Israel's Good News Newsletter to 2nd Aug 2015



In the 2nd Aug 2015 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli scientists have turned stem cells into large quantities of liver cells.
·         An Israeli device can be used by non-medics to check a patient’s heart and lungs.
·         Indian police successfully ended a terror siege thanks to Israeli training.
·         Tel Aviv is to build an environmental park on the roof of its main highway.
·         Israel’s largest solar field goes live as another three times bigger is started.
·         Teva takes over Allergan in the biggest business deal in Israel’s history.
·         Israeli veterinarian surgeons saved the life of Samuni the lion.

·         Click here to see the newsletter on Jewish Business News, IsraelSeen, Janglo, and United With Israel with extra features on Health and Inclusiveness.

Page Down for details on these and more good news stories from Israel.  Thank You Michelle, Barbara and other readers for sending me links to many of these positive news articles.  Please use IsraelActive to search the archives.

Unfortunately a recent report published in the Jerusalem Post about a pro-Israel Saudi Prince was later found to be a hoax.  Apologies to VGNI readers – I have since removed the article from my website and archive.

ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Liver cells produced from stem cells.  Scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have successfully engineered large amounts of functioning liver cells from stem cells.  It is a major breakthrough as currently, biotechs testing new liver treatments have to rely on donated or purchased organs.

Simple test for smoke inhalation damage.  Researchers at Beersheba’s Soroka Medical Center have devised a simple blood test to determine the extent of damage done to the lungs of smoke inhalation victims.  High levels of free DNA in the blood indicates greater damage and will determine resuscitation and treatment requirements.

Award for 3D denture scanning.  Israel’s HoloDent produces a 3D holographic image of the mouth, reducing the time taken to produce dentures to just 30 minutes. (see Sep 2013 newsletter)  The students on the BioDesign program that designed HoloDent at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have won Startup Open Israel award.

Successful trials for novel treatment.  Israeli biotech Peritech announced successful results in its pivotal trials for PP-110 – an advanced treatment for hemorrhoids.  Worth reading here about how PP-110 works.

One device to check them all - anywhere.  (TY Michelle) Israeli startup Tytocare is developing a handheld diagnostic device that enables a local nurse to check a patient’s ears, throat, heart and lungs, skin, temperature etc. and then send data and photos electronically to a medical specialist. Tytocare has just raised $11 million.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Israel’s Palestinian Arab diplomat.  (TY Michelle) George Deek is a Christian Arab whose family fled to Lebanon in 1948 but returned to the Jewish State.  George is an Israeli diplomat and an amazing speaker.

The IDF now caters for vegans.  (TY Atid-EDI) The Israel Defense Forces is providing new culinary options for vegan soldiers.  To date, bases nationwide offered vegetarian menus, and vegan soldiers received a special allowance to purchase vegan foods.  http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=26721

Israeli-American Conference.  The Israeli American Council is holding its second annual conference in Washington in October.  It will bring together over 1,000 Israeli-American leaders from throughout the US.

India’s President to visit Israel.  (TY Michelle) It is reported that India’s President Pranab Mukherjee will make the first historic visit of an Indian statesman to Israel in October.  

Israeli-trained Indian SWAT team ends terror siege.  A 28-commando Indian SWAT team trained by Israel in 2010 ended an apparent terrorist siege at a police station in the Punjab, near the Pakistan border.  An Indian intelligence officer stated “This was their first operation since they were trained. And they have done well.”

The 23rd best university in the world.  The Saudi Arabia-based Center for World University Rankings has ranked the Hebrew University of Jerusalem at number 23 on its list of the best 1,000 universities in the world.  The Hebrew U is one of the very top universities outside of the United States.

Tel Aviv is the world’s top non-US startup hub.  (TY Michelle) The Compass Global Startup Ecosystem has placed Tel Aviv as the best startup center outside of the US.  It commended Tel Aviv’s uniquely high-quality talent and ability to develop startups and attract global capital.

Israel funds startups to solve world problems.  The Israeli Government is offering funding of up to NIS 500,000 ($130,000) in the 2nd round of “Grand Challenges Israel” for up to 10 companies with innovative technology that could solve problems in Africa, Asia, South America, and poverty-stricken areas in the West.

