A facemask that cleans itself; How Israeli companies retained employees; How Israeli companies retained employees; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Gaucher’s treatment also works for Covid-19. In animal tests
Israel’s Institute for Biological Research has found two treatments for the genetic disorder Gaucher’s disease are also effective against Covid-19 and other viruses (e.g. West Nile). Cerdelga is already approved for Gaucher’s and Venglustat may be fast-tracked.
Testing Nitric Oxide treatment on Covid-19 patients
Israel’s Beyond Air develops LungFit – a revolutionary Nitric Oxide (NO) generator and delivery system. The US FDA and Health Canada have approved the use of LungFit in COVID-19 treatment trials in both countries.
Israeli-Italian partners for Covid-19 treatment
Israeli biotech Kamada (see here) has partnered Italy’s Kedrion to develop a human plasma-derived Anti-SARs-COV-2 product. Kamada will use its proprietary IgG platform technology and Kedrion will provide plasma from donors who have recovered from the virus.
Patch for monitoring Covid-19 patients
Israel’s G Medical has received Emergency Use Authorization from the US FDA for its Vital Signs Monitoring System (VSMS) ECG Patch. It can be used to monitor Covid-19 patients whose treatment includes medication that may cause life-threatening arrhythmias.
Treating diabetic children in Texas
Israel’s DreaMed Diabetes (reported here previously) is integrating its Advisor Pro software at Texas Children’s Hospital. It allows diabetic children to be monitored remotely and avoids the risk of them (and their parents / guardians) being infected in hospital with Covid-19.
The ICU of the (near) future
HealthSpace 2030, Israel’s high-tech Intensive Care Unit of the future was unveiled in the ARC center of Sheba hospital. 11 technologies integrate augmented reality, communication, monitoring, AI, sensing, and robotic technologies to maximize care and comfort while minimizing risk to staff.
Cancer treatment gets $0.9 million boost
Israel’s VBL Therapeutics (reported here previously) has been awarded a grant of up to $0.9 million by the Israel Innovation Authority. It will support the Phase 3 study of VBL’s lead candidate VB-111 for the treatment of platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.
Funding for 16 research projects on personalized medicine
The Israel Precision Medicine Partnership (IPMP – reported here previously), has granted another NIS 60 million to 16 projects researching into specific targeted personalized medicine that can treat ailments such as autism, cancers and trauma.
Personalized pregnancy care
Israel’s NUVO has partnered with Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital to develop an AI platform for accurate decision-making about pregnancy complications. NUVO has also just received US FDA approval for its INVU device (reported here previously) to be used in monitoring maternal fetal heart rate.
A better medical trial experience
Israel’s Habitu (see here) develops a platform specifically targeting clinical trials and patient support programs in community-based healthcare. It provides flexible, continuous, emotional, professional and procedural support to patients, leading to more efficient trials and lower drop-out rates.
Heart stent gets Breakthrough status
Israel’s Endospan (reported here previously) has been granted Breakthrough Device Designation from the U.S. FDA for its NEXUS Aortic Arch Stent Graft System. It already has the CE Mark of European approval.
Decoding the immune system
Israel’s Immunai is developing a technological platform that aims to map the entire immune system for better detection, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. It uses single cell genomics that could in the future unlock the secrets of infections, cancer and autoimmune diseases.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
A prosthetic arm to play the violin
Yael, from Petah Tikvah, was born without her left arm but always hoped to play the violin. At an event of Tikkun Olam Makers (TOM – reported here previously), Israeli students from Shenkar College of Engineering, Arts, and Design, built the device that made her dream a reality.
https://tomglobal.org/project?id=5e6f8f2b94711e10b13ebdff (includes video of Yael playing the violin)
Two Ethiopian Israeli women become border police officers
Sub-Inspector Oshrat Negosa and Sub-Inspector Tikva Makonnen have made history. They are the first Israeli women to be promoted to the rank of officer in the Border Police, where they will command platoons of new recruits.
Happy Eid to Israel’s Muslim citizens
Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin and other prominent leaders extended greetings to Israel’s Muslims in honor of Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that marks the end of the month of Ramadan. Knesset speaker Yariv Levin delivered his own Eid el-Fitr greeting, in fluent Arabic, from the Knesset podium.
IsraAID is now working in Israel
Volunteers from Israeli NGO IsraAID are usually in far-flung countries such as Haiti, Nepal and even the USA. But the Covid-19 crisis meant many had to return to Israel. So, they now work as part of a coronavirus response project to help the children of refugees and migrants in Tel Aviv.
