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Good news from Israel

In the 28th Jun 2015 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

  • Israel’s “cancer breath-test” professor has now invented a Tuberculosis skin test.
  • The Arab director of an Israeli nature reserve won a global environment award.
  • Jerusalem’s new hi-tech recycling plant serves one million residents.
  • A joint Israel-Norway air navigation project receives EU funding.
  • Israel won 2 gold medals at the European Games.
  • Israel is the 5th happiest country, according to the OECD.



TB skin patch wins Gates award.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel Technion’s Professor Hossam Haick has won a Gates Foundation award to help development of a sensing plaster that can detect tuberculosis biomarkers on the skin.  Professor Haick is already famous for his nanotech breath analyzer that detects cancer.

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Universal flu vaccine heads for clinical trials.  Israel’s BiondVax has received FDA approval of its application to proceed with clinical trials of its universal Multimeric-001 flu vaccine (M-001).

50 young spines straightened.  The Israeli ApiFix system has now been used to correct scoliosis (deformed spines) in 50 adolescents since the minimally invasive system was approved for marketing in Europe in 2013.

CuPID prevents falling.  The CuPID project, co-directed by Tel Aviv University’s Dr. Anat Mirelman, has developed a smartphone app to help Parkinson’s sufferers who have a common symptom called Freezing of Gait (FoG).  The CuPID app uses sensors on the shoes and alerts the wearer audibly, if they are likely to fall.

Treating gastro problems with newborns.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli biotech Nutrinia develops treatments for intestinal failure in preterms, infants and adults.  Its NTRA-9620 treatment has just been granted orphan status by the US FDA.

Crowdsourcing platform for insomniacs.  Israel’s Sleep ASAP (Art Science Awareness Platform) is described as “Waze for the sleep-deprived”.  The sleep-management organization educates sleep-strugglers about getting a pill-free good night’s sleep, and is launching meetups in the USA, Canada and Australia.

Internet tool to analyze genes.  Dr Yuval Tabach of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has developed an Internet tool that will allow any investigator, physician or patient to analyze a gene according to its evolutionary profile. It will help identify genes associated with genetic diseases and cancer.

$5.5 million donation for Israeli healthcare.  Beneficiaries of the latest donation from the Helmsley Trust include Ezra LeMarpeh which is building a medical rehabilitation center in Sderot; the JNF, for a medical center in NW Negev’s Halutza community; and United Hatzalah, for its central dispatch center.


Containing an oil spill.  I included details about Israel’s HARBO technologies in my latest blog.  Harbo’s floating boom circles an oil spill, allowing it to be removed before it devastates the coast.  Good news for World Oceans Day.

Thousands attend Israel’s Mobile Summit.  The 2015 Israel Mobile Summit was held in Tel Aviv as part of Israel Mobile Week.  Its popularity reflected the fact that most of the multinationals in the mobile industry, from Samsung to Apple to Huwaei, have R&D labs in Israel.

New recycling plant for 1 million citizens.  A brand new recycling plant has begun collecting the garbage of some 1 million residents of the Jerusalem region.  The NIS 100 million plant uses state-of-the-art technology to transform waste into energy without human intervention.

Israel’s first natural gas powered truck.  Fiat Chrysler (FCA) has announced the first-ever natural gas vehicle for the Israeli market.  The Iveco Stralis 4×2 heavy truck is a huge tractor-trailer-sized truck, powered by an Iveco Cursor 8 Compressed Natural Gas engine.  A natural gas powered bus will also be imported.

New thermal imaging apps.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Opgal has just upgraded its Therm-App product that turns your smartphone into a professional thermal imaging system.  It now includes full radiometric capability, multiple color palettes, video and sound recording. 

The world’s smallest wearable GNSS antenna.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s OriginGPS has launched the tiniest wearable device that can be tracked by Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS).  The Multi Micro Hornet combines low power, high sensitivity, fast response and accuracy to one meter.

3D on-line shops.  Virtual shopping has arrived, thanks to Israel’s Tridshops.  The advanced platform allows retailers to quickly set up an on-line store where shoppers “move” on a virtual walkway past 3D images of products which they can pick up, examine and manipulate through 360 degrees.  A pilot store launches shortly.

A visual search engine.  A new Israeli search engine called EyeIn will retrieve relevant visual Internet content from global events in real time.  It uses social media and sophisticated algorithms to view an event from different locations in the audience or elsewhere.  EyeIn was conceived by Moshe Hogeg, founder of Mobli.

