SPRING in the JERUSALEM HILLS Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
A British paraplegic will run the London Marathon using an Israeli “ReWalk” exoskeleton. The Duchess of Cambridge wears coats that were styled on that worn by an ultra-orthodox Israeli. Israel’s National Library publishes Sir Isaac (Law of Gravity) Newton’s notes on Jewish Law. My cousin’s Kibbutz Amiad has made a real “splash” Down-Under. 1960’s top jazz bass player Henry Grimes performs in Israel and reveals a 30-year mystery. Israel has excavated and reconstructed a 2500-year old Ramat Rachel royal garden.
· Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summaries
Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Paralysed Brit to run London Marathon in Israeli exoskeleton. (thanks to NoCamels and Technion) Paralysed in a horse-riding accident in 2007, Claire Lomas was told by doctors that she would never walk again. But thanks to Argo’s ReWalk, she plans to complete the 26 mile London Marathon in April.
Opening the blood brain barrier. Israel’s Brainsway reported positive final results in a clinical trial of its Deep TMS (transcanial magnetic stimulation) device for opening of the blood brain barrier in patients with malignant brain tumours. This is important for chemotherapy, and new therapies, in order to provide more focused delivery to improve their effectiveness.
Hope for Celiac sufferers. Israel’s BiolineRX has reported positive results in the preclinical trial of BL-7010, its treatment for celiac disease. The study found that BL-7010 was safe and reduces digestion of wheat gluten, thereby decreasing its toxicity. Currently, there is no cure or pharmacological treatment for the disease.
Understanding the memory process. Current research into the working of the brain at the cellular level has led to major new treatments. Watch Prof Yadin Dudai of the Weizmann Institute, 5mins into to this discussion of an international panel of experts at a joint meeting of the European Molecular and Cellular Cognition Society and Haifa Forum for Brain and Behaviour.
A breakthrough platform for effective drugs. The first and most lengthy step in the process of drug development is the initial screening process, which includes the identification of potential candidates. The technology of AEBi- Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies Ltd results in dramatic decrease in the pool of false negative and false positive candidates and a cheaper, faster drug discovery process.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Dalia fixes it. Dalia Bassa is responsible for all health related affairs between the Israeli Ministry of Health and Palestinian Authority. In 2011 she helped 100,000 Palestinian Arabs get treatment in Israel. In 2002 she brought a young Arab boy with 85% burns to Hadassah hospital. Ten years later she received an invitation to his wedding.
No apartheid here. 100 Israelis from different sectors in society will represent and defend the State in 13 international cities during Israel Apartheid Week. The “Faces of Israel” mission includes settlers, Arabs, artists, experts in national security, gay people, and immigrants from Ethiopia.
Israel – A haven for Arabs. Nice short article by David Ha’ivri, refuting slanderous claims about apartheid.
Shelter for homeless Africans. The Tel Aviv Municipality has set-up shelters for homeless migrant Africans sleeping in Lewinsky Park in South Tel Aviv. The Municipality currently operates a women’s only shelter, a shelter for male drug users, and one for recovering male drug users. The city estimates there are around 700 homeless people in the city currently receiving assistance from the municipality.
French farmers want Israel’s know-how. A delegation of 20 top French agricultural professionals has been on a weeklong tour, organised by the France-Israel Foundation. Specific interest areas included Israel’s innovations in irrigation and in milk production.
Israeli water is a “tonic” to India. Israel and India have signed a key agreement on water treatment technologies last week. The deal includes the development of joint research and development ventures in the fields of resource management, sewage and drainage.
Cyprus loves Israel. Recent events include the first ever visit by an Israeli Prime Minister to Cyprus; the signing of an agreement that will allow IDF planes and ships to use Cypriot airspace and territorial waters; and the launch of a joint natural gas and oil exploration venture.
Cal Tech reinstates Israel study program. California State University has reinstated its Study Abroad Program in Israel and has chosen the University of Haifa as its location of choice. The Cal State suspended the program in 2002 due to security concerns.
Start-up World. Saul Singer co-authored Israel – Start-up Nation. He knows Israeli skills are in high demand throughout the world. Countries also want to learn how they can become start-up nations like Israel. The ideal solution is for Israelis to teach them to use their own skills and to develop partnerships for mutual success.
Saul spoke at the successful business breakfast hosted at Israel’s Embassy in London on Feb 7th.
Kate’s designer inspired by Israeli Hassidic coat. Katherine Hooker, the Duchess of Cambridge’s favourite designer, has told New York magazine that she has based several of Middleton’s slim, close-fitting wool coats on a black silk frock coat that she bought years back in an Israeli second-hand store.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Israeli companies flock to Barcelona. Israel will have the 4th largest delegation at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona – the most important showcase event for the mobile industry. One in every 13 booths will be Israeli. The Israel Export Institute has sponsored 100 companies and dozens more are exhibiting independently.
Technology nurseries. Israel has facilities for even the smallest of start-ups. TechLoft’s space is the shared home to a dozen or more seed-stage companies or even pre-seed companies (businesses that haven’t yet reached start-up status). Some of them aren’t companies at all – just teams of people working to formulate an idea.
From Lying to Love. Israel’s Nemesysco Layered Voice Analysis (LVA) technology detects stress and emotion. It has security, medical, recruitment and insurance applications. It can even sense when two individuals “click” – on the phone, over skype, or locally on a handheld PDA or smartphone.
What’s the air like today? Israel’s AirBase Systems develops the CanarIT – a low-cost, effective air quality sensor that logs the level of pollution, analyses it, and delivers warnings, alerts, and information to help people protect their health.
