This Weeks Sanity Report from Israel March 11 2018
The highlights include:
- Israeli technology can analyze biopsies automatically.
- On International Women’s Day, Israel celebrates its female Ambassadors.
- The first official UK Royal visit to Israel has been announced.
- Israeli sensors can detect when trees are thirsty.
- Israeli unemployment is the lowest in 45 years.
- HP flew in 750 of its customers to see its latest Israeli innovations.
- Israeli youths won two World Ju-Jitsu gold medals in Abu Dhabi.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Brain bleed detection gets Europe approval. Israel’s Zebra Medical Vision has received EU regulatory approval (i.e. the CE mark) for its new algorithm capable of detecting Intracranial hemorrhages (brain bleeds) from uploaded CT or MRI Scans. http://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3733482,00.html
Glucose analyzer gets Europe approval. I reported previously (twice) about Israel’s DreaMed Diabetes monitors for analyzing the data from Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs). DreaMed has just received the CE mark from the European Union for its Advisor Pro product.
Excellent results for new prostate cancer test. (TY Hazel) I reported previously (July 2016) that Israel’s Micromedic Technologies had good results in an 18-patient trial of its CellDetect prostate cancer diagnosis solution. Latest tests on 59 samples were 80% successful – far exceeding the 25% for existing PSI tests.
Lifestyle controls your microbiome. Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have found from a study of over 1,000 Israelis that there is no genetic link to the good bacteria in your gut (microbiome). A person’s health (cholesterol, weight, blood glucose levels etc.) however, can be controlled by maintaining a healthy stomach.
A diagnostic kit on a USB drive. The tech-transfer company of Ben-Gurion University, plus Israeli-founded, Singapore-based Biosensorix, are developing $5 disease diagnosis kits that connect to a smartphone via its USB port. Instead of sending samples for lab tests, medical staff can get immediate blood test results and decide on a course of action. https://www.israel21c.org/new-usb-like-diagnostic-kits-provide-faster-results/
Using AI to analyze biopsies. Israeli startup Nucleai is developing computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI) to help overworked pathologists process and analyze biopsies for cancer quicker and more accurately. Nucleai founders have years of experience of computer vision gained during their IDF service.
UK-Israel fund to research aging process. The UK has launched a new £5m fund to promote scientific collaboration and research between Israel and the UK into the aging process. The Britain Israel Research and Academic Exchange (BIRAX) Aging fund will also promote research that into aging-related diseases.
$20 million donation for nuclear medicine center. Russian Jewish billionaire Roman Abramovich has donated $20 million to Israel’s Sheba Medical Center to build a new medical center for nuclear medicine and research. Its cyclotron particle accelerator will use radioactive ion beams to pinpoint and kill cancer cells.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Israeli women leaders of the future. (TY Sharon) In advance of International Women’s Day on 8th March, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin hosted 22 outstanding female students (Jewish and Arab). Each took on the role of a Government Minister and presented their ideas for that ministry.
Israel’s female Ambassadors. To mark International Women’s Day, this video features Israel’s Ambassadors to Japan, Austria, Ethiopia and France. Yes, they are all women.
Arab women’s education and employment improves. A Taub Center study shows that Arab-Israeli women are slowly managing to close the educational and employment gaps with Jewish Israeli women. Matriculation results are close to those of non-ultra-Orthodox Jewish women and numbers in higher education have risen.
Most Jerusalem Arabs choose Israeli sovereignty. (TY Hazel) A new survey, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion among the Arabs of east Jerusalem shows that 52% now prefer to live as citizens with equal rights under Israeli sovereignty. Seven years ago, the figure was only 35%.
US Jerusalem embassy to open in May. (TY Hazel) The new US Embassy in Jerusalem will open in May 2018 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel declaring independence. Initially, the embassy will operate out of the US’s current consular premises.
20,000 extra PA work permits. (TY Hazel) Israel is increasing the number of work permits for Arabs from the Palestinian Authority by 20,000, bringing the number of permits to 100,000.
Agriculture training for 10 Russian-speaking countries. Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV) recently hosted 24 professionals from 10 Russian-speaking countries who underwent an intensive agriculture training program on entrepreneurship, marketing and post-harvesting.
Helping Europe counter terrorism. MK Anat Berko, a criminologist, represented Israel at a meeting in Vienna of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. It was the first time that Israel participated as a full member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Countering Terrorism.
Prince William to visit Israel. Kensington Palace has announced that the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, who is second in line to the British throne, will visit Israel and the Palestinian Territories in Israel’s 70th anniversary year. It will be the first official royal visit to Israel in the history of the Jewish State.
Thwarting terror attacks in 30 countries. Israel’s Economic Minister Eli Cohen said at a law conference at Tel Aviv University that Israel had issued warnings about specific terror plots to some 30 countries in 2017.
