Another good trial of colon capsule scan; US professors visit Israeli universities; UK & Israel’s new strategic partnership; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Prioritizing flu vaccinations
Israeli health company Maccabi has partnered with Israel’s Medial EarlySign (see here). Maccabi will integrate EarlySign’s flu algorithm, which flags people at high risk of developing flu-related complications, to target them with its vaccination campaign.
New masks to help prevent spread of coronavirus
Israel startups Sonovia (see here) and Argaman (see here) are racing to produce production versions of their bio-inhibitive and anti-viral textiles and masks. They could be vital prevention tools in epidemics like the deadly Wuhan coronavirus.
Another good trial of colon capsule scan
Israel’s Check-Cap has announced positive results from its latest US pilot study of its C-Scan colon capsule system. The dual-center study achieved both primary (safety) and secondary (patient satisfaction and performance) endpoints. C-Scan is already CE approved.
Success at Phase 3 for acne cream
Following on from good Phase 2 trials (see here) Israel’s Sol-Gel reported excellent results from pivotal Phase 3 clinical trials of its Twyneo treatment of patients with acne vulgaris. The trial significantly reduced moderate-to-severe acne in 858 patients aged nine and older.
Treating genetic diseases
Israeli-founded Emendo Biotherapeutics, based in New York, utilizes protein engineering for precision gene editing, to treat certain genetic disorders and diseases. It has seven treatments in early stages of development. Emendo has just raised $61 million of funding.
Optical discovery from shrimps
Scientists at Israel’s Ben Gurion University and Weizmann Institute have discovered how shrimp can see in the murky depths of the sea. The biocrystal coating of their retina light detectors may inspire the development of new optical coatings and specialized paints.
More about low-cost X-rays
As reported previously (see here), Israel’s Nanox has developed technology to lower the cost of X-ray imaging and make it more accessible to the developing world. Nanox has just received $26 million funding for its Nanox.Arc digital X-ray device and accompanying Nanox.Cloud software.
A future end to dialysis
Researchers at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center found that damaged kidneys can be rejuvenated by extracting healthy kidney stem cells from diseased cells, multiplying the healthy cells in a laboratory and reintroducing them into the kidney. Israel’s KidneyCure (see here) has begun human trials.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Women powering increase in Haredi incomes
Israel’s Democracy Institute (IDI) has reported that ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) women are increasingly pursuing higher education and integrating into Israel’s workforce. It resulted in a 10% rise in the income of Haredi families in 2017 compared to 5% for non-Haredim.
Plugging the funding gap
To help charities, the not-for-profit organization Ogen is to provide $70 million in bridging loans for non-profit organizations that are awaiting promised state funds from delayed 2020 budget.
US professors visit Israeli universities
The Jewish National Fund (JNF) has brought 28 professors from universities and colleges across the US to Israel. The JNF Faculty Fellowship Program links US scholars with their respective Israeli faculty to promote joint research, establish exchange programs and to see the country.
Israeli system protects French President’s plane
French President Emmanuel Macron’s attended the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Birkenau. As his plane arrived at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport, Elbit’s J-Music defense system was visible on the underside of his Airbus A330.
Prince Charles says Israel maintains UK’s Health Service
When in Israel, UK Royal Prince Charles said, “it seems to me like Israeli genius is maintaining the entire structure of the NHS along with a great deal of other technology”. He received presentations of Israeli innovations WaterGen, HomeBiogas and Sniff Phone.
Hackathon for Australian bushfire solutions
Israeli tech entrepreneurs, programmers, zoologists, water and environmental experts are taking part in a 15-hour hackathon (product design workshop event) in Tel Aviv to devise ways to help Australia tackle the consequences of the environmental calamity from its bushfires.
MDA offers help for Turkish earthquake victims
Eli Bin, Director-General of Israel’s Magen David Adom (MDA), has offered assistance to the Turkish Red Crescent following the 6.9 magnitude earthquake that hit Alazig province in Turkey. The powerful quake has resulted in over 1,000 casualties.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Showcasing Israeli innovation
75,000 visitors have already visited the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation in Tel Aviv since it opened in Feb. Each year it selects 45 of Israel’s most exciting startups to exhibit.
