorn
Israeli fintech company Liquidity Group (see here previously) has raised another $40 million from Japanese banking giant MUFG Bank at a valuation of $1.4 billion. Liquidity provides capital mainly to later-stage technology companies for businesses around the world.
Rise in trade & tourism from Arab countries
Total trade between Israel and Abraham Accords countries increased from $593 million in 2019 to $3.47 billion in 2022. Some 5,200 tourists entered Israel from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, Kosovo, and Sudan in 2022 – up 52% from 2019.
Double boost for Israeli air travel
Israel’s three airlines (Israir, El Al and Arkia) are renewing their direct flight routes to Turkey, which were suspended in 2008. Also, for the first time, Oman has given permission for all planes from Israel to fly through its airspace, substantially reducing flight times to Asia.
Investment in Israeli startups to 26/2/23:
Enlight Renewable Energy raised $252 million (IPO); Via Transportation raised $110 million; Chain Reaction raised $70 million; Descope raised $53 million; Chaos Labs raised $20 million; MDI Health Technologies raised $20 million; Oligo Security raised $20 million; OpenEyes raised $18 million; Entitle raised $15 million; Ledge raised $9 million; Ironblocks raised $7 million; Finq raised $6 million; Azerbaijan invested $1 million in Largix;
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Israeli food festival in Argentina
50+ restaurants in Buenos Aires and other Argentinian cities took part in the 5th annual Israeli Food Festival. The 11-day event, organized by the Embassy of Israel, had the theme “Tasting innovation”. Israeli chef Lucas Zitrinovich trained local chefs to make four special dishes for the occasion.
Share your embarrassing moment
The Avraham Hostel in Tel Aviv is hosting Fadichot Night on Feb 28. A “Fadicha” (plural: Fadihot)” is an Israeli word for an embarrassing moment. This Fadichot Night’s theme is “the Travel Fadichot”. Tell your story or just listen – because we’ve all had a Fadicha worth sharing!
At the OurCrowd Global Investor Summit, actor Lior Raz and Fauda cofounder Avi Issacharoff revealed some secrets that would have shocked their spy characters – they are big fans of romantic comedies! They also said that the Startup Nation’s TV successes were turning Israel into the “Content Nation”.
Volleyball team reaches Euro final
Maccabi Tel Aviv’s volleyball team made history after it qualified for the final of the Volleyball Challenge Cup, becoming the first Israeli team to reach a European final. The final will take place on March 5th and 15th.
Promoting tennis to Arabs
The Israel Tennis & Education Centers (ITEC) is using the Abraham Accords to encourage Arabs in Israel and elsewhere to take up tennis. In Jan, ITEC players and coaches flew to Bahrain. The ITEC is also running programs for Arab, Bedouin, Christian, Druze and Jewish kids in six Israeli cities.
Ice hockey to help the needy
75 players from the US, Canada, Europe, and Israel competed in the 12th annual Israel Recreational Hockey Association Tournament at the One Ice Arena outside of Netanya. The event raised funds for Leket Israel, Israel’s National Food Bank. Many players also packed food for needy families.
First ever gold at Mixed Martial Arts
19-year-old Shaked Nisimian became the first Israeli to win a gold medal at an MMA World Championships, beating the reigning champion to claim the under-21 title in Serbia. Her victory is astonishing as she only joined the sport recently. She previously held the European jiu-jitsu title.
THE JEWISH STATE
1,400-year-old discovery on hike
A family found an ornamental 1,400-year-old clay ceramic figure of a face on the ground while hiking through the hills south of the city of Modiin. The Israel Antiquities Authority said the fine object was the decorative end of a candle holder dating from the 6th-7th Century in the Byzantine era.
Young leaders must experience Israel
The Friends of the IDF (FIDF) is once again offering 21 – 39-year-olds the opportunity to experience Israel alongside IDF soldiers on their Young Leadership Mission to Israel. This year’s dates are May 18 – 24. See itinerary, registration, and video links below.
Charity for children with cancer
Rachashei Lev provides medical, financial, and emotional support to pediatric cancer patients and their families, including medical resources, financial assistance, social services, and more.
Never too late to get married
Avraham Nachum’s 100th birthday motivated him to marry his long-term partner Bella – a mere 70-year-old. They had put off the wedding because of Covid, but now Avraham wanted to rid himself of the title of “widower”. The NGO Tzohar arranged the ceremony in Maale Adumin, Jerusalem.