This Week’s Sanity Report from Israel June 2 2019
The highlights include:
- Israelis are testing a new treatment for incurable blood cancer.
- Surgeons at an Israeli NGO have saved their 5,000th non-Israeli child.
- Jews in Hebron hosted an Iftar feast for Hebron Arabs.
- New HP laptop computers use Israeli security software.
- Mitsubishi has launched an Israeli innovation center.
- A new experiential visitor center has opened in ancient Caesarea.
- Today (2nd Jun) is Yom Yerushalyim – Jerusalem Day.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Regenerating bones. (TY Hazel) Israeli startup Bone Sci Bio is developing a peptide product PeptOss that promotes the formation and repair of bone tissue. It also delivers treatments (antibiotics, chemotherapy, etc.) directly to the bone. PeptOss’s first application is to treat peri-implantitis that affects 30% of dental implants.
Treatment for resistant Myeloma. Israel’s Pi Therapeutics (PiTx) is developing a treatment for PI-resistant Multiple Myeloma (MM) and solid tumors. Its small molecule non-catalytic UPS inhibitors have worked in lab tests. MM is an incurable blood cancer. PiTx has just raised $19.7 million for a formal clinical proof of concept.
Monitor breathing at home. (TY Hazel) Israeli startup Resmetrix Medical has developed a device that allows respiratory patients to monitor their condition at home. It could give an early warning of problems and reduce unnecessary hospitalizations for millions of asthmatics and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease sufferers.
After the heart. Now that Tel Aviv University scientists can 3D-print a heart using human tissue (see here), they are working to engineer tissue for marrow, brain, eyes and intestine. They are regenerating spinal cord tissue and cells to fight Parkinson’s disease. And they are working to make a 3D-printed heart grow and pump.
Health matters most to Israelis. (TY Jacques) A survey conducted by the Haredi Institute of Public Affairs identified the top priorities of Israelis (Jews & Arabs) were health, personal well-being and family life.
EU approval for soft Exo-suit. I reported previously (see here) about the ReStore Exo-Suit from Israel’s ReWalk Robotics that helps stroke victim recover their mobility. ReStore has just received the CE mark, allowing ReWalk to market the device to rehabilitation clinics in the European Union.
To heal, to teach, to discover. Israel’s Technion Institute is partnering with Cleveland Ohio’s University Hospitals (UH) to advance medical training, as part of UH’s mission, “To Heal. To Teach. To Discover”. The strategic affiliation includes joint R&D projects, plus 4th-year Technion medical students can train at UH.
SACH’s 5,000th patient. (TY UWI) 1-year-old Fatima from Zanzibar is the 5,000th child (from 60 countries) to be treated (for free) by Israeli charity Save A Child’s Heart. Ironically, 19 years ago, SACH surgeons gave Fatima’s 26-year-old mother, Balkis, life-saving treatment at the same Israeli hospital for the same condition.
Doctors save toddler choking on popcorn. Specialists at Schneider Children’s Hospital managed to successfully extract popcorn from the airways of 2-year-old Ori Adler. Doctors and nurses extracted the small and sharp popcorn pieces that were stuck in the child’s airways using delicate bronchoscopy.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
A hackathon to help Holocaust survivors. Some 200 Israeli entrepreneurs will take part in the annual Spark Hackathon in Tel Aviv, producing workable solutions for challenges in education, remembrance, and quality of life for Holocaust survivors. They will be supported by mentors from Microsoft, EY and NICE Systems.
The most creative Israeli woman. I reported previously (2nd Sep) when Shimrit Perkol-Finkel, CEO of Israeli startup ECOncrete, was nominated for the UN “We Empower” competition for female entrepreneurs. She has since become an EU “Outstanding Female Innovator” and a Fast Company “Most Creative Person of 2019”.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLB-Zqd-VCA (The EU Award)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlfIGwXJqs4 (Amazing Nas daily video)
Social impact in the kitchen. The Kitchen is the first FoodTech incubator in Israel, established by the Strauss-Group food company and backed by the Innovation Authority. Its goal is help Israeli FoodTech startups flourish and make the global food market more productive, affordable, sustainable, and healthier. (see Ourcrowd video)
SodaStream hosts huge Iftar feast. Israeli-based SodaStream hosted a Ramadan fast-ending Iftar meal at its factory in the southern Israel town of Rahat. Nearly 3,000 Bedouins, Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs attended, along with U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
Hebron Arabs and Jews hold kosher Iftar feast. Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs held a kosher celebration for Iftar in the city of Hebron. The event, for Jewish, Palestinian Arab and Israeli-Arab businessmen was sponsored by the Judea and Samaria Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Also (TY Sharon) the annual Iftar meal hosted by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.
