The UK National Health Service is to trial the blood test from Israel’s OncoHost that predicts how well cancer patients will respond to immunotherapy treatment; The Israeli Business to Developer sector is growing as companies develop products that automate and simplify the jobs of highly sought-after hi-tech developers, and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
UK trials for Israeli cancer treatment test
The UK National Health Service (NHS) is to trial the blood test from Israel’s OncoHost (see here previously) that predicts how well cancer patients will respond to immunotherapy treatment. Trials will focus on patients with advanced melanoma or non-small cell lung cancer.
Israeli vaccinations good till 2022
Israelis can now download new coronavirus vaccination or recovery certificates valid until the end of the year. Despite an uptick in new cases, and a return to wearing masks indoors, the Pfizer vaccine continues to show some 90% protection against even the Delta variant.
Contact-free patient monitoring
Israel’s Clair Labs is developing 24×7 contactless patient monitoring technology. Its biomarker sensors only need partial line of sight to the blood vessels on the patients’ facial skin to measure physiological markers, e.g., heart rate, respiration, airflow, body temperature and oxygen saturation.
Ariel University dedicates its Medical School
The Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson School of Medicine at Israel’s Ariel University has now been officially dedicated. 40 graduating students received doctoral degrees during the event and President Reuven Rivlin and Dr. Miriam Adelson were awarded honorary doctorates.
Saving a life on the way to son’s graduation
Just as United Hatzalah volunteer medic Haim set off for his son’s 8th-grade graduation ceremony, he was called to save the life of an unconscious 72-year-old man. CPR and several defibrillator shocks revived the pulseless man, allowing Haim to continue to his son’s graduation.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
To mark World Foster Day on May 31, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin honored Angel Alon from Netivot. Besides her eight children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Angel and husband Shlomo cared for 217 babies during 29 years as an emergency foster family for Jerusalem-based Summit Institute.
A special employee at the Knesset
Meet Amitai Itzhari, who takes care of the inventory at the Knesset – Israeli parliament. He is also a selfie fanatic and a friend of every MK.
Israel’s new female pilots
62 women have graduated from the IAF pilots’ course (4 last week). Most became navigators, helicopter pilots, transport pilots or flight deck operators. Four became combat pilots and now there’s a fifth.
Promoting Kibbutz women leaders
The Israeli Kibbutz Movement has established a training course called “The Academy for future CEOs.” Its goal is to help women reach key positions and influence in the kibbutz movement and kibbutz industries, and to promote their integration into key positions in Israeli society at large.
Former Druze MK is US emissary
Gadeer Kamal-Mreeh, formerly the first female Druze MK (member of Israel’s parliament) is the Jewish Agency’s new senior shlicha (Israeli emissary). She will represent Israel in Washington, help train and provide support to Israel advocates on campus, plus much more.
Hospital gift room for the elderly
Sheba Medical Center has opened Israel’s first hospital gift room for long-term elderly patients. Those celebrating a birthday can visit the brightly decorated room, accompanied by volunteers or family members, who help them choose anything from books and puzzles to hats and blankets.
Israeli clean energy innovation at the UN
Israel’s Mission to the UN and Israel’s Ministry of Energy held a global, virtual event on the subject of Israeli innovation in energy. It took place ahead of September’s UN General Assembly energy summit on clean and achievable energy – the first since 1981.
Eliminating malaria in Africa
Israel’s ZzappMalaria (see here previously) uses AI to combat malaria. It has won first place and $3 million in the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE Competition. ZzappMalaria also won the People’s Choice Award as the “Most Inspiring Team.” It is running trials in Ghana, Tanzania, and Zanzibar.
Israel helps Miami
In the wake of the Florida building collapse, Israel has sent a delegation of IDF, trauma experts, Foreign Ministry aid and ZAKA volunteers to assist at the disaster site. The Israeli Consulate in Miami has already provided assistance with clothing, medicine, food, emergency lighting and more.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Powering Intel’s 5G chips
Israel’s Cellwize (see here previously) has been chosen by Intel to provide AI-capable software to power its chipsets for 5G networks. Cellwize is also selling its software to 30 companies including Dell, Verizon, Telefonica, Deutsche Telekom and Israel’s Partner.
Digital transformation conferences
The IDF held its first international digital transformation conference. Over 100 participants from 30 countries learned about the knowledge gained by the Israeli military. Calcalist’s Digital Transformation conference featured Gil Rosen of Israel’s Amdocs who spoke about the 5G revolution.
Sniffing out bacteria
Scientists from Israel’s Ben Gurion University have developed technology to analyze bacteria. Carbon nanoparticles detect electrical differences in metabolites emitted by different bacteria. Potential uses include to detect spoiled food, protect hospitals and the environment, and diagnose diseases.
