Breakthrough Innovation; Chalk Over Hate; Eight top Israeli scientists; and much more!
By: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Using AI to identify autoimmune diseases
After winning a medical contest to detect celiac disease, Shlomit Steinberg-Koch founded Predicta Med. Its Artificial Intelligence is 84% accurate in detecting Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and lupus.
Breakthrough dry eye treatment
Israel’s Lumenis (see here previously) has won a MedTech Breakthrough award for “Best New Technology Solution for Ophthalmology.” Its OptiLight Optimal Pulse Technology (OPT) is the only FDA approved light treatment for dry eye disease, with 49 million US sufferers.
Two Israeli health tech startups Sanolla (ultrasound stethoscope – see here) and Naor (a.k.a. Rapid Diagnostics) saliva-based Covid-19 detection (see here), were awarded the Breakthrough Innovation Award at the InoVEX 2022 Pitch Contest held in Taiwan.
Protecting heart patients from stroke
Israel’s Filterex Medical has completed successful trials of its CAPTIS device. The easily deployed device protected 20 patients during Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedures, preventing any embolic particles (debris) entering the bloodstream and causing a stroke.
Israel’s Sheba Medical Center has opened a specialized clinic to diagnose, treat and follow-up Bukharan Jews suffering from the life-shortening genetic disease oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD). The team includes ENTs, neurologists, oral and maxillofacial physicians, and ophthalmologists.
Genome sequencing for $100
Israeli-founded, US-based Ultima Genomics has emerged from secrecy to announce it has developed a sequencing machine that allows genome sequencing for a fraction of the cost of rival companies. With five Israelis in the leadership team, it has just raised $600 million in funding.
The goal of Israel’s Vim is to help change US medical care from “sick care” to “health care”. Vim links the payer to the provider to improve quality of patient care at lower cost, with efficient workflow, fast diagnoses, and proactive prevention. Read how the Israeli system differs from the US system.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Israel’s first female mine cleaner
20-year-old Eden is making history as the first-ever woman to work as a mine clearer in the Jewish state. “My boyfriend and I saw a job opening for mine clearers, applied, and were accepted,” she explained. She had extensive previous experience in the IDF’s engineering corps.
European diplomats clean up Bat Yam beach
On World Oceans Day, the European Union delegation to the State of Israel, the French Embassy, the Municipality of Bat Yam, and hundreds of Israeli volunteers performed an official clean-up of Bat Yam beach, south of Tel Aviv, as part of the annual #EUBeachCleanup campaign.
Chalk Over Hate
Artists 4 Israel (see here previously) sponsored an event in a National Day of Action against hate and anti-Semitism, inspired by the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. Artists all over the world spread messages of tolerance and love using just chalk and stencils.
The “Imam of Peace”
I don’t often include blogs in my newsletter, but the positive messages in this interview by Jonny Gould with Mohammad Tawhidi are well worth reading.
400 under 30
Israel hosted 400 young leaders from 34 countries at the 2022 Forbes Under 30 Summit EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa). One of the four days had Israeli Arabs, Jews, and Palestinian Arabs, working together, and with Israeli startups, on 10 projects to address challenges facing the Middle East.
Disabled veterans’ games
70 Israeli and 70 British disabled veterans competed against each other in the fourth annual Veteran Games in Tel Aviv. As part of the program, the participants also went on tours of Israel, including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and the Dead Sea.
Israeli Ambassador is VP of UN Assembly
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, has been elected Vice President of the UN General Assembly. As part of this role, Ambassador Erdan will chair General Assembly meetings and take part in setting the agenda for General Assembly deliberations.
The Paris Conference “Israel Back in Africa? Challenges and Opportunities,” hosted diplomats from Senegal, Egypt, Morocco, Ghana, Madagascar, Mali, and Somaliland. There were entrepreneurs from Nigeria and Cameroon and Nigeria’s Releaf signed an agreement with Israeli NGO VIP (see last week).
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
UN Ambassadors see Israeli innovations
At Israel’s Startup Nation Central, eleven UN ambassadors saw the products of SGTech (zero-carbon sustainable farming), Biotic (biodegradable replacement for plastic) and Ecowave Power (clean electricity from waves).
