March 15, 2018 | Yokneam-based Israeli startup PixCell, which develops, manufactures, and markets portable medical diagnostic products for simple blood sampling and analysis, announced that it was awarded a 2.5 million Euro (approximately $3 million) grant to “accelerate commercialization of its product the HemoScreen.” The funding will serve to further test the product, the company said. The Hemoscreen is a portable blood analyzer that performs common test including a blood count with results within 5 minutes, PixCell says. The product is CE marked and expected to be FDA cleared during 2018.
March 15, 2018 | Israeli medical cannabis R&D company Kanabo Research announced yesterday that the Israeli Ministry of Health has granted its VapePod vaporizer product approval as a medical device, according to a statement. This move makes Israel the first country in the world to grant medical device to a vaporizer for the use of medical cannabis extracts and formulations. Kanabo has already begun pre-clinical trials of the company’s current mixtures to be used with the VapePod medical cannabis vaporizer for the treatment of sleep disorders. The results are impressive in early findings, and the combination will give medical cannabis patients the opportunity to receive more effective and accurate dosage and delivery methods of medical cannabis treatment. Kanabo is in the process of registering two patents dealing with their formulations of medical cannabis extracts for sleep disorders to be used with the approved VapePod vaporizer. The VapePod medical vaporizer allows the patients to inhale their medical cannabis, without the risks of smoking, which is currently the most common way for patients to consume medical cannabis. “This approval is a significant announcement for the medical cannabis patients in Israel who will be able to use the medical vaporizer for the first time,” said Avihu Tamir, co-founder and CEO of Kanabo Research, who also added that as medical cannabis patients move to vaporizer usage, his company is expected to reach $10 million in sales in the Israeli market.
March 14, 2018 | Israeli aerospace startup Effective Space Solutions and US-based global commercial launch services provider International Launch Services (ILS) announced Tuesday that they will launch two Effective Space “Space Drone” spacecraft into orbit in 2020, according to a statement from both companies. The spacecraft will be launched with the ILS Proton Breeze M Vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. “Launching our first two ‘Space Drone’ spacecraft into a geostationary orbit is part of our strong commitment to our first customer, meeting mission timeline and ensuring smooth transition into a life-extension service,” said Arie Halsband, founder and CEO of Effective Space. Each ‘Space Drone’ spacecraft is a 400-kilogram spacecraft that “has a universal, non-intrusive docking system to rendezvous and dock to the geostationary host satellite,” the statement says. The Israeli-founded company, now headquartered in the UK, was founded by Arie Halsband, the former general manager of the space division of Israel Aerospace Industries, in 2013. The company also has an R&D center in Tel Aviv. The startup signed a $100 million deal with a large communications satellite operator in January 2018, to prolong the life of two aging satellites. As part of the deal, Effective Space agreed to launch its two “Space Drone” spacecraft in 2020.
March 13, 2018 | Israeli cybersecurity startup BioCatch, an award-winning company that tracks behavioral biometrics for fraud detection, announced that it raised $30 million in a financing round led by Maverick Ventures, with the participation of American Express Ventures, NexStar Partners, OurCrowd, and others. The round brings BioCatch’s total amount raised since its founding in 2011 to over $41 million. The company uses more than 2,000 parameters to track user behavior and has at least 56 registered or pending patents. BioCatch said in a statement that the funds will go toward pursuing markets beyond banks, including insurance, cryptocurrency, P2P payments, healthcare, and government organizations. The company says its vision is to “redefine digital identity and enable renewed trust in online interactions.” Newly appointed CEO Howard Edelstein said in a statement, “BioCatch helps to answer the question, ‘who are you’ in an online world where fraudsters operate with the legitimate credentials of others, making it very hard to distinguish them from authorized users.” Edelstein said the company takes pride “in the track record we have amassed and the role that we play as an integral part of our clients’ identity strategy. This strategy cuts across the digital ecosystem, from stopping fraud in real-time to preventing fake accounts from being opened in the first place, all while enabling a seamless user experience.”
