History of Israel's Good News - Jan to Mar 2019

190217
In the 17th Feb 19 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Doctors have begun human trials using two innovative Israeli medical devices.
·         Israel celebrates International Women & Girls in Science Day.
·         Warsaw Middle East summit heralds a breakthrough in Israeli-Arab relations.
·         Record number of Israeli patents filed in the US.
·         Kibbutz hosts joint Israeli-European smart energy grid project.
·         A new Israeli air-purifier also warns of smoke and toxic gases.
·         More new direct airline routes from Tel Aviv to the USA and India.
·         Israeli Paralympic swimmer breaks world record by nearly 23 seconds.

·         Click here to see the 10th Feb newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel with extra feature on Medical (with 7,700 likes) and Technology. Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew.  Please pass on these links to German and Hebrew-reading contacts.  Also, articles from 10th Feb newsletter translated into Hebrew by middle school students from the Reali School in Haifa.

·         Also (TY Esty) please visit (and “like” and “follow”) the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.

·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of nearly 14,000 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should either click here or send a request (with their name) to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Human trials for X-ray surgical glasses. I reported previously (Oct 2017) on Xvision (previously VIZOR),  the Augmented Reality surgical navigation system from Israel’s Augmedics. Following testing on cadavers, Xvision is now undergoing human trials and has been successfully tested in six spinal operations.

The first wireless VAD. Doctors in Kazakhstan have implanted a wireless ventricular assist device (VAD) into a human for the first time.  The VAD is made by Jarvik Heart Inc but the technology for charging the battery was developed by Israel-based Leviticus Cardio. Wireless VADs have less risk of infection than wired VADs.

Better connections for dialysis patients. 50% of dialysis patients experience failure of their AV fistula – the tubes that connect their arteries and veins to the dialysis machine. Israel’s Laminate Medical has developed the VasQ – a vascular support device that protects the connection. It takes only one extra minute to implant it.

Nano wound protection. Israel’s Nanomedic has developed the SpinCare device - a portable electrospinning wound care system that remotely generates a nano-fibrous protective layer on the skin for tissue healing. The wound is never touched, preventing infection and bandages can be changed without sticking to the wound.

Treatment for pulmonary hypertension. Israel’s Teva has launched ALYQ - a generic form of Adcirca, to reduce the symptoms of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

Israeli cancer death rates drop.  Between 1995 and 2016, cancer deaths for Israeli Jewish men dropped by an average of 1.7% every year and for Israeli Jewish women by 1.6%. Cancer deaths for Israeli Arabs also dropped significantly. Although Israel has the 50th highest cancer rate in the world, it is 92nd for cancer deaths.

Finding donors for complex kidney patients. Israel’s Beilinson Hospital has implemented a new program that locates matching donors for kidney transplant patients who suffer from high levels of antibodies due to previous transplants or blood donations. It has already helped the hospital perform successful transplants for 39 patients.

Link between Celiac disease and Eating disorders. (TY Kay) Kay’s son-in-law Dr. Itay Tokatly-Latzer and his Tel Aviv University research team have linked adolescents and young adults with celiac disease (CD) to higher incidences of disordered eating behavior. Many CD patients exhibit excessive control over their food.

Health company’s $150 million fund. The Assuta chain of medical clinics and private hospitals, controlled by Israel’s Maccabi Health Services, has founded a venture capital fund for investing in medical devices in the later stages of development. It has already raised $35 million and plans to reach $150 million by mid-2019.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Women and girls in science. This video was released to mark International Women and Girls in Science Day. The Israeli women featured are Weizmann Professor Varda Rotter, Dr Or-Yam Revach and Orit Shahar.

Training for women in social technology. (TY Sharon) A group of 27 exceptional young women are working and studying in the 1st class of Carmel 6000 - a national service tech training program for volunteers to develop solutions with a social benefit.  Non-Israelis can also volunteer (like lone soldiers) to join this program.

Women’s summit in Jerusalem. US business magazine Forbes is hosting a first of its kind - the Forbes Under 30 Global Women’s Summit in Israel (Mar 31 – Apr 4). This event for top young female founders, leaders and mentors follows the 2018 Forbes Under 30 Global Summit when Forbes brought 800 business leaders to Israel.

Library for Haredi children with learning difficulties. (TY Sharon) I reported previously (Sep 2016) about Bnei Brak NGO Achiya which helps thousands of Haredi children with learning difficulties. Achiya has just opened a new library containing some 10,000 books plus facilities for sight-impaired and “special needs” kids.

Israeli-Arab degree students double. (TY Hazel) Israel’s Council for Higher Education (CHE) reports the doubling of Arab degree candidates in Israel over the last decade. Last year 48,627 Israeli-Arabs studied for degrees, thanks to investment to integrate the Arab population and improve their socio-economic standing.

Increased medical permits for Palestinian Arabs. (TY Fred) In 2018, over 20,000 permits were granted to Palestinian Arabs living in Judea and Samaria to enter Israel and receive treatment or support a patient who was receiving treatment in the Jewish state. This was an increase of 3,000 on 2017. Israel also trains PA doctors.

PM meets Arab leaders at Poland summit. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu joined Arab leaders at the US-organized Middle East conference in Warsaw. He sat next to Yemen’s Foreign Minister and was invited back to visit Oman. The BBC didn’t give it any importance, predictably.

Israeli aid for Venezuelan refugees. Friends of Ziv Medical Center raised funds for Venezuelan refugees with an event at the Sound Nightclub in Hollywood.  Meanwhile, Israel’s Ziv Medical Center is sending doctors to Brazil’s Northern Province, near the border with Venezuela, to treat many thousands seeking medical attention.

Bar-Ilan Uni ties with Macedonia Uni. Bar-Ilan University and UKIM University, Macedonia’s largest university, have signed new cooperation agreements. They cover the facilities of medicine, humanities and social sciences. https://www.jewishpress.com/news/global/europe/bar-ilan-university-signs-academic-cooperation-agreements-with-macedonia/2019/02/05/


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Israeli innovation at MWC Barcelona. Dozens of Israeli startups will be presenting at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (25 – 28 Feb 2019) They have solutions for telecom service providers, equipment vendors, smart device manufacturers; automotive, smart home, smart city and finance enterprises and users.

Exhibition of 50 innovative startups. “The Israeli Expo,” an exhibition showcasing 50 Israeli startups has opened at the innovation center at Tel Aviv’s Peres Center for Peace & Innovation. They focus on artificial intelligence, IT, digital health, ag-tech, and cybersecurity. The exhibition will be updated on a yearly basis.

Tel Aviv is 18th best hi-tech city. Savills real estate agency rated Tel Aviv 18th in their list of the world’s best high-tech cities. High spots included air passenger growth, startups per capita, talent pool, population growth and co-working rental cost. https://www.savills.co.uk/tech-cities/index.html#tel-aviv

Israelis file nearly 5000 patents in the US. Of the 340,000 patents filed in the US in 2018, almost 5,000 (1.44%) originated with Israel inventors. Numbers of Israeli patents has been rising steadily over the past 15 years. Back in 2004, Israeli-linked patents filed accounted for only 0.68% of all patents in the U.S.

Young Israeli scientists win $100,000 awards. The prestigious Blavatnik Awards recognizes Israeli scientists 42 or younger conducting “breakthrough research” in life sciences, chemistry, physics or engineering. This year Weizman’s Michal Rivlin and Erez Berg and Technion’s Moran Bercovici won $100,000 each.

Sky’s no limit for Anières graduates. In 2016, Anières (Naale) Elite Academy launched “Aeronautics in the Valley” - an enrichment program to teach high-school students the basics of aerospace engineering. Today, 15 graduates are in the Technion’s academic reserve program, before joining the Israeli Air Force as engineers.

University defense alliance.  Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and BGN Technologies, (technology transfer company of Ben-Gurion University) are to conduct joint research in cybersecurity, smart mobility, robotics and artificial intelligence. The first projects are on cyber threats to sensors in autonomous vehicles.

Heavy duty garment printing. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Kornit and its digital garment-printing systems. Kornit has just launched the Kornit Atlas - a heavy-duty system for super-industrial garment decoration businesses producing up to 350,000 impressions per year.

Smart sensor analyzes farm feed. Eurofins Agro UK is partnering with Israel’s SCIO and its hand-held, connected smart sensor, to launch an advanced on-farm feed analysis solution. SCiO provides farmers with real-time insight into silage requirements. The cloud-based system then adjusts for forecast rain, snow etc.

Fungus-resistant basil. A mildew epidemic has devastated sweet basil crops all over the world. Researchers from Bar-Ilan University and specialists at Israel’s Genesis Seeds have developed a disease-resistant sweet basil with the trademark “Prospera”. Israel exports $40 million worth of basil to Europe, Russia & US each year.

Kibbutz smart energy grid pilot. Former Austrian chancellor Christian Kern is chairman of Austrian-Israeli startup FSIGHT. Kern is currently visiting Kibbutz Ma'ale Gilboa where FSIGHT is piloting a smart platform for managing distributed energy grids. Israeli and European energy companies are also participating in the pilot.

Preventing ships from colliding. Israel’s Orca AI develops a sensor-based imaging technology to prevent collisions between maritime vessels. It has been installed on several Ray Car Carriers vessels as part of a pilot program.  Orca has just raised $2.3 million of funding.

Clean up the air in your house. Israeli startup Aura Smart Air has developed a combination of air purifier, smoke alarm and toxic gas detector, plus an app to measure air quality inside and outside and provide tips and advice. Its kickstarter project’s goal was to raise $15,000 and it has already reached nearly $100,000.

There you go. Israeli public transportation app developer Moovit, together with Microsoft’s Azure Maps and Dutch navigation developer TomTom have launched a joint trip planner. It gives all options (car, public, bike sharing, walking, parking) for a trip and was unveiled at the MOVE 2019 mobility conference in London.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

New record for foreign currency reserves. Israel’s foreign exchange reserves at the end of Jan 2019 climbed to a new record of $118.151 billion, up $2.872 billion from the end of Dec 2018,

Israeli startups on the road to China. At the Asian Financial Forum 2019 in Hong Kong, Israeli entrepreneur Jon Medved said that tiny Israel develops technology solutions and China provides for a massive scale-up of operations. An example is Israeli ag-tech, which increases food production for everyone.

Bringing Israeli startups to NYC.  B-Seed Investments is hosting a pitch from eight innovative Israeli startups on 24th Feb in Brooklyn New York City. They are Swathly (marketing), Class.Me,(Education),  Fertigo (medical), Verto (imaging), Enerjoy (marketing), Innovesta (finance), MyTower (IoT0 and MYTech (media)

Arkia to start two Tel Aviv to India direct routes. Israeli airline Arkia Airlines is to begin a direct weekly flight to India’s Goa state and twice-weekly to the city of Cochin (Kochi) in Kerala state. Flight times are around seven hours and will commence in September after the end of the monsoon season.

El Al to fly direct to Orlando. El Al announced, during the IMTM International Tourism Exhibition in Tel Aviv, that it is to launch direct flights to Orlando, Florida in the summer of 2019.  Tickets for the 13.5-hour Tel Aviv and 12-hour Orlando return night flights will go on sale shortly for a discounted price.

