This Weeks Sanity Report from Israel July 3 2017
The highlights include:
- Europe has approved an Israeli implant to prevent strokes.
- During Ramadan, Moslems in the IDF proudly protect Israel while fasting.
- Tennessee Police cars will carry portable Israeli child booster seats.
- Weizmann Institute counters BDS with BDS (Build Dialog through Science).
- Israeli cybersecurity protected organizations from recent global virus attacks.
- A Shanghai company is to train Israeli startups to do business in China.
- Israel welcomes Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
- Archeologists found a 1500-year-old menorah etching in Caesarea.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Hypertension treatment is on the right pathway. (TY UCI) I reported previously (Mar 2012) about the invasively implantable MobiusHD device from Israel’s Vascular Dynamics which reduces high blood pressure. MobiusHD is undergoing trials, has CE approval and is on the FDA’s Expedited Access Pathway program. It has also just received $10.4 million of funds.
Europe approves Israeli bladder cancer test. (TY Hazel) I reported previously (Jun 2014) on the non-invasive urine test of Israel’s Nucleix for monitoring bladder cancer treatment. Following a multi-center, 400-patients clinical trial, Nucleix has received the CE Mark allowing it to market Bladder EpiCheck in the E.U.
Boosting the immune system to beat melanoma. Dr. Michal Lotem is head of the Center for Melanoma and Cancer Immunotherapy at Hadassah Medical Center. Instead of going after the cancer, they target the immune system, boosting it to respond more aggressively to the disease.
Diagnosing heart attacks when it happens. Israel’s CorAlert is developing a non-invasive monitor that can diagnose heart failure in real-time. Sensors on the arm and chest, a pressure cuff and a proprietary algorithm estimate Left Ventricular End-Diastolic Pressure (LVEDP), an indicator of heart failure. CorAlert’s CEO Amir Marmor explains on ILTV.
Father’s brain injury triggers brain rehab startup. (TY TIP) After her father suffered a brain injury, Israeli neuroscientist Son Preminger founded Intendu – which has developed motion-based adaptive video games for brain training and rehabilitation. These adapt in real time to the cognitive and physical abilities of the user.
Life is a see-saw. When Israeli charity Ezer Mizion told a young law student she was a 100% bone marrow match for a 40-year-old female cancer patient, she jumped at the chance to save a life. But the patient’s health deteriorated and the operation was canceled. Then one day, during law exams, another window opened to save the woman.
We never stop innovating to save lives. Eli Beer explains how the United Hatzalah model of life-saving has revolutionized the field of pre-ambulatory emergency care in Israel and the impact that it is making around the world. The latest 180 new ambucycles was the largest dedication of emergency vehicles in Israel’s history.
Massive investment in Israeli Life Sciences. Israeli Life Sciences companies received $823 million in funds last year, representing 20% of all investments in Israeli high-tech. There are currently around 1,350 active life-sciences companies in Israel – of which 42% are in the medical devices sub-sector.
Syrian refugees meet Israel’s Dream Doctors. This video features two of Israel’s medical clowns – one Jewish and one Christian Arab – who bring relief and break down social barriers, one giant puffy red nose at a time. They may look silly, but they are revolutionizing the way Syrian refugees see Israel.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
More Israeli Wonder Women. (TY Sharon) The Facebook group Israeli Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (IWEN) has 700 members and helps Anglo female entrepreneurs in Israel. It recently organized a retreat for 43 members. They announced an Israeli first – a women’s cooperative in Jerusalem for tourists’ gift shopping.
Moslems in the IDF observe Ramadan. (TY Janglo) The IDF respects Muslim soldiers who protect Israel during the long hours of the fasts during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. After sunset each night, the army prepares for them the special celebratory iftar meal.
Tracks for Peace. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel unveiled a plan to give Jordan, Saudi Arabia and even Iraq access to the Mediterranean through Israel’s ports in Haifa and Ashdod, in a plan called “Tracks for Peace.” The Haifa to Beit She’an railway would link to the PA at Jenin and extend through Jordan, into Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.
Tracks for bicycles. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel is to build 150km of interurban bicycle lanes connecting the cities of Ra’anana, Herzliya, Ramat Hasharon, Petah Tikva, Bnei Brak, Ramat Gan, Givat Shmuel, Yehud, Or Yehuda, Rishon LeZion, Yehud, Holon and Bat Yam. The tracks will contain electric charging stations.
Fish farms in Uganda. (TY Nevet) I reported previously (in 2011) about Israel’s work to clean up Lake Victoria. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has since been working with Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, to develop fish farms that have restored indigenous species of fish previously devastated by the lake’s invasive Nile Perch. https://www.youtube.com/embed/cy8MFePPulo?rel=0
US Police use Israeli portable booster seats. Bradley County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee, USA has teamed up with Israel’s mifold to place 10 special car seats for youngsters in patrol cars. Newsletter readers may remember mifold’s innovative portable car booster seat (see here) that brings the seat belt to the child.
