Page Down for details on these and more good news stories from Israel. Thank You Michelle and other readers for sending me links to many of these positive news articles. Please useIsraelActive to search the archives.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
New smart anti-inflammatory protein. (TY Michael H) Two researchers from Ben Gurion University and one from Colorado University have engineered an anti-inflammatory protein that only activates when it finds inflammation. Current anti-inflammatory treatments suppress the immune system and risk causing infections. Patent for lung disease treatment. (TY Atid-EDI) Europe, Russia and Australia approved a patent for Israeli biotech Kamada’s nebulizer that delivers its Alpha1-Proteinase Inhibitor–Human (AAT) treatment for lung disease. AAT also treats Type 1 diabetes and immune system diseases. Its USA brand name is Glassia. Grant for brain cancer treatment. US biotech Lauren Sciences has received a grant from Voices Against Brain Cancer (VABC) to support developing V-Smart delivery of a treatment for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most aggressive malignant primary brain tumor. Lauren Sciences’ research team and labs are located at Ben-Gurion University, where V-Smart technology was invented before it was licensed to Lauren. Weizmann Institute is top non-US research institute. Holland’s Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) of Leiden University has ranked Israel’s Weizmann Institute as the 10th best research establishment in the world and the top institute outside of the USA. Why some people age faster. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Dr. Salomon Israel was part of an international team that found a way to measure the aging process in young adults. The results may eventually lead to the prevention of age-related diseases by slowing down the aging process itself. Heart surgery saves 10 children in Tanzania. (TY Size Doesn’t Matter) An Israeli delegation of 20 doctors, nurses and medical technicians from Israel’s Save A Child’s Heart (SACH) has performed lifesaving heart surgery on more than 10 local children in Tanzania and examined hundreds more with congenital heart defects. Leading the way in mobile health. The mHealth conference, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, brought investors, entrepreneurs, health professional and hospital executives to see the latest technology produced in Israel for mobile health. The article features Israel’s Medivizor, Doctors 2.0 Startup Winner (see also here).
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Government to subsidize employment of disabled. The Israeli Government is implementing a NIS 5 million plus program to provide up to NIS 200,000 a year to any nonprofits and other “social enterprises” with at least five disabled workers. It will fund up to 50% of their first year salaries and 40% in the 2nd year. Ethiopian-born Israeli becomes Associate Professor. Dr. Anbessa Teferra, an expert in Semitic linguistics at Tel Aviv University, is the first Ethiopian Israeli to be appointed a senior lecturer at an Israeli university. Dr Teferra immigrated to Israel in 1990 after completing his master’s degree in linguistics in Addis Ababa. Huge cycle path network for Central Israel. Israel’s Ministry of Transport is to build 150km of cycle paths in the next 4 years. They will cover Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Ramat Gan, Holon, Bat Yam, Petah Tikva, Givat Shmuel, Givatayim, Azur, Ramat Hasharon, Rishon Lezion, Ra’anana, Kfar Saba, Herzliya, Ramle, and Or Yehuda. The Zionist, Arab Muslim mother and Masterchef contestant. All I can say is, “please watch this video”. Syrians treated in Israel: Two recent reports (TY Michelle) on the Ziv Medical Center in Tzefat (Safed) Galilee, over two years since it started treating Syrians wounded in their civil war. Also see the Huffington Post report here. The 3rd most innovative country. (TY Michelle) An article by a World Economic Forum writers on the most Innovative countries. Israel comes 3rd as it spends more on R&D than any other country. (See Feb newsletter)150,000 help Tel Aviv research. 150,000 members of IBM World Community Grid donated processing power to help researchers at Tel Aviv University figure out how water interacts with nanotubes. The results can help lower the cost of water purification and develop better ways of delivering medicines into the bloodstream. Sharing data on cyber criminals. (TY Michelle) US Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visited Israel and signed an agreement with Dr. Eviatar Matania, Head of the Israel National Cyber Bureau, to deepen the exchange of data on digital intruders and digital defense tactics.