NoCamels – Israeli Innovation News is the leading news website on Israeli innovations. We cover all the latest innovation in the fields of technology, health, environment and lifestyle. 2017-12-14T19:08:21Z NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Teva To Lay Off 14,000 Employees Worldwide]]> 2017-12-14T19:00:05Z 2017-12-14T16:11:06Z

Teva - News Flash - IsraelDecember 14, 2017 | Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries will cut 14,000 jobs around the world, with most of the layoffs to occur in 2018 as part of a restructuring plan to save the ailing company, Teva said in a statement on Thursday. As part of the plan, Teva is expected to pay back its almost $35 million debt and cut its total costs by $3 billion by the end of 2019. A majority of the layoffs are expected by the end of 2018, and employees will be told within the next 90 days, the company said. Meanwhile, the Histadrut organization of workers in Israel called for a general mass strike in Israel on Sunday in solidarity with the more than 1,500 Israeli employees expected to be let go. The union’s chairman Avi Nissenkorn announced in a press conference that the strike would include airports, seaports, government ministries, health organizations, banks, transportation services, state-owned companies, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, and all Teva manufacturing plants in Israel. He called Teva the “flagship of Israeli industry,” Haaretz reported, and said it has “become the symbol of Israeli industry’s destruction.” Nissenkorn noted that the layoffs were ordered by the company’s current CEO Kare Schultz, a former Danish businessman, and that it was “abandoning the vision of its founders.” While Teva is a global generic drugmaker with locations in Japan, Europe, and the Americas, it’s an Israeli-based company with headquarters in Petach Tikva.

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NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israel Voted Into Distinguished International Science Institute]]> 2017-12-14T19:08:21Z 2017-12-14T12:14:37Z

iiasaDecember 14, 2017 | Israel has been voted into the International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA) by a majority of the research organization’s international members, the Science and Technology Ministry announced this week. The IIASA is a distinguished Austria-based research institute of an international network of researchers. It has a total of 24 members including the United States, the UK, China, Russia, Egypt, and Indonesia. Israel’s membership was approved by 17 countries, with five voting no and one abstention.  Israel’s annual membership fee will will cost about $413,858 with the Science and Technology Ministry footing about 70 percent of the bill. Upon inclusion, Israeli researchers will get access to data analysis and training from the organization with possibilities for research collaborations. The institute is known for its published studies in topics like environment and economy, which are among the most internationally well-received science research in the world. Science, Technology, and Space Minister Ofir Akunis said in a statement that the inclusion was “an expression of great faith in Israeli science, technology, and innovation.”

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israeli 3D Imaging Sensor Firm Vayyar Raises $45 Million]]> 2017-12-14T09:17:02Z 2017-12-14T09:16:12Z vayyar logoDecember 13, 2017 | Vayyar Imaging, an Israeli company that developed a technology to “see” through objects, announced that it has raised $45 million in Series C funding, raising the total capital raised since the company was founded in 2011 to $79 million. The latest round of funding was co-led by the San Francisco VC firm Walden Riverwood and Israel’s ITI with additional funding from Claltech, Battery Ventures, Bessemer Ventures, Israel Cleantech Ventures, and Amiti, according to a press release by the company. Vayyar developed sensors that can look through materials, objects, and even liquids to deliver 3D images. “Its technology can see through skin and tissue to detect cancer masses, look through walls and create a 3D image of hidden structural foundations; or, it can be used to create a smart home that tracks the location of persons needing care, as well as their vital signs as they move around the house,” NoCamels reported earlier this year. The tech is being used across industry sectors including automotive, construction, agriculture, smart homes, robotics and medical care. Raviv Melamed, co-founder, CEO, and Chairman of Vayyar, said in a statement that “it is amazing to see how the ability to look into objects can help humanity in so many ways. We currently work in collaboration with industry-leading companies to create applications that address some of their toughest challenges.”

Simona Shemer, NoCamels <![CDATA[Time Travel: See Ancient Israel As It Was With ‘Vortex’ Virtual Reality Tours]]> 2017-12-14T07:51:48Z 2017-12-14T07:51:48Z Israel is a country steeped in historical and cultural significance, with researchers uncovering near-daily archeological finds, providing glimpses into its fascinating, complicated past. But what if we could actually see this rich past for ourselves? Thanks to some advanced Israeli technology and a pair of cutting-edge glasses, we now can.