Innovative water companies
Two exciting Israeli water management startups at the Peres Innovation Center include Bermad and Kando – neither previously featured in this newsletter. Bermad’s control systems are installed in 86 countries. Kando’s wastewater sensors pinpoint the sources of pollution (great video).
Water water everywhere
This newsletter reported previously (Nov 2014) about Israel’s Waterways and its projects to bring water solutions to Africa. Another Israeli company, Water Ways Technologies, delivers irrigation solutions globally, and CEO Ohad Haber gave a presentation recently to investors in Winnipeg.
Detecting faulty bridges and tunnels
Collapsed bridges have killed people in Florida, China, Chile, Italy, Myanmar and Taiwan. An estimated 47,000 of US bridges are deficient. Israeli startup Dynamic Infrastructure provides a real-time 3D “medical report” on the health of bridges, tunnels and elevated highways.
Tracking water pollution in real time
Researchers at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University, have developed an optical nitrate sensor, based on absorption spectroscopy. It gives farmers real-time, continuous measurement of soil nitrate levels thereby optimizing crop fertilization and reducing the risk of groundwater poisoning.
Hundreds of new wind turbines for the Golan
Israel’s Defense Ministry and Infrastructure Ministry are to provide NIS 250 million funding to help build wind farms in the Golan Heights. It includes technology to avoid disrupting IDF and IAF activity and will help achieve Israel’s 2030 renewables target.
Vegan 3D-printed cellulose burgers
Israeli hamburger restaurant group Burgus Burger Bar (BBB) has partnered with Israeli 3D cellulose hamburger printing startup SavorEat (formerly Chef-It see here). Once SavorEat’s vegan burgers are ready to market, BBB will exclusively pilot the burger – planned for mid-2021.
Walk through the movie
Israel’s TetaVi has developed “volumetric” Virtual Reality technology that produces true-to-life holograms into which the viewers can immerse themselves. 4-8 portable depth cameras capture very high-resolution videos to make a VR movie that viewers can stand up and walk inside.
Be where you want to be
Israel’s Spectalix has developed technology that can transfer moving images of people or objects from a mobile phone-recorded video onto a new video background. E.g. you play the piano in your own home and appear as if performing at Carnegie Hall. It has many commercial applications.
Vimeo has debuted a new platform designed to help creatives produce shareable, short-form videos in minutes. Vimeo Create is powered by AI technology from Israeli-founded Magisto (see here) which it acquired in Apr 2019 for around $200 million.
Comprehensive home monitoring
Israel’s Vayyar (see here) has developed some amazing technology. Vayyar’s Home system checks the vulnerable for risk of falling (any incidents alerted), alerts for intruders, analyzes sleep quality, turns on lights, air-con etc. All just with sensors (no cameras or wearables).
Helping to make driving safer
Israel’s Jungo won “Connected Car Innovation of the Year” in the 2020 IoT Breakthrough awards for its CoDriver in-cabin driver monitoring solution that helps make vehicles safer. US giant Qualcomm is to install CoDriver on its Snapdragon automotive cockpit platforms.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
UK & Israel’s new strategic partnership
BICOM’s new report Britain and Israel: The new strategic partnership shows that British trade with Israel is booming and bilateral relations are expanding in defense, science, tech, business and cybersecurity. It highlights a new strategic partnership between the two countries.
Chinese incubator for Israeli autonomous car startups
A new accelerator has been launched to promote Israeli autotech startups in China. It will include 10 participants, focused on autonomous vehicles, driver experience, and 3-D printing. The accelerator aims to shorten the companies’ time to market in the country.
From Silicon Wadi to Silicon Valley
Israeli NGO ICON (Israel Collaboration Network – see here) has setup Silicon Valley 101 (SV101) an immersion program for Israeli entrepreneurs examining potential expansion to Silicon Valley. SV101’s latest group of 10 new startups is now being selected.
Microsoft to launch Israeli data center
Microsoft Corp. has announced plans to set up a data center in Israel – the first such data center to be established here by one of the five big tech giants. The Microsoft data center will provide cloud services for Israeli customers. Oracle also said it would be setting up a data center in Israel.
Crowdfunding in Abu Dhabi and Jerusalem
Jon Medved of Israel’s OurCrowd was one of the first Israeli Venture Capitalists to speak openly in an investor conference in the Gulf (see here),. Here is a video interview of him at the event. Plus, details of OurCrowd’s Global Investor Summit in Jerusalem on 13th Feb 2020.