Jerusalem re-unification celebrated at the UN. Israel held a special event at the United Nations celebrating the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s liberation and reunification during the 1967 Six-Day War. Hundreds,of participants, including ambassadors and diplomats from around the world enjoyed a special performance by Israeli diva Sarit Hadad.
Israel awaits Indian Prime Minister’s visit. On 4th July, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make the first ever visit to Israel by a sitting Indian prime minister. The Israeli cabinet has already approved a series of measures aimed at strengthening ties between the two countries.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Building Dialog through Science (BDS). Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have launched a new website IsraelBDS.org that features the many and varied scientific studies that rely on close collaboration between Israeli researchers and those in different countries. No Boycott, Divestment or Sanctions please.
Latest joint US-Israeli projects. The Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial R&D (BIRD) Foundation is to invest $7 million in joint US-Israeli projects including for autonomous vehicles, biotech, homeland security, nanotech and digital health. The Israeli companies are Atvio, C4 Systems, Check-Cap, Isorad, Melodea, Nutrino Health, OpSys and Pill Tracker.
Jerusalem’s Tech & Gadget library. (TY Janglo) The library at Q5 (the fifth quarter) in Jerusalem doesn’t lend out the usual books. Instead it offers top tech & startup books, laptops, smartphones, tablets, processors, kits for assembling robots and cool new gadgets. Its customers include designers, developers and entrepreneurs.
Jerusalem’s special-needs innovation center. (TY Janglo) ALYN Hospital, Israel’s only pediatric and adolescent rehabilitation facility, is creating an Innovation Space in Jerusalem for inventions to help special needs kids. The one-stop shop provides a state-of-the-art prototyping lab, expert support and in-house trialing.
More security for cars. Upstream Security is the latest Israeli cybersecurity startup to focus on the automobile security arena (see here for others). Upstream claims to be the first to offer a cloud-based platform that detects and prevents large-scale attacks on connected and autonomous cars. Upstream just raised $2 million of funds.
Managing a smart home. Israel’s Techsee is a global leader in Visual Support Technologies for the Smart Home. Techsee is building a massive database of every interaction and resolution to help customers resolve any recurring technical problem via their smartphones. Techsee has just raised $7.5 million of funds.
Faster Virtual Reality. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (Apr 30) that Israel’s Giraffic achieved high-speed streaming for Virtual Reality (VR) systems. Now another Israeli company, Inception, has developed multi-track real time streaming and spatial audio for a seamless interactive VR experience.
The best of CyberTech 2017. CyberTech Tel Aviv featured the most innovative and advanced cyber-security technologies. From applications that prevent hacking, to rescue systems that save lives. CyberTech 2017 attracted over 12,000 participants from 65 countries. Israeli cyber products repulsed recent global virus attacks.
Israeli cybersecurity companies team up. (TY Atid-EDI) The power of Israeli cybersecurity systems has been amplified with a partnership between Israeli companies Check Point and Safe-T. Check Point’s SandBlast for scanning files integrates with Safe-T HDS to ensure all company data is checked, wherever it comes from.
Chooze a name for your child. (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli startup Chooze has launched an iPhone app that helps expectant parents choose the perfect baby name. Chooze uses the latest in cognitive psychology to help parents decipher their subconscious preferences for names.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Israel beats 2016 targets. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s 2016 revenue totaled 321.1 billion shekels ($88.02 billion), higher than the Government’s 2016 target of 312.3 billion shekels ($85.61 billion). Also, the Finance Ministry set itself a deficit goal for 2016 of 2.9%, whereas the actual deficit was only 2.1%.
And economy keeps growing. The Bank of Israel’s Composite State of the Economy Index for May 2017 increased by 0.3 percent. There were significant increases in Industrial Production, manufacturing inputs and revenues for trade and services. Previous figures for February, March and April were also revised upwards.
Training Israeli startups for the Chinese market. Israel’s Zvi Shalgo, founder of Shanghai’s PTL Group, is offering a free boot camp to ten Israeli startups who want to learn how to do business in China. It includes 5 days of intensive training, presentations, networking with entrepreneurs and visits to leading companies.
Israeli-UK fund to invest in education tech. MindCET, the technological arm of the Center for Educational Technology (CET), has announced the founding of a fund for investment in edu-tech in cooperation with the UK government. The fund, called TaskForce, will initially invest $250,000 in each of 4-6 ventures annually.
US ag-tech fund expands in Israel. US Venture Capital fund Finistere Ventures, which specializes in agricultural technology, is expanding its activities in Israel. It “sees Israel as a center of excellence in ag-tech” and has appointed two executives to invest in Israeli innovations for the agricultural and food value market.
