In the 23rd Nov 2014 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· With an Israeli artificial pancreas, Type 1 diabetics can stop taking insulin.
· Israel has shipped Ebola treatment clinics to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
· Two Israelis won $100,000 by developing a no-network messaging system.
· An Israeli printer has produced the first full-size 3D-printed electric car.
· The Singapore government has made its first investment in Israel.
· Israel won its third consecutive Euro 2016 soccer qualifying match.
· The public can now view 1st Temple remains surrounding Jerusalem's Tower of David.
Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
An artificial pancreas implant. Type-1 diabetes patients can one day avoid taking insulin injections if the bio-artificial pancreas, developed by Israel’s Beta-O2 passes its human trials in Sweden. The BAir delivers oxygen to replacements for the faulty islet cells that are essential for producing insulin in the patient’s body.
A smartphone for the disabled. Israel’s Sesame Enable is developing “the Sesame Phone,” which is specifically tailored to assist people who have limited or no use of their hands. The system enables control of the smartphone with a combination of small head movements and voice recognition.
Wristwatch to monitor Parkinson’s. Intel Israel has developed a Parkinson’s disease monitor that sufferers wear on their wrists. The device records pulse, slowness of movement, tremors and sleep quality, making up to 300 observations per second. Doctors previously relied on patients’ verbal reports and brief hospital checkups.
Diabetes finger monitor gets cash boost. (Thanks to Atid-EDI and Globes) I reported on the non-invasive diabetes finger monitor from Israeli biotech CNoga Medical in Sept 2013. CNoga has just received a $12.5 million investment from Chinese investment fund GoCapital to help expand development and marketing.
Over 100 DTMS devices in use. Israel’s Brainsway has now installed 101 Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation devices worldwide – 50% in the USA and has orders for another 36. Brainsways depression-treatment service using DTMS is covered by the insurance policies of 193 million people in the US.
Mental health advice on New York street. The Israeli start-up Talkspace has erected large transparent bubbles on New York’s Fifth Avenue to offer free online psychological advice to pedestrians. Passersby can enter a make-believe living room inside an inflated dome and chat online with a psychologist.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Israel’s first center for cerebral palsy. Beit Issie Shapiro, Israel’s leading disabilities organization, is to set up the country’s first Center of Excellence for Cerebral Palsy and severe motor disabilities. Beit Issie will document its knowledge, expertise and best practice of CP so it can be shared and implemented by others.
The first female deputy squadron commander. For the first time in the history of the IDF, a woman pilot was selected to fulfill the role of deputy squadron commander. Major Gal, a transport pilot, will fill the role of Nachson Pilot Commander at the Nevatim Base in the Negev.
Israeli police resuscitate Palestinian Arab boy. (Thanks to Hazel) Quick-acting Israeli border police on routine patrol in Hebron found a Palestinian Arab youth who had been electrocuted, was unconscious and had no pulse. They saved his life, performing CPR until the emergency services arrived.
Israel helps PA to keep out Ebola virus. (Thanks to Hazel) Israel has transferred Ebola screening tools to the Palestinian Authority in the hopes it will help PA officials to diagnose the virus among those entering from Jordan and also into the Gaza Strip through the Rafah Crossing. The transfer was made following a PA request.
Portable field hospitals to Ebola-hit countries. Israel has sent six cargo containers of specialist equipment to set up portable field hospitals to treat Ebola victims in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. Each clinic has 20 beds, medicines etc. Israeli NGO's are to send Israeli volunteers, medical staff, doctors, paramedics and nurses.
Water for Africa. Israeli companies Waterways, Tahal and Anyways Solutions are providing water solutions in Cameroon, Senegal and Ghana. Waterways has signed an agreement with the Water and Sanitation Organization of Africa, which links 36 African countries under its umbrella.
