Good News Israel Archive from the week of September 6, 2015: Why Israel is so good at cyber security; Israel’s Smartbus app launches in California and much more.
By: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
An app to detect ADHD
Researchers at IBM Israel have developed a prototype app that can detect attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms. Subjects trace an imaginary rectangle ten times and the app analyzes the hand movements. ADHD sufferers have difficulty with continuous motor activity. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4694706,00.html
Link between Leukemia and HIV
Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) have discovered similarities between Leukemia and HIV. Dr. Ran Taube is convinced that his team’s discovery is key to finding a clinical solution that can prevent infection with HIV and destroy the deadly virus.
High-pressure Oxygen to treat fibromyalgia
I reported previously on Israel’s Hyperbaric Oxygen treatment here and here. Now a study by 13 Israeli researchers has proved that the high-pressure Oxygen treatment reduces or eliminates medication needed for sufferers of the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia.
Calming autistic children
Israel’s Association for Children at Risk has developed an Autism and Resiliency Program aimed at soothing frayed nerves of the 1,000 Israeli children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The program relieved trauma during Operation Protective Edge but is now being adapted to everyday needs.
Two Israelis in prestigious MIT list
Two Israelis have made MIT’s prestigious “35 Innovators Under 35” list for 2015. Cigall Kadoch, 30, holds a doctorate from Stanford where her expertise is cancer research. Gilad Evrony, 33, from Harvard Medical School, made a major discovery advancing research into brain disorders.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Israel’s first special needs integration village
Israel’s top building committee has approved land for a rural town integrating 50 Israeli families with dozens of high-functioning special needs adults. The community will employ the special needs adults alongside its regular workers in the local services, and in agricultural tourism.
A record 2.191 million schoolkids
2,191,004 students began school on 1st Sept, almost 50,000 more than the 2,141,850 enrolled the previous year. Improvements this year include smaller classes in 1st grade; a second kindergarten assistant; new tools for special needs children and a new advanced maths program.
Intel Israel increases bonus for recruiting women
Intel, Israel’s biggest high-tech employer is doubling the bonus for employees helping to recruit women employees. Intel Israel VP human resources Judith Yampolsky said, “We believe that diversity in employment is the company’s engine for innovation and creativity”.
$230 million aid for Israeli-Arabs
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to give a one-time budgetary supplement of 900 million shekels ($230 million) to Israeli-Arab councils. It is designed to “integrate Israel’s Arab citizens into Israeli society as equals among equals”, said the PM.
Employment for Bedouin women
Israel’s Economy Ministry and the Joint Distribution Committee-Israel (JDC) have opened 19 Arab-run Rayan Employment Centers serving 63 municipalities in northern and southern Israel. Since 2012 they have placed 9,100 Arabs, including many Bedouin women, in local jobs.
Israeli help for Gaza farmers
Farmers in Israel’s Nahal Oz have been giving agricultural advice to Gaza farmers in Khan Younis. The Gazans are seeking new varieties of potato suitable for food such as chips. Israeli farmer Yankale Cohen said, “Maybe they’ll stop shooting at us because of the potatoes?”
Help for refugees in Europe
IsraAID Director Shachar Zahavi has announced a campaign to help Greece with the thousands of refugees washed up on the shores of Europe. IsraAID brings its experience of its program to help the Bulgarian Red Cross last year with its influx of Syrian refugees.
Water technology for Nigeria
Israel is to help Nigeria manufacture irrigation equipment, manage water resources, monitor accessibility, produce a water quality safety plan, and develop educational and management techniques.
The fifth most influential fashion school
Israel’s Shenkar College’s Fashion Design Department in Ramat Gan is among the five most influential fashion schools in the world and the 11th-best overall, according to rankings released on Sunday by the influential Business of Fashion publication.
Saving rare species
Israel hosted a global UN event last week when 200 scientists from 40 countries came to Tel Aviv to attend the Animals Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). A key issue discussed was illegal hunting.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Israel’s wild wheat can feed the world
Video to accompany my previous article about how Israel’s NRGene mapped out the genome of wild Emmer wheat, with its promise of new hardy and resistant strains. Emmer wheat – the ancestor of modern wheat – was discovered in 1906 by Aaron Aaronsohn in pre-state Israel.
