Israel's Good News Newsletter to 19th Apr 2015


In the 19th Apr 2015 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        New Israeli tests can help identify the best treatment for secondary cancer.
·        Two Israelis won gold medals at the 2015 International Bowls for the Disabled.
·        Israel now grows grapes that can be harvested all year round.
·        An Israeli company won “Best security system to be installed in Spain”.
·        Israeli firms raised $1.5 billion on Wall Street in the first 3 months of 2015.
·        UNESCO has added Israel’s Beit Guvrin caves to its World Heritage list.
·        Six Israelis living in the Shomron have donated their kidneys to strangers.

·        Last week’s Israel Good News descriptive summary.  Click here for “Time is on Our Side” (fast-loading version, no adverts).  Also published on the Jerusalem Post, San Diego Jewish World and United With Israel websites.

·        Click here to see the newsletter on Jewish Business News, IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel with extra features on health, technology, global impact and entertainment.

Page Down for details on these and more good news stories from Israel.  Thank You Michelle and other readers for sending me links to many of these positive news articles.  Please use IsraelActive to search the archives.


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

New tests for cancer.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Rosetta Genomics has received a US patent for its microRNA-based test for the primary tumor type in primary and metastatic (secondary) cancer.  By identifying the origin of the tumor, physicians can select the best treatment options for the patient.

Cancer detection proven.  In a study of 484 people (99 with stomach cancer), Israel’s NaNose breath detector gave an 80% accurate diagnosis - matching far more expensive, slower and invasive alternatives.  NaNose (developed by Technion’s Dr Hossam Haick) also detected pre-cancerous growths that needed attention.

Technion to develop cancer treatments.  (TY Michelle)  Israel Technion’s Nobel laureate Aaron Ciechanover is in the news for the second week in a row.  His recent findings form the basis of a joint project to develop cancer treatments with India’s Sun Pharma.   http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/sun-pharma-israel-univ-ink-pact-to-develop-anti-cancer-drugs-115041500844_1.html

How nanotechnology can cure cancer.  I featured the amazing work of Tel Aviv University’s Professor Dan Peer in my 8 Mar 2015 newsletter.  But I thought that you’d like to hear the story from the Professor direct.

Canadian patent boosts AAT treatment.  Israel’s Kamada has been allowed a patent in Canada for the large-scale production of Alpha-1 Proteinase Inhibitor.  The process is key to Kamada’s treatments for alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficient patients suffering from type-1 diabetes and pulmonary diseases, amongst others.

Pregnancy rejuvenates.  Medical researchers at Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem studying the effects of liver transplants in mice, found that in 96% of older, pregnant rodents, the liver regenerated within two days. This compared with 82% of young, non-pregnant mice and 46% of older, non-pregnant ones.

Motor skills development app for Ohio.  (TY Michelle) Israel’s Timocco makes motor skills games for developmentally disabled and autistic children.  It is now locating its US HQ in Akron Ohio and is working with Akron Children's Hospital, Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals to introduce the software.

A new device to treat sleep apnea.  (TY Atid-EDI and Globes) Israel’s Ninox Medical has raised $10 million to fund its development of a new device for the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).  It is designed to be effective, comfortable to use, and without the side effects typical of other treatment devices.

Shir returns.  (TY Hazel) Motivation, physiotherapy from Sheba medical center and use of a Wii console were key to Captain Shir Klevner’s speedy return to his unit, where he completed intensive training only 8 months after his leg was shattered by a sniper’s bullet in Gaza. 


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Women are starting up in Israel.  (TY Michelle) Chen Levanon describes how the Israeli education system, work-life balance, reserve duty and role models all contribute to the growing number of opportunities for women tech leaders in Israel.  Chen gave birth to two children whilst CEO of Israel’s ClicksMob.

Lawn bowls for the blind.  The all-volunteer Israel Lawn Bowls Association for the Blind coaches 50 adults with visual disabilities at clubs in Israel.  Israeli blind and partially sighted bowlers recently won 2 gold and 3 bronze medals at the 2015 International Bowls for the Disabled World Championships in New Zealand.

Team of Equals.  Two soccer academies - one from the Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa and the other from the Jewish neighborhood of Katamon - partnered last month to create Team of Equals, a joint team bringing together soccer enthusiasts across the national divide.

Solving Brazil’s water crisis.  A delegation of 13 Israeli water companies visited Brazil to help the country overcome its worst-ever water crisis.  The Israelis offered long-term solutions involving new technology and also recommended quick fixes using water conservation to maximize existing water resources.

Boosting milk production in India.  (TY Michelle) India has signed a memorandum of understanding with Israel to set up a dairy center of excellence in Haryan.  It will include a model dairy farm with 110 cows and train Haryana farmers about Israel's technology to increase production in the world's largest milk producer.