Share an electric scooter. Israeli startup Inokim is to launch its Leo electric scooter sharing service in Tel Aviv in March. It will initially operate 500 scooters, increasing to 3,000 by May. The service will then be expanded to Haifa and Eilat with 10,000 scooters by the end of 2019.

Intel appoints 7 new Israeli global VPs. Intel appointed seven Israeli executives to Vice President positions in its global operations, bringing the number of Israelis in these senior posts to nearly 20 of its 150 global VPs.

Boutique hostels for Tel Aviv. I reported previously (19th Aug) that Israeli-founded Selina was looking at possible sites in Tel Aviv to open boutique hospitality hostels. It has now announced that it will open the first of its Tel Aviv facilities this summer.  Selina currently has 10,000 beds at 44 sites in Latin America and Portugal.

Mind the Tech for chance to win $1 million. The semi-final of Trifecta, a $1 million startup competition, will be held during Calcalist’s 3rd annual Mind the Tech Conference, in New York on April 10-12. The final will be in Israel in June where the $1 million investment will be awarded by Israel-based firm Pitango Venture Capital.

Symantec buys Luminate for $200 million. I reported previously (18th Nov) that US cybersecurity giant Symantec had bought its 3rd Israeli company.  It’s now acquired a 4th – Luminate, for a reported $200 million - to “further extend… the power of Symantec’s Integrated Cyber Defense Platform”

The inside story on food trends. Israeli startup Tastewise can transform the strategy and decision-making of companies in the food business with its real-time industry data and predictive analytics. Tastewise is currently focused on the vast US market, but plans to expand, including to Israel where its R&D operations are based.

Giorgio Armani and Chanel coming to Israel. Armani Beauty, the beauty brand of Italian fashion house Giorgio Armani, is reportedly to open a store in Tel Aviv's Ramat Aviv Mall. The shop will offer cosmetics, skincare products and fragrances. Chanel is also opening in Ramat Aviv Mall and in the TLV Gindi Mall.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Celebrity chefs get the Birthright treatment. Culinary entrepreneur Herb Karlitz has brought a delegation of senior US chefs, food critics, stars of popular dining programs in America, and owners of well-known restaurants to explore Israel’s food experiences.

Listen to Israel’s music. The National Library of Israel, together with the Ministry of Culture and Sport, and the Digital Finjan project, have released Shiri (“my song”), a mobile phone app for listening to some 40,000 classic Israeli songs.  Available for download from the Android Play Store or the Apple Store.

Netta’s latest video has 6 million views. The video of Israeli Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai’s new song “Bassa Sababa” had received over 1.8 million views just three days after its release on 31st Jan.  As of 13 Feb, this had soared to over 6 million hits.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV1sjm9Lz_Q

Israel’s got magic. (TY Brad) Apologies, but I didn’t have time to include this video of illusionist Tomer Dudai’s performance when he won Israel’s Got Talent last year.  Well over six million hits across the Internet.

Paralympic swimmer shatters world record. Israeli Paralympic swimmer Mark Malyar, 19, has set a new world record for 1,500 meters Paralympic swimming.  Malyar, who has cerebral palsy, competed in the Wingate open competition and improved the previous record set in 2011 by almost 23 seconds.


THE JEWISH STATE

Israel’s young ambassadors. StandWithUs has launched the 13th year of its Israel Fellowship. It has recruited 150 articulate and diverse young Israelis, who have finished IDF service, to build bridges and educate people of all faiths and ages about Israel. By the end of 2019, the program will have graduated its 2,000th Israeli Fellow.

Indian Jewish manuscript displayed in Israel. The National Library of Israel has acquired a manuscript used originally by the India’s Bene Israel Jewish community. The 180-year-old book contains 94 pages of prayers in Urdu, from circumcision through to burial, transliterated into Hebrew script and then translated into Hebrew.

Start the day the Jewish way. In ancient Israel, the section of morning prayers called Pesukei Dezimra were sung. This video is a musical version of Psalm 150. Rabbi Jeremy Gimpel’s new e-book features musical morning psalms and he invites you to tour the Judean mountains to experience a new-old way to start the day.

Police save stray cat. Israeli Police detectives in Eilat were on duty when they noticed a stray cat whose head was trapped in a tin can. They carefully cut the can and released the cat. The cat didn’t stay around long enough to thank them, though.  https://unitedwithisrael.org/watch-israeli-police-rescue-stray-cat/


190210
In the 10th Feb 19 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An Israeli treatment uses a donor’s immune cells to kill cancer.
·         Israeli lasers reduce the ugliness of burns scars on children’s skin.
·         Israelis are World University debating champions again.
·         Israel is to build the European Space Agency’s lunar lander.
·         A new Israeli device produces water from the air at home.
·         An Israeli startup won the UN’s World Tourism competition.
·         Jerusalem has a new nature park.
·         A 2000-year-old Judean coin was discovered on an Israeli school trip.

·         Click here to see the 3rd Feb newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, IsraPundit, Janglo, and United With Israel with extra feature on Inclusive & Global (with 1,000 likes). Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew.  Please pass on these links to German and Hebrew-reading contacts.  Also, articles from 27th Jan newsletter and 3td Feb newsletter translated into Hebrew by middle school students from the Reali School in Haifa.

·         Also (TY Esty) please visit (and “like” and “follow”) the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.

·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 13,800 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should either click here or send a request (with their name) to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Immune response to donor cells can kill cancer. Israeli biotech Immunovative Therapies purifies and cultures healthy T-cells from an unmatched donor. The cells (called AlloStim) are injected into the cancer patient and after several treatments, boosts the recipient’s immune system to kill the tumors. Phase 2/3 trials in progress.

Shutting down cancer resistance. Israeli biotech Kitov has proved its NT219 anti-cancer treatment triggers irreversible shutdown of tumor survival pathways in multiple cancers. In a separate announcement, US biotech Coeptis will distribute Consensi - Kitov’s dual osteoarthritis pain and hypertension treatment in the US.

New molecules have “wonder” potential. Hebrew University of Jerusalem scientists have discovered 27 new molecules that could treat fatty liver disease, obesity, diabetic nephrotoxicity, and to heal wounds. They devised an algorithm to search a database of 1.56 million molecules for those with therapeutic potential.

Digital stethoscope goes global. I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s TytoCare and its digital stethoscope that diagnoses a patient and sends the data electronically to a remote physician.  TytoCare has now received European and Canadian approval to match its US approval and plans to expand in Europe and Asia.

Non-verbal communication. When hospital patients cannot communicate with their relatives, it can be very distressing for both. Which is why Israeli NGO Ezer Mizion the “Handbook for the Hospitalized Patient.” It is built as a flowchart - the patient then answers “yes” and “no” questions to communicate successfully.

Softening the scars. Young burns victims at the I-PEARLS pediatric center at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center receive treatment from Israeli-developed lasers. They include carbon dioxide (CO2) ablative lasers to safely and effectively reduce the devastating impact of scars in burned children.

Bio-med innovations on display in Jerusalem. (TY Sharon) 13 Israeli bio-techs were featured at Biomed World in Jerusalem, organized by non-profit JLM-BioCity and its volunteers promoting Jerusalem’s bio-community.  The 2nd video is of Avi Kleiman, who founded RenalSense after his father’s kidneys failed.

US healthcare covers Israeli migraine treatment. US prescription benefits manager CVS Health Corp. has added Teva’s new Ajovy anti-migraine treatment to its coverage.  Express Scripts (the largest prescription benefits management company in the U.S) has now added Ajovy to its national preferred formulary of 2019.

Find a doctor if ill overseas. In reported previously (19 Aug) on Israeli startup Air Doctor that locates a trusted physician if you fall sick abroad. It books an appointment and organizes re-imbursement via your holiday insurance company. Air Doctor now functions in some 15 countries and has vetted nearly 20,000 doctors.

You are not alone. Israel’s Wisdo is a social app that links those suffering from one of life’s challenges with those who have successfully negotiated that challenge. It already links 500,000 users who select one of over 100 conditions including anxiety, relationships, body positive, motivation and increasing happiness.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Great effort by special band. Israel’s Shalva band reached the final group competing for the right to represent Israel in May’s Eurovision Song Contest. The group, consisting of two blind singers and other “special” band members won their semi-final but withdrew due to Eurovision demands to rehearse on the Jewish Sabbath.

Druze hi-tech pioneer. (TY Fred) University of Haifa Professor Fuad Fares is a biomedical scholar and entrepreneur from Hurfeish, a northern Galilee Druze village. He founded and directs the Department of Molecular Genetics at Haifa’s Carmel Medical Center and lectures at Israel’s Technion Institute.

IDF saves elderly PA woman.  A group of IDF soldiers saved the life of an elderly Palestinian Arab woman suffering severe breathing difficulties at the Givat Assaf junction in Samaria. The soldiers immediately initiated first aid treatment and called for an ambulance to take her to the nearest hospital.

40 UN Ambassadors tour Israel. Israeli UN ambassador Danny Danon hosted a delegation of 40 UN ambassadors in Israel. He showed them the City of David and the Jewish history of Jerusalem, the Hezbollah terror tunnels and (most importantly) how small Israel was and therefore the challenges it faces.

Israel vice-chairs UN NGO committee. (TY Hazel) On 21st Jan (Martin Luther King Day) the United Nations elected Israel as Vice-Chair of the 19-nation Committee on NGOs, which oversees the work of human rights groups. Other committee members include Bahrain, China, Cuba, Pakistan, Russia, Sudan, Turkey and USA.

Small is beautiful. David Mataen of OurcrowdAfrica says Israel is the perfect “beta” country to test ideas, being small and secure. Israelis adopt new concepts early, with the most time spent on the Internet. Israel has the most cellphones and engineers per capita and a massive 4.5% of GDP is spent on research and development.

Radar defense for Finland. (TY Atid-EDI) ELTA Systems (part of Israel Aerospace Industries) is to supply ELM-2311 compact multi-mission radar systems to the Finnish army. The radars will help locate and track incoming rockets, artillery shells and mortars, and alert the army’s counter-weapons systems.

Mass-casualty training for Chile. The Israeli Embassy in Santiago, Chile initiated a four-day workshop on managing mass-casualty events. 100 members of the Chilean ambulance services, firefighters, army, police, local hospitals and City hall councilors participated in the simulation led by Magen David Adom.

World champion debaters. Israeli success at debating championships (see here) continues. Roy Schulman and Elaye Karstadt from Jerusalem ‘s Hebrew University won the 2019 World University Debating Championship in the English Second-Language category. The contest was hosted by the University of Cape Town.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Lunar lander for European Space Agency. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has partnered with Germany’s OHB System for a European Space Agency moon mission. IAI will provide a version of the lunar lander it helped develop for Israeli non-profit venture SpaceIL, which is preparing for a moon launch shortly.

Israeli hospital uses fuel cell energy. Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera became the first Israeli hospital to install a fuel cell generator to provide clean electricity. The hydrogen-based duration fuel-cell power generator from Israel’s Gencell replaces the polluting diesel generators that used to power the cardiac catheterization unit.

Israeli cyber-tech is dominant. The 450 Israeli cybersecurity firms (60 founded in 2018) export $5 billion of technology and products. A fifth of global investment in cybersecurity went to Israeli firms. Last week, Cato Networks (link) raised $55 million, Medigate (link) $15 million and Salt Security (link) $10 million.