March 12, 2018 | Spotify, the world’s most popular music streaming service, has officially launched in Israel today, according to a statement from the company. The platform allows you to browse and discover music, curate playlists, and build a music collection. The service, which offers a catalog of over 35 million Israeli and international songs, gives its users a choice of a free ad-supported service or an ad-free Premium subscription service for 19.90ILS ($5.70) a month. Spotify has partnered with the Israeli-founded GPS navigation company Waze to incorporate playlists into the app on both Android and iOS. It has also partnered with Israel’s Galgalatz radio to bring Israeli users playlists curated by hosts and editors from the station. Spotify has a personalization feature allowing fans to find music they love and discover new artists based on taste and listening patterns. This includes a Daily Mix series, Release Radar (new music based on artists followed and listened to most by the user) and Discover Weekly (a playlist based on the users’ unique listening habits. The Swedish-developed service was first developed in 2008, but currently has two billion playlists available for 159 million fans worldwide and following the Israeli launch, will be available in 62 markets worldwide.
March 12, 2018 | The city of Haifa has established a new, international digital health center in its downtown area, Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav announced in an inauguration ceremony, along with Jerusalem Venture Partners Chairman Erel Margalit and CEO of Berkshire Partners Brad Bloom, according to a statement from Israel Initiative 2020 (ii2020), Margalit’s vision to create a dynamic center of excellence in seven regions throughout Israel, including Haifa. The center is scheduled to open January 2019. It will serve as an innovation center, an academic accelerator for students, a platform for multinational companies, an investment-focused venture capital fund for Haifa, and an establishment for digital health-related activities, including a meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors in the field and a center for cooperation between academic institutions in Haifa and and research and medical centers throughout Israel. The center will work in cooperation with Haifa’s Technion — Israel Institute of Technology, the University of Haifa, and Rambam Hospital. “This is an exciting and important day for the economic development of the city, and what we have done in Beersheba with cyber is here in the field of digital medicine, One of the world’s leading medicine companies, the presence of multi-national companies and a flourishing entrepreneurial scene – combining these four elements together, around the digital health field can create thousands of jobs here.the digital medical district will become the focus of the city’s innovation. The city of Haifa has revolutionized the lower city, and I do not have a spade Let the lower city be the focus of all this,” said former MK Margalit at the ceremony. The center will be built in a historical building first built in the 1930s in a Bauhaus style by renowned architect Richard Kaufmann, will cover at least 1,100 square meters (over 11,840 feet). Margalit recently hosted last month’s Ecosystem Haifa 2018, a conference to focus on Haifa as a center of innovation and entrepreneurship as well as a global leader in digital health. Israel’s Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon opened the conference, announcing that the Ministry of Finance will be a full partner in the vision to transform the “lower city” area into a center of innovation of entrepreneurship in the field of digital health.
March 12, 2018 | OurCrowd, the equity crowdfunding platform, announced Monday the opening of a new UK office located in Mayfair, London, according to a statement. This is the 10th location for OurCrowd, which was founded in Jerusalem and also has offices in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Singapore. The new office will be headed by its new Director of Investor Relations Lina White, who formerly worked at the multinational finance firm Goldman Sachs. White will manage OurCrowd activities, including the growing community of British investors. OurCrowd expects to add thousands of new UK investors and help Israeli startups enter the UK market. Founded in 2013 by Jon Medved, OurCrowd currently has almost 25,000 accredited investors from over 112 countries. It has raised over $650 million and invested in 145 portfolio companies and funds. The company predicts it will surpass $1 billion in assets under management, raised through equity crowdfunding from investors.
March 11, 2018 | Israel’s finance ministry announced on Sunday that the state-owned weapons manufacturer Israel Military Industries (IMI) would be sold to defense contractor Elbit Systems, for 1.8 billion shekels ($523 million). IMI is best known as the maker of the Uzi submachine gun and the Galil. Elbit will pay another 100 million ($29 million) depending if IMI overseas sales goals for the year. Under the terms of the agreement, IMI will close its Ramat Hasharon factories and relocate them to the Negev, in the Ramat Beka industrial zone south of Beersheba, The Times of Israel reported. The move is set to free up in-demand land for housing. Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said in a statement. “The agreement that was reached continues the Finance Ministry’s policy of clearing [industry] from high-demand areas for the public benefit. The move of the factories to the Negev will allow constructions of thousands of housing units in the heart of a high-demand area, while strengthening industry and employment in the Negev.”