Vortex, an Israeli company specializing in the virtual reality experience, has developed a virtual reconstruction technology that enables the public to “relive” momentous historical events in 360 multisensory fashion, while physically touring ancient ruins, archaeological sites, and spots with historical significance. Visitors to Israeli landmarks like the Old City of Caesarea, the Old City of Acre and the Western Wall Plaza in Jerusalem can fully immerse themselves in life as it was during the Roman and Crusader periods.

SEE ALSO: 3D Virtual Reality Therapy Could Help Repair Damaged Limbs, Israeli Study Finds

Through the “ArchTour” simulation, Vortex’s shortened term for “archeology tour,” the public will be able to travel back in time and gain a new historical perspective and understanding of what life was like in ancient times.

“Our unique technology includes archaeological reenactments of various periods, enabling visitors to experience the history of those sites as if they were standing there themselves,” Vortex CEO and founder Matanel Libi said in a statement. “As such, visitors who naturally find it difficult to imagine and assess the splendor of the times, based only on the remnants, will be able to travel in time to Caesarea and Old Acre and enjoy a multisensory and exceptional experience.

Libi said the effort is “based on the desire to present history to everyone and specifically the young generation.”

The Lod-based Vortex was founded in 2012 by former members of the IDF Technological Intelligence Unit. While their tech infrastructure is key to the evolvement of the company, the startup also hones in on providing accessible historical content in a tour setting, offering the general public a rich and multilayered VR experience that fully restores the most important details of archeological sites of the past.

“The idea was created based on a visit to Rome,” Business Development Manager Roi Ravitz tells NoCamels, “The real story is that some of us were visiting the country and Matanel [Libi] had the idea. We wanted to find a way to use our knowledge of virtual reality tech to enhance the experience of visiting a historical site.”

Herod Palace Caesaria Vortex Virtual Reality.

A team of historians, archaeologists, and art historians were hired by Vortex to conduct extensive research on the time periods showcased in the tour to make the virtual reenactments as authentic as possible, from the marble that was used for the floor to the details of Herod’s palace in Old Caesarea. The company sought a strong, advanced virtual visualization through its technology, focusing on the look of the local people, 3D structures, textures, colors, sounds and events.

Visitors can view the ships docking in Caesarea’s famous port and enjoy horse races at the eponymous Hippodrome stadium, along with thousands of virtual spectators. One can marvel at the lifelike reconstruction of the bathhouses, return to Herod’s palace, and walk around the city taking in the merchants and local residents.

Those who visit Knights Hall in Acre will be able to go back in time to Old Acre, an important Middle East trade center in its heyday. While the remains of the medieval Crusader buildings beneath the current existing Muslim town from the 18th and 19th centuries have been exceptionally preserved, taking in the city through the Vortex virtual reality experience means users will be able to watch the old knights’ train used for the crusades, mingle with local merchants, and study the architecture as it was then.

Vortex claims Caesarea National Park is the first archaeology park in the world to host a complete onsite, location-based virtual reality experience. The company launched its tour of Caesarea around the start of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot in mid-October; the VR tours in Acre began in August 2017.

Vortex Bath ArchTour

VR storytelling

Vortex also provides an easy management system for a tour guide, which allows him or her to integrate the virtual reality tech into guided storytelling while taking groups through the sites.

Visitors are given virtual reality headsets and 3D glasses to accompany their experience at the entrance of each site. The tour provides a 360-degree panoramic view of events, giving those visitors a chance to decide what details to focus on in their perspective of the period.

Acre virtual reality vortex

Experiencing Jerusalem’s Second Temple period in 3D

Prior to launching exclusive tours in Old Acre and Caesarea, Vortex first offered its virtual reality technology in a historical tour context through a partnership with the Western Wall Heritage Foundation in 2016. As part of the tour, visitors experience a 3D reconstruction of the Second Temple in its entirety.

Ravitz says the Vortex team had to consult with archeologists on the art and craftsmanship of the period, who advised them on the Temple’s details.