From the IDF to Cyber defense. The IDF’s National Cyber Defense training center handpicked 30 IDF soldiers at the end of their 3-year army service and gave the basic tech skills to provide cybersecurity services to Israeli organizations. This is in addition to those who served in the IDF’s intelligence and cybersecurity units.

Solving archaeological puzzles. (TY Hazel) Scientists from Israel’s Technion Institute the University of Haifa have developed an algorithm that can analyze and reconstruct images of artefacts from photograph fragments. The technology was trialed on Cypriot Byzantine frescoes and is now being used in London’s British Museum.

An AI experience for Toyota cars. (TY OurCrowd) I reported previously (7th Jan) on the funding Toyota was giving to Israel’s Intuition Robotics. Intuition has now released details of its partnership with Toyota Research Institute (TRI) to develop its Artificial Intelligent Agent - a proactive, personalized, adaptive in-car companion.

Opening doors and the seat of power. Israel’s Vayyar is partnering with German automotive supplier Brose who will incorporate Vayyar’s sensors in its car door security, safety and car seat positioning systems.

Piloting hi-tech in state-owned companies. Five Israeli startups have been chosen to pilot their technologies and products in large Israeli government-owned companies. They are Cylus Cyber (see here), MER Group, AQUA HD, Datumate (see here) and Loginno.  Each will receive large financial grants to help with the testing.

Picking out the bad apples. I reported previously (Jul 2017) on Israel’s AclarTech and its AclaroMeter app to determine the ripeness and quality of fruit and veg. The company has changed its name to Clarifruit, launched a new website and video to explain its goal of helping reduce the current wastage of 45% of global produce.

Intel’s Israeli autonomous camera. Intel Israel has launched a new tracking camera designed to allow autonomous devices such as drones and robots to survey and navigate in areas without GPS service. The T265 camera uses 3D mapping technology and inside-out tracking to make it independent of external sensors.

Water, water everywhere. (TY Hazel) Israel’s Watergen, the “water from air” company has partnered with the American Red Cross to develop a new Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) to provide up to 900 liters of water per day in disaster zones. It is also launching “the Genny” - a home / office appliance for up to 30 liters per day.

A wristwatch for remote rescues. (TY Hazel) Israel’s Mobit Telecom has developed the SAT406 – a locator beacon worn on the wrist. It is designed for remote areas where cellular networks and GPS are unavailable or unreliable. It transmits to the Argos satellite every few hours and in emergency to the Cospas-Sarsat system.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

S&P affirms Israel’s high credit rating. Global credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s has solidified its August 2018 AA- high rating of Israel’s economy. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated, “This is a very strong expression of confidence in the economic policy that we have led in recent years.”

Tourism to Israel up 11% in January. Following a record number of visitors in 2018, Israel’s popularity as a tourist destination continues. 285,000 tourists entered Israel in January 2019 - an 11% increase on January 2018, and a 35% increase on January 2017. https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/January-tourism-to-Israel-jumps-by-11-percent-compared-to-last-year-579725

Tel Aviv is the multinational city of choice. More and more multinationals are establishing operations in Tel Aviv as it is an ideal place to pilot test new products before expanding globally. Bird, Wolt Enterprises, Yandex, Juul Labs and Mobike are just some of the multinationals to launch in Tel Aviv in 2018.

Bringing innovations to global markets. Yissum, the tech transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has opened three international centers, to help commercialize its innovations. The centers are in Chicago USA, Asunción Paraguay and Shenzhen China. Yissum says it expects to open more in the future.

Kibbutzim increase startup investments. I reported last year (Jan 2018) that Israeli kibbutzim invested some NIS 76 million in startups in 2017. In 2018 this soared by 45% to NIS 110 (some $30 million). Most kibbutzim have transformed from socialist agricultural communities into private organizations with hi-tech factories.

Israeli businesses are booming in Boston. In 2015, some 200 Israeli-founded companies based in Massachusetts brought in $9.3 billion in revenue. In 2018, ten new Israeli companies opened in the region, plus the first ever start-up incubator between IBM Israel, Brown University, and the University of Rhode Island.

Innovation Nation. Nice article describing JNF-USA’s partnership with Israeli NGO ii2020 and Tel Hai College to build the Beit Asher Food Innovation Center. Incorporating the JNF-USA Institute of Culinary Arts, it is poised to make the Upper Eastern Galilee a major world food capital.

Tel Aviv direct flights to Shenzhen. (TY Atid-EDI) China’s Hainan Airlines is launching a new route from Tel Aviv to is main hub in Shenzhen in China replacing Tel Aviv to Guangzhou which can be accessed in 30 minutes from Shenzhen by bullet train. Israelis can connect from Shenzhen to Osaka, Auckland; and Brisbane.

Israeli winner of World Tourism competition. (TY Hazel) I reported previously (23rd Dec) on the 4 Israeli finalists in the UN’s World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) competition. And the winner was … Israel’s Refundit which beat 2771 companies from 132 countries with its system to simplify the VAT refund process.

Harman partners Innoviz. (TY Calcalistech) I reported 3 weeks ago that Israel’s Innoviz was going global. It has now partnered with Harman (a subsidiary of Samsung) who will integrate Innoviz’ LiDAR sensors into its autonomous driving systems. Harman previously bought Israel’s IonRoad, Red Bend Software and TowerSec.

Microsoft’s Reactor hub. (TY UWI) Microsoft is to officially launch its event hub in Tel Aviv, one of a network of spaces the company refers to as “reactors”. Startups working on artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science can network and host events for up to 170 guests, free-of-charge.

Cisco adds on Israeli technology. I reported previously (Oct 2014) when Amazon Web Services designated Israel’s CTERA Networks to be a Storage Competency partner. Now Cisco will offer CTERA’s cloud storage, file sharing, and data protection services as an add-on to Cisco routers sold to global enterprise customers.

Samsung buys Israeli camera startup. I reported previously (Feb 2017) that Samsung and Apple had invested in the dual lens smartphone camera technology of Israeli startup Corephotonics. It looks like Samsung were so impressed that they bought the company, in a deal worth $155 million.

An excellent promoter of trade with Japan. (TY Atid-EDI) I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israel’s EyeSight and its driver monitoring systems.  EyeSight has just won an Excellence award for promoting trade relations between Israel and Japan in the field of computer vision and AI. It has also partnered with Samsung.

More UK cash for Israeli vehicle charge tech. I reported previously (12th Aug) that UK energy company Centrica had invested millions of dollars in Israel’s Driivz and its electric vehicle charging system. Centrica has now increased this funding and set up Centrica Mobility Ventures, dedicated to electric vehicle technologies.

Chemical-free treatment for headlice. I reported previously (Feb 2017) on the Novokid lice treatment from Israel’s TechCare. Now China-Israel Biological Technology (CIB) is partnering TechCare to jointly develop a range of products, based on Novomic’s technology, for China, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan.

Huge demand for Israeli mandarins. I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Orri Jaffa long-life, late season, easy-peeler mandarins. They are now exported to 45 countries – mostly in Europe. But this season the North American market is set to soar, with a 70% growth predicted.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Jamie Oliver comes to Tel Aviv. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has been spotted in Tel Aviv this week tucking into Israeli cuisine for what is reported to be his latest television show. Oliver went to Sultana vegan restaurant on Ibn Gabirol Street and sampled a vegan schwarma. He also tasted vegetarian food at Panda Pita.

New Jerusalem nature park. The Jerusalem municipality has inaugurated a new urban nature park “Nahal Zimri.”. The stream is home to deer, ibexes, reptiles, crocuses and special birds.

Things to do in Israel in February. Upcoming events include the Red Sea Jazz festival, a performance in Tel Aviv by Mastadon; the Tel Aviv marathon and Darom Adom.

The Eurovision key. Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai formally accepted the ceremonial key to the Eurovision Song Contest from Deputy Mayor of Lisbon Duarte Cordeiro. Lisbon hosted the 2018 contest. Huldai said his city would “make sure that the Eurovision this year will be the best show on earth in the coolest city in the world.”


THE JEWISH STATE

Ancient coin found on school trip. A student on a school trip discovered a rare 2000-year-old coin from the rule of King Agrippa I, grandson of Herod the Great (around 44CE). It was discovered at Nachal Shiloh (Shiloh stream) in Samaria. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/258184

Birthright breaks all-time-record. 2018 saw Taglit-Birthright bring a record 48,000 participants from around the world on a free 10-day tour to Israel. Since the launch of the initiative in 1999, some 650,000 young Jews from 67 countries have participated in various Taglit-Birthright tours.

New arrivals from Ukraine. 250 new Olim have just arrived from the Ukraine on a flight arranged by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. The IFCJ was founded by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein who passed away last week.   https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/As-conflict-with-Russia-goes-on-hundreds-of-Ukrainian-Jews-reach-Israel-579003  

Welcome from Ethiopia. 83 members of the Falash Mura community with relatives in Israel have arrived from Ethiopia. This editor of VeryGoodNewsIsrael will talk in Netanya on the 5th of March at a lunch organized by the Forgotten People Fund. Proceeds will go to purchase computer equipment for Israeli-Ethiopian students.


190203
In the 3rd Feb 19 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An Israeli startup has developed a platform to produce new cancer treatments.
·         An Israeli medic went to Mecca and saved a life.
·         An Israeli-founded NGO has bought an endangered coral reef in Belize.
·         A 130-person IDF team has been searching for survivors in Brazil.
·         Israeli scientists can purify radioactive-contaminated water.
·         Israel’s Space Week heralded two astronomic discoveries.
·         Intel is to invest $11 billion expanding its Israeli operations.
·         Israel won 4 gold medals at the first Israeli World Judo Grand Prix

·         Click here to see the 20th Jan newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, IsraPundit, Janglo, and United With Israel with extra feature on Medical. Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew.  Please pass on these links to German and Hebrew-reading contacts. 

·         Also (TY Esty) please visit (and “like” and “follow”) the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.

·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 13,700 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should either click here or send a request (with their name) to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Multiple attack on cancer. Israel’s Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies (AEBi) is developing an anti-cancer technology that identifies multiple peptides (small proteins) for targeting specific cancer cells and any mutations. Each treatment will also include a toxin to suppress the cancer’s ability to deactivate the treatment.

Using antibodies to treat damaged cells. I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israeli medical innovations to boost the immune system to fight diseases. Israeli biotech Biond Biologics is developing a platform to enable antibodies to enter cells, destroy tumors or treat autoimmune diseases. Biond just raised $17 million of funds.

Using yeast to find cures for metabolic disorders. Tel Aviv University researchers have uncovered a new pathway that can speed up the search for cures for hundreds of metabolic disorders that are fatal to infants. They have modified yeast cells to generate a toxic build-up of metabolites in the lab, for testing possible therapies.

US approval for bio bone-fixing pins. (TY OurCrowd) The US FDA has granted clearance to Israel’s Ossio for its OSSIOfiber family of bio-integrative bone pins, which secure broken bones during the healing process while leaving no permanent hardware behind.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhiHflP1nGE

Pfizer partners with Israeli AI biotech. (TY Calcalistech) I reported previously (16th Dec) on Israel’s CytoReason which uses an Artificial Intelligent learning model to discover treatments related to the human immune system. CytoReason has just partnered with Pfizer - its fifth alliance with a major company.

Partners to prevent dementia. The innovation arm of Israel’s Sheba Medical Center has partnered with Japanese telecom manufacturer OKI Electric Industry to set up a new joint research project that will focus on the prevention of dementia in high-risk middle-aged individuals.

