Published On: Sun, Sep 20th, 2015

Good News From Israel

In the 20th Sep 2015 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
 
·         South Africa has chosen an Israeli system to screen blood for viruses.
·         An Israeli aid organization is distributing donated baby slings to Syrian migrants.
·         Israel is to provide Europe’s cyber security defense training center.
·         As Israeli gas flows in at record levels, oil is discovered in the Golan Heights.
·         Israel cuts taxes as Government debt and inflation rate fall dramatically.
·         An Israeli company makes its tenth takeover of the year.
·         The BBC features Tel Aviv as one of the best beach cities.
·         Happy New Year video messages from the Jewish State.
 
Michael ORDMAN BLOGGER FRONTISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
 
Liver cancer treatment gets on the fast track.  The FDA has granted fast track designation to the CF102 treatment from Israel’s Can-Fite BioPharma for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common form of liver cancer. A CF102 trial is about to start on 78 patients with Child-Pugh Class B cirrhosis, who failed the only FDA approved treatment on the market – Nexavar.
 
A smarter bed.  Israel’s EarlySense is launching its “smart bed” solution myEarlySense. The “under the mattress” sensors record data on how you are sleeping, such as tossing, turning, waking, sleeping, breathing and heart rates.  It can also turn on heaters and make the coffee.
 
South Africa buys Israeli virus testing system.  Israel’s Ilex Medical has won a tender issued by the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) for its Panther blood testing systems to detect and identify viruses. 
 
IBM and Teva team up to find chronic treatments.  IBM Israel has granted Israel’s Teva access to its Watson supercomputing Health Cloud program.  Teva plans to use the global technology platform to design treatments for millions of people who suffer from chronic conditions like asthma, migraine, and pain.
 
Opening up a new strategy for HIV.  Technion scientists have discovered that when the HIV virus encounters resistance, it looks for detours. It then mutates and replicates itself, like a Trojan horse, exploiting redundancy in the DNA of host cells. http://www.technion.ac.il/en/2015/08/new-strategy-for-hiv/
 
Detecting cancer using nanopores.  Further to a previous (15 Mar 2015) newsletter, scientists from Israel’s Technion are the only team working for European research consortium BeyondSeq on early diagnosis of cancer.  They are using tiny silicon “nanopore” scanners to detect molecular DNA biomarkers in cancer cells.
 
Genetic test for BRONJ.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Micromedic Technologies, has identified several new genetic markers for predicting BRONJ (necrosis of the jawbone).  BRONJ is a side effect of intravenous treatments in cancer and osteoporosis patients.
 
Microneedles deliver vital vaccines.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s NanoPass Technologies is supplying its MicronJet600 microneedle system to US-based Immune Design who will use the system to deliver vaccines to cancer immunotherapy patients. 
 
Israel ranks 6th in Healthy Life Expectancy.  (TY Atid-EDI) The World Health Organization (WHO) ranks Israel 6th in the world, with the average Israeli living without a terminal illness to age 71.5.  Israeli men have the world’s fourth longest total life expectancy of 80.2 years.  For women, Israel is ranked tenth with a total life expectancy of 84 years.  http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0, 7340, L-4696329, 00.html
 
IBM Haifa’s diagnostic apps.  More about the app developed by IBM Haifa to diagnose ADHD sufferers (see Sep 6 2015 newsletter). It won top prize at the Brain Inspired Technology for Education (BITE) Hackathon at Israel’s Technion Institute. Also describes IBM Haifa’s dementia early-detection app (Aug 9 2015 newsletter).
 
 
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
 
Scientists correctly predict El-Nino.  (TY Nevet) In the fall of 2013, a team of German and Israeli scientists published an early warning of the “El Niño” weather phenomenon.  In March 2015, the US NOAA meteorological service confirmed that El Niño had arrived. Previously only 6-month predictions were possible.
 
Israel can help resolve Brazil’s water crisis.  Beni Lew, from Israel’s Volcani Center, has been advising hundreds of Brazil’s water experts on how to deal with their water shortage.  Speaking fluent Portuguese, Lew has encouraged delegations to attend Tel Aviv’s WATEC 2015 in October.
 
The build-up to WATEC.  More details here about this major international event in Tel Aviv in October.
 
Training Europe’s cyber defenders.  CyberGym is the Israel Electric Company’s cyber security training center and equips employees to thwart attacks on Israel’s electricity infrastructure.  The IEC is now to export CyberGym to the Czech Republic where it will be the center for cyber-security training throughout Europe.
 
