The 29th Mar 2015 edition of Israel’s good news highlights include:
· Israeli scientists have discovered a new way to combat specific brain diseases.
· Two of the many examples of Israeli Arab and Jewish kids studying and playing together.
· The worldwide demand for Israeli cyber security products and skills.
· Israeli satellite technology is mapping forests across the planet
· The launch of IsraelActive.com – my brand new on-line database of Israel’s positive news.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Brain disease mechanism discovered. Researchers at Israel’s Ben Gurion University and the University of California have discovered a new molecular mechanism in a mutant gene that governs how ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) attacks motor neurons. They have also identified that the protein MIF inhibits this mechanism. The discovery is also relevant to other neuro-degenerative diseases.
BrainTech 2015. (TY Michelle) Here is a roundup by “neurotech entrepreneur” Yannick Roy of the first day of Israel Brain Technologies’ BrainTech 2015 Conference in Tel Aviv. The speakers focused on the main joint ‘brain initiatives’ being conducted around the world.
Israeli nanotechnology explained. TY Israel21c for a fascinating discussion of how Israeli scientists are engineering the tiniest parts of matter to make life better for millions of people around the world. Applications include a tiny robot transporting drugs to a cancer cell in your body; or artificial retina to restore lost sight.
A study, not to be sniffed at. One of the more unusual studies by scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute has uncovered that humans imitate one of the habits of dogs; by sniffing the odor of someone they meet. They do this by subconsciouslysniffing their own hand after shaking the other person’s.
Device to prevent heart failure. (TY Michelle) Israel’s Vectorious Medical has raised $5 million to take its miniature wireless hemodynamic monitoring sensory implant into human trials. The device measures and reports left atria pressure – a reliable early indication of cardiac deterioration, which medication can treat.
An even bigger heart. Israel’s SHL Telemedicine specializes in providing remote diagnosis and monitoring services for patients suffering from chronic heart failure (CHF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Its second German acquisition in two years is GPH, which monitors 10, 000 heart patients.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
The world leader in cyber security. (TY Michelle) To coincide with CyberTech 2015 in Tel Aviv, here is a link to the inside story of how the best and brightest Israelis go from the army’s elite cyber security unit to launch innovative startup companies. And this article explains why Israeli cyber security will continue to be a driving force in the Israeli hi-tech ecosystem. EvenChinese on-line shopping giant Alibaba is investing in it.
Cyber security for Portugal. Israel’s CyberGym has signed a NIS 45 million deal with the Portuguese electricity company Energias de Portugal (EDP) to plan, build, and maintain a cyber-defense training facility. CyberGym is jointly owned by the Israel Electric Company and Israeli IT company Liacom Systems.
UK announces 3 joint Israeli cyber Uni ventures. (TY Michelle) Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office responsible for cyber security, announced 3UK-Israel academic collaboration venturesthat will receive cyber research funding. They link UK’s universities of Bristol, Kent and UCL with Israel’s Bar Ilan and Haifa.
12 young science geniuses. Twelve teenagers won the top prizes in the Intel-Israel Young Scientists Competition in Jerusalem. Their projects covered medicine, mathematics, linguistics, music, anthropology and satellite technology. The twelve will travel to finals in Pittsburgh and Milan and receive academic scholarships.
Brainihack 2015. The winning project at this year’s Brainihack in Tel Aviv, Emochat, used a Neurosteer Brain Computer Interface device to interpret another person’s emotions based on their brain activity. So no need anymore to see facial expression or hear voice tone.
Microsoft’s opens new Haifa R&D center. 24 years after selecting Haifa for its first Research & Development center outside the US, Microsoft is inaugurating a new R&D center in the city. The new building will cover 7, 500 sq.m, houses 150 engineers and allows Microsoft to expand by hiring dozens more.
Multinational cooperation week. The Israeli R&D centers of Motorola, Microsoft, Marvell Technology, Deutsche Telekom, Citibank, Kodak, and GE are holding their third Weekathon in three years to develop new products together. Each company is sending up to 5 senior programmers to develop “the next big thing”.
Magisto revolutionizes Facebook. Magisto, an Israeli video storytelling platform with more than 55 million registered users, is a key part of Facebook’s newly launched Messenger Platform. Using Magisto’s patented AI technology, EmotionSense, text and photos are transformed into a video with music, motion and special effects.
Real-time road-traffic information. (TY Michelle) Israel’s Decell Technologies provides historical and predictive road-traffic information captured from smartphones and GPS-enabled car systems in Tel Aviv, Vienna, Prague, Warsaw and Bratislava. Decell has just been acquired by US-based AirSage.
Transforming the forestry industry. Israel’s Intelescope Solutions utilizes drone and satellite imagery to produce an accurate inventory of a forest. Forestry companies in the US, Canada, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, Indonesia, India, and China utilize services from Intelescope, which just raised $8.3 million of funds.
Citi launches tech challenge in Jerusalem. (TY David Levy) International banking giant Citi has launched the Citi Mobile Challenge in Europe (London & Warsaw), The Middle East (Jerusalem) and Africa (Nairobi). Developers can win $100, 000 and Citi support by building innovative solutions based on Citi’s digital platform.
Israeli scientists calculate Saturn’s “day”. (TY Geoff) Scientists at at Tel Aviv University have solved the mystery of Saturn’s days, determining that one day on the planet lasts 10 hours and a little more than 32 minutes – seven minutes shorter than originally calculated.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Economy improves. The Bank of Israel‘s Composite State of the Economy Index increased by 0.25 percent in February 2015. Reasons included increased house building, trade revenue and job vacancies. Also a surge in purchases of new cars, due to reduced taxes. And (TY Michelle) investment in Israeli hi-tech is surging ahead.
Israel Dealmakers Summit. About 250 Israeli startups and leading investors are taking part in the Israel Dealmakers Summit in New York. The summit is focusing on digital media, cleantech, Web infrastructure, medical equipment, big data and cloud computing. And (TY Michelle) Venture capitalists are eager to attend.
“Startup Nation” index. The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and BlueStar Indexes on Tuesday launched a “Start-up Nation Index” that will track Israeli tech companies listed both locally and internationally. The BlueStar Israel Global Technology Index (BIGITech) comprises 57 companies, with a total share value of $75 billion.
“Doing good, while doing well.”Impact Investing Israel has a mission to motivate investors and startups to develop real tangible and measurable benefits to mankind. It organized Israel’s first Impact Investing Conference, primarily for investors, but showcasing 11 Israeli startups that can improve the health of society.
Global leader in kids educational games. (TY Michelle) An excellent interview of Sagi Schliesser, CEO of Israel’s TabTale. Founded in 2010 to make kids games and education apps, it now publishes a game every week on iOS, Google Play, Amazon, and Windows. Its 350 games have been downloaded 600 million times.
Facebook hire more Israelis. (TY Michelle) Facebook Israel will be hiring 40 new employees – 30 for its R&D center and 10 for marketing. It is Facebook’s first recruitment drive since purchasing acquired Israeli startup Onavo in late 2013 and turning it into its Israeli R&D center.
Shopping for Israeli startups. Jonathan Wall, e-commerce director at UK’s Shop Direct, is in Israel to meet 15 Israeli startups, and hopes to find technology solutions to help increase his annual £1.7 billion sales of 50 million products to five million customers. (I featured Shop Direct’s link with Israel’s Cimagine last year.)