Talking to your plants
Israel’s InnerPlant is a pioneer of living crop sensors. Plants have inherent defense mechanisms that generate signals when thirsty, low in nutrients or attacked by pests or disease. InnerPlant adds a safe protein to the plant so that these signals can be seen visually on smartphones and even by satellites.
Resistant crops from Dead Sea soil
Israel’s Plantarcbio (see here Nov 2018) is using RNA technology similar to coronavirus vaccines to target the Palm weevil pest. It also uses genes from Dead Sea soil to produce drought-resistant crops. Plantarcbio recently launched on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
The answer is not blowing in the wind
Israel’s Edete (see here previously) is expanding its technology that artificially pollinates crops, to include not just insect-pollinated plants but wind-pollinated crops as well. It will focus first on the pollination of pistachios, one of the world’s fastest-growing crops.
Saving honeybees from extinction
Excellent article by newsletter supporter Diana Bletter about the Beehome robotic beehive from Israel’s Beewise. Great final quote from Beewise’s CEO – “Just think that five Israelis from a small Israeli kibbutz have the chutzpah to change the world”.
Successful tests of anti-drone laser
The Israeli Air Force successfully intercepted several UAVs (Unmanned Air Vehicles) using an airborne high-power laser. The Elbit-developed system has a range of over 1km, at high altitudes regardless of weather conditions and has the capacity to defend vast areas of Israel.
Protecting US planes
Aircraft manufacturer Boeing is to integrate an anti-jamming system developed by Israel’s Elbit Systems into a fleet of F-15 jets. Elbit’s Immune Satellite Navigation System fully protects multiple GPS channels against numerous interfering signals, ensuring uninterrupted operation.
Satellite to the moon
Aerospace Engineering students at Israel’s Technion Institute together with the Space Division at Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) are to develop and launch a nanosatellite that will enter low-altitude orbit around the moon and collect data. The project will start in October and last several years.
Israeli-founded, US-headquartered Vianai Systems has its R&D center in Israel. Its aim is to help businesses realize the full potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) by using it to impact human lives and human society. AI’s success depends on how humans and AI work together.
Fiber network rollout imminent
Israel’s Bezeq said it is boosting fiber optic network speeds to up to 2.5 gigabit per second (Gbps) from 1 Gbps to win customers. Bezeq competitors Cellcom and Partner have begun their own fiber rollouts to hundreds of thousands of households, and said they plan to offer faster speeds.
Protecting Israel’s water infrastructure
Israel’s IXDen (see here previously) uses ‘behavioral biometrics’ to protect critical infrastructure. Israel’s national water carrier Mekorot has partnered IXDen to guard interconnected water devices against malfunction, whether caused by cyberattack or routine wear and tear.
Drink in the city atmosphere
Tel Aviv University scientists have proved that water extracted from the air in an urban area of Tel Aviv, using Watergen’s GENius technology, is in compliance with the regulatory standards of the World Health Organization. The results are important for drought areas that cannot desalinate seawater.
Toyota goes tactile
Union Motors, Toyota’s official Israeli importer, is installing sensing and data technology from Israel’s Tactile Mobility (see here previously) into hundreds of Toyota vehicles. It will help Israeli road authorities conduct responsive and preventative road maintenance, ultimately ensuring safer roads.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Israeli companies on Wall Street worth $300 billion.
There are now 85 Israeli companies traded on the Nasdaq and NY Stock Exchange. Their combined worth is over $300 billion – up 50% since Jan 2021.
A healthy tech ecosystem
Israel has increased its score in StartupBlink’s 2021 Startup Ecosystem Index Report (see 2020 here). It remains at number 3 ahead of Canada and Germany but is close behind the UK in second place. The US is still number one. The list compares Quality, Quantity and Business Environment.
Israel leads in B2D
The Israeli Business to Developer (B2D) sector is growing as companies develop products that automate and simplify the jobs of highly sought-after hi-tech developers. Examples include Lumigo, Orca Security, OwnBackup, Redis Labs, Snyk and JFrog. (All but Lumigo featured here previously).
A digital Shekel?
The Bank of Israel has issued digital currency for a first internal pilot program prior to the possible issue of a digital Shekel. Israel’s Central Bank Deputy Governor Andrew Abir has been tasked with examining the need for a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) and its implications for the financial sector.
Startup City Galil
Entrepreneur and JVP chairman Erel Margalit has launched Startup City.Galil – a unique studio for startups in the fields of foodtech and agritech in the Galilee. It will provide members with a range of laboratory infrastructure, and dozens of researchers in the fields of environmental food and agriculture.
Helping Israeli startups market to the US
Deloitte Israel and Deloitte US are to mentor a second group of seven Israeli startups that wish to grow their business in the US after the pandemic. The Launchpad program will advise on strategy, relocation, sales infrastructure, and access to top tier venture capital funds in the U.S.