Many more fans
Israeli-founded, London-based Minute Media (previously named 90min) has just acquired FanSided Ltd., a network of fandom-focused sports, entertainment, and lifestyle sites. It is Minute Media’s fourth takeover in two years. A third of Minute Media’s 230 employees work at its Tel Aviv R&D center.
Bundesliga buys into Israeli tech company
DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga GmbH, responsible for the German national soccer league (Bundesliga), has bought shares in Israel’s MOVEZ AI. MOVEZ’s soon to launch app uses computer vision and AI to evaluate a player’s skills in ball sports, including basketball and soccer.
Israeli payments for Canada
Israel’s Tipalti (Hebrew for “I handled it”) has offices in Israel, California and now Vancouver, Canada. Tipalti’s cloud-based payables automation service processes over $8 billion in transactions annually (see here). Its clients include Amazon, Vimeo, Foursquare, and Twitter.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Rapture, Blister, Burn
Center Stage – Israel’s permanent English language theatre in Ra’anana – is holding performances of the Pulitzer Prize finalist “Rapture, Blister, Burn”, written by Gina Gionfriddo.
New nature reserves in Judea & Samaria
Israel has approved seven new nature reserves in Judea & Samaria – the first since the 1990s. In addition, 12 existing reserves will be expanded. The new sites are at the Ariel Cave, Wadi Og, Wadi Malha, the Southern Jordan River, Bitronot Creek, Nahal Tirza, and Rotem-Maskiot.
Taste of the Valleys
At the 16th annual Taste of the Valleys (Te’amim Ba’amakim) Festival, (Feb 2 – 22)) families can enjoy breathtaking landscapes, hiking trails, quality restaurants and great concerts. It
connects local restaurants, wineries and farms and brings guests to KKL-JNF nature trails and Kishon River.
Top Israel restaurants
The latest release of La Liste – “the world’s best restaurant selection” – includes 13 Israel venues. The top Israeli restaurant is Meir Adoni’s Lumina, who “blends casual fine dining with a kosher Mediterranean spin”. His Blue Sky restaurant at Tel Aviv’s Carlton Hotel also made the list.
Ex-world boxing champion Rabbi teaches self-defense
Israel’s Yuri Forman held the World Boxing Association’s super welterweight title from 2009 to 2010. In 2014 he ordained as an orthodox Rabbi. He is currently giving self-defense classes in Brooklyn for members of vulnerable Jewish communities.
Israeli cycling team uses Israeli hi-tech
Israel Cycling Academy (now re-named Israel Start-Up Nation) will use computer vision and AI technologies from Israel’s Physimax to create personalized training programs for the 2020 Tour de France. The cyclists will also wear the vital signs monitoring device from Israel’s Biobeat.
Israeli judokas win gold at Tel Aviv grand prix
Israeli judokas Ori Sasson and Peter Paltchik took home two gold medals at the Tel Aviv Grand Prix, winning the over-100kg and under-100kg categories, respectively. They spoke afterwards about how their success inspires Israeli children.
THE JEWISH STATE
Reaching out to discharged lone soldiers
Israeli charity Boomerang supports 500 of the 3,000 lone soldiers discharged from the IDF each year with job searching, training, health issues, equipment etc. It recently launched its “Misheli” project to support 1,000 more ex-soldiers and to set up a Call Center helpline service.
Oral histories of Sephardi Jews
The National Library of Israel has begun publishing oral histories from the Sephardi Voices initiative, the first digital collection that documents and preserves the life stories of Jews who lived in Arab and Islamic countries. It includes video and audio clips of interviews, plus archive photographs.
Holocaust survivor sees grandson fly as IDF pilot
89-year-old Lila not only survived the Holocaust, she made it to Israel, where she raised a family and is now the proud grandmother of an Israeli Air Force pilot. In this touching video she watches as her grandson flies over her Israeli home.
Startup repays grant to help a new startup
Since its 2016 launch, Israel’s Elementor website builder for WordPress has had over 3 million installs in 180 countries. Orthodox Jewish co-founder Yoni Luksenberg has now returned the 20,000-shekel grant he received from incubator KamaTech so it can benefit new startups.
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