How to measure pain. Israelis Yariv Adan and Ariel Assaf are the co-founders of Lab 39, developer of the Genie pain tracker. It comprises a wristband with sensors that track sleep patterns, physical activity and heart rate. Its partner is a smartphone app which requests the patient to enter a pain score several times a day.

Israeli medic saves life in Mecca. Refai Amer, a Muslim Israeli-Arab from Kfar Qassim is a volunteer medic for Israel’s United Hatzalah. He recently went to Mecca for the Haj, taking his medkit with him. In the middle of prayers, surrounded by around 7 million worshippers, he saved the life a man suffering from a hypoglycemia.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Special musicians. (TY Jacques) One of the front runners to be Israel’s representative at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is the Shalva Band. It is made up of eight special members - a group which was formed at the Shalva National Children’s Center in Jerusalem, through their music therapy program. Amazing video.

Buying land to save endangered species. The NGO TiME (This is My Earth) founded by Israel’s Uri Shanas, has purchased a marine area off the coasts of Belize containing corals with several endangered species. It is TiME’s third land purchase and first ocean site. The area will become a locally managed nature reserve.

Urban communal living. (TY Jacques) For those people who yearn for the Kibbutz social experience without leaving the big city, Israeli startup Venn has devised urban communal living. It comprises shared living spaces, shared transportation, community amenities, services and neighborhood events.

Celebrating Jerusalem’s mosaic of cultures. Jerusalem’s mayor Moshe Leon held the traditional annual reception for the heads of the city’s religious denominations - Jewish, Greek Orthodox, Catholic and Muslim. All spoke of their commitment to interfaith coexistence, tolerance, freedom of worship and the status quo.

Israeli rescue team flies to Brazil. Israel was the only country in the world to send a team to help search for survivors of the collapsed mining dam in Brumadinho, Brazil. The 130-member IDF search and rescue team recovered many bodies and tracked down a group of 15 people, believed dead but very much alive and well.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Wolf Foundation prize laureates. There were seven winners of the prestigious Wolf Prize in the fields of medicine, architecture, agriculture, chemistry and mathematics. They included Haifa-born architect Moshe Safdie, and Jerusalem-born Prof. David Zilberman who is an expert in agricultural and resource economics.

Purifying nuclear-contaminated water. The Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear disasters released deadly radioactive isotope Caesium-137 into the water supply. Researchers at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem have developed a new material known as the Alloxan Tray, that can bind Caesium-137 in water, thereby purifying it.

Ensuring the best quality screens. (TY Calcalistech) Israeli startup InZiv produces inspection equipment that identifies defects in the pixels of high-resolution screen displays. InZiv has just raised $2.5 million of funds to develop its tools for the new generation of advanced flat panel displays. https://inziv.com/

An app to make educational games. Israeli startup Tiny Tap is a social platform where families, teachers and students can create personalized educational apps. They can also play thousands of new games shared daily by a global community of educators and students.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcnng8p2tO4

Driving test for autonomous cars. Israel’s Foretellix develops a vehicle verification system for testing autonomous vehicles against a common standard. It includes millions of potential safety scenarios, even as unlikely as what to do if the car encounters a tsunami. Foretellix has just raised $14 million of funds.

4D imaging radar. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Arbe Robotics and its ultra-high-resolution 4D imaging radar. Arbe has just launched Phoenix - its automotive 4D product. The images are 100 times more detailed than other top industry radars and it separates stationary and moving objects in real time.

Decoding the strawberry genome. Israel’s NRGene, in partnership with Toyota’s environmentally-friendly DNA analysis initiative, has decoded the strawberry genome – one of the most complex in nature. It will help farmers in Japan breed local strawberry varieties. Japan is among the world’s highest raw strawberry consumer.

Sustainable farming with seaweed. I reported previously (21st May) on Israel’s Seakura which is growing 100 tons of seaweed a year on land in purified seawater pools. Yossi Tal, Seakura’s Chief Technology Officer sees the 30% protein seaweed as the future of low cost, sustainable, environmentally friendly farming.

A smarter seed. More information on Israel’s Equinom (reported here 23rd Oct) which is developing non-GMO seeds that produce high-yielding, protein-rich crops (including chickpeas, sesame, and soy) with less water consumption and reduced waste.  See how Equinom solved a 3000-year-old problem with sesame.

Israel Space Week. Israeli Space Week began on 28th Jan 2019 – 50 years after mankind’s first moon landing. Events held included Netanya (see here) and Jerusalem (see here) (and here)  and at the cinema (see here).  NASA’s Scott Kelly visited Israel – he holds the record for most time spent in space for an American.

How black holes feed. A team led by Tel Aviv University researchers have reported that supermassive black holes grow suddenly by devouring a large amount of gas in their surroundings. It follows an event in Feb 2017 known as AT 2017bgt when radiation emitted around the black hole in the Milky Way grew 50 times brighter.

New data about Saturn.  Professor Yohai Kaspi and Dr. Eli Galanti of Israel’s Weizmann Institute led the study into Saturn’s jet streams on the spacecraft Cassini’s space mission. They also helped calculate the age of Saturn’s rings – less than 100 million years.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgNzJ6hJO0U

Satellite startup award nomination. I reported previously (see here) on Israeli-founded Sky and Space Global and its nano-satellites. Sky and Space has just been shortlisted for an award in the category "Best Mobile Innovation for Emerging Markets". The winner will be announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Israel’s future scientists. Meet Rom Bachar and Hila Riblov - members of the team that, even before they reached the age of 18, launched nanosatellites into space. Also, Idan Raen and his pioneering work in astrophysics. Finally, budding neurologist Orit Shahar. Israel’s future is as bright as its stars.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Israeli bonds are so popular. (TY Ambassador Ettinger) The Israeli government had its most successful ever issue of Euro bonds. It sold 2.5 billion of 10-year and 30-year bonds. Demand was six times the amount issued, reflecting confidence in Israel’s economy.

Israeli government invests NIS 1.7 billion. In 2018, the Israeli government’s Innovation Authority invested in 920 Israeli companies, financing around 1500 projects worth a total of NIS 1.7 billion.

Intel to invest $11 billion in Israel. Intel is to invest NIS 40 billion (approx $11 billion) in its Israel enterprises and will open another plant in the southern city of Kiryat Gat.  Intel will also recruit 1,000 additional local staff.

Converting offices into hotel rooms. Israeli tourism is booming so much that the Israeli Ministry of Tourism is giving some $6.8 million of grants and holding a conference on converting offices in Tel Aviv and Jaffa into hotel spaces. They are expected to create thousands of hotel rooms.

Mellanox revenue exceeds $1 billion. Israel’s Mellanox earned over $1 billion for the first time in its history. Mellanox’s high-speed solutions accelerate the fastest supercomputers in the world. Intel is reportedly about to make a multi-billion dollar bid for the company.

NASDAQ launch for biotech. I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s BioCanCell which is developing treatments for bladder, ovarian and pancreatic cancers. It has changed its name to Anchiano and plans to list on NASDAQ. In December, Anchiano began a pivotal trial of its BC-819 H19 gene therapy for bladder cancer.

From solar power to electric vehicles. Israeli solar energy company SolarEdge has acquired Italy’s industrial machinery company SMRE. SMRE manufactures integrated powertrain technology and electronics for electric vehicles. https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3753695,00.html

Collecting data for smart Mercedes. I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Otonomo when it partnered with Skoda and received funds from Tata Motors.  Now it has partnered with Daimler to integrate Otonomo’s data gathering technology into Mercedes-Benz connected cars and offer owners 3rd-party services.

Buy when you commute. Israeli startup Enroute develops an e-commerce add-on for smart mobility apps. It encourages passengers to do their online shopping while on the train, bus, or taxi, by rewarding them with credit for future fares. Enroute has just partnered with DB Regio, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn railway.

The Game of Life. I reported previously (Feb 2016) on Israeli workload gamification startup GamEffective that incentivizes performance with rewards. Now, German Insurer Swiss Life Select has changed its entire sales operation to be handled through GamEffective's workload tracking and productivity software.

Support Israeli small businesses. My Israel Products (MIP) is a first-of-a-kind marketplace –a place to find only Israeli products, produced mostly by small and medium-sized manufacturers in Israel. MIP was founded to allow Israeli manufacturers to expand their clientele and reach millions of households around the world.

Eurosport takes Israeli marketing service. TV sports service Eurosport has signed a multi-year partnership agreement with Israel’s Outbrain. It will use Outbrain’s content discovery technology for 13 of its global markets, including Australia, the U.K. and Germany. Outbrain’s clients include CNN and Wall Street Journal.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Exhibition of recovered loot. Jerusalem’s Bible Lands museum has assembled a unique exhibit of ancient Holy Land relics that have been retrieved from antiquities thieves. The exhibit is entitled “Finds Gone Astray” and includes the stories behind the recapture of the precious items.

Tel Aviv’s Black Food Festival. Feb 6th marks the start of a special food festival in Tel Aviv.  It showcases food that is the color black – from bagels to macarons, ice cream and cocktails. Creators must use natural ingredients such as black coffee, dark chocolates, blackberries, and balsamic vinegar.

The women of the Bible. Israeli photographer Dikla Laor brings female biblical figures to life through the camera lens. Her “Biblical Women Series” includes Eve, Sarah, Rivka (Rebecca), Leah and Rachel, Lot’s wife, the Queen of Sheba, Deborah, and Jezebel, among over 40 such photographs.

One of the world’s top wine destinations. Israel is fifth on Vinepair’s list of the World’s Top 10 Wine Destinations for 2019. They recommended the Golan Heights Winery, Cremisan Wine Estate and Recanati Winery, among the 50-plus wineries in a land just 260 miles long by 70 miles wide.

John Cleese and Tom Jones.  Two British icons of comedy and music are set to perform in Israel this year. Monty Python co-founder John Cleese plans to visit Tel Aviv on 1st & 2nd Sept on his “Last Time to See Me Before I Die” tour. Meanwhile, Welsh music legend Sir Tom Jones has said he will perform in Tel Aviv in July.

Another baby rhino. Israel’s Ramat Gan Safari has announced the birth of a baby rhino – the 31st at the Israeli zoo. The new female rhino was born on Tu Bishvat – the mother, Keren Peles, had given birth to another calf, three and a half years earlier. Ramat Gan Safari has been prolific in its efforts to save the endangered species.

Seven medals as Israel hosts World judo event. 373 competitors from 53 countries came to Tel Aviv for Israel’s first-ever hosting of an International Judo Federation Grand Prix event. Israeli judokas won 4 gold medals, 2 silver and a bronze to top the table and help them in their goal of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.


THE JEWISH STATE

Gaza border beer. Craft brewery Alexander Beer has launched a special edition “Otef Aza” (Gaza Border) wheat beer, made in part from wheat harvested from fields belonging to Israeli communities bordering Gaza. CEO Ori Sagi promised that all profits from sales of the beer will go to the Israeli farmers.

Bnei Akiva celebrates 90 years. Around 1,000 representatives from dozens of communities from all over the world participated in the International Conference of World Bnei Akiva at Binyanei Hauma in Jerusalem. The gala event marked the 90th anniversary of the founding of the religious youth movement.

