Good News Israel Archive from the week of June 5, 2016: Israel’s HIL Applied Medical developed a safer, focused proton beam lasers to treat tumors; Romania’s largest water corporation, RAJA Constanta, signed a contract of cooperation with Jerusalem’s Hagihon, and much more.
By: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Israel’s first re-transplanted kidney
Israeli surgeons at Beilinson Hospital took out the kidney of a woman who had died of a stroke and transplanted it into her brother. The kidney had been transplanted into the woman in an operation nine years previously. It was the world’s fifth such operation and the first between relatives.
The end to monthly cramps
Israel’s Livia has developed a wearable device that provides instant relief from cramps, and lasts up to 15 hours on a single charge. The device uses electrical pulses to block pain receptors. Female journalists given a free Livia device have described it as “a life-changing technology”.
Israeli herb extract controls blood sugar levels
Israel’s Frutarom has developed Portusana®, an extract of the herb purslane. Israeli scientists have confirmed its positive effects on blood sugar levels in adults with Type 2 Diabetes.
Autoimmune treatment gets new lease of life
Professor Nathan Karin of the Rappaport faculty of Medicine at Israel’s Technion Institute invented an antibody that activates cells in the immune system, thereby reducing inflammation. After years of development, Pfizer has now signed an agreement to commercialize the product.
US boost for proton beam cancer treatment
Israel’s HIL Applied Medical developed a safer, focused proton beam lasers to treat tumors. Now HIL has acquired US company Nanolabz which develops and builds smart nano-engineered targets and alignment systems for the short-pulse laser R&D sector.
Research into 3D organ printing
Israel’s Chief Scientist has awarded NIS 5.6 million to Israel’s Collplant. It will help finance projects, including the development of plant-based collagen and formulations intended for use as BioInk for 3D printing of tissues and organs.
State of the Heart conference
International researchers and healthcare professionals attended a conference dubbed “State of the Heart.” at Haifa’s Rambam Hospital. It addressed global challenges in cardiovascular treatment and highlighted innovative changes in the field as a result of cutting-edge technology.
Medical tourism showcased in China
The Israel Chamber of Commerce hosted a special seminar titled Israeli Medical Tourism and Women Empowerment at the Israeli Business and Cultural Center in Beijing. China is impressed with Israel’s physicians, its high-quality healthcare, and advanced medical facilities.
Israel’s BioMed Conference
Israel’s NeuroRx won the startup completion at the IATI Biomed conference in Tel Aviv for its Cuclurad treatment for depression and suicide symptoms. The popular event included some 500 Business to Business meetings between Israeli and Chinese delegates.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
The next round of ability tech startups
A3i is the world’s first and only “ability tech” accelerator (see here). It is ready for another round of start-ups with products and technologies that not only will make money for their investors, but also improve the lives of millions of disabled people around the world.
Students start Israeli Arab start-up school
The TRI/O Tech entrepreneurship hub in the Israeli-Arab town of Kafr Kassem is a joint venture of Israeli nonprofit Tsofen (see here) and the MIT Enterprise Forum Israel. From 1000 candidates it is grooming 16 Israeli-Arabs that it believes will go on to launch their own startup.
Cheering up an Arab child with cancer
Emotional video of an IDF soldier volunteer at Tel Hashomer hospital playing with a Palestinian Arab infant who is being treated for cancer at the Israeli hospital.
Israel returns Egyptian artifacts
Israel has returned two colorful Egyptian sarcophagus covers from the 16th and 10th centuries BCE to Egypt amid warming relations between the countries. The artifacts were stolen and shipped to Dubai to London and to Israel. They were found in an antiquities shop in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Aid to Sri Lankan flood victims
Israel has sent $20,000 worth of supplies to Sri Lanka, following recent floods and landslides that have killed over 100 and driven 650,000 residents from their homes. Israeli aid included water pumps, water filters, solar lighting kits, LED torches and 50,000 water purification tablets.
Israeli food festival in Japan
The Israeli Ministry of Economy held the first Israeli Food Festival in 25 Costco stores across Japan. A separate Israeli food festival took place in Vietnam in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Empire State Building in Blue and White
The Empire State Building in New York City will shine blue and white on June 5 – mirroring the colors of the Israeli flag – for the annual Celebrate Israel Parade and festival in New York City.
