Advising the UK ombudsman; Healing migrating birds; Israel to pilot self-driving buses; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Nitric Oxide speeds recovery from Covid-19
The LungFit Nitric Oxide device from Israel’s Beyond Air (see here previously) speeds up the recovery of hospitalized COVID patients. Clinical (human) trials showed they needed less oxygen support and spent less time in the hospital than those who didn’t receive the treatment.
Device avoids need for open-heart surgery
Israel’s Cuspa Medical is testing the Cusper – a device that takes over the job of a damaged heart valve that can no longer open and close properly to control blood to the heart. The Cusper is inserted using a catheter in a minimally invasive procedure, avoiding major surgery.
Preventing secondary cancer
It’s early days, but Tel Aviv University scientists have managed in lab tests to reduce the incidence of breast cancer relapse by 88%. They used two chemotherapies – doxorubicin and cisplatin together, which reduced the spread of cancer cells (metastasis) that occurred using just one therapy.
Preventing hair loss from chemo
Decursin is a substance that promotes hair growth, especially in chemotherapy patients. Decursin is normally extracted from a rare seasonal flower in an expensive process, but students at Israel’s Technion Institute have just won awards by synthesizing it using enzymes from bacteria.
Medical research to use real-world data
Israel’s Ministry of Health is partnering with Israel’s Lynx MD (see here previously) to make patient data from 49 Israeli medical centers available for research. Lynx MD’s medical intelligence platform anonymously secures the data before releasing it to researchers.
Medicine and Peace conference
The 3-day medical conference “Tomorrow’s Medicine as a Bridge for Peace” in Morocco brought together 60 cancer specialists from Morocco, Israel, and France. It was organized by Pax Medicalis, a France-based nonprofit known in English as the Peace Medical Association.
On the spot
Israel is a small country, and paramedic training is a priority. A volunteer EMT from NGO United Hatzalah was walking on the same Netivot street as a man who had a heart attack. The EMT began CPR and was soon joined by another EMT with a defibrillator. Shortly afterwards, the man regained consciousness.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Six new foreign Ambassadors
Israeli President Isaac Herzog received the credentials of the new ambassadors of Moldova, Ghana, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Mongolia, and for the first time, Palau, in a series of official ceremonies at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.
IDF allows Lebanese to harvest Israeli olives
For over a decade, the IDF has coordinated with UNIFI to allow Lebanese farmers, from villages close to the Israeli border, to cross the blue line into Israel. They are then able to harvest olives from trees growing near Israel’s security fence. It provides vital income to those farmers.
Sick Syrian baby flown from Cyprus
I seem to report these events almost every two years (see here previously). A baby from Syrian refugees living in Cyprus was flown to Israel for emergency heart surgery. One of premature triplets, the baby was treated at Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah Tikva.
Advising the UK ombudsman
Israel’s State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman recently visited England to carry out a complimentary inspection of one of Britain’s equivalent watchdog apparatuses. UK Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Rob Behrens sought his advice on how to initiate wide-ranging investigations.
Protecting the UAE
The United Arab Emirates has deployed Israeli air defenses south of Abu Dhabi to protect against (Iranian) missiles and drones. Satellite images show that two Israeli Barak 8 launchers and an Israeli Aerospace Industries Elta ELM 2084 radar system have been deployed at the Al Dhafra Air Base.
Jumping for joy
A delegation of Israeli paratroopers held a joint jump over Bahrain alongside soldiers from the Gulf nation, the UAE, and the United States, to mark two years since the signing of the Abraham Accords. See embedded video on full screen.
Israeli green hydrogen in Morocco
During the COP27 climate conference in Egypt, Israel’s H2Pro (see here previously) signed a strategic agreement with Moroccan renewable energy developer Gaia Energy. Its aim was to assess the feasibility of producing H2Pro’s E-TAC hydrogen electrolyzers in the North African country.
Healing migrating birds
Countless wounded birds of prey make their way each year to Israel during the fall migration, most of them shot on the Lebanese side of the border. This article focuses on a lesser spotted eagle suffering a gunshot wound, that was treated at Israel’s Hula Valley wildlife rehabilitation center.
Israeli nurse helps victims of global disasters
Odeda Benin-Goren is the only female Israeli member of the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination. The Israeli nurse has traveled the world for the past 30 years to help people in areas that are devastated by floods, earthquakes, fires and wars.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Climate-tech prize winners
Here are two Israeli startups that won a share of Startup Nation’s $2 million Climate Solutions Prize fund to encourage innovation (see here previously). Marine Edge optimizes fuel consumption and carbon emissions for ships, and SolOr develops solar energy-absorbing paint.