Treating trauma in South Florida. Specialists from the Israel Trauma Coalition are now in South Florida, providing trauma counseling training to around 600 professionals assisting the Parkland community in the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting tragedy.
Climbing Kilimanjaro to benefit sick children. (TY WIN & I24 News) In its 22 years, Israeli charity Make a Wish has helped 3,500 sick children realize their dreams. To raise awareness (and half a million shekels), 14 hikers from Make a Wish climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Research center to fight crime. The Israeli police and Ben-Gurion University have partnered to launch the Center for Computational Criminology in Be’er Sheva. Its aim is to use hi-tech methods such as big data to transform the nature of criminal investigations and help law enforcers prevent crime.
A computer mouse for amputees. Israeli startup 6Degrees has developed an armband that replaces the computer mouse, enabling users with disabilities to control devices through arm movement. The motion is translated by Bluetooth into cursor movement on a tablet, smartphone or computer, just like a traditional mouse.
Another alternative to GPS. I reported previously (4th Feb) that Israeli startup Hoopo has developed a geolocation estimation algorithm as an alternative to GPS. Now Israel’s Deeyook has invented a mobile wireless location sensor that utilizes direction data from all available Wi-Fi networks and cellular base stations.
Real-time mapping app saves lives. (TY UWI) The First Response app from Israeli-US Edgybees helps rescuers by overlaying live video UAV feeds with maps, power lines and distress signals. It saved lives during Hurricane Irma and California wildfires. Edgybees has just raised $5.5 million of funding and showcased at AIPAC. https://edgybees.com/edgybees-raises-5-5-million-seed-round-to-save-lives-with-augmented-reality/
Cisco to help digitize Israel. Chuck Robbins, CEO of US technology giant Cisco, has come to Israel to participate in the launch of Cisco’s country digitization acceleration (CDA) program. CDA will install tech hubs in 24 peripheral communities and connect them to Tel Aviv’s economic and technological center.
SEAT incorporates Israeli driver monitoring system. Volkswagen’s Barcelona subsidiary SEAT is integrating in-car driver monitoring systems from Israel’s eyeSight Mobile Technologies in its vehicles. EyeSight’s infrared sensors monitor the driver’s alertness and will warn the driver or take proactive action.
AI contract analysis beats human experts. I reported previously (30th Apr) on the artificial intelligence (AI) of Israel’s LawGeex that saves businesses of the time and expense required to review and approve everyday contracts. Now a US study shows that the software is 94% accurate compared to 85% for experienced lawyers.
When trees are thirsty. Israel’s Saturas develops sensors that are planted in the trunks of trees, and vines, and provide accurate hydration status reports that enable farmers to optimize irrigation. Saturas has completed field trials in citrus, apple and almond orchards and has raised $4 million of funds to market in Spain and the USA.
WakeUp gets US patent. I reported previously (twice) about WakeUp – the natural beverage solution to post-lunch fatigue developed by Israel’s InnoBev. WakeUp has just received a US patent, which is timely as energy drinks are under scrutiny due to concerns over negative health effects.
Mentoring global aerospace startups. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is partnering with the US-based Starburst Ventures – a global aerospace startup incubator. IAI will take part in selecting the startups and offer mentoring, technological collaboration and investment to startups whose technology is applicable to IAI.
Making roads more intelligent. (TY Hazel) When I reported recently (21st Jan) on the smart road sensors from Israel’s Valerann, I forgot to mention that Valerann won the 2017 Intelligent Infrastructure Challenge of Highways UK and will participate in the Intelligent Mobility program at Telefonica’s London-based startup accelerator Wayra.. https://www.israel21c.org/smart-road-stud-system-will-make-driving-safer/
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Lowest unemployment in 45 years. Israel’s unemployment rate at the end of Jan 2018 stands at 3.7%, down from 4% at the end of Dec 2017. The last time unemployment was this low was in the early 1970s, before the 1973 Yom Kippur War, when it stood at 3.4 percent. For the first time, more women than men are in work.
Public transport fares to be cut by 40%. (TY Janglo) The Israeli government plans lowering public transport fares on inter-urban routes by 40% in 2018. Daily and monthly tickets will also be available for unrestricted travel throughout the country.
Loan guarantees for startups. Israel’s Innovation Authority is to provide government guarantees for bank loans to Israeli startups. The loans will enable cash-strapped startups to raise funds without resorting to foreign venture capital funds or investors that often pressure the startup to relocate its activities abroad.
Productivity training for managers. Israeli companies with up to NIS 100 million turnover and/or up to 100 workers will be granted a workshop for senior management on how to improve productivity. Those companies will also get a government grant of NIS 10,000. Google will help implement changes with another NIS 10,000.
Easier to hire non-Israeli tech experts. Israel has cut the red tape involved in hiring non-Israeli experts. Tech companies can now get a license of up to one year for their non-Israeli contracted experts, compared to the previous 45 days a year maximum. Their spouses can now work for any Israeli employer.
