Israeli cancer death rates drop; Israeli aid for Venezuelan refugees; Israelis file nearly 5000 patents in the US; and much more!

By Michael Ordman


Israeli cancer death rates drop

Between 1995 and 2016, cancer deaths for Israeli Jewish men dropped by an average of 1.7% every year and for Israeli Jewish women by 1.6%. Cancer deaths for Israeli Arabs also dropped significantly. Although Israel has the 50th highest cancer rate in the world, it is 92nd for cancer deaths.

Human trials for X-ray surgical glasses

I reported previously (Oct 2017) on Xvision (previously VIZOR),  the Augmented Reality surgical navigation system from Israel’s Augmedics. Following testing on cadavers, Xvision is now undergoing human trials and has been successfully tested in six spinal operations.

The first wireless VAD

Doctors in Kazakhstan have implanted a wireless ventricular assist device (VAD) into a human for the first time.  The VAD is made by Jarvik Heart Inc but the technology for charging the battery was developed by Israel-based Leviticus Cardio. Wireless VADs have less risk of infection than wired VADs.

Better connections for dialysis patients

50% of dialysis patients experience failure of their AV fistula – the tubes that connect their arteries and veins to the dialysis machine. Israel’s Laminate Medical has developed the VasQ – a vascular support device that protects the connection. It takes only one extra minute to implant it.,7340,L-3755441,00.html

Nano wound protection

Israel’s Nanomedic has developed the SpinCare device – a portable electrospinning wound care system that remotely generates a nano-fibrous protective layer on the skin for tissue healing. The wound is never touched, preventing infection and bandages can be changed without sticking to the wound.

Treatment for pulmonary hypertension

Israel’s Teva has launched ALYQ – a generic form of Adcirca, to reduce the symptoms of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

Finding donors for complex kidney patients

Israel’s Beilinson Hospital has implemented a new program that locates matching donors for kidney transplant patients who suffer from high levels of antibodies due to previous transplants or blood donations. It has already helped the hospital perform successful transplants for 39 patients.

Link between Celiac disease and eating disorders

Kay’s son-in-law Dr. Itay Tokatly-Latzer and his Tel Aviv University research team have linked adolescents and young adults with celiac disease (CD) to higher incidences of disordered eating behavior. Many CD patients exhibit excessive control over their food.

Health company’s $150 million fund

The Assuta chain of medical clinics and private hospitals, controlled by Israel’s Maccabi Health Services, has founded a venture capital fund for investing in medical devices in the later stages of development. It has already raised $35 million and plans to reach $150 million by mid-2019.


Israeli aid for Venezuelan refugees

Friends of Ziv Medical Center raised funds for Venezuelan refugees with an event at the Sound Nightclub in Hollywood.  Meanwhile, Israel’s Ziv Medical Center is sending doctors to Brazil’s Northern Province, near the border with Venezuela, to treat many thousands seeking medical attention.

Women and girls in science

This video was released to mark International Women and Girls in Science Day. The Israeli women featured are Weizmann Professor Varda Rotter, Dr Or-Yam Revach and Orit Shahar.

Training for women in social technology

A group of 27 exceptional young women are working and studying in the 1st class of Carmel 6000 – a national service tech training program for volunteers to develop solutions with a social benefit.  Non-Israelis can also volunteer (like lone soldiers) to join this program.

Women’s summit in Jerusalem

US business magazine Forbes is hosting a first of its kind – the Forbes Under 30 Global Women’s Summit in Israel (Mar 31 – Apr 4). This event for top young female founders, leaders and mentors follows the 2018 Forbes Under 30 Global Summit when Forbes brought 800 business leaders to Israel.

Library for Haredi children with learning difficulties

I reported previously (Sep 2016) about Bnei Brak NGO Achiya which helps thousands of Haredi children with learning difficulties. Achiya has just opened a new library containing some 10,000 books plus facilities for sight-impaired and “special needs” kids.

Israeli-Arab degree students double

Israel’s Council for Higher Education (CHE) reports the doubling of Arab degree candidates in Israel over the last decade. Last year 48,627 Israeli-Arabs studied for degrees, thanks to investment to integrate the Arab population and improve their socio-economic standing.

Increased medical permits for Palestinian Arabs

In 2018, over 20,000 permits were granted to Palestinian Arabs living in Judea and Samaria to enter Israel and receive treatment or support a patient who was receiving treatment in the Jewish state. This was an increase of 3,000 on 2017. Israel also trains PA doctors.

PM meets Arab leaders at Poland summit

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu joined Arab leaders at the US-organized Middle East conference in Warsaw. He sat next to Yemen’s Foreign Minister and was invited back to visit Oman. The BBC didn’t give it any importance, predictably.

Bar-Ilan ties with Macedonia U

Bar-Ilan University and UKIM University, Macedonia’s largest university, have signed new cooperation agreements. They cover the facilities of medicine, humanities and social sciences.


