Tech to rehabilitate at home; Big Vegan success; ER nurse wins six European swimming medals; and much more!
by Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
“Last resort” myeloma treatment approved
The US FDA has granted accelerated approval to XPOVIO for the treatment of resistant or relapsed multiple myeloma. XPOVIO (Selinexor) was developed by Karyopharm Therapeutics, established by Israel’s Dr. Sharon Shacham,.and based in Newton MA.
Tech to rehabilitate at home
Israel’s WizeCare offers physiotherapists and clinicians an app that enables them to guide their patients during their at-home rehabilitation exercises. It has partnered with the Cleveland Clinic for their staff to provide personalized videos for patients and monitor compliance.
Super prawn controls disease afflicting 220 million
I reported previously (Aug 2016) that Ben Gurion University scientists were cultivating all-male prawns to eradicate schistosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa. Now, with Israeli startup Enzoomic, they have produced all-female prawns – much better at controlling the disease.
Donated ambulances attended 75,000 calls
As reported previously (see here), retired UK surgeon Norman Rosenbaum, 84, has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for Magen David Adom. His 12 MDA ambulances have attended some 75,064 calls over the years. Its crews have helped 997 women to give birth.
IDF soldiers have saved 2,000 lives
The Ezer Mizion Bone Marrow Registry has just reached an amazing milestone: 2,000 IDF soldiers have donated their stem cells to save 2,000 patients around the world. They not only protect citizens of the State of Israel, but also globally, those whose lives depend on a stem cell transplant.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Music for autistic children
18-year-old Israeli Yuval Sinay founded Special Sound – a project in which young musicians help children and young adults on the autism spectrum to express themselves through music. Yuval received the President’s Award for Volunteerism in July.
Tech accelerator for startups with female founders
Tel Aviv’s latest accelerator – Women of Startup Nation Accelerator (WOSNA) – launched last week, comprising 11 startups with at least one female founder. Its aim is to change today’s male-orientated domination of top Israeli companies, one female-founded startup at a time.
Ethiopian PM meets Ethiopian-Israeli mother
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali began a two-day visit to Israel by speaking to the mother of Avera Mengistu held by Hamas in Gaza. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu invited Agamesh Mengistu to meet Abiy. 150,000 Jews of Ethiopian descent live in Israel.
IDF disability mission to the Himalayas
The Friends Association of the IDF Disabled (and in collaboration with El Al) has organized a “Liberation Trip” to the Himalayas for 21 wounded Israeli veterans. They are currently climbing up to the Canadian-La crossing of the Himalayas – about 5,000 meters above sea level.
RAF and IAF in joint UK exercise
I reported previously (26th Jan) that the Israeli Air Force would be conducting a joint exercise in September with UK’s Royal Air Force. Exercise Cobra Warrior is now underway and includes German, Italian and US planes. It is the first time Israeli military aircraft have flown in Britain.
Honduras opens Jerusalem office
Honduras has opened a trade mission with diplomatic status in Jerusalem. Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez declared the inauguration to be a “first step” toward moving the embassy to Israel’s capital. President Hernández was presented with the Friends of Zion award.
Environment support to Argentina
KKL-JNF World President Daniel Atar signed a cooperation agreement with Sergio Casas, governor of La Rioja, Argentina. It covers fighting desertification, supporting education about the environment and the efficient use of resources in two Argentinian provinces.
Emergency aid to the Bahamas
Israel-based humanitarian group IsraAID is among the Jewish groups providing help the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian’s devastation. This includes distributing relief supplies, deploying filters to provide drinking water, trauma support and assessing further needs.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Foundation brings good ideas to market
Non-profit Zimin Foundation has set up, in Tel Aviv University, the Zimin Institute for Engineering Solutions Advancing Better Lives. It aims to help ease the path of good ideas to market. More institutes will be set up in Israel and overseas, each receiving up to $5 million in funding.
Bloomberg foundation launches Innovation Hubs
Bloomberg Philanthropies has launched a new network of innovation hubs, called Hazira. Bloomberg’s existing innovation teams in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Be’er Sheva, will expand to 12 additional cities in Israel. Each will work on a project selected by that city’s mayor.