Creative Israeli toys.  Keeping it simple, Israeli inventors look at the world from a child’s point of view and create new, fun toys that are produced and sold all over the world.
 
Your front door has just got smarter.  The ENTR system from Yavne-based (Swedish-owned) Mul-T-Lock raises the simple door-lock to a hi-tech Bluetooth-enabled device.  Using algorithms from US-owned Freescale Israel, the “combination” of global marketing and Israeli-ingenuity “opens up” huge possibilities.
 
Smarter irrigation.  This article features Israeli agro-tech features Galacon – manufacturer of smart monitoring and control irrigation solutions, based on Kibbutz Kfar Blum.  It previously won the European Irrigation Association’s “Product of the Year”.
 
Record gas flows.  Output from Israel’s Tamar natural gas field has reached 1 billion Cubic Feet (1BCF) per day.  http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-noble-tamar-reaches-record-1-bcf-per-day-1001068567
 
Oil discovered in Golan Heights.  (TY Phillip) Israeli energy company Afek has confirmed it has discovered an oil reservoir in the Golan Heights.  It has now requested permission from the Israeli Government to drill more exploratory wells in the area. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0, 7340, L-4699008, 00.html
 
An app for contacting your Senator.  Israeli NGO Shurat Hadin has commissioned the development of a app that allows Android smartphone users to contact their US Senator about the Iran nuclear deal.
 
Counting on the apple harvest.  Scientists at Israel’s Technion Institute have developed a program and algorithm for estimating the fruit content of an apple tree.  The program searches nighttime photographs of illuminated apple trees, counting glints in the foliage from light reflecting off the shiny fruit.
 
Start-up Nation on France24.  (TY Michelle) The first 5 minutes of this France24 Tech24 program is entitled “The Start-up Nation: Israel leads in tech innovation.” http://www.france24.com/en/20151209-tech-24-israel-startups-poland-mars-rover-competition-qrokee-sketching-drawing
 
The smart City Summit.  (TY Michelle) Tel Aviv hosted the sixth annual City Summit as part of its DLD Innovation Festival.  The main debate was about how city residents engaged with the municipality in the Technological Age.  Tel Aviv won the World Smart Cities Award in 2014.
 
 
ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Taxes lowered.  Israel’s budget deficit fell to 2.1% and inflation was negative in August, allowing the Government to cut VAT to 17% and Companies’ tax to 25%. Taxes on alcoholic beverages were also reduced.

http://www.janglo.net/index.php?option=com_adsmanager&page=display&catid=99&tid=370541

Israel is a manufacturing and R&D powerhouse.  Ambassador Yoram Ettinger’s monthly summary highlights that business in Israeli technology is booming despite the latest global economic slowdown.

http://theettingerreport.com/Overseas-Investments/Israel-%E2%80%93-a-R-D-and-manufacturing-powerhouse.aspx

Where to grow your business.  (TY Michelle) Israel was ranked second (to Singapore) in Grant Thornton’s Global Dynamism Index, which combines 22 indicators across five growth areas to rank the business growth environments of the 60 largest economies in the world.http://www.grantthornton.global/globalassets/1.-member-firms/global/insights/article-pdfs/2015/gdi2015_report_final_update.pdf

US VC fund 500 Startups invests in Israel.  (TY Nevet) US venture capital fund 500 Startups is opening an Israel office. The fund, which operates one of the world’s five leading accelerators, will invest up to $5 million in 10-20 early stage Israeli startups in the coming year.

http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-500-startups-opens-israel-office-1001067274

Are you a potential angel?  I’m not giving investment advice, but some readers may be interested in a US company Sunrise Securities Corp that has built a platform (ZionTech) for reviewing and seed-funding promising Israeli startups.  Sunrise’s President, Nathan Low can provide more details.

http://www.sunrisecorp.com/

What India can learn from Israeli startups  (TY Michelle) Indian businessmen are eager for their Prime Minister to adopt some of Israel’s policies that have led to the success of the Startup Nation.  They include Government loans, universities embracing entrepreneurs and the acceptance of failure.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/startup-lessons-that-india-can-learn-from-israel/articleshow/48729881.cms

Indian accelerator includes two Israeli startups.  (TY Michelle) Israel’s global reach is highlighted by two of the startups chosen to be included in India’s GenNext Innovation Hub, an accelerator program managed by India’s Reliance Industries (RIL) and Microsoft Ventures. They are Israeli – In*Q*Sec and eLoan.

http://www.businessworld.in/entrepreneurship-startups/gennext-launches-its-fall-batch-10-startups#sthash.7BSVNEDv.wDepQ2mo.dpbs

