Good News Israel Archive from the week of May 29, 2016: Researchers at Ben-Gurion University have developed an innovative anti-biofilm coating; The British army is testing and rolling out the new Israeli-made Virtus body armor system to its infantry, and much more.
By: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
EU and US boosts for surgical sealant
Israel’s LifeSeal, the no-leak sealant solution for patients who have undergone gastrointestinal (GI) surgery, has received CE approval for use in the European Union. LifeSeal has also been fast-tracked for approval by the US FDA through its Expedited Access Pathway (EAP)
New anti-bacteria coating
Researchers at Ben-Gurion University have developed an innovative anti-biofilm coating. The anti-adhesive patches can prevent destructive bacterial biofilm forming on metal surfaces. It could be used on medical implants, devices and surgical equipment and even on ships and bridges.
Automatic diagnosis from radiology images
Tel Aviv University Professor Hayit Greenspan has developed a wide variety of “deep learning” tools to facilitate computer-assisted diagnosis of X-rays, CTs and MRIs, freeing radiologists to attend to complex cases that require their full attention and skills.
US Jews study trauma in Israel
Social work students from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work are in Israel to attend an intensive course on trauma, emergency response and recovery. It features workshops on trauma intervention, and real-time emergency response simulation.
Israel and US scientists join up to beat cancer
Israel’s Technion and New York University’s Langone Medical Center have begun a research project, targeting metastatic melanoma and mesothelioma. They will test the ability of a nanotechnology based on so-called “nanoghosts” using stem cells to home in on cancer cells.
Progress for DNA blood test
The DNA diagnostic breakthrough from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has been funded. Priority is now for a diagnostic tool for neurodegenerative, cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases plus a blood test for the early detection of multiple diseases at their asymptomatic stage.
Mayo Clinic to work with Israeli startups
The US medical organization Mayo Clinic is launching the Mayo Clinic Israeli Startups Initiative. It will encourage collaboration among Israeli health care startup companies and Mayo Clinic and fund joint R&D to accelerate availability of medical innovations to the public.
Malaria detection for India
The SightDX Parasight Malaria Detection Platform from Israel’s Sight Diagnostics is to be introduced into India. Approximately 880,000 cases of malaria were reported in India in 2013. http://www.livemint.com/Companies/tawvlTnMXHEnoHjT4K9qvN/Becton-Dickinson-brings-4minute-malaria-detection-kit-to-I.html
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Israel’s inclusive champion soccer team
Hapoel Beersheba just won Israel’s Premier league soccer title. Seeing female owner Alona Barkat celebrated by the male coaches and players demonstrates a beautiful side of Israel. The players include Jews, Muslims and Christians. All stood side by side for the national anthem.
Helping Haredim become self-sufficient
Israeli NGO Mesila encourages and teaches Haredim to become financially independent – breaking the Haredi cycle of poverty. Last year it reached 8000 men, women and children, in Israel, USA, Canada and the UK – helping them to seek, achieve and maintain financial stability.
Arab doctor and Israeli nurse share medical prize
Dr. Abed Abu Quidar, senior physician in the Pediatric Hemato-Oncology Department at Soroka Medical Center and Chaya Hirshberg, a nurse in the department, won Israel’s Danielle Prize – for doctors and nurses who have shown “devoted care” and “admirable treatment” of their young cancer patients.
NIS 900 million for Bedouin sector
The Israeli government voted to spend some 900 million shekels ($240 million) to develop and strengthen Israeli-Arab Bedouin communities in northern Israel over the next four years. The money is to improve local infrastructure, schools, and welfare services.
Israel’s first Bedouin hi-tech company
Sadel Technology, founded by Technion graduate Ibrahim Sana, is the first Israeli Bedouin hi-tech company. Most of SadelTech’s 15 employees are Bedouins, including three women. SadelTech provides mobile and web app development and software quality assurance.
Ex-Ethiopian MK meets African women UN delegation
Likud MK Avraham Neguise met at the Knesset a delegation of women from several African countries. They included politicians and academics, as part of the UN Women initiative. Neguise urged merging Israeli tech and fertile African soil to effect change in Africa.
Israeli pavilion at human rights summit
For the first time in five years, an Israeli delegation is in Turkey. It is exhibiting at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, reflecting the Jewish tradition of ‘Tikun Olam’ (repair the world) in responding to international disasters and assisting developing countries.
Publicizing Israel achievements
My wife had a letter published in the media highlighting that London’s Thames Water company once boycotted Israeli companies but now uses one to purify its wastewater. Please use my database www.IsraelActive.com to publicize positive messages in the press about Israel.
Israel is the center of the digital future
At the Dell Future Ready Conference in Tel Aviv, Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell stated “Israel’s performance has inspired the entire world, and it’s important for us to be in Israel”. He also used the event to name Dell Technologies as the merged Dell-EMC2 partnership.