Tel Aviv is the World’s smartest city. (Thanks to Size Doesn’t Matter) Tel Aviv beat 250 cities from across the globe to receive the World Smart Cities Award, a competition launched as part of the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona. Winning factors included free citywide wi-fi and its urban digital project.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Israel’s part in the comet landing. Two Tel Aviv University professors had key roles in the Rosetta project which completed the first ever spacecraft landing on a comet. Prof. Akiva Bar-Nun helped design the craft and its experiments. Prof Morris Podolak and other Israelis will analyze the Dust Impact Monitor experiment.
Israeli plants can resist climate change. (Thanks to Stuart) A study by scientists from Israel, Germany and the US shows Israel’s plants to be more resilient than other plant species in being able to withstand the stresses of any threat from global warming. One researcher said, "Our plants are strong and so are the people of Israel!"
Israelis win PayPal challenge. Israelis Shai Mishali and Pavel Kaminsky won the $100,000 grand prize at the global hackathon competition held at PayPal’s California HQ. They beat 3,000 international programmers by developing (in 24 hours) AirHop, for messaging without cellular reception or using devices without SIM cards.
Public transport app has over 10 million users. (Thanks to Size Doesn’t Matter) One million users per month are joining Israel’s Moovit community for easier travel on public transport. Moovit works in hundreds of cities worldwide. It combines service company data with live actual data from Moovit travelers.
A really smart alarm clock. Israeli Zach Bamberger has developed the SmartAlarm, which checks weather conditions, traffic alerts, and other data and decides when you need to get out of bed in order to make it to work on time. E.g. detecting an incident on your route at 4am, the alarm can wake you 15 minutes earlier than usual.
New Cornell-Technion research lab. Media giant AOL is funding the multi-million dollar “Connected Experiences” lab (ConnX) being launched by NYC-based Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute. The lab will operate in both Israel and New York, allowing research of communication and coordination, food and wellness, education and safety, and information and entertainment. It also includes a graduate fellowship program.
Israeli company wins European innovation award. Israel’s Aqua-Rimat – Leak Buster, won the product innovation award for Smart Home and End User Engagement at European Utility Week in Amsterdam. 10,000 delegates attended the event, representing the world’s most successful utilities and solution providers.
You can now live out of a suitcase. (Thanks to NoCamels.com) An Israeli startup has developed FUGU luggage – a suitcase that expands from carry-on size to full size using a built-in electric pump. It includes a laptop case and shelves and can even be used as a table. Pledges on Kickstarter have been phenomenal.
The world’s first 3D printed car. The Objet1000 from Israel’s Stratasys is the largest 3D printer in the world. And it has just been used to print a full-size prototype of the world’s first 3D printed electric car. Researchers at Germany’s Aachen University developed the car – called the StreetScooter - in just one year.
The first agro-biomedical center. (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Israel’s MIGAL Galilee Research Institute has established the first specialized Agro-Biomedical hub. The center will serve applied researchers, clinicians, entrepreneurs, startups, growers and consumer companies. Research focuses on natural products.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Budget deficit halved. Israel’s budget deficit for Oct 2014 was NIS 2.1 billion compared with NIS 4.5 billion in Oct 2013. Government spending was up 3.1% during Jan to Oct 2014 compared to the same period last year. Tax revenues were up 7.2% over the same period.
UK trade with Israel increases. (Thanks to Hazel) UK Ambassador Matthew Gould reported that in addition to a 26% increase in bilateral trade, eight Israeli companies have gone public on the London Stock Exchange this year. Israel’s Teva now produces one in six pills sold in the United Kingdom.
Czech market opens up for Israeli water technologies. The 3-day Czech-Israeli Water Management Seminar in Prague connected government officials and the business sector to Israeli expertise in water safety and protection, wastewater reclamation and aquaculture technologies – all relevant to the Czech market.
Israeli gas for Europe? Israel has proposed that EU countries invest in a multi-billion euro pipeline to carry its natural gas to the continent. The pipeline will go via Cyprus, Greece and Italy which all support the idea.
