Vaccine rollout; Women driving STEM; Non-polluting buses; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
2 million+ Israelis have had their first Pfizer vaccination. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the first of over 110,000 Israelis to receive the second dose. He also announced that Israel could be the first nation to be fully vaccinated. Inoculation of teachers and the over-50s has begun; the over-40s will start shortly.
Allergies? No problem.
Some 100 Israelis with severe allergies are being vaccinated at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center as part of a pilot program. Previously, those with severe allergies were turned away from health clinics because of the risk of serious reactions, including anaphylactic shock.
An effective anti-Covid nasal spray
The Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray, developed by Israeli-founded, Canada-based SaNOtize (reported here previously) has proved 99.9% effective in lab tests by Utah State University’s Antiviral Research Institute. Phase 2 trials continue in Canada and are just beginning in UK hospitals.
A natural Covid-19 treatment?
Israel’s Novel Concepts Medical claims to have developed a combination of natural compounds that significantly decreases the amount of coronavirus spike protein, which binds the virus to the lungs. If its US patent application is approved, it will progress to clinical trials.
Groundbreaking heart surgery
Instead of open-heart surgery, doctors at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center performed the world’s first catheterizations to unblock heart valves, including of a 96-year-old woman. They used the “ShortCut” – a tiny knife inside a catheter, developed together with Israeli startup Pi-Cardia.
Improved diagnosis of heart problems
Researchers at Israel’s Technion Institute have developed a way to detect heart problems based on routine electrocardiography (ECG). The new system demonstrated 96 percent average accuracy in diagnosing the various conditions, compared to 80% for currently available algorithms.
The correct personal treatment for cancer
Israel’s OncoHost (reported here previously) has achieved about 90% accuracy in predicting how melanoma and lung cancer patients respond to various therapies. And now Israeli Nobel Prize winner Professor Aaron Ciechanover has joined OncoHost’s scientific advisory board.
$1 billion for cancer therapies
Israel’s Biond Biologics (reported here previously) has signed an exclusive worldwide license agreement with Sanofi for its innovative cancer therapies. Biond will receive $125 million up-front with more than $1 billion in potential payments. Biond’s plans BND-22 human trials to start mid-2021.
Searching for pancreatic cancer cures
This article describes the work of 3 Israeli scientists who received grants from the Israel Cancer Research Fund to research pancreatic cancer therapies. They include cell profiling to find early-stage markers; how glucose affects resistance; and cancer spreading along nerve fibers.
Artificial cornea restores sight
Surgeons at Rambam Medical Center conducted the first implant of a synthetic cornea from Israel’s CorNeat (reported here previously). 78-year-old Israeli Arab Jamal from Haifa was able to see clearly immediately after the transplant, for the first time in 10 years.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Social finance to support the elderly
Social Finance Israel (reported here previously) has launched its 5th issue of crowdfunded Social Impact Bonds. These will raise funds to reduce loneliness by installing the Uniper Care TV system (reported here previously) in the homes of 200 elderly residents of Tel Aviv-Jaffa.
Celebrating female entrepreneurs
Israeli NGO Yazamiyot (reported here previously) now has 5,500+ Israeli female entrepreneur members in its community. At its first 2021 event, Yasamiyot gave out awards to the founders of Israeli companies Leo, MAO FoodTech and Peech.
Women driving STEM
An impressive webinar last week featured three top female scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem – Professor Nathalie Q. Balaban (biological physics), Assistant Professor Dr. Naomi Habib (brain Sciences) and Assistant Professor Dr. Maayan Salton (molecular biology).
Bringing religious Druze women into hi-tech
Israel’s Lotus Hub recruits young women from the Druze Arab village of Daliyat el-Karmel, who majored in STEM subjects in high school. The religious Druze women are trained in computer programming and then work for companies from the shared office space in the village.
Saving lives in Jaffa
Please watch this inspiring video featuring Ebrahim – a Muslim volunteer for Israeli emergency organization United Hatzalah.
Saving the lives of Gaza’s children
New video by Nicky Blackburn, Israel21c Israel Director and Editor in Chief (and newsletter subscriber). It features Adam and Rinad from Gaza who (like hundreds of others) get free lifesaving surgery from Save a Child’s Heart doctors at Israel’s Wolfson Medical Center. Amazing scenes.
