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The Weekly Good News From Israel / By Micahel Ordman

Tel Aviv Israel photo: Yoav Aziz / Unsplash

More accessible cancer treatment. The Car-T cancer therapy invented by Israel’s Professor Zelig Eshhar is curing thousands of blood cancer patients. But the manual effort is hugely expensive. Now Israel’s ADVA Biotechnologies is developing a simpler, automated process. More lives will be saved with less cost.
AI in Israeli hospitals. Good to see that Israel’s six largest medical centers are using AI-based software from Israel’s Aidoc to analyze CT scans and pinpoint cerebral hemorrhage, pulmonary embolism, stroke and C-spine fractures. They are Sheba, Hadassah, Sourasky (Ichilov), Rabin, Shaare Zedek and Assuta centers.
Go barefoot to reduce foot pain. Tel Aviv University researchers have discovered a simple cure for people suffering from osteophytes (bone spurs) – lumps that grow on the heels of the feet. A 1-month controlled study of 50 patients found a 10-30 minute daily barefoot walk at home, or on a treadmill, significantly reduced pain.
Not heart-stopping at all. Israel’s Mitrassist Medical has advanced to human trials of its innovative heart valve implant that avoids the risks of stopping the heart during open heart surgery. Mitrassist has just raised funds to recruit more employees and tackle additional structural heart diseases.,7340,L-3878551,00.html
Blood test analyzers for Australia. (TY Hazel) Israel’s PixCell Medical will be deploying its blood test analyzers in labs and emergency departments in New South Wales, Australia. PixCell’s HemoScreen low-cost portable hematology analyzer can perform a complete blood count at the point of care.
Relieving the pressure on Cypriot hospitals. (TY Hazel) Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem will accept non-Covid patients from Cyprus with serious and life-threatening medical conditions to relieve local hospitals under strain from Covid-19. Hadassah also wants to build a hospital complex and rehabilitation center in Cyprus.
Israeli masks are good for you. (TY Uri) Nice article in TravelTrend about how the SonoMask facemasks from Israel’s Sonovia (reported here previously) protect their wearers and the public against the coronavirus.