Preventing AIDS in 14 African countries
The World Health Organization will approve the PrePex device by Israel-based Circ MedTech. It allows medical workers in Africa to perform painless circumcisions to help stop the spread of AIDS. WHO’s prequalification will allow PrePex it to be offered to adult males in 14 countries.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Transmitting the Olympics
Israel’s LiveU will provide IP-based live video transmission solutions for more than 80 broadcasters and online streaming customers during the Rio Olympics this summer. LiveU also previously transmitted the London Olympics, the FIFA World Cup 2014 and the UK election results.
Put your company on the Cloud in minutes
Israel’s Stratoscale has won a Red Herring Europe 2016 award for its Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) solution. Whatever computer hardware your company currently uses, Stratoscale says it can get you up and running using Cloud services in a few minutes.
Cybersecurity Excellence Award winner
Israel’s LightCyber won the 2016 Cybersecurity Excellence Award as the best solution in the Intrusion Detection & Prevention awards category. It also launched first of their kind Attack Detection Metrics to measure the accuracy and efficiency of security solutions in detecting stealth attackers.
Recharge your hearing aid wirelessly
Israel’s Humavox uses proprietary radio frequency (RF) to recharge hearing aids. Humavox’s flexible hardware platform, ETERNA, includes the smallest power receiver available in the market, making it able to fit into the tiniest of hearing aids.
Elementary kids take photos from edge of space
Israeli students and parents from Yigal Alon elementary school sent a meteorological balloon up 15 miles and collected images and complete flight data. The 42.3 ounce Styrofoam box contained two GoPro type cameras, flight data recorder, locator and radio transmitter.
Double funding for joint Israel-Canada tech
Further positive impact from the recent Ontario delegation to Israel. The joint funding to companies will be doubled to $2 million annually, and an extra $5 million a year will be provided for cooperation between Israeli and Canadian industries and universities.
See hear for the latest from Orcam
Israel’s Orcam – developers of the speaking glasses for the visually impaired – have been busy. Activities include demonstrating the MyReader product at the British Dyslexia Association’s International Conference in Oxford. And launching MyEye for Hebrew speakers.
New engine could halve fuel costs and emissions
Israel’s Aquarius Engines has redesigned the internal combustion engine. Its horizontal-moving cylinder powers two electric generators with much less waste energy than current 4,6 or 8 piston engines. With the smaller engine, cars can reach 1300 miles on a single tank of gas.
Israel’s largest solar array
French PM Manuel Valls inaugurated Israel’s largest solar energy array at the Zmorot solar park in the Northern Negev. France’s EDF and its local partner Solex installed 207,000 photovoltaic panels to generate 50 MWp of clean energy.
Facial recognition of character traits
Israel’s Faception claims it can identify the character of a person using facial recognition software. The company says that personality is determined by DNA and reflected in the face – a kind of signal. It could have massive security applications.
Israeli body armor protects UK troops
The British army is testing and rolling out the new Israeli-made Virtus body armor system to its infantry. The new gear is 50% lighter than the previous Osprey system thanks to Virtus’ innovative Dynamic Weight Distribution (DWD) system and Scalable Tactical Vest.
Organic display technology
Israel’s StoreDot has unveiled its MolecuLED display technology in the world’s first organic display. The new technology allows for displays that produce vivid colors, are more cost effective, and are environmentally friendly, being entirely metal free.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Unemployment down to 4.9 per cent
April 2016 marked a historic drop in the Israeli unemployment rate, which sunk to 4.9 percent compared to 5.3 percent in March. 193,000 people were unemployed in April, down from roughly 208,000 in March.
New Zealand trade mission to Israel
The Trans-Tasman Business Circle has organized an Innovation Mission to Israel (May 29 to June 1). It will include a record number of over 50 business and academic leaders, including the Chief Science Adviser to the New Zealand Government, Sir Peter Gluckman.
Connecting Michigan and Israel
The Michigan Israel Business Bridge is piloting Michigan Israel Connect to match companies in both countries in order to access new supplier opportunities. One goal is to include business incubators, accelerators and startups, many of which specialize in technology.
Incentives to airlines for direct flights
Israel will provide subsidies to airlines that launch new non-stop gateway flights to Israel. To be eligible, the flight must be from an airport located more than 74 miles from an airport that already offers direct flights to Israel.
$307 million medical VC fund launched
International investment firm OrbiMed has launched its second Israel-focused venture capital fund, OrbiMed Israel Partners II, LP, with over $300 million. Investors include several of the world’s largest heathcare companies and dozens of institutional clients.
An ultra-Orthodox investment club
The 12Angels investment club focuses exclusively on high-tech startups headed by ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) entrepreneurs in the KamaTech accelerator. The club recognizes the growing Haredi participation in Israel’s high-tech ecosystem.