Saving Caribbean beaches
Ydgal Ach, CEO of Israel’s Maof Holdings, has a plan to turn the Sargassum algae polluting beaches in the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean islands, into methane biogas. The plan also includes an eco-park that would provide educational programs and ecological solutions.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Israel shines at virtual CES 2021
The International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2021 – the first to be held virtually, featured more than two dozen Israeli-founded companies – 19 in the virtual Israeli pavilion. Two, OrCam (reported here previously) and Voiceitt, had already won CES 2021 “Best of Innovation” Awards.
Intel’s new Israeli-developed processors
Intel announced two “made in Israel” microprocessors at CES 2021 – Rocket Lake and Alder Lake. Intel also announced its partnership with Israel’s Cybereason, who will develop the first PC hardware security solution to protect businesses against ransomware attacks.
Radar for the road ahead
Israel’s Arbe Robotics (reported here previously) is planning to launch its high-resolution vehicle radar in 2022. The technology outperforms standard radar, which misinterprets stationary objects, and LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) which suffers in snow, fog or bright light.
Intel Israel’s face recognition tool RealSense (reported here previously) has now been enhanced to provide secure and accurate facial authentication. It can even recognize a face with new facial hair or glasses.
There are currently some 80 municipal electric buses operating in Israel. New funding of NIS 47 million will increase this number to 200. The Ministry of Environmental Protection has now issued its roadmap for all Israeli bus companies to transition to zero-emission buses by 2025.
3D sport on TV
Israeli hi-tech startup IMD Technologies (IMDT) has partnered with UK-based virtual reality (VR) startup Condense Reality to develop a new system for streaming hologram-style 3D video. It allows viewers to watch live sports events in full surround 3D either with a VR headset or even on their tabletop.
Growing where no crops could grow before
Israeli-founded, Texas-based Qualitas Health has developed iwi, a microalgae source of protein and omega-3 that grows in saltwater. Although now US-owned, Qualitas’ largest investor is Israel’s Minrav and Israeli-founded PeakBridge VC helped raise $10 million of new funds.
https://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Article/2021/01/11/Algae-cultivator-Qualitas-Health-DBA-iwi-closes-first-round-of-new-investment https://www.qualitas-health.com/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Berzin
Saving people from fire
Israeli-founded A2Z Technologies Corp has developed two fire-safety products. The first is a vehicle system that includes turning the fuel in the gas tank into a gel in the event of a collision. The second is a fire-fighting robot that extinguishes fires from inside the fire. The 2nd video has English captions.
Smart shopping trolleys
Israel’s Cust2Mate, now part of Israeli-founded A2Z Technologies Corp, has developed a smart shopping trolley. Input your shopping list into the mobile app, and the smart cart will guide you through the store. Currently in Israeli trials and soon reported to go on sale in the UAE.
Another alternative to milk
Researchers from Tel Aviv University are developing vegan milk that comes “from yeast, not beast”. Like Israel’s Remilk (reported here previously), the product has the same proteins, taste, aroma and texture as dairy milk, but no hormones, antibiotics, lactose or environmentally damaging cows.
Everything to ride on one app
Israel’s Ministry of Transportation has requested all ride-sharing companies to share their data for integrating on a single app to be developed by Netivei Ayalon (reported here previously). Information includes vehicle availability, their location and the location of available parking spaces.
A compressed air battery
Israel’s Augwind has won an Israeli government tender to build Israel’s first battery using compressed air technology, to store renewable energy and generate electricity when required. Augwind and France’s EDF will build and operate a power plant and storage system in Israel’s Negev desert.
Air conditioner kills coronavirus
Israeli air conditioning company Tadiran has developed an air purifier that kills 99.999% of germs, bacteria and viruses including SARS-COV-2 that causes Covid-19. The “Air Care 02” system converts air moisture to hydrogen peroxide, which eradicates the pathogens.
Radar defense for US tanks
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has just delivered its WindGuard (ELM-2133) radar systems to the American military. The radar system, which protects tanks from threats such as anti-tank missiles, has already been in use on Israel’s own Merkava tank for some time.
