Woman head of IDF innovation; Switzerland’s fleet of Israeli UAVs; Israeli wines have a bright outlook; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Israeli-led European cancer consortium
Professors from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Hadassah Cancer Research Institute are leading CanceRNA – a European consortium working to develop novel immunotherapy treatments for cancer. The consortium will initially focus on treating acute myeloid leukemia.
Turning cancer into a chronic disease
Ofer Shalev, Founder & CEO at Israel’s New Phase (see here previously) spoke at CTech’s Mind the Tech NY Conference. New Phase’s hyperthermic therapy reduces cancer from Stage 4 to Stage 2 so patients can live with a better quality of life. Clinical trials have started.
The full picture of cancer diagnosis
The death of his mother led Dean Bitan to found Israel’s Imagene (see here previously). The startup has developed tech that can conduct a full molecular analysis on a digitized biopsy image in real time and give a result in minutes, instead of the current situation of a few weeks.
Finding the right antidepressant
Israel’s Genetika+ is developing a precision tool to determine if a particular antidepressant will work for an individual. It will also apparently highlight any side effects. (See also Taliaz.)
Algae for mind and body
A recent clinical study has shown that AstaPure Arava® by Israel’s Solabia- Algatech Nutrition benefits the immune system and lowers stress. It boosts the gut microbiome while lowering the stress hormone cortisol. The result is a much better resistance to infections.
A new center for neuroscience
Israel’s Sheba Medical Center is partnering with Thomas Jefferson University in the USA, to promote neuroscience research and clinical treatment at both institutions. It includes construction of a cutting-edge neuroscience center on Sheba’s Tel HaShomer campus, targeted to open in late 2024.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Arab Israeli scouts march through Jaffa
Jaffa was the venue for the largest ever Arab Israeli scout march. The Israel Arab Scouts Association was founded in 1956 and is based on values of community service and volunteering. It also promotes coexistence and integration into Israeli society.
A day in the life of a Muslim EMT in Jerusalem
Muslim Ramzi Batesh lives Beit Safafa, Jerusalem. He works at the dispatch center of United Hatzalah and as one of the organization’s volunteer EMTs and ambucycle drivers. In one day, he (and his Jewish colleagues) saved a Jew, a Muslim, and a Christian.
Arab women’s beehives on Jerusalem roofs
Arab Israeli Tareq Nassar and Jewish Israeli Liel Maghen have founded the Sinsila Center for Urban Sustainability. It has empowered 115 Arab women to each maintain two beehives on Eastern Jerusalem roofs. An additional 200 Arab women have joined the program for 2023.
Woman head of IDF innovation
Lt. Col Michal Frenkel is the Head of Innovation at the IDF’s Innovation & Combat Methods Division. Her background is in anthropology, organizational sociology, and behavioral sciences. After her mandatory service, she worked at tech giant Intel Corp, before rejoining the IDF.
Switzerland’s fleet of Israeli UAVs
The Swiss Air Force is to counter threats using its new fleet of Hermes Starliner unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) manufactured by Israel’s Elbit Systems. The systems will be mainly used for intelligence gathering, including dealing with illegal infiltrations into the country.
Law and Order
Judges from 71 countries came to Tel Aviv for the 64th conference of the International Association of Judges. It gave the Israeli representatives the opportunity to emphasize that the State of Israel is a unique beacon of democracy in the Middle East.
Delegations from Indonesia and Pakistan
Recent visitors to Israel included officials from Indonesia and Pakistan – two countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel. The arrival of a top official from Indonesia was being kept relatively secret. Annual bi-lateral trade with Indonesia totals some $500 million.
Defending the world
For the first time in history, Inspector General of the Moroccan Armed Forces, Lt.-Gen. Belkhir El Farouk arrived in Israel, to participate in the IDF’s International Operational Innovation Conference. He joined the commanders of some 25 armies around the world.
Israel welcomes Indian business delegation
A delegation of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) NGO came to Israel on a business mission, hosted by Tel Aviv University (TAU). The CII represents over 300,000 Indian enterprises. TAU will also host the 15th India-Israel Forum in December.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Breakthrough research. The Israel Science Foundation (see here previously) has awarded Breakthrough Research Grants to eleven outstanding scholars. They include for therapeutics for deafness, link between sleep disorders and brain diseases, the energetic state of proteins, big data, bacteria to fight viruses, and blood aging.
