Replacing antibiotics in the dairy industry; A digital bridge for Europe; Israel’s first rains; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Update on Israeli Covid-19 vaccine
The Covid-19 vaccine being developed by the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) is beginning Phase 1 human trials. Head of IIBR, Professor Shapira confirmed this at the recent Christian Media zoom Summit attended by this newsletter editor, who asked a question at 1:38:47.
Israeli Covid-19 antibody serum for Israeli Health ministry
Israel’s Kamada (reported here previously) has signed a deal to supply Israel’s Health ministry with its plasma-based hyperimmune immunoglobulin (IgG) product. The product treats COVID-19 patients with pneumonia and is currently in Phase 1 & 2 trials in Israel.
Hospital uses drones to save lives
Ziv Medical Center in Tzfat (Safed) will be the first Israeli hospital to use drones. They will transport medical equipment, medicines, and blood and Corona tests, to and from the hospital. Initially, they will carry 5kg loads up to 10km, saving time and bypassing road blockages.
Preventing worldwide blindness
Israel’s AEYE Health (reported here previously) is pushing hard to get its retinal disease AI diagnostic eye scanner approved by the end of 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic has seriously cut the number of patients visiting eye specialists. The eye scanner can be used easily by GPs or clinic staff.
US clears PE diagnostic
Israel Aidoc’s triaging and notification algorithms for flagging and reporting incidental pulmonary embolism (see here) have just been approved by the US FDA. The solution is an ‘always-on’ safety net for unexpected cases. It is Aidoc’s sixth FDA-approved tool for triage and notification:
Another Covid-19 breath test
Israel’s NextGen Biomed is developing a breathalyzer test (see another here)
to identify Covid-19 infections. The biological markers were identified in an April study by Israel’s Scentech Medical. The two companies are now being merged and a validation trial is scheduled to commence shortly.
Autonomous vehicle imaging can detect Covid-19
Israel’s Adasky (reported here previously) develops and manufactures high-resolution thermal vision AI sensors for the advanced vehicle industry. Its Viper-R system can detect Covid-19 instantly, by scanning multiple individuals 10 meters away for elevated body temperatures.
Molecular test for Covid-19 or cancer
Nanotechnologists at Israel’s Technion Institute have eliminated the time-consuming amplification process in coronavirus and secondary cancer tests. 100 molecules of the sample are passed one by one through a nanopore – a tiny hole and assessed for the presence of a specific bio-marker.
Replacing antibiotics in the dairy industry
Israeli biotech Mileutis has developed Imilac – designed to treat mastitis in cows by boosting their immune systems. Imilac is near the marketing stage and can replace the wide use of antibiotics for which resistance is growing and being passed to humans via milk products.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
The top women in Cybersecurity
The Software Report’s Top 25 Women Leaders in Cybersecurity of 2020 includes 7 Israelis. Yael Ben Arie (SafeBreach), Sagit Manor (Nyotron), Ola Sergatchov (Guardicore), Yuval Lazar (Pcysys), Nadia Malinoff-Kan (Intezer), Dr. Dorit Dor (Check Point) and Sigalit Shavit (CyberArk).
An orthodox female cyber chief
Ola Sergatchov, VP of corporate strategy at Israel’s Guardicore (reported here previously) is good at multi-tasking. “On Friday morning I have on one ear a conference call and one hand mixing cholent, and with my foot I’m rocking the baby carriage,” she says. “That’s what my life looks like.”
The Israeli Druze
The UK Embassy of Israel, and the UK’s Board of Deputies, are hosting an event on 28 Oct to mark 100 years of the Druze people joining the Haganah and to celebrate their contribution to the State of Israel. It will feature a lecture by Dr Amir Khnifess, head of the Ronson Institute for Israeli-Druze studies.
The largest beach clean-up
On 30 Oct, thousands of Israelis will try to break world record for the largest beach clean-up. Volunteers will work at about 100 spots along the coasts of the Mediterranean, Kinneret and Red Sea, to raise awareness of the importance of protecting the environment.
Peace progress from Abraham and Covid
The Abraham Accords and (ironically) the Covid-19 pandemic have opened new avenues of investment for Israeli and Palestinian Arab entrepreneurs in Judea and Samaria.
Agreements with Bahrain
In the Bahrain capital, Israeli and Bahrain officials signed a joint communique on the new “diplomatic, peaceful and friendly” relations between Jerusalem and Manama. Ministers also signed Memorandum of Understandings on finance, investment, trade, tourism, communications, tech and agriculture.
Saleh Abdullah was the flight captain of the first commercial passenger flight from the UAE to Israel. He said. “If someone asked me a few months ago if I would be here making a speech in Tel Aviv, I would have said this is impossible”. The agreements include 28 flights a week plus chartered, cargo etc.