What makes Israel a democracy.  Video about the history of the Knesset – Israel’s parliament – and its central role today in the democratic State of Israel.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54C4jxa7ur8

Innovation, Imagination, Integrity.  Please watch Jewish National Fund President Dr Sol Lizerbram at the 2018 JNF National Conference. Hear JNF’s plans for the Galilee and Beersheva, especially the JNF Institute of Technology. And the JNF Boruchin Israel & Zionist Education Center program for teens to go to Israel.


190127
In the 27th Jan 19 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli scientists have strengthened white blood cells to destroy tumors.
·         14 severely disabled Israeli kids had fun racing in go-karts.
·         Israel and Chad have restored diplomatic relations.
·         Israeli drones will monitor and analyze Brazilian crops.
·         Israeli technology powers devices using energy from radio waves.
·         The UK’s first post-Brexit free trade agreement is with Israel.
·         An Israeli company is to secure a Spanish port.
·         A major discovery at the Biblical site of the Ark of the Covenant.

·         Click here to see the 20th Jan newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel with extra feature on the Jewish State. Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew.  Please pass on these links to German and Hebrew-reading contacts.  Also articles translated into Hebrew by middle school students from the Reali School in Haifa.

·         Also (TY Esty) please visit (and “like” and “follow”) the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.

·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 13,500 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should either click here or send a request (with their name) to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Arming white blood cells to fight cancer. Scientists at Tel Aviv University have discovered that the white blood cells called Eosinophils secrete powerfully destructive proteins that can kill tumors. When activated by the protein IFN-gamma, they induced an even greater immunotherapy response and a new anti-cancer pathway.

New biomarker helps detect high risk of cancer. Researchers from Tel Aviv University and others have found that high levels of the protein ubiquilin-4 cause cells to become prone to genome instability and more likely to develop into tumors. Once discovered, these cells can be treated with other forms of cancer therapy.

Successful trials of treatment for severe burns. I reported previously (see here) on the innovative NexoBrid treatment for severe burns from Israel’s MediWound. MediWound has just announced positive top line results of its pivotal U.S. Phase 3 clinical study. Dead skin was completely removed from 93% of trial patients.

US approval for groundbreaking inhaler. (TY Atid-EDI) The US FDA has approved the ProAir Digihaler made by Israel’s Teva. It is the first and only digital inhaler with built-in sensors that connects to a companion mobile app and provides relevant information to people with asthma and COPD.

The neurons that recognize a face. Researchers at Israel’s Bar Ilan University and in Paris have identified neurons in the human visual cortex that can selectively respond to faces. The discovery came while studying an epileptic patient that had micro-electrodes implanted in the vicinity of the Fusiform Face Area.

Breakthrough cancer treatment available to Israelis. (TY I24 News) The Israeli-developed CAR-T cancer treatment is one of NIS 460 million worth of new treatments added to Israel’s 2019 Health Basket. CAR-T has over 80% success rate, even in terminal cases. The new treatments will benefit an estimated 70,000 Israelis.

Record number of organ donations. Israeli doctors performed a record 592 organ transplants in 2018 - 13% more than in 2017. 258 were from live donors - mostly kidneys, including 106 from non-relatives for altruistic reasons. Dvora Ben Dror, who founded the Adi organ donation card system, passed away recently, aged 93.

Better ICU patient monitoring. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s RenalSense is conducting a study using its Clarity RMS critical care renal monitoring system at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The first study stage with 200 patients is complete. Now data will be collected and analyzed from an additional 2000 patients.

Personal sleep coaching. Israel’s SleepRate uses off-the-shelf sensors such as fitness belts and smartwatches to track sleep patterns and detect sleep problems, offering users personalized coaching for improved sleep. It is partnering with Dutch multinational Philips who will integrate SleepRate into its Better Sleep mobile app.

Israeli schools bring on the clowns.  The therapeutic benefits of medical clowns in Israeli hospitals (see here) is undisputed. Last year, Israel’s Education Ministry sanctioned an Educational Clown pilot at three Israeli high schools. It was so successful that this year the project has expanded to six high schools and one primary school.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Poverty declines. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s National Insurance Institute (NII) report on poverty in Israel in 2017 states that the number of children living in poverty declined by 23,700 - the first decrease in many years. The incidence of poverty among haredim (ultra-Orthodox Jews) and Arabs also fell.

Integrating Haredim into hi-tech. Bizmax is a relatively new business center for ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem residents. Its shared workspace supports 100 Haredi yeshiva students wanting to become entrepreneurs in Israel’s hi-tech industry. Bizmax partners with Achim Global - a similar but larger organization in Bnei Brak.

Karting rally for disabled kids. 14 paraplegic Israeli children enjoyed participating in Israel’s first ever para-rally. The kids had the unique thrill of racing in their own electric go-karts, custom-built for each child by teams of adult volunteers. Karting Israel in Beit Berl donated their track and other business donated food for the event.

An Arab-Israeli female Muslim bus driver. (TY BIG) Padila Sohila from the Arab town of Tira has driven buses for seven years. Passengers and fellow drivers are most respectful to her. Her aunt was the first woman in Tila to own and drive a car. Now, most Muslim women in Tira can drive, work and choose whom to marry.

Saved from flooding. (TY UWI) A woman from the Israeli-Arab town of Kfar Kana in the Galilee expressed her gratitude to the Israeli police who helped during the recent floods that devastated her community.

Helping Palestinian Arabs get to Mecca. Israel helps thousands of Moslem Palestinian Arab pilgrims travel to Mecca for the winter Hajj. Allenby Bridge crossing times from Israel into Jordan are extended. Extra Arab-speaking IDF personnel ensure the pilgrims enjoy a quick and safe crossing on the way to Islam’s holiest city.

Israeli doctor saved Abbas. The PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, 83, was hospitalized twice in May 2018 with chest pains, an ear infection requiring surgery and pneumonia. He accepted help from an Israeli specialist who travelled to Ramallah. His condition then improved considerably.

Diplomatic ties restored with Chad. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began a historic visit to Chad where he and Chad’s President Idriss Deby announced the renewal of diplomatic relations. His return flight was one hour shorter than the outbound leg, as Sudan allowed his plane to use its airspace.

Rescued by the Israeli navy. French sailor Jean-François Colas was lost in the Mediterranean for weeks. The Israeli navy rescued him and his boat drifting with no steering system and a broken radio. He had suffered a leg injury and was almost out of food and water. He laughed with relief, “There might be a god for me up there.”

Joint exercise with RAF. The Israeli Air Force will participate in a joint exercise with the UK Royal Air Force in Britain for the first time in September during the RAF’s annual Cobra Warrior exercise. Cooperation between the two air forces is high and new RAF pilots use an Israeli-developed flight training system.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

The world’s fifth most innovative nation. Israel is ranked 5th among the world’s most innovative economies, according to Bloomberg’s 2019 Innovation Index. The Startup Nation jumped five places thanks to increased patent activity and its high level of R&D professionals. Israel beat Singapore, Sweden, the US and Japan.

Swimming pool device to prevent drowning. Israel’s Coral Drowning Detection Systems have developed the Coral Manta system. It uses an underwater video camera, computer vision and artificial intelligence to identify a potential drowning situation. It then sounds an ear-piercing alarm and sends an alert to relevant smartphones.

Drones for Brazilian agriculture. (TY Hazel) Brazil’s Santos Lab is to use drones (UAVs) and advanced analytics from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for large scale agricultural applications. IAI’s BirdEye 650D UAV includes a hyper-spectral wide coverage imager, uniquely developed for the precision agriculture market.

Teaching cars to learn. I reported previously (see here) on the Artificial Intelligent image analysis system from Israel’s Cortica. Japanese semiconductor company Renesas Electronics is partnering with Cortica and will embed its computer learning technology into Renesas’ new system-on-chip for the automotive industry.

See clearly through the fog. 80% of automobile accidents occur at night, or in adverse weather conditions such as fog, haze and dust storms. Israel’s TriEye Technologies is developing a high-resolution shortwave infra-red (SWIR) camera that will help vehicle drivers see perfectly, even in low-visibility situations.

Never forget a face. I reported previously (Jan 2016) when Israel’s OrCam launched MyEye - a device for the visually impaired that recognizes faces and translates speech to text. Now, the OrCam MyMe wearable camera identifies people you meet and links to a work-balance app on your smartphone or smart watch.

DIY 3D scanning. Israel’s EyeCue Vision Technologies has solved the problem of how to generate 3D content. EyeCue’s app scans real life objects placed on a paper mat printed directly from the app.  It then takes multiple pictures and uses an Alternate Reality dome to create a 3D model for use in almost unlimited applications.

Feel the music. Israeli startup Woojer has developed a vest incorporating “haptic” technology. It gives the wearer physical sensations, converting musical sounds or Virtual Reality actions into vibrations transmitted via the vest. For a unique multisensory experience, it probably beats everything you can imagine!

Energy from Radio waves. Israeli startup Wiliot has developed a Bluetooth-enabled sensor that harvests energy from radio waves. It provides power to internet-of-things (IoT) devices, without the need of batteries or mains (wired) electricity.  https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3754182,00.html  

Air-conditioned bus stops. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Transportation Ministry is to launch a pilot in Eilat of “smart” air-conditioned bus stops. The enclosed modules will have automatic doors, interactive controls, touch screens and real-time schedules – all accessible to passengers with disabilities.

Whatever the weather. Israeli-founded startup ClimaCell develops a highly accurate weather forecasting system, capable of predicting the weather on a minute-by-minute basis. It uses data from weather databases as well as from wireless networks, internet-of-things (IoT) devices, and cellular networks.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Record investment details. The 2018 record $6.4 billion investment in Israeli hi-tech companies included $1.89 billion for Artificial Intelligence, $1.2 billion into Life Sciences and $1.08 billion into Cybersecurity. Significantly, the fourth quarter was the strongest with $1.82 billion investments in Israeli-linked companies.

UK’s first post-Brexit free trade deal is with Israel.  Britain’s International Development Secretary Liam Fox announced in Davos that a trade deal has been agreed in principle with Israel’s Economy Minister Eli Cohen. Israel’s UK Ambassador Mark Regev tweeted “excellent news for the rapidly-growing UK-Israel partnership”.

Israel is an Innovation Champion. Israel has been named as one of 16 global “innovation champions” by leading American trade organization Consumer Technology Association (CTA). The CTA rankings evaluate countries based on 14 categories, including freedom, broadband, entrepreneurship and resiliency.

Ramon International Airport opens. On 21 Jan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu landed on the inaugural flight to open the new Ramon International Airport 10 miles north of Eilat in southern Israel. Ramon is set to handle 2 million passengers a year in 2020, rising to 4.2 million by 2030.  

Free trade agreement with Ukraine. Visiting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko hailed as “historic” the signing of a free trade agreement with Israel. The 1500-page agreement will reduce the prices of Ukrainian goods in Israel and vice-versa, plus allowing companies from Ukraine and Israel wider access to markets.

Millions for Israeli startups. Israeli digital health fund aMoon II has raised $600 million to invest, mostly into mid-to-late-stage Israeli companies in the health and medical technologies field. Meanwhile, Israeli venture capital firm Magenta Venture Partners has launched a new $100 million fund destined for early-stage startups.