Israelis file nearly 5000 patents in the US

Of the 340,000 patents filed in the US in 2018, almost 5,000 (1.44%) originated with Israel inventors. Numbers of Israeli patents has been rising steadily over the past 15 years. Back in 2004, Israeli-linked patents filed accounted for only 0.68% of all patents in the U.S.,7340,L-3755537,00.html

Israeli innovation at MWC Barcelona

Dozens of Israeli startups will be presenting at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (25 – 28 Feb 2019) They have solutions for telecom service providers, equipment vendors, smart device manufacturers; automotive, smart home, smart city and finance enterprises and users.

Exhibition of 50 innovative startups

“The Israeli Expo,” an exhibition showcasing 50 Israeli startups has opened at the innovation center at Tel Aviv’s Peres Center for Peace & Innovation. They focus on artificial intelligence, IT, digital health, ag-tech, and cybersecurity. The exhibition will be updated on a yearly basis.,7340,L-3755357,00.html

Tel Aviv is 18th best hi-tech city

Savills real estate agency rated Tel Aviv 18th in their list of the world’s best high-tech cities. High spots included air passenger growth, startups per capita, talent pool, population growth and co-working rental cost.

Young Israeli scientists win $100,000 awards

The prestigious Blavatnik Awards recognizes Israeli scientists 42 or younger conducting “breakthrough research” in life sciences, chemistry, physics or engineering. This year Weizman’s Michal Rivlin and Erez Berg and Technion’s Moran Bercovici won $100,000 each.

Sky’s no limit for Anières graduates

In 2016, Anières (Naale) Elite Academy launched “Aeronautics in the Valley” – an enrichment program to teach high-school students the basics of aerospace engineering. Today, 15 graduates are in the Technion’s academic reserve program, before joining the Israeli Air Force as engineers.

University defense alliance

Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and BGN Technologies, (technology transfer company of Ben-Gurion University) are to conduct joint research in cybersecurity, smart mobility, robotics and artificial intelligence. The first projects are on cyber threats to sensors in autonomous vehicles.

Heavy duty garment printing

I reported previously (see here)on Israel’s Kornit and its digital garment-printing systems. Kornit has just launched the Kornit Atlas – a heavy-duty system for super-industrial garment decoration businesses producing up to 350,000 impressions per year.

Smart sensor analyzes farm feed

Eurofins Agro UK is partnering with Israel’s SCIO and its hand-held, connected smart sensor, to launch an advanced on-farm feed analysis solution. SCiO provides farmers with real-time insight into silage requirements. The cloud-based system then adjusts for forecast rain, snow etc.

Fungus-resistant basil

A mildew epidemic has devastated sweet basil crops all over the world. Researchers from Bar-Ilan University and specialists at Israel’s Genesis Seeds have developed a disease-resistant sweet basil with the trademark “Prospera”. Israel exports $40 million worth of basil to Europe, Russia & US each year.

Kibbutz smart energy grid pilot

Former Austrian chancellor Christian Kern is chairman of Austrian-Israeli startup FSIGHT. Kern is currently visiting Kibbutz Ma’ale Gilboa where FSIGHT is piloting a smart platform for managing distributed energy grids. Israeli and European energy companies are also participating in the pilot.

Preventing ships from colliding

Israel’s Orca AI develops a sensor-based imaging technology to prevent collisions between maritime vessels. It has been installed on several Ray Car Carriers vessels as part of a pilot program.  Orca has just raised $2.3 million of funding.,7340,L-3755531,00.html

Clean up the air in your house

Israeli startup Aura Smart Air has developed a combination of air purifier, smoke alarm and carbon-dioxide detector, plus an app to measure air quality inside and outside and provide tips and advice. Its kickstarter project’s goal was to raise $15,000 and it has already reached nearly $100,000.

There you go

Israeli public transportation app developer Moovit, together with Microsoft’s Azure Maps and Dutch navigation developer TomTom have launched a joint trip planner. It gives all options (car, public, bike sharing, walking, parking) for a trip and was unveiled at the MOVE 2019 mobility conference in London.,7340,L-3756180,00.html


New record for foreign currency reserves. Israel’s foreign exchange reserves at the end of Jan 2019 climbed to a new record of $118.151 billion, up $2.872 billion from the end of Dec 2018,

Israeli startups on the road to China

At the Asian Financial Forum 2019 in Hong Kong, Israeli entrepreneur Jon Medved said that tiny Israel develops technology solutions and China provides for a massive scale-up of operations. An example is Israeli ag-tech, which increases food production for everyone.

Bringing Israeli startups to NYC

B-Seed Investments is hosting a pitch from eight innovative Israeli startups on 24th Feb in Brooklyn New York City. They are Swathly (marketing), Class.Me,(Education),  Fertigo (medical), Verto (imaging), Enerjoy (marketing), Innovesta (finance), MyTower (IoT0 and MYTech (media)

Arkia to start two Tel Aviv to India direct routes

Israeli airline Arkia Airlines is to begin a direct weekly flight to India’s Goa state and twice-weekly to the city of Cochin (Kochi) in Kerala state. Flight times are around seven hours and will commence in September after the end of the monsoon season.

