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The Weekly Good News from Israel : Business, Science, Technology and the Economy

Michael ORDMAN BLOGGER FRONT

ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Proton beam destroys tumors.  Israel’s Hil Applied Medical has patented lasers that perform safer, focused radiation cancer therapy using positively charged ions (protons).  Hil’s revolutionary reduced-size, economical lasers can bring proton therapy to many of the 300, 000 US cancer patients and others who can benefit from it.
 
Laser treatment for nail fungus.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Gentle Pro YAG lasers from Israel’s Syneron Medical can now treat onychomycosis (nail fungus) – affecting 10-12% of the population and especially dangerous for diabetics.  Laser heat is safer than oral alternatives and more effective than topical treatments (i.e. creams). Syneron has also developed a laser that can remove tattoos.
 
Acne treatment knocks spots off alternatives.  As Israel’s Foamix prepares to go public, enter Phase III trials and get FDA approval, the latest results of its acne treatment are impressive; 72% reduction in pimples for 150 patients with moderate to severe acne during the 12-week treatment period; and zero side effects.
 
Good trial results for new asthma treatment.  Israel’s Teva reported that Phase III trial results for its asthma treatment reslizumab reduced the frequency of attacks by 50 – 60% compared to placebo.
 
Asthmatics need to check Vitamin D levels.  A study of 21, 000 Israeli asthmatics showed that those with a Vitamin D deficiency were 25 percent more likely to have an asthmatic attack than those with normal levels.  Vitamin D is known to play a role in regulating the immune system.
 
 
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
 
Speech analysis can profile personality.  Ben Gurion University researchers have developed a new computer-based personality profiling methodology that can decipher the actual feelings of an individual. When used to analyze speeches of Presidents Obama and Putin it produced some interesting assessments.
 
Samsung enhances HD TVs using Israeli technology.  Samsung has selected the Adaptive Video Accelerator (AVA) from Israel’s Giraffic to provide Internet video streaming for its smart High Definition TVs.  Giraffic’s AVA software virtually eliminates the need for re-buffering, to provide reliable, high quality, video download.
 
Backup your smartphone while it’s re-charging.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Don’t worry if you lose or break your smartphone.  With bleep-Smart from Israeli start-up Musers, your data is backed up every time you charge the phone’s battery.  Contacts, history, pictures, videos, WhatsApp – it’s all saved to a secure memory stick.
 
Is it safe to eat?  Students at Israel’s Technion are raising funds to support their project to develop the “Safie” – a biological system that detects very low concentrations of bacteria, unsafe chemicals, toxins, hormones and allergens in food and water.  Please help them to realize their aims.

Sell unwanted vouchers to those who want them.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Israeli start-up Zeek has built a crowdsourcing mobile app to help customers sell their unused gift certificates or store credit (at a discount) to those who can use them. The app also warns about expiry and your proximity to the relevant stores.
 
Microsoft chooses Israeli digital pen.  Microsoft has chosen Israel’s N-Trig to provide the digital pen technology for its new Surface Pro 3 tablet computer.  N-trig provides high performance controllers and a variety of active pen types for touch-enabled smartphones, tablets and Ultrabook devices.
 
A tugboat for wayward satellites.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Israeli start-up Effective Space Solutions (ESS) is 18 months away from launching its micro-satellite “tugboat” to maneuver communications satellites that fail to get into their correct orbit.  It will also be able to take satellites into a safe “graveyard” orbit at the end of their life.
As free as a “Bird”.   Tel Aviv Radio TLV1’s start-up of the week is Israel’s MUV Interactive, which is developing the “Bird” – a device that turns any surface (e.g. your sofa or wall) into an interactive touch screen simply by wearing a ring on your finger.  Listen to the 7-minute interview on TLV1.
 
Water treatment for the nuclear energy industry.  Israel’s RWL Water is supplying mobile water treatment systems to one of America’s response centers that deliver non-emergency equipment to America’s nuclear energy facilities.
 
The world prints with Israeli technology.  Indigo Digital Press was founded in 1977 in Israel, specializing in digital offset printing presses and was acquired by HP in 2001. HP Indigo has developed and grown to become a world leader in the digital printing industry
Israel completes 11.6km tunnel.  Israel’s longest tunnel has been completed after 22 months of work. The tunnel forms part of the 57km (28 minutes) Jerusalem – Tel Aviv rail link via Ben Gurion airport. A new station is under construction at the western entrance to Jerusalem. The entire project costs NIS 7 billion.
 
 
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
 
Unemployment down again.  Israel’s unemployment rate fell in July, to 6.2%, from 6.5% in June.  The number of people in full-time jobs (35 or more hours per week) rose by some 27, 000, or 1% compared to June.
 
Israel’s tech start-ups “thriving” despite Gaza conflict.  Embassy of Israel in London’s Nathan Tsror says, “Despite the fact that over 70 per cent of the country has been exposed to increased volumes of rocket attacks, the robust Israeli economy continues to operate as normal with very little impact from the conflict.”
 
Jordan to buy $15 billion of Israeli gas.  The Leviathan partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Jordan for the export of $15 billion of gas over 15 years. The agreement will make Israel Jordan’s principle supplier of natural gas in the coming decades.
 
Developing water in Kazakhstan.  Israel’s Mekorot National Water Company has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Kazakhstan for a program to develop the country’s water resources. Geographic constraints are causing a water shortage in Kazakhstan.
 
Israel secures European nuclear power station.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Israel’s DSIT Solutions has received an order for its Underwater Security System to protect am unnamed European Nuclear Power facility.
 
Tracking cargo in Africa. (PR Newswire) Israel’s Pointer Telocation has been awarded a $1.3 million supply contract to provide tracking solutions for an unnamed customer in Africa.  Pointer’s advanced cargo and monitoring devices will enable safe and efficient delivery of goods between various countries in Africa.
 
Israel launches first Asian start-up incubator.  StartupEast is the only accelerator in Israel having extensive business networks across Asia, including Singapore, Hong Kong and Seoul. Its goal is to bridge between Israeli innovation and the immense market opportunities, which Asia presents.
 
Apple opens Israeli sales office.  (Thanks to Nevet – www.broaderview.org) Technology giant Apple will soon open an official office in Israel for marketing and sales.  Apple already employs 600 (mostly Research & Development) staff.  Apple is building new offices in Herzliya Petuach to house all its employees.
 
Aston Martin opens Israeli sales office.   I doubt if we will see Mossad agents driving around Israel in the Bond car, but I expect that at least one of Israel’s successful entrepreneurs will splash out $2 million on an Aston Martin Vanquish.  I just hope that he/she doesn’t try driving 300km / hour down my street.
 
Israel’s come a long way in 30 years.  Comparing Israel’s 1984 statistics with 2014 really puts its economic miracle in context: GDP rose from $30bn to $300bn; GDP per capita from $7k to $38k; Foreign currency deposits from $3bn to $89bn; exports from $10bn to $90bn; and its public debt ratio fell from 280% to 66%.
 
Israeli agro-tech is a game-changer for Virginia.  Ralph Robbins, executive director of the Virginia Israel Advisory Board (VIAB) has developed the model “Ecosystem for Success” in order to promote Israeli companies that can bring benefits to the agriculture of the US State of Virginia.
 
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