ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Covid-19 therapy also helps cancer patients
MesenCure – the life-saving Covid-19 treatment from Israel’s Bonus BioGroup (see here) also prevents a lethal inflammatory response that affects cancer patients receiving immunotherapy. In California trials MesenCure significantly reduced an overreaction of the immune system.
Slowing the progress of ALS
Israel’s Neuromagen (see here previously) has received US FDA Orphan designation for its AGS-499 candidate treatment of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. AGS-499 has shown outstanding promise in lab tests, including using human cells.
Life-changing 5-min blood test device
Israel’s PixCell Medical (see here previously) has donated a HemoScreen 5-minute blood test device, along with hundreds of cartridges, to Ukraine, as it is ideal for “extreme point of care” use. It is also essential for emergencies and for patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Fast DNA sequencing
Israel’s Sequentify, a spinoff of Israel’s Weizmann Institute, enables fast and focused DNA sequencing, by combining tools from synthetic biology and artificial intelligence. Its Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) products include Covid-19 surveillance, cancer diagnostics, carrier screening and more.
Speeding development of treatments
Israel’s Code Ocean has developed a consistent, secure, digital lab that integrates research in the cloud and helps speed medical and scientific discoveries to market. It enhances computational science and aims to boost the rapid development of treatments including personalized medicine.
Herbal medicine in a chocolate bar
Israel’s Solveat has manufactured health bars that are adapted to take herbal medicine extracts to treat specific medical conditions. The medicine can be eaten with a meal like ordinary food in the form of chocolate, crackers, or health bars.
Honor for biochemist
Professor Nahum Sonenberg has been awarded an honorary doctorate at Israel’s Ben Gurion University. Born in a DP camp, his came to Israel in 1949, eventually studying biochemistry at Tel Aviv University. His groundbreaking work on proteins has advanced research into memory, cancer, autism and more.
An implant to relieve back pain
Ofer Levy, CEO at Israel’s ZygoFix (see here previously) explains how his company’s implant can relieve lower back and leg pain caused by pressure on the spine. The ZygoFix solution is far less invasive than current screws and bridge fusion surgery and is performed in the outpatient department.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Inclusive, innovative, and sustainable
Another chance to see Israeli-Arab journalist Lucy Aharish from Nazareth, (see here previously), taking us on a whistle-stop tour of Israeli technology, involving all sections of Israel’s talented and diverse population.
Peace through ice cream.
Alaa, an Israeli-Arab from Tarshiha in the Galilee opened Buza Ice-Cream with his Jewish business partner Adam. Buza (see here previously) employs Arabs, Jews, Christians and Musims. Alaa is motivated by the Abraham Accords and hopes to expand across Israel and Arab countries.
Relations with Turkish universities
Tel Aviv University and three Turkish universities are to advance the Academic Bridge Initiative, which comprises a series of academic collaborations, including student and faculty exchange programs and joint research initiatives. The move comes amidst warming Israel-Turkey relations.
Women-only business program
This fall, Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) begins a 3-year Business Administration program at its Tal Campus for women. It will be the first English-speaking business degree course in Jerusalem exclusively for women, enabling more religious women to participate in higher education.
Reducing pollution from the fashion industry
Israel’s Startup Nation Central (SNC) is promoting its Climate Solutions Prize competition (see last week) to the 750+ Israeli startups that advance Israel’s green agenda. Here, SNC emphasizes their huge positive impact on the high-polluting fashion industry.
New Israeli Ambassador to Chad
Israel’s ambassador to Chad, Ben Bourgel, presented his credentials to the country’s president, Mahamat Idriss Deby Into. He is the first Israeli envoy to Chad in 50 years and pledged that Israel will work with Chad on activities related to climate, agriculture, water management and health.
Bedridden Ukrainian refugees airlifted to Israel
Three bedridden elderly Ukrainian refugees have been evacuated from their war-torn country to receive proper medical care in Israel. The rescue operation involved the Jewish Agency, the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), and Israeli NGO United Hatzalah.
Smart classrooms for smart refugee children
Israel’s SmartAID is opening hundreds of online smart classrooms in Moldova, Poland and other neighboring countries. They allow first- to 12th-graders fleeing the war in Ukraine to continue learning with their geographically scattered classmates and teachers.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Helping to speak better English
Israeli startup Speak has created a marketplace that enables students to connect with language teachers worldwide at any given moment. Its AI machine learning system helps students track their progress to see where they could benefit from live instruction.
