Recycling fair funds special needs program; Jerusalem hosts jazz and alternative music festival Jazz-Globus; Canadian-Arab Fred Maroun has advice for supporting the Jewish State; and much more!
By Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Implants made from patient’s own cells
Researchers at Tel Aviv University have developed the first fully personalized tissue implant, made from of a patient’s own fat cells. It means that eventually there will be no risk of an immune response to any organ implant, whether heart tissue, brain tissue or spinal cord.
ALS treatment gets FDA boost
The US FDA has just given Orphan status to the ALS treatment being developed by Israel’s Kadimastem (see here). The designation qualifies the company for various development incentives and less rigorous bureaucracy. Kadimastem expects results of its Israeli clinical trials in mid-2019.
Bio-artificial pancreas to fight diabetes
Israel’s Kadimastem is also partnering with France’s Defymed to develop a stem cell-based bio-artificial pancreas for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. They received NIS 5.4 million from the European Commission and the intergovernmental research organization EUREKA.
Targeting liver and metabolic disorders
Israeli biotech 89Bio has just raised $60 million to advance its pipeline of biologic and small molecule treatments for liver and metabolic disorders. 89Bio’s BIO89-100 is in a phase 1 clinical trial for treating nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a type of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Halting the growth of Mesothelioma
Scientists in the labs of Israel’s Technion and in the US have stopped the growth of mesothelioma – a cancer of the mesothelium membrane protecting the internal organs of the chest and abdomen. They found heparanase inhibitors PG545 and defibrotide slowed tumor growth. https://www.israel21c.org/cure-may-be-on-the-horizon-for-mesothelioma/
Repairing hearts again in Tanzania
Since 1999 (see here) surgeons from Israel’s Save a Child’s Heart have saved the lives of over 750 children from Tanzania. SACH doctors recently flew again to Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to conduct life-saving heart surgeries.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Recycling fair funds special needs program
Israeli mum Ayelet Sanens launched the Ashdod Environmental Preservation and Recycling Fair. Toys, cosmetics, costume jewelry, clothing, household items etc. were sold to raise funds for Israeli charity Ezer Mizion’s special summer program for special needs children in Ashdod.
In their shoes
The Israeli charity In Their Shoes (ITS) trains caregivers to better serve patients with compassion. ITS’ Virtual Dementia Tour allows participants to feel the effects of dementia – hence “In Their Shoes”. ITS also conducts the Music and Memory Program for residents in nursing homes.
New Israeli town to support special needs kids
I reported previously (19th Aug) about the new community named “Daniel” being built in the Negev that will provide home care for children (mainly Bedouin) with severe medical and therapeutic needs. Here is a much more detailed article on the new town and its aims.
Israeli-Arab captain of women’s basketball team
Shahd Abboud, who plays for the Hapoel Petah Tikvah women’s basketball team in Israel, opened the 2018/19 season as their new captain, making history as the first female Arab captain of a professional Israeli basketball team.
Friendship born on the soccer field
Nice story about Motke (“Berko”) Berkowitz and Mohammed Einan who have been friends for over sixty years, having played on Hapoel Nahariya’s soccer team in the 1950s and 1960s. Each week, Berko drives from Shavei Zion to the coastal village of Mazra’a to have coffee with Einan.
Bahrain invites Startup Nation Minister
Israel’s Economy Minister Eli Cohen has received an invitation from Bahrain to participate in its “Startup Nations Ministerial” – an international high-tech conference. Cohen will join global leaders aiming to boost bilateral technology initiatives and partner on policy initiatives.
Trade with Arab states
Despite lack of diplomatic relations, trade between Israel and Morocco was worth $37 million in 2017 ($149 million since 2014). Israeli drip irrigation specialist Netafim even setup a $2.9m subsidiary in Morocco last year, having operated there unofficially since 1994. Opportunities abound!
Five new ambassadors
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin received diplomatic credentials from the new Ambassadors to the State of Israel of Croatia, Jordan, Czech Republic, Egypt and Mongolia.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Thousands to attend security conference
5,000 people, 175 companies and representatives from over 80 countries will attend the International Homeland Security & Cyber Conference in Tel Aviv starting 19th Nov. 170 Israeli companies will also showcase an extensive array of innovative security technologies.
New Technion Innovation Center
Israel’s Council for Higher Education (CHE) has awarded NIS 10 million to Israel’s Technion Institute to establish “t-hub” – The Technion Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center. It will help connect the Technion’s activities to the new branches of Technion in New York and China.
