ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Starving leukemia cells to protect the brain
Israeli and Scottish scientists have found that the brain can be protected from metastatic leukemia by blocking the production of the fatty acid stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD). The discovery is particularly important for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in children.
Prospective treatment for liver failure
There are some 2,000 cases (80% fatal) of Acute Liver Failure (ALF) in the US each year. Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have managed to control the severity of ALF in the lab by blocking signals from the gut microbiome to the MYC protein in the liver.
Early stroke detection
The Scan&Sound app developed by students at Israel’s Technion Institute uses AI to analyze subtle changes in a potential stroke victim’s voice and facial expressions. Scan&Sound won 2nd place at John Hopkins University MedHacks in the category “Personalized Medicine Using Data-Driven Healthcare.”
Track the eyes to reduce stress
Israel’s Umoove (reported here previously) has partnered British behavioral change consultant Matt Hudson to reduce stress and anxiety. The app MindReset uses the mobile camera and Umoove’s mobile eye tracking technology to observe the user’s nonverbal responses to stress.
Radiotherapy institute for Jerusalem
Construction is underway on a new innovative radiotherapy institute at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. It will serve as a national center for cancer treatment, with advanced treatment methods and technologies.
Better clinical trials
The race to produce a Covid-19 vaccine has spurred researchers at Israel’s Ben Gurion University to partner with Israeli startup Panacea to speed up the human test phases. They have developed an AI tool to help select participants and markers, improve the analysis of results and presentation of findings.
A new way to diagnose infections
Israel’s MeMed (reported here previously) has received clearance in Israel, Europe and Switzerland for its MeMed BV and MeMed Key infection analyzers. They measure 3 biomarker proteins and use AI algorithms to determine if an infection is viral or bacterial and whether to use antibiotics.
Femtech telemedicine at Sheba
A follow-up to the article reported here previously about the new Women’s Health Innovation Center at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center. The pioneering femtech (female technology) center, was originally set up to promote patient and doctor safety during COVID-19.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Legislating to help visually impaired
Israel’s Accessibe (reported here previously) is in the news again. Its CEO, Shir Ekerling, says that Israel was one of the first countries to legislate regulations for web accessibility. Accessibe helps make websites comply with International guidelines for the 1.5 billion people with disabilities.
Emergency sports fund to help children
The Israeli charity Value Sports has set up a new fund to support 100 sports clubs. It will provide financial grants for the clubs and scholarships for children whose families cannot afford participation payments. Sponsors include the Israeli Government and Sylvan Adams’ foundation.
Female F35 pilot takes to the air
The Adir F351 squadron has welcomed Israel’s first female F-35 pilot, 26-year-old Captain S graduated from the IAF flight course in Dec 2016. She previously flew F-16s.
Economic program for Israeli Arabs extended
The Israeli government is extending by 12 months Plan 922 – a multibillion-dollar program that aims to close economic gaps between Jews and Arabs in the country. $3 billion (a third of the budget) was unused. In addition, a further $1.7 billion will be added to the program.
Private fund to support struggling startups
MobileEye CEO Prof. Amnon Shashua and his wife Anat have launched the WE-19 foundation. It aims to grant NIS 100 million to small businesses and entrepreneurs who have suffered from the Covid-19 pandemic. NIS 50,000 will go to 2,000 startups, to give them a new lifeline.
German tram in Israeli colors
Germany’s public transportation company put Star of David stickers and “Shalom” on a Cologne tram, in blue and white, to mark 1,700 years of Jewish life in Germany next year.
Why Israelis are leading the vegan revolution
Nov 1st is World Vegan Day and begins World Vegan Month, aimed at raising awareness of some of the unpalatable issues with meat / fish production and other animal-derived products. Latest statistics indicate that 5% of Israelis are vegan, 4% vegetarian and 8% “flexitarian”.
Firefighters are like brothers
Ten of Israel’s best firefighters spent two weeks in September fighting fires in California. At a recent America Israel Friendship League online presentation, the extraordinary cooperative firefighting experience was described in terms of a battalion of US and Israeli brothers.
Arabs in Gulf rush to learn Hebrew
Citizen Café Hebrew language and Israeli culture school was founded in 2015. Since the signing of the Abraham accords, there has been a surge in enrolments from Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Bahrain. They include many in the business and tourism sector, plus Arabs who have Israeli friends.