Protecting heavy equipment
Israeli startup Ception has unveiled MineCept – an AI-based system that reduces accidents and improves productivity and profitability of heavy equipment at construction sites, mines, quarries, and industrial plants. MineCept comprises hardware & sensors, a central control, and a site awareness system.
Partnering South Korea to develop robotics tech
Israel’s Innovation Authority has launched the Lighthouse Program together with the Korea-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation. It will fund joint Israel-Korean robotics projects up to $5.3 million in sectors including health, social and agriculture. Also, see here previously.
Enabling intelligent decision-making
Israel’s Pyramid Analytics (see here previously) has developed a decision intelligence platform that aims to help business managers make faster, more intelligent decisions. Clients include Liberty of London, Siemens, VW, London Stock Exchange, and Deloitte.
Detecting wildfires before they spread
Israel’s Terra Space Lab aims to alert firefighters to forest fires before they “explode”, wreaking havoc on biodiversity and people’s homes. It will launch some 25 tiny CubeSats into space, each with remote sensing Earth Observation technology to scan large areas of the planet in real-time.
Expanding universe of SpaceTech
The Israel Space Agency and Innovation Authority is investing NIS 600 million over 5 years to boost Israel’s space industry. It also plans to launch the Shalom satellite for commercial research, in partnership with the Italian space agency. And Tel Aviv held the ISP-TYPE5 SpaceTech Summit.
Showcasing futuristic transportation
3,000 people attended each day of EcoMotion Week 2022 in Tel Aviv. They saw autonomous vehicles, algorithm-based traffic control, cybersecurity, and small-scale aviation solutions, such as drones and flying cars. Israel’s StoreDot demo’d recharging an EV battery in 10 minutes.
No driver needed to park your car
Israel’s Ministry of Transport and Road Safety has decided following testing, to allow vehicles to identify a space and park independently of the driver. The automated parking option is available on the Tesla, and a similar function is on Hyundai’s IONIQ 5 electric vehicles sold in Israel.
Leading the in-tree intelligence revolution
Anat Halgoa, Co-Founder and CEO at Israel’s Saturas (see here previously) discuss its device that can monitor the health and needs of trees.
Prefab housing goes hi-tech
In contrast to Jerusalem’s Amir center (see last week), Israel’s Veev (see here previously) constructs beautiful, modern pre-fabricated houses. Veev built 78 units for the homeless in San Jose, in a fraction of the time, cost and carbon footprint of traditional housing.
Israel seeks new heights
Informative article on the plans to build skyscrapers in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (Azrieli and Ramat Gan). Plus, the view in Haifa, where obscuring the skyline is definitely over the limit.
Study hi-tech now, pay later
Israel’s Masterschool has developed a network of schools that train students for careers in software development, data analysis, cybersecurity, and more. Students only pay the fees when they get a suitable job. There are currently 30 schools in 20 countries and plans for 70 more in the current year.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
S&P affirms Israel’s AA- rating
Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has kept Israel’s favorable rating unchanged at AA- with a “stable” outlook. It cited Israel’s strong 2021 performance, a robust economy, and fiscal outturns that helped “net general government debt fall below its pre-pandemic level more quickly,”
54% of exports are hi-tech
For the first time in Israel’s history, high tech exports accounted for more than 50% of the country’s exports in 2021. In another first, more than 10% of all Israelis now work in the high-tech industry – some 362.000 employees.
The EIT Hub Israel (see here previously), which bridges the Israeli and European tech ecosystems, has selected 6 Israeli & 7 European startups to take part in its scale-up program. Calling2Scale is a project that helps firms with working products to reach global markets through grants and industry connections.
Urban renewal in 12 cities
Israel is to provide about NIS 500 million to support urban renewal initiatives in 12 Israeli cities. It will benefit Ashdod, Bet Shemesh, Bat Yam, Givatayim, Hadera, Haifa, Jerusalem, Lod, Netanya, Kiryat Ono, Kiryat Yam, and Ramat Gan. Municipalities now must submit appropriate plans.
Grants for smarter construction
The Israeli government is offering substantial grants and opportunities for companies that can deliver technologies and products to streamline the construction process and transform building sites. It includes new methods, materials, automation, robotics, and waste reduction.
Radar for Philippine Navy
Israel Aerospace Industries is to supply the Philippine Navy with IAI’s Alpha 3D radar systems. The deal was concluded thanks to IAI’s partnership with Hyundai Heavy Industries.