Aid for Ukrainian farmers.  (TY Hazel) Israel and Canada have joined forces to provide equipment and training to farmers in the Ukraine.  “This agreement is another example of how Canada and Israel can leverage mutual expertise to help make the world a better place,” said Israeli Ambassador Rafael Barak.

Solar power for Burundi.  Gigawatt Global, headed by Israel’s Yosef Abramowitz is building a 7.5MW solar power plant for 60,000 households in Burundi, Africa.  Gigawatt Global has an R&D center in Israel and was nominated for the 2015 Nobel Peace prize for its solar field at Agahozo Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

An accelerator for satellite tech startups.  Israel’s ImageSat, together with Peregrine Ventures, are launching an accelerator for Israeli startups developing satellite information-based applications.  They will invest NIS 15 million in up to six startups over the next two years. Each venture will receive $600,000.

Teenage ‘Cyber Ambassadors’.  The Rashi Foundation has chosen 12 teenagers as “Cyber Ambassadors” on behalf of the Foreign Ministry.  The 12 are top achievers in the Magshimim national cyber education initiative, which is now to be expanded to include 4800 students.

Israeli grapes available all year round.  Researchers in the south of Israel have used special pruning techniques and plastic sheeting to cover the vineyards and convince an existing variety of seedless grape, Early Sweet, to ripen during the winter months. It will allow Israeli farmers to harvest grapes throughout the year.

Long-lasting flowers.  Israel’s Danziger Innovations and the Hebrew University’s Yissum tech-transfer company have developed a patented technology called MemoGene, which together with a DNA editing platform developed by Precision Biosciences in North Carolina, extends the shelf life of popular flowers.

Weizmann hosts AgriVest.  The third international AgriVest conference will take place at the Weizmann Institute of Science on April 27 2015.  Israeli startups will present their finest in agritech innovation to hundreds of professionals, government officials, businesspeople, scientists and leading investors from Israel and abroad

Israel’s hi-tech desert.  (TY Michelle) Here is a brief insight into the work being conducted by scientists and researchers in Israel’s Arava Desert, trying to solve some of the problems in the world’s poorest countries.

Roll up for a flexible screen.  Tel Aviv University scientists have developed a single-layer, organic material that emits a full range of colors.  It can connect to a microprocessor or video chip to display images in the same manner as rigid LCD or LED screens.  Soon you can watch films on a big screen that you can roll up to go.

Israeli teens win “robotics Olympics”.  100 teams competed in the annual Trinity College Robot Contest in Connecticut USA - one of the top robotics contests in the world.  Haifa’s Ironi G High School won 1st prize for its Dalek firefighter and Israelis came 1st and 2nd in both individual and team Olympiad exams.

The robot printer wins over Las Vegas.  I just received this video of Israeli startup ZUtA’s Pocket Printer making an indelible impression at CES 2015 in Las Vegas.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AH3jMSchI90

Israeli innovation in NYC.  Over a dozen Israeli startups exhibited and recruited staff at Innovations Israel in New York City.  TorchPAC and several NY University organizations put the event together.  Sponsors included Israelideas.org, StandWithUs, WZO and ZOA.

Israel’s global tech impresses US students.  (TY Michelle) The Global Module Course students from Wharton University of Pennsylvania were humbled and motivated by their visit to Israel.

Spanish award for Magal.  (TY Atid-EDI) The Fortis 4G advanced command and control solution installed in the Port of Tarragona, Spain by Israel’s Magal Security Systems was awarded “best security system installed in Spain during 2014” at the XXVIII Seguritecnia International Security Awards in Madrid, Spain.

The largest science park in Israel.  The 4.25-acre Carasso Science Park in Be’er Sheva is the largest science park in Israel. It features an interactive museum, scientific garden, games and hands-on activities for all ages, ten interactive exhibitions on Genetics, Communications, Microelectronics, Nuclear Energy and more.

Israel’s first “Innovation Report”.  Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist has produced its first annual Innovation Report. It highlights the flourishing startup industry but also the need to generate big companies, introduce hi-tech in traditional industries and in the public sector, and to improve government involvement.

Guardian features Israel’s Dog TV.  I reported on Israel’s DogTV in my 6 Jan 2013 newsletter. It now has TV distribution deals in nine countries and is popular with millions of canine and non-canine viewers, including the normally anti-Israel UK Guardian newspaper.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Israeli firms raise $1.5 billion on Wall Street.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israelis companies conducted 11 offerings on Wall Street in the first quarter of 2015: three IPOs and eight secondary offerings. An almost unimaginable total of $1.5 billion was raised, considering that $3.9 billion was raised in all of 2014.

Another successful NASDAQ launch.  Israeli garment printing company Kornit saw its share price jump 40% on the day following its NASDAQ IPO.  Analysts were bullish on the prospects for Kornit’s digital inkjet printing using non-toxic water-based inks, highlighting low-costs, flexibility and lack of competitors.