Nigeria’s speaker praises Israel.  (TY Michelle) Nigeria now has a Muslim President, but the Speaker of its House of Representatives, Dogara Yakabu, was most impressed during the first Nigerian youth pilgrimage to Israel.  He urged pilgrims to open their intellect and learn agricultural skills from the innovative spirit of Israel.

Israel supports Nairobi Innovation Week.  (TY Michelle) Israel’s Ambassador to Kenya Yahel Vilan is helping the University of Nairobi, Kenya with its Innovation Week beginning on Aug 3rd. 


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

A green park on top of Tel Aviv’s highway.  Tel Aviv’s congested Ayalon highway is to be transformed into an oasis of greenery.  The Ayalon Roofing Project will create a 593-acre public space for recreation, while enabling traffic to continue flowing below.  It will be Israel’s largest municipal project, costing over NIS 2bn.

Keeping your computer healthy.  Israeli startup Fixico has been chosen by IBM to export its remote Endpoint Management product to the private market.  Now you can download Fixico to check your computer’s functions, disk and programs upon startup. Fixico has free basic features or paid-for advanced service.

Ashdod fishing rig will increase fish stocks.  A ​​6,000 hectare aquaculture project to be constructed off the coast of Ashdod in Israel includes a fishing rig, which will serve as a logistics center management of fish farms.  Hi-tech cages six miles from the shore will lower in stormy weather to protect the fish.

Hebrew version of Office for iPad.  Microsoft has just released a new version of its Office365 suite for iPad users.  This one comes with Hebrew language support.  The reviews were quite positive.

Port handling by robots.  Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is introducing the Robotic Container Management & Storage System (RCMS).  The system uses robotic carts and elevators to automatically load and unload containers efficiently in less time and requiring 50% less port storage space.  It can revolutionize port handling.

Cyber help for airline industry.  The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has signed an agreement with Tel Aviv University that will setup a new joint center for innovation in aviation. It will develop technologies to protect airline reservations and financial systems and run airlines more efficiently.

The first global remote control.  Israel’s WiseSec has developed the Genii Internet hub that can control up to 800,000 Bluetooth devices anywhere on the planet.  By end 2015 you could have long-distance smartphone (IOS or Android) control of your house lights, televisions, air conditioners, ovens etc. for just $90 on Indigogo.

$1bn solar power plant for Israeli desert.  Israel’s Shikun & Binui and Spain’s Abengoa are to build a massive 121MW solar power plant, costing NIS 4bn ($1.05 bn), in the Negev desert.  It is the second of 3 local solar schemes that together will eventually provide up to two percent of Israel’s total electricity needs.

(Meanwhile) Israel’s largest solar field goes live.  (TY Algemeiner.com) The 40MW solar array at Kibbutz Ketura is now operational, making it the largest solar array to be an active part of the Jewish state’s electric grid.  140,434 solar panels are spread over 134 acres.  http://www.jns.org/news-briefs/2015/7/29/here-comes-the-sun-largest-solar-array-in-israel-becomes-operational#.Vbn-rflViko=

The water will flow from Jerusalem.  A delegation from California governor Jerry Brown came to Jerusalem Institute’s Milken Financial Innovations Lab to learn how best to alleviate California’s severe drought. They heard from Israeli water companies Arad, Ayyeka, Emefcy, Miya, Netafim, RealiteQ, and Takadu and others.

From our roof, to your table.  Several Tel Aviv restaurants are serving very fresh, locally-sourced vegetables.  In fact they are grown on the roof of the nearby Dizengoff Center.  They are supplied by Mendi Falk, the director of Green in the City, a hydroponics project in the center of downtown Tel Aviv.

New safe efficient Graphene production.  Researchers from Israel’s Ben Gurion University and the University of Western Australia have developed a new optical process to generate Graphene - a chemical vital for medicine, electronics and energy.  It is faster than existing methods and avoids current toxic substances.

Australian delegation to Israeli innovation.  (TY Michelle) The Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce and Spacecubed have organized its Entrepreneurs ‘Start Up Nation’ Innovation Delegation to Israel Oct 29 - Nov 5.  It will explore Israel’s business and investment opportunities and entrepreneurial and innovation eco-system.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Israel’s Chief Scientist is the key to the Startup nation.  (TY Michelle) Avi Hasson explains what his role is as Israel’s Chief Scientist and how his office uses the public-private partnership to fuel Israeli innovation.

