ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
First human tests of Israeli Covid-19 vaccine
On Nov 1, two Israelis received the first doses of Israel’s coronavirus vaccine candidate developed by the Israel Institute of Biological Research. The volunteers were inoculated at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer and Hadassah’s Jerusalem Ein Kerem Medical Center.
The next generation of antibiotics
Israel’s Omnix Medical (reported here previously( is developing novel antibiotic agents for the treatment of hospital-acquired infections involving resistant bacteria. Omnix has successfully completed lab testing and has now raised funding to allow it to commence human clinical trials.
How the brain learns movement
Scientists at Israel’s Technion Institute have discovered which of the brain’s neurons are involved in learning complex movements of the body. These neurons remember success or failure and adjust their initial state for the next trial, so that the body’s movement can adapt.
Monitoring high blood pressure in the voice
Israel’s Vocalis (reported here previously) has partnered with the Mayo Clinic to detect and monitor pulmonary hypertension (PH) from analyzing a person’s voice. Initially, they will identify PH vocal biomarkers indicating an increase in blood pressure within the arteries of the lungs.
New microcatheter saves patient
Doctors at Israel’s Sheba Neuro-Interventional & Stroke Center performed a unique procedure using the BENDIT steerable microcatheter. They saved a 74-year-old Israeli who had a giant brain aneurysm that was compressing his brainstem and had a high risk of brain hemorrhage.
Joint Israeli-UAE stem cells project
Israel’s Pluristem (reported here previously) and the Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center (ADSCC) have unveiled their first joint projects. One – a potential Covid-19 treatment – is the first time Pluristem’s PLX cells will have been administered via a nebulizer.
Diabetes treatment in US
Israel’s DreaMed Diabetes (see here) has partnered a number of US health clinics. Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford; Billings Clinic Montana; Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital, NYU Langone and UF Health will provide diabetes patients with DreaMed’s personalized solutions.
Knee cartilage implant is a breakthrough
Israel’s CartiHeal (reported here previously) has received US FDA breakthrough device designation for its Agili-C implant. Agili-C has been implanted in over 500 study patients with knee, ankle and big toe cartilage lesions in trials at leading centers in Europe and Israel.
Diagnosing complex medical conditions
Israel’s Navina is an AI platform for primary care physicians to get an intelligent view of patient data. It assembles an intuitive Patient Portrait – a logical grid that results in faster assessment (less risk of Covid-19 transmission), reduced missed diagnoses and better treatment.
30-minute Covid-19 tests for Israel
Israeli-founded, US-based Visby Medical has shipped to Israel hundreds of its 30-minute Covid-19 PCR tests. Israel’s Minister of Science and Technology, Israel is trying to persuade Visby to manufacture the kits locally. https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3853631,00.html
Breath test detects asymptomatic Covid-19 carriers
Israel’s Flanimus has developed a breath test that can detect Covid-19 infected individuals, even if they never display symptoms. 20,000 nano antennas absorb material from the mouth. These are then scanned with a terahertz spectrometer to identify Covid-19’s signature.
Send in the clowns
Doctors and nurses save lives of many Covid-19 patients in Northern Israel’s Poriya hospital. But it is the “Dream Doctors” therapeutic clowns that save their sanity. Some patients deteriorate due to their emotional state, even though their vitals seem fine. They are much better after a Dream Doctor’s visit.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Religious Jewish teen helps the homeless
Tova Safranai’s religious background inspired her to start helping homeless and at-risk youth. She setup the charity “Ahavat Hinam” when just 16. It supports Jewish, Arab, Christian, religious and secular youth living on the streets of Jerusalem.
Jordanian officer airlifted to Israel
A senior Jordanian army officer was airlifted to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem for urgent medical care after apparently contracting COVID-19. His condition had deteriorated and posed “serious concern for his life.” He is said now to be stable but not yet out of danger.
18,000 Israelis participated in the massive clean-up of Israeli beaches (reported here previously). Together, they collected 62 tons of trash along the Israeli shores of the Mediterranean, Red Sea and Sea of Galilee. Their world record attempt is waiting to be ratified by Guinness World Records.
Israeli innovation institute in Cyprus
The Israeli-founded Pafos Innovation Institute has been launched in Cyprus. It is modelled on Herzliya’s IDC and will offer graduate degrees, as well as innovation programs. Both Israeli and Cypriot Presidents made speeches, saying they looked forward to increased Middle East cooperation.