Israel offers rescue team to Turkey
Israel offered to send an IDF search and rescue team to Turkey after an magnitude 7 earthquake collapsed buildings in the city of Izmir. Turkey’s military attaché in Israel, was told that Israel was immediately ready to dispatch a rescue team and set up a field hospital to treat the wounded.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Stay in lane
Israel’s Fortellix (reported here previously) is partnering Mobileye to demonstrate its Foretify Automatic Lane-Keeping System (ALKS). It will allow car makers to comply with the United Nations’ ALKS regulations (see here).
Thousands train in hi-tech
Some 36,000 Israelis have completed online courses in 3 months of Microsoft’s global skills initiative. The most popular courses in Israel are practical and professional, such as software development, client management and data analysis.
Checking wastewater for Covid-19
The Israeli Ministry of Health has tasked Ben Gurion University to detect and monitor SARS-CoV-2, the virus that leads to Covid-19, in sewage samples from 14 Israeli cities. Monitoring wastewater can give an early warning of Covid-19 infection outbreaks (reported here previously).
Helping athletes to develop
Israel’s GoHeja develops and markets a system for endurance coaches, sports clubs, and athletes to help with their long-term goals. In the Covid-19 pandemic GoHeja’s GamePlan through organizations such as OpenValley is helping athletes adapt training plans to changing restrictions.
Award-winning insurance tech
Israel’s The Jones Agency has won the Insurance category in the CRETech Real Estate Tech Awards (RETA) 2020. It is the first time an Israeli company has been awarded first place in the award’s 7-year history. Jones’ technology automates property & developer insurance liability compliance.
Using AI to implement AI
Many companies now develop Artificial Intelligent (AI) products. Now, Israel’s Deci is using its AI expertise to help those companies implement those products. Deci has partnered companies in sectors including autonomous vehicles, manufacturing, communication, video editing, healthcare, and more.
Mellanox’s super microprocessor
Israel’s Mellanox, which was acquired by Nvidia in 2019 for $7 billion, has just launched a new microprocessor that transfers a data center’s infrastructure services onto a single chip. One BlueField-2 DPU chip replaces 125 old CPU cores, freeing spare capacity to run data center applications.
Saving Florida lakes and rivers
Israel’s BlueGreen Water Technologies (reported here previously) has been selected to save Florida’s Lake Okeechobee water basin from a plague of toxic algae. BlueGreen already saved millions of fish and thousands of animals by purifying reservoirs and lakes in South Africa, Ohio and Orlando.
All quiet in Jaguar and Land Rover
Israel’s Silentium (reported here previously) has announced that customers of Jaguar and Land Rover will be able to enjoy Silentium’s Active Road Noise Cancelation (ARNC) system in the Jaguar F-PACE, Jaguar XF and Range Rover Velar.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
The most Unicorns
A Unicorn is the business term for a company that is worth more than one billion dollars. There are currently 41 Israeli-founded private companies worth $1 billion or more. With a population of just 8.9 million, that comes to 1.58 unicorns per capita, making Israel No. 1 in the world.
The first Israel-Dubai conference
The Israel-Dubai Conference is set to take place in Dubai on Nov 24-26. The joint initiative by Bank Leumi, Reshet 13 and Calcalist aims to encourage business cooperation between the two countries in the fields of finance, technology, industry, agriculture, health, and tourism.
What the UAE needs Israel for
The UAE-Israel peace deal is not just for political reasons. The Gulf state seeks Israel’s innovative technology and solutions. Food-tech and agri-tech are the top priorities as the UAE imports more than 90 percent of its food and the pandemic has disrupted transportation of vital supplies.
More startups for Visa hub
Four new startups will join Visa’s Tel Aviv innovation studio (reported here previously). GetHere (personalized ordering & payment); Spendl (payment by cryptocurrency); Pinch (debit card swipe fee distributor); GoGo Getter (affordable childcare financing).
Japanese VC fund for Israeli tech startups
Japanese asset management firm Aristagora Advisors has launched a new venture capital fund Aristagora VC dedicated to investment in early-stage Israeli startups. The $60 million fund will focus on deep tech companies and will initially invest up to $1.5 million in each startup.
12 Israeli startups in Forbes Cloud 100 list
Twelve Israeli-founded companies were among 100 startups in Forbes Magazine’s “The Cloud 100”, ranking the world’s top private cloud companies. The list “recognizes standouts in tech’s hottest category, from small startups to private-equity-backed giants”.
