Published On: Sun, Dec 20th, 2015

Good News From Israel

Water,   Startup _lishtot.600x400
In the 20th Dec 2015 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
 
·         An Israeli arthritis treatment also reduces high blood pressure.
·         An Israeli breakthrough in insulin-producing cells for diabetics.
·         The UN has designated Israel as the 18th most developed country.
·         You can now order an Israeli biogas system to recycle kitchen waste.
·         Israeli technology is providing WiFi to Ivory Coast.
·         Spanish star Enrique Iglesias performed to a sell-out crowd in Tel Aviv.
·         A Jewish woman is reunited with her Israeli family after 68 years in Syria.
 
 
Michael ORDMAN BLOGGER FRONTISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
 
Success in trials of arthritis treatment.  Israeli biotech Kitov has announced that its KIT-302 treatment for osteoarthritis successfully reduced arthritic pain in UK trials on 152 patients, without risk of heart problems. In fact KIT-302 is the only treatment for both osteoarthritis and hypertension (high blood pressure).
 
Functional human liver cells grown in the Lab.  More news of the work of Hebrew University of Jerusalem Professor Yaakov Nahmias (see here, here, here and here). Now he has been able to use the chemical Oncostatin to double the speed of liver cell production outside the body.  http://new.huji.ac.il/en/article/28143
 
Japan turns to Israeli tech to treat radiation disease.  Japan’s Fukushima Medical University and Israel’s Pluristem Therapeutics are to develop Pluristem’s PLX-R18 cells to treat acute radiation syndrome (ARS).  Radiation continues to spread following the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster.
 
Prize-winning voice technology.  Israel’s VoiceITT (see Mar 2014 newsletter) won the 2015 Medica medical app competition in Dusseldorf with its Talkitt platform that translates the speech of people with communication disabilities.  Medica is the world’s largest medical trade fair, attracting nearly 5, 000 exhibitors from 70 nations.
 
First implantation of groundbreaking heart device.  Israel’s Enopace (see Mar 2013 newsletter) has seen the first operation to implant its new catheter-based neuro-stimulator to treat patients with congestive heart failure.  The procedure was performed by Professor Davor Milicic, head of Cardiology at Zagreb Medical University.
 
Breakthrough status for Tardive Dyskinesia treatment.  (TY Atid-EDI) The US FDA has granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation status to Israel’s Teva for its SD-809 (deutetrabenazine) treatment of patients with tardive dyskinesia, a hyperkinetic movement disorder affecting about 500, 000 people in the USA.
 
Weizmann in joint research for brain therapies.  Israel’s Weizmann Institute has entered into a research agreement with India’s Sun Pharma and Spain’s Health Research Institute of Santiago to develop products for treating neurological diseases such as brain stroke and brain cancer. (See also Apr 2015 newsletter)
 
Micro-pancreas can cure diabetes.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Betalin has significantly increased the lifetime of pancreatic beta cells transplanted into diabetics in order to produce insulin.  This has been achieved by simultaneously transplanting an Engineered Micro Pancreas (EMP) to sustain the cells. 
 
$20 million donation to medical research.  Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, is donating $20 million to fund research in personalized medicine.  The Kraft Endowment will allow scientists and physicians to use a patient’s genetic history to understand a disease, then diagnose and develop tailored treatments.
 
 
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
 
Technology teaches kids to cross the street.  (TY Michelle) An initiative of Ben Gurion University and Holon Institute of Technology equips children with Virtual Reality devices to train them in road safety.  40 minutes of hazard-detection training on 18 simulated Israeli streets gave the kids the same crossing skills as adults. 
 
One of the hottest startups of 2015.  (TY Michelle) CNBC has included Israel’s Lishtot in its list of 20 of the world’s hottest start-ups of 2015.  Lishtot (see Sep 15newsletter) detects water pollutants from the changes they make to the electromagnetic properties of drinking water.
 
Fast optical communication for the Internet.  Israel’s ColorChip produces optical chips that transmit Internet data on optical wavelengths, providing faster speeds and carrying more data.  ColorChip has just raised another $25 million of funds.
 
