Jewish revolt coins found in Samaria; Miami Mayor thanks IDF; UAE Embassy opens in Israel; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Restoring touch sense to damaged nerves
Tel Aviv University researchers have developed the triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) sensor that can be implanted in the body, e.g., under the tip of a severed finger. It connects to another nerve that functions properly and restores tactile sensation to the injured nerve.
Blind man can see with sound
Israeli neuroscientists have trained a 50-year-old man, blind from birth, to recognize objects using Israel’s EyeMusic (see here previously). The system uses sensory substitution that EyeMusic’s Professor Amir Amedi researched at the Hebrew University (see here previously).
Keep your feet
Israel’s Votis Subdermal Imaging Technologies develops devices to diagnose Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) affecting 200+ million people globally. The condition affects mainly diabetics and can lead to Chronic limb-threatening ischemia (CLTI) with the subsequent need to amputate the feet.
Portable ultrasound heads to space
Israel’s UltraSight is starting clinical trials of its portable ultrasound device in the US and Israel. It will also be tested by Israeli astronaut Eytan Stibbe as part of the Israel Space Agency’s upcoming Rakia mission on the International Space Station.
Repairing the heart
Israel’s Cardiac Success is developing a transcatheter ventricular repair device for heart failure patients. The “V-sling” system aims to transform invasive open-heart surgery on patients with Reduced Ejection Fraction (HFrEF) into a safe and effective minimally invasive transcatheter procedure.
Know your Health Plan member
Israel’s Medorion uses behavioral intelligence software to provide health insurers with an in-depth understanding of their plan members. It helps the companies retain customers by addressing members’ needs, improving medical conditions and helping members balance health against cost.
Covid vaccine boosters
Israel’s Health Ministry has authorized Israel’s healthcare providers to give a third anti-Covid-19 vaccination to adults with impaired immune systems. Israel is the first country to provide boosters to patients who do not develop sufficient antibody response after two doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
Israel’s Covid vaccine
The Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) (see here previously) has signed an agreement with Israeli-founded NRx Pharmaceuticals. NRx will complete Phase 2 / 3 trials and commercialize IIBR’s “BriLife” COVID vaccine. Clinical trials will be completed in the Ukraine, Georgia and Israel.
Solving healthcare challenges
The PlayBeyondBio initiative has selected nine Israeli startups for its program for companies developing solutions for future challenges to healthcare systems. C2i Genomics, Nucleai, Itamar medical, Medial Earlysign, iBex, Octopus.health, Imagene, iCardio.ai and Cordio Medical.
Saving children during pandemic
Israeli NGO ‘Save a Child’s Heart’ (SACH) has been saving hundreds of lives during the Covid-19 pandemic.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Deaf MK’s unites Knesset
Shirly Pinto, Israel’s first deaf Member of Knesset, delivered a speech entirely in sign language from the Knesset plenum. At the end of her address, the entire Knesset stood up and applauded, both by clapping and in sign language. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said, “You are an inspiration to us all.”
The doctor will see you now
Keren Amiel has congenital nystagmus, which causes her eyes to “dance” uncontrollably. As one of this year’s 241 Technion medical graduates, she is Israel’s first visually impaired doctor and has started residency in child and adolescent psychiatry at Schneider Children’s Medical Center.
Israeli Druze is coronavirus czar
Druze epidemiologist Professor Salman Zarka is Israel’s new coronavirus commissioner. Previously Director-general of Ziv Medical Centre in Safed and IDF colonel, he established and commanded the IDF field hospital in the Golan to treat Syrians wounded in their civil war.
No disposables on Ashdod beach
Ashdod city council has banned disposable products and bags from being brought onto its beaches. It is a continuation of Ashdod’s “green” vision, which includes being the first Israeli city, four years ago, to replace disposables with reusable dishes at schools, afternoon programs and daycares.
Above and beyond for the greater good
Israeli NGO Together&Beyond equips Jewish and Arab young adults with social entrepreneurial and professional tools. Its founder Ditsa Keren, also co-founded FoodChain with a Palestinian Arab partner, connecting businesses with surplus food to charities that are in need of food.
The non-profit Israeli Primate Sanctuary Foundation (IPSF) is a refuge for 850 primates rescued or retired from biomedical research, petting zoos, and the exotic pet trade. Thousands more have been rescued over the years and given a second chance to live as monkeys amongst monkeys.
The Israeli Air Force hosted an international drone exercise for the first time. Aviation teams from the United States, Britain, Germany, Italy and France have joined the IAF for the drill, which will run for two weeks and see drones fly primarily over the Palmachim airbase in central Israel.
