Aiming for the Moon, with the UAE; Israeli drama wins an Emmy; Is this the “lost” Temple balsam?; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Silencing tumor communications
Researchers at Israel’s Technion Institute have developed a breakthrough cancer treatment by injecting analgesic nanoparticles into the bloodstream. These anaesthetize the nerves inside the tumors, shutting down communications between them, thus inhibiting tumor growth and spread.
Immunotherapy dose reduced by a million
The NanoGhost cancer treatment targeted delivery mechanism developed by scientists at Israel’s Technion Institute is truly revolutionary (see here previously). It enables the dose of existing immunotherapies (e.g., TRAIL) to be reduced by a millionfold, to prevent toxic side effects.
Insulin pump gets attention
Israel’s Triple Jump is developing a unique small insulin pump patch that is placed on the patient’s body. The patch has mobile connectivity capabilities and will be included in a future artificial pancreas system. The device has attracted interest from medical devices giant Medtronic.
Diabetes cured – in mice
Researchers at Israel’s Technion Institute genetically modified muscle stem cells from diabetic mice to express high levels of GLUT4 molecules, which transport glucose in the body. When re-implanted into the mice, it reduced blood sugar levels by an average of 26% and lowered levels of fatty liver.
Hospital to launch neurology startups
Tel Aviv’s Sourasky (Ichilov) Medical Center and Ra’anana’s Sanara Ventures are partnering to turn ideas and projects developed in the neurology department into groundbreaking projects in the fields of digital health and neurology. These include brain diseases, strokes and sleep disorders.
An Israeli medical hub in New Jersey
Israel’s Sheba Medical Center is partnering the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey to develop Liberty ARC HealthSpace2030 – a high-tech hospital simulation hub on at Jersey City’s SciTech Scity innovation campus. It will focus on digital health and home healthcare solutions.
Keeping employees healthy
Israel’s Insurights has developed an AI platform to help employees utilize their health benefits. It answers questions, highlights preventive care benefits, and finds lower-cost providers. Its key feature is Zoe, a “Virtual Chief Health Officer,” who can analyze any insurer’s healthcare plan.
Networking for patients
Israel’s Alike.Health connects patients with a similar medical condition at various stages of treatment or illness, allowing them to learn from each other about ways to cope. The startup has just been selected to join the “Google for Startups Accelerator”, Google’s 3-month mentoring program.
It’s never too late
A 102-year-old woman has become the first Israeli to undergo cryoablation (freezing) treatment for breast cancer developed by Israel’s IceCure (see here previously). The usual surgical solution was not an option for her, as a previous heart catheterization meant that an operation was too risky.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Israeli woman is top innovator
World Biz Magazine has chosen Israel’s Hamutal Yitzhak, CEO of Else Nutrition (see here previously) as No. 1 (of 40,000+ entries) on their list of “Top 100 Innovation CEO” awards for 2021. Shahar Fogel, CEO of Israel’s Rookout (see here previously), was also included in the top 100.
Israel’s top female General
Brigadier General Orly Markman has been named as head of the IDF’s court of appeals. She will be promoted to Major General, becoming only the third Israeli woman to ever receive the rank. Israel’s first female Major General, Orna Barbivai, is now Israel’s Minister of the Economy.
IDF Chief praises Specials
IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi gave an inspiring speech at Special in Uniform’s annual benefit for IDF soldiers with disabilities. He stated, “You are blessed in the IDF, you are essential to the IDF, and you are wanted by the IDF!”. Some 750 young “specials” perform important work at 60 IDF bases.
Ultra-orthodox site spreads cancer awareness
Throughout last month, Israel’s largest ultra-Orthodox news site, Kikar HaShabbat, colored its logo pink and wrote that it was doing so to give public expression to October being breast cancer awareness month.
4 Israeli universities in top 50 entrepreneurs list
Four Israeli universities were listed in PitchBook’s 2021 ranking of 50 leading undergraduate programs that produce the most VC-backed entrepreneurs. Tel Aviv Uni was 8th, Technion Institute (12th), Hebrew University of Jerusalem (31), and Ben-Gurion University (44).
The Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers recently awarded the title of “Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Center” to the Innovation Centers of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev – the first ever such award for institutions outside of the US.
Resurrecting New York
Some 400 people attended a ”Unicorn party”, organized by Israel’s Margalit Startup City in Soho, New York. Founder and Executive Chairman Erel Margalit said, “Israeli tech played a significant role in bringing New York back to life.” They included “People who innovate and don’t take no for an answer.”