Israel helps US Army to see
The US subsidiary of Israel’s Elbit Systems has signed a new contract to provide night-vision goggles to the U.S. Army for $22.5 million, with a potential value of $442 million. The goggles provide vision up to 300 meters – double the range of previous versions.
Israeli wines in the UAE
This week, Israeli wines from the Golan Heights Winery will be stocked in stores in the United Arab Emirates. They will be sold through African + Eastern – a major importer and distributor of wine and alcohol in the Emirates and the Persian Gulf, representing some of the leading brands in the world.
Low-sugar sweetener for Canada
Israel’s DouxMatok (reported here previously) has partnered with Canada’s Rogers Sugar (parent of Lantic Inc). Rogers will create sugar cane-based sweeteners, using DouxMatok’s technology, that are 30 to 50 percent lower in sugar, for food manufacturers in North America.
eToro is recruiting
Israeli social trading and marketplace platform eToro (reported here previously) is hiring another 100 employees to join its 1,000 workers in 12 global offices. It has already recruited more than 300 employees since January 2020 – half of these are based in Israel.
Investment in Israeli startups:
SimilarWeb raised $120 million; Kape raised $115 million; TechSee raised $30million; Salto raised $27 million; Tevel Aerobotics raised £20 million; Panoply raised $10 million; Deci raised $9.1 million; Smrt Agro raised $7.5 million; InnovoPro raised $3 million; INCRMNTAL raised $1.4 million;
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
New sculptures in Botanical gardens
“Returning to Nature,” is a new circular path containing 15 sculptures at Jerusalem’s Botanical Gardens. The contemporary art exhibition can also be experienced virtually.
Renovating the Tower of David
Jerusalem’s Tower of David Museum, also known as the Citadel, is having a $40 million refurbishment while it is closed to tourists. It includes improved accessibility, a new visitor’s center and entrance, new galleries and an educational space. The site had half a million visitors in 2019.
City Bakes Jerusalem
British Master Baker Paul Hollywood has brought his TV series to Israel’s Capital City. He has several unique culinary experiences. He learns about the city’s baking culture and history. He then creates Jerusalem bagel bread and almond and pomegranate loaf cake. Sit back and enjoy.
Land of Milk and Honey
Two single malt whiskies distilled in Tel Aviv received top scores from Whisky Advocate – one of the world’s leading whisky magazines. Milk & Honey Distillery’s M&H Classic and M&H Elements Sherry Cask single malts scored 91 and 90, respectively. The former was also an Editor’s Choice.
Documentary of Israel’s equestrian champion
“UnReined,” is a new documentary about Israeli equestrian champion Nancy Zeitlin who made Aliya from San Diego in 1967. As a riding instructor she worked with disadvantaged youth including Palestinian Arabs. She still holds Israel’s equestrian high jump record.
THE JEWISH STATE
The first US passport to show Jerusalem is in Israel
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman presented the first-ever US passport to list Jerusalem as part of Israel. He gave the new travel document to an 18-year-old US citizen, who had fought twice in the US Supreme Court to have his place of birth shown as Jerusalem, Israel.
Helping each other
This article describes many of the acts of kindness that Israelis perform to help other members of the Startup community. They include rent-free offices, networking, brainstorming, training, sharing data and referrals to investors. Although competition is fierce, Israeli entrepreneurs want others to succeed too.
Rabbi Soloveitchik and the State of Israel
Fascinating archival 1955 recording of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik describing the miraculous events leading to the founding of the modern Jewish State. He stated that “were one to document (the history of) the United Nations, they accomplished nothing else.”
18 good things in Jerusalem
A montage from Yom Kippur to Sukkot. It includes street prayers, colorful clouds, building, harvest moon, clean streets, the 4 species, small porch sukkahs, President Rivlin’s virtual sukkah and a mobile sukkah pulled by a bicycle.
70-year-old has 3 ceremonies in a month
A 70-year-old former immigrant from Moldova, remarried his wife at a ceremony in their hometown of Nof Hagalil. It was his 3rd ceremony in a month following conversion to Judaism and Bar Mitzvah. They had a civil marriage 47 years ago, but now decided to have a Jewish wedding.
Happy Aliyah Day
On the week of Yom Ha’Aliyah, Israel welcomed its 16,000th immigrant of 2020. The second article describes some of the Anglo-Israelis who were key to the founding of the State. They include Chaim Weizmann, David (Mickey) Marcus, Gold Meir, Abba Eban and Henrietta Szold.