Tech fund to promote Haifa startups. The Israeli city of Haifa is to sponsor a new tech fund focusing on early stage startups that commit to establishing their operations in the city. Haifa currently hosts only 4.5% of Israeli startups. Proposals from private investors have committed up to $52 million to the fund.
Israel’s growing whisky industry. There are now three Israeli distilleries producing single-malt whisky, and plans for two more. Milk and Honey in Tel Aviv, Golan Heights in Katzrin and Pelter, also in the Golan.
UST Global’s cybersecurity center. Multinational IT service company UST Global has announced that its recently launched Tel Aviv development and service center will handle all its cybersecurity activity. UST Global provides end-to-end IT services for 1,000 companies and has over 14,000 employees worldwide.
HP bring 750 to see Israeli ingenuity. HP Indigo employs 3,000 in Israel with $1 billion of annual exports. It recently flew in 750 customers from 50 countries to showcase HP’s newest technologies in digital printing, all of them made in Israel. For many it was their first visit to the Jewish State.
Intel CEO flies to Israel to test self-driving car. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich arrived in Israel for a two-day visit. His aim was to spend one day driving around Israel in an autonomous vehicle along with Mobileye co-founder and CEO Amnon Shashua. Mobileye expects serial production of autonomous cars to start by 2021.
Stoudemire’s Israeli wines. (TY Janglo) Six-time NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire has launched a line of kosher-for-Passover Israeli wines. After 3 years of talks with the Israel Wine Producers Association Stoudemire realized the opportunity when he relocated to Israel in 2016 to play for the Israeli team Hapoel Jerusalem.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
King David laser show. The Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem is launching a new multimedia exhibit – the King David Night Experience. The majestic story of David, from shepherd to king, comes to life in a new cinematic production projected onto the walls and archaeological excavations of Jerusalem’s Citadel.
A Jewish theme park in Dimona. (TY UWI) The Negev city of Dimona is planning a “Park of Wonders” theme park, similar to Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Florida, but with Jewish and Israeli themes. Its five “worlds”, called “Oasis”, “Spirits”, “Jewish Nation”, “Society” and “Time” will each have four or five rides.
Jethro Tull’s tour of Israel. (TY Janglo) Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull’s vocalist, flutist and guitarist, is bringing his Jethro Tull 50th anniversary tour to Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in October.
Streaming the Beach Volleyball Major Series. Austria’s Red Bull Media House has partnered with Israel-based video broadcasting startup Pixellot to broadcast the 2018 Beach Volleyball Major Series in Florida. Pixellot broadcasts live, multi-angled, panoramic HD video without the need to deploy personnel on site.
3rd place youth handball trophy in Qatar. An Israeli sports delegation consisting of two youth high school teams returned from Qatar on Thursday with a third-place trophy in the World Handball Championship for Schools, held in Doha. https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/middle-east/168900-180301-israel-youth-delegation-returns-from-qatar-with-handball-tournament-trophy
Ju-Jitsu gold medals in Abu Dhabi. (TY Hazel) At the Abu Dhabi Ju-Jitsu World Championship Juniors and Aspirants 2018, Israel’s Meshi Rosenfeld won the U21 Under 55kg class and Nimrod Ryeder won the U21 Under 77kg class, with Amir Alroy winning bronze. Three Israelis won silver medals including Sara Kovaliov who is deaf. https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5144646,00.html
THE JEWISH STATE
Hospital kids have fun on Purim. (TY UWI) Purim in Israel is very exciting. Even in hospitals, youngsters don’t miss out on the fun. At Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, the staff makes sure that the young patients at the Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital are not forgotten.
4000 animals treated every year. Israel’s Wildlife Hospital treats any injured animals, from hedgehogs and tortoises to eagles and gazelles. https://www.youtube.com/embed/PCrdkQrbkzU?rel=0
Jewish Jerusalem exhibition at the UN. During his 5-day visit to the USA, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu will check out a special exhibit at the U.N. Headquarters in New York that provides archaeological proof of the 3,000 years of continuous Jewish history in Jerusalem. http://www.israelhayom.com/2018/03/04/with-un-exhibit-israel-sends-message-that-3000-years-of-history-cannot-be-denied/
Arab women in the Jewish capital city. (TY Sharon) An oldie but goldie (but first time included in this newsletter) highlighting the freedom that Arab women have to walk, ride, drive, work, shop, eat and simply enjoy life amongst the streets of Jerusalem. http://rjstreets.com/2011/03/08/israeli-apartheid/
Celebrating bar mitzvot with a difference. 18 Ethiopian Jews, who immigrated from Ethiopia a year ago, celebrated their Bar Mitzvahs at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. They each received tefillin donated by the Lev L’Ahad organization and were joined via a live video call to the students of the Ben Porat Yosef School in the United States. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/242444