Sudan and Israel to normalize ties
US President Donald Trump announced on Friday that Sudan will normalize ties with Israel, becoming the third Arab country to do so in recent months, after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The news was confirmed in a subsequent joint statement issued by the three countries.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Slaughter-free meat everywhere
Last year, Israel’s Aleph Farms produced meat from non-GMO animal cells on the International Space Station. It has now launched its “Aleph Zero” program, emphasizing Aleph’s mission to produce fresh, quality meat even in the most harsh and remote extraterrestrial environments.
Facebook’s Israeli R&D center (one of Facebook’s largest hubs) launched Facebook Lite in 2015 for low-end phones and no WiFi (reported here previously). It is now developing Instagram Lite – under 2MB compared to the 32MB full version. The new app is aimed for users in South East Asia, Africa and India.
Check out the latest Israeli Corona-tech
The resource center (reported here in April) built by Start-Up Nation Central and HealthIL to encourage and promote Israeli Corona-Tech innovation, now contains details of over 300 Israeli companies that are developing solutions to combat the Coronavirus pandemic.
Projecting games for locked down seniors
Israel’s Eyeclick (reported here previously) has developed Obie – an interactive projector plus sensors, specifically designed to help stimulate isolated seniors in old age homes. Obie turns any floor, wall, or tabletop into a fully interactive surface for playing physical and cognitive games.
Navigating without GPS
Satellite GPS has become essential to much of modern technology. Two Israeli companies have built products to prevent jamming of GPS (reported here previously). Now, Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has developed CT-MENTOR to navigate using cameras and 3D photo images.
Healthy gums with the push of a button
Israel’s Purecare Dental has developed a flossing device that delivers ozonated water straight to the gums. Ozone acts as a disinfectant, killing perio-pathogenic bacteria and fungus. It does not kill other bacteria necessary for good oral health.
An Emmy for better sound
Israel’s Sound Radix has won a prize from the Engineering Emmys – which honors companies that create unique technologies to improve broadcasting. Sound Radix’s globally used Auto-Align Post product synchronizes microphones to balance the sound from moving actors and musicians.
The world’s largest desertification conference
Israel’s Ben Gurion University is hosting the International Drylands, Deserts & Desertification Conference (DDD) Nov 16 – 18. This year’s title is “Feeding the Drylands – Challenges in Changing Environment”. These include food, water, human and ecosystem.
https://dddconf.org/ (The on-line event is free of charge – prior registration required).
Respect my privacy
Israeli startup Mine (Saymine Technologies) allows consumers to discover which companies hold their personal data on an ongoing basis. They can decide if they want the company to keep their data and can submit a deletion request (The Right-To-Be-Forgotten) for services they no longer use.
Driverless mining vehicles
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Australia’s Bis Industries have founded a joint venture called Auto-Mate, which will provide driverless vehicles for the mining industry. It will use IAI’s technology (reported here previously) to convert existing vehicles into autonomous platforms.
The Waze of construction
Israel’s Constru uses spatial and spherical cameras to digitally record the progress of construction sites. It sends progress reports as an email or app notification, updating project managers on the site’s development and alerting to any problems or deviations from the plan.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Connecting the Gulf to the Med
The Europe-Asia Pipeline Co has signed an agreement with the Med-Red company to convey UAE oil from Eilat to Ashkelon. It will save shipping the oil through the Suez Canal, benefiting the Israeli economy economically and cementing strategic joint Israeli-Arab relationships.
A $3 billion Abraham Fund
The US, Israel and UAE have established the Abraham Fund. It aims to mobilize more than $3 billion in private sector-led investment and development initiatives, to promote regional economic cooperation and prosperity in the Middle East and beyond. Its development office will be based in Israel.
Israeli airline to fly daily to Dubai
Israeli airline Arkia has begun offering tickets for daily direct flights between Tel Aviv and Dubai that will commence operation on 3rd Jan. The 3 to 4-hour flight will use Arkia’s 122-seat Embraer 195 jets. Arkia also investigating routes to Manama in Bahrain and Sharjah in the UAE.
Entrepreneur Erel Margalit and Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion launched Margalit Startup City, an international entrepreneurship and innovation quarter in the Israeli capital. The 50,000-sqm space will house startups, multinationals, investment and international R&D centers, plus an adjacent cultural and social center.
Intel ignites more startups
Intel Israel has selected 10 Israeli startups for the 3rd cohort of its Ignite TLV AI accelerator program (reported here previously). They are Armo, Bria.ai, Komodor, Konnecto, Lightsolver, Lynx, Oolo, Orca AI, Solvo and Valerann. Only Orca and Valerann have been featured here previously.
EU to lease Israeli UAVs
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), together with its partner Airbus DS Airborne Solutions (ADAS) has been awarded a contract to provide the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) with Maritime Heron UAVs for unmanned patrols. IAI’s UAVs are already used in Europe (see here).