“The best opportunity for Mississippi”. Governor Phil Bryan declared his recent Mississippi State business development mission to Israel as the best such trade trip he’s had as governor. He is now planning an “Israel/Mississippi Business Summit” in April to bring Israeli companies to the Magnolia State.
Singapore discovers Israeli hi-tech. Temasek, a $200 billion investment company owned by the Singaporean government, is placing $5 million in the Ramot Momentum fund operated by Tel Aviv University’s Ramot technology transfer company. It is the first official investment by Singapore in Israel, although telecom giant SingTel recently opened an R&D center following its purchase of Israel’s Amobee.
El Al direct flights to Boston. El Al airlines is commencing a direct route from Tel Aviv Ben Gurion to Boston’s Logan airport in June 2015. El Al will run three flights a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
Microsoft buys Israeli company for $200 million. Global computer giant Microsoft is acquiring Herzliya-based cyber security startup Aorato for around $200 million. Aorato’s founders served in the IDF cyber security unit and have developed a firewall that learns and predicts behavior to counter web attacks.
Automated fraud system gets cash boost. (Thanks to Nevet – www.borderview.org) Israeli startup Forter has raised $15 million to launch its new R&D center to support its automated three-layered fraud detection mechanism. For the US venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates it was its first investment in Israel.
Supermarket to sell everything at 5 Shekels. Israel’s Cofix coffee shops sell coffee, sandwiches, juices etc all for NIS 5 ($1.30) an item. Cofix now plans to open 20 branches of “Super Cofix” in April 2015, selling 600 basic food products (plus non-food items) for a uniform price of NIS 5 each. It apparently includes meat!
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
3D design wins international fashion award. (Thanks to NoCamels.com) Israeli student Noa Raviv was chosen as the “Best Fashion Designer of the Year” at the international 3D Printshow event in Paris. The designs only exist virtually and cannot be produced in the real world. (In my opinion - probably just as well.)
The Backstreet Boys are coming back. The popular Backstreet Boys have rebooked their postponed Summer 2014 Ra’anana concerts for 19-21 May 2015. Previously purchased tickets will still be valid.
Israel is top of Euro 2016 soccer group. In front of 30,000 fans, Israel defeated Bosnia-Herzegovina 3-0 Sunday night to take them to the top of UEFA 2016 European Soccer Championship qualifying group B. Israel had previously beaten Andorra 4-1 and Cyprus 2-1 last month.
Tamir comes home. US basketball star Tamir Goodman joined Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2002 to avoid playing on the Sabbath. He also served in the IDF and married an Israeli girl. Now as Director of International Business Development for Hapoel Jerusalem, he also runs camps for Israeli kids. In August, he formally made Aliya.
THE JEWISH STATE
Famous pianist follows dream and makes Aliya. Internationally acclaimed Moscow-born pianist Oxana Yablonskaya has just become an Israeli citizen at the age of 76. Her son Dimitri, a famed cellist and conductor, made Aliya a few months ago. The musical family has scheduled its first concert in Jerusalem for Nov 20th.
Bringing life to the desert. Allison Speiser traveled from the Merchav Am community in Israel’s Negev desert to tell the Perth community about fulfilling the wish of Israel’s founders - to “make the desert bloom”. Allison is shown speaking here at the JNF event “Bringing Life to the Negev”.
Just around the corner from Temple Mount / Al Aksa. (Thanks to Sharon – The Real Jerusalem Streets). Life in Jerusalem goes on. On Nov 12, the moat surrounding the Tower of David was opened to the public after 15 years of careful excavations. It reveals Jewish history back to King Hezekiah in the 8th Century BCE.
Employment in Israel. Students and young professionals thinking of moving to Israel from the US received plenty of advice at the “Impact Israel” conference in New York. The message was – come to Israel for the economic and job opportunities, but stay for the lifestyle and chance to make your mark.
Rabbi Glick. Rabbi Yehuda Glick was shot 4 times at close range in the stomach, lungs, neck and arm by a terrorist on Oct 29. Following multiple surgeries, Rabbi Glick is about to be released from hospital.