In the 11th May 2014 edition of Israel’s good news:
GDP per capita hits new high. Israel’s gross domestic product for the fourth quarter of 2013 crossed the NIS 1 trillion mark ($302 billion) for the first time ever. The figure was over a third more than the previous high of $226 billion in Q4 2010. As a result, 2013’s GDP per capita also hit a record high – NIS 130, 700 ($37, 500).
Currency reserves at new record. At the end of April, Israel had the equivalent of over $86 billion in foreign exchange deposits – nearly 1 billion more than at the end of March. Israel’s National Reserve Fund due to the natural gas program now totals over $3 billion.
Israel cuts bureaucracy to help entrepreneurs. Economy minister Naftali Bennet has unveiled his new “Regulation Light” plan to promote more entrepreneurship in Israel. New businesses will get a five-year grace period on some regulatory activities in order to make it easier for them to develop and market their products.
R&D between Victoria and Israel. The Victorian Government of Australia will grant up to $250, 000 for Victorian companies to work with Israeli companies on research and development in science, innovation and technology. The Israeli Government will offer Israeli companies soft loans of up to 50% of R&D expenses.
New mums can build startups too. Israel has several networking groups for mothers with babies who want to start their own businesses. Organizations such as “WeDream”, “Yazamiyot” and “Google Moms” are helping women with babies learn the skills necessary to become entrepreneurs.
The perfect recipe for a great sunshine trip. Unusual for the UK’s Daily Mirror – a very positive article recommending Israel. Its mixture of ancient and modern; Tel Aviv’s trendy bars; 300 sunshine days; fine hotels; plus, “a brilliant country that embraces its past and also looks ahead to the future with a bright smile.”
Israeli sitcom sold again. The US Turner Broadcasting System cable network has purchased the rights to make a version of the Israeli situation comedy “Savri Maranan”. The pilot episode of the renamed “Your Family or Mine” will air at the start of 2015. The ABC network also bought the show in 2012 to make “Tribes”.
66 great Israeli companies. On Israel’s 66th birthday, fellow blogger Naomi Goldberg lists 66 companies that make her proud to be Israeli. They include some that I hadn’t even heard of.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Israel’s top Nanotech company. Qlight Nanotech won the Best Nanotechnology Company of the Year Award at the NanoIsrael 2014 conference. Qlight uses semiconductor nanocrystals to make products for flat panel displays and efficient LED lighting. The technology reduces power consumption of TVs etc. by nearly half.
Re-charge your phone from a streetlamp. Thanks to landscaping company Pashut Yarok (Simply Green) Herzliya residents can re-charge the battery of their cell phone free-of–charge from one of seven solar-powered streetlamp charge spots at the city’s main junction. Each pillar has a USB socket and an automotive spark plug,
Israeli technology identifies criminals automatically. Israel’s Extreme Reality has developed video software that can interpret the movements of a person and detect anomalous behavior. Extreme Reality has just been selected as one of the Red Herring Top 100 Europe companies for 2014.
Catching out cyber-criminals. Israel’s BioCatch is a cyber security company with a difference. It has developed software that recognizes the hand to keyboard movements of genuine customers and alerts the on-line website owners when an unauthorized person tries to access a customer’s account.
Israeli water filter to help grow bigger fish. Israel’s BioFishency provides an affordable water filtration system for fish farmers that minimizes water usage and produces larger, healthier fish. A pilot site is to be set up in Jericho. The fish waste will be used as organic fertilizer for local date palms.
Wearable Israeli technology. Israel’s first Wearable Technology Conference takes place on 12th May in Tel Aviv. Speakers include Steve Mann, who is commonly known as the father of wearable computing. One of the highlights will be a half-hour session of rapid-fire pitches from 10 Israeli wearable computing start-ups.
Why airlines need Israel’s C-MUSIC. (Thanks to Nevet) One shoulder-held surface to air missile fired at an American aircraft could be devastating to the U.S. economy. C-MUSIC (Multi-Spectral Infrared Countermeasures) from Israel’s Elbit’s is the most advanced defense system against missiles.
Israeli 3D printer helps make blood-recycling machine. UK’s Brightwake used the Dimension 1200es 3D printer from Israeli-US company Stratasys to create models of the parts for its Hemosep machine. Hemosep recovers blood lost or spilled during open-heart surgeries and recycles it back into the patient.
An app to fight BDS. Rabbi Avi Schwartz, son of the legendary Palmah commander Mordechai Schwartz has launched a PR app to enable users to have the necessary knowledge and resources to protect the Jewish state. (Android version ; iPhone version)
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Israeli lab develops blood test to detect cancer. Miami-based Eventus Diagnostics (EventusDx) has its Research & Development laboratories in Moshav Ora, near Jerusalem. They have developed blood tests to measure cancer-specific antibodies produced by the immune system in response to the growth of tumors.
US approval for Israeli loss of vision monitor. The US FDA has just approved ForeseeHome, developed by Israel’s Notal Vision, which allows patients suffering age-related macular degeneration (AMD) to monitor the progression of the condition in their own homes. It is vital to identify immediately when “dry” AMD changes to “wet” AMD at which point they can be treated.
CML patients can now be treated at home. The US FDA has just approved the home administration of Teva’s Synribo (omacetaxine mepesuccinate). Physicians who treat adults with chronic or accelerated phase Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) can now administer Synribo therapy in the patient’s own home.
Greys Anatomy highlights Israeli technology. (Thanks to Israel21c) Viewers of the popular TV show Greys Anatomy saw actress Sandra Oh (who plays Dr Cristina Yang) encounter Israel’s RealView Imaging. In real life, RealView’s three-dimensional holography helps surgeons plan the steps of delicate, complex procedures.
Ukranian mayor wakes up in Israel. Gennady Kernes, the Jewish mayor of Kharkiv who was shot and critically injured in the Ukraine unrest has regained consciousness in Haifa’s Rambam medical center. Kernes underwent two major operations in Israel to treat the damage to his lungs, stomach, liver and spine.
Another medical miracle. Adi Huja needed 120 units of blood when she was wounded in the 2001 Sbarro terrorist bombing in Jerusalem. Professor Avi Rivkind of Hadassah hospital told Adi that not only will she fully recover, but that he’ll one day dance at her wedding. 13 years later, Adi danced with Professor Rivkind.