VW invests $300 million in Gett
German car giant Volkswagen has invested $300 million in Israel’s Gett. Gett offers a range of transport and courier services in 60 cities worldwide including New York, London, and Moscow. Ironically, Gett is a direct competitor to German taxi company Uber.
Israeli startups compete in Hong Kong
Three Israeli mobile app developers, will take part in the Hong Kong finals of the Asia Smartphone Apps competition in June. Castle Builders’s Bookclip allows users to build story apps. Tekoia’s Sure is a universal remote controller. E.Soof’s Bazz prevents driving accidents.
Anadot is a “Cool Vendor”
Israel’s Anodot, the real time analytics and automated business incident detection company, has been named a “Cool Vendor” in Analytics in the 2016 Gartner report. Gartner reports Anodot as one of five “innovative vendors that are redefining the types of analysis that it is feasible for organizations to perform.”
Portable booster seats are delivered
In July 2015, we reported on the Mifold innovative Israeli child seatbelt booster system that brings the seatbelt down to the child, rather than raise the child to the level of the seatbelt. Mifolds are now being delivered around the world – first to New York City.
Houzz is Google Play’s “Best App”
Israeli-made Houzz won “Best App” in the first-ever Google Play awards. Houzz, created by Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen, is an app for the popular home-design website. Adi and Alon previously won Forbes “newest power couple” award.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
New Israeli stamps
The latest issue of beautiful Israeli stamps includes Markets (Jerusalem, Acre and Jaffa); the Knesset Building; Israel Memorial Day; Israel-Spain: 30 Years of diplomatic relations; Bridge of Strings Jerusalem; Israeli achievements (Digital prepress & printing); Seasons – Spring.
Israeli wins best student film at Cannes
Or Sinai, graduate of the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in Jerusalem, won first place in the student short film category in Cannes for her short film “Anna”. She beat 2,350 other student films from 277 film schools from around the world.
Elton John is Captain Fantastic
Superstar Elton John rocked 40,000 ecstatic fans at Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park. He semi-dedicated his first hit, “Your Song,” to Israel and told the crowd there could have been “no nicer place” for him to open his eight-week European tour. He took no breaks during the two-hour-plus show.
Pharrell Williams “happy” to come to Israel
Multiple Grammy award-winning American musician Pharrell Williams, who shot to global superstardom with his hit “Happy” in 2014, is going to appear on July 21 at Live Park in Rishon Letzion.
Sergio Mendes to perform in Israel
Brazilian Bossa Nova artist Sergio Mendes will perform two concerts in Israel in June. The musician is one of the most important names in Brazilian music, with over 55 releases. See him at the Caesarea Amphitheater on June 23, or at the Zappa Club in Tel Aviv on June 24.
The first Geek PicNic outside of Russia
Geek PicNic Jerusalem is a three-day outdoor science and technology fair that was exported from Russia for the first time in its five-year history. It featured a massive Russian-made metal dragon robot and a US-made “Hand of Man” robotic glove that crushed cars.
Israel’s desert nature reserve
Spread over 3000 acres in the southern Israel’s Arava desert, the unique Hai Bar wildlife nature reserve is home to endangered animal species, some of them already mentioned in the Bible. Enjoy the beautiful photography.
THE JEWISH STATE
Zionist Tunisian brothers convert to Judaism
Brave Tunisian brothers Mohamed Faleh Boughdiri and Ibrahim Boughdiri have converted to Judaism. Now named Josef and Jacob, they are not afraid to show their support for the Jewish State even though they have received serious threats and bullying.
A Haredi soldier was involved in a bus crash in which a female soldier died. In hospital, doctors discovered a tumor in the brain of the Haredi soldier but a pre-operation scan kept being cancelled. On Memorial Day, the soldier visited the grave of the female soldier and chanced upon Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot. Shortly afterwards, a taxi arrived to take the soldier for his scan.
Netanyahu is part-Sephardic
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a descendant of Lithuania’s Vilna Gaon. But at the opening of the new wing at Beit Hatfutsot – the Diaspora Museum in Tel Aviv – he revealed that DNA tests showed he has Spanish roots. He said “it shows that all Jews are intertwined”.
Fifteenth anniversary of Operation Solomon
On 24-25 May 1991, the IDF accomplished a miracle with its Operation Solomon covert mission to airlift 14,325 people and transport them 2,500 miles to a new life in Israel. It was Israel’s largest aerial expedition and included the world record number of passengers in a single plane.
The craziest Lag B’Omer ever
Lag B’Omer at Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai’s tomb on Mount Meron is a unique experience.
And the flags are still out
Although Israeli Independence Day was over two weeks ago, Israeli flags are still displayed everywhere. Maybe it’s because Jerusalem Day is approaching – but many say it’s deeper than that.
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