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Cleaning solar panels. The Indian-Israeli company NaanDanJain has developed smart sprinklers for cleaning both commercial and residential solar panels. One type distributes water over the whole roof, and the other is a micro sprinkler for each individual panel. Both types can use recycled water. Funding for biogas project. The US-Israel Bi-national Agricultural Research and Development (BARD) Fund has awarded a grant to Ben-Gurion University and University of Florida researchers for the design of new anaerobic digesters (biogas systems). The goal is a feedstock enrichment for current manure-only systems. A better tractor. An Israel Technion team won two categories of the International Quarter-Scale (IQS) Tractor Student Design Competition, the world’s biggest engineering and design contest for farm vehicles. The judges said “Never has a team in its first appearance in the competition shown such professionalism and originality.” Keeping autistic kids safe. The Israeli tracker device AngelSense contains a GPS chip, a cellular phone network connection, a camera and a microphone, which can be attached to any child that is at risk of wandering. Parents receive notifications on their smartphones telling them exactly where their child is at any time. New wastewater recycling system. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s MIGAL Research Institute and Israel Chemicals have completed a year-long pilot of their innovative method and unique component to help lower pollution levels of wastewater so that the water may be reused for irrigation. New UK-Israel water science programs. (TY Michelle) The new British ambassador to Israel, David Quarrey has launched 3 new UK-Israel water tech programs. The Fund to Support Innovative Water Research; the UK-Israel Researcher Links Fellowships; and UK-Israel Science and Innovation Lectureship Grants. Five Israeli medals at Physics Olympiad. Israeli teens won three silver and two bronze medals in one of the toughest high school international science competitions – the International Physics Olympiad in Mumbai, India. The next hi-tech revolution. (TY Michelle) An interview with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Beer Sheba where Ben Gurion University, the IDF, cyber security and a new business park are propelling Israel to an even higher technological level. Plus another article on the new cyber capital growing in Israel’s desert. Catching on-line thieves. Some 25% of on-line users have had their usernames and passwords stolen at some time. Israel’s LogDog detects when someone tries to use your credentials illegally and then notifies you. LogDog has hundreds of thousands of users and has just raised $3.5 million to grow further.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Expanded free trade with Canada. A new free-trade agreement between Canada and Israel expands market access opportunities for agricultural, fish and seafood products through the reduction or elimination of tariffs on a large number of products. It will further strengthen Canada’s bilateral relationship with Israel. Deregulating the Energy industry. Israel’s government has granted licenses for three energy companies to supply electricity to businesses. The 20-year licenses will generate competition and hold down prices. Average hi-tech exit soars. (TY Atid-EDI) The number of Israeli hi-tech companies being taken over in first half of 2015 was roughly the same rate as in 2014. However, the average value of each acquisition increased by 51%. 54 deals in 2015 raised $5.29 billion whereas 107 deals in 2014 raised $6.98 billion. Israeli fraud prevention wins business award. I reported previously (see Nov 2014) on Israeli startup fraud prevention company Forter. Its technology is used by merchants to approve online transactions. Forter refunds the value of any wrong decision it makes and has just won a silver “Stevie” from American Business Awards. Speedy funding for car booster seat. Israeli startup Mifold wanted to raise $40,000 on Indigogo to help fund the rollout of its innovative tiny car booster seat for children. It reached the target in just 3 hours of starting the campaign and with 20 days remaining, has had pledges for over $270,000. Chelsea boss invests in AnyClip. The owner of UK soccer club Chelsea, Roman Abramovich is part of a $21 million investment in Israel’s AnyClip Media. AnyClip