EU funds four promising Israeli researchers
The European Union has awarded European Research Council Starting Grants to four young scientists from Ben-Gurion University. They are Dr. Deborah Toiber (Life Sciences) and three chemists – Prof Manny Shalom, Dr Benjamin Palmer and Dr Joshua Baraban.
The first Chinese center of excellence outside China
The Chinese Academy of Sciences is to establish its first center of excellence outside China. The lab, based at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, will specialize in nanotechnology research – particularly nano-medicine and printing two-dimensional materials.
Tech Transfer conference
The AUTM ASIA 2019 Conference (4 – 7 Nov) brings hundreds of global academics, government and industry experts to Jerusalem to discuss critical issues regarding technology transfer. Universities, hospitals, HMOs and research institutes launched 74 new companies in 2018.
An app to help recycling
Israel’s Environmental Protection Ministry is urging the Israeli public to wise-up on how to recycle products and materials. One of the key resources is the orange recycling bin located outside all residencies in most cities. The downloadable recycling game Catomolo helps identify what to put in it.
The value of feeling
NaNose inventor Professor Hossam Haick (see here) has co-founded Israeli startup Feelit. Its printable sensors monitor and alert if a material suffers (e.g.) structural integrity, warping, overheating, wear & tear and pressure buildup. Feelit has just won Calcalist & KPMG Israel’s Industry 4.0 startup competition.
A global ecosystem for vegans
Israeli startup Vegan Nation is building the world’s first global marketplace for vegans. Its e-commerce platform includes its own digital currency, the VeganCoin (VCN) for businesses, service providers and consumers. It has a vast social network for messaging, sharing content and much more.
Safe, low-energy autonomous driving
The technology of Israel’s Cartica AI predicts road behavior (drivers and pedestrians). It uses low power to recognize thousands of object types in all weathers and lighting conditions. It has just received funds to launch its Autonomous AI platform and expand global operations.
Using AI to remove landmines
Landmine clearance cost $770 million globally in 2017, yet mines killed some 2,800 people with thousands more injured. Now, Israeli startup 4M Analytics provides a “minefields location intelligence solution” that slashes costs and timescales. It has even detected mines in previously “cleared” areas.
Electric buses on Jerusalem streets
Egged bus number 15 from the Central Bus Station to Talpiot is the first electric bus to run in Jerusalem. Part of a government initiative to reduce air pollution in Israel’s capital, they feature zero pollution, quiet operation, and five hours or 200 km between charges.
Success for algae treatment
I reported previously (19th Jan) on Israel’s BlueGreen Water Technologies and its environment friendly Lake Guard treatment for toxic algae. Lake Guard was just used to treat Chippewa Lake in Ohio. Blue Green says it killed all the toxic algae in the lake within just one day.
Microsoft Israel chief is now a teacher
Avi Nathan retired as general manager of Microsoft Israel in 2007. Now he is teaching math at Kiryat Tivon middle school in Northern Israel, using his technical skills to benefit the next generation. After retiring from Microsoft, he took a degree in education at Israel’s Technion Institute.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Economy still strong
Fitch Ratings has affirmed Israel’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Rating (IDR) at ‘A+’ with a Stable Outlook. It cited strong external finances (with high financing flexibility), robust macroeconomic performance and solid institutional strength. S&P affirmed its AA- rating early in August.
Freezing tumors in Japan & Singapore
Israel’s IceCure Medical (see here) has signed an agreement with Japan’s Terumo for the rights to sell the Israeli cryoablation cancer treatment in Japan and Singapore. IceCure’s ultrasound-guided probe injects liquid nitrogen into a tumor, to freeze and destroy the cancer cells.
Mobileye builds in Jerusalem
I reported previously (May 2017) on Mobileye’s plans for its massive global development center in Jerusalem. The cornerstone for the new campus has just been laid by Israel’s PM, together with the Economy Minister, the Jerusalem Mayor and Mobileye’s president and CEO.
Ride-sharing tech for NYC school buses
I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israeli-founded Via and its ride-sharing technology. Now, Via is licensing its technology to the New York City Department of Education for its school bus system. Routes can be adapted to kids’ needs and GPS tracking benefits parents and students.