March 11, 2018 | Shared workspace giant WeWork announced that it was acquiring marketing and SEO company Conductor for an undisclosed amount. Conductor, a content intelligence platform, was co-founded in 2008 by Seth Besmertnik, who serves as the company’s CEO and has known WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann, an Israeli-born entrepreneur, since they attended Baruch College together in New York. Besmertnik told TechCrunch that the two “kept reconnecting and reconnecting over the years.” The two companies are already customers of each other’s services and have been working together since 2016. WeWork said in a statement that Conductor is “capitalizing on a revolutionary change in marketing, one in which marketers attract customers through relevant, high-quality content online instead of depending on traditional ad-serving models to drive online acquisition,” and that “if a new approach, platform, or service has helped our fast-growing global business flourish, we want to share those learnings with our members and beyond.” Together, said Besmertnik in a Conductor statement, “we’re going to be building a marketing cloud to go after the enterprise market.” He added, “where WeWork provides businesses with the right physical presence, Conductor will enable companies to have the right digital presence.” Conductor will continue to operate as an independent business and Besmertnik will continue serving as CEO. The company says it serves over 1,000 brands around the world, including Citibank, Salesforce, and CVS, and has raised over $60 million in total funding since it was founded, according to Crunchbase.
March 11, 2018 | Arbe Robotics, a company developing a high-resolution radar system to help vehicles detect and identify objects, is the winner of Berlin’s Automotive Tech.AD Award 2018, according to a statement from the Tel Aviv-based startup. Presented by we.CONECT, the award recognizes and honors exceptional projects. The company won for outstanding achievements in the autonomous driving industry, including being “the first to demonstrate ultra-high-resolution imaging radar.” Arbe Robotics founder and CEO Kobi Marenko said, “To be recognized as the winner by one of the leading automotive events is a true honor, and following the win, we will continue to develop and produce our revolutionary real-time 4D imaging radar.” Founded in 2015, Arbe Robotics’ 4D imaging technology provides ADAS, level 4, and 5 fully autonomous cars with high-resolution imaging radar that enables them to “see” the environment in any weather and lighting condition; from long, mid and short ranges in wide azimuth, elevation, range, and Doppler. The company raised an additional $9 million at the end of 2017 in a funding round led by equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd and O.G. Tech Ventures. They will also use the money to invest in their first customer support center in Silicon Valley.
March 11, 2018 | Stanford Medicine and Israel’s Rambam Health Care Campus announced over the weekend that they are establishing a cooperation agreement to work together on the future of medicine. They announced four areas of cooperations including “medical innovation, research in collaboration with Big Data and Machine Learning, cutting-edge drug development and trauma and emergency preparedness.” The agreement was reached following a Stanford Medicine-Rambam Symposium on “Planning for the Next Generation” last week. The two institutions discussed opportunities for partnerships during the two-day event. The institutions noted the budget gap – “Rambam, a hospital with 1,000 beds and 130,000 visits to the emergency room annually with a budget of $400 million versus Stanford, a 600-bed hospital with 60,000 visits to its emergency room annually and a budget of $7 billion a year” – with Rambam Director Prof. Rafi Beyar saying that “despite the enormous gap, Israel ranks much higher than the US in the quality of medicine.” Speakers from both institutions discussed the difficult challenges of their respective health systems in maintaining equitable health care, closing gaps, coping with the challenges of tomorrow’s health needs, as well as the heavy burdens on health care systems, Rambam said in a statement. “During the conference, we discussed precise, personalized health issues and the issue of health in Israel, including the complex relations in Israel between its local diverse population and with its neighbors,” Prof. Beyar said.