Drone in a box rolls out in Florida
Israel’s Percepto (see here previously) is implementing what it calls “the largest commercial autonomous drone project in the world”. In Phase 1, it will deploy 13 drones to monitor power plants at Florida Power & Light, increasing to hundreds more drones in the next 5 years.
Saudis to invest in Israel
Jared Kushner’s Affinity Partners private-equity fund has raised over $3 billion and has reportedly already selected the first two Israeli firms to invest in. The fund includes a $2 billion commitment from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund.
Holograms on ice
Israel’s TetaVi (see here previously) has partnered with the National Hockey League’s (NHL) LA Kings to bring thrilling 3D experiences to the ice. The LA Kings are the first team in the NHL to use volumetric capture technology to create immersive content and experiences for their fans.
Developing Saffron in the Gaza envelope
Israel’s Saffron Tech (see here previously) has opened a NIS 1.5 million Research & Development center in Moshav Mavki’im, north of Gaza. Saffron Tech expects to open its first commercial plant next year.
Israeli engines for India
Israel’s EVR Motors (see here previously) is to manufacture light-weight electric motors for India’s Badve’s 2-wheeler and 3-wheeler electric vehicles. Badve’s EV President stated, “This partnership is in line with our core vision of sustainability and net zero emissions through green mobility.”
Investment for all
Investment company Peak is launching its operations in Israel and will allow the general public to invest in Israeli startups alongside venture capital funds. Peak plans to invest only in early-stage startups, with low-value funding rounds, suitable for small investors.
Israel’s Optibus (see here previously) is Israel’s first public transportation industry Unicorn, raising $100 million in funds to reach a valuation of $1.3 billion. Unit.co (see here previously) also raised $100 million for a valuation of $1.2 billion and the first banking-as-service platform to gain Unicorn status.
Investment in Israeli startups to 22/5/22:
Masterschool raised $100 million; Optibus raised $100 million; Unit raised $100 million; Buildots raised $60 million; A.Team raised $55 million; Imagindairy raised $15 million; Kissterra raised $10 million (plus $66 million in July 2021); ProDrops raised $5 million;
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Who by fire?
Matti Friedman discusses his new book on Leonard Cohen’s extraordinary tour for IDF troops on the Yom Kippur War front lines in 1973. The event will be held on Tuesday, May 24 at 19:30 at Jerusalem’s First Station (Tachana Rishona) and will be accompanied by a live band playing Leonard Cohen standards.
VR experience at Jerusalem’s First Station
Israel’s Yaturu, in partnership with the Aspaklaria Theatre, have opened a new VR interactive experience at the First Station in Jerusalem. It tells the story of Jerusalem throughout the generations and includes an interactive game.
Arab-Israeli wins kickboxing world championship
Loai Sakas, an Israeli Christian Arab won the under-75 kg kickboxing gold medal at the world championship kickboxing championships in Turkey. After his victory, Sakas draped himself with the Israeli flag, saying that his goal in representing Israel is to promote coexistence.
THE JEWISH STATE
Another beautiful morning in Jerusalem
A positive message for the times when not everything is perfect.
The streets are busy again
Jerusalem’s events include the annual bike ride, visits by Ecuador’s President and Kosova’s Foreign Minister, Lone Soldier Sefer Torah dedication, Nefesh b’Nefesh Bonei awards, and the International Book Forum. Sharon also toured the new MDA National Blood Services Center in Ramle.
Take a tour under Jerusalem
See the result of the latest excavations underneath the City of David in Jerusalem. Uniquely, as opposed to most tourist attractions, the City of David site changes constantly and reveals more of the fascinating history of the Bible.
Herzl’s manuscript displayed in Jerusalem
On the 120th anniversary of its publication, the priceless original German manuscript of Theodor Herzl’s novel “Altneuland” is on display for the first time in public at the Herzl Center in Jerusalem. The novel describes the modern Zionism founder’s vision of the Jewish State.
Planting the seeds of content
The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and KKL-JNF held a special tree-planting ceremony at the Eshtaol Nursery in the Jerusalem Hills. The seedlings were planted in pots and will only be transferred to the ground after the end of the Shemitta year during which the Land of Israel rests.
4 sisters are Lone Soldiers
A Boston family just made history when its 4th and youngest daughter made Aliyah, serving in the Israel Defense Forces at the same time as her three older sisters. It is the first recorded occurrence of a family from the U.S. having four daughters serving in the IDF simultaneously.