The mysteries of the Universe. Professor Tsevi Mazeh of Tel Aviv University was part of the NASA team that has discovered planets circling around twin suns, over 5000 light-years away. The data was collected by NASA’s Kepler satellite and has revealed that most suns in the universe exist in pairs.
The stamp of approval. Based in the Gutwirth Science Park in Technion City, Israel’s NanoSpun won 300,000 Euros in the Nano/Polymer Challenge in Italy in 2011. It has now been featured on a new Israeli postage stamp – the Technion 2012 Cornerstone Centennial Stamp. NanoSpun typifies Technion’s success in shaping and nurturing Israel as a high-tech global success.
Start-up at the library. The Tel Aviv municipality has allocated space at the City Library for young Israeli innovators to meet and share their ideas for new businesses. Avner Warner –Director of Economic Affairs describes Tel Aviv as a citywide incubator ecosystem of entrepreneurs, mentors and investors.
Keep your cool with Xsense. The quality monitoring system for perishable food from Israel’s StePac attracted much interest at the 4th Georgia Logistics Summit (see also news of the event below).
Newton’s 4th law – the Jewish Torah. Israel’s on-line National Library has released 7500 digitised pages in Sir Isaac Newton own handwriting revealing that Newton learnt Hebrew and used his scientific approach to study Jewish theology and mysticism.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Israel is the safest country for investing. According to the Bloomberg “riskless return” ranking, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s TA-25 Index 7.6% risk-adjusted return over the past ten years was the highest of the benchmark indexes of the top 24 developed-nations.
NICE fights crime in Hawaii. Several major International banks have purchased Actimize Enterprise Risk Case Manager from Israel’s NICE Systems to identify and report suspicious transactions related to money laundering and terrorist financing. The latest is the First Hawaiian Bank – part of BNP Paribas.
UBS opens up in Israel. The Swiss banking giant has launched a Wealth Management business in Tel Aviv. UBS Israel CEO Kobi Faigenbaum said UBS identified Israel as an important market and decided to deepen its operations here. UBS ranked Israel alongside Brazil and Russia, and ahead of the Gulf states.
Wireless in America. Close on the back of last week’s deal with Russia’s Tele2, Israel’s Ceragon has now won a substantial order from Telefonica for its wireless solutions. They will be installed in Chile, Panama and Venezuela to support Telefonica’s 25 million subscribers there.
Georgia on my mind. The US State was certainly on the mind of the Israeli delegation to the 4th Georgia Logistics Summit in Atlanta at the beginning of February. The event attracted 1,600 people and included a sponsored “Israel booth” that was a focal point of meetings.
3D printing in China. Israel’s Objet Ltd has signed up with Digital China and Shanghai Chengmei Technology to market, distribute and support its products in North and East China. The Objet Connex™ line of multi-material 3D inkjet printers features the world’s only technology to print onto 2 materials simultaneously.
Turning on the lights in Russia. Israel’s Micro Components Ltd (MCL) has commissioned the first Russian-based production of components for Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). By 2015 the factory is expected to produce 70,000 panels a month (around 3% of the global market for these components), sufficient for 7million LEDs.
Amiad wins $10m worth of Australian orders. Kibbutz Amiad builds wastewater treatment systems and filters. Recent orders include automatic self-cleaning screen filters for a desalination plant near Perth, and pre-filtration of Liquefied Natural Gas, in Southern Queensland.
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
The best museum. The Tel Aviv Museum of Art has won Best Museum Award 2012 in the prestigious Travel and Leisure Magazine for its new Herta and Paul Amir Building. The freestanding concrete-and-glass building comprises complex geometry and light-filled space, as was displayed in the video of the opening ceremony.
The mystery of Henry Grimes. The leading Jazz bassist of the late 1960s disappeared for over 30 years before resurfacing in 2002. Interviewed prior to his performance at the Tel Aviv Jazz festival, Henry Grimes reveals what happened.
Bearing South by SouthWest. SXSW 2012 is an interactive technology, music and film show that takes place each March in Austin, Texas. Over a quarter of a million visitors attended SXSW 2011. This year at least 15 Israeli companies are exhibiting their innovations and dozens of Israeli bands will be performing.
THE JEWISH STATE
A street scene in Jerusalem. Lovely Aish video “We’ve got to live together” with an important message.
Maori haka – Israeli style. In time for Purim, Israel’s New Zealand supporters perform the traditional Maori greeting / war dance. But can you translate the fearsome Hebrew chant?
Defiant and supportive. The Bielski brothers saved 1200 Jews in WW2 and were immortalised in the 2008 film “Defiance” starring Daniel Craig. Aharon Bielski, the youngest brother, came to Israel to visit the Givati Regiment, in which he served during the War of Independence. He told the soldiers, “No army in the world conducts itself as humanely as you do”.
Coffee shop gives relief to mentally ill. Two students from the Social Work department at Tel-Hai College run a special coffee shop on campus in cooperation with the Israeli Association for Mental Health (IAMH). “Cafe Motek” caters to the mentally disabled and to coffee lovers in general.
A tree for every student. Israel’s Hebrew Learning Center, eTeacher, has announced that it will plant a tree in the name of every student who signs up to one of its Modern or Biblical Hebrew courses. This campaign was launched following the Jewish holiday of “Tu Bishvat” – the “New Year of the Trees” celebrated in Israel.
2500 year-old garden reconstructed. Israeli researchers have used a unique technique to separate fossilised pollen and identify what grew in the ancient royal gardens of Ramat Rahel near Jerusalem. They reconstructed the layout of the garden, including the earliest known local citron tree, which originated in India.