Record number of tourists from Arab states. (TY Hazel) A record number of visitors from Muslim countries (over 72,000) came to Israel in 2018, including nearly 55,000 from countries that have no diplomatic relations with Jerusalem. It represents a 15% increase on last year’s numbers.
More than a bus driver. The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences’ 23rd annual Webby Awards in New York recognized two Israeli videos. One “Webby” was given to “Throw in a Kind Word,” a campaign for Israel’s Metropoline bus company. It gives bus passengers an insight into the lives of some of their drivers.
Millions support Israel with hummus. Israeli entrepreneur Ben Lang and his friend Miriam Young launched International Hummus Day on 13th May 2012. The idea was to increase global support for Israel by uniting around the chickpea-based food. On 13th May 2019, five million people celebrated by eating hummus.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
The “go to” place for technology. (TY Hazel) Israel’s tech ecosystem comprises 539 multinationals from 35 countries. Its 6,600 startups is 14 times the number of startups per capita in Europe. With 0.1% of the world’s population, Israel attracts 19% of global investment in cybersecurity and is the top spender on R&D per GDP.
Solving some of humanity’s greatest problems. Israel’s Technion Institute in Haifa is a science powerhouse and a hub for coexistence as this video demonstrates. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buJV8lm0TjU
Food-tech conference. The Conference “Food Innovation – Begins in Tel Hai” on Jun 27 uniquely combines academia, industry, entrepreneurship and the scientific and the applied world. Focus will be on establishing the National Food Institute in Israel. Highlights include Tel Hai College students presenting their innovations.
HP computers have Israeli security inside. Computer giant HP is installing Sure Sense cybersecurity from Israel’s Deep Instinct on its latest EliteBook and ZBook range. The deal is valued at $150 million over four years. HP says Sure Sense enables zero-time threat prevention against the most advanced cyber threats.
More healthcare cybersecurity. I’ve already reported on three Israeli cybersecurity startups protecting hospital systems. Cynerio is another – especially addressing the “Internet of Medical Things” such as infusion monitors, kidney-dialysis units and ventilators that are often Internet-connected.
Smart electric motorbikes. Israel’s Blitz Motors develops fast electric motor scooters for the corporate delivery market. The low-maintenance, long-life vehicles can travel 100km on a 3-hour charge at up to 120km per hour. Features include smartphone operation (no key) and remote monitoring.
Best social impact app. I reported previously (31st Mar) that Israeli self-care platform Wisdo had been selected as one of Fast Company’s “World’s Most Innovative Companies”. It has now won a Google Play award in the “Best Social Impact” category at a ceremony in Mountain View, California.
Israeli nano-satellites link to Amazon. Israeli startup NSLComm is developing nano-satellite technology for high-volume communications. It is working with Cloud computing giant Amazon, which provides the ground station to store and process the data produced and transferred from the satellites.
Beam me up – quickly. Israel’s Equalum has developed a platform that employs “data beaming” to teleport a company’s operational data from multiple sources in real-time throughout different systems and applications within the organization. It has just raised $18 million from investors including GE Ventures.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Arsène Wenger backs Israeli sports tech. I reported previously (Apr 2016) on Israel’s Playmaker and its AI systems and sensors to improve sporting performance. Famous ex-coach of UK soccer team Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, has invested in Playmaker (also known as Motionize) and taken on the role of operating partner.
Food-tech hub gets $100 million boost. I reported previously (Apr 2018) that the Israeli government had allocated $27 million to build a food-tech hub in Kiryat Shmona. A consortium of Israel’s OurCrowd, Tnuva and Tempo, plus US Finistere Ventures have now committed up to $100 million to the venture.
Mitsubishi’s Israeli innovation center. (TY Nevet) Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan’s largest trading company, has opened an innovation center in Tel Aviv. The center will help Mitsubishi scout for Israeli companies and technologies in its core areas of interest, including automotive and smart mobility.
Non-stop to Tokyo. I reported nearly 4 years ago (July 2015) that El Al planned to launch a direct service to Japan’s capital Tokyo. Not sure what the delay was, but a thrice-weekly operation using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner will commence in March 2020 – just in time for the Tokyo Olympics.
Many more contracts for SuperCom. My last report on Israel’s Supercom (Nov 2017) was when it won a big contract to build an e-Passport system in Iceland. Since then it has won contracts in Kentucky, Idaho, North and South Carolina, Africa, Texas, Sweden, Minnesota, Europe, Southern Georgia and Tennessee.
Elbit earns $1 billion in Q1 2019. Israeli giant Elbit’s revenue for the first quarter of 2019 amounted to just over $1 billion. The company completed the takeover of the Israeli Government’s IMI Systems in November.
LiveU exits for $200 million. I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israeli live broadcasting and streaming startup LiveU. The company has just been acquired for $200 million in a joint takeover by US Francisco Partners and Tel Aviv’s Israel Growth Partners (IGP). LiveU will continue its Israeli operation.
