Israeli radar for German navy; Polish priest discovers he is Jewish; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
HIV therapy counters Covid-19
Israeli-managed Code Pharma developed its Codivir treatment for HIV at its Israeli R&D center. It has just completed a successful Phase 1 trial in Brazil for using Codivir against the coronavirus and has applied to start a Phase 2 trial on 150 patients in Israel, Spain, Brazil and South Africa.
IDF medics’ home care for Covid patients
Doctors and nurses currently serving in the IDF have commenced the “Hand-in-hand” initiative. Coronavirus patients are transferred from hospital to home-based care. They are monitored remotely from a command center, with at least once-a-day on-site visits from medical personnel.
Covid update from BGU
Useful webinar on coronavirus mutations and the booster shots from two leading Ben Gurion University experts – Prof. Nadav Davidovitch, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., and Dr. Anat Rosenthal, Ph.D.
Good bacteria to kill bad bacteria
Scientists at Tel Aviv University have enabled friendly bacteria to attack bad bacteria with toxins and neutralize them. They programmed safe bacteria to attack only specific pathogens, using the Type 6 Secretion system that germs use to destroy cells.
US approval for bacteria vs virus test
Israel’s MeMed Diagnostics (see here previously) has received US FDA clearance for its MeMed BV blood test that can distinguish, in minutes, between bacterial and viral infections. It can help prevent the inappropriate use of antibiotics that leads to antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
3D printed blood vessels from plant leaves
Scientists at Israel’s Technion Institute have succeeded in 3D printing a network of blood vessels that can provide blood to implanted tissues. The collagen used in the printing process was derived from tobacco plants and made by Israel’s Collplant.
74 new cancer research grants
The Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) has announced 74 new cancer research grants valued at over $4.6 million, that will be funded in 2021/22.
Eli explains CPR
United Hatzalah CEO Eli Beer gives another of his straightforward step-by-step guides – this time to CPR which could save a life if an EMT failed to arrive in the 3 minutes that United Hatzalah targets.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Tel Aviv – the world’s funnest city
Time Out magazine has ranked Tel Aviv as the world’s “funniest” city, and eighth of the 37 “best cities” around the world. It also came second in the food and drink category and was the city most likely to be described by its residents as “good for people like me.”
Special WHO performance
Israel’s Shalva Band of musicians with disabilities performed “A Million Dreams” for the World Health Organization (WHO). They helped promote its Regional Committee for Europe (online) Conference on the highest attainable standard of health for persons with disabilities.
Israeli-French-American Holocaust survivor and historian Saul Friedlander was one of the recipients of this year’s Balzan Prizes, for scholarly and scientific achievements. The prize, and 750,000 Swiss francs, was for his work broadening the perspective on the history of the Holocaust.
The 4th top country for digital quality of life
Israel has risen from 8th place to 4th in the annual Digital Quality of Life Index 2021 (see here for 2020 ranking). 110 countries were ranked on digital wellbeing based on factors such as internet affordability (Israel 2nd), quality (11th), and e-government services (29th).
Despite recent forest fires, the 2021 Global Tree Assessment reports that 45 of Israel’s 65 wild tree species are in the “Least Concern” category. 30% of the rest of the world’s 58,497 known tree species are threatened with extinction but only one Israeli tree – the Negev tamarisk is categorized as “endangered”.
Aid to Vietnam
The Israeli Embassy in Vietnam has distributed 500 packages of food and basic hygiene products to some of the weakest families on the outskirts of Hanoi, Vietnam. The coronavirus pandemic has caused destitution and each of the packages contains enough to sustain a family for one week.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Innovation company for synthetic biology
The Israeli Government’s Innovation Authority has launched a $5 million company for research & development into synthetic biology. It will provide services to Israeli startups and established firms in the fields of healthcare, agriculture, energy, food tech, defense, and security.
Meat-free alternatives using simple ingredients
Israeli startup Alfred’s FoodTech has developed a platform for companies to produce plant-based whole cuts that mimic animal-derived products. The texturization process uses minimal ingredients to produce low cost, high protein, flavorful, sustainable, animal-free products.
A better battery
Israel’s Addionics is “charging ahead” with its battery technology. It is partnering with the Centre of Process Innovation at the UK’s University of Warwick in the UK government-funded Project STELLAR (Smart Three-dimensional ELectrode Lithium-ion batteries with Automated Robotics).
Securing sensitive smartphones
Israel’s Assac Networks protects smartphones from hacking and tapping. Its customers include banks, fintech companies, cell-phone providers and government clients from countries including Spain, Singapore, Mexico and Italy. “Assac” comes from the Hebrew word Hazak meaning “strong”.
Twist and shout
Scientists in the lab of Professor Hossam Haick at Israel’s Technion Institute, have produced a stretchable electronic skin-like material and a lightweight wearable sensor capable of measuring bending and (for the first time) twisting motion. They can be used to warn of problems e.g., affecting Parkinson’s patients.
