Good News Israel Archive from the week of October 4, 2015: Israeli brains behind fast-charging batteries; Hollywood stars investing in Israel and much more.
By: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
CE Mark for heart valve repair system
Israel’s Valtech Cardio has received European approval for its Cardioband implantable mitral reconstruction device. Trials showed that that Cardioband is a highly effective first-line treatment option for reducing mitral regurgitation (MR) and improving quality of life.
Hope for bipolar depression sufferers
Israel’s NeuroRx has demonstrated a 50% reduction in symptoms of depression and a 75% reduction in suicidal feelings in a small trial of its Cyclurad treatment in combination with ketamine on treatment-resistant patients with bipolar disorder.
Improving cognitive function
A successful clinical study confirms previously demonstrated benefits of Neuravena on acute improvement of cognitive function, showing efficacy for an 800 mg dose. Neuravena is a bioactivity tested, patented wild green oat extract, produced and marketed by Israel’s Frutarom.
US dept buys Israeli burns treatment
The Biomedical Advanced Research & Development Authority (BARDA) – part of the US Department of Health – has awarded a $112 million contract to Israel’s Mediwound. BARDA will use Mediwound’s NexoBrid product in major incidents, to remove dead tissues from medium to severe burns. It will also help Mediwound finance its FDA approval for NexoBrid.
Cancer therapy project wins International award
A team from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev won the Best Heath and Medicine Project category in the 12th annual Giant Jamboree iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) competition in Boston with their cutting-edge biological cancer therapy called “Boomerang.” http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-09/aabu-ct092915.php
A digital medicine incubator
IBM, Medtronic, Pitango and Rambam Medical Center have together won a grant from Israel’s Chief Scientist to open a digital medicine incubator at the Life Sciences Park being built in Haifa. The incubator will select companies working in big data, predictive analytics, telemedicine, wearable and implantable diagnostic sensors, advanced diagnostics, personalized medicine and more.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
New center for Jewish and Arab hearing impaired children
The Jerusalem Foundation has opened a home in Abu Tor, for Jewish and Arab children with hearing impairments. The MICHA (Society for Deaf Children in Israel) center contains 4 pre-school classes and an audiology institute with clinics and advanced technology.
Israel’s Bedouin tennis champions
9-year-old Karin, 12-year-old Samar and 15-year-old Shadi al-Touri train at the Yad Eliyahu Tennis Center in Tel Aviv. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4705141,00.html
Academic degrees increase 500% since 1990
The number of university-level degrees handed out in Israel has multiplied by five over the past 25 years. At the end of the 2013/2014 school year, 75,100 degrees were awarded to Israelis students. The increase is particularly high amongst Israeli women and Arabs.
Study Israel in Washington DC
George Washington University is establishing an Israel Studies program, including an endowed professorship, in the latest example of universities developing closer ties with Israel.
Educational ties with India
Leading Indian educational institutes are strengthening the Indo-Israeli alliance. In the latest, Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research (WeSchool) of Mumbai signed agreements with Tel Aviv University, Ben Gurion University and the IDC Herzliya.
Zambia re-opens embassy in Israel
Zambia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba re-opened the country’s embassy in Israel saying, “We view Israel as a true friend in the Middle East.” Mr Kalaba also said Zambia expects “cooperation and the strengthening of ties” over a wide range of fields, including economic, security, agriculture, and tourism.
18-country delegation to fight BDS
A delegation of 22 parliamentarians from 18 different countries is in Israel as part of the Israel Allies Foundation’s annual Jerusalem Chairman’s Conference. They will sign a resolution declaring support for Israel and vowing to take a stance against anti-Israel movements such as BDS.
Supporting Kenyan irrigation project
Israel is giving technical support to Kenya’s six-year Galana / Kulalu irrigation project. The project will provide water for sustainable farming through development and modernization of irrigation and drainage, to enhance food security, reduce poverty, and generate jobs.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Cutting greenhouse gas emissions
The Israeli cabinet approved plans to slash emissions of greenhouse gases by 25% by 2030. The NIS 800 million cost would eventually save the economy NIS 100 billion in fuel savings and reduced disease from pollution.
Israeli startup Optimal(plus) analyzes the production processes of semiconductor manufacturers. By processing “big data” Optimal(plus) can make big cost savings. Optimal(plus) has just raised $42 million to fund its rapid growth plans.
Automating the freight business
Israel’s Freightos automates freight sales for some of the world’s largest logistics providers. It allows companies to give instant quotes to ship goods in any currency. Freightos has just raised $14 million of funding.
Tighter EU regulation requires Israeli encryption technology
Top international lawyer Dr. Patrick Van Eecke has stated that new stricter European Union regulations on data security in the wake of leaks at Target, Sony and the IRS, requires companies to seek advanced encryption software such as supplied by Israeli cyber-security firms. http://www.timesofisrael.com/super-strict-eu-data-security-a-boon-for-israel-says-expert/
The brains behind fast-charging batteries
This article complements last week’s technical one about Israel’s StoreDot – developers of fast-charging batteries. StoreDot employs 20 PhDs – organic chemists. quantum physicists, electrical engineers and device engineers – all working together to build new molecules.
What’s happening at WATEC
Foreign government ministers from dozens of countries will attend Israel’s International water conference WATEC 2015 starting Oct 13. There are joint sessions with California, China, Europe and the OECD. The event is preceded by Cleanvest – a full day investors’ summit.