Electricity for water deal with Jordan
The UAE has brokered a “water for solar energy” exchange deal between Israel and Jordan. Jordan will export 600 megawatt of electricity to Israel from a UAE-built solar farm. Israel will export up to 200 million cubic meters of desalinated water to Jordan. The deal was signed in Dubai.
Israeli flag raised at UAE presidential palace
In a historic ceremony, the Israeli flag was hoisted and the Israeli national anthem Hatikva was played for the first time at the Qasr Al Watan Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi. It marked the inauguration of Amir Hayek – the Israeli Ambassador to the UAE.
Aiming for the Moon, with the UAE
The United Arab Emirates signaled its interest in joint space missions with Israel back in Dec 2020 (see here). This has now been formalized in an agreement to work together on a number of space projects, including a joint launch of the “Beresheet 2” space mission to the moon.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Israel’s Innovation Authority (IIA) is investing around NIS 220 million over 3 years in four new technology consortiums. They focus on cultivated meat, insect farming, human-robot interface, and fluid sampling focused medical diagnosis. IIA CEO Dror Bin praised Israeli tech as “magic”.
Cyber training for religious graduates
The Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) has launched Cyber Elite 2.0, a program that provides cybersecurity training for orthodox and ultra-orthodox computer graduates. It aims to supply Israel’s high-tech and defense industries with newly skilled employees to meet its talent shortage.
Protection against ransomware attacks
Israel’s Cymptom protects businesses and lifesaving networks at hospitals, against cyber threats. Its software monitors, prioritizes the risks and recommends how to address them in real time. Cymptom was named Cybersecurity Best Product at the 2021 Global InfoSec Awards.
See through walls from afar
Israel’s Camero-Tech has developed technology that can “see through walls” at long-range. The Xaver™ LR40 (XLR40) portable system can detect, in real time, live objects hidden behind walls from over 50 meters away. Besides security applications, it is relevant for search-and-rescue operations.
New lightweight communications satellite
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) revealed its new GEO Mini Communication Satellite at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) expo in Dubai. It weighs only 700 kg, so can be launched together in rideshares with other satellites, significantly reducing launch costs.
Safer public transportation
Israel’s Optibus (see here previously) has partnered with Israel’s GreenRoad (see here previously) to increase passenger safety and comfort. They aim to use historical road safety data (e.g. road and ride quality, collisions, injuries, and driver behavior) early in the transportation network planning stage.
Israel’s NAM Technology has developed Ecokor – a new cooling system that saves up to 40% of electricity consumption and reduces emissions. Its innovative multi-cascade refrigeration works with the latest refrigerants. Ecokor can be installed in factories, warehouses, supermarkets, refrigerated trucks etc.
Storing green energy
Israel’s Storage Drop has developed a system designed to store renewable energy (e.g. solar) as high-pressure air when the demand for electricity is low, and to convert the compressed air into electrical energy when required. The system is to be installed at the Israeli port of Ashdod.
Boosting crop yields in California
The robotic pollinator from Israel’s Edete Precision Technologies (see here previously) has increased yields by 24%, during a pilot trial at an 82-acre pistachio orchard in Sacramento, California. Edete plans to use the system on thousands of acres during the 2022 blooming season.
Get the best price for a product
Israel’s Karma’s has developed an Artificial Intelligent shopping tool that offers consumers a “guaranteed best price” on many e-commerce sites. It features an automatic coupon finder, cash rewards, plus price and inventory tracking.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Economy moves forward
Israel’s latest Composite State of the Economy Index returned to pre-Covid levels of increase. It was buoyed by increases in services revenue and services exports. Job vacancies are at a record high, reflecting employers’ desire to expand their operations following the reopening of the economy.
Serbia opens trade office in Jerusalem
Serbia has inaugurated its innovation and trade office in Jerusalem. The office, located in Margalit Startup City Jerusalem, is a sign of burgeoning business ties and designed to enable the countries to fulfill their bilateral economic potential.
More flights to Arab countries
Moroccan national airline Royal Air Maroc is launching direct flights between Casablanca and Tel Aviv 3 days a week, commencing Dec 12. Also, UAE’s largest airline Emirates is starting daily flights between Dubai and Tel Aviv on Dec 6.
Hi-tech data center for Bank of Israel
The Bank of Israel has a new “state of the art” data center. It is fault tolerant, earthquake resilient, and based on energy-saving green technologies.