El Al to fly direct to Orlando

El Al announced, during the IMTM International Tourism Exhibition in Tel Aviv, that it is to launch direct flights to Orlando, Florida in the summer of 2019.  Tickets for the 13.5-hour Tel Aviv and 12-hour Orlando return night flights will go on sale shortly for a discounted price.

Share an electric scooter

Israeli startup Inokim is to launch its Leo electric scooter sharing service in Tel Aviv in March. It will initially operate 500 scooters, increasing to 3,000 by May. The service will then be expanded to Haifa and Eilat with 10,000 scooters by the end of 2019.,7340,L-3755159,00.html

Intel appoints 7 new Israeli global VPs

Intel appointed seven Israeli executives to Vice President positions in its global operations, bringing the number of Israelis in these senior posts to nearly 20 of its 150 global VPs.

Boutique hostels for Tel Aviv

I reported previously (19th Aug) that Israeli-founded Selina was looking at possible sites in Tel Aviv to open boutique hospitality hostels. It has now announced that it will open the first of its Tel Aviv facilities this summer.  Selina currently has 10,000 beds at 44 sites in Latin America and Portugal.,7340,L-3755634,00.html

Mind the Tech for chance to win $1 million

The semi-final of Trifecta, a $1 million startup competition, will be held during Calcalist’s 3rd annual Mind the Tech Conference, in New York on April 10-12. The final will be in Israel in June where the $1 million investment will be awarded by Israel-based firm Pitango Venture Capital.,7340,L-3755635,00.html

Symantec buys Luminate for $200 million

I reported previously (18th Nov)that US cybersecurity giant Symantec had bought its 3rd Israeli company.  It’s now acquired a 4th – Luminate, for a reported $200 million – to “further extend… the power of Symantec’s Integrated Cyber Defense Platform”,7340,L-3756213,00.html

The inside story on food trends

Israeli startup Tastewise can transform the strategy and decision-making of companies in the food business with its real-time industry data and predictive analytics. Tastewise is currently focused on the vast US market, but plans to expand, including to Israel where its R&D operations are based.

Giorgio Armani and Chanel coming to Israel

Armani Beauty, the beauty brand of Italian fashion house Giorgio Armani, is reportedly to open a store in Tel Aviv’s Ramat Aviv Mall. The shop will offer cosmetics, skincare products and fragrances. Chanel is also opening in Ramat Aviv Mall and in the TLV Gindi Mall.,7340,L-3756245,00.html


Celebrity chefs get the Birthright treatment

Culinary entrepreneur Herb Karlitz has brought a delegation of senior US chefs, food critics, stars of popular dining programs in America, and owners of well-known restaurants to explore Israel’s food experiences.

Listen to Israel’s music

The National Library of Israel, together with the Ministry of Culture and Sport, and the Digital Finjan project, have released Shiri (“my song”), a mobile phone app for listening to some 40,000 classic Israeli songs.  Available for download from the Android Play Store or the Apple Store.

Netta’s latest video has 6 million views

The video of Israeli Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai’s new song “Bassa Sababa” had received over 1.8 million views just three days after its release on 31st Jan.  As of 13 Feb, this had soared to over 6 million hits.,7340,L-3755539,00.html

Israel’s got magic

Apologies, but I didn’t have time to include this video of illusionist Tomer Dudai’s performance when he won Israel’s Got Talent last year.  Well over six million hits across the Internet.

Paralympic swimmer shatters world record

Israeli Paralympic swimmer Mark Malyar, 19, has set a new world record for 1,500 meters Paralympic swimming.  Malyar, who has cerebral palsy, competed in the Wingate open competition and improved the previous record set in 2011 by almost 23 seconds.


Israel’s young ambassadors

StandWithUs has launched the 13th year of its Israel Fellowship. It has recruited 150 articulate and diverse young Israelis, who have finished IDF service, to build bridges and educate people of all faiths and ages about Israel. By the end of 2019, the program will have graduated its 2,000th Israeli Fellow.

Indian Jewish manuscript displayed in Israel

The National Library of Israel has acquired a manuscript used originally by the India’s Bene Israel Jewish community. The 180-year-old book contains 94 pages of prayers in Urdu, from circumcision through to burial, transliterated into Hebrew script and then translated into Hebrew.

Start the day the Jewish way

In ancient Israel, the section of morning prayers called Pesukei Dezimra were sung. This video is a musical version of Psalm 150. Rabbi Jeremy Gimpel’s new e-book features musical morning psalms and he invites you to tour the Judean mountains to experience a new-old way to start the day.

Police save stray cat

Israeli Police detectives in Eilat were on duty when they noticed a stray cat whose head was trapped in a tin can. They carefully cut the can and released the cat. The cat didn’t stay around long enough to thank them, though.