UK 5G accelerator for Israeli startups. At Tel Aviv’s Cybertech Conference (28-30 Jan) a delegation from the UK’s Midlands Cyber will showcase "Cyber Valley," the leading cyber hotspot in the UK. Israeli startups will be invited to join its BetaDen accelerator for developing and trialing applications on the new 5G network.

Business simulation winner. Meir Cohen, an MBA candidate at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, won the Capsim Challenge (Capstone league) competition to find who can best run a multi-million dollar simulated company. Bar Ilan is the first college in Israel to incorporate advanced simulation in its studies.

Three new Israeli routes for RyanAir. (TY Calcalistech) Irish low-cost airline RyanAir launches three new routes from Tel Aviv this summer – to Athens, Bucharest and Sofia. RyanAir Tel Aviv will have 12 routes to Tel Aviv, plus another 15 to Eilat. CEO Michael O'Leary plans to bring millions more tourists to Israel.

Managing US electric grid. (TY OurCrowd) I reported previously (Jul 2015) that Israel’s mPrest was adapting its Iron Dome technology to detect problems at US power plants. Now mPrest is implementing that technology and has partnered with top US energy utility Southern Company to enhance its systems.

Security for Spanish port. Israel’s Magal Security Systems has won a $2.5 million contract to deliver technology and services to the Port of Huelva in Spain. It includes anti-climb smart fences, plus day/night and thermal cameras using dual thermal and CCD technologies.

More exposure for bio-degradable plastic.  Israel’s TIPA environmentally-friendly packaging is on display at London’s Future Fabrics expo (Jan 24), Berlin’s Fruit Logistica (Feb 6) and Nuremberg’s BIOFACH organic trade show (Feb 13). https://tipa-corp.com/events/

Yofix wins top Pepsico award. I reported previously (21st May) on Israel’s Yofix and its vegan, dairy-free, soy-free yoghurts made from seeds and fruit with no added sugar, preservatives or color. Yofix has just won the top Euro 100,000 prize in Pepsico’s European Nutrition Greenhouse startup program.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Artistic gifts to world leaders. Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin has initiated the project “Israeli Hope” where students at Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy of Art and Design create unique works of art to be gifted to world leaders during presidential visits. President Rivlin gave their first gift to Pope Francis on visiting the Vatican.

A century of Bauhaus. 100 years since the establishment of Germany’s Bauhaus architecture design school, 4,000 iconic Bauhaus buildings are still prominent in Tel Aviv – giving it the name the “White City”. The buildings were designed by Jewish architects who fled Germany when Hitler came to power in 1933.

Explore Shoham Forest. Shoham Forest in central Israel’s Modi’in Region offers multiple recreational areas, seasonal flowers currently in full bloom, and many trails that are accessible to the whole family. There’s also an engaging archeological site where you can learn about communities that existed in the area in ancient times.

Good News from the Good Land. The weekly program “Israel on my mind” on Israel News Talk Radio showcases “good news” stories from Israel, awesome Israeli Technical inventions, and other stories of interest for Israel supporters. VeryGoodNewsIsrael readers should enjoy this program. Listen to 17th Jan edition here.

Lechayim to easyJet. On my last trip to the UK I was amused to read that the easyJet Traveller magazine had chosen an Israeli drink as their “Best cocktail in disguise”. The “Bellboy’s Bathtub” is a citrussy drink served in a miniature bathtub topped with edible foam and an (inedible) rubber duck. The Bellboy Bar is in Tel Aviv.

Israeli chess prodigy to compete in Tunisia. (TY Fred) Following pressure from the World Chess Federation FIDE, Tunisia’s Chess Federation agreed (in Aug) to allow 7-year-old Israeli Liel Levitan to participate in the World School Individual Championships in April.2019. Liel won the 2018 European Chess Championships.


THE JEWISH STATE

Home of the Ark of the Covenant. Remains of a massive 8th century BCE podium has been unearthed on a Judean hilltop. The site has long been associated with Kiriath-Jearim, where the biblical Ark of the Covenant rested for 20 years until taken by King David to Jerusalem (Samuel 1, chapter 7 and Chronicles chapter 13).

More discoveries after the rain. Recent heavy rains have revealed two beautiful clay figurines of horses in northern Israel. The first, from the time of the Kingdom of Israel (about 800 BCE), was found near Kfar Ruppin in the Beit Shean Valley. The other dates to the Hellenistic period (around 200 BCE) was found near Tel Akko.

Israeli lottery winners. A couple who made Aliya from France ten years ago have “hit the jackpot”, winning NIS 30 million ($8.1 million) in Israel’s first lottery of 2019. The religious couple kept their secret from the guests they entertained over Shabbat. After giving to charity, they intend to buy apartments for their children.

The seeds that you plant. Over a million Israelis participated in planting trees during the festival of Tu Bishvat. No wonder that the Land of Israel was one of the few countries to start the 21st century with more trees than it had 100 years earlier. Also (TY Sharon) Tu Bishvat as experienced in Jerusalem.

Knesset celebrates 70 years.  Tu Bishvat is also the anniversary of the foundation in 1949 of Israel’s parliament – the Knesset.  Some 2,000 children and other guests participated in a variety of events including the creation of flowers from recycled materials. Tu Bishvat is celebrated today as an ecological awareness day.


190120

·         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 this week, articles translated into Hebrew by students of the Reali middle school in Haifa.

·         Also (TY Esty) please visit (and “like” and “follow”) the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.

·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 13,500 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should either click here or send a request (with their name) to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


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 supermarket 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.

190113
In the 13th Jan 19 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli scientists have discovered a major link to the aging process.
·         An Israeli device dramatically improves post-CPR survival rates.
·         An Israeli NGO helps African farmers grow high-yielding crops.
·         The EU is funding development of Israeli satellites to monitor the climate.
·         An Israeli startup is to irrigate 15 African countries including South Africa.
·         Funding has been approved for 15 joint US-Israeli hi-tech projects.
·         Both CNN and NYT recommend Israeli destinations to visit in 2019.
·         A new mineral has been discovered on Mount Carmel.

·         Click here to see the 6th Jan newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel with extra feature on Inclusive & Global. Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew.  Please pass on these links to German and Hebrew-reading contacts.

·         Also (TY Esty) please visit (and “like” and “follow”) the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page. And the newsletter student translators from Haifa’s Reali middle school are featured here.

·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 13,500 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should either click here or send a request (with their name) to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Removing damaged cells slows aging. Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have discovered that senescent (damaged) cells promote inflammation, common in age-related diseases. Absence of the LMNA gene (that kills senescent cells) causes premature aging. Treatment to destroy these cells (e.g. boosting immunity), slows aging.

US approves focused ultrasound for Parkinson’s. (TY Atid-EDI) I’ve reported (several times) on the success of Israel’s Insightec in treating patients suffering from Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and essential tremor. Insightec has just received FDA approval for the life-changing Exablate Neuro treatment to be used on US PD patients.

US approval for 3D heart imaging system. I reported previously (Oct 2017) on Israel’s CathWorks and its FFRangio real-time AI 3D imaging of the coronary tree to help surgeons perform heart catheterizations. The US FDA has just given approval for the unique visualization system, which already has European CE certification.

Keeping your sugar intake in check. I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Sweetch and its app to help pre-diabetics maintain a healthy lifestyle. This article describes how Sweetch is so personal, it can even detect the weather and suggest indoor activities on cold wintry days. See the Get.Up app on iOS or Android.

Lung function testing from home. (TY WIN) Asthma and COPD sufferers will pleased to hear that Israel’s NE Field diagnostics has a simple pulmonary (lung function) test for use at home. Breathe normally into the A-Spire device and a smartphone app checks the results, saving vast numbers of unnecessary hospital visits.

An app to help communicate. When Ayelet Avraham saw a deaf person having problems buying a cell phone, she and another student at the Holon Institute of Technology developed DAS (Deaf Access Solution). DAS uses Google’s Speech Recognizer to translate speech into text and send it to the phone of the relevant nearby person.

Minimally invasive stitching combats obesity. A gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy are two radical procedures to reduce stomach volume and curb obesity. But now Israel’s Nitinotes is developing Endozip - a 30-minute gastrointestinal automated suturing system, inserted through the mouth with minimal anesthesia.

Raising CPR survival rates. In a UK survey of 8,000 heart-attack resuscitations, only 2.8% of patients were still alive 30 days later due to low blood flow to the arteries and brain. The HemaShock device from Israel’s Oneg Hakarmel (developer of HemaClear - see here) takes blood from the limbs to maintain essential organs.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Free dental care up to age 18. (TY Janglo) The Israeli Cabinet approved a proposal by Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman to extend the dental care reform until the age of 18. To date, dental treatments have been given from age of 8 to age of 16. The decision comes into force immediately.

Supporting Bedouin women in the Negev. The Israeli Arab-Jewish non-profit organization AJEEC-NISPED works with the Arab-Bedouins of Hura in the Negev. One of its projects is the Al Sanabel catering business. 20 Bedouin women prepare 8,000 school lunches, transforming these women into proud family breadwinners.

A year of medical support for Palestinian Arabs. I reported previously (May 2017) on Project Rozana which raises funds to help Israeli hospitals treat sick Palestinian Arab children. Here is Rozana’s latest report on its work using Israeli excellence in healthcare, to benefit the Palestinian Arab community.

Arab Muslim candidate on Likud party list. Israel’s right-wing Likud party introduced Dima Tayeh as its first Muslim Arab-Israeli candidate in the 9th April Knesset elections. It provides a strong reminder that Israel is a diverse, inclusive, and democratic society. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sisNHs9m9sQ

Sodastream to open factory in Gaza. At Jerusalem’s Globes Business Conference, Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of Israel’s Sodastream announced plans to open a manufacturing facility in Gaza. “We want the people in Gaza to have jobs, real jobs, because where there is prosperity there can be peace,” Birnbaum said.

Food security for developing countries. Israeli NGO Fair Planet brings the best quality seeds to Africa’s poorest farmers. It has helped 50,000 farmers in Ethiopia increase yields five-fold, doubling their income and given food security to 250,000 Africans. It is now expanding its project to Tanzania.

Training first responders in India and Sri Lanka. (TY UWI) The American Jewish Committee (AJC) and United Hatzalah have teamed up to train first responders in mass casualty incidents and disaster management at numerous locations in India and Sri Lanka.

Partners for the future. (TY UWI) This video was produced to accompany December’s Israel-Greece-Cyprus summit in Beersheba. It highlights a seminar for innovators, the undersea gas pipeline, a Tel Aviv forum for 200 business people, joint firefighting exercises and the signing of an agreement on cybersecurity.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Israel aims to be a Quantum superpower. I reported previously (see here) on Israeli research into Quantum computing. The Israeli government is now investing NIS 100 million in a research fund focused on quantum computing, which potentially can solve problems that current technology cannot.

Discovering co-existence in physics.  Israeli and Danish scientists have managed to engineer magnetic forces between two non-magnetic materials. It has great technological potential for developing electronic devices that require magnetic and conductivity to co-exist. An entire new scientific area called Spintronics has been opened.

Europe funds Israeli micro-satellites. The European Research Council has granted 14 million Euros to Israel to build 10 shoebox-sized satellites for analyzing small clouds and their role in the climate. The mission is named CloudCT, inspired by medical CT (computed tomography) used to map the interior of a patient.