Skylake – Intel Israel’s next generation chip
The Israeli-developed Intel Skylake is another huge advance in microprocessor technology, with more than double the performance, triple the battery life, and 30 times better graphics than most computers in use today. It consumes just 3 watts of power – current chips use 30-45 watts.
Doubling students of advanced math
Education Minister Naftali Bennett, former President Shimon Peres and Israeli high-tech companies have launched “Give 5” – a program to double to 18,000 the numbers studying for advanced (5-point) math matriculation exams. It includes more teachers, resources and hi-tech lecturers.
Smart garbage bins
Afula is the first Israeli city to have sensors fitted to 150 of its public trash cans. Garbage collectors will be now alerted to the receptacles that need emptying more urgently.
A spoon to measure sweetness
Israeli startup Valiber has developed a spoon-like tool that measures the exact levels of sweetness found in drinks and foods. “The swizzle” is a spoon with a sensor that communicates with your smartphone using Bluetooth. Valiber has also invented the “Val” scale to quantify sweetness.
Express delivery – by drone
Israel’s Flytrex claims to be the world’s first delivery drone that operates over the cloud. Its Messenger app lets operators use their Sky drone to perform short-range deliveries of small parcels to friends and family. It is also planning drone deliveries of medicines to rural African villages.
Delivery on one wheel
Kobi Shikar, a student at Shenkar School of Engineering and Design, has conceptually designed a one-wheeled robotic delivery drone that uses GPS to navigate and facial recognition software to identify recipients. Each wheel features a self-balancing gyroscopic system.
Intel Israel 3D tech to power Google’s Tango
Intel Israel is working with Google to develop a 3-D environment. Intel’s RealSense technology, largely developed in Jerusalem and Haifa, is to be a key input to Project Tango – a Google experiment using smartphones and tablets to record an in-depth, 3-D environment.
Why Israel is so good at cyber security
Another article explaining why Israel dominates the cyber security industry. Reasons include defense against threats, investment in science, and military service.
I don’t like the sound of that
Israel’s Augury has developed the Auguscope – a low-cost innovative device that “listens” to machinery to diagnose problems. Preventative maintenance can then save the huge costs of downtime and replacement equipment. Augury has just raised $7 million of initial funding.
Never lose anything ever again
Israel’s GetPixie has developed the Location of Things (LoT) platform and produced Pixie points that you stick to your valued objects (keys, wallet, sunglasses etc.) Use your smartphone to find them anytime. Pixie can even alert you if you leave the house without them.
3D printed fashion collection
Danit Peleg used a relatively cheap, home 3D printer to produce clothing for her final project at Israel’s Shenkar College of Engineering and Design. Her video of the “dishwasher-safe” fabrics has had over 100,000 views. Imagine – if you are cold, just print yourself a sweater!
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
20,000 car booster seats
Israel’s Mifold has now had 20,000 orders for its innovative folding car booster seats. It also has released a video of a child attaching his seat belt to the booster seat.
Israel’s Smartbus app launches in California
SmartBus already helps Israelis arrange 40,000 trips per month, whether a regular route (such as a workplace shuttle) or a one-time ride to an event. In Israel, about 1,600 drivers participate in the scheme. Now in four languages, the app is being rolled out California,
Tennessee delegation to Israel
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam is leading a 23-person plus delegation to Israel. They will meet Israeli researchers, venture capitalists and government representatives. Industries involved include life sciences, high-tech, biotech, and health care.
Old and new together in Jerusalem
This video features Erez Yerushalmi, CEO of Israeli startup Sling, a mobile platform that allows smartphone users to purchase without cash from micro merchants such as street vendors. Here, though, Erez is publicizing the Citi Mobile Challenge, Jerusalem.
The Garner Innovation Center
Take a look at how Studio BA transformed the inside of a 100-year-old building in Tel Aviv.