is responsible for the distribution of almost two percent of the world’s video advertisements and is in the top 10 list of sites with the most number of unique viewers. Microsoft’s 10th Israeli startup. (TY Michael H) Microsoft is to acquire Israeli start-up Adallom for about $320m, Microsoft’s tenth and most expensive Israeli purchase. Adallom currently has around 60 employees and will expand to become Microsoft’s cyber-security development headquarters in Israel. Clicksoftware exits for $438 million. (TY Atid-EDI and Globes) I reported on Israeli disaster recovery scheduling startup ClickSoftware previously (in Feb 2014). It has just been acquired by US Francisco Partners for $438 million (45% above its NASDAQ average value) and becomes a private company again. Judea’s new startup hub. (TY Sharon) Over 70 people from Tel Aviv, Modi’in, Beit Shemesh and Jerusalem as well as throughout Gush Etzion, came to network at Hub Etzion in the new Gush Etzion Industrial Park. The hub is due to open on Oct 15 and be the regional center for start-ups, entrepreneurs and Venture Capitalists. Why Israeli trade with the UK is booming. (TY Michelle) Britain’s trade with Israel reached a record high of £5.1billion last year after doubling during the last decade. Some of the reasons for this are the innovative Israeli products, UK-Israeli partnerships, and the quality and all-year-round availability of Israeli produce.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
The Spirit of Entebbe. Visitors to a new exhibit on Operation Entebbe, at the Yitzhak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv, will be able to view photographs, documents and items from the daring hostage rescue that until now were shut away in the halls of Mossad headquarters. Mariah Carey to perform in Israel in August. Mariah Carey, one of the best-selling pop artists of all time, announced that she will perform in Rishon LeZion’s Live Park on August 18. Mariah Carey made her first-ever visit to Israel last month. Top things to do in Israel this summer. There are still plenty of events and tours to enjoy in Israel during the summer holidays. For example, visit some of the new and updated sites in Beer Sheva (TY Sharon – the Real Jerusalem Streets). Three windsurfing gold medalists. At the RS:X Youth World Windsurfing Championships in Gdynia Poland, 15-year-old Israeli Nov Drihan won a double gold – in the RS:X U17 and RS:X Youth Women categories. Israel’s Yoav Omer, won the RS:X Youth Men category while Israel’s Kfir Azulay won the RS:X U17.
THE JEWISH STATE
Bringing cheer to the brave. Every morning, IDF volunteer Ritasue Charlestein takes her guitar and drives to one of Israel’s hospitals, wherever there are wounded or sick soldiers. She sings to them and tells them how much we all love and appreciate them. Her message is, “I am here a few minutes for you as a tiny token of my appreciation to you for being here 24/7 for me and for all Am Yisrael”. 1500-year-old Torah scroll deciphered. 45 years ago a burnt remnant of a Torah scroll was discovered in a ruined synagogue in Ein Gedi (near the Dead Sea). Carbon dating places the scroll as from the 5th century CE. Latest CT-scan technology has identified the contents of the scroll as from the book of Leviticus (Vayikra). And (TY Michelle) http://www.livescience.com/51610-burned-hebrew-scroll-deciphered.htmlChicken and eggs were here first. Archeologists excavating in the southern Judean plain have found that chicken and eggs, were raised and consumed in the town of Maresha, around 300 BCE, well before any other antiquity sites. Once the Romans reached Maresha, chickens became a culinary craze throughout the Empire. Excavating Bible mosaics. (TY Michelle) Latest news about the exciting discoveries at the ancient Jewish village of Huqoq in the Galilee. One mosaic is of Samson and another may depict Alexander the Great. See also this report from National Geographic. Birthright dedicates ancient synagogue to Max. Taglit-Birthright Israel has dedicated the partially restored ruins of 1,800-year-old synagogue in Arbel National Park in memory of fallen soldier Max Steinberg. Birthright participants celebrating an event will have meaningful experiences, while honoring someone just like them. Did farming start in Israel? Researchers from Tel Aviv University, Harvard University, Bar-Ilan University, and Haifa University have concluded that plant cultivation may have started in the Galilee some 23,000 years ago. Ohalo II, 9km south of Tiberias is the earliest example of small-scale cultivation anywhere in the world. ]]>