Big Vegan success
Just two months ago (see here) McDonald’s launched its new Big Vegan burger in 18 Israeli outlets. It has now expanded this to 40 of its 186 branches in Israel. The Big Vegan is produced by Osem-Nestle subsidiary Tivoll. McDonald’s is also marketing a double-size vegan burger.
Natural gas by-product is worth $1 billion
The consortium operating Israel’s largest gas field Leviathan is in advanced talks to sell its natural-gas condensate – worth some $1 billion over the 35-year life of the field. The gas production by-product can be used as a raw material in the production of greener fuel or as a diluent for oil.
Amazon’s 12th Sep Israel launch date
Amazon has given Israeli retailers a 12th Sep date for the launch of its service in Israel. It has urged registered retailers to ready their stock and product list, advising them to prioritize products that could be popular ahead of the Jewish New Year commencing 29th September.
BMW, Toyota and OurCrowd seek AI vision
I reported previously (see here) on Israeli computer vision startup Cortica. Now, BMW and Toyota’s investment arms, together with Israel’s OurCrowd are partnering with Cortica to launch Cartica – a subsidiary that will develop Artificial Intelligence for autonomous vehicles.
Visa partners 3 Israeli startups
Payments giant Visa has partnered with three Israeli fintech companies through its startup collaboration lab, Innovation Studios. They are ChargeAfter (instant credit), Mesh Payments (online cross-border transaction service) and Zooz (payment platform).
Cybersecurity “Black Unicorns”
Cyber Defense Magazine’s 10 winners of its 2019 Black Unicorn Awards, include three Israeli companies. Checkmarx, XM Cyber and ObservIT. According to Cyber Defense, they all have the potential to reach $1 billion market valuation and be termed a “Unicorn”.
Anglo Media has acquired English-language Israeli media platform Janglo.net and entered into a partnership with Torah Tidbits. Janglo is Israel’s largest online community for English speakers, receiving some 150,000 visits per month. It also posts the VeryGoodNewsIsrael newsletter.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Rare photos at National Library
The Pritzker Family National Photography Collection of over two million images, will be stored and digitized at The National Library of Israel. The largest repository of photographs of Israel in the world includes never-before-seen images of Golda Meir and rare snapshots of Theodor Herzl.
ER nurse wins six European swimming medals
Ruthy Weiner, an Emergency Room staff nurse at Galilee Medical Center, won aix medals (including four gold) at the European Masters Games for athletes over 25 in Torino, Italy. Ruthy also broke the Israeli 100m butterfly record in the 40-44 age group,
New 10km European record
Israeli runner Lonah Chemtai-Salpeter clocked a time of 30:04 in the Tilburg Ten Miles race in the Dutch city of Tilburg, cutting a huge 17 seconds off the European women’s record for 10km, set by legendary runner Paula Radcliffe in 2003.
THE JEWISH STATE
Onward Israel is a subsidized program for students and recent graduates interested in exploring areas of work in the Jewish State. Largely supported by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, participants experience unique, practical internships with Israeli companies and educational institutions.
High marks for Birthright Excel
I reported previously (see here) on the Birthright Israel Excel program that brings Jewish students from top universities in the US and Canada to internships in Israeli companies. Since 2010, nearly 800 students have been mentored to become business leaders with strong ties to the Jewish State.
One of the earliest color films of Jerusalem
Jerusalem Cinematheque is digitizing a rare film of Jerusalem in the 1930s. The Margulis family home movie features the Hebrew University; giving charity to beggars at the Western Wall; Haredi Jews from the Old Yishuv and Ashkenazi Jews wearing Sephardi clothes.
Nauru recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
The Republic of Nauru, a Pacific island country, has recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Saving the Jewish State at birth
Please watch this seven-minute documentary “Israel Survived an Early Challenge”. Produced by Pen State Professor Boaz Dvir, together with Retro Report, it focuses on a secret, operation to save newborn Israel in 1948.
Unlikely benefit from terror attack
I reported previously (Nov 2015) of a terror attack victim whose life was saved twice when a tumor was discovered during hospital treatment. In a similar story Shira Sabag, critically injured in a Dec 2018 terror attack, was also found to have a tumor – in the brain. It was successfully removed.
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