March 8, 2018 | The Israeli Knesset this week unanimously passed (38-0) a first reading of a bill to legalize the use of marijuana. The bill, which focuses on enforcement, levying fines on those caught with marijuana, will go into effect in the next few months, according to Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who spearheaded the bill. First offenders will have to pay a NIS 1000 fine ($288), NIS 2000 ($577) if caught a second time, rehab and license revocation if it’s the third time and by the fourth time, criminal proceedings. Erdan was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying that the bill is meant to “reduce the harms of drug usage regularly but avoid as much as possible the criminal stigmatization of average citizens.” MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz), who chairs the Knesset Special Committee on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, said the bill was “far from perfect, but it is a foot in the door on the way to a policy of full legalization,” according to the Jerusalem Post. Marijuana is still considered a controlled substance, but Israel has been a pioneer in medical cannabis, with plans to push through reforms that would allow for the exports of marijuana plants to the tune of an estimated $1 billion in annual revenue. Last month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to suspend the reforms amid opposition by the Public Security Ministry which said it is afraid of “spillover” into the recreational market and which is demanding more funds (as well as a reported conversation with US President Donald Trump, whose administration is taking a hard-line against cannabis including its medical use.) The Israeli Health Ministry and the National Economic Council are currently reviewing the proposed reforms.
March 8, 2018 | Yehuda and Yehudit Bronicki, founders of Ormat Technologies, were announced as the recipients of the 2018 Israel Prize in industry. The husband and wife pair are the co-founders of the Israeli alternative and renewable energy technology provider. The prize committee congratulated the pair, writing, ““Yehuda Bronicki, a visionary, an inventor, born in Poland who survived the Holocaust and together with his wife, Dita Bronicki, one of the first businesswomen and female entrepreneurs in Israel – a pioneer in her field – jointly established the Ormat Group and made it a world leader in geothermal energy,” the Jerusalem Post reports. Founded in 1965 by the Bronickis, Ormat Technologies went public in 2004 and the Bronickis retired in 2014. The company provides renewable energy sources in the United States and around the world. The Israel Prize committee has faced some criticism for their choice of winners this year, as Yehudit Bronicki is the first and only female winner of the 2018 Israel Prize among the 11 winners that have been announced to date. The lack of female laureates have received disapproval from former MKs like Meirav Michaeli and Shelly Yechimovitch of the Zionist Union party. Two winners have yet to be announced.
March 7, 2018 | Israel’s Vectorious Medical Technologies, which developed a miniature implant for left-atrial monitoring to detect heart failure, announced that it raised $9.5 million in a Series B funding round led by Boston-based Broadview Ventures and China’s GEOC, with the participation of Israel-based investors, Globes reported. In November, Vectorious was one of 15 Israeli startups selected to present their tech to the Chinese market at the annual Israeli roadshow in China, an event organized by the Israel Innovation Authority in cooperation with the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology. The company said the funds will allow it to expand its workforce and conduct clinical trials. Vectorious Medical Technologies founded in 2011 by CEO Oren Goldstein.
March 7, 2018 | Israeli cybersecurity company Snyk, which provides security solutions for vulnerabilities in open source libraries, announced that it raised $7 million in a Series A funding round led by Boldstart Ventures and Canaan Partners, with the participation of Heavybit, FundFire, Peter McKay, co-CEO of Veeam, and others. The latest round brings Snyk’s total amount raised to date to $10 million. McKay will join Snyk’s board of directors, the company said. Snyk plans to use the funds to “deploy additional product offerings that improve the secure usage of open source for developers,” a company statement read. “Security controls must adapt to the new pace open source and cloud dictate,” said Guy Podjarny, CEO and co-founder of Snyk Ltd. and author of “Securing Open Source Libraries. “Failing to do so is what led to the recent breaches at Equifax, Uber, and the Tesla cloud breach. We’re relying on strangers’ code to run the most sensitive aspect of our business, and do so at neck-breaking speed. Traditional security solutions simply cannot keep up. The platform is used by over 120,000 developers and has over 350,000 downloads per month, the company said.
