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Good News From Israel

In the 13th Sep 2015 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
·         An Israeli brain cancer treatment device is shown saving life on US TV news.
·         Large numbers of Israeli-Arabs are making successful careers as pharmacists.
·         An Israeli startup can detect a toxic water supply in five seconds.
·         The world’s largest shipping company is to start using the port of Haifa.
·         Israel has advanced to the European Basketball Championship last 16.
·         Immigration to Israel increased by 13% during the past year.
Slowing down aggressive brain cancer.  Israel’s Novocure was featured recently on ABC 10 News, which showed Novocure’s TTFields helmet being used to keep a San Diego brain cancer sufferer alive.  Novocure is soon to trial TTFields on other solid cancers and has just filed for an IPO to raise up to $300 million.
Israeli device warns of risk to liver.  I featured the “liver-on-a-chip” testing device invented by Hebrew University of Jerusalem scientists in a previous (Aug 2015)newsletter.  The device has now shown that acetaminophen (a readily-available pain relief) can be toxic at far lower doses than previously thought.
Huntington’s treatment gets go ahead.  (TY Atid-EDI) The US FDA has approved the application by Israel’s Teva for its SD-809 (deutetrabenazine) treatment for Huntington’s disease.  SD-809 was part of Teva’s May acquisition of Auspex and has completed two Phase-III studies.
Glaucoma treatment goes global.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s BioLight has announced the first sale of XLVision Sciences’ IOPtiMate to a medical center in Peru.  The innovative CO2 laser system has previously been purchased by hospitals in Hong Kong, Poland, Hungary and Romania. (See Sep 2014 newsletter)
MDA training for Israeli-Arab sector.  Israel’s emergency services Magen David Adom has completed its first training course for 15 young medics who will provide emergency response to Eastern Jerusalem.  The medics are bilingual in Hebrew and Arabic.  The program was the initiative of Ziad Jadla, MDA’s Arab liaison.
Exercise to cure fatty liver disease.  Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) commonly known as “fatty liver disease” is the most common liver condition in the Western world.  A study by Israeli doctors showed that 40 minutes resistance training, three times a week for three months reduced liver-fat and cholesterol significantly.
Handicapped make music with their bodies.  The Grabski Rehabilitation Center in Migdal Haemek has installed a room with cameras and laser sensors, connected to computers and screens.  By cutting the laser beams, the 40 patients can control sounds and create a computerized melody.
Disabled enjoy the sea.  Israel’s Blue Flag program together with Netanya Municipality arranged for 12 disabled Israelis to enter the Poleg beach using amphibious chairs with wheels.  Israel has 23 beaches accessible for disabled people.
Jeep trip for 150 cancer patients.  Israel’s cancer charity Ezer Mizion has just completed its 20th Summer Camp for children and adults with cancer.  Its jeep trip is always one of the high points and this year 160 volunteer drivers took 150 cancer sufferers in 14 groups on different trails across Northern Israel.
Israeli women joining workforce highest in OECD.  (From Haaretz) Women joined the workforce in Israel faster than anywhere else in the OECD over the last three decades, thanks to changes in the labor market, the tax regime and available daycare. 79.7% at ages 25-34 is 24% up on 1985. 78.9% at ages 35-44, is 21% up.
Building an inclusive Israeli city.  Just 45 minutes north of Tel Aviv, Israel is expanding the sleepy 1000-residents town of Harish into a city with up to 100, 000 inhabitants.  The plans have been praised by its modern-orthodox and ultra-orthodox Jews, secular Israelis, former Soviet and Ethiopian immigrants and Arabs.
Pharmacy brings Jews and Arabs together.  The Taub Center for Social Policy Studies reports that Jewish and Arab pharmacists are satisfied with their careers and that pharmacy has led to increased levels of tolerance and acceptance on both sides. In 2015, 35% of Israeli pharmacists are Arab – up from 20% in 2000.
Israeli BioGas for rural Arabs.  The portable “anaerobic digester” from Israeli start-up HomeBioGas turns kitchen waste and livestock manure into cooking-gas.  It has become popular with Negev Arab Bedouins and rural Palestinian Arabs who previously damaged their health by burning wood or goat manure for cooking.
Glide – the mainstream video messaging app the deaf are signing up to.  Film director Jules Dameron is deaf and uses the Israeli video messaging app Glide to communicate using American Sign Language both on and off the set.  Glide has really caught on amongst the deaf community, as the youtube videos in the article visibly demonstrate.