Keeping West Point cadets in shape
West Point Military Academy and numerous NBA teams in the US are turning to Israeli start-up PhysiMax, which, using 3D cameras, provides cloud-based analytics of how players are performing. One of the main aims of the system is to prevent injuries from inefficient movement.
First it was Microsoft, which rolled out its Israeli accelerator model to seven other locations around the world. In 3 years, Microsoft accelerators have graduated 410 startups. Now IBM plan to export its Haifa Alphazone Accelerator where startups make use of IBM’s Watson supercomputer.
GE launches Israel accelerator
US giant General Electric (GE) is to start an accelerator in Israel. It will focus on cloud computing and big data, with an emphasis on industrial Internet. The first group of four software startups will begin in July, and a second cycle in December. GE has already invested in a series of Israeli firms.
App to report bad drivers
Just the ticket! The iPhone dash-cam app from Israel’s Nexar records and reports traffic violations and reckless driving. Israeli drivers, please join the Nexar community to make the roads safer.
Israeli firm to refurbish Santa Barbara de-sal plant
Israel’s IDE Americas is to refurbish, operate and maintain the recommissioned Charles E. Meyer Desalination Plant in Santa Barbara, California. IDE was chosen for its proven experience, modular approach, and ability to meet the city’s short timeframe.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Record trade with the UK
Exports of Israeli products and services to the UK increased by 3.7% during Jan and July 2015. Bilateral trade during the same period reached a record £2.4 billion.
John Lewis uses Israeli tech for virtual showroom
UK’s leading retailer John Lewis is to use the augmented reality software from Israel’s Cimagine to help customers visualize new ways to personalize and design their home. Cimagine is already in use at UK’s online retail giant Shop Direct.
Google chairman’s 4th Israeli investment
Israel startup Taykey has developed a trend-tracking system that has earned it over $10 million in revenue this year. One of its main investors is Innovation Endeavors, owned by Google’s Eric Schmidt.
No investment necessary
Some Israeli startups have become successful without seeking external funding. Using their own funds (known as “Bootstrapping”) the entrepreneurs that founded Optimove and Fitness22 have retained control of their businesses and are now enjoying the rewards.
A change in the energy mix
Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water, discusses the current situation of the country’s energy mix and the transformation which is set to occur following the natural gas discoveries in the Leviathan and Tamar gas fields.
Israeli universities produce top entrepreneurs
Tel Aviv University was 9th in the PitchBook report for undergrad programs that produced the most start-up founders. TAU was the only non-US university in the top 10. Israel’s Technion came 20th and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem came 39th.
Teva buys respiratory disease monitoring company
Israel’s Teva continues its expansion into digital medicine by purchasing US-based Gecko Health Innovations. Gecko has developed CareTR, a cloud-based solution that simplifies chronic respiratory disease management by connecting patients and caregivers through remote monitoring and real-time adherence tools.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
1500-year-old mosaic unveiled
At Kiryat Gat’s “Factories from Within” festival, Israeli archaeologists will reveal an ancient mosaic discovered during local excavations. The mosaic depicts scenes of ancient Egypt.
Hummus beer – whatever next?
Israel’s Meadan Brewery has a particularly niche operation, producing beer that is both gluten-free and made with chickpeas, dates and buckwheat. Chickpeas are also the main ingredient of hummus and falafel – well-known traditional Middle-Eastern foods.
Kayne West raps Tel Aviv
US rap star Kanye West (“Yeezy”) kept 25,000 people on their feet for 90 minutes at Ramat Gan Stadium with a long set of power ballads. It was his second visit to Israel this year. In April, he and his wife Kim Kardashian baptized their daughter in Jerusalem.
Hollywood stars investing in Israel
Celebrities the world over are looking to get in on the Startup Nation action. From Jay-Z to Ellen Degeneres and Leonardo Dicaprio, here are 10 celebs who know that Israel is the hottest place for innovation.
Eilat to host 2016 world tennis event
Israel’s hopes of returning to the Fed Cup World Group II tennis playoffs were handed a boost on Saturday after Eilat was announced as the host of next year’s Europe/Africa Zone Group I matches. Eilat also hosted the tournament between 2011 and 2013.
THE JEWISH STATE
President decorates a sukkah
President Reuven Rivlin decorates a tabernacle with children at the President’s residence in Jerusalem for the upcoming Jewish holiday of Sukkot.
7000 sq feet sukkah at Tel Aviv port
Beit Tefilah Israeli and the Tel Aviv Port have opened a giant sukkah (booth), covering more than 7000 square feet on the iconic Tel Aviv Port boardwalk. The sukkah was open to the public throughout Sukkot (Tabernacles), with free activities for the entire family.
Jerusalem March is 60 years old
The Jerusalem March marks the 60th year the event has been held – making it the biggest and oldest parade in Israel. Marchers came from 35 countries and at least 60,000 people either took part or came to watch. They included dozens who helped liberate East Jerusalem in 1967.
“They will all come to celebrate Tabernacles in Jerusalem”
Thousands of evangelical Christians from more than 80 countries descended upon Jerusalem this week to show their support for the Jewish State.
Jewish Indians visit Israel
Interesting video of a group of 22 young Indian Jews who have come to Israel on a Taglit-Birthright tour.
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