March 7, 2018 | There are five significant Tel Aviv startups to watch in 2018, according to US business magazine Forbes, which recently came out with an article highlighting the Israeli companies. Forbes named autonomous drones startup Airobotics, medical imaging startup Zebra Medical Vision, online shopping game site Boom25, deep learning cybersecurity Deep Instinct, and project management tool Monday.com as the five startups. Airobotics was recognized for the autonomous drones being created that can be used for surveillance and other industrial uses. The company was founded in 2014 by Meir Kliner and Ran Krauss and has raised $71 million to date, including a $32.5 million Series C round in September 2017. Zebra Medical Vision was recognized for its AI platform that reads medical scans to provide accurate medical image diagnoses and its partnership with Google to provide algorithms on Google Cloud at $1 per scan. The third company, Boom25, is “disrupting the popular cashback scene by gamifying online shopping,” according to Forbes. With its nontraditional cashback opportunities, Boom25 offers the 25th customer a full refund on his purchase for shopping through the site and almost 700 retailers have joined the site. Deep Instinct has applied deep learning to cybersecurity to develop a solution with predictive capabilities and claims its the first company to do so. The company was named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. Monday.com, formerly DaPulse, has created a project management tool that transforms the team collaboration experience for teams of any size. It has raised $34.1million in funding so far and works with companies like McDonalds, Adidas, and Wix. The article also mentions Tel Aviv’s strong tech scene and startup ecosystem as a whole with access to angel investors, VCs, R&D, and even some tax benefits for digital businesses. Tel Aviv has a plethora of accelerators and incubators including 500 Startups and Samurai Incubate Israel. Tel Aviv has also gained the attention of digital publications like Forbes and the US-based tech news publisher TechCrunch, who announced last month that it will host a one-day conference focused on mobility in Tel Aviv this summer. Forbes announced in January that its international Forbes Under 30 Summit Global in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in May. Eight hundred people from the US, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa are expected to be at this event.
March 6, 2018 | Israeli AI-based health startup Medial EarlySign announced that it raised $30 million in a recent funding round led by aMoon Fund, the investment arm of Check Point Software Technologies co-founder Marius Nacht. The company, founded in 2009, developed an algorithmic platform which uses blood results and other information from electronic health records to build clinical insights, helping health organizations with patient management. Horizon Ventures, based in Hong Kong, also participated in the funding round, as did Medial EarlySign co-founder and CTO Nir Kalkstein. Medial EarlySign CEO Ori Geva said the funding will be used to broaden the company’s solutions and expand clinical studies, Reuters reported. Last month, the company announced that it can predict which sufferers of diabetes will develop kidney dysfunction within a one-year time-frame using its predictive engines, or “Algomarkers.” The announcement came after the conclusion of a clinical data study based on Medial EarlySign’s tech which was able to identify at-risk patients by analyzing electronic health records including laboratory tests results, demographics, medication and diagnostic codes.
March 6, 2018 | Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio has joined as a partner and invested in a green hotel to be built at the Herzliya Marina, the hotel’s real estate developers Hagag Group, announced Sunday in a statement, according to the Jerusalem Post. The hotel will be constructed according to US Green Building Council and be certified by its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. The hotel will be constructed according to the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Planning) standards of the US Green Building Council. The planned luxury hotel, to be designed by American architect David Rockwell, will have 180 suites in two six-floor buildings with a swimming pool. DiCaprio, a dedicated environmental activist, runs the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which promotes environmental awareness, supporting renewable energy, and tackling climate change issues. In January 2017, DiCaprio used Instagram to highlight an Israeli project aimed at building the world’s tallest solar thermal tower created by Megalim at the Ashalim solar complex in the Negev.
March 5, 2018 | Israeli medical imaging startup Zebra Medical Vision announced that it has received CE regulatory approval for its newest algorithm to detect cranial hemorrhaging of different kinds. It is the newest addition to the company’s existing 11 artificial intelligence-based algorithms that can detect diseases such as breast cancer, vertebral fractures, emphysema, osteoporosis, fatty liver, and aneurysms. The algorithms are trained to identify the visual symptoms for a different disease by using thousands of medical scans that had already been diagnosed and labeled, and, when fed a new medical scan, can recognize visual cues that indicate whether the disease is present. In October, the Tel Aviv-based startup announced that in order to make its service, called the AI1 or All-in-1 Imaging Analytics Package, more available by offering access to hospitals and medical professionals for $1 per scan, and later partnered with Google to provide its sophisticated algorithms on Google Cloud. The new algorithm broadens Zebra’s AI1 package, which according to a press release, has already analyzed more than 1 million scans across the world. Zebra Medical Vision co-founder and CEO Elad Benjamin said the company was “excited to announce our first acute care algorithm with the potential to help radiologists better manage their workload, and properly prioritize urgent cases over others.” Benjamin said that over the next few months, Zebra plans to release “several more high impact algorithms on our path to provide a versatile AI based automated radiology assistant.”