Measuring the removal of CO2
Israel’s Albo combines Satellite imaging, Artificial Intelligence and computer models to help farming and forestry organizations implement the best environment friendly practices. Forests and agriculture are two of the top ways to remove (sequester) carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
How to get a job in hi-tech
So many non-technical Israelis and non-Israelis ask about how to begin a career in the well-paid, high demand hi-tech industry. This article gives some helpful tips.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Record sales of Israel Bonds
Despite the global economic crisis, Israel Bonds sold an unprecedented $1.8 billion in investments during 2020, mainly in the US. Proceeds of the sale of bonds are used to promote Israel’s technological growth. The funds will help Israel offset the economic challenges that are expected to come.
Investing in mature tech
Israel’s Glilot Capital, which until now specialized in early-stage tech ventures, is launching a new $170 million VC fund focusing on investments in more mature companies. Glilot+ (Glilot Plus), will seek to place $5 – 20 million in each of around 15 enterprise software and cybersecurity companies.
Modernizing British navy’s training
The UK subsidiary of Israel’s Elbit Systems has won a contract worth some $166 million from the UK Ministry of Defence, for the Royal Navy Future Naval Training Program. The 12-year program will modernize the Navy’s shore-based training, plus establish its “Future Submarine School”.
You can check-in anytime you want
Israeli startup As You Stay lets travelers save money at 400,000+ hotels and properties by eliminating fixed check-in and check-out times. It also states that the current cost of this flexibility is far lower than pre-pandemic. And, unlike the song “Hotel California”, you can always leave!
Self-driving cars for everyone
Israel’s Amnon Shashua, Mobileye President and CEO, announced at the virtual CES 2021 event that its technology would make fully Autonomous Vehicles a reality in 2022 and widely available by 2025. Its Radar / LIDAR and camera-based AVs would be safer than vehicles driven by humans.
Mental therapy is a growth business
Israeli-founded, New York-based Talkspace (reported here previously) has attracted huge numbers of customers during the pandemic. It is growing so fast that it could soon go public.
Check your metabolism at the gym
When the Anytime Fitness gyms reopen in the UK, its 170,000 members will be able to enhance their fat burning program using Israel’s Lumen device (reported here previously).
https://jewishbusinessnews.com/2021/01/06/israels-lumen-offers-a-hand-held-device-to-measure-your-metabolism/ https://www.lumen.me/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMeEWWLrC5Y
Rapyd becomes a double Unicorn
Israel’s Rapyd (reported here previous) has just raised a huge $400 million to give it a market valuation of $2.5 million. Rapyd’s real-time funds transfer platform is now used in more than 170 countries. Rapyd will use the funds to increase its workforce and purchase additional companies.
Investment in Israeli startups:
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Israelis in Dakar rally
Two Israeli teams are competing in the Dakar motor rally, currently being held in Saudi Arabia this year because of the pandemic. The Israeli competitors entered the country with Israeli passports and official approval. https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/294944
Belgium’s soccer player of the year
Israel’s Lior Refaelov has won Belgium’s Golden Shoe – the trophy for the best player in the Belgian soccer league over the past year. The attacking midfielder plays for Antwerp and gave his club their first Golden Shoe win since 1966. In 2011, Lior won Israel’s Best Player award.
Learning a new lifecycle
Four time Tour de France winner, Chris Froome, began his new career as a member of the Israel Start-Up Nation cycling team. He took the opportunity, in the weeks leading up to the 2021 season, to get acquainted with the Israeli lifestyle. Great video!
THE JEWISH STATE
UAE receives first goods from Samaria
Israel has delivered to the UAE its first shipment of products from Samaria – the Biblical region recaptured by Israel during the 1967 Six-day War. They included olive oil from the Tura Winery in Rechelim, and honey from Paradise Honey in Hermesh.
Yamina leader does the “right” thing
Naftali Bennett, leader of Israel’s Yamina (to the right) party, stopped to help a man who had fallen (breaking his leg) while crossing the street. He helped carry him back onto the sidewalk and gave him water and first aid. He then waited until a Magen David Adom ambulance arrived.
Vaccination – a light to the nations
Last week’s cover story on BBC World news featured Shira, a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT, vaccinating an elderly Israeli. The headline was titled, “Israel leads virus vaccine race with 12% given jab”. This article highlights five UH volunteer medics who typify what lifesaving is all about.
The “blessing” of a scarce water supply
Israel is described in the Torah as a land where the people look to Heaven for its rain. In modern times, the scarcity of this valuable resource inspired the Jewish State to develop the infrastructure and technology to be a “water superpower” and export this knowledge to the rest of the world.