Israeli water keeps on running.  (TY Michelle) Two good articles on Israel’s wastewater recycling and desalination.

An app to stamp out cyber-bullying.  Israeli nonprofit Red Button has produced the world’s first app that lets anyone, especially kids, easily report negative web behavior.  Click the red button to send web and IP address, site ownership and more to volunteers at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC), who collate the information and file complaints with the appropriate sites and/or authorities.

EU grant for Israel-Norway navigation project.  The European Union is to fund a project combining ClearVision from Israel’s Elbit with the ash detection system of Norway’s Nicarnica. The Airborne Volcanic Object Imaging Detector (AVOID) system will enable commercial airline pilots to evade volcanic ash clouds.

Tel Aviv hosts international cyber-security conference.  (TY Hazel) Leading international cyber experts, policymakers, researchers, security officials, and diplomats attended the Fifth Annual International Cybersecurity Conference.


IMF upbeat about Israeli economy.  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released its preliminary report on Israel’s economy on Wednesday, noting that the country’s economy is “performing well” and that the economic outlook is positive.

Crowds flock to Israeli water companies in Thailand.  The Israeli events at the Thai Water event in Bangkok were an “unprecedented” success.  The participating Israeli companies were Aqwise, ATC, Atlantium, Bermad, IDE Technologies, A.R.I. Optimal Flow Solutions, RWL Water Supply, Talis Group, and Watermatic.

The future of Mapme is mapped out.  Mapme, developed by Israel’s Ben Lang when he served in the IDF, has just raised $1 million in venture capital.  The community mapping technology is used in “Mapped in Israel” and “Israeli mapped in NY” which shows the locations of Israeli startups in Israel and Manhattan.

Revolutionizing the music business.  Israeli startup Sound Better allows different artists and sound producers to collaborate from all over the world to make music online.  Musicians can record themselves at home instead of in a studio.  Sound Better has 10, 000 participants worldwide.

More fruit for Frutarom.  Israel’s Frutarom, one of the world’s 10 largest companies in the field of flavors and specialty fine ingredients, has purchased Australia’s Taura, a world leading player in concentrated and texturized fruit ingredients.  Taura has factories in New Zealand and Belgium, with offices in the US and UK.

Amazon hiring 100 Israeli engineers.  At the AWS Tel Aviv Summit, Amazon announced to 2000 IT professionals that it will hire over 100 Israeli technologists in the next 18 months. Amazon bought the Israeli microelectronics firm Annapurna Labs in Jan 2015, for $350 – 370 million, for its Web Services division.

EasyJet starts Tel Aviv to Amsterdam route.  From Oct, low-cost airline EasyJet will begin its tenth route from Tel Aviv – direct flights to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, from $107 return. Tickets are now on sale.

World’s largest hotel group holds Israeli conference.  60 general managers and senior executives of InterContinental Hotels visited Israel for their annual conference.  They also enjoyed pitches from Israeli hotel-related start-ups EyeOnn, Bizzabo, Vatbox, Howazit, SevenPop and EatWith.

Trade talks with China.  (TY Michelle) Israel and China have begun negotiations on a proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Israel. China’s Ministry of Commerce spokesman said that Israel is one of China’s major economic and trade partners in the Middle East and an FTA will lift bilateral cooperation to a new height., _Israel_entering_FTA_talks_.shtml

The world’s best boutique hotel.  Luxury American tourism magazine Jetsetter has just named the 50-room Norman Hotel Tel Aviv as the world’s best boutique hotel.  “Tel Aviv’s smart, stylish Norman is the real deal, ” Jetsetter explained of its vote, which was based on reviews by 200 international journalists.

Farm2050 invests in CropX.  (TY Michelle) Google CEO Eric Schmidt‘s Innovation Endeavors fund launched the Farm2050 collective in 2014, to accelerate the development and commercialization of agricultural technology.  Farm2050’s first investment is in CropX – Israel’s adaptive irrigation company (March newsletter)

$84 million investment in Checkmarx cyber security.  US-based Insight Venture Partners has invested $84 million in Israeli cyber-security start-up Checkmarx to fund development and global expansion.  Checkmarx’s customers already include the US Army, Samsung, Deutsche Telekom, Deloitte and PwC.