TAU nanotech partnership with NWU
I reported recently (29th Oct) that Tel Aviv University (TAU) and 3 Illinois universities are building an innovation center in Chicago. Now TAU and Northwestern Uni are to establish a nanotech program and TAU center, funded by a multi-million donation from Roman Abramovich.
Helping India to innovate
Israel is to set up an India-Israeli Innovation Centre (IIIC) in Bengaluru (Bangalore), the first startup incubation facility in India. The 10,000 square feet facility will be operated by startup hub MESH (Modiin Entrepreneurs’ Startup Hub). Two more IIICs will open soon.
Water research with Louisiana
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards attended the signing of a research Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at Ben Gurion University with the Water Institute of the Gulf in Baton Rouge. The two institutions will conduct joint research and exchange research staff and students.
Israel’s Water Authority (Mekoret) has begun work on the $300 million project to pump desalinated water into the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). It is also removing thousands of tons of salt from the lake. https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/sinking-sea-of-galilee-to-get-infusion-of-desalinated-water/
Turning human waste into fuel
Ben-Gurion University scientists have shown for the first time that human poop can be converted by hydrothermal carbonization into a safe, reusable fuel (biomass) and a nutrient rich fertilizer. It addresses two major worldwide issues of sanitation and fuel for energy.
Protecting the aviation industry
A group of leading Israeli cybersecurity firms, plus Israel’s Economy and Industry Ministry, have set up a new cyber consortium for the aviation industry. It will offer comprehensive, end-to-end cybersecurity solutions for the commercial aviation industry: airports, airlines and aircraft.
Artificially Intelligent microchips
Israel’s Habana Labs uses artificial intelligence to improve performance of microprocessor chips and lower their costs and power consumption. The processors are aimed at the specific needs of training deep neural networks. Habana has just received $75 million of funding, including from Intel.
Keeping IT clean
Israel’s OzCode has launched the IT industry’s first Debugging-as-a-Service (DaaS) and raised $3.5 million in seed funding. OzCode focuses app developers on innovation rather than the tedious task of cleaning badly written computer code and fixing bugs.
Streamlining office communications
Israeli startup Chatway has developed simple tools that will seamlessly convert haphazard on-line chats (emails, social messaging etc.) into business opportunities. CEO Shahar Mintz explained more on ILTV News about how Chatway’s productivity tools are used by non-tech companies.
Bringing children’s books to life
Israel’s Inception has launched “Bookful” – a new app that will let readers add augmented reality features to specific books published by Penguin Random House LLC. Initially, 6 books, including “The Tale of Peter Rabbit”, will come to life, enabling children to interact with the characters.
The new way to contact emergency services
I reported previously (see here) on Israeli startup Reporty, now renamed Carbyne, and its emergency services video distress platform used by Magen David Adom. Carbyne and its C-Now app is used in 30 cities in the US, Mexico, Europe, Israel and Singapore. It could save your life.
European comic book features Israeli research
This is good news. The European Research Council (ERC) funds research into invisibility by Professor Ulf Leonhardt of Israel’s Weizmann Institute. The ERC has made the research more accessible to the public by featuring “And the Invisible” in its popular ERCcOMICS series.
Predicting the fruit harvest
Israel’s FruitSpec has developed hyperspectral machine vision technology that scans the trees in an orchard to count the fruit and estimate yields six months before the harvest. Latest trials show 90% accuracy – more than double that of alternative current estimation methods.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Asia wants Israeli finance technology
Israeli companies are benefiting from the increasing demand in Asia for financial technology. Israeli exhibitors at the Hong Kong FinTech Week conference included AU10TIX (see here), and ThetaRay (see here).
Israel’s Ministry of Education has approved an enrichment program called Entrepreneurship for Kids (EFK). Developed by Israeli serial entrepreneur Galit Zamler, EFK is a fun way to introduce children of all ages to entrepreneurial skills, while finding and fostering their personal strengths.
Symantec buys another Israeli cyber company
US cybersecurity giant Symantec Corp has made its third Israeli cybersecurity acquisition in a year, adding Javelin Networks to its recent purchases of Israel’s Skycure ($275 million) and Fireglass ($250 million). Javelin now plans to double the size of its R&D center in Tel Aviv.
Get your vacation off to a sweet start
Israeli startup Sweet Inn uses “TravelTech” to offer its clientele an innovative and hassle-free vacation experience. It offers guests airport transfer, grocery and breakfast delivery, a personal chef, romantic surprises, housekeeping, wifi hotspots and more.