An expert health fund
Veteran medical and financial experts have partnered together to form Medination – a new health-tech fund. Its team originates from Teva, IBM, BGU, Hadassah, TLV Medical Center, Ichilov-Tech, Clal and VC fund managers. Medination will invest in breakthrough stage R&D digital health companies.
Cyber powerhouse is worth $3 billion
Israeli-founded SentinelOne, incorporated as Sentinel Labs Inc. is in the process of raising between $150 million and $200 million at a valuation of $3 billion. It will be the largest privately-owned tech company founded by Israelis and one of the largest private cyber companies in the world.
A digital bridge for Europe
Israel’s Novawind has organized a virtual conference “Europe Days 2020” (27 Oct). It aims to give companies in Germany, Switzerland and Austria access to the tech solutions of at least 200 innovative Israeli companies, to help them overcome the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Growing salmon on land in Nevada
Israel’s AquaMaof Aquaculture Technologies (reported here previously) has won a $90 million contract to build an on-land salmon farm in Reno, Nevada. Producing up to 60,000 tons of fish per year without the use of chemicals or antibiotics, it will be one of the largest salmon farms in the U.S.
Investment in Israeli startups.
Augury raised $55 million; Syte raised $30 million; BlackSwan raised $28 million; Mileutis raised $20 million; Liquidity Capital raised $20 million; Nym Health raised $16.5 million; Adasky raised $15 million; SayMine raised $9.5 million; Frontegg raised $5 million; vHive raised $4 million; Agora raised £3 million;
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
The highest message of peace
From the roof of Tel Aviv’s Azrieli tower, Israel’s Firqat Alnoor orchestra of Jews, Muslims, Druze and Christians performed the Emirati song “Ahebak” (“I Love You”) in tribute to the historic Israel-UAE peace treaty. The YouTube clip has had more than a quarter of a million views.
Master of wine
Ido Lewinsohn is only the second Israeli to graduate as a Master of Wine from the London-based Institute of Masters of Wine. It involved a 3-year study program, theory papers, blind-tasting tests and signing a code of conduct. Ido is head winemaker at Barkan – one of Israel’s largest wineries.
A quiet stroll through Jerusalem
During Israel’s lockdown, Sharon Altshul took some photos of a very peaceful capital city. Next week it is expected to get a little busier as the lockdown eases.
Caught in flight
Israeli photographer Yossi Eshbol was “Highly Commended” for his entry to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. His photo entitled “Kids Game” captured the image of a Nubian ibex bravely jumping over a ravine in Mitzpe Ramon to reach its sibling on the other side.
Israeli filmmaker (“On the Map”) Dani Menkin premiered his latest documentary about Aulcie Perry, the American Israeli basketball player who helped Maccabi Tel Aviv win the EuroLeague in 1977 and 1981. Aulcie converted to Judaism, rehabilitated from addiction and was finally reunited with his estranged daughter.
THE JEWISH STATE
The secret archaeology on the Temple Mount
Two Christian tourists have just produced a short film on the Temple Mount. It highlights the amazing history of this fascinating location. The video has had over 480,000 views in 10 days.
Second Temple period clay objects unearthed intact
Dozens of ancient jars and complete clay objects have been discovered inside a water hole at the Khirbet Kafr Mer archaeological site at Beit El. The site is deemed to have been part of a Jewish community that lived in the area roughly 2000 years ago.
Israelis and Americans pray in Bahrain synagogue
Members of the joint Israeli-US delegation, that negotiated the establishment of diplomatic relations, took time out to pray the afternoon “mincha” service in capital’s Manama synagogue. They also met Ebrahim Nonoo, leader of the Bahrain Jewish community.
From Gaza mosque to Jerusalem Yeshiva
Yaron Avraham’s journey to Judaism began in a devout Muslim family in Lod, Israel, and then Gaza where he learned martyrdom. He escaped to Eilat, worked in Tel Aviv and enlisted in the IDF Givati Brigade. After the army he joined the Machon Meir yeshiva where he converted.
Wedding outside coronavirus ward
A bridegroom’s father was in Hadassah hospital’s Covid-19 ward. So the Yad Avraham organization arranged for the young couple to be married under the father’s hospital window so he could watch. The number of celebrants was restricted, and all wore facemasks, but tears of joy were visible.
Shabbat cakes for the elderly
Before every Jewish Sabbath, the organization “Sweets for the Soul” delivers 1,000 cakes to elderly Israelis isolated in their homes. The initiative was founded by Tel Aviv baker Itamar Glazer who insists “90% of the world’s problems can be solved with a slice of a good cheesecake.”
Israel’s first rains
Jerusalem just received an “out of the blue” downpour. It was 30 degrees centigrade and no rain was forecast when a lone nimbus cloud hovered low over the central mountains of Israel and unloaded its contents over the holy city. Jews began praying for rain just over a week ago.
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