Four US States build bridges to Israeli tech
Many US states are expanding links with Israeli companies during the pandemic. Key drivers are the Florida Israel Business Accelerator, Tulsa Oklahoma’s hub for healthcare and cybersecurity; the Texas-Israel Alliance and the Arizona Israel Trade and Investment Office.
Educating global disadvantaged communities
Thousands of post-army or post-high school Israeli volunteers help underdeveloped countries by participating in the Jewish Agency’s Project T.E.N. (Tikkun Empowerment Network) – see here. It now operates in Uganda, Mexico, Ghana, Greece, South Africa and Cambodia.
Israel praised on Lebanese TV
In an interview on Lebanon-based TV station LBC TV, Lebanese Journalist Nadim Koteich said, “Israel is scientific, economic, cultural, and military power”. He reported that the per capita contribution of each citizen to GDP was $3600 in Israel whilst in Lebanon it was just $360.
Asiatic lion cubs born at Jerusalem zoo
Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo saw the birth of a pair of Asiatic lions cubs, the first such animals born in captivity in Israel. Their parents Gir and Yasha were brought to Israel from Sweden and Germany as part of the European endangered species breeding program.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/first-lion-cubs-born-in-captivity-at-jerusalem-zoo/ (Very cute video in report)
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
4D sensors detect Covid-19
Israel’s Government is using 4D radar sensors from Israel’s Vayyar to detect and monitor vital signs that can indicate early-stage COVID-19 symptoms. The sensors can be placed in hospitals, care homes, factories, airports, public transport, borders etc., to minimize exposure and face-to-face contact.
A facemask that cleans itself
Ein-Eli is dean of the faculty of materials science and engineering at Israel’s Technion Institute. He has applied for a US patent for his invention of a facemask with a USB-powered carbon fiber heating element that kills germs in under 30 minutes.
Software to accelerate Covid-19 trials
Ben Gurion University student Daniel Iluz-Freundlich has developed a software program to help find and enroll Covid-19 positive patients in trials for new treatments and vaccines. He has provided the app PI-Enroll at no cost to COVID-19 trials underway in North America, Asia and Europe.
Virtual camera to detect overcrowding
Israel’s Nexar (reported here previously) developed its dashboard smartphone camera to prevent vehicle accidents. It has now launched a Virtual Camera to help public officials resolve overcrowding issues – e.g. at public events, recreational areas and even hospital entrances.
Israeli drone has life-rafts for search and rescue
Elbit Systems’ Hermes 900 maritime patrol drone has been equipped with 4 six-person inflatable life-saver rafts, plus detection and identification capabilities as part of a new search and rescue (SAR) package. It can operate for 24+ hours, in adverse weather conditions.
Israeli wins top Math prize
Hebrew University’s David Kazhdan won the 2020 Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences – the first Israeli ever to receive the so-called “Nobel of the East.” It recognized his “huge influence on, and profound contributions to, representation theory, as well as many other areas of mathematics.”
Security in the code
Cybersecurity startup Bridgecrew’s Israel-based R&D team develops and delivers security as code so that anyone can deploy the defenses needed to protect their cloud infrastructure. Bridgecrew recently emerged from stealth mode with $14 million of new funding. https://bridgecrew.io/
Smart fleet management
Israel’s Autofleet uses Artificial Intelligence to generate “Vehicle as a Service”. Its software maximizes the use and revenue of each vehicle, minimizing downtime through automated servicing. It allows managers to simulate ride sharing and revenue predicting. Autofleet has just raised $7.5 million of funds.
Reducing the cost of computing
Israel’s Granulate has a patent-pending solution that improves an organization’s computer workload performance with up to 60% less computer resources. It means a huge reduction in costs without requiring any changes in the customer’s code. https://granulate.io/
Israel’s ScoutCam develops minimally invasive endo-surgical tools and innovative imaging solutions. Their CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) video cameras include one of the smallest cameras in the world. They are used by surgeons, by NASA in outer space and to inspect nuclear reactors.
Fast checkout with visual recognition
Israel’s Shekel Scales uses AI and visual recognition to automatically identify products at self-checkout, even if in an acrylic supermarket bag. It also weighs fruit and vegetables.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Record Q1 funds raised
Israeli companies raised $2.74 billion in the first quarter of 2020 – 76% more than Q1 2019. March saw a slowdown, but funds raised in April were nearly $1 billion.
