European grant for mental health startup; Boosting 5G projects; 3000-year-old fortress in the Golan; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Inflammatory eye diseases
Israel’s Tarsius (see here) reported positive results in a study of its TRS01 treatment of Active Anterior Non-Infectious Uveitis – an inflammatory eye disease. It shows promise for saving the eyesight of patients with uveitic glaucoma, which has no current approved treatment.
Israel’s Limaca Medical has developed a precision instrument which improves endoscopic ultrasound-guided biopsies. The needle pinpoints the exact location of a patient’s tumor, to extract good quality biopsies for genetic profiling analysis. The device is currently aimed at pancreatic cancer patients.
Rehabilitate during the pandemic
Israel’s WizeCare (reported here previously) has become popular as a physical therapy tool during the Covid-19 pandemic. Some 23,000 patients in Israel and the United States have used WizeCare’s product in their recovery. It improves adherence to treatment regimes by around 80%.
Researchers at Israel’s Technion Institute and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have developed an innovative technology for early detection of suicidal tendencies based on automatic text analysis of social network content. They check for negative words and other factors. Newsletter readers should be safe!
European grant for mental health startup
Israel’s Taliaz (reported here previously) has just received a $2.7 million grant from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program. It will help Taliaz expand its clinical research using its PREDICTIX products to help psychiatrists treat and manage patient depression in EU countries.
Center of Excellence for cardiology
Newsweek magazine has placed Sheba Medical Center’s Department of Cardiology prestigiously in the top 50 heart centers in the world for 2020-2021. As reported here, Newsweek previously listed Israel’s Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer as the world’s ninth-best hospital.
Toddler from Gaza is NGO’s 5,555th heart patient
Israeli charity Save A Child’s Heart has just performed its 5,555th life-saving heart operation. The patient was Mahmad – a two-year-old Palestinian Arab boy from Gaza. SACH doctors gave him his first life-saving heart surgery when he was just 5 months old.
New grandfather delivers 3 babies
Daniel, a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT, was happy when his daughter called to say she had given birth to a boy. On his way to visit his new grandson, he had to divert to help deliver a baby girl. After seeing his grandson, he then got further calls and brought another two babies into the world.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
A healthy state for Arabs
Some interesting statistics here. Over the last 50 years, the average lifespan for both Israeli Arabs living within the pre-1967 borders and Palestinian Arabs in Judea and Samaria has increased by over 20 years. Over 35% of doctors in Israel are Arab, far higher than the 20% proportion of Arabs in Israel.
Israeli drone helps fight fires in Washington
US communications giant Verizon used a drone from Israel’s Percepto (reported here previously) to check critical infrastructure for damage by fires in the US State of Washington. The US FAA gave permission for the drone to fly remote – i.e. beyond line of sight.
Dr. Elhanan Bar-On, director of the Israel Center for Disaster Medicine and Humanitarian Response at Sheba Medical Center, is always travelling. His missions include Haiti (earthquake), Lesbos (fire), Zambia (cholera), Guatemala (volcano), Mozambique (cyclone) and Samoa (measles).
Training for female Italian entrepreneurs
20 Italian startups attended a 3-day virtual training course, with experienced Israeli mentors, to learn about Israel’s approach to scaling up startups for a global audience and market. It culminated in a one-day pitch event to a panel of Israeli judges.
Cyber skills for African refugees
Israeli cybersecurity startup Cybint has partnered Southern New Hampshire University’s (SNHU). It provides a free 12-week on-line cyber education training course for refugees in Africa to find employment and reduce the shortage of qualified cyber professionals in Africa.
Saudis reroute Israeli plane via Mecca
Saudi air traffic controllers helped an Israir plane from Tel Aviv to India avoid a storm in the Red Sea by re-routing it on a flight path close to the Muslim holy city of Mecca. The Saudis even said passengers could take aerial photos of Mecca at night.
Educating for peace
An extremely positive UAE media article, stating that just two weeks after the peace agreement between the UAE and Israel was announced, the UAE adapted its school textbooks to include the new treaty. Also, a “young ambassadors” program between Emirati and Israeli children is being developed.