First agriculture agreements with UAE
Israel has signed its first cooperation agreements with the United Arab Emirates in the field of agriculture. It covers research and innovation, including the development of produce suitable for growing in desert conditions, as well as other advancements in water management and irrigation.
UAE embassy in Israel
The United Arab Emirates physically opened its embassy in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange building in June (see here previously). Now, at the official opening, UAE Ambassador Mohamed Al Khaja said it would provide a model for new narrative and approach for conflict resolution in the Middle East.
Miami mayor thanks IDF team
The IDF search-and-rescue team that traveled to Miami last month in the wake of the recent disaster was praised effusively before flying home over the weekend. Miami Dade County’s Mayor presented them with medals, saying they “would never ever forget what you have done”.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Beresheet 2 gets funding
Israel’s SpaceIL has raised $70 million from investors for Beresheet 2 – its second mission to the lunar surface, to launch in 2024. It is the first-ever lunar mission attempting to land two small crafts detaching from a mothership. One aims to be only the second craft to land on the far side.
Florida-Israel Space Prizes
There were 4 winners of the 2021 Space Florida-Israel Innovation Partnership Program. They include an antenna for satellites (MTI); nanoparticle materials to cool down objects using sunlight; recycling plastic into radiation protection vests; and thermal imaging for microsatellites.
Israel’s Doral Energy (see here previously) is partnering Israel’s Technion Institute in green projects. They include the areas of renewable energy, energy storage, integration of agriculture and solar energy, hydrogen production, carbon capture, waste treatment, water, and environmental infrastructure.
Green walls to cool buildings
In the first study of its kind, researchers at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University have shown that covering the facades of buildings with plants can reduce temperatures indoors by several degrees in the summer and increase them in winter. The process is called evapotranspiration, which also purifies the air.
Breakthrough water technology
Israel’s BlueGreen Water Technologies (see here previously) has been named the Global Water Awards “2021 Breakthrough Technology Company of the Year” by Global Water Intelligence (GWI). BlueGreen has transformed cyanobacteria (toxic blue-green algae blooms) treatment.
An intelligent water filter
Israel’s Netafim, the world’s pioneer and leading drip irrigation specialist, has launched its AlphaDisc filter to protect irrigation systems against clogging caused by organic contaminants. Its remote sensing system and algorithms also provide farmers with online data and insights.
Better optics – just add water
Technion scientists have made a breakthrough discovery in the manufacture of nano-sized precise optical components (e.g., medical imaging). If the component is placed in liquid (water plus glycerol), light slows down, and the component needs to be much larger. It can even be printed on a 3D printer.
Smarter traffic lights
Israel’s ITC – Intelligent Traffic Control (see here previously) has now successfully tested its smart traffic light technology in Israel and overseas. In this article, the two Ben Gurion University graduate founders tell their story. The system saves time, fuel, emissions and accidents.
Training ex-IDF into hi-tech workers
Israeli non-profit Scale-Up Velocity has launched its Cyber4s program for Israelis finishing IDF combat service. It trains them for a smooth and speedy transition into employment in the hi-tech sector. Its second group of 40 students will graduate mid-July.
Hi-tech in the kindergarten
Israel’s next school year will include a new government program that will include computer science, robotics, and other fields of study to equip students for future employment in hi-tech. It will launch in middle schools and will be integrated into elementary schools and eventually in kindergartens.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Another record quarter
Investment in Israeli high-tech companies in the 3 months from Apr to Jun 2021 surged to a record $6.52 billion – triple the amount raised in the same quarter the previous year.
Land of the Unicorns
Israel has more billion-dollar private companies per capita than any other country. Great video
Due to Covid, Expo 2020 in Dubai is now to take place from Oct 2021 to Mar 2022 and Israel will be a key exhibitor. Ohad Cohen, head of Israel’s Foreign Trade Administration, discusses Israel’s Expo plans and exports success. Israeli 2021 exports are heading for a $120 billion+ record.
Birds of a feather
Israeli startup Aerodrome, which develops unmanned aerial systems for the defense sector, is paying some NIS 15 million for Israel’s FlyTech, which develops drone solutions for the civilian market. The acquisition will help Aerodrome’s plans to expand into the US civilian UAV sector.
No address, no credit card, no problem
Israeli-Arab startup Haat Delivery in Um Al Fahim delivers food to areas with infrastructure issues, like cities with no addresses, or people with no credit cards and who only pay cash. It delivers 70,000 orders a month to 30 Israeli cities and plans to expand to Africa and South America.
GoTo goes to Madrid
Israel’s GoTo Global (formerly Car2Go) has now deployed its shared cars, motorbikes, bicycles, e-bikes, and electric scooters to the Spanish city of Madrid. GoTo has the largest shared multimodal fleet in Madrid, with over 1,300 vehicles that can be rented by the minute. They include parking places.