Israelis make US cyber connections. US cybersecurity giant Palo Alto Networks (a $20 billion Israeli-founded company) has bought Israeli-founded cloud security company Twistlock for “several hundreds of millions of dollars”. Twistlock maintains an Israeli research and development operation in Herzliya.
You decide how much the meal was worth. (TY Jacques) Tel Aviv restaurant Joz Ve Loz is very unusual. You tell the server your likes and dislikes and you are brought a stream of dishes to eat or refuse. At the end of the meal, you assess its value and pay accordingly. No tipping.
Double success for Gaza Border Beer. I reported previously (2nd Feb) about Alexander’s Gaza Border Beer, made from wheat that had survived the Gaza fires. The beer and its campaign were so popular, that it sold more in one week than Alexander normally sells in six months. The video also won an International “Webby” award.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
International architecture awards. Israel’s Kimmel Eshkolot Architects has received awards in China and the UK for the Memorial Hall of Israel’s Fallen on Mount Herzl. It also won Shenzhen China’s Global Nomination Award for Tel Aviv’s Steinhardt Museum of Natural History.
Last chance to see Maimonides manuscripts. Jerusalem’s Israel Museum ends its exhibition of illuminated manuscripts of Maimonides (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) on 10th Jun. It reflects the legacy of Maimonides (died 1204) who was uniquely a writer, halakhic authority, philosopher, scientist, physician and Jewish leader.
Israel Festival attracts 30,000. The 58th annual Israel Festival in Jerusalem (until 15th Jun) showcases a rich, varied and multidisciplinary artistic program from Israel and around the world. More than 30,000 visitors are enjoying dance, music, theater, performance art, video art and instillations from leading international artists.
Caesarea Visitor Center. (TY Sharon) The Caesarea Development Corporation has launched an innovative NIS 150 million visitor center in Caesarea harbor funded by the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation. A dramatic video and archaeology introduce visitors to Herod the King of Judea, and his founding of Caesarea.
Samarian wine wins International award. The Gvaot winery, at Givat Harel in the Samaria hills, won a gold medal at the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards in London. Its Gofna Cabernet Sauvignon was hailed as a “brilliant warm-climate Cabernet.” http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/263801
Eurovision postcards from Israel. (TY Hazel) Many people have commented that the best parts of the Eurovision Song Contest were the “Postcard” introductions broadcast before each act. They showed the performers dancing and enjoying themselves all over Israel. This video just contains the postcards.
THE JEWISH STATE
Israeli midwives for injured turtle. An injured brown turtle was discovered in distress, during a survey of dolphins, 3 miles off Israel’s Mediterranean coast. It was brought to Israel’s national Sea Turtle Rescue Center where an ultrasound scan revealed it urgently needed help to lay its eggs. The Israeli rescuers duly obliged.
We Believe in Israel has 20,000 activists. When pro-Israel NGO We Believe in Israel launched in 2011 it dreamed of recruiting 20,000 activists to campaign for Israel. Its dream has come true and you can join too.
Hotel staff bring meals to hospital visitors. Staff at Dan Hotel’s King David Jerusalem help pack and deliver food for Ezer Mizion’s Lottie’s Kitchen – the organization that provides meals for families visiting seriously ill patients in Israeli hospitals. The Dan hotel chain encourages staff to volunteer for charities that help the needy.
Celebrating Jerusalem Day. (TY Jacob). Here are links to several of Jacob Richman’s websites containing videos, songs and useful information about Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) – the anniversary of the unification of Israel’s capital city during the 1967 Six-Day War. This year, Jerusalem Day falls on 2nd June.
See the City of David on Jerusalem Day. (TY Yishai) Yishai Fleisher (JewishPress.com) takes us on a fascinating adventure in the famous Ir Davide (City of David) in Jerusalem. We see the connections between the Biblical history of the Jewish people in Israel and the modern-day discoveries of archeological evidence.
Sir Frank Lowy makes Aliya. Sir Frank Lowy, a Holocaust survivor who fought in Israel’s War of Independence and went on to become a billionaire shopping magnate in Australia, has made Aliyah. Lowy was knighted in 2017 for his contribution to the UK economy through his company Westfield.
Neo-Nazi had a life-changing dream. (TY UWI & I24 News) Yonatan Langer belonged to a neo-Nazi group but was questioning its aims and looking for spirituality. Then he had a strange dream which inspired him to learn about kabbalah. He has since converted to Judaism and made Aliya.
Those Bar & Bat Mitzvot. (TY Sharon) I reported last week (see here) on the Bar and Bat Mitzvot in Jerusalem for hearing impaired children. Sharon has since written more about the event and includes many fabulous photos including that of Jewish Agency chair Isaac Herzog.