Israel's Good News Newsletter to 8th July 18


(I am away visiting family for the summer.  Back in August)

In the 8th July 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An Israeli model of the immune system is a major medical breakthrough.
·         Israeli technology helps locate boys missing in Thailand caves.
·         Israeli education project doubles the number of advanced math students.
·         An Israeli company boosts the world’s three fastest supercomputers.
·         Three multinationals select Israeli self-driving car technologies.
·         Israel enjoys a good helping of American Pie, care of Don McLean.
·         The first ever blue whale to visit the modern Jewish State.

·         Click here to see the 1st July newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel, with extra features on Health, Inclusiveness, Technology, Business and Entertainment. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

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ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Mapping the immune system. Israel’s Technion scientists have built a tool to help treat patients with immune system diseases. “ImmuneXpresso” scans millions of scientific publications to construct a computerized model of the immune system, showing the interactions between immune cells and the human body, across thousands of diseases. https://www.technion.ac.il/en/2018/06/the-immune-system-cracking-open-the-black-box/

Automatic analysis of chest X-rays. (TY Atid-EDI) I’ve reported (see here) on the artificial intelligent (AI) image analysis systems developed by Israel’s Zebra Medical. Now Zebra’s technology extends to chest X-rays with “Textray”, that can identify 40 different common clinical findings. Zebra also raised $30 million of funds.

Europe and Canada approve Israeli bone regeneration.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Datum Dental has developed OSSIX Bone – an innovative solution for bone and tissue regeneration for dentistry. It has just received the CE Mark in Europe and Health Canada approval. OSSIX Bone already has FDA clearance.

US approval for knee cartilage repair system. (TY Atid-EDI) Meniscus (knee cartilage) tears are common for athletes, those engaged in daily sport activities, the elderly, and anyone with cartilage problems. Israel’s Arcuro Medical has developed the SuperBall™ meniscus repair system and has just received FDA clearance.

Go-ahead for bio-ink. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s CollPlant (see here) is developing a proprietary rhCollagen-based formulations intended for use as bio-ink for the 3D printing of tissues and life savings organs.  It has now received grant approval (up to $1.2 million) of additional finance from the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA).

Israeli algae antioxidant protects the skin.  I’ve reported previously (see here) on AstaPure - Israel-based Algatech’s algae-derived Astaxanthin, produced at Kibbutz Ketura. A new clinical trial in Japan provides evidence of Astaxanthin’s protective role against skin deterioration caused by ultraviolet (UV) light.

Advanced security and medical training. Israel’s Advanced Security Training Institute (ASTI) has just completed its latest course, providing 30 US first responders with practical security and medical training. Since 2003, these skills have been passed on to more than 7,000 emergency personnel in the USA.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

IDF’s first female tank commanders. (TY UWI) Following a successful pilot of all-women tank crews, four women made history when they were appointed commanders of IDF tank units. The four were chosen, from the original 15 women tank trainees, to enroll in the Caracal Battalion’s grueling tank commander program.

The first Israeli President to host Arab policewomen.  (TY Hazel) Israeli President Rivlin made history when he hosted 29 Muslim and Christian Arab policewomen at his Residence. Over the past two years, 728 Arabs have joined the Israeli police force, including 74 women, of whom nearly 50 are Muslim.

Israel trains Yazidis to treat Iraqi trauma victims. A group of five Yazidis from Iraq recently received training in Israel in medical clowning to help them treat children in their home country, in need of medical treatment or post-traumatic stress disorder. The Yazidis were brought to Israel by UK NGO “Road to Peace”.

Israelis collect toys for Syrian children.  Less than 24 hours after a Golan Regional Council request, hundreds of Israelis across Israel volunteered to bring goodie bags for Syrian refugee children living on the Golan border.

Training Ghanaians in agriculture. (TY Hazel) Ghana’s government is sending 50 students on one-year paid internships in Israel. The students will learn modern agricultural practices in greenhouse vegetable production, then return to help Ghana set up greenhouses and increase its local production and exports.

Israelis help find missing boys in Thailand cave. Two Israeli rescuers voluntarily joined the international effort to reach 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped for more than a week in a flooded cave in Thailand. The Israelis brought innovative radios from Israel’s Maxtech networks that enabled the divers to locate the boys.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Numbers of advanced math students double. In just three years, Israel has doubled the number of advanced math students in Israeli high schools, particularly in the periphery. There are now 18,000 students studying math at the highest level – crucial for the future of the State of Israel as the Startup Nation.

The Aliya Initiative – training for hi-tech jobs.  The Aliya Initiative is a free, four-day workshop in Tel Aviv that provides Olim (immigrants) with the necessary skills to join the Israeli startup scene. The initiative of Israeli venture capital firm Aleph VC helps find work for immigrants, plus addresses the hi-tech skills shortage.