Water and jobs for America
Israel’s WaterGen has opened a factory in Columbia, South Carolina that will employ 400 people building its “water from the air” machines. WaterGen plans to open 3 more factories in the next 2 years. WaterGen’s Yehuda Kaploun revealed even more on Fox Business News.
A better image
UK image products giant Vitec Group has acquired its Israeli chipmaker supplier Amimon in a $55 million cash deal. Vitec’s CEO said, “Amimon is the technology of choice for wireless equipment used in the cine market” and Vitec will integrate the company into its creative solutions division.
Huge acquisition by Israeli security company
In contrast to recent big takeovers of Israeli companies, Israeli cybersecurity company ForeScout has just bought US-Netherlands security company SecurityMatters for $113 million. SecurityMatters provides extended enterprise operational technology (OT) network protection.
Deep learning tech for Hyundai
Hyundai Motors has made a strategic investment in Israeli computer vision deep learning startup allegro.ai that will allow more rapid deployment of Artificial Intelligent technology in many business areas and improve the quality of Hyundai’s products.
Repair the past, connect the future
Israel’s Krausz Industries have been connecting and repairing water pipes for about 90 years with millions of installations globally. Krausz has just been acquired by Atlanta’s Mueller Water Products for $140 million.
WeWork is worth $42 billion
I’ve reported previously (see here) on co-working office space company WeWork, co-founded by Israel’s Adam Neumann. WeWork has just received a $3 billion investment from SoftBank which takes the value of WeWork to a massive $42 billion (up from $20 billion in June).
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Jazz Globus Festival
Jerusalem hosts the jazz and alternative music festival Jazz-Globus from Nov 27 to Dec 1. It is known as one of the best quality jazz festivals in Israel and features four concerts with 20 musicians from Israel, USA, Russia, Cuba, Italy, Poland, Germany, Argentina and Brazil. http://www.jazzglobus.com/ https://www.carnifest.com/jazz-globus-in-jerusalem-2018/
Lost in Translation (but now found again)
Rabbi Jeffrey Saks edits English translations and lectures on the works of Israel’s Nobel laureate author S.Y.Agnon – the only Hebrew author ever to receive a Nobel Prize. Thanks to Rabbi Saks, his writing is now being re-introduced to a new audience in the English-speaking world.
South American dance in Tel Aviv
On 30th Nov, the Compas Dance Company presents AgauDulce at the Suzzanne Dallel Center in Tel Aviv. Argentinian tango dancers will perform a group of rhythms that was imported from South America, became connected to the Spanish musical tradition and created a new language.
Tel Aviv Illustration Week
More than 50 exhibitions by hundreds of Israeli illustrators, designers and artists will be open to the public, mostly free of charge, during the fifth edition of Illustration Week in Tel Aviv, Nov 15-24. The exhibitions take place in Old Jaffa, Rothschild Boulevard, the Eretz Israel Museum and more.
Tel Aviv’s Night Run and more
Tel Aviv’s annual 10km Night Run went ahead as planned. Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai invited Israeli residents from communities near the Gaza border to participate in the run, free of charge. Tel Aviv community centers hosted 200 Southern Israel families, who also had free museum visits.
THE JEWISH STATE
Six effective ways to stand with Israel
Canadian-Arab Fred Maroun has advice for supporting the Jewish State. Be informed. Put ethics ahead of partisanship. Speak up for Israel among your peers. Speak up wisely on social media. Support Israel’s economy (with links). Be a role model in respecting Israel’s democracy.
Massive project to support Israel
I reported previously (May 2015) about the Friends of Zion Museum which opened its doors in Jerusalem. The FoZ now has 50 million supporters and is launching a $100 million project to help educate pro-Israel supporters around the world about the Jewish state, its challenges and achievements.
A hundred friends
One hundred Christian Zionists visited Israel, led by Pastor John Hagee of Christians United For Israel (CUFI). Whilst here, they visited the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem where its founder Dr. Mike Evans presented Hagee with an award for his steadfast support of Israel and the Jewish people.
Czech FM visits Western Wall
Israel’s Ambassador in Prague Daniel Meron, accompanied Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček to the Western Wall in Jerusalem – the first time a European foreign minister is joined at the wall by an Israeli diplomat.
Wiki publishes 28,000 Israeli archive photos
28,000 public-domain pre-1947 photos extracted from public and private archives in Israel are now available on Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Israel developed automatic tools to scan through the previously unsearchable online Israeli archives.
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