Fighting locust epidemic in Ethiopia
Israel has sent a task force of locust fighters and experts to Ethiopia to help control the spread of locust swarms in the country. They brought equipment and advanced appliances and will train hundreds of Ethiopian locust fighters, governmental agencies and international NGOs.
Aid for storm-hit Guatemala
Volunteers from Israeli relief aid agency IsraAID are now in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala – the worst affected area of the Central American country hit by tropical storm Eta. They are providing medical first aid, psychological support, relief items, hygiene kits, and water filters.
Israeli startup Torr Foodtech uses “unique” technology to combine real food ingredients together in a natural, healthier and better way. Torr was founded by Israeli food scientists and culinary experts. Its CEO used to work for Israel’s Sodastream and US Mondelez International, who have invested in Torr.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Rutgers and Tel Aviv University symposium
The first joint symposium between New Jersey’s Rutgers University and Tel Aviv University importantly focused on the most pressing matter of our time: innovations and discoveries around Covid-19.
Weizmann in top 10 for research quality
The Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) of Leiden University in the Netherlands ranked Israel’s Weizmann Institute number 8 in the world for the quality of its research. Weizmann was the top institution outside of the US. The ranking measured impact of science papers.
Ex-dyslexic develops learning app
Ori’s dyslexia prevented him from reading until he was 12 years old. Now 33, he is CEO of GiantLeap, an Israeli startup developing the very tool that could have helped him. The iPad system combines video games with a questionnaire plus AI to produce an improvement plan.
European grant for electron research
A team of international physicists, including Ben Gurion University Professor Yigal Meir, have been awarded a $16 million European Research Council Synergy grant. It will allow them to study quantum thermodynamic properties (especially entropy) of electrons and parts of electrons.
Add hot water for nutritious meals
Israel’s Cham Foods has launched a line of dry pulses and grains for instant meals and soups. Add hot water and the ingredients are ready to eat in minutes. Cham’s sophisticated freeze-drying technology maintains the full flavor, texture and nutritional value of the grains and legumes.
Boosting 5G projects
Israel’s Cellwize has developed CHIME – a smart Radio Access Network (RAN) automation and orchestration platform that can help speed up the implementation of 5G networks. Cellwize is helping Verizon set up the infrastructure in Israel with new sites.
How will it smell?
Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute can now predict how any complex odorant will smell from its molecular structure alone. It will revolutionize the perfume industry and could lead to digitizing and reproducing smells on demand.
A drone-free environment
Israel’s MCTech (featured on the I24 News program about the ISBF below) has developed anti-drone systems that stop attacks by jamming the radio frequencies used by the UAV and its operators, creating a screen around the protected area. MCTech has worked in the Gulf region for 3 years.
AI makes music
Students at Israel’s Technion Institute have developed a computer system, named BepopNet, to improvise jazz based on any given chord progression. They have then used Artificial Intelligence to optimize the music (i.e. learn) and generate personalized variants to suit a user’s specific musical taste.
Building the first proactive security chip
Israel’s Kameleon has partnered chip giant Xilinx to develop the computer industry’s first proactive security processing unit (ProSPU). It will protect systems from the moment they start-up and then will send an alert if someone tries to make changes.
Israelis help build new Apple chip
Development of Apple’s M1 microprocessor for desktops and laptops was led by Israeli Johny Srouji with part of his team based in Israel. The M1 is Apple’s first in-house built laptop chip in its 36-year history. It powers Apple’s new laptops, the MacBook Air, Mac mini and MacBook Pro.
Keep your distance
A group of Israeli entrepreneurs, together with experts from Sourasky Medical Center’s Ichilov Hospital, have developed a personal device that helps to maintain a social distance of 2 meters. Myzone uses a laser beam to display an arc on the ground showing the personal space of each person.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
The highest spender on R&D
According to the latest World Economic Forum and World Bank report, Israel spent 4.95% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP on research and technology in 2018 – the highest in the world. Most went into computer systems, cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and medical research.
https://data.oecd.org/rd/gross-domestic-spending-on-r-d.htm (Great chart – select Israel to highlight)
An Israeli Ocean innovation center in China
Israel’s Arieli Capital, which has setup several innovation centers in Israel, is now involved in establishing an Ocean technology innovation center in the Chinese city of Sanya. Its aim is to support Israeli and international companies focusing on ocean technologies and shipping.