Israeli mathematicians share Shaw Prize
The 2022 Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences has been awarded to Israelis Noga Alon and Ehud Hrushovski for “their remarkable contributions to discrete mathematics and model theory; with interaction notably with algebraic geometry, topology, and computer sciences”.
Eight top Israeli scientists
The 2022 Blavatnik Prizes for Computer Science have been awarded to eight outstanding Israeli doctoral students from the Weizmann Institute, Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University. Sir Leonard Blavatnik said that Israeli computer science increasingly affects everyday lives around the world.
Hack the galaxy to get into space
Israel’s Rapyd (see here previously) has launched its Hack the Galaxy challenge. Developers who solve all 42 challenges can win tickets to ride to the edge of space aboard the Space Perspective Spaceship Neptune. They may, however, opt for a cash alternative prize of $130,000.
Making CO2 useful
How do you dispose of excess carbon dioxide (CO2)? Israel’s Carbonade converts it into reusable carbon byproducts. The co-founders found a chemical catalyst, developed by Israel’s Weizmann Institute that, when used with water, converts CO2 into anything from detergents to plastic to building material.
The best biochemical product of the year
The World BioProtection Forum (WBF) has awarded Best Biochemical Product to Israel’s STK Bio-Ag Technologies for REGEV, the first ‘hybrid’ foliar fungicide (see here previously).
Defending the planet
Scientists from Israel’s Weizmann Institute joined 100+ astronomers worldwide in a recent NASA planetary defense exercise. Weizmann’s David Polishook, director of Weizmann’s observatory, played a key role in the exercise’s mission to discover and assess the threat of a “near-Earth object” asteroid.
See 14 Israeli cybersecurity companies
Southern California-Israel Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with Elite Entrepreneur Organization is welcoming the “Merage-Homeland/Cybersecurity” presentation featuring 14 Israeli companies on June 15th, 2022 in Beverly Hills.
Welcome to the age of the drone
More about Israel’s Airwayz, (see here previously) whose software has been used to test the management and control of fleets of autonomous drones from multiple companies flying across Israel. See here for previous articles about Israel’s National Drone Network Initiative.
Everyone uses Israeli technology
Quote from the CEO of ETF Managers Group, “Most technology users, from online shoppers to Fortune 500 companies, are unaware that they use Israeli technology applications and solutions every day… Israeli innovations power some of the biggest names in the technology industry today.”
Solving the world’s traffic problems
Article featuring Israeli startups with hi-tech solutions to prevent traffic jams and parking nightmares. Those not previously reported in this newsletter include Mobi a.k.a. Mobility Insight (AI traffic management) and Trailze (navigation for urban micro-mobility providers).
Time moves on
An update on the time management app 24me (reported here Jun 2014) which has now been downloaded millions of times. Hillel Fuld interviews its co-founder and inventor of the smart personal assistant for busy individuals.
Revolutionizing rail ticketing
Israel’s Save A Train is the leader in digital B2B Rail ticketing worldwide and the largest global rail distributor. It operates services in over 12 European countries, plus China and is expanding to the USA, Canada, Australia etc., with features including dynamic pricing for train tickets.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Israel’s outlook is better than most
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has slashed its predictions for global economic growth due to the Ukraine situation and the Covid-19 pandemic. But the OECD expects that Israel will maintain a healthy 4.8% growth in 2022, compared to 3% in the OECD.
The fastest free trade agreement in Israel’s history
Just two years after the historic Abraham Accords, the new UAE-Israel free-trade agreement removes tariffs on 96% of goods between the two countries. It is expected to increase bilateral non-oil trade to over $10 billion within five years.
Upgrading a Unicorn to a Centaur
The large number Unicorns (private companies valued at $1 billion+) is making it difficult to identify promising stable ventures. A new term “Centaur” should be used to designate those Unicorns with an Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) of at least $100 million. There are 25 Israeli ones.
Entrepreneurship, Israel, and Ivy League students
Princeton’s Center for Jewish Life-Hillel is a partner in the planning and funding of Israel Tiger Trek, which is focused on Israeli entrepreneurs based in New York. It has led to startups like chef app WoodSpoon, and urban sharing platform TULU (see here previously).