“This level of accuracy in visualizing the details of the archeologic sites in Jerusalem, as we did in Caesarea and Acre, is really unprecedented,” he says.

The Western Wall Foundation’s A Look Into The Past: Virtual Reality Experience tour is still on offer today, with sessions throughout the day in a number of languages including Hebrew, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Chinese.

Simona Shemer <![CDATA[Tel Aviv-Yafo Joins C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group]]> 2017-12-14T09:17:11Z 2017-12-13T14:31:14Z c40 cities climate leadership groupDecember 13, 2017 | In an effort to raise awareness of climate change issues, the city of Tel Aviv-Yafo has joined the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, an organization that began as a network 40 cities around the world tackling global climate change. Tel Aviv is the first Israeli city to join the group, and brings the total to 92 cities, representing more than 650 million people worldwide. By joining the movement, the city has committed to taking action on the goals of the Paris Agreement, an accord within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that says each country determines, plans and reports its contribution towards the mitigation of global warming. Further delivering its promise to take action on environmental issues, the city of Tel Aviv is part of a massive tree planting scheme, a program to remove vehicles from the road, and ongoing educational efforts in schools to educate students and the general public on climate change. Tel Aviv has also participated in the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, 100 Resilient Cities – The Gobla Resilience Movement, and has signed the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact. It will host the groups’ next summit in 2018.

Minna Fingerhood, NoCamels <![CDATA[As World Moves To Online Payment, Israeli Fintech Companies Sealed Their Place As Industry Leaders In 2017]]> 2017-12-13T12:48:27Z 2017-12-13T12:48:27Z “Cash rules everything around me,” American hip-hop band Wu-Tang Clan famously sang back in 1993.

And while their song, C.R.E.A.M, remains a timeless hit today, their message has become antiquated in the age of online payments as companies, notably Israel’s Payoneer, have revolutionized the way we exchange money.

The rise of e-commerce

The global e-commerce industry has been booming for at least a decade and is expected to exceed $4 trillion in sales by 2020, constituting 14.6 percent of all consumer spending, with a 50 percent growth over five years, according to a 2016 report by eMarketer. And as mobile-commerce, or m-commerce, is expected to reach $284 billion, or 45 percent of the total US e-commerce market, by 2020, according to Business Insider Intelligence, it should come as no surprise that online payment platforms are emerging as one of the fastest-growing fields in that industry, covering a wide range of innovative technologies.

The industry ranges from mobile payment platforms such as digital wallets and social P2P platforms to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, and biometrics such as fingerprint payments.

Photo by Jorge Franganillo on Flickr

An illustrative photo of a credit card on a laptop. Photo by Jorge Franganillo on Flickr

Oren Levy, CEO and co-founder of Israeli payment platform provider, Zooz, says there are several reasons for an upward trend in the use of online payments. First, it’s market-driven, he tells NoCamels, with companies “trying to cater for the market needs,” as millenials and younger generations prefer to shop online. Second, the technology is constantly evolving, driving up competition, and the third reason is the support from banks, whom he says, have shown an openness to technology” and have helped create a “welcoming atmosphere for such innovation in the world of payments.”

Ron Stern, the head of portfolio management at crowd-investing platform, OurCrowd, offers another reason: advances in cybersecurity, a field in which Israel is a world leader. Israel has already achieved success in cybersecurity has enabled it to get ahead in the world of online payments, where online security is paramount, he says.

“I think because Israel is so deeply entrenched in online security, that lends itself very naturally also to grow to online payment,” he tells NoCamels.

Of course, leaders in the field exist globally — such as with PayPal, Stripe, and Square — but Israel too has seen immense and impressive growth in this industry.

Israeli FinTech

According to the Israeli FinTech hub, The Floor, there are more than 500 FinTech startups in Israel with accumulative fundraising of more than $650 million. Of the businesses that focus on online payments, companies such as Paykey, Zooz, Payoneer, and BioCatch have established themselves as frontrunners as they address unchartered territories in the industry. While they all lead the sector, they focus on different subdomains within the payment process.