More climate-tech prize winners
Other Israeli Climate Solutions Prize fund winners include Copprint (copper inks for circuit boards), Styletech (see here previously), Smart Resilin (see here previously), Red Solar Flower (solar panels for agricultural areas), and Seevix Material Sciences (see here previously).
Prize-winning climate-tech researchers
In addition to startup winners of the Climate Solutions Prize, three Israeli scientists won awards. They were Technion’s Prof Avner Rothchild (green hydrogen), BGU’s Prof. Itzhak Mizrahi (reducing methane from animals), and Bar-Ilan’s Prof. Malachi Noked (sodium ion batteries).
Solar energy on the Moon
Prof Jeffrey Gordon of Israel’s Ben Gurion University presented to NASA scientists his solar power alternative to NASA’s plan to use nuclear energy on the Moon. His polar installation design overcomes the problem that any point on the Moon will be in darkness for two weeks every month.
Solar water heater is upgraded
Millions of Israelis use 1950s tech rooftop solar devices for their hot water. Israel’s Tigi (see here previously) has developed cellulose triacetate insulation that can heat the water to 100 degrees Centigrade, even in freezing winter conditions. It has installed 40 international commercial systems.
Walking on sunshine
Israeli sandal maker Shoresh is the first Israeli manufacturing company to go off grid and use only its own solar energy. It saves the company buying a million kwh of electricity, 8,000 gallons of gasoline a year, and cuts pollution. Shoresh employs 300 people at its Tirat Carmel factory.
Breakthrough in splitting water to produce hydrogen
Scientists at Israel’s Ben Gurion University have made a breakthrough at the molecular level that could vastly reduce the energy required to split water into hydrogen and oxygen using electrolysis. It has major potential ramifications for the fuel industry.
Environmentally friendly glass
Israel’s Airovation (see here previously) and Phoenicia, Israel’s sole glass manufacturer are to transform the country’s glass production process into a carbon-friendly operation. Airovation Technologies’ patented Superoxide Radical converts CO2 into minerals for the glass industry.
Predicting weather disasters
Israel’s Emnotion analyzes tiny, highly localized variations in temperature, wind, humidity and more to forecast extreme weather events up to three months before they happen. Emnotion uses technology including Big Data analysis and machine learning to provide alerts to companies and the IDF.
Food-tech demo day
Israeli startups Blue Tree, Bountica, Eggmented Reality, Pigmentum, ProFuse Technology, Sea2Cell, and others, starred in the recent Demo Day held by Israeli food-tech incubator Fresh Start. Alteco.ai (energy efficiency) and Sweet Balance (natural sugar substitute) are new to this newsletter.
Israeli organizations presenting at last month’s International Conference on Food from the Sea and the Desert in Eilat (see here previously) included Colors Farm (bio-friendly aquaponics); algaenite (nitrogen-fixing microalgae); Brevel (protein-rich microalgae); V-Corals (reefs) and Aquacultech (network).
Growing tomatoes even in drought
Israel’s Grace Breeding can grow tomatoes even during a drought. Its Wide Defense System (WDS) formula boosts the growth of the tomato root system and improves nutrient absorption from the soil. Trials show that a once-a-season application increases yields by 17%.
Water from the air for university students
Israel’s Watergen is to install its water-from-the-air generators at Israel’s Reichman University. All visitors, lecturers, and students will be able to drink the cleanest and healthiest water, eliminating high-carbon supply chains and plastic waste.
Israel to pilot self-driving buses
Israel’s Innovation Authority has announced the launch of a NIS 61 million, two-year pilot program to study the viability of using autonomous public buses. In Stage 1, four groups of bus companies will test the technology before (in Stage 2) operating self-driving buses on public roads.
A machine is only as good as its components
Israel’s Cybord uses Artificial Intelligence and Big Data to check that components of an electronic device are genuine (i.e. not counterfeit) and 100% quality. Cybord has just partnered with Siemens Digital Industries, to expand Cybord’s reach across the industry.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
UK-Israel trade up by a third
Total trade in goods and services between the UK and Israel was £6.1 billion for the year to June 2022, an increase of 33.1% from the same period last year. Imports included £845 million of Israeli medicines and pharma products, to help counter the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yet more gas discovered
Just a month after its discovery of natural gas at its Hermes exploration well (see here previously), Energean plc has discovered some 13 billion cubic meters at its Zeus-1 well off Israel’s coast. Energean also confirmed the presence of an additional 3.75 bcm at its Athena site.