Transforming Indian cities.  (TY Michelle) Tel Aviv’s municipality has partnered with the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Jaffa to assist in turning the Indian cities of Pune, Nagpur and Nashik in the northwestern state of Maharashtra into “smart cities”. Israelis will mentor Indian city officials in technological urban transformation.
 
BioGas for your home.  (TY Michelle) Now you can order a portable digester and turn kitchen waste into cooking gas and fertilizer.  Israel’s HomeBioGas (featured in my newsletter here and here) has launched a crowdfunding project on Indiegogo where you can purchase a system for under $1000. 
 
Researching biofuels with Canada.  (TY Michelle) The Israel-Canada Workshop on Advanced Biofuels in Rehovot, brought together scientists from both countries looking at ways to convert left-over harvest wheat into liquid fuel.  Also the shrinking paper market means Canada’s forestry industry is looking for a new outlet.
 
Israelis developing Amazon drone delivery.  (TY Michelle) Amazon plans to launch its Prime Air delivery service in the not-too-distant future.  Your purchase will be delivered by an unmanned air vehicle (UAV / drone), thanks to Israeli technology. 
 
The world’s first jet-powered, 3D printed UAV.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Stratasys has teamed with Aurora Flight Sciences to deliver, what is believed to be, the largest, fastest, and most complex 3D printed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) ever produced. The 150 mph drone was unveiled at the Dubai Airshow.
 
Make your own reality.  (TY Atid-EDI) With the ENTiTi platform from Israeli startup WakingApp anyone can develop dynamic 3D content for an Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality application.  Content is instantly available online for any mobile device or smart glasses.  WakingApp has just raised $4.3 million of funding.
 
Smart glasses for cyclists.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Elbit Systems has launched the consumer wearables company Everysight.  Its first product is the Raptor smart glasses for cyclists, which aims to be available in 2016.  The glasses utilize Everysight’s Beam technology that overlays data directly in the wearer’s line of sight.
 
Buy online clothes in the correct size.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli startup MySizeID has developed an algorithm SizeUp that measures your body with the sensors of your smartphone.  MySizeID then works with the retailer to ensure that the clothing sizes match the measurements.  MySizeID has just raised $4 million of funding.
 
Check your grammar.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Whitesmoke has released “WhiteSmoke Expert” – a new version of its grammar-checking software.  WhiteSmoke has already corrected over two billion grammar errors since 2002. Earlier this year, WhiteSmoke released a mobile app, available on Android and iOS.
 
So cool inside Google’s cloud.  Google has formed a first of its kind partnership, paying Israel’s CloudEndure to migrate potential Google customers into Google’s Cloud Platform.  CloudEndure has been selected as one of CRN’s 10 Coolest Cloud Startups of 2015.
 
 
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
 
How Israeli desalination was funded.  (TY Michelle) Israel’s $0.5 billion Sorek desalination plant is the world’s biggest such facility and was named one of MIT Technology Review’s breakthroughs of 2015. It is the result of government funding of both large-scale infrastructure and the underlying technological innovations.
 
Japan welcomes Israeli delegation.  (TY Michelle) Trade links between Japan and Israel have been boosted by a new Israel trade office in Osaka.  Also a delegation of Israeli automotive supply companies is meeting executives from Toyota, Honda, Suzuki and Daihatsu.  Plus, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is a big opportunity.
 
50 years of relations with Singapore.  (TY Michelle) In 1965 when Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew approached several nations asking for advice, only Israel responded positively.  Today, bilateral trade is $2 billion p.a. and the Singapore-Israel Industrial Research and Development Foundation approves hundreds of joint projects.
 
Top multinationals meet Israeli startups.  More than 25 of the world’s largest multinational corporations, including Ford, IBM, GE, Tyco, GM, Singtel, PayPal and Yahoo gathered at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange for the Axis Tel Aviv Corporate Edition event, connecting international companies with promising Israeli startups.
 
WiFi for Ivory Coast.  (TY Atid-EDI) VIPNET, a major ISP in the Ivory Coast, has chosen Israel’s Radwin to completely replace its existing WiMAX network. The new RADWIN 5000 JET Beamforming corporate access network spans the major cities in the Ivory Coast, connecting key institutions including banks, Government offices, mining and gas & oil companies.  http://www.radwin.com/news/press-room/vipnet-deploys-jet
 
Teva and Takeda partnership.  (TY Michelle) Israel’s Teva and Japan’s Takeda are partnering to market Teva’s generic treatments and off-patent medicines in Japan. Japan’s aging population requires increased health care and Teva’s generic products can provide this at less cost. 
 