“If I were to look at the world of online payment, there is a pay-in and a pay-out,” Levy tells NoCamels. “Pay-out are companies like Payoneer, which do a phenomenal job in the Israeli market for online payment. They are basically committing money from one business to another, or from one business to its customers. And, there is a pay-in. Which is basically what Zooz does, which is an online payment platform technology provider.”

Israeli Leaders in Online Payments

Founded in 2010, the Raanana-based Zooz provides a single platform for payments that enables merchants to connect with multiple technologies and payment providers. As a pay-in provider, Zooz focuses on helping businesses accept money from customers, essentially acting as a routing platform. “It is sort of a cooperation where we are collaborating with [payment providers], we are building connections to them, but at the same time we enable our customers to connect with more than one [provider],” Levy says. To date, Zooz has raised some $40 million, operating mostly in Israel, Europe, and the US, with high-profile clients ranging from Gett Taxi to Burberry Luxury Brand.

Payoneer, founded in 2005 by Yuval Tal, has established itself as a leading pay-out service provider, winning numerous international awards since it entered the market. The company, with a large New York operation, boasts of its ability to “enable millions of businesses and professionals from more than 200 countries, to grow globally by facilitating seamless, cross-border payments.” Payoneer says that with its “fast, flexible, secure and low-cost solutions, businesses and professionals in both developed and emerging markets can now pay and get paid globally, as easily as they do locally.” The company has raised more than $270 million, assisting companies such as Google, Airbnb, and Getty Images in their pay-out services.

A Payoneer booth at the Tech in Asia conference in Singapore in 2015. Photo via Tech in Asia on Flickr

A Payoneer booth at the Tech in Asia conference in Singapore in 2015. Tech in Asia via Flickr

PayKey, a Tel Aviv-based FinTech startup established in 2014, aims to differentiate itself from the pack by focusing exclusively on mobile, integrating its patent-pending Mobile Banking Keyboard to banking apps and letting bank customers transfer funds using popular social media and messenger networks such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. And while Facebook unveiled a person-to-person payment (P2P) system within Messenger in 2015 and later expanded to group payments, Paykey lets users complete a range of financial services “including P2P payments, chatbot engagement, balance check, cardless withdrawal, and more, from within any mobile application.” Paykey, founded by its current CEO Daniel Peled and CTO Offer Markovich, has raised over $16 million in three years. Peled told Globes this June after the latest financing round, that in 2017, the company has had “unprecedented global interest from financial institutions and investors in our solution, which is now available through Westpac in Australia, Garanti Bank in Turkey, Davivienda in Colombia and Sparebank 1 in Norway, proving our ability to lead in the emerging social banking space.”

paykey screenshot

A screenshot of the PayKey keyboard in use

Unsurprisingly, behind every form of technology is a process that requires the secure transfer of information and this is where BioCatch comes in, offering the payment industry biometric security features. The award-winning company uses more than 500 metrics to authenticate user behavior. Stern, from OurCrowd, and a member of the Board of Directors at BioCatch, tells NoCamels that users behave a bit differently each time they access a website, whether how they type in a password, move their mouse or bang on the keyboard. “BioCatch captures all of that and provides leading financial institutions with behavioral biometric profiles of online users to recognize fraudsters, malware, remote access Trojans (RATs) and other cybersecurity threats,” Stern says. Since its founding in 2011, BioCatch has raised $11.6 million and in June, was granted its 23rd patent which specifically detects for remote access.

Benefits And Hurdles

While the benefits of the online payment industry are clear — ease, convenience, lower barriers of entry, allowing more businesses to sell their products — it still faces major challenges in security and standardization.

Stern warns that “a lot of criminals are moving to the online space and we are going to have a lot more identity theft, hijacking, and credit card theft. I think all of those hackings are going to increase exponentially and I don’t think law enforcement is currently equipped to deal with that avalanche…The world is going to spend at least a decade figuring out how to secure hundreds of billions to trillions of dollars on online payments each year.”

In terms of standardization, Levy says that every country has different legal, banking, identification, and licensing requirements challenging payment providers. But he remains optimistic, offering that it will “enable a lot more cross-border business.”