Most monthly tourists since start of pandemic
Some 333,500 tourists visited Israel in Oct 2022, the greatest number recorded since Feb 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic began, with its associated travel restrictions. In 2022, some 649,300 visitors arrived from the USA – the most popular origin.
Direct flights to Dublin
Early 2023, El Al is to launch three nonstop flights a week between Tel Aviv and Dublin. They’ll connect Israel’s and Ireland’s high-tech sectors and encourage Christian pilgrimage to Israel. Many Israeli high-tech workers work at Dublin-based multinationals, serving Europe and the Middle East.
Cleaning up in Manhattan
US real estate giant Durst has just invested in Israel’s Skyline Robotics (see here previously). We soon should see Skyline’s Ozmo robots cleaning the windows of the 104-story One World Trade Center – the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere – and other skyscrapers in New York City.
Connections for Deutsche Telekom
Israel’s Teridion (see here previously) has been working with Deutsche Telekom since January, to help build a product that will connect DT’s customers via the cloud. DT has just invested $25 million in Teridion.
Tesco opens autonomous stores
UK retail giant Tesco has announced the opening of three autonomous stores based on the technology developed by Israeli computer vision startup Trigo (see here previously). The first, on Chiswell Street London, has just opened and will shortly be joined by others in Fulham and Birmingham.
New factory for Better Juice
Israeli reduced sugar fruit juice startup Better Juice (see here previously) has launched its first full-capacity manufacturing plant in Israel. The Ness Ziona factory can produce 250 million liters of juice (with 80% less sugar) per year.
Investment in Israeli startups to 13/11/22:
Island.io raised another $60 million; AutoLeadStar raised $40 million; Teridion raised $25 million from Deutsche Telekom; Wib raised $16 million; Everybuddy Games raised $15 million; Veriti raised $12 million; Tagado raised $4 million; Apply Design raised $3.3 million;
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Contemporary art met ancient stones
An exhibit merged art with archaeology, in a cistern 20 feet under Jerusalem’s Western Wall. “Arteology: The Power of the Ancients in Contemporary Form,” featured 27 ceramic pieces (vases, plates, disks, and seals) by Israeli Canadian artist Nicole Kornberg Jacobovici.
Israeli scouts entertainers return to USA
For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Tzofim Friendship Caravan, a song-and-dance performance program from Israel, is returning to the U.S. next summer as part of its 50th anniversary celebration. The Tzofim Scouts perform songs in Hebrew, English and Yiddish.
A diamond quality tour
You can now book a fascinating tour of the Israel Diamond Exchange in Ramat Gan, the world’s leading center for buying, selling, cutting, and polishing large diamonds. Wine and lunch are included.
More rare species visit Israel
Three pink whiprays over 100 cm long were sighted off the coast off Eilat. Whiprays are an endangered species of stingray. Earlier this year a rare guitarfish, an even more endangered species, was spotted off Eilat’s coast.
Israeli woman takes second place in NYC Marathon
Israeli Lonah Chemtai Salpeter has finished second place in Sunday’s New York City Marathon, seven seconds behind the Kenyan winner. It is the best final result for an Israeli man or woman in the history of the race, which is in its 51st year.
Two World Cup swimming bronze medals
Israeli swimmer Anastasia Gorbenko won a second bronze medal in a row at the World Cup competition in Berlin, finishing third in the 50 meters breaststroke. The previous day she finished third in the 100 meters event.
Jews and Arabs can fly to the FIFA World Cup together
Charter flights will allow Israeli Jews and Arabs to fly direct from Tel Aviv to Doha Qatar for the duration of the FIFA World Cup beginning on 20 Nov. FIFA President Gianni Infantino said “Football has the power to bring people together…”
THE JEWISH STATE
Jerusalem streets are more than elections
Israel’s capital in November may have dark nights but it was brightened up by the Zalman Shazar Prize for Jewish History, the preview of Israel’s presentation to COP27, publicity for the Einstein, Animation, and Piano festivals, and the honoring of Walter Bingham.
Christians, Muslims & Jews save each other’s lives
New United Hatzalah video emphasizing that the Israeli emergency NGO’s 6,200+ volunteer EMTs come from all Israel’s major religions. The video also highlights that they save the lives of Palestinian Authority residents.
Song for Aliya Day
Nov 1 was Aliya Day, coinciding with the Torah portion where Abraham is commanded to go to the Land of Israel. Here is a new song, “Kumi Ulechi Lach” (Get Up and Go) written by Eliad Eliyahu specially to celebrate the event. It combines the lyrics of Rachel the poetess and Rabbi Shlomo Elkabetz.