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Michael Ordman: Good News From Israel

In the 11th Oct 2015 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
·         An Israeli charity’s bone marrow registry saved 25 lives in one month.
·         An Israeli satellite will bring the Internet to remote parts of Africa.
·         Israel’s moon landing project is “go” for a 2017 launch date.
·         MasterCard and Barclays are running initiatives to develop Israeli startups.
·         At his first-ever Israeli concert Bon Jovi dedicates hit song to Tel Aviv.
·         After prayers for rain in Israel begin, the first rains of the season commence.
25 lifesaving transplants.  In August, Israeli charity Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Donor Registry facilitated 25 lifesaving transplants.  They included stem cell donations by five IDF soldiers that saved the lives of five desperately ill patients.
Boost your immune system for better health.  The research of Weizmann Institute’s Professor Michal Schwartz was featured in Good Housekeeping magazine.  The article explains how the brain and the immune system communicate.’s-health  And Weizmann’s Professor Yair Reisner links the immune system to obesity.
Digitizing the brain.  Professor Idan Segev of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is a member of the Blue Brain Project – an international team of scientists that is creating a digital reconstruction of the brain.  It has just completed a first draft computer reconstruction of a piece of the neocortex and simulated its electrical behavior.
Helping women to live longer and healthier.  Israel’s Weizmann Institute is supporting the Revlon “LOVE IS ON” Million Dollar Challenge with early prevention, improved diagnosis, and better treatments of medical problems for women everywhere.
Philips’ Israeli center for digital medicine.  I mentioned the new Philips-Teva medical incubator previously in my June newsletter.  Here (TY Michelle) Philips’ CEO states that Israel will become one of its main centers for developing digital medical innovations to improve the health of patients and keep them out of hospital.
Israeli satellite to bring Africa online.  Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has announced that an Israeli-made AMOS-6 satellite will be launched in 2016 to bring the Internet to the poorest parts of the world.  Facebook and Eutelsat will lease the satellite from Israeli global satellite services provider Spacecom.
How Israel is solving the global water crisis.  This must be the most comprehensive analysis of Israeli water technology ever written.  It also includes reference to Seth M Segal’s new book “Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World.”
Hong Kong delegation visits Israel.  (TY Michelle) Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is leading a delegation of industry leaders and academics to Israel. They will visit political leaders, innovation and technology enterprises, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Weizmann Institute, Tel Aviv University, the Israel-Asia Chamber of Commerce and the desalination plant in Sorek.
A bigger force in the cloud.  Israel’s Silicom has bought US-based ADI Engineering for $10 million.  ADI’s high-performance Intel equipment will allow Silicom to expand its products for providers of cloud (over the Internet) and network services.
Rapid Internet performance.  Israel’s Teridion makes Internet access up to 20 times faster, for users of its advanced Global Cloud Network.  Teridion has just raised $20 million to expand in the US and internationally.
Turning polluted water into beer.  Israeli-founded water purification company Desalitech has teamed up with Boston-based Harpoon Brewery to channel the once-famously polluted Charles River into a new beer.  Desalitech is using its patented technology to provide water for Harpoon’s Charles River Pale Ale.
Avoid the queue.  Israeli startup Tapingo has launched a free app that allows students to order food from their favorite places via their smartphones, so that when they arrive they can just pick it up from the counter without having to wait in line.
An app to help you dress right.  The Israeli app “Take A Look” allows you to send a “selfie” for the attention of top Israeli fashion designers Liat Ashuri, Doreen Attias, and Gadi Elimelech.  For a $25 fee, one of the three will critique your outfit. They say that they can even give real-time advice whilst still in the store!
Israeli lunar team secures launch.  (TY Michelle) Israel’s SpaceIL is a stage nearer its goal of becoming the first privately funded mission to the Moon and winning the $20 million Google Lunar XPRIZE.  SpaceIL has booked a place on a SpaceX rocket due for launch in the second half of 2017.  16 teams remain from the original 34.
Ford hackathon for Israeli developers.  US car manufacturer Ford is holding its own hackathon, the Ford AppLink Challenge, for Israel’s tech community to develop new technologies for Ford Sync Systems in the company’s new models. Winners get cash or a new Ford Fiesta.  Toyota and Hyundai ran similar recent events.  Ford is also to install Israel’s HearMeOut in its vehicles. HearMeOut posts audio clips on social networks.
Why Israel leads financial tech innovation.  (TY Michelle) Good analysis of why Israeli financial technology is growing so impressively.  Chief reasons include quality technology, previous successes, international knowhow, multinational R&D, global investment and encouragement for start-ups.