Saving motorcyclist lives. (TY Atid-EDI) Motorcycle crash fatalities are nearly 28 times higher than for car crash occupants. Israel’s Ride Vision has developed collision aversion technology (CAT), giving any motorcyclist 360-degree predictive vision protection. Ride Vision has just raised $2.5 million of funds.

A personal trainer in your ears.  The VI wireless earphones from Israel’s VI Technologies provide you with a real-time fitness coach, biometrics (heart rate, SPO2 rate, speed and step rate) and premium sounding music in time with your step rate. The company, previously known as LifeBeam (see here), has just raised $20 million.

Motivating you to practice. I’ve reported previously (see here) about Israel’s Tonara and its interactive app to help learn how to play and practice a musical instrument. In the latest version (360), the teacher can assign practice sessions of either time or musical pieces, after which the app uses algorithms to grade.

Reducing phosphorus pollution in Brazil.  (TY Atid-EDI) Trials prove that Rootella BR mycorrhizal inoculant from Israel’s Groundwork BioAg increases phosphorus absorption of crops, increases yield, reduces fertilizer wastage and its polluting runoff. Rootella BR has just been commercially registered in Brazil.

Powering telecom towers in Kenya. I reported recently (17th Jun) on Israel’s Gencell which makes fuel cell-based solutions to create emission-free electricity. Kenyan telecom company Adrian Group Kenya is installing Gencell’s fuel cells to replace the diesel generators powering 800 cell towers in rural Kenya.

Technion inaugurates satellite ground station. I reported previously (14th Jan) that Israel’s Technion Institute is aiming to launch 3 nanosatellites into orbit in late 2018. Israel’s Orbit Communications has just completed building the Technion’s Adelis ground station for monitoring these satellites. An excellent video.

Defending the Internet of Things. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s NanoLock Security has unveiled what it markets as “the industry’s most comprehensive lightweight, unbreakable security and management platform purpose-built for the Internet of Things (IoT) and Connected Devices ecosystem”.  (The old NanoLock was renamed Nobio.)

Faster and faster.  (TY Atid-EDI) The InfiniBand systems from Israel’s Mellanox now support 43% of the World’s 500 fastest supercomputers including the top three.  The 216 include Astra, supporting the US Dept of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), and Summit – the fastest computer in the US.

Proving the Concept. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (Jan 2017) on Israel’s ProoV’s service that allow companies to perform Proof of Concept (PoC) testing on new technology. ProoV has now expanded its strategic partnership with Deloitte to become the testing arm of its Innovation Tech Terminal lab.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

100,000 passengers a day. Up to 100,000 passengers are estimated to pass through Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport during the busiest days of July and August, according to Israel’s Ministry of Transportation. The expected total of 5.3 million summer passengers represents a 15% increase on the same period last year.

Easier US-Israel travel for new business investors.  (TY Atid-EDI)  The US and Israel have agreed mutual visa arrangements for potential investors to visit each other’s country. The US E-2 Investor visa and the Israeli B-5 equivalent are to be launched imminently.

Cutting Chinese diamonds. The Shanghai Diamond Exchange has agreed with the Israel Diamond Exchange to transfer the processing of large stones to Israel. Many Chinese diamond processing companies may transfer some of their processing to Israel and some Chinese diamond cutters will relocate to central Israel.

15 Israel startups pitch to 200 UK corporates.  (TY TIP) I previewed (24th Jun) Innovate Israel 2018, hosted by UK Israel Business (UKIB) on 3rd July. The 15 Israeli startups covered the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), vison enhancement, drones, big data, cybersecurity, marketing technologies and nanosatellites.

Where submarine technology is going. (TY Janet C & Tower) I reported previously (May 2017) on Israeli startup Tevva Motors and its UK-based electric trucks that use Israeli submarine technology. Auto component giant Bharat Forge has just invested $13 million in the company, aiming to bring the concept to India.

Round three of Barclays accelerator program. I reported previously (Oct 2015) about multinational bank Barclays and its financial startup accelerator. Barclays has just initiated the 3rd cycle of its RISE program, now mentoring 10 startups from Israel and overseas.

Audi to use Israeli autonomous simulator. I reported previously (29th Oct) that Israel’s Cognata had built a 3D Artificial Intelligent (AI) simulation platform to test autonomous cars.  Now German car maker Audi AG is partnering with Cognata to integrate the simulator at all stages of development and production of its vehicles.

Hyundai connects with Autotalks.  Korea’s Hyundai Motor and Israel’s Autotalks (see here) are partnering to develop the next generation V2X chipset for connected cars.  V2X (Vehicle to external systems) technology improves vehicle and road safety, mobility and is vital for autonomous driving.

Baidu links up with Mobileye. Chinese tech giant Baidu is adding Mobileye as a technology provider to its Apollo autonomous driving platform. Mobileye’s Israeli-developed Responsibility Sensitive Safety model - a set of rules for how cars minimize the chance of an accident - will be integrated into Apollo.