Helping Czech Republic fight Covid-19
The Czech government has requested help fighting a large outbreak of the coronavirus in the city of Brno. A team of 8 Israeli medical experts from Sheba, Hadassah, Shaare Zedek, and Bene Zion hospitals, as well as MDA paramedics is on its way to the Czech Republic.
Respirators for Myanmar
Israel’s Ambassador to Myanmar, Ronen Gil-Or, donated three respirators to Myanmar to help counter a recent spike in the country’s Covid-19 cases.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Showcasing startups on Zoom
Yazamut 360 – the entrepreneurship center of Israel’s Ben Gurion University (reported here previously) has launched the Oazis accelerator. Six startups will showcase on Zoom: NeuroHelp; Panacea; 3D Green; Flanimus; Testory; and MirageDynamics
Smart lighting to inactivate Covid-19
Israel’s Juganu (reported here previously) has enhanced its smart city lighting from just illuminating spaces into disinfecting them. J.Protect now uses surface light mixed with ultraviolet A (UV-A) plus UV-C light to kill Covid-19. It says “it could be the light at the end of the tunnel”.
Fast crawling and hovering robot
Scientists at Israel’s Ben Gurion University have built some very clever robots (see here previously). The latest was inspired by cockroaches and lizards and can move super-fast over difficult terrain and water. It has many potential agricultural, search and rescue and excavation applications.
Breakthrough X-ray generator
Scientists at Israel’s Technion Institute have developed a new, cheap method of producing radiation. They sent electron beams through 2D (single-atom thick) materials to generate X-rays in a controlled manner. It has huge implications for chemical analysis, medical imaging and security screening.
Foundations of Quantum computing
Can you be in two places at the same time? Yes, if you attended Israel Technion’s Quantum computing summer school. 220 students took the 6-day course. It introduced them to the foundations of quantum computing theory and to practical programming on the IBM quantum minicomputer.
Preventing airborne attacks on the network
Israeli startup AirEye protects company networks from threats via the airspace surrounding an organization’s infrastructure. AirEye’s sensors detect airborne threats from nearby unprotected devices or local cyber cafes, from which wireless attacks can be launched on the network.
Detecting toxins in food
Israel’s Inspecto (reported here previously) has developed a nanotechnology device to detect contaminated food. It has partnered with food producing giant Strauss but it is also useful to farmers, supermarkets and regulators. Co-founder Yair Moneta explained further on I24 News.
Eco-friendly garment hangers
Israel’s UBQ (reported here previously) is to use its bio-based thermoplastic from recycled trash to improve sustainability in the fashion industry. UBQ is partnering US Mainetti Group, which makes clothes hangers for retail chains globally. Billions of hangers are produced globally each year.
The technology transfer company of Israel’s Ben Gurion University has announced a research collaboration with ECOIBÉRIA, a Portuguese plastic waste recycling company. The research will focus on bacterial biodegradation of Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for the purpose of plastic recycling.
Preventing texting while driving
Over three thousand five hundred people die every year because of texting while driving. Israel’s SaverOne saves a driver from the temptation to text. The app plus sensors are installed into the car system, making only GPS apps and phone calls available to the driver.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Another NIS 60 million for retraining
The Israeli government is launching a stimulus program to increase employment in hi-tech and industrial sectors. The program’s initial budget stands at NIS 60 million with the goal of training 3,000 local job seekers. Grants up to NIS 45,000 will be available to eligible employees.
Trade with India is zooming
The increased use of zoom during the Covid-19 pandemic is helping Israelis conduct business with India. Not only are travel costs saved, but Indian companies have adopted digital platforms and it is now quite easy to set up introductory meetings. India accounts for 3.5% of all Israeli trade.
More business deals in the UAE
A group of 13 Israeli company CEOs have just completed a four-day trip to the UAE organized by Jerusalem Venture Partners. Israeli companies represented included Agrint (pest sensing), InnovoPro, and Morphisec, https://www.agrint.net/
Cheap flights to Dubai
Budget airline flydubai has added Tel Aviv to its routes. In a statement, it said it will operate 14 flights a week, offering a twice-daily service between Dubai International Airport and Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport. Flights will start on 26th November.
Israeli-Japanese insurance hub
Israel’s IDI Insurance has partnered Japan’s Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance (MSI) to establish an innovation hub in Israel. “The HUB”, soon be renamed “GDH TLV” will focus on finding and fostering startups that help the direct and digital insurance sector.
Citi’s 10th set of startups
Financial giant Citi has begun the 10th cohort of Citi Accelerator TLV, its program for Israeli startups in the fintech, cyber, and data space. There have been more than 100 participants of its accelerator since it was launched in 2013. Those startups have since raised more than $1.3 billion of funds.