Preserving family history in Papua New Guinea
Israeli genealogical website MyHeritage recorded family stories of some of the 800 native tribes in Papua New Guinea. MyHeritage’s Golan Levi said, “no matter the color of our skin or where we live, deep down we are all basically the same and we all care very much about our families.
20,000 Walk with Israel in Toronto
A record-setting 20,000 people participated in Toronto’s 46th annual Walk with Israel fundraising event on Sunday, eclipsing last year’s record of 17,000. The event raised approximately $1.1 million for Israeli charities.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
US-Israel link up with eco-technology
The 31st US-Israel Joint Economic Development Group focused on the use of clean energy to solve some of the most difficult global challenges. The US Department of State and Israel’s Economy Ministry and Environmental Protection Ministry, agreed to explore the establishing of a bilateral, clean energy, finance task force.
Low-power wearable sensors
Israel’s Sensifree has developed a unique low-power RF based sensor technology that can accurately monitor biometric data without touching the body. Applications include watches, fitness trackers, sleep monitors and smart clothing. Sensifree has just raised $5 million of funding.
Tel Aviv tests an electric road
A road in North Tel Aviv is to be one of the first to test under-the-road electric charging beds. Israel’s ElectRoad’s technology will charge electric cars and buses when they drive over it.
The world’s toughest smartphone
Following over two years of R&D in Tel Aviv and Sweden, Sirin Labs has unveiled its NIS 54,000 military-grade “unhackable” security smartphone. Called SOLARIN it is made up of over 2,500 inner components to achieve fast, seamless connectivity across any continent.
New Israeli islands?
The Herzliya municipality is looking to build two artificial islands along Israel’s coastline. One island will be for housing and the other for an airport for internal flights. Tel Aviv is also preparing plans for an island on which to build an international airport.
RideOn wins Israel startup Olympics
Israel’s RideOn has been selected to represent Israel in the grand Olympic startups final in Rio 2016. RideOn develops augmented reality (AR) products for sports and outdoor activities (see previously). In the finals, RideOn will compete against seven international winners.
Most innovative startup in China’s Silicon Valley
Israel’s Gemsense beat 200 local Chinese companies to win the 1st place at ‘the Second China Fair for Innovation and Technology’ in Shenzhen City. Gemsense also won 3rd place in the VR section and will represent Shenzhen city in China’s national finals.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Tel Aviv to New York with Azerbaijan Airlines
Azerbaijan Airlines has begun weekly Tel Aviv-New York flights. From June 15, this will increase to two weekly flights on Sundays and Wednesdays, which will include a two-hour stopover in Baku.
Translating more in the USA
Israel’s One Hour Translation has opened its third US branch, in Lehi, Utah, in addition to its US operations in Palo Alto and Washington DC. OHT provides high-quality human translation of 75 languages and 3,000 language pairs with 15,000+ professional translators in 100 countries.
Romania signs two water contracts
Romania’s largest water corporation, RAJA Constanta, signed a contract of cooperation with Jerusalem’s Hagihon. RAJA also signed a service contract with Israeli company Utilis, which uses satellite imagery technology to detect underground wastewater spills. (See also here and here)
A month of exits
Israeli firms taken over in April included SintecMedia, (by Francisco Partners for $400 million); Crosswise (by Oracle for $50M); Ahava (by China’s Fosun for $77M); and Genome Compiler, NorthBit, and Inneractive.
Ohio buys $50 million of Israeli bonds
Ohio’s Treasury office is purchasing $50 million worth of Israel bonds. It represents the largest single government purchase of Israel bonds in Ohio’s history following purchases of $47.8 million in 2014 and of $42 million in 2013.
One of the largest industrial centers in Israel
The cornerstone laying ceremony took place in Yokneam of the new center for Israeli hi-tech giant Mellanox, due to be completed in 2018. Of the company’s 2,600 employees, 1,800 are in Israel. It employs staff from Tel Hai to Beersheva, including Ramallah and Gaza.
Will.i.am buys Israeli machine learning startup
US singer/songwriter Will.i.am, via his consumer tech label i.am+, has purchased Israel’s Sensiya. Sensiya’s machine learning, speech recognition capabilities are being incorporated in a number of wearables, including smartphones and smartwatches.
Moovit integrates with Uber
Last week it was Germany’s VW investing in Israel’s Gett. Now Israel crowdsourced public transit app Moovit is to integrate with German ride-sharing app Uber in 131 cities in 22 countries. A recent US study showed that ride-sharing customers are also regular users of public transport.