Deloitte launches 7 more startups
Deloitte has selected seven more Israeli startups for its Launchpad initiative (see here previously). They will be mentored on how to grow their businesses in the US. They are Agora (see here), BlazePod, Craft.io, DigitalOwl, Hyro (see here), IVIX (see here) and SavorEat (see here).
https://www.blazepod.com/ https://craft.io/ https://www.digitalowl.com/
In its fifth year, Techstars Tel Aviv has launched its second 13-week accelerator program of 2021 (see here previously). The 11 Israeli startups are AgadoLive, Binsight, EyeKnow, Insuretax, EZCheck.me, optimusQ, Ovvio, Renbizz. retravel, Sea Analytics and YieldX. https://www.yieldx.biz/
https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3920841,00.html https://www.agadolive.com/ https://www.binsight.ai/ https://ezcheck.me/ https://ovvio.io/ https://optimusq.com/ https://www.insure.tax/ https://www.eyeknow.ai/ https://www.renbizz.com/ https://retravel.io/ https://www.sea-analytics.com/
Checking the state of Continental’s tires
The technology from Israel’s Traffilog (see here previously) will remotely diagnose the condition of truck tires for Continental AG. The German tire giant already has partnerships with several Israeli startups (see here previously).
Doing good while doing well
Israel’s Browzwear (see here previously) has been named one of Fortune Magazine’s Impact20 – companies that generate revenue while offering products or services that have a positive effect on the world. Browzwear’s VSticher 3D prototype software reduces fabric waste in the fashion industry.
4 more Unicorns
Latest Israeli startups to become billion-dollar Unicorns are Celsius Networks (raised $400 million, value $3 billion); Lusha (see here) raised $205 million, value $1.5 billion; Augury (see here) raised $180 million, value $1 billion; OpenWeb (raised $150 million, value $1 billion).
Look who is investing in Israel
One of the investors in Israel’s latest $1 billion company OpenWeb is the New York Times, which rarely prints anything complimentary about the Jewish State.
Investment in Israeli startups:
Celsius Network raised $400 million; Lusha raised $205 million; Fabric raised $200 million; Augury raised $180 million; OpenWeb raised $150 million; DustPhotonics raised $33 million; Backbox raised $32 million; Tactile Mobility raised $27 million; OurCrowd raised $25 million; Deci raised $21 million; Autofleet raised $20 million; Piiano raised $9 million; Bites raised $5 million;
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Travel to Israel is back
Tourists can now return to Israel and here are 25 places to visit free of charge.
Israeli drama wins an Emmy.
The thriller “Teheran”, produced by Israel’s Kan public broadcaster, won Best Drama Series at the prestigious 2021 International Emmy Awards. The show streams on Apple TV+ and the cast and crew includes Israelis and Iranians. The second season of the series is currently in production.
A very good read
If you haven’t yet read Israeli American actor and producer Noa Tishby’s new book, please try to obtain a copy of “Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth.”.
HBO features NBA star’s journey to Judaism
A new episode of HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” focused on Amar’e Stoudemire and his transformation from NBA star to Israeli citizen to Orthodox Jew..
Making a splash
The Wingate Institute in Netanya, Israel was the venue for the FINA Women’s Water Polo World Junior Championships. Israel finished the competition in a creditable 7th place overall.
World champion at Jiu-Jitsu
Israel’s Amit Burstein, 17, won the Jiu-Jitsu World Cadet Championships in Abu Dhabi, UAE. In 2019, Israel’s 21-year-old Nimrod Ryder won the gold medal in the Under 77kg adult category (see here previously). An application has recently been made to make Jiu-Jitsu into an Olympic sport.
THE JEWISH STATE
Is this the “lost” Temple balsam?
Archeologists found a 2000-year-old amethyst seal under the Pilgrimage Road in Jerusalem. It is inscribed with a bird and a branch of a plant identical to the persimmon plant grown at the Balm of Gilead farm., The farm reproduces the balsam balm, as was used in the 1st and 2nd Temples.
Silver shekel from Roman revolt found in Jerusalem
An 11-year-old Israeli girl found a 2,000-year-old shekel of pure silver whilst sifting dirt excavated from under the Pilgrimage Road in the City of David. Inscribed Shin Bet (2nd year) it was minted by Jews during the Great Revolt against Rome around 67-68 CE.
Happy Israelis and why not?
In Israel, in spite of all the challenges, the level of happiness is higher than Canada, UK and USA. GDP per capita in 2009 was $27,733; in 2020 $43,610 – one of the fastest rates of economic growth in the developed world. https://tinyurl.com/2mdv63hp
See our olive trees grow. In 2019, my wife and I helped plant 1,000 olive trees near Yavniel in the Galilee.