50 years of US-Israel scientific partnership
The U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF), has helped fund breakthroughs in robotics, cancer diagnostics and therapies, brain defect reversal, space exploration, and chemical warfare protection. Scientists in BSF programs have won Nobels and Turing Awards.
The most US patents
With 63 approved US patents, Israel’s Technion Institute is 40th in the world and number one in Europe. It ranks higher than the University of Oxford, Princeton University, and other well-established and well-known universities. Tel Aviv University was ranked at number 68.
Climate tech hub in NYC
Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) has several projects in New York City (see here previously). Now it has inaugurated a first-of-its-kind global center for startups focusing on climate tech, but including clean energy, transportation, water treatment, food tech, waste reduction, and the supply chain.
Science lectures in Belgrade bars
Scientists from Israel’s Weizmann Institute brought their unique “Science on tap” lectures in bars (see here previously) to the bars and taverns of Belgrade Serbia. They partnered Serbian scientists on Serbian National Science Day, to make science accessible over a glass of beer and Balkan raki.
Teen wins silver medal at computer Olympiad
Israel’s Eitan Elbaum, 17, won a silver medal at this year’s International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. A total of 346 students from 90 countries took part. Eitan studies at Jerusalem College of Technology’s Torah U’Mada Yeshiva High School.
Ultrasonic technology for fabrics
The innovative ultrasonic technology from Israel’s Sonovia (see here previously) makes fabrics antibacterial, water resistant, and flame resistant with less pollution than current methods. The technology is being integrated into the fabrics made by Israeli textile company Delta Galil.
Turning polluted water into fertilizer
Researchers at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University have developed an industrial wastewater cleaning process for water polluted with phosphoric acid. Following selective electrodialysis, reverse osmosis, and neutralization, the extracted phosphates are used by the fertilizer industry.
Eco-friendly metal recovery
Israel’s Tenova Advanced Technologies is now part of the Italian Tenova metals processing giant. It provides solutions for the mining and chemical industries, including metal extraction and phosphate processing from ore to purified phosphoric acid and salts.
When a sink hole appeared in Tel Aviv’s Ayalon highway, the highway authority called in Israel’s Exodigo (see here previously) to perform an underground scan. The multi-sensing artificial intelligence platform helped identify corrective actions to reinforce the road against further subsidence.
Recycling wood in 4D
Remember Israel’s Daika Wood (see here) that recycles waste wood, molding, or 3D-printing it into “impossible” shapes? Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have now developed paste from recycled wood that can be molded in 4 dimensions – shapes that change over time.
The inside view
Some 20% of food is wasted between harvesting and distribution. The hyperspectral-powered AI scanning technology from Israel’s Neolithics can reduce that wastage by at least one third. Neolithics inspects fruits and vegetables from the inside out – in the orchard, in the packing house, and in the store.
A better meat alternative
Israel’s Meala FoodTech produces “functional proteins” for plant-based meat alternatives. They replace methylcellulose and other hydrocolloid and gums widely used in meat alternatives as binding and gelling agents. The result is a more natural product, but with a better meat-like texture and taste.
Distance learning for Ukrainian teachers
Israeli-founded Viber (see here previously), owned by Japan’s Rakuten, has developed “Teach the Teachers”- a chatbot to support remote education of Ukrainian teachers and students. The free 10-module course includes organizing homework, motivation, and monitoring attendance.
Intelligent automated responses
Israel’s Tymely has developed an AI-based outsourced contact center that sends intelligent tailored responses to customer correspondence. It even follows company policies on compensation or discounts when processing customer complaints, freeing employees to focus on new business.
Robotics as a service
Israel’s 1MRobotics is developing small, automated, robotic dark stores that can meet the requirements of companies who wish to provide “last mile” delivery and distribution services to customers. 1MRobotics’ storage and retrieval operations require a minimal (often zero) workforce.
At Calcalist’s Mind the Tech 2022 Conference in New York, Eyal Desheh, of Tevel Aerobotics Technologies (see here previously) explained why automation was essential in front line agriculture. “People just don’t want to do work in agriculture anymore”, he stated.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Economy grows by 6.8%
Israel’s GDP grew 6.8% on an annualized basis in the second quarter of 2022 thanks to recoveries in the tourism, aviation, hospitality, restaurant, and transport services sectors. GDP is 7.4% higher than at Jun 2021 – the highest growth recorded of any OECD country.
Training for 10,000
Palo Alto Networks, Insight Partners, and executives from across the high-tech industry are establishing PLACE-IL – a new platform for recruiting and training employees. Its goal is to train 10,000 high-tech workers from underrepresented Israeli sectors such as Arabs, ultra-Orthodox, Druze and Ethiopians.