Alibaba funds Twiggle
It sounds like something out of “Arabian Nights” but in reality China’s on-line retail giant Alibaba is investing in Israeli startup Twiggle, which is developing next generation e-commerce search technologies. The funds will grow the company’s R&D team in Israel and drive global expansion plans.
Sodastream launches home-made beer system
Israel’s SodaStream has launched its new home beer system, the Beer Bar. It produces a 4.5% alcohol beer called Blondie using sparkling water and a unique beer concentrate. A one-liter Blondie bottle yields approximately three liters of beer.
Intel banks on Israel
Despite global layoffs, IT giant Intel is still investing in Israel. It just announced that it is to create a financial technology innovation lab in association with The Floor – a fintech hub based at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Some of its focus will be on blockchain, IoT and biometrics.
Microsoft’s new Israel venture fund
Microsoft has launched a new Venture Capital fund named Microsoft Accelerator. The fund focuses on Cloud startups and effectively separates Microsoft’s investment arm from its startup incubator program.
Carrier of the Year
Grupo Modelo SA, Mexico, producers of Corona beer and part of the AB INBEV Group, the largest beer producer in the world, chose Israel’s ZIM as Carrier of the Year in their annual award Ceremony in Mexico City.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Queen Mary 2 docks at Haifa
British luxury ocean liner RMS Queen Mary 2, flagship of Cunard Line, called at Haifa recently. 345 meters long and 76,000 tons, it is the largest passenger ship to visit the port.
Jerusalem Light Festival
The week long, nighttime Festival of Light in Jerusalem’s Old City featured standalone light installations and several projected onto buildings; illuminated musicians, simulated water fountains and spectacular light shows.
June in Israel
Concerts in Israel in June include from Brian Wilson (Beach Boys), Simply Red, Foreigners (“I Want to Know What Love Is”), Alice Cooper and Barry Manilow.
World champion at Muaythai
Israel’s Nili Block added the IFMA Muaythai World Championship title to the one she won in kickboxing last year after claiming the gold medal in the under-60-kilogram competition in Jonkoping, Sweden. Block defeated Irina Chernova of Ukraine in the final. Muaythai is similar to kickboxing.
Israeli bronze at Judo Masters
Israel’s Golan Pollack won a bronze medal at the World Judo Masters tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Israeli bronze at Euro Gymnastics Championships
Israel’s Alex Shatilov claimed his sixth career medal at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships yesterday, taking a bronze in the floor exercise in Bern, Switzerland. Shatilov will participate in his third straight Olympics this summer.
More Israelis to compete in Olympics
Maor Tiyouri became the 35th Israeli to qualify for the Rio Olympics when she finished the Ottawa marathon in 2:42.22 hours in her first ever competitive marathon. The Israeli cross-country mountain biking team has been ranked 22 and will compete in the Olympics for the first time.
THE JEWISH STATE
Excavation of Bar Kochba’s caves
Led by the Israel Antiquities Authority, 500 volunteers have re-excavated the Cave of the Skulls – one of the largest caverns at Nahal Tze’elim. They found many items that shed light on daily life of Judeans sheltering following the Bat Kochba revolt against the Romans in the second century CE.
3300-year-old amulet discovered
Young students participating in an archaeological excavation at the ancient site of Tzipori have discovered a 3,300-year-old Egyptian amulet. The scarab is from the time of the Ramses, the 19th Dynasty. Scarabs were mostly used as burial amulets, but also worn by the living, on rings.
Jerusalem Unity Prize
Jerusalem Unity Prize and Unity Day are positive events to commemorate the memory of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel, kidnapped and murdered in Jun 2014. 2016 prize winners include Kesher Yehudi (facilitating secular & haredi dialogue) and Hapoel Katamon soccer club (promotes youth community outreach).
Jerusalem Day speech in the Knesset
Israeli PM Netanyahu quoted from the Prophets and Psalms in his Jerusalem Day address to Israel’s Parliament. “Judah will exist forever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.” “For he has strengthened the bars of your gates, and blessed your children in your midst.”
Six days of miracles
During the Six-Day War that culminated in the unification of Jerusalem 49 years ago, one particular hour was critical. As almost the entire Israeli air-force set off to attack Egyptian airfields, all of Egypt’s sophisticated jets and anti-aircraft guns went off-line. And then even more miracles occurred.
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