March 5, 2018 | Israeli startup Nucleai, which is currently developing an artificial intelligence-based system that assists pathologists in the diagnosis of diseases like cancer in a more efficient manner, today announced a $5 million seed round, according to a statement. The round was led by Israeli-based VC funds Vertex Ventures Israel and Grove Ventures as well as private investors Brian Cooper, founder of Retalix, and serial entrepreneur Nir Kalkstein, co-founder of Final and Medial Early Sign. “We are excited to partner with Nucleai’s impressive and experienced entrepreneurial team”, said Emanuel Timor, General Partner at Vertex. “Nucleai will dramatically improve the accuracy and efficiency of pathologists. We believe that Nucleai has the vision and ability to leverage recent breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence technologies and become the global leader in digital pathology.” Clinical pathology is a medical specialty which diagnoses a disease based on laboratory analysis of bodily fluids or tissues and cells. Today, most diseases are diagnosed by pathologists. Nucleai is a company that works to “improve the efficiency of pathologists, therefore shortening the patient’s wait time for a diagnosis and reducing fatal errors,” according to the statement. The company was founded in 2017 by Avi Veidman, Eliron Amir, and Lotan Chorev, who are the firm’s current CEO, CTO, and VP of R&D, respectively. All three served together in the elite technological unit 9900 of the Israeli intelligence corps, specializing in computer vision. “Utilizing Artificial intelligence in the pathology domain holds great potential—state of the art technology has allowed us to obtain results that until recently, were considered impossible. We recently presented our results to a number of pathologists and their responses were enthusiastic,” said Veidman. “We have teamed excellent investors and partners who are embarking with us on a challenging journey to improve patient care and save lives.” Nucleai also develops solutions for prostate, breast and gastrointestinal-related diseases. They plan to use their funds to recruit experienced machine learning researchers to speed up development.
March 5, 2018 | Check Point CEO Gil Shwed was announced as the recipient of the first-ever Israel Prize for innovation and high-tech. Shwed is the co-founder of the Israeli cybersecurity giant. The new category for the prestigious prize was introduced this year by Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who took to Twitter to congratulate Shwed. “Gil Shwed is a Startup National pioneer,” Bennett wrote. “His story is the story of Israeli high-tech. As a graduate of the 8200 IDF intelligence unit who founded Check Point, he blazed the trail and served as an inspiration for me and for thousands of Israeli high-tech entrepreneurs.” Israel Innovation Authority Chief Aharon Aharon said in a statement that “no one was more deserving than Gil Shwed to be the first to win the prize.” Founded in 1993 by Schwed, Marius Nacht and Shlomo Kramer, Check Point went public in 1996. Considered one of the world’s leading cybersecurity companies, Check Point provides solutions that protect customers from cyber attacks, including malware and other types of threats. Shwed was quoted by Globes as saying he was “moved” to receive the prize, “especially in an area so greatly associated with our country and Israeli society. The prize may have been given to me, but all the Check Point employees in the past 25 years deserve it.” He added, “Israel is a wonder, and our industry, the high-tech industry, is turning the spirit of innovation here into products that are improving the world and changing the lives of everyone in the world, regardless of where they live.”
March 4, 2018 | Tel Aviv will be hosting the fifth annual Vegan Congress this week from March 8 to 9. Since 2014, Vegan Friendly Israel, a non-profit organization working to make the vegan lifestyle more accessible to Israelis, has put together lectures by local and international vegan activists for the event. This year’s international speakers include Australia’s James Aspey, who kept silent for a year to raise awareness on animal cruelty, author, and international activist Nick Cooney, former president of Mercy For Animals, and Joey Carbstrong, a celebrity vegan activist from Australia with thousands of followers on YouTube and Instagram. This year’s Vegan Congress is expected to have at least 1,500 participants, similar to last year’s event. Israel has become a popular destination for vegans due to numerous vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants, especially in Tel Aviv, which is home to 400 vegan and vegan-friendly kitchens. Late last year, the city was crowned “vegan capital of the world” by British online newspaper The Independent.