Another medical incubator is launched.  (TY Michelle) Following the launch of the John Hopkins / Luminox Israeli startup incubator (see last week) US giant Meditronic and IBM have won a grant from the Israeli government to open a digital medicine incubator to join an ever-growing list.

http://medcitynews.com/2015/09/ibm-medtronic-digital-medicine-incubator/

Sell your own home.  Israeli startup Fisbo provides a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) facility for homeowners to sell their homes without using estate agents.  Following a 2-month pilot in Israel, Fisbo has opened an office in New York.  Fisbo’s database verifies FSBO homes and provides anything a buyer needs to know.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/home-sellers-get-a-helping-hand-from-israeli-start-up/

A fruitful New Year.  Just a week before the start of the Jewish New Year, Israel’s Frutarom made its tenth acquisition of the year – Spain’s Nutrafur, specializing in natural plant extracts and antioxidants for food and health products.  Frutarom has 31, 000 products, sells in 145 countries and 2015 revenues could reach $1 billion.

http://www.frutarom.com/FrutaromNew/Templates/showpage.asp?DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=178&FID=618&PID=889&IID=2283

http://www.timesofisrael.com/flavorings-firm-frutarom-moves-closer-to-unicorn-territory/

More security for automobiles.  (TY Michelle) I mentioned Israel’s Argus Cybersecurity last month as being able to prevent remote carjacking.  There has been much interest and Argus just raised $26 million of funding.

http://www.ibloomberg.net/magna-allianz-back-israeli-automotive-cybersecurity-startup/

Switzerland buys 6 Israeli drones.  The Swiss Government has approved the purchase of six Hermes 900 unmanned planes from Israel’s Elbit Systems for $256 million. The Swiss Defense Minister said the aircraft would be used for surveillance by border guards.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/switzerland-to-buy-6-israeli-made-surveillance-drones/

Mini-booster seat project is fully-funded.  Israel’s mifold has now closed the crowdfunding project for its tiny car-booster seat.  Mifold aimed to raise $40, 000 but received a massive $690, 762.  They received orders for 20, 000 mifolds from 7, 000 customers in 87 countries.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mifold-the-grab-and-go-booster-seat#/story

Mellanox wins Israel-America Chamber of Commerce award.  (TY Sharon) Israel’s Mellanox Technologies has won the 2015 Israel – America Chamber of Commerce award in recognition of the company for “innovation and technology excellence, and developing human capital.”

http://ir.mellanox.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=930933

 
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
 
IDF rescues kidnapped deer.  The IDF’s Judea Regional Brigade a number of deer being held illegally and in harsh conditions in a Palestinian Arab village in Judea.  The deer will be rehabilitated at nature reserves and later released back into the wild.  Last month the IDF rescued deer whilst searching for weapons in Samaria.
 
Seminar for Palestinian Arab doctors.  (TY Nevet) Israel’s Civil Administration organized a seminar at the Emeq Afula hospital for 8 Palestinian Arab doctors from the PA city of Jenin.  The Jenin doctors learnt the workings of the hospital departments such as surgery, trauma, internal medicine and pediatric care.
 
Israel to host International Space legal debate.  The International Astronautical Federation reports that three judges from the International Court of Justice will preside at October’s Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition in Jerusalem. International law students will argue the legal issues of a near-miss asteroid event.
 
Aiming to save 3 million lives.  Chamutal Afek Eitam presented her Three Million Club to 200 entrepreneurs and investors at the annual ID2 (Israeli Designed International Development) conference in Caesarea. Her plan is to feed the poorest people in the world, not by donations, but by returning a profit for investors.
 
Israeli PM meets UK PM.  Three areas were discussed when UK Prime Minister David Cameron met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – Security, Peace and Technology. 
 
Israel’s female ambassador to Jordan.  Israel’s new ambassador to Jordan, Einat Shlain, presented her credentials to Jordan’s King Abdullah II at a ceremony at the Basman Palace in Amman.  Shlain is the first female ambassador to an Arab country.
 
Israelis donate baby slings to migrants.  Israeli humanitarian organization IsraAID has been distributing aid to Syrian refugees arriving on the Greek island of Lesbos and on the Hungarian-Serbian border.  IsraAID has also begun distributing baby slings donated by Israeli families to mothers and fathers.
 
Israel is a model for resettling migrants.  Nice to see Israel getting credit for something connected to this global upheaval, however I suspect that the situation is not quite as similar as the Swedish official believes. 
 
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- Michael Ordman highlights Israel's latest achievements in the fields of technology, health, business, and co-existence in a free weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel. www.verygoodnewsisrael.blogspot.com

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