Partnering Israelis with Indonesians
The non-profit Israel-Asia Center is initiating Israel-Indonesia Futures Program. It will connect young Israeli and Indonesian leaders from different sectors to develop solutions in the spheres of health, food security and education, to address challenges in the post-pandemic era.
Israeli startups help Visa’s European clients
Israeli startups ChargeAfter (reported here previously) and Personetics (reported here previously) are two of the 13 “carefully selected” fintech partners in a Visa Inc. initiative to equip its banking clients in Europe with a suite of new payment technologies.
Israeli cybersecurity chiefs are talking
The Israel Security Business Forum (ISBF) is a new channel in which CEOs from hundreds of Israel’s cybersecurity companies meet and discuss relevant issues. The ISBF provides opportunities to brainstorm ideas and develop new ways to protect systems, data and people.
SentinelOne is worth $3 billion
Israeli-founded cybersecurity SentinelOne (reported here previously) has just raised $267 million, valuing the company at $3 billion. SentinelOne develops artificial intelligence technology for identifying abnormal behavior in enterprise networks and is planning to go public in the US next year.
Investment in Israeli startups:
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Documentary Film Festival
The National Library of Israel’s sixth annual Docu.Text Film Festival (Nov 15-25) is going digital, with a special track for English-speaking international audiences. It features award-winning documentary films, Q&A sessions, and an array of special events. Free of charge with Zoom registration.
New Hannah Senesh Museum
A new heritage museum honoring hero and poet Hannah Senesh has just opened just south of Haifa at Kibbutz Sdot Yam – the kibbutz that Hannah Senesh belonged to. Hannah was only 23 years old when she parachuted into occupied Europe to try and help Hungarian Jews during WWII.
Israeli hi-tech on TV
As reported here previously, TrueFuture TV’s new season features the Startup Nation and its innovative technologies that save and change lives. TrueFuture’s host Joe Mullings was interviewed on I24 News. Also, a link to the on-going Season 4 (episodes 1, 2 and more). Keep watching.
Israel’s Knesset has approved a plan allowing hotels and other venues to re-open in Eilat and the Dead Sea resort of Ein Bokek, transforming them into coronavirus-free “tourism islands.” Tourists will need to present a negative COVID-19 test result from no more than 72 hours prior to entry into the “island”.
Israeli Euro judoka medalists
Israel’s Inbar Lanir is the new women’s European Judo Champion in the Under-78kg category, having won the gold medal at the Under-23 European Championships in Croatia. Her compatriot Maya Goshen won the Under-70kg silver. Yehonatan Elbaz won the Under-73kg men’s bronze.
THE JEWISH STATE
On 9th Nov, the walls of Jerusalem were illuminated with projections on the anniversary of Kristallnacht – the Night of the Broken Glass, in 1938. Thousands of people around the world took part in March of the Living’s global interfaith campaign “Let There Be Light”. Houses of worship were lit up all night.
First UK Royal donation to Israeli charity
HRH Charles, Prince of Wales has made a private donation to Israel’s Peres Center for Peace and Innovation. “It is a great honor to be the first Israeli non-profit to receive support from a member of the Royal Family,” said Chairman of the center, Chemi Peres, Shimon Peres’ son.
3000-year-old fortress in the Golan
Archaeologists have discovered a fortified complex in the Golan Heights from the time of King David (1000-1100 BCE). They believe the fort was built by the kingdom of Geshur, ally of King David, to control the region. One of David’s wives, Maachah, was King Talmai of Geshur’s daughter.
The first World Zionist Village
The Jewish National Fund is building the Israel Education and Technology Campus in the Be’er Sheva River Park. See the video and description for details of its three components: tech center, tourist education and Israeli school. Register here for the launch event on 2nd Dec.
Israeli course on Islam gets global Muslim acclaim
20,000 students from 155 countries have registered and paid for a Tel Aviv University on-line course on Islamic history. They include from Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Iran, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan the PA and more.
Brit Milah at Ben Gurion Airport
Despite coronavirus restrictions, the Austrian grandfather of a new Israeli baby boy was able to be Sandak (holding the baby) at his grandson’s Brit Milah ceremony. The Fattal terminal hotel at Ben Gurion airport provided a sterile room so the grandfather could attend without entering the country.
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