Israel’s National Council for Research and Development has added food tech, renewables, bioengineering, space tech and blue tech to its 14 civilian R&D priorities for the next five years. They already included AI, data science and quantum computing. It will distribute NIS 180 million a year in research grants.
Three Israeli solar panel cleaning startups have been reported previously in this newsletter. Bladeranger, Ecoppia, and NaanDanJain. Now there’s a third – Airtouch Solar, which uses an air blower to lift and push the dust forward horizontally along arrays of panels. The dust falls into the gaps between clusters.
Redefine Meat is going places
Plant-based New-Meat from Israel’s Redefine Meat (see here previously) is now available in over 500 restaurants, hotels and other foodservice locations across Israel and eight European countries including the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and (just recently) Finland.
Preventing food waste in seven countries
Latest news about Israel’s Wasteless (see here previously). It is now saving supermarkets in seven countries from throwing out expired food by using its AI to reduce prices dynamically as the expiry date approaches.
Travelling together, so book together
Israel’s Joyned (see here previously) has launched Joyned Booking, a travel tech solution that enables travelers to engage with friends while booking their trips. It turns travel websites into an interactive F&F booking experience.
Exits, takeovers and mergers to 25/9/22:
Investment in Israeli startups to 25/9/22:
Deep Instinct raised $62 million; AccessFintech raised $60 million; 4M Analytics raised $30 million; CytoReason raised $20 million; Noble (BeNoble.ai) raised $18 million; 1MRobotics raised $16.5 million; BioBetter raised $10 million; Pente Networks raised $10 million; Tymely raised $7 million; Nilos raised $5.2 million; TULU raised $5 million;
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Israeli wines have a bright outlook
Two prominent articles on Israeli wines in the latest issue of the prestigious Wine Spectator magazine.
Stay safe, get tough
Israel’s Natan Levy (see here) uses his physical skills to fight antisemitism. He is competing in the Ultimate Fighting Championship martial arts competition. He says, “In Israel, you don’t get antisemitism in school or the workplace, but every Jew in the world should learn the art of self-defense.”
THE JEWISH STATE
Seven Olim received the 2022 Sylvan Adams Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize for their contributions to the State of Israel (see previous years). They include Prof. Eidelman (Neonatology and much more), Prof. Hartstein (Opthomology in Ethiopia), and Asher Friedman (Israeli-Emirati Forum).
A kosher hotel in Jerusalem
Nothing surprising here, you may think. But this building in the Old City of Jerusalem was once a Jewish kosher hotel, right up to the 1930s as can be seen from the grooves where mezuzahs used to be. And after renovations, it hopefully will be a kosher hotel again.
Japanese Christian supporters
Members of the Makuya Japanese Christian group came to Jerusalem to show support for Israel.
Preparing for the New Year in Jerusalem
The Real Jerusalem Streets were filled last week with the sounds of pre-New Year prayers (Selichot). They take place not only at synagogues but also at the International Conference Center and even in Jerusalem’s public parks.
Aliyah increased by 128% in 5782
The Jewish state absorbed 60,000 new citizens during the Jewish year 5782 – a 128% increase compared with 2021, when 28,500 Jews came on Aliyah. The majority went to the cities of Tel Aviv, Haifa, Netanya, and Jerusalem.
209 Ethiopians arrive
A flight carrying 209 olim (new immigrants) from Ethiopia, including 41 children and toddlers, landed at Ben Gurion Airport as part of Operation Tzur Yisrael (Rock of Israel) to bring Ethiopia’s Jewry to Israel. They will celebrate Rosh Hashanah together with their relatives in Israel (see 2nd link below).
Aliyah at 101
Another example of it never being too late to make Aliyah. Stellah Rokoff is 101 years young. Born in Jerusalem, her family left pre-state Israel for the USA in 1926, when she was five. Israel has changed a bit in the last 96 years! Welcome back Stellah.
Israel’s population grew by 187,000 (2%) in the last Jewish year, including some 177,000 babies. The average life expectancy for males is now 80.5 years, whereas for females it is 84.6 years – one of the world’s highest.
Five red heifers
Many religious Jews have been waiting for the rare appearance of a red heifer – a cow with entirely brownish red hair, required for the purification process prior to service in the final Temple. Five kosher red heifers have just arrived at Ben Gurion airport – the gift of a Christian Zionist in Texas.