Nine years of the Israel-Asia Center
The Israel-Asia Center (reported here previously) was founded in 2011 Since then it has secured some $185 million for the Israeli economy. Its 8-month fellowship has trained almost 100 young leaders from 14 different countries across Asia, including Indonesia and Malaysia.
US gets good value from Israel
The US gets a high return on its annual $3.8 billion Israeli investment. Israel invests almost $24 billion in the US, nearly triple that in 2010. Israeli-designed components are an integral part of US hi-tech products. Areas include IT, biotech, life sciences, energy, defense, cyber-security and much more.
Ukraine-Israel trade to expand
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky discussed with and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu expanding the Free Trade Area Agreement, promoting Israeli investment and resuming flights. He also said that Israel is “an example of an effective fight against the coronavirus epidemic.”
Resuming tourist flights to Cyprus
Cyprus announced that Israel will be in the first group of 13 countries, with low COVID-19 infection rates, allowed to resume commercial flights to the country on 9th June. Initially, passengers will require a health certificate confirming that they are virus-free. Cyprus hotels open on 1st June.
How Israeli companies retained employees
Several Israeli firms took major steps during the pandemic to avoid losing skilled staff. Ness Technologies and VeriFone Systems re-assigned many employees from clients who froze their business activity to clients that had increased demand or moved them to development projects.
Turning cleaners into computer staff
When Covid-19 struck, Israeli company Lightricks (developer of photo editing software Facetune) sent home its nine cleaners. Days later, maintenance manager Nadav changed their lives. He taught them basic computer skills and had them inputting photos of faces for image processing.
IKEA opens its 6th Israeli store
As reported here previously, IKEA’s sixth Israeli store has been built at Moshav Eshtaol – north of Beit Shemesh. Now, as the number of coronavirus infections in Israel has dropped, the new store has opened, employing some 380 people.
BuyMe gift vouchers
Micha Berkuz, Shai Darin, and Tal Zuri, established BuyMe in 2012 and turned it into Israel’s leading platform for employee gift vouchers, offering vouchers to more than 1,000 businesses. They have now sold their share in the company to Tel Aviv-based Teleclal Group for NIS 81 million.
Vegan baby formula heads to Canada and India
Israel’s Else Nutrition (reported here previously) has just been granted approval of patent applications for its plant-based formulation for infant and toddler populations in both India and Canada.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
We were all born in Jerusalem
The first ever English translation of former Israeli PM Menachem Begin’s amazing literary speech in 1972, about his past and present homelands. (Need to register for free trial)
Israeli Innovation – read all about it
Avi Jorisch’s amazing book, “Thou Shalt Innovate” (reported here previously) has now been translated into 30 languages – most recently into Thai. See this latest interview with Avi in the Bangkok Post (in English!).
The Mayor of Nof Hagalil in Northern Israel sent a veterinarian and an electricity department truck with a crane to rescue a fox from the second-floor windowsill of its national insurance office. How the fox got there is unclear, but it readily jumped into the crane’s net. Near the ground it jumped out and fled the scene.
Israel re-opens bars, cafes and restaurants
Israel’s restaurants, cafes and bars have reopened after two months closure. Israel’s PM said “We want to help the economy, but also ease your lives, make it possible for you to get out, return to normalcy, get a cup of coffee, a glass of beer as well, so first of all have fun,”
Feeding the fish at Jerusalem’s aquarium
60 volunteer divers clean and maintain the fish tanks at the Israel Aquarium in Jerusalem. They also feed a few of the fish that cannot have their food thrown to them from above. The aquarium’s 33 tanks hold hundreds of fish that represent Israel’s diverse maritime environment.
THE JEWISH STATE
Arab praises Jew who returned lost property
More details of that story (see here) of a religious Jew who traced the Palestinian Arab who lost a bag containing NIS 40,000. On Kol Hai Radio, the Arab said “I am happy I ended up, thank G-d, with someone good, who returned the money to me. He’s a holy man.”
Bride invites EMT “savior” to her wedding
EMT Yoav Shemaryahu saved Hila Meuda’s life after a kitchen accident sent boiling wax all over her face and arms. Yoav helped her to remove the wax slowly in a way that would not exacerbate the burns. A year later, Hila phoned Yoav to thank him and to invite him to her wedding.
Shavuot in the Land of Milk and Honey
It is traditional to have dairy foods on the Jewish festival of Shavuot (Pentecost) – the most popular being cheesecake and blintzes. Israel has over 800 dairy farms and the Israeli Holstein breed of cow produces on average the highest quantity of milk in the world.
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