A facelift for Camden market.  (TY Hazel) Israeli Teddy Sagi’s company Market Tech Holdings will overhaul the open-air Union Street Market in Camden, London to construct a two-story market and adjacent boutique hotel.


School for all with cerebral palsy.  Some 150 Muslim, Christian and Jewish students, most with cerebral palsy, attend the ONN School for Special Education in Tel Aviv.  The school provides academic, social and life skills for the students, who range from 6 to 21 years of age.

Prisoners volunteer to help disabled.  (TY Hazel) Three times a week, 26 Israeli prisoners from six southern jails shed their inmate garb and board a bus for ALEH Negev to help severely disabled residents. Upon returning, each prisoner discusses the experience with his social worker.

Israeli Arab wins international wetlands award.  Giselle Hazzan, director of the Ein Afek Nature Reserve, in the Galilee, won the “Wise use of wetlands” award at the 12th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the Ramsar (Global Environment) Convention.

Fighter pilot gets her wings.  In Jewish Press’ photo of the day, Prime Minister Netanyahu congratulates one of the newly graduated Israeli Air Force pilots at the Hatzerim Air Base in the Negev on June 25, 2015.

Syrians treated in Israel:  (TY Hazel for recent video)

Israeli appointed to senior UN role.  Israel’s Yotam Goren was appointed as deputy chairman of the Administrative and Budgetary Committee to the United Nations General Assembly.  The committee functions as the U.N.’s “Finance Ministry, ” responsible for a budget of more than $11 billion.


Opera at Masada.  Behind the scenes at the ancient fortress of Masada in Israel’s Negev desert where the Israel Opera company has been performing Tosca and Carmina Burana in front of an audience of around 6000.

Tel Aviv White Night.  Tel Aviv-Yafo’s all-night White Night event features music, theater performances, folk dancing, dance performances, operatic excerpts, classical music, jazz ensembles, rock concerts, video displays, poetry readings, discussions, sports activities, yoga lessons, parades, parties, guided tours and much more.

NFL Hall of Famers visit Israel.  New England Patriot’s owner Robert Kraft brought a delegation of 19 NFL greats to meet with 10 Israeli startups.  The goodwill week-long trip to Israel, called, “Touchdown in Israel: Mission of Excellence, ” was organized in coordination with Israel’s Ambassador to the USA, Ron Dermer.

Israelis win big time at Euro games.  Israel’s national anthem, Hatikvah, was played twice at the European games in Baku. Israel’s Sagi Muki won the 73kg judo gold and Ziv Kalontarov won the 50m dash in the Junior swimming championships. Israelis also won two more judo medals, plus in the 1500m swim, air-rifle, women’s wrestling and 3 in team rhythmic gymnastics., 7340, L-4673157, 00.html


Jewish roots in Tel Aviv.  Hundreds of children from 25 countries came together in Tel Aviv to mark the 20th anniversary of the “My Family Story” competition.  Each student produced an art installation illustrating their journey into their family roots and connection to the greater story of the Jewish people., 7340, L-4672184, 00.html

Birthright tour for hearing impaired.  Deafness did not prevent US Jews from visiting the Jewish State this summer on Taglit and Birthright trips. One group specifically catered for those with hearing impediments.  And the highlight was a whole day’s sessions at the Institute for the Advancement of Deaf People in Israel.

New Israeli stamps.  (TY Jacob) Israel’s latest postage stamps include bridal jewelry, WW1, the IAF Cobra helicopter, 50 years of diplomatic relations with Germany and vegetables.

Zoabi is a proud Zionist.  Sarah Zoabi – another relative of anti-Israel MK Haneen Zoabi – is a contestant on Israel’s Master Chef.  In her introduction, she said, “I want to say to all the Arab [citizens] of Israel to wake up. We live in paradise. Compared to other countries, to Arab countries – we live in paradise.”

Arizona rabbi donates kidney to Israeli.  For young Israeli Yossi Azran, 15 years of debilitating kidney disease and 2.5 years of dialysis was like a slow death until Rav Shmuly Yanklowitz donated one of his kidneys.  “I have been teaching about social justice and saving human life for many years, ” Yanklowitz said.

The 5th happiest country in the world.  Israel is one of the top 5 happiest countries, according to a new Better Life Index report by the OECD.  Israel came after Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland on 22 variables – including income, education, housing, health, life expectancy, life satisfaction and community.



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