Mindspace expands to Romania. I reported previously (21st May) that Israeli co-working real estate company Mindspace had opened business in a sixth country (the Netherlands). It didn’t take long for Mindspace to move into a seventh country – it has just leased 3 offices in Bucharest, Romania.

Mortgage decision-making for U.S. Bank.  (TY Atid-EDI) The fifth largest commercial bank in the US – U.S. Bank – has selected DECISION Manager from Israel’s Sapiens International to help service its mortgage customers. U.S. Bancorp has 74,000 employees and will use DECISION within its Home Mortgage group.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

See the light. (TY Sharon) The tenth annual Jerusalem Light Festival took place night in the Old City.  The streets were closed from 8pm to 11pm to accommodate tens of thousands of visitors. The light and music video projections were highlights this year. Illuminated inscriptions were in Hebrew, English and Arabic

Absolutely sandal-ous. (TY Janglo) The deep link between wearing sandals and being Israeli is the subject of a new exhibit at the Eretz Israel Museum. In 1961, archaeologists discovered 2,000-year-old sandals in a cave near the Dead Sea. Their resemblance to modern Israeli kibbutznik’s sandals, began a whole new fashion.

Free shows if you made Aliya after 1989.  If you arrived in the Jewish State less than 30 years ago, Israel’s Ministry of Absorption still considers you a “new Oleh” for the purposes of these free Israeli culture shows.

Don McLean rocks Ra’anana. Don McLean was described as the “consummate professional” in presenting his master class of the Great American Songbook to a sell-out audience at the Ra’anana Amphitheater. Although everyone was ecstatic at American Pie and Vincent, the whole concert was pure rock & roll history.

Welcome Bomba Estereo. Colombian band Bomba Estereo is performing for the first time in Israel at Barby’s in Tel Aviv on 23rd July. Bomba Estereo has a characteristic cumbia style, or “electro tropical”. They will perform their latest album “Ayo”. https://www.touristisrael.com/bomba-estereo-tel-aviv-israel/21841/

Jerusalem Film Festival. (TY Janglo) This year’s Jerusalem Film Festival (25 July to 5 Aug) features 180 films from 60 countries. The films are screened at the Jerusalem Cinematheque and other Jerusalem cinemas Events include meetings with filmmakers, cinema workshops, premieres, parties, shows and outdoor events.

IDF’s world-cup soccer ball juggling champion.  IDF soldiers from nine countries competed to see who could keep a soccer ball in the air the longest. England came third; Belgium was second; but watch who won.

Wheelchair tennis silver medalists. (TY Nevet) I reported (May 2017) that Israel were runners-up at last year’s Wheelchair Tennis World Team Cup.  They did the same in this year’s competition, beating Japan, South Korea, and the United States, before going down to Australia in the final.

Netanya hosts World Lacrosse Championships. (TY Israelunwired) Jake Silberlicht urges you to support Team Israel at the 2018 World Lacrosse Championships. 48 teams play in Netanya, Israel from July 12 – 21.


THE JEWISH STATE

For the Redemption of Zion.  A bronze coin from 69 CE was uncovered recently during wet sifting by a volunteer at the City of David Sifting Project located near the Mount of Olives in Emek Tzurim, Jerusalem. The coin reads, ‘For the Redemption of Zion.’ The coin was minted just before the destruction of the 2nd Temple.

First visit by blue whale.  (TY Nevet) After the first official UK Royal visit to Israel last week, Israelis and tourists in Eilat were treated to the first-ever documented visit of a blue whale, the largest of all whale species and the largest mammal. The 20-meter whale swam just 300 meters from the beach, before continuing south.

Even non-observant Jews can have Shabbat off.  (TY Atid-EDI) The Israeli Knesset (Parliament) has approved an amendment to a Sabbath law that will allow Israeli employees to request not to work on Shabbat even if they are not religiously observant. The law recognizes that many secular Jews enjoy Shabbat traditions,

Celebrating independence.  4th July is a double celebration for many Israelis. On American Independence Day 1976, the IDF mounted a daring operation to independently restore the independence of more than 100 Israeli and Jewish civilians held hostage by Arab and German terrorists at Entebbe airport in Uganda.

Jewish law in the modern world. (TY Sharon) The annual Katz awards are for excellence in implementation of halakha (Jewish law) in modern life. The 2018 winners were Rabbi Yehuda Herzl Henkin, Rabbi Yosef Zvi Rimon, and Rabbi Asher Zelig Weiss.

What goes around, comes around.  Here is an account of a volunteer for Israel’s Ezer Mizion “Linked to Life” group. On one day she drives people to visit relatives in hospital; next, she’s being driven to see her relative in hospital; while she is there, she arranges someone to bring another patient’s medicine to the hospital.

Jerusalem’s first Haredi weightlifting competition.  (TY Janglo) Proving that spiritual strength and physical strength are not incompatible. https://www.youtube.com/embed/_DDeEvUC2Vw?rel=0