A marketing phenomenon.  21-year-old Israeli Tomer Hen started mobile advertising when still at school.  When he graduated from high school he had already made $250,000.  His communication skills helped him to launch the Tomer Hen Mobile Marketing College. Now he is CEO of MobCo Media, with 10 employees. 

Jerusalem’s Freedom Pyramid.  Approval has been given for the building of a 105-meter high building in downtown Jerusalem.  The “Freedom Pyramid” will house a hotel, apartments and businesses. Its architect is Daniel Libeskind, who designed the Berlin Jewish Museum and NYC’s World Trade Center Memorial.

Award for solar panel cleaning robot.  Israeli start-up Ecoppia was selected to Red Herring’s Top 100 Europe List.  Red Herring selects start-ups they predict will “grow at an explosive rate”.  Also, solar industry publication PV Magazine ranked Ecoppia 15th in their list of “50 Array-Changing Technologies.”

Expanding trade with Japan.  A high-level Israeli trade delegation is in Japan discussing expanding business relations between the two countries.  They cover medical treatments and equipment, agro-biotech, diagnostics and health IT.  http://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-delegation-in-tokyo-for-trade-talks/

Sharing gas facilities with Cyprus.  (TY Michelle) In order to exploit the full potential of the offshore natural gas reserves of each country, Cyprus and Israel have agreed to expand cooperation, including pipeline and grid sharing as a means of reaching the European market.

The largest deal in Israel’s history.  (TY Michael H) In the largest deal in country’s history, Israel’s Teva has acquired Dublin-based Allergan for $40.5 billion.  Teva stated “This strategic acquisition brings together two leading generics businesses with complementary strengths, brands and cultures, providing patients with more affordable access to quality medicines, and creating significant financial benefits for Teva stockholders.”

Merck buys Israeli cancer biotech.  (TY Michelle) Germany’s Merck will acquire cCAM Biotherapeutics, the Israeli developer of cancer immunotherapies, for an estimated $600 million.  cCAM is developing CM-24, for the treatment of melanoma and certain lung, bladder, gastric, colorectal and ovarian cancers.




CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

The Jerusalem Season of Culture.  (TY Janglo) The Jerusalem Season of Culture July 27 - September 4 is inspired by Jerusalem’s unique aspects - its history, aesthetics, social & political arena, and religious significance. It not only entertains but also reflects upon this complex environment.

Indie music scene thriving in Israel.  Tel Aviv is a hub for indie bands and solo musicians.  Sun Kil Moon, alt-J, Toro Y Moi, the Antlers, Ben Frost and more are scheduled to play Tel Aviv, Rishon, and other cities.  Also, TY Size Doesn’t Matter and The Culture Trip for the top 18 non-touristy things to do in Tel Aviv.

Maccabi games in Berlin.  It has been called the triumph over evil.  70 years after the Holocaust, a record 2300 Jewish athletes from Israel and all over the world gathered for the Maccabi Games, known as the ‘Jewish Olympics’ in Berlin, at the site where Hitler opened the 1936 ‘Nazi Games’, which barred Jewish participants.


THE JEWISH STATE

Restored Galilee home is a sea of sunlight.  Israeli architects have converted a centuries-old building in spiritual Safed into a beautiful modern home, whilst conserving and revealing the ancient stone masonry walls.  Previously hidden under plaster, the ancient stones now star as main feature of the restored building.

Free bridal gowns to orphan brides.  (TY IsraelSeen) Israeli charity Chessed Ve’Emet has acquired 60 bridal gowns which will be loaned free of charge to orphan Jewish brides marrying and setting up their home in Israel.

Omri Casspi lays tefillin every day.  Israeli-born NBA Sacramento Kings forward Omri Casspi told a fan on twitter that he is committed to the Orthodox-Jewish practice of wrapping the small Scripture-filled boxes called tefillin in Hebrew around his arm and forehead during morning prayers.

Israeli vets save Samuni the lion.  The lion story that didn’t make international headlines this week is that Israeli veterinarian surgeons removed a tumor from the stomach of Sumani – an 8-year-old lion at Ramat Gan safari.  The two-hour operation was successful and biopsies will determine Sumani’s future treatment and care.