March 1, 2018 | Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer Hospital, Israel’s largest medical facility, announced this week that it is planning to build a new center for nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, which can be used for diagnosing and treating a host of diseases including a number of cancers, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. The hospital said in a press release that it has submitted a permit application for the 2,000-square meter, three-floor diagnostic and research center. The center will house a cyclotron, a nuclear reactor which will produce small quantities of nuclear isotopes for use in molecular imaging, in the basement floor, the hospital said. Nuclear isotopes are used in the detection of cellular changes which “will allow medical professionals to offer a personalized approach to diagnosis and therapy through earlier diagnosis and assessment of treatment efficacy,” the hospital statement read. The construction of the center is being funded by Roman Abramovich, the Russian billionaire businessman who owns stakes in steel giant Evraz, Norilsk Nickel and the UK soccer team Chelsea. Abramovich donated $20 million for the project, and has so far given Sheba a total of $57 million for various other initiatives, including to the Sheba Cancer and Cancer Research Centers, the Pediatric Middle East Congenital Heart Center and the Sheba Heart Center, the hospital said. Sheba’s Director-General Professor Yitshak Kreiss said in a statement, “Thanks to this generous donation made by Mr. Abramovich, we will be able to further our research in the field of nuclear imaging which will enhance our ability to make early diagnoses and offer a personalized medicine approach to our patients.”
March 1, 2018 | Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Israel Police have launched a new initiative to develop crime-fighting tools for law enforcement using artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and Big Data. According to a statement by the university, BGU researchers will work alongside police officers to develop these tool in the newly inaugurated Center for Computational Criminology. Israel Police Chief Roni Alsheikh said, “The Israel Police’s Cyber Unit, which was created to lead the national effort to combat cybercrime, will be collaborating with BGU’s cybersecurity experts to constantly improve the police’s enforcement and prevention capabilities, by staying at the cutting edge of technological developments in the field.” Prof. Lior Rokach, head of the new Center, Chair of the Department of Software and Information Systems Engineering, and a leading expert on artificial intelligence said, “The last, most significant scientific breakthrough to change law enforcement was DNA testing. Today, we are on the threshold of the next big breakthrough: analyzing big data to discover hidden patterns to predict and prevent crime. The AI revolution of the past few years will prove to be even more significant than DNA testing for law enforcement, providing them with unprecedented investigative tools and new sources of evidence.” BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi said at the launch, “BGU is a recognized international leader in cybersecurity, IoT and Big Data research…The Center will bring together academic research expertise and the world of law enforcement to prevent crime in cyberspace and in general.”
February 28, 2018 | Israeli startup Edgybees, whose First Response app used augmented reality to help emergency teams respond to the Northern California wildfires and post-hurricane flooding in Florida, announced Wednesday that it has completed a $5.5 million seed round led by Motorola Solutions Venture Capital and Verizon Ventures. VC companies OurCrowd, 8VC, NFX, and Aspect Ventures also participated in the round. Edgybees technology enables augmented reality (AR) on high-speed platforms like drones and cars. Its technology was first applied to an AR racing game for drones, released in conjunction with drone leader DJI in early 2017. Later that year, Edgybees released First Response, a drone-flying app being used by emergency responders to orient themselves in confusing environments and to better track rapidly evolving circumstances. The drone flying app was first used by officials operating in the Florida Keys in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, where they leveraged mapping overlays to identify distress calls in flooded areas. First Response was most recently used by local authorities in the Northern California fires last October. “What started as technology powering a racing game is now saving lives around the world. The overwhelming response by commercial and industrial drone users looking to leverage AR, and partner with us in the fields of fire, public safety, and search & rescue has been amazing, and we can’t wait to expand the next set of drone applications into new markets,” Edgybees co-founder and CEO Adam Kaplan said in a statement.