Mnuchin & Friedman to invest in Israeli tech
Former US Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and former US ambassador to Israel David Friedman have made plans to set up a Tel Aviv office for their Liberty Strategic fund. The fund expects to receive billions of dollars including from the sovereign wealth funds of Gulf States.
Clean engines in the UAE
Israel’s Aquarius Engines (see here previously) and UK’s Kampac International (KIP) are forming the Middle East Aquarius Automotive company to produce automotive products based on Aquarius technology in the United Arab Emirates. KIP will invest up to $1.2 billion in the UAE facility.
Time off is an asset
Paid Time Off (PTO) is often unusable until an employee terminates their job. Israel’s Sorbet has developed a platform that allows employees to convert unusable PTO into cash. Sorbet buys out PTO and gives employees virtual prepaid cards for travel experiences, flight upgrades, training courses etc.
Two new Tel Aviv Hiltons
The Hilton hotel chain is looking forward to the end of the pandemic. It announced plans to build two new hotels on Tel Aviv seafront. In total there will be 577 rooms in the two hotels, which will be housed in one building north of the existing Tel Aviv Hilton. The hotels will open in 2026.
JoyTunes – this week’s first Unicorn.
Music education startup JoyTunes (see here previously) has just completed a $50 million funding round at a $1 billion valuation, giving it the financial status of a “Unicorn”.
Record investment for new Unicorn
Israel’s Transmit Security (see here previously) leaped in value to become another Israeli startup to gain the status of a “Unicorn”, with the largest Series A investment in the history of cybersecurity. The $543 million of new funds gives Transmit Security a valuation of $2.2 billion.
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And Hailo to the 3rd Unicorn of the week
Israeli AI chipmaker Hailo (see here previously) completed a $110 million funding round at a valuation of $1.1 billion, making it the latest Israeli company to join the “Unicorn” list. https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3910807,00.html
Investment in Israeli startups:
Transmit Security raised $543 million; Lendbuzz raised $360 million; Vianai Systems raised $140 million; Firebolt raised $127 million; Hailo raised $110 million; Unit raised $51 million; JoyTunes raised $50 million; Tonkean raised $50 million; KAHR Medical raised $46.5 million; DataRails raised $25 million; Mitiga raised $25 million; Sorbet raised $21 million; Equinom raised $20 million; env0 raised $17 million; Lightspin raised $16 million; Clair Labs raised $9 million; Better Juice raised $8 million; InnerPlant raised $5.65 million;
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Summer on the Streets of Jerusalem
Jerusalem’s summer festivals are returning. They include the Israel Festival (21 -25 Jun), Mekudeshet Festival in Abu Tor (Weds until 7 July) and Runaway Circus (1 – 8 July). The Jazz festival and the Wine & Beer festival will also be coming back soon.
New pre-historic humanoid discovered
Israeli archaeologists have discovered fossils of an ancient humanoid previously unknown to science. The Nesher Ramla site dates to about 120,000-140,000 years ago and indicates that the land that is now Israel has always been an area of major significance.
Israel’s Olympic athletes are right on target
President Reuben Rivlin met the 81 Israeli athletes from 17 different sports that have qualified to compete in the Tokyo Olympics – the largest Olympic team Israel has ever fielded. It includes Itay Shanny, the first Israeli archer to qualify for the Olympic games.
The first Maccabiah competitor from the Gulf
Dubai-based athlete Yves Friedman has made history by becoming the first athlete from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to qualify for the Maccabiah games. Yves is a Belgian citizen who has been living in Dubai since he was a young child.
THE JEWISH STATE
Mazel tov to Tammy Goldenhirsch, who made aliyah from St. Louis at the age of 96, proving that it is never too late to make one’s dream of moving to Israel a reality. Tammy was greeted at Ben-Gurion International Airport by three generations of family.
Gilad Shalit gets married
Gilad Shalit, who was held in captivity by Hamas in Gaza for five years, has married his long-time girlfriend Nitzan Shabat. One of the wedding guests was Gilad’s friend Shai Gross, who was rescued by Israeli commandos during Operation Entebbe in Uganda in 1976.
Uninvited wedding guest saves a life
At a wedding in Modi’in Illit, the groom’s grandfather suddenly collapsed. United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Neoray arrived at the scene in under 90 seconds. After several minutes of CPR and two defibrillator shocks, the grandfather’s pulse returned – to the joy of bride and groom.
Honduras opens its embassy in Jerusalem
Honduras has relocated its embassy to Jerusalem, joining the US, Guatemala and Kosovo. Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez said, “I am here today with our delegation to inaugurate the Embassy of Honduras in Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel.”