Smarter images from space. I reported previously (Feb 2017) that Ben Gurion University scientists were developing high resolution cameras for space-based imaging. They have now advanced to Synthetic Marginal Aperture with Revolving Telescopes (SMART) combining partial images from multiple nanosatellites.

Images from the Sun. I reported previously (25th Nov) about the image sensor of Israel’s TowerJazz onboard the NASA Parker Solar Probe spacecraft. NASA has now received the first images of the corona taken by the probe – the closest any spacecraft has orbited the Sun.

27 of the best Israeli products at CES.  (TY Hazel) 22 Israeli companies are in the Israeli pavilion at CES Las Vegas.  But there are many more Israeli products on display.  The Israel21c article describes 27 of them.

Use Eve to set up your new hardware.  I reported previously (Jul 2017) on Israel’s TechSee which uses an  Artificially Intelligent smartphone service called “Eve” and your smartphone camera to help you resolve technology problems. TechSee has just raised $16 million to expand business and move into sales. Great video.

Saving lives on the road. I reported previously (18th Nov) on Israel’s NoTraffic that allows cars with smart sensors to optimize flow through traffic lights. This video shows that the system has a much more important benefit – preventing accidents with other automobiles and pedestrians.

Car and driver work as a team. Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) can now handle 99% of the driving but when it comes to complex situations a human must make the decision.  The AV platform from Israel’s Ottopia, uses a remote human teleoperator to guide the vehicle in these cases, but the car’s safety features are still in control.

Another Israeli anti-drone system. Israel’s Convexum (Latin for drone) has developed a product that takes over drones flying in urban areas lands them safely in a pre-determined area.

More on the flying car. I reported previously (25th Nov) on Israel’s New Future Transportation (NFT) and its prototype electric car with wings that aims to solve congestion, while being affordable at $50,000. It will take-off and land vertically, is fully electric with a driving range of 100 miles and flying range of 300 miles.

Irrigating Africa. South Africa’s AECI subsidiary Nulandis has signed an agreement with Israel’s SupPlant to market SupPlant’s technology in South Africa and 14 other countries in Africa. SupPlant’s sensor-based system autonomously waters crops, optimizes water consumption and alerts farmers of the state of crops, soil, air etc.

Healthy shrimps to feed the world. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s ViAqua develops a particle-based method for orally administering antiviral medication to combat deadly viruses in shrimp – a global market worth some $18 billion. ViAqua has just received investment from Singapore’s VisVires New Protein Master Fund.

Plants can hear. (TY Janette) Tel Aviv University scientists have found that the evening primrose flower (oenothera drummondii) can hear the approach of pollinating bees and hawk-moths and produces extra and sweeter nectar in response. They also replicated the sounds synthetically and produced the same response.

The next generation of AR. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (Oct 2014) on Israel’s Fieldbit and its leading-edge augmented reality (AR) smart glasses app. Fieldbit 5.0 has just been launched, with its advanced AR allowing support engineers to guide end users through problem resolution without expensive field visits.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Less early exits and fewer failures. Israeli high-tech “exits” declined by 33% in 2018 amid a maturing of the local tech ecosystem, according to PwC’s Israel 2018 Exits report. Also, less Israeli start-ups close each year; the IVC Research Center reported a steady decline from 710 failures in 2014 to 352 failures in 2017.

Tel Aviv recycles London skyscraper. Due to recession, construction on London’s 288-meter Pinnacle Tower was halted in 2008. Now the same design is to be used for the 350-meter high Spiral Tower at the Azrieli Center in Tel Aviv. Scheduled to be completed by 2025, it will be Israel’s second-tallest building.

Funds for 15 joint US-Israel projects. The Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) foundation announced it is investing $6 million into seven joint clean-energy projects between Israeli and American companies and another $7.3 million into eight joint innovation projects.

Uni launches student-run VC fund. Ben-Gurion University has launched Cactus Capital, a student-run VC (venture capital) fund. It will serve as an academic-educational tool to encourage innovative ideas in the high-tech, biotech and social fields. The $1 million fund will invest in dozens of groups of students each year.

Smart transportation for Michigan. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Innovation Authority and Michigan’s PlanetM are to co-finance testing future autonomous technologies in Michigan. Israeli companies will receive support for conducting field tests and piloting of the technologies developed by pilot sites in Michigan.

Israeli-inspired Via returns to its roots. Via’s Israeli founders came up with their start-up idea in an Israeli mini bus taxi van. They now operate their carpooling service in 11 countries and are confident they can succeed on Israel’s roads. Passengers request a ride and Via’s algorithms calculate the best route for each van.

Amazon buys Israeli disaster recovery start-up. Amazon Web Services (AWS) has acquired Israeli cloud computing start-up CloudEndure (see here) for around $200-$250 million. Amazon stated, “this acquisition expands our ability to deliver innovative and flexible migration, backup, and disaster recovery solutions."

Verint buys Israeli emergency response start-up. I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s NowForce and its life-saving mobile apps for emergency response. NowForce has just been acquired by US business intelligence and cybersecurity company Verint Systems.  

EU grant for Israeli cloud security. (TY Atid-EDI) The European Commission has awarded a 2.2 million Euro grant to Israel’s Minereye “to provide EU companies with innovative and effective solutions to ensure secure and compliant cloud adoption which is currently lacking in the market today”.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

One of the most memorable travel destinations. Conde Nast Traveler included Israel as one of their nine most memorable travel destinations. Beth Lusko - head of revenue for Condé Nast Traveler - reminisced about watching her “children marvel at all the wonders Israel has to offer, old and new, magical and humbling.”

The best places to visit. It is very rare to see anything nice about Israel in the New York Times or on CNN. But the NYT has just named Eilat as its sixth top place to visit in 2019. And CNN selected Jaffa as one of 19 “must-visit” places in 2019.  https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/israel/192894-190110-eilat-named-nyt-s-sixth-top-place-to-visit-in-2019  http://nocamels.com/2019/01/cnn-travel-jaffa-19-places-2019/   

Hidden gems of Haifa. (TY Janglo & Israel21c) The best-kept secrets in this beautiful northern Mediterranean beach town are intriguing, full of cultural and are great fun. They include the Israel Railway Museum, the Vortman Winery, Pnina BaCarmel Spa and Tel Shikmona.

Famous soprano marries in Israeli-designed dress. Soprano Laura Wright married Harry Rowland wearing a breath-taking ivory lace dress by Israeli designer Alon Livne. Livne’s designs are favored by Lady Gaga, Naomi Campbell, Kim Kardashian and Beyonce. Hello! magazine exclusively covered the event.

A stillness above me. (TY Janglo) Koolulam and Eshkol Regional Council invited 3,500 people to sing the tune of love in the Gaza borders and the south of Israel. Performing ״Me'alay Dmama" ("Stillness above me") by Ahuva Ozeri and Shai Tsabari in three-part vocal harmony, their music and flashlights lit up the night sky.

Supplying tickets for Manchester City. Israeli-based ticket supplier SportsEvents365 has signed an agreement with (Arab-owned) English Premier League soccer champions Manchester City to supply match tickets for the next 2.5 seasons. SportsEvents365 operates in 50 countries.


THE JEWISH STATE

A great year for the JNF.  In 2018 the Jewish National Fund acquired homes for 5,000 Israelis; provided services for 50,000 Israelis with disabilities; gave agricultural training to 1,200 3rd world students; provided medical treatment to 27,000+ Israelis; gave Israel education to 14,000 elementary students in US schools.

Good rain. Israel’s December rainfall was double the average for the month and the wettest in the past 30 years. During the past week, the level of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) rose 15cm in just 48 hours. The rain was also responsible for exposing two 1700-year-old Roman statues in the ground at Beit She’an.

Tu Bishvat (New Year for Trees) is coming. Tu Bishvat this year falls on the 20/21st January, but Israel is celebrating all month. Ideas include picking fruit, winter walks in National Parks, planting trees, the Anemone Festival Darom Adom, and visits to wineries.

Chabad care for IDF in Hebron. The Chabad organization is well known for caring for Jews globally, but it also works in Israel. Rabbi Cohen and the students of Hebron Chabad visit every local IDF outpost, checkpoint and base before Shabbat and Jewish holidays to support the soldiers emotionally, spiritually and materially.

Unique mineral found on Mount Carmel.  The International Mineralogical Association (IMA) has recognized and approved a new mineral found in one of stones of Israeli gem miner Shefa Yamim. Named Carmeltazite, the mineral was found on Mount Carmel in a Carmel Sapphire.

From Sudan to Israel to Judaism. Michael Derek Tanju was saved by IDF soldiers when (age 14) he was shot by Egyptian soldiers while crossing into Israel in 2008. A refugee from Sudan, he fell in love with his host families and those who supported his conversion to Judaism and becoming a citizen of the Startup Nation.

Cancer victim gets soul time at the Kotel. (TY Chani) When a 10-year-old terminal cancer sufferer requested to be taken to the Kotel (Western Wall), it was thought impossible. The car had to take him right up to the wall; his immune system meant no crowds; organizing police and medics. But NGO Ezer Mizion made it happen.

190106
In the 6th Jan 19 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Two discoveries about an enzyme could transform the fight against viruses and cancer.
·         Israeli artificial intelligence has detected thousands of brain hemorrhages.
·         Israel has the only sterile educational recovery center for children with cancer.
·         Brazil’s President awards highest honor to Israel’s Prime Minister.
·         An Israeli startup has produced healthier pure orange juice.
·         As the first direct flight arrives from Brazil, Israel welcomes its 4-millionth tourist.
·         Honduras is moving its embassy to Jerusalem.

·         Click here to see the 30th Dec newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel with extra feature on Inclusive & Global and Technology.

·         Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew.  Please pass on these links to German and Hebrew-reading contacts. Also (TY Esty) please visit (and “like” and “follow”) the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page. And special this week - Hebrew translation by students of Reali Middle School of selected articles from 23rd Dec and 16th Dec newsletters.

·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 13,500 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should either click here or send a request (with their name) to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

New ways to fight viruses & cancer. Parallel international research involving Haifa and Bar Ilan University scientists have discovered the key role of enzyme ADAR1 in the immune system and how it can become a new pathway for eradicating viruses and cancers.

Cause of heart failure in pregnancy. Israeli researchers at Tel Aviv University and Sheba Medical Center have found the cause of PPCM (Peripartum cardiomyopathy) heart failure before and after giving birth. They discovered a functional defect in the heart cells that should lead to early diagnoses, prevention and treatments.

No more pain. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s ZygoFix has conducted the first human trial of its innovative zLOCK spinal facet joint fixation system. One day after the minimally invasive procedure, the 67-year-old woman’s back and leg pain went from level 9 to level 1 and after six months it was zero.

Post-mastectomy surgical dressings. (TY Atid-EDI) Every year over 13 million mastectomies, lumpectomies, reconstruction and aesthetic breast operations are performed. Israel’s Ezbra is the first patented disposable dressing tailor-made for such operations. Comfortable, absorbent, time-saving and protective against infections.

Saving lives in Massachusetts. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Clew Medical and its AI system to warn of deteriorating ICU patients. Clew is now partnered with UMass Memorial Medical Center in Massachusetts, using its advanced analytics engine to enhance UMass’ patient care.

Hadassah accelerates with IBM. (TY Atid-EDI) Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center and IBM Israel have established a special accelerator for startups to develop advanced technological solutions and services in digital medicine. They will have access to IBM and hospital resources and staff.

