Israel's Good News Newsletter to 20th Jan 19



·         An Israeli nano-sized robot has been developed to clean tubes in the brain.
·         An Israeli charity gives 8,000 school children a healthy breakfast every day.
·         Israelis are helping tropical storm victims in the Philippines.
·         Israeli students won a European competition for protein-enriched foods.
·         Israel’s 2018 exports were at an all-time record.
·         Israel received the largest-ever Japanese business delegation.
·         Israel celebrates the New Year for Trees – Tu Bishvat.

·         Click here to see the 13th Jan newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel with extra features on Technology and Medical. Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew.  Please pass on these links to German and Hebrew-reading contacts. Also (TY Marlene) this week, articles translated into Hebrew by students of the Reali middle school in Haifa.

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ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS


Cleaning out the brain.  Israel’s Microbot (see here) demonstrated a prototype of its self-cleaning shunt (SCS) at the International Society for Hydrocephalus and Cerebrospinal Fluid Disorders (ISHCFD) meeting in Italy.  The SCS prevents obstruction in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) catheters of hydrocephalus patients.

White blood cells can “feel” when things are not right. Scientists at Ben Gurion University have discovered that the immune system’s Lymphocytes (white blood cells) physically “grab” sick cells in the body. They then excrete a toxic chemical to kill the damaged cells, which include viruses and tumors.

Prescription charges fall. (TY Janglo) Israel’s Health Ministry has reduced the prices of prescription treatments with controlled patents by an average of 6.9%. The discount is due to a change in the pricing model to reduce costs plus favorable exchange rates.  http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/256967

Medical tourism. Around 30,000 foreign patients travel to Israel each year, eagerly seeking Israel’s top class, innovative medical treatments. This has major benefits for Israel’s economy, medical R&D and international esteem. The government has also stepped in to ensure that it does not delay treatments for Israeli citizens.

Lung cancer test for China. I’ve reported several times (see here) on Israeli life sciences company BioView and its innovative cancer detection technology.  BioView has just signed an agreement with Shenzhen China’s Livzon to distribute BioView’s imaging systems in China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.

Gluten-free food in Tel Aviv. Here is a helpful guide to being gluten-free in Tel Aviv perfect for any person with celiac disease or following a gluten-free diet.


Drama at Tel Aviv railway station. One of the new defibrillators delivered to all Israeli railway stations has just saved the life of a woman who suffered a heart attack. Station staff at Tel Aviv Hashalom successfully jumpstarted the woman's heart, after passengers, including a doctor and a paramedic, had administered CPR.


Medical staff dance to cheer up patients. Jewish and Arab doctors and nurses at Ziv Hospital in Northern Israel are a further example of co-existence as they dance together to cheer up patients in the dialysis ward.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Serving 1.3 million breakfasts a year. The charity Nevet (“Sprout”) provides 8,000 students at 130 schools throughout Israel with a daily nutritious sandwich that helps the kids concentrate on their schoolwork instead of on their empty stomachs. That adds up to a whopping 1.3 million breakfasts every year for disadvantaged youth

Stringing along together. Jewish and Arab students in the Western Galilee were given the opportunity to learn from and listen to a delegation of visiting American violinists. The violinists held masterclasses for both Arabs and Jews students in Akko, Matte Asher, Rosh Pina and the Arab town of Tarshiha.

New Jerusalem mall for Jews and Arabs. Rami Levy’s latest venture is a shopping mall in the northern Jerusalem suburb of Atarot. It will serve both Israeli citizens (Jews, Arabs etc.) and Palestinian Arabs. The mall contains 50 stores, including some Palestinian Arab-run businesses.

Why a Christian Arab joined the IDF. Israeli Christian Arabs don’t have to join the military but Jennifer Jozin volunteered to serve her country. Jozin says, “Just as the state serves me, provides for me, and I live in it, I want to give back in return. She is a Non-Commissioned Officer serving at the Jordanian border.

Three Iraqi delegations visited Israel. According to Israel’s Hadashot TV news, three delegations, totaling 15 local Iraqi leaders, made unofficial trips to Israel in recent months.  They held meetings with Israeli academics, visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, and, most significantly, met with Israeli government officials.

Radiotherapy training for Tanzanian cancer specialists. (TY Hazel) In Tanzania, 29,000 people die from cancer every year. To help tackle this challenge, Tanzanian cancer care professionals have completed advanced radiotherapy training at Assuta Ramat Hachayal and Sheba Medical Centre (Tel Hashomer).

Aid for Philippines tropical storm victims. (TY UWI) IsraAID Philippines has deployed an emergency response team to the Sagnay municipality in the Philippines following Tropical Storm Usman. It is assessing needs and will provide urgent relief items as well as psychological support to those affected.

