Israel's Good News Newsletter to 10th Feb 19



·         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.

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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. I 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.