Amazon calls up Israeli mobile ad firm
I featured 21-year-old Tomer Hen’s MobCo mobile ad company previously here. Tomer has just landed the biggest deal of his life as Amazon has chosen MobCo to advertise the launch of its shopping app in India.
A billion-dollar exit
In the biggest deal ever for an Israeli medical device company, US-based HeartWare International is acquiring Israeli biotech start-up Valtech Cardio. Valtech shareholders will receive HeartWare stock worth over $900 million, depending on milestones. Valtech makes heart valve surgery devices.
Investing in Israel to boost Japanese innovation
Japan’s Samurai Incubate has invested in sixteen startups from Israel, with a target of 100 portfolio companies in three years. The VC firm uniquely focuses on seed and pre-seed startups, offering something no one else does – the opportunity to enter Japan.
A multi-million company, almost by accident
When Israel’s Or Offer left the army, he began selling his mother’s jewelry. Someone said the jewelry resembled that of US designer David Yurman. Or then built a search engine to find similar websites and the hugely popular SimilarWeb was spawned.
Dubai firm can rent you a car in Israel
On-line car rental company travelauto.com, based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is to allow its users to book rental cars for pick-up in Israel. Reps from travelauto.com came to Israel to sign agreements with Israeli rental providers.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
“Let there be water”
Seth M. Siegel has just written a new book, entitled “Let there be water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World”. Siegel will be a keynote speaker at each of the JNF Water Summits in 10 USA cities this fall.
Jerusalem Biennale 2015
The Jerusalem Biennale explores the meeting of Contemporary Art and the Jewish World of Content. The 2nd Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art will showcase the work of nearly 200 Israeli and international professional artists in 10 exhibitions hosted in seven city-center venues.
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
Legendary British rock band Manfred Mann’s Earth Band is coming to Israel to perform at the Wohl Amphitheater in Tel Aviv on Sept 21. Born in South Africa, Manfred Mann (originally Manfred Leibovitz) is considered one of the greatest keyboardists in the rock genre.
Israeli touchdown in Spain
Israel’s National American Football Team beat Spain 28-20 on its international debut. The game was good-natured and both coaches praised their opponents. The Israeli team advanced to play in European Federation of American Football’s B-Group next year.
World champion Paralympic rower
Moran Samuel won the gold medal in the arms-shoulders single scull 1,000-meter competition at the World Rowing Championships in Aiguebelette, France. She was over a second faster than Great Britain’s Rachel Morris, with previous world champion Birgit Skarstein of Norway third.
THE JEWISH STATE
A comfy seat in Jerusalem
Only in Israel. Someone obviously was not happy about the stark metallic benches that Jerusalem municipality installed in the nation’s capital. So they did something about it.
No more dummies
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat joined sixty children as they inaugurated the city’s first pacifier tree. The children hung their pacifiers on the tree, part of a project to assist children in breaking away from their trusted friend. The tree stands outside the well-baby clinic on Eliezer HaGadol Street.
Yalla – let’s go!
NFL star Julian Edelman shares his enthusiasm for the Jewish State in this video.
59 lone soldiers make Aliya
A Nefesh B’Nefesh chartered flight with 232 olim from North America, including 59 lone soldiers, landed at Ben Gurion airport. Many intend to serve with elite IDF units. And thanks to Friends of the IDF for organizing a day out for more than 5000 lone soldiers at Israel’s Shefayim Water Park.
2000-year-old podium found in Jerusalem
Archeologists have excavated a podium on a 2,000-year-old Jerusalem street in the Old City, leading from the Siloam Pool to the Temple Mount. Four large stone rectangles form steps up to a platform, commonly used for public announcements in biblical times.
The impact of religion on the Startup Nation
Interesting opinion piece that suggests Judaism’s historical greater respect for economic liberty and commerce than for military power is one reason for Israel’s modern day success.
Go forth and multiply
Six-year-old white rhinoceros Keren Peles has given birth to a female calf at the Ramat Gan Safari. She is the 27th rhino born at the safari, which belongs to an international consortium of zoos working to pull the white rhino back from the verge of extinction.
I am an Israeli
I echo everything that Roi says in this video.
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