Training the next gen of life-savers. Israeli disaster relief NGO IsraAID is training doctors, dentists, nurses, engineers and mental-health professionals to respond to disasters. The Humanitarian Professionals Network launched on Jan. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Swimming against the tide. A visit to Israel’s largest desalination and wastewater-treatment plants reveals smart technologies and policies to keep the water running. Just as well, as five years into a severe drought, Israel is constantly inventing and implementing practical solutions to a problem that is not entirely solvable.

Cybertech 2019. The largest annual cybersecurity event in the world outside the US, Cybertech 2019, is coming back to Tel Aviv (Jan 28-30).  The event at the Expo Tel Aviv is expected to draw some 15,000 attendees from over 80 countries.  It will feature hundreds of hi-tech startups and organizations.

Ultra-fast vehicle charging. (TY WIN) I’ve reported previously (see here) on the flywheel battery technology of Israel’s Chakratec. Ilan Ben-David, CEO of Chakratec, was interviewed on ILTV about the new system that enables super-fast electric vehicle charging anywhere, in just 20 minutes.

Recharge your car as you drive. I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s ElectRoad and its technology to charge cars and buses from the road itself. Now Israeli’s ElectReon Wireless has successfully tested wirelessly powering an electric car using its electric road infrastructure.

Smart headlights. I reported previously (Jan 2018) on Israel’s Adasky and its high-resolution infrared sensor for autonomous vehicles. Italian car parts supplier Magneti Marelli (now owned by Japan’s Calsonic Kansei) is to integrate the sensor both in the car’s headlights as well as the front grille of the vehicle.

Helping to map UK roads. The UK’s Ordnance Survey (OS) mapping agency is using state-of-the-art systems made by Israeli-based Mobileye to map UK roads in advance of smart cities and driver-less cars. OS vehicles fitted with Mobileye cameras will record vast amounts of high-precision data on Britain’s road network.

The Waze of indoor navigation. Instead of mapping every single building, Israel’s Navin turns the smartphone into a mapping device. It enables people to find their way in every hospital, shopping mall, airport and train station. Navin generates data points using shared sensors of every nearby smartphone with the app.

Algae-based falafel is new superfood. (TY Israel21c) Students at Israel’s Technion Institute have developed Algalafel; falafel enriched with spirulina - an algae containing about 60% protein. The students won the EIT (European Knowledge and Innovation Community) Food Project competition to promote protein-enriched food.

A solution for too much algae. BlueGreen Water Technologies, founded by Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Dr. Moshe Harel, has developed Lake Guard treatment for algae bloom - a massive US problem. Approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency it safely kills cyanobacteria, revitalizing the water in just a few days.

A medical file for every tree. Israeli startup SeeTree is launching a new service that will provide crop growers with “deep insights” into the health and productivity of every one of their trees. SeeTree takes high-resolution 3D images using drones, plus ground sensors and samples to identify diseases and precise irrigation needs.

Urban bee hives to save the honey bee.  The World Bee Project has launched a pilot to study honeybees in Israel, the UK and Ireland. They have fitted a beehive on top of Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Shopping Center with solar-powered, Internet-linked sensors to record temperature, moisture levels and sound.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Record Israeli exports.  Israel’s $110 billion global exports in 2018 broke all-time records. The 8% increase from 2017 included $16 billion to the EU, $11 billion to the USA and $10 billion to Asia.  High-tech services increased by 14 percent to a record ‎‎$51 billion.

Massive investment in startups. Israeli tech firms raised a total of $6.47 billion in 623 deals in 2018 - the highest dollar amount since 2013. In the IVC Research Center report, 100 firms raised $4.1 billion of the total.

An Israeli conference in Berlin. Calcalist has organized the WeTech Berlin 2019 Conference (Feb 18 – 19) focusing on innovation, tech and business ties between Germany and Israel. It will include meetings between Israeli entrepreneurs and top European executives & Venture Capitalists.

Direct flights to Rwanda. RwandAir - the national airline of Rwanda – is launching a new direct route from Rwanda’s capital Kigali, to Tel Aviv. Rwanda’s Ambassador Joseph Rotabana tweeted “Honoured to have signed the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) with the Israeli Min. of Transportation, Hon. Yisrael Katz”

Entrepreneurship center at BGU. Israel’s Council of Higher Education has awarded a NIS 6 million grant to Ben-Gurion University for the establishment of Yazamut 360°​, an interdisciplinary center for entrepreneurship. It will serve as a regional center of excellence for students, researchers, local entrepreneurs and the IDF.

OurCrowd’s 14 stars at CES Las Vegas. Israeli-founded global investment platform OurCrowd showcased seven of its Israeli startup portfolio at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.  A further seven of its startups showcased independently.  https://blog.ourcrowd.com/ces2019/

Kickstarting the Hula Valley. A group of Israeli techies has founded the Hula Valley - Community of Entrepreneurs in the Eastern Galilee. Playing on the (Silicon) Valley name, they want investors, tech firms and entrepreneurs to move to northern Israel, which they say is full of untapped opportunities and talent.