Promoting French investment. French Tech met the Start-up Nation at Innovatech 2017 in Paris. The conference focused on food tech, life sciences, auto tech and cybersecurity. It was attended by 250 leaders from the French hi-tech industry, along with 15 Israeli companies and directors of Israeli venture capital funds.
Tell me what you want. A new website Bekarov (in English it means “coming soon”) is a unique Jerusalem-wide crowdsourced mapping initiative. Residents tell the municipality what businesses are missing from their neighborhood and entrepreneurs can decide if there is a new business opportunity.
Then get a grant to open a new business. (TY Janglo) New immigrants and returning residents may be eligible for grants up to NIS 43,000 and other benefits if they open up a new business in Jerusalem. The Israeli government aims to encourage new businesses in Jerusalem and reinforce existing enterprises.
jFrog eats up CloudMunch. I reported previously (Jan 2016) about Israel’s jFrog, which develops products for managing and distributing software. jFrog has just acquired CloudMunch in the US. CloudMunch’s Insights software allows developers to see how their DevOps flow is working, make adjustments or adopt new tools.
Israeli post measures up. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (see here) about Israeli startup MySize whose SizeUp app measures your body for clothes with the sensors of your smartphone. Now the Israeli Postal Service and Mysize are to trial a pilot solution to measure all types of packages using only a smartphone.
First sale of Israeli 3D heart CT scanners. I reported previously (Nov 2011) about the innovative 3D CT scanners from Israel’s Arineta. GE Healthcare has just given Arineta its first commercial order – for 12 scanners, to be sold to GE customers for $1 million each.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
New and expanded nature reserves. Israel is adding and expanding five nature reserves. The new reserve is Katzir (in Wadi Ara). Makhtesh Ramon (the Ramon Crater), will become a national park. Lahav Darom, Har Giora, and Harei Yehuda are to be expanded. All will be free to the public.
Virtually Israel. Virtual Reality (VR) is the way to experience Israel without flying across the globe. Virtually Israel is a one-of-a-kind VR experience showcasing Israel’s most prominent cities. Pause the video and click on the compass on the top left of the screen, to rotate your view of the Dead Sea and Jerusalem.
Jersey Boys come to Israel. (TY Janglo) The legendary Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons (a.k.a. the Jersey Boys) are performing for the first time in Israel on 4th July at the Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv. Famous for “Sherry” and Grease. “Oh what a night” – they’ll certainly help us “hang on to what we’ve got”!
The most valuable player in Czech Republic. Israeli soccer star Tal Ben Haim has signed for four seasons with Sparta Prague. The fee of 2.9 million euros ($3.2 million, NIS 11.5 million), makes his transfer the most expensive in the history of the Czech league. Last season, Ben Haim scored 19 goals for Maccabi Tel Aviv.
First Israeli in US NASCAR race. Israel’s Alon Day won the NASCAR Whelen Euro race at UK’s Brands Hatch and got a call to compete at the Sonoma Raceway in California. Although he finished 32nd out of 40, he became the first Israeli to compete in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – the sport’s top league.
THE JEWISH STATE
UNESCO chief stresses Jewish links to Jerusalem. Although her committee denies Jewish links to Jerusalem, Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Irina Bokova has emphasized the historical Jewish connection to the city.
1500-year-old menorah etching. Archaeologists excavating the ancient port of Caesarea discovered a mother-of-pearl tablet inscribed with a menorah, dating from the 4th or 5th century. It was likely part of a box housing a Torah scroll and is the first artifact of its kind made of the precious material bearing a Jewish iconograph.
Student leader gets married on Temple Mount. The head of the Students for Temple Mount Movement, Tom Nissani, betrothed his fiancée in a minimalist ceremony on Temple Mount.
Israel’s outstanding Anglos. (TY Janglo) Nefesh B’Nefesh 2017 Bonei Zion Prizes, for immigrants from English-speaking countries who have made a major impact on Israel, were awarded to Prof Benjamin Corn, Beth Steinberg, Rabbi Chaim Brovender, Gerald Steinberg, Yoram Raanan; Capt Libby Weiss, and Scott Neiss.
Meet the new arrivals. (TY Janglo) Come and see the future outstanding Anglos as they arrive on the latest Nefesh b’Nefesh flight to arrive in Israel on 4th July. Tel Aviv will be busy, with the Indian Prime Minister arriving and the Frankie Valli concert in the evening!
Ancient colored fabric found in Solomon’s Mines. (TY WIN) Israeli archeologists have discovered striped clothing worn by skilled workers at copper mines in Timna, in southern Israel, during the time of Kings David and Solomon, over 3000 years ago. Dry desert conditions preserved the blue and red plant-dyed textiles.