Amazon is recruiting in Israel
Retail giant Amazon is recruiting 150 more employees for its research centers and offices in Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Herzliya. This will raise its workforce in Israel to 1,300. Amazon’s General Manager said it “will enable us to tap into the amazing technology talent pool here in Israel”.
Intel acquires Cnvrg.
U.S.chip giant Intel has purchased Jerusalem-based startup Cnvrg.io for a reported price of $60 million. Cnvrg, develops a service for managing, speeding up, and scaling data science workflows, enabling clients to quickly develop, test, deploy, and refine machine learning models.
Israel helps US Army to speak.
Israel’s Gilat Satellite Networks, through its subsidiary Wavestream, has received multi-million-dollar orders from the US Department of Defense (DoD). Wavestream’s 50W Ka-band military Block Upconverter (BUC) will power the DoD military communications program.
3D printers for Italy
Israel’s MASSIVit 3D (reported here previously) has won a contract to supply Italy’s Biesse Group with 20 to 40 3D printers annually. The deal is said to be worth $60 – $80 million over 5 years. MASSIVit will also work on combining its technology with Biesse’s computer numerical control system.
Turning sports fans into customers
Haifa-based Pico (not the Jerusalem Pico) has developed technology to turn engaged, anonymous sports and entertainment fans into marketable customers. It is working with 60 global sports teams such as LA Clippers and Borussia Dortmund. It has just joined the SAP.io foundry in Munich.
Safeguarding maritime shipping
Israel’s Windward (reported here previously) has partnered four major maritime companies plus seven member Clubs, including The American Club, Britannia P&I, and Steamship. Windward’s predictive AI platform will give liability coverage to almost 65% of the world’s maritime trade.
Last week’s newsletter reported that there are 41 Israeli-founded Unicorns (companies valued more than $1 billion. It should have included “14 are based in Israel”, which equates to 1.58 per (100,000) capita.
Investment in Israeli startups:
ION Acquisition raised $225 million; Else Nutrition raised C$25.7 million; BioProtect raised $25 million; Omnix Medical raised $8.5 million; Navina raised $7 million; Nurami raised $6 million; CAPS Medical raised $3.5 million;
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
New Jerusalem museum
Jerusalem’s Beit Hakehillot museum under construction will take visitors on a tour of Jewish history, using multimedia and virtual reality, plus Jewish ritual objects and manuscripts. The $50 million renovation of an abandoned Protestant orphanage is Jerusalem’s largest landmark renovation of its kind.
A towering update
This article compliments last week’s article (see here) about the $40 million update for the Tower of David in Jerusalem. Sharon has included several photos of the renovation work.
When Israeli designer Koi Levi saw people walking in the street carrying their facemasks as if they were handbags, he decided to design a handbag that looked like a facemask. He also designed one shaped like a padlock, as a play on the word “lockdown”.
IAC Coast to Coast
“Dare to Dream”, is the title of the Israeli American Council’s first global gala on 15 Nov. Israeli stars include the amazing “special” Shalva Band, Eurovision singer Eden Alene, mentalist Lior Suchard and many more.
THE JEWISH STATE
Israel sponsors Limmud Labs
Israeli government is co-sponsoring a $2.5 million project Limmud Labs. It aims to enlist former Soviet Jews to bolster Jewish community life in the FSU. Celebrities like Sergey Brin (Google) Jan Koum (WhatsApp) and Max Levchin (PayPal) can forge bridges between the FSU and Israel.
26-year-old Effi from Jerusalem said he volunteered to test the new Israeli Covid-19 vaccine because he had not seen his 89-year-old grandfather for almost a year. “I’m doing this COVID vaccine trial for every Jewish grandparent cut off from their family, and for every Jewish family divided by the pandemic”
Groundbreaking digital ambassadors
ISRAEL21c’s 32 Digital Ambassadors from 23 university campuses are launching “Groundbreaking Israel” – a social-media campaign that focuses on the diverse people of Israel and their vision, accomplishments and tenacity. I hope they subscribe to this newsletter.
Jerusalem salutes Veterans
The JNF is celebrating Veterans Day on 11th Nov with a virtual tour of Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem, the historic site of the battle for the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967. The Wall of Honor at the site bears the names of more than 500 Jewish veterans who have served their countries.
A day of lifesaving
United Hatzalah volunteers respond to an average of 1,800 calls every 24 hours. On 1st Nov the NGO launched its 24 by 24 campaign to raise two months’ worth of lifesaving by 24th Nov. Each $1800 dollars will fund 24 hours of lifesaving.
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