$50 million to market Israeli oral insulin.  (TY Michelle) China’s Hefei has bought the rights to market the oral insulin capsules developed by Israel’s Oramed on completion of Phase III trials.  In a deal worth over $50 million, Hefei gets exclusive rights to market the diabetes treatment in China, Hong Kong and Macau. 
 
 

 
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
 
Respite for parents of autistic kids.  Ezer Mizion’s Hakalah Respite Program provides parents of special-needs children the opportunity to celebrate events with their families whilst knowing that their child is well looked after. http://www.ezermizion.org/blog/impossible-dilemma-solved/
 
Jerusalem opens a special café.  70% of the employees of Jerusalem café Bistro Harutzim have various special needs. The café, opened by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, is operated under the auspices of SHEKEL, which enables people with disabilities to enjoy a better quality of life and integrate naturally into the community.
 
Baseball for all.  Fifteen 12-year-olds from the Jewish town of Modi’in and 15 sixth graders from a Christian Orthodox school in the mixed Arab-Jewish city of Ramle met for the third time to play baseball at the Baptist Village field in Petah Tikva.  The program for sixth graders is called Baseball for All.
 
A great year for the IAC.  In 2015 the Israeli-American Council hosted five Celebrate Israel festivals that reached over 43, 000 community members.  It has established regional centers in nine US cities plus three community centers.  Its annual conference attracted 1, 300 delegates.
 
Israel 18th highest on UN human development list.  Israel was ranked 18th out of 188 countries on the 2015 UN Human Development Index (HDI) which analyzes economic strength, education, and health. Israel scored higher than Japan, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, all of eastern European, plus African and Arab countries.
 
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
 
Israeli will bring mini-world to Times Square.  (TY Michelle) A tiny version of the world is coming to Times Square in 2017.  The exhibition, dubbed “Gulliver’s Gate” is owned by Eiran Gazit, an Israeli entrepreneur who commissioned the very popular Mini Israel Park in Israel’s Ayalon Valley.
 
Enrique is a sell-out.  Spanish pop star Enrique Iglesias’s concert at the Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv on 16 Dec was sold out almost immediately tickets went on sale.  So he is to perform a second time on 22 Dec
 
Israeli bodybuilder is crowned “Mr Universe”.  23-year-old Dani Kaganovich of Be’er Sheva is the first Israeli to win the Mr. Universe competition – one of the bodybuilding world’s biggest titles.  He had previously won the Mr. Universe youth category three years in a row.
 
Israel to host Euro basketball championships.  Israel will be one of four countries to host the FIBA EuroBasket 2017 tournament. It will be the first time that Israel will be hosting a European basketball championship.  http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/204806#.Vmzy0OLn-Ug
 
 
THE JEWISH STATE
 
Jewish great-grandmother returns from Syria.  Rachel Elkayam last saw her family 68 years ago when she left Haifa for Syria with the Arab family that she had married into.  She always wanted to return but it wasn’t until her grandson contacted the Israeli embassy in London that she was able to leave Syria.
 
An Israeli-Jew on Mars?  Israel’s Barak Stoltz spent Chanukah in the Utah desert, in a few cramped capsules that make up the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS). He lit his menorah, sang some songs, and even tried his hand at making latkes—all while practicing for a manned mission to Mars.
 
Me too!  Sisters Chen and Irit Cohen registered with on Ezer Mizion’s bone marrow registry.  Then Chen’s DNA matched a cancer patient and her stem cells saved a life. Not long after, Chen’s father received another phone call from Ezer Mizion.  Said the voice on the line. “Your daughter, Irit, has been found to be…”
 
Orphan invites all of Israel to her wedding.  Bride-to-be Sarah-Tehiya Litman, 21, whose father and brother were murdered by terrorists, has invited the entire nation of Israel. The invitation includes the phrase – “Do not rejoice over me, my enemy, for I have fallen but I have gotten up” (Micah 7:8).
 
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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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