India launches course about Israeli startups.  (TY Michelle) Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB) is to start a three-credit course on ‘Developing technology partnerships between entrepreneurial firms in India and Israel’.  Students will visit Israel and work in India with companies seeking Israeli tech partnerships.
Beverley Hills partners with Israel.  (TY Michelle) Beverly Hills City Council and Israel have signed a formal partnership.  It covers water conservation and management, technology and cyber security, public health, emergency services, disaster preparedness, public safety, counter terrorism and art and culture
10, 000 attend Innovation Festival.  Israel’s largest international hi-tech event, the DLD (Digital Life Design) Innovation Festival Sep 6-12, has attracted huge numbers of power players from the world’s leading tech and finance firms, all eager to get a piece of the Startup Nation’s action.
Investing in food-tech.  (TY Israeli food conglomerate Tnuva is joining the investors of TechForGood’s Rally accelerator. Tnuva hopes that the startups within the accelerator can increase its exposure to breakthrough technologies in the food-tech sector.
Winning the water quality test.  Israeli startup Lishtot just won the StartUp Open Israel 2015 competition run by the Global Entrepreneurship Network.  It will now represent Israel in November’s global finals.  Lishtot’s low-cost product detects water pollutants in a 5-second test, based on the electromagnetic properties of water.
(See why this could be a vital product – )
Israel’s untold story of “Hydro-diplomacy”.  (TY Ruth) Here is a brief account by Seth M Siegel of the history of Israel’s work since the 1950s to tackle the scourge of drought in the developing world.  Mr Siegel’s new book “Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World is published this week. (see here)
SkySaver is launched.  (TY Arlene) News of the Israeli-developed Skysaver escape harness that allows you to evacuate safely from the window of a high-rise building(see Jan 2014).  SkySaver has received final certification from the Standards Institute of Israel and officially launched on Aug 3rd.
Israel to train Japanese to combat cyber hackers.  Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has signed a contract to supply Dai Nippon Printing (DNP) of Tokyo with a training program for those whose job it will be to prevent cyber-attacks in the real world.  DNP will become a reseller in Japan of IAI’s TAME Range training system.
Extending the life of dental fillings.  Israel’s NanoLock (see Aug Newsletter) has developed antibacterial nanotechnology that can be used to make prevent infections in tooth fillings, medical devices, even food and to combat air pollution.
Two products of the year awards.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s SQream produces software to analyze huge amounts of data.  Its SQL Database won bronze in the Best New Enterprise Product category of the Best in Biz Awards 2015 International program.  And its GenomeStack won a bronze “Stevie” award in the Best New Product of the Year – Big Data Software Solution category in the 2015 International Business Awards.
Record levels of Private Equity investment.  (TY Michelle) Israeli tech firms continued to benefit from increased investment, both by local venture capital firms and international players. Private equity investments hit an all-time high of $1.4 billion in the second quarter of 2015. 
Israeli tech launches Chinese wine industry.  (TY Michelle) Eight years ago, Chen Qide leased from the Yinchuan government 100, 000 acres of land in NW China and started planting grapes using Israel’s technology.  Chen now plans to establish 100 small wineries, with a 10 billion yuan ($1.57 billion) profit target.
World’s largest shipping company comes to Israel.  (TY Janglo) In October, Haifa Port will begin serving 2M – the world’s largest shipping alliance, comprising giants Maersk and MSC.  On Oct 15, The Gustav will be the largest ship ever to dock at an Israeli port.
The Windward of change.  Israel’s maritime data and analytics company, Windward, has announced two new high-profile investors.  Dan Senor, co-author of “Start-up Nation” and ex-CIA Director General David Patraeus.
Google Chairman explains why he is investing in Israel.  (TY Nevet) Google chairman Eric Schmidt praised Israel’s “culture of entrepreneurship”, its impact on science and technology, innovation and willingness to challenge authority. He also urged Israeli researchers to think big.
Japan loves Israeli shoes.  (TY Nevet) Israeli shoe and sandal manufacturing giant Teva Naot is to open its fourth retail branch in Tokyo.  The Israeli chain produces specially designed shoes for the Japanese market, including 20 different models that were tailored according to local specifications and trends.
John Hopkins to launch Israeli medical incubator.  (TY Michelle) Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures has inked a multiyear agreement with Israeli digital health business Luminox that will set up an accelerator for Israeli digital health startups.
Israeli merger connects a billion customers.  (TY Michelle) Israeli firms IronSource and Supersonic are to merge.  Over 450 million use IronSource’s InstallCore to download software to PCs and mobiles every month.  Supersonic works with companies such as Adidas, Intel and Coca Cola to deliver ads during installation.



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