Desperately seeking hi-tech staff. Israeli tech and recruitment companies use innovative ways to attract hi-tech talent. Intel has comedy nights for candidates and issues raffle tickets with prizes of drones, computers and processors. Lightricks distributed thousands of coasters in popular bars. SQLink even holds singles events.

Huge Japanese delegation. 150 top Japanese businesspeople visited Israel recently – the largest ever. They signed six deals covering cybersecurity, digital health and automotive industries. Israeli entrepreneur Ran Poliakine and Honda also announced a partnership to bring AI and digitalization to the production line.

Smart road startup is really motoring. (TY NoCamels) I reported previously (see here) on the smart road technology of Israeli startup Velerann. Its platform is now being used by Highways England and by Transurban in the US and Australia. It is also working with Bosch, Jaguar and Land Rover.

Innoviz goes global. I reported previously (many times) on Israel’s Innoviz and its all-seeing LiDAR sensors. Innoviz has just launched new offices in the US, China, Japan, and Germany plus a new Israeli HQ. In June, Innoviz partnered with China’s HiRain Technologies to sell to Chinese automakers.

SolarEdge buys Italian EV tech firm. Israeli solar systems company SolarEdge Technologies is buying Italian industrial machinery company SMRE.  SMRE manufactures integrated powertrain technology and electronics for electric vehicles. It is part of SolarEdge’s plans to expand into electric vehicles.

Israeli at a stretch. Two of the four founders of multi-billion-dollar Elastic are Israel’s Shay Banon and Uri Boness. They founded their Elasticsearch open source search and analytics engine in the Netherlands and then moved its HQ to the USA.  It now operates in 35 countries and is opening an Israeli subsidiary.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

3D-printed sustainable garments and shoes. I’ve featured previously (see here) the 3D-printed fashion of Israeli’s Danit Peleg. Now Israel’s Ganit Goldstein has taken 3D printing even further, to produce a remarkable combination of sustainable fashion and art to international acclaim.  http://nocamels.com/2018/12/3d-printed-sustainable-garments-shoes-by-israeli-designer-wow-international-audiences/

An incredible hotel. Fodor’s Travel has included Tel Aviv’s LINK Hotel & Hub in its list of the 100 Most Incredible Hotels in the World. Guests use an app to check in and out, unlock rooms, control TV, air-con and lighting and to access the “virtual” concierge. It also has artwork, games, workspace and a street-side café.

Pink Floyd cover band rocks Tel Aviv. Having rejected pressure (including death threats) from BDS supporters, the UK’s Pink Floyd Experience played to a packed house in Tel Aviv.  During the performance, they even shared the stage with Israeli Pink Floyd cover band Echoes.

Shredding the waves in Netanya. The wintry weather last week was ideal for Netanya, as it hosted the international contest SEAT Pro Netanya - a totally radical surfing competition for top global surfers.

A research center for windsurfing. (TY Ellen) The Olympic Committee of Israel and Israel’s Technion have opened a joint research center initially to study windsurfing - a sport in which Israeli athletes regularly bring home international medals. The center will then move on to improving Israeli performances in other sports.


THE JEWISH STATE


Aliya is on the way up. Almost 30,000 Jews made Aliyah (immigrated) to Israel this year compared with 28,220 new immigrants in 2017, a 5% increase. 10,500 came from Russia - a 45% increase from 2017. Over 3,500 Americans made Aliya in 2018, boosting Israel’s population to nearly 9 million.

Ethnically apt food for the poor. Israel’s “ingathering of the exiles” has resulted in many different cultures and cuisines. Israeli charity Colel Chabad has recognized this and ensures that the food they provide to the poor relates to the recipients’ ethnicity and culture. https://unitedwithisrael.org/whats-in-the-box-unique-charity-prepares-ethnically-tasteful-food-packages-for-israels-hungry-citizens/

PM has another granddaughter.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s daughter, Noa Netanyahu-Roth, has just given birth to a baby girl - her fourth child. Noa lives in the Mea Shearim district of Jerusalem. Her husband is one of the many ultra-orthodox Jews working in the hi-tech sector.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHotti-82cA (2015 video of Netanyahu’s grandson’s brit)

WeWork founder is a proud Jew.  (TY Janglo) Adam Neumann – Israeli co-founder of multi-billion-dollar company WeWork - delivered a great speech at a UJA Federation event on what being Jewish means to him.

Tu Bishvat. (TY Jacob Richman & Jacques) Useful information about the Jewish New Year for Trees, including vocabulary, activities, graphics, clip art, greeting cards, photos, recipes, songs, quiz, games etc.  Also an article on the significance of the festival from Between The Lines

Planting a Jewish future. To mark the Jewish festival of Tu Bishvat, World Mizrachi made this inspiring video to highlight the love affair between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel.  With Zo Artzeinu they are planting 11,000 new fruit trees in Israel. The subsequent sites promote their “Trees of Life” Project.