Coca-Cola and no-cow milk
The Central Bottling Company, also known as Coca-Cola Israel, has signed a strategic agreement with Israeli startup Biomilk (see here previously) to invest and collaborate with the firm to develop products based on its cultured milk technology.
Pollinating Australian tomatoes
The Costa Group, Australia’s leading grower of hydroponic glasshouse tomatoes, is to deploy the pollination robots of Israel’s Arugga (see here previously). At peak production, Costa’s 300,000+ square meters of glasshouses in Guyra, New South Wales, contain over one million plants.
Chorus.ai exits for $575 million
Business intelligence company ZoomInfo is acquiring Israel’s Chorus.ai (see here previously) for $575 million. Chorus.ai has developed an AI-based system to analyze sales calls. ZoomInfo has about 1,800 employees in the U.S., while its R&D center with 300 employees is located in Israel.
Israeli investment for Mnuchin
Liberty Strategic Capital, headed by former US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin (see here previously) has made its first investment. Its funding of Israel’s Cybereason (see here previously), plus funds from elsewhere, triples the value of Cybereason to $3 billion.
Investment in Israeli startups:
Cybereason raised $275 million; Aidoc raised $66 million; NoTraffic raised $17.5 million; IVIX raised $13 million; Shopic raised $10 million; Venn raised $10 million; FeelIt raised $7 million; BioMilk raised $2 million;
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Summer in Jerusalem
So many events – Design Week, President Herzog’s inauguration, Teddy Park fountain and lights, ice-skating, Beer festival, Wine festival, Street Ball festival, Outline festival, Food trucks, Summer in the neighborhood, concerts, camping in the parks, Silchot tours, Snow Kingdome and more!
Chelsea expands inclusive soccer program
The Chelsea Foundation has launched a new partnership with the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation and the Israeli Football Association (IFA) to help expand the “Playing Fair, Leading Peace” sports program to reach more than 1,000 Jewish and Arab children in Israel.
Teaching basketball to Israeli kids
Every year former pro basketball player and the “Jewish Jordan” Tamir Goodman runs a basketball camp for Israeli children. This year, the camp was privileged to have NBA Hall of Famer and retired basketball legend Rick Barry come coach the kids. He also heralded Israel’s innovations.
Ironman comes to Israel
The famous grueling triathlon contest Ironman 70.3 will take place for the first time in Israel on 12th Nov. 1,000 athletes from 17 countries signed up for the event within an hour of registration going live. It involves a 1.2-mile swim of the Kinneret, a 56-mile bike ride, and a 13.1-mile run.
THE JEWISH STATE
3,000-year-old Biblical inscription
A 1,100 BCE inscription has been recovered from excavations in Israel at Khirbat er-Ra‘i, near Qiryat Gat. It bears the name ‘Jerubbaal’ in alphabetic script, which is recorded in the Book of Judges as an alternative name for the judge Gideon ben Yoash who led the Israelites at that time.
(For English subtitles, turn on captions and auto-translate)
The Eastern wall of Jerusalem
Just in time for Tisha B’Av – the 9th Av mourning for the destruction of both Temples. 30 meters of the Jerusalem wall (1st Temple period 1000 BCE) has been exposed during excavations in the City of David National Park. The wall is on a slope too steep for the Babylonians to destroy in 586 BCE.
Jewish revolt coins found in Samaria
A coin unearthed in the Binyamin region of Samaria shows that Jews continued to live in the area decades after the Romans destroyed the 2nd Temple. The coin, minted around 134-135 CE, bears the inscription LeHerut Yerushalayim (for the freedom of Jerusalem).
The nation-state of the Jewish People
In a landmark ruling, Israel’s Supreme Court has upheld the decision of the Knesset in passing the nation-state law. As one judge wrote, its recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish People, “does not hurt the individual rights of any Israeli citizen,” regardless of faith or ethnicity.
President Herzog the 2nd
Isaac Herzog is the 11th President of Israel, replacing Reuven Rivlin. The President was sworn in on the same Bible used to swear in his father Chaim, Israel’s 6th president. His grandfather (later Israel’s Chief Rabbi) Yitzhak Halevi Herzog took it to Europe after the Shoah to rescue hidden Jewish children.
PLANT FRUIT TREES IN ISRAEL BEFORE SABBATICAL BEGINS!
TIME RUNNING OUT to make the Land even more fruitful while helping Israeli farmers offset financial losses from Covid, Hamas arson fires and the upcoming Sabbatical year.
“…the seventh year shall be a complete rest for the Land…”
“…I will ordain My blessing for you…” (Leviticus 25:4,21)