Drone navigation without GPS
NavGuard from Israel’s Asio Technologies provides drones with the ability to navigate even if they lose satellite signals. It allows the drone to process video feeds from onboard cameras, analyze its surroundings and convert the data into precise location information. (Other Israeli systems see here).
Israel’s Oriient uses slight changes in the earth’s magnetic field to enable users to find their way around inside buildings, the same way that Waze enables drivers to navigate outside. Put a list of products into the app, and it will map out the most efficient path through the store to buy those items
Israeli avocados in India
Israel’s Mehadrin has been helping farmers to grow avocados in Morocco and Peru. Now, Israeli training has helped Harshit Godha set up Indo Israel Avocado in Bhopal, India, with 1,800 heat-resistant Israeli avocado plants, plus irrigation from Israel’s Netafim.
Art for a digital age
Israel’s Niio says it believes that Art should be experienced digitally. 6,000 artists use Niio to market their visual creations to individuals, municipalities, and businesses. Niio uses NFT (Non-fungible tokens – unique pieces of cryptocurrency) to trade and protect these art works.
Preventing security attacks from your friends
Israel’s Panorays has developed an information security platform that identifies weaknesses and issues in the customers’ supply chain. It will prevent a malicious hacker in a third-party supplier’s system from launching a security attack on your network.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Record investment in FinTech
$2.3 billion was invested in FinTech (Israeli Financial Technology companies) in the first half of 2021, some 28% higher than the whole of 2020. Payment solutions are Israel’s largest innovation sector with 500 companies helping the global economy process transactions remotely.
DiCaprio invests in Aleph
Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio has certainly got an appetite for Israeli startups. In addition to his previous investments (see here) he has now put some of his wealth into Israeli cultivated meat company Aleph Farms “to transform our food system”. He also join Aleph’s advisory board.
Ethical Israeli investments
Israel’s Hanaco is a venture capital fund that invests in companies that adhere to ESG (Environmental, Social and Governmental) standards. In Israel, there is a huge choice and Hanaco has selected Redefine Meat, Via, Infarm, FundBox, Moovit, Candid, EasySend, MDI, Feex, SeeTree, and others.
Israeli AI for Japanese underwriter
Japan’s second-largest commercial insurance provider, Sompo, is to use the AI-based risk analytics from Israel’s Planck Resolution, to help automate some of Sompo’s underwriting processes. Planck uses public records, online images, videos, reviews etc., to generate risk-related insights.
Israeli radar for German navy
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will co-supply new radars worth 200 million Euros that will modernize sensor technology onboard the F124 air-defense frigates of the German Navy.
Israeli startup in $1 billion takeover
In a reversal of the usual type of acquisition, Israel’s Kape Technologies has paid nearly $1 billion to acquire ExpressVPN, one of the world’s leading Virtual Private Network software providers. Kape (on London’s AIM) previously acquired GhostVPN, Zenmate VPN and Israel’s Webselenese.
Investment in Israeli startups:
Lightricks raised $130 million; StreamElements raised $100 million; Qwilt raised $70 million; ProteanTecs raised $50 million; Panorays raised $42 million; Blue White Robotics raised $37 million; Sternum raised $27 million; GrowthSpace raised $15 million; Niio raised $15 million; Cynamics raised $7 million; Way2VAT raised $5 million (IPO);
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
At 18,500 sq meters, Jerusalem’s Israel Museum has been listed by Newsweek as the world’s 17th largest museum. It contains 500,000 pieces of art, plus massive collections of archaeology and Jewish ritual objects. In comparison, the Paris Louvre’s 72,735 sq meters contains just 38,000 art pieces.
Love, Death and Plastic
The walls of Jaffa’s Sharabiya house were littered in trash – millions of pieces of microplastic, shapeshifted into coral reefs, sea creatures, photography, and more. The 3-day exhibit entitled “Love, Death, and Plastic” was created by sustainable artist Evelyn Anca – co-founder of Plastic Free Israel.
Euro baseball finalists
Israel’s team won the silver medal in European Baseball Championships in Torino (Turin) Italy – Israel’s first ever podium finish in the event. Although they lost to 2019 champions Netherlands in the final, they beat hosts Italy in the semi-finals plus Czech Republic, UK, France and Russia previously.
THE JEWISH STATE
Polish priest discovers he is Jewish
81-year-old Polish Catholic Priest discovered that his mother gave him as a baby to a Christian neighbor for safekeeping during the Shoah. Then one year, just before Rosh Hashana, he met with an Israeli Rabbi and now lives as a Jew in Jerusalem, working for the Yad Vashem museum.
Nefesh b’Nefesh has awarded grants to seven winners of their 2021 “Initiative for Zionist Innovation” (IZI). They are ProSheva, Olim Portal for Environmental Networking & Integration, Yakar Tel Aviv, Givat Shmuel Community, NCSY Israel, Be’erot Beit Midrash, and Kochav Darom Community.
Make your sukkah fly
These unique sukkah decoration designs from Israel’s Air Force may be too late for this year, but the site is worth bookmarking for next year.
Or just search www.IsraelActive.com for “Sukkah decoration”.