Kids’ games company is growing up.  (TY Michelle)  Israeli kids’ games publisher TabTable has made its 4th acquisition, and its first in the USA with the purchase of rival Sunstorm Games.  It will add another 5 million users to the 40 existing active users of TabTable’s apps.

More European satellite coverage.  Israel’s RR Media is a leading provider of digital media services to the broadcast industry.  RR Media has just bought Eastern Space Systems in Romania, extending RR Media’s Intelsat coverage to more than 17 million TV households in Central, Eastern and Nordic Europe.

India’s new Israeli R&D center.  (TY Michelle) India’s Tech Mahindra is working with US-Israeli Comverse to set up an Israeli research & development center.  Tech Mahindra has 98,000 employees in 51 countries. Tech Mahindra president Manish Vyas said, “Given the culture of entrepreneurship in Israel we need to be here.”

Checkpoint buys Lacoon.  Israeli cyber security giant Checkpoint has just acquired another Israeli security company – Lacoon that detects malicious software on mobile devices.  Lacoon – whose founders worked in the IDF 8200 security unit – recognizes viruses by their behavior and can prevent any damage or information leak.

Tonara’s passport to China.  (TY Michelle) Baidu is China’s largest search engine.  It has also become an investor in Tonara – Israel’s developer of the interactive sheet music app.  Baidu will help the Chinese distribution of Tonara’s “Wolfie” teaching and evaluation tool for music instructors.

Wix Music. (TY Size Doesn’t Matter) Israel’s “make-your-own-website” firm Wix has launched a new service for those working in the music industry.  Specially designed tools and templates help groups promote and sell their music commission-free.  They can track number of plays by track, album etc. and sales of merchandise.

Apple buys LinX.  (TY Michelle) In my July 6 2014 newsletter I reported about the miniature multi-aperture cameras for mobile devices developed by Israel’s LinX Imaging.  Well, Apple has just bought LinX for an estimated $25 million.  We will probably see LinX cameras in a future version of the iPhone.

Pay with your Apple watch.  (TY Michelle) Israel’s 24me is the first company to launch a payments facility for the Apple watch - even before the watch has been shipped.

James Packer buys home in Israel.  (TY Elaine) James Packer, the 4th richest man in Australia, has bought a luxury home in Caesarea.  He also met Prime Minister Netanyahu and is apparently looking to invest in Israel.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

New UNESCO World Heritage site.  (TY Hazel) Israel’s Beit Guvrin-Maresha National Park has become Israel’s 8th site to join the UNESCO list of the world’s outstanding sites of natural and cultural importance.  UNESCO described Beit Guvrin’s man-made caves as a “city under a city”.

Topol wins lifetime achievement award.  Veteran Israeli actor Chaim Topol, best known for playing Tevye the milkman in "Fiddler on the Roof," will receive the Israel Prize for lifetime achievement on Israel's upcoming Independence Day.  http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4642812,00.html

Kim Kardashian visits Israel.  (TY Hazel) American reality television star Kim Kardashian and her rapper husband Kanye West met for a meal with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat during her visit to Israel.  Kardashian flew in from her ancestral home in Armenia and baptized her daughter at Jerusalem’s St James cathedral.

Alcohol-free music club for Jerusalem.  On Monday, April 27, Blaze Bar will be hosting a benefit for Sobar - Jerusalem's first alcohol-free and cigarette-free music bar for teens and young adults. 

Israeli tennis player wins ATP event in Turkey.  Israel’s Dudi Sela won his 17th ATP Challenger Tour title, beating Blaz Kavcic 6-7, 6-3, 6-3 in the final of the Batman tournament in Turkey.  Dudi will climb around 20 ranking places as a result, returning to the world’s top 100 and earning an automatic place in the French Open.


THE JEWISH STATE

Israelis donate kidneys to strangers.  Avraham Shapira 32, from Yitzhar in the Shomron, gave his kidney to a 50-year-old man whom he had never met.  When persuaded to publicize his act, his brother-in-law donated one of his own kidneys to a 60-year-old woman.  Four more men from the Shomron have since followed suit.

The smallest Bible in the world.  To mark the Israel Museum’s 50th anniversary, the Shrine of the Book is displaying a gilt nano chip, the size of a sugar grain, on which the entire Bible is inscribed. The bible was produced at Israel’s Technion Institute. The text needs to be magnified 10,000 times in order to be legible.

New Israeli stamps.  (TY Jacob) To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Israel museum, new stamps include the Cyrus declaration allowing Jews to return to the Land of Israel 60 years after their exile to Babylon 2600 years ago.  A replica of the declaration is on display in the museum’s “Rivers of Babylon” exhibit.

Israeli flags for Independence Day.  Israeli flags distributed free in newspapers by Bank Hapoalim were made in Israel by Hamishkam, which employs thousands of disabled people in 40 communities around the country.