Czech-Israeli science co-operation. There are many current Czech-Israeli research projects using robots and AI in different fields. They include in autonomous vehicles, maneuvering with drones and physiotherapy treatment. The article humorously links fascination with robots to the Jewish tradition of the Golem of Prague!
Healthy milk without cows. (TY UWI & Nas) Israel’s Remilk has developed a product, chemically identical to milk, but without cholesterol or lactose. Remilk uses microbes to produce milk proteins. No cows, no animal abuse, no huge land use, no waste products. Remilk tastes the same and is easily made into cheese, yogurt etc.
Tech to make tourism safe. Israel’s Arieli Capital is partnering tourism giants, Spain’s travel firm Amadeus and Etihad Airways to launch a NIS 10 million accelerator program. Called OnBoard, it will foster Israeli and international startups developing tech solutions that reduce pandemic risks for travelers.
Israeli tech protects Spanish VIPs from Covid-19. Madrid’s Pardo Palace, where the Spanish Monarchy accommodates guests of the government, has installed air purifiers from Israel’s Aura Smart Air. The system kills 99.9% of viruses in the air, including the coronavirus.
Synthetic biology winners. At the iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) Competition for Synthetic Biology, Tel Aviv University’s team won the “Best Software Tool” category. Israel’s Technion won gold for its active gel that captures SARS-CoV-2 viruses and prevents them from entering body cells.  
Recycling plastic for car parts. Almost every month there is a new use for the thermoplastic from recycled plastic waste made by Israel’s UBQ Materials. UBQ’s new partner is Indian vehicle component manufacturer Motherson Group, who will use the material in the manufacture of automotive parts.
An electric car for the elderly. (TY Hazel) Students at Israel’s Ariel University have developed an electric car that can park perpendicular to the sidewalk and disembark its passengers to a standing position. It was the only Israeli project chosen for the 2020 Global Grad Show – a virtual social impact exhibition hosted in Dubai.
Warehouse robots that adapt. Israel’s Caja Robotics installs robotic warehouse Automated Storage & Retrieval Systems (ASRS). Caja’s advantage is that it can be installed in almost any warehouse, as it adapts to existing infrastructure. It consists of two types of robot, plus cloud-based Artificially Intelligent software.
Gel powered rocket engines. (TY UWI) Israel’s NewRocket (reported here previously) has unveiled its “new generation” rocket engines for satellites, propelled by its PowerGel low-cost and environmentally friendly gel fuel. Satellite engines currently use highly toxic hydrazine-based fuel – soon expected to be banned in Europe.
Tracing problems in the data pipeline. Companies these days regard their data as important as their electricity or water supply. Israel’s Databand helps scientists and data engineers resolve problems with their data, such as failed processes, why data updates are running late, and how system changes affect the quality of data outputs.,7340,L-3878320,00.html
Powering Amazon’s AWS customers. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is to offer its customers Gaudi AI accelerators developed by Intel’s Israel-based subsidiary Habana Labs. They will soon be able to use AWS machine learning cloud services at a much lower cost.  Intel bought Israel’s Habana Labs for $2 billion in 2019.  
Ariel’s first satellite. Ariel University’s first nanosatellite SATLLA-1 has been launched from the International Space Station and is now orbiting the Earth every 97 minutes. Eventually, three SATLLA nanosatellites will work as a “swarm” enabling affordable research, controlled and tracked by an Ariel-developed ground station.
Testing restaurant for vegan meat. Israel’s Supermeat (reported here previously) has opened a restaurant near its production factory in Ness Tziona, south of Tel Aviv. It is a testing kitchen for Supermeat’s lab-grown “cultured chicken”. Diners are not required to pay for their meal but are asked to give feedback.
Projects to strengthen business economy.  The Israeli Economy Ministry is investing some NIS 50 million in ventures to help businesses recover from the pandemic.  They include a crowdfunding platform that provides loans to small businesses and a company helping to establish an online trading platform for businesses.
Israeli education centers for UAE. In January, the United Arab Emirates is to open an Educational Hebrew Institute in 4 locations in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Israelis will teach the Hebrew language and Israeli culture to
acquaint local businesspeople with Israeli-style communication and cuisine in “a fun and interactive way.”
Dubai commodities center opens Israel office. The Dubai Multi Commodities Center Authority has opened a representative office inside the Israel Diamond Center in Ramat Gan, north Tel Aviv. The new office will support Israeli businesses, from all industries and sectors, interested in setting up a presence in Dubai.
Free trade agreement with Ukraine. The expanded Free Trade Agreement between Israel and Ukraine (reported here previously) will go into effect on 1st Jan 2021. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky praised the closer cooperation with Israel. “Relations between our countries are rising to a new level,” he wrote.
Next stop is Tulsa. Tulsa, Oklahoma is seeking to help Israeli startups with remote hiring and US market entry. Tulsa has diversified from oil & gas into hi-tech. Its work from home (WFH) program “Remote” has attracted skilled professionals escaping from crowded coastal cities. Several Israeli startups have already moved in.
$125 million for Israeli-founded startups. Venture capital firm Entrée Capital has now fully raised its $125 million Israel Opportunity Fund.  The new fund will target early growth Israeli-founded startups, focusing on areas such as deep technology, SaaS, fintech and digital health.,7340,L-3878810,00.html
Water from the air to the Gulf. Israel’s Watergen is bringing its revolutionary water solutions to the United Arab Emirates and other countries in the region. Watergen’s partnership with Emirati Al-Dahra will cover hotels, offices and apartment buildings, agriculture, industry and more.
People of the Books. A 1980 Hebrew University of Jerusalem library management project was commercialized into Aleph-Yissum and taken over several times. Now called Ex-Libris, it is still headquartered in Jerusalem. Ex-Libris’ remote learning systems are used by 7,500 academic institutions in 90 countries.
Investment in Israeli startups: Bizzabo raised $138 millionEnvoy raised $81 millionMitrassist Medical raised $50 raised $23 millionDataband raised $14.5 millionCaja Robotics raised $12 millionTipa raised $4 millionNewRocket raised $1 million;

Women are the peacemakers. Israeli, UAE and Bahraini female diplomats held a “Women in Diplomacy Network” panel event to examine the role of women in diplomacy. It marked 20 years since UN Resolution 1325, which calls for the active inclusion and participation of women in promoting peace and security.
Israeli elected to UN disability committee. Odelia Fitoussi, born with muscular dystrophy, is the first Israeli to be elected to the prestigious U.N. Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
Trade agreements with Bahrain. Bahrain’s Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Zayed bin Rashid Al-Zayani made a 2-day visit to Jerusalem.  Three deals were signed to boost trade and tourism. The Minister said the agreements would lead to economic prosperity for both countries and more stability in the region.
Partnering with UAE to save endangered bird. (TY UWI & ILTV) Abu Dhabi-based International Houbara Conservation fund is working with Israel’s Nature & Parks Authority and the Nature & Heritage Foundation to save the endangered Houbara species from extinction. There are some 400 Houbaras in Israel’s Arava Desert.
Aid to victims of Honduras hurricanes. Israel’s Defense and Foreign Ministers have sent an aid delegation of 15 IDF Home Front Command officers to Honduras. They are providing emergency response to the populations in the areas devastated by Hurricanes Eta and Iota, hand in hand with local volunteers.
Helping battle Covid-19 in Italy. (TY Stuart Pl) Israel’s Sheba Medical Center has sent a team of 20 doctors and nurses to assist the Piedmont District of Northern Italy, where 169,000 patients are infected with Covid-19. The 10-day mission followed an appeal from Piedmont’s governor to Israel’s Ambassador to Italy.

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By Michael Ordman



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