The largest desalination facility in North America.  (TY Michelle) In a few weeks, San Diego will open the Carlsbad desalination plant, piping around 50 million gallons of water a day to households across the San Diego area.  It was designed by Israel’s IDE and one of 400 desalination facilities it has designed in 40 countries.
Israel and its tribe of risk-taking entrepreneurs.  (TY Kay) Luke Johnson, chairman of Risk Capital Partners and the Centre for Entrepreneurs, wrote recently for the UK Sunday Times that Israel is an astonishing country, buzzing with energy and confidence, a magnet for talent and investment – a cauldron of innovation.
Teva spends billions on Mexican biotech.  Israeli bio giant Teva has purchased Mexico’s Representaciones e Investigaciones Médicas, S.A. de C.V. (Rimsa) for $2.3 billion.  Teva expects the deal will yield substantial and achievable synergies and offer a platform for growth in the region.
Mexico buys Israeli super-drone.  The Mexican government has purchased an advanced intelligence-gathering drone made by Israel’s Aeronautics.  The Dominator XP is based on a DA-42 twin star commercial plane, and is designed to provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance flight missions.
Mellanox merges with EZchip.  Israeli IT giant Mellanox has bought Israeli microprocessor manufacturer EZchip for around $811 million.  The combined businesses currently have 2, 400 employees, and generated combined revenue of $668 million for the year ended Jun 2015.  Both firms are located in Yokneam near Haifa.
The Startup Nation foundation.  A new non-profit organization Start-up Nation Central has been launched to connect companies and countries to the people and technologies in Israel that can solve their most pressing challenges.  Founded by US hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer with Dan Senor, co-author of “Startup Nation”.
MasterCard prize for Israeli innovation.  For the 4th year, MasterCard is offering a $25, 000 prize for an Israeli startup to help the international giant improve its electronic payments and financial services.  The winner can also join the MasterCard Start Path global program, the company’s financial technology accelerator.
Barclays launches Tel Aviv start-up accelerator.  Global bank Barclays is opening an accelerator in Tel Aviv for startups in financial-tech and cyber security. Barclays Derek White said “We’re excited about the prospect of tapping into Tel Aviv’s hot-bed of innovation, connecting some of the world’s most active innovators.”
Golan Heights oil discovery is “huge”.  I reported previously (see Sep 20 2015)the discovery by Israeli company Afek of oil in the Golan Heights.  Afek Oil and Gas chief geologist Dr. Yuval Bartov now says that the oil strata is 350 meters thick – over ten times the average discovery, and potentially billions of barrels.
Tennessee wooing Israeli business.  (TY Michelle) Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has returned from taking an 18-person delegation to Israel.  He said there already have been second and third connections since the business venture. Tennessee provides a low-cost location compared to New York, San Francisco and L.A.
How to turn a city into a start-up hub.  (TY Michelle) Hila Oren is CEO of Tel Aviv Global (TAG) a city-run company whose goal is to turn Tel Aviv into a global hot spot for innovation.  Here are some of the key initiatives TAG has implemented to cultivate the ecosystem and encourage innovation to take root.
Another record for Israel’s reserves.  Israel’s foreign currency reserves stood at a record $89.335 billion at the end of September 2015, an increase of $337 million from their level at the end of August.
Bon Jovi dedicates song to Israel.  Jon Bon Jovi kicked off his band’s first-ever performance in Israel by telling 50, 000 cheering Israelis “I’ve waited a long time for this!”  He said that his new hit “We Don’t Run”, “should be the fight song for Tel Aviv.”  Its lyrics include “Fire in the sky and thunder on the mountain”.  Bon Jovi finished the 18-song set with “Living on a Prayer”.
Israeli wins international philatelic grand prix.  Israelis won 4 Gold medals at the 7th Bi Annual One Frame ‘Sedmo Okno’ Stamp Exhibition in Slovenia. In addition, Jerusalem dentist and Israeli Philatelic Commissioner Les Glassman was awarded the Grand Prix Prize for his Jerusalem Pre – Philatelic Exhibit.
The first Sukkathon.  For the first time, entrepreneurs gathered in a Jerusalem sukkah to develop apps related to temporary content.  The developers were hosted by video messaging specialists Glide.  In the spirit of the sukkah – a temporary habitation – so Internet data needs to be cleared away when no longer relevant.
Israeli Jews answer with love.  And I just love this article by Lebanese-born, Canadian Arab Fred Maroun.  He writes “Why do the overwhelming majority of Israelis respond to hate with love?  I believe that Judaism teaches love because love is effective while hate is not.”



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