Surge of interest in the hotel business
Israel’s Tourism Ministry has received 107 applications for grants to build new hotels or expand existing ones. The ministry has a budget of NIS 165 million for such grants, to support the rehabilitation of the country’s tourism industry in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Pangea to upgrade Jamaican voter registry
Israel-based Pangea has won a contract to supply technology to the Electoral Commission of Jamaica to support the establishment and maintenance of a biometric voter registry. Jamaica has four million voters and Pangea will help eliminate the risk of voter fraud.
A personalized hotel experience
Israel’s Duve helps hoteliers and hospitality professionals customize guest journeys and build a digital personalized experience. Prospective guests allow Duve to pass on details such as reason of visit, type (e.g., family/business/romantic) interests, language, travel method, food preferences etc.
The Video Exchange
Israel’s Truvid is an online video platform that connects content creators with media providers such as websites, applications, connected TV etc. Publishers use Truvid to monetize their sites and distribute content around the globe. Truvid gets the right video to the right audience.
Takeovers and mergers
Israel’s Elementor has acquired Israel’s Strattic, a web development and hosting solutions company for several million dollars.
Investment in Israeli startups to 12/6/22:
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
“Paths of the Righteous”
Ari Mittleman is the author of “Paths of the Righteous” about eight non-Jews who have gone above and beyond for Israel and the Jewish people. They include an African American who fought fires on the Gaza border and a Latino evangelical who convinced Guatemala to open an embassy in Jerusalem.
Paths of the Righteous: Stories of Heroism, Humanity and Hope: Mittleman, Ari: 9789657023730: Books – Amazon
Clil, Adama, and Kadita are just some of the villages in Israel’s Galilee that preserve the land in its wild nature. The houses are self-built, solar-powered, and the villagers grow fruit, grapes, and olives, raise goats and chickens, and process their products traditionally. For new residents there is a long waiting list.
Latest Israeli stamps
Jacob Richman has posted images of Israel’s new stamps – issued to celebrate the Jewish festival of Shavuot (Pentacost).
World’s largest vegan festival
Tel Aviv’s Vegan Fest, the largest vegan gathering when it began in 2019, has returned after the pandemic. 100+ food stalls offered dishes from vegan restaurants, and featured free cooking workshops, live music, children’s activities, plus workshops on everything from yoga to natural soap-making,
Top officials visit Israeli sports expo
Future Sport Israel Expo in Tel Aviv attracted delegates from the most popular sports leagues in the world. They included the NFL, Spanish & Italian soccer leagues and basketball top divisions. They saw Israeli innovations in broadcasting, performance analysis, players’ fitness and more.
THE JEWISH STATE
An Odyssey from Odessa to Israel
Last summer, a new Ukrainian immigrant to Israel went back to visit Ukraine and was tempted to return as it was bursting with life, while Israel had many restrictions. Several months later, Ukraine was at war and her children needed to be rescued. That’s when Chabad stepped in.
A heart-stopping Talmud lesson
A 70-year-old Israeli lost consciousness while studying Talmud in Kfar Chabad. Luckily Yitzchak, a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT, was in the same synagogue. He started CPR and called for backup. More paramedics arrived, successfully resuscitated the patient, and took him to hospital.
It has been Israeli Education Week and Sharon’s camera focused on Jerusalem’s centers of learning. There was certainly much activity (mostly physical) at the Jerusalem College of Technology and the groundbreaking ceremony for its new Machon Lev campus for 3,000 women.
Thousands of North Americans making Aliyah
Some 1,000 North Americans have immigrated to the Jewish State this year. Another 2,000+ are already registered to make Aliyah during the summer. Nefesh b’Nefesh have arranged 10 group flights, hosted a celebratory “Homecoming BBQ” and held a virtual “Mega” job fair.
Jerusalem in numbers
Imaginative video that counts down from 55 (years since Jerusalem was united) with 55 facts about Israel’s capital. Each number equates to one of the facts. All in 2 minutes and 20 seconds.
Liberia to open embassy in Jerusalem
Liberia announced it will open an official office in Jerusalem that will serve as a precursor to a full-fledged embassy in the future. This makes the West African nation the fifth country to open a mission in the Israeli capital after the U.S, Guatemala, Kosovo, and Honduras.