World’s leading DBS company. I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s (Arab-owned) Alpha Omega and its Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) device for treating disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. Alpha Omega has 100% market share in Israel and is active in the US, Europe and now (thanks to a $7 million investment) China.

Gut reaction in treating IBD. (TY Calcalistech) I reported previously (see here) on BiomX. The Israeli biotech has now partnered with Janssen - the therapy R&D arm of Johnson & Johnson. BiomX's XMarker microbiome-based platform will be used to classify responders to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) therapies.

Why is LDL cholesterol bad? Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have identified that the problem with LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is when excess LDL is deposited on blood vessel walls. It oxidizes into a toxic substance that triggers immune cells to form crystals, leading to inflammation and arterial disease.

Brain bleed diagnostic finds 140,000 anomalies. (TY UCI) I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Aidoc and its AI tool for analyzing brain scans to detect a hemorrhage or risk of a bleed. Now in use at 50 medical institutions, Aidoc has analyzed 300,000 scans and detected 140,000 anomalies.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

US Ambassador packs food for the needy. US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and his wife, Tammy, helped package food for needy families at a charity in Jerusalem. 40 employees of the US embassy in Jerusalem volunteered to lend a hand at Colel Chabad’s Pantry Packers that supports 8,500 Israeli families of all religions.

World’s first daycare for cancer kids. (TY Jacques) Israel’s “Daycare of Dreams,” is known as the “world’s first sterile educational and recovery center” for children with cancer. For its 35 children, it’s the first time they can play with other kids. And, for the 80% that heal, it prepares them to re-integrate into society.

40% of Israeli-Arab women employed. The employment rate of Israeli Arab women rose by 3.8% in 2018, following a 2.5% increase in 2017. Almost 40% of Arab women are employed, two years ahead of the Israeli government’s target for 2020. The Taub report attributes the increase to higher education levels.

Extraordinary times in Israel-Arab relations. Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, President Rabbi Marc Schneier, describes his work bringing understanding and normalization between Israel and the Arab Gulf states: "We're living in extraordinary times," and “you cannot separate out Israel from Judaism”, he states.

Israeli-sponsored community center in South Africa. Israel's ambassador to South Africa unveiled a luxurious community center in Johannesburg. The community center will benefit 400 children in one of the toughest neighborhoods - in the town of Soweto, on the outskirts of South Africa's biggest city.

What is Israel doing in Indonesia? The IsraAID team is working to restore access to safe water for an entire community of more than 300 families - over 1,400 people. It also led hygiene promotion training at elementary schools, and distributed education and household supply kits to many families who lost their homes.

Israeli PM receives Brazil’s highest honor. As soon as Jair Bolsonaro was sworn in as Brazil’s President, he went over to hug Benjamin Netanyahu, making the first visit to Brazil by an Israeli Prime Minister. He also awarded him the National Order of the Southern Cross – Brazil’s most prestigious medal for foreign dignitaries.

Israeli moonshot to contain the best of humanity. On Israel’s Feb 2019 moon mission, the landing vehicle will carry Israel’s Declaration of Independence and national anthem; the Bible; the memories of a Holocaust survivor; children’s drawings of space and the moon; art, science, tech and literature; and the Traveler’s Prayer. https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/first-private-israeli-lunar-mission-beresheet-to-launch-in-february/


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Vaccine for koi fish. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s KoVax has developed a “KV3” vaccine, which helps prevent Koi Herpes Virus, a highly contagious disease that can cause significant mortality in common carp farms. KoVax has just been acquired by Phibro Animal Health Corporation in New Jersey but continues its Israeli R&D.

Better juice, less sugar. (TY WIN) Israeli startup Better Juice has partnered with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to reduce the load of simple sugars in 100% orange juice. They have converted the fructose, glucose and sucrose into non-digestible sugars and fibers. All the good vitamins remain intact.

More Israeli automobile security. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel has so many security solutions for connected vehicles. Saferide Technologies’s vSentry combines multi-layer cybersecurity with Artificially Intelligent profiling and anomaly detection technology. SafeRide has joined non-profit GENIVI’s Alliance of vehicle software vendors.

Protecting privacy on the Internet. Israeli cybersecurity company Kape Technologies has developed the VPN CyberGhost to protect the privacy of individuals. Kape’s CEO Ido Erlichman spoke about the technology on ILTV.  Kape’s other software includes a repair tool for faulty PC operating systems.

3D imaging on a chip. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (see here) on the amazing sensors of Israel’s Vayyar. Now Vayyar has launched its mmWave 3D Imaging System on a Chip (SoC) kit. Potential uses include obstacle avoidance, security, automatic door openers and posture detection. Even the BBC was impressed.

A better call-center. Israeli based startup Voicenter offers a software-based phone system that combines all necessary call center solutions in one easy to use platform. Voicenter founder Nitzan Gutman explained more on ILTV. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYsEeWy48jI  https://www.voicenter.com/

The Internet of soil. I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israel’s CropX and its smart irrigation system. CropX is set to deploy a network of automated irrigation systems worldwide, based on "Internet of the soil." CropX has deployed 2,000 sensors in 40 countries, including the US, Canada and Australia.

Your own personal sleep zone. Israel’s Napup has produced a combination headrest, eye mask and integrated speakers for the ultimate in in-flight comfort. The leaders of Napup explained more on ILTV.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Record funding for Israeli startups. (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli startups have raised $5.7 billion in the 11 months to end Nov. This easily exceeds the $5.24 billion raised in the whole of 2017 (the previous record).

Israel’s well-documented economic optimism. Ambassador Yoram Ettinger has highlighted some positive economic indicators in his latest report. They include two multi-billion-dollar acquisitions of Israeli companies; record venture capital investments; and endorsements from HP, South Korea, China and the Economist.

Why China likes Israeli ed-tech. 15 Israeli entrepreneurs and educators attended the Global Education Summit in Beijing. Chinese families demand quality education, making China the largest education market in the world. Lack of quality teachers drives Chinese investments in self-study or remote-study platforms.

Number of tourists exceeds 4 million. 4 million tourists from all over the world visited Israel in 2018, the highest number ever. Great weather, diverse culinary, the cultural scene and some of the most beautiful places in the world - make Israel a great travel destination. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNYbNpGdFuQ

LATAM’s first direct flight to Israel. I reported previously (15th Apr) that Latin America’s largest airline, LATAM, planned direct flights from Brazil to Tel Aviv. The inaugural LATAM flight, originating in Santiago, Chile, then flew direct from Sao Paulo to Tel Aviv. Scheduled services operate Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday.

AI helps employees get the best jobs. Melanie Holly Pasch of Israel’s Gloat was interviewed on ILTV about how Gloat uses Artificial Intelligence to connect skilled workers to personalized job opportunities.

A new shopping experience. Israel’s SuperUp is the world's first eComMarketing platform for enterprises to provide their consumers with the highest standards of online shopping. The end customer receives personalized recommendations - in real time.

Ethical Insurer goes Israeli. (TY Atid-EDI) Ecclesiastical Insurance has selected Israel’s Sapiens as part of its aim to transform its ethical UK and Irish business. Its property and casualty/general insurance will use Sapiens’ IDIT suite and Sapiens’ Reinsurance replaces its general insurance systems. https://www.sapiens.com/news/ecclesiastical-insurance-group-selects-sapiens-property-and-casualty-insurance-suite-as-its-new-core-platform/

More jobs for Americans. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel-based Omen Casting is investing over $15 million to increase its production in Richmond, Indiana, providing 200 new jobs by 2022. Omen makes steering components, drivelines and oil pumps for the automotive industry. Eight Israeli companies operate in Indiana.

Eldan advert shows the best of Israel. Only in Israel would an advert for a car rental company (Eldan) be a PR promotion for the whole country.  Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Dead Sea, Eilat, the Galilee,

Using AI to predict the market.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli-founded BetterTrader.co identifies significant stock market events in real time. It then uses historical data and artificial intelligence to calculate the magnitude of these events and predict market reaction. https://bettertrader.co/

Mellanox powers Alibaba. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Mellanox has successfully deployed its RDMA over Ethernet (RoCE) 25Gbps ConnectX network adapters in Alibaba’s production network. Mellanox adaptors are now accelerating the performance of a wide range of Alibaba’s applications, including its key online services

J P Morgan wants Israeli skills. JPMorgan Chase, the largest US lender, is increasing its technology presence in Israel, joining other global financial firms seeking to benefit from the country’s large pool of fintech experts. It plans to employ as many as 200 engineers at its Herzliya office in the next two years.

Energizing Gaza border communities. (TY Hazel) Israeli solar-cell printing start-up Utilight is to construct two manufacturing plants in Gaza border communities to boost their economy. Utilight’s innovative laser printing technology produces superior, cheaper and lighter solar cells, with improved energy harvesting.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Things to do in Israel in January. There are many great events and other things to do in Israel in Jan 2019. The cultural, sporting, and music events across Israel are a testimony to the rich cultural life of Israel.

Hiking the Holy Land. Many hiking trails in Israel pass through incredible biblical, historical and archeological sites. Ancient synagogues, Crusader monasteries, fortresses, Nabatean towns, and much more. Erez Speiser has built the website www.hike-israel.com to promote nature and hiking tourism in Israel.

Israel’s bobsled team. Israel’s bobsled and skeleton team has high hopes of competing in the 2022 Olympics.

Watch any sports event you want. Israel’s WSC Sports automatically creates (for media companies) real time, on-demand videos of TV broadcasts of sports events.  Customers of those media companies can request to watch any event they wish.  WSC Sports founder and CEO Daniel Shichman explained more on ILTV.


THE JEWISH STATE

CU4I tops 5 million. US pro-Israel organization Christians United for Israel has now exceeded 5 million members, with one million joining in the last 10 months. Founder and chairman Paster John Hagee said, “we’re eager to keep this momentum going to further strengthen our nation’s deep bond with Israel.”

Israel’s minorities speak out. Reservists on Duty (RoD) combat anti-Semitism and anti-Israel activity on US college campuses. Its Minorities Group, comprised of Arabs, Druze, Muslims, Bedouins, Christians and even some Palestinian Arabs. Arab-Israeli citizens speaking positively about Israel makes a big impression.

Safeguarding Israel’s lands. Hashomer Hachadash brings volunteers from all over the world to help Israeli farmers by protecting their livestock and fields. See Ayelet Kaufman, Director of Hashomer Hachadash’s overseas program on ILTV.

Donation funds new Hadassah department. Hadassah-WIZO received a $6.5 million endowment - the largest endowment fund gift in the organization’s 100-year history.

Honduras to move embassy to Jerusalem. Honduras will be moving ahead with plans to open its Israel embassy in Jerusalem, and Israel will upgrade its Honduran consulate to a full-fledged embassy. Israel will provide Honduras help on cyber security, water and agriculture technology and import Honduran coffee.

Rebuilding Jerusalem’s Tiferet synagogue. I reported previously (Nov 2016) on the Tiferet Israel synagogue in Jerusalem. It was one of the largest synagogues in the old city, until the Jordanian Arab legion cynically destroyed it in 1948. 90-year-old Simcha Mandelbaum, who prayed there as a boy, launched its reconstruction.

Reali good students. (TY Marlene) Students at the Reali Middle School in Haifa have translated more VeryGoodNewsIsrael newsletter articles into Hebrew for the benefit of Hebrew-readers.