Soon, we may all be singing the (albeit less-catchy) “online payment platforms rule everything around me” without a second thought.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israel Securities Authority To Block Bitcoin-Based Companies From TASE Indices]]> 2017-12-13T09:19:40Z 2017-12-13T09:07:10Z ISA logoDecember 13, 2017 | The Israel Securities Authority announced on Tuesday it would block companies based on bitcoin from being included in any indexes on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), according to a press release. Israel Securities Authority chairman Shmuel Hauser said in the statement that the authority may also block these companies from listing their stock on the exchange until there are suitable regulations. Hauser referenced a company called Natural Resource Holdings because the investment company had announced in a stock filing on Sunday early last week that it is in the process of negotiating a 75 percent acquisition a Quebec bitcoin mining business called Backbone Hosting Solutions. Later, that week, they announced the deal was closed. Following Hauser’s announcement, stock was down at least 48 percent for the investment firm, as reported by Calcalist. Other companies are currently trading on the stock exchange with high volatility. The Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli regulators issued the bitcoin ban due to concerns that stockbrokers were using unregulated bitcoin “fluctuations” to inflate their own stock. Bitcoin is the now well-known digital payment method related to the application of blockchain, a technology that relies on a distributed ledger (shared and synchronized database across multiple sites, institutions, regions) to conduct instant transactions.



NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israeli Cannabis Pharm Company Partners With Nebulizer Developer]]> 2017-12-12T12:44:23Z 2017-12-12T12:38:49Z icanDecember 12, 2017 | Israeli cannabis pharmaceutical company iCan: Israel-Cannabis has joined forces with respiratory device maker Aura Medical to bring nebulizers to the global medical cannabis market. Aura Medical’s portable nebulizer, treating asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) with controlled dosages of medical cannabis, will be rebranded as “Nebican.” The Nebican is designed with Vibrating Mesh Technology. Through its delivery platform, it emits vapor from the inhaler which quickly enters the lungs. According to Aura Medical CEO Connie Lefkowitz, the nebulizer was used only for certain prescription medicines with “targeted formulation” from Ci Therapeutics, an iCan and CannRx partnership. Nebican is expected to launch in California in mid-2018 followed by the Canadian market afterward.


Shoshanna Solomon, The Times of Israel <![CDATA[Israeli MedTech Startup Partners With GE Healthcare To Help Doctors Assess Stroke]]> 2017-12-12T12:19:07Z 2017-12-12T12:19:07Z This article was first published by The Times of Israel and is re-posted with permission.

MedyMatch Technology, an Israeli startup that has developed an artificial intelligence based software to help clinicians assess head trauma or stroke, has entered a partnership with GE Healthcare to integrate its products with the US giant’s imaging solutions.

This is the third industry partnership for MedyMatch, which has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) software that aims to be more accurate than the human eye and help physicians more quickly assess patients suspected of head trauma or stroke, ruling out the presence of a bleed in the brain. In March this year, the company said IBM Watson Health and the healthcare unit of Samsung Electronics would integrate its platforms into their medical imaging products.

SEE ALSO: Israel’s Zebra Medical Vision Teams Up With Google To Revolutionize Medical Scans

Working with GE, MedyMatch will integrate the intracranial hemorrhage detection platform into GE’s CT imaging solutions. The US multinational conglomerate is making a push to integrate artificial intelligence software into its products: the firm this week said that it will update some 500,000 of its medical devices around the world with technologies from NVIDIA and Intel.

The goal of the initial application is to help clinicians in their assessment of patients suspected of acute head trauma or stroke, where intracranial hemorrhage is suspected.

“Non-contrast CT remains the primary imaging modality for the initial evaluation of patients with suspected stroke for traumatic brain injury.” said Gene Saragnese, Chairman &CEO of MedyMatch in a statement. “MedyMatch is bringing to market a new category of medical solutions that leverages deep learning, machine vision, and the full richness of 3-D imaging and other relevant patient data.”

SEE ALSO: This Company Invented A Machine Algorithm That Diagnoses Breast Cancer Earlier

“MedyMatch is pushing the boundaries with the use of real-time data in the emergency room,” said Mike Barber, CEO of GE Healthcare MICT. “MedyMatch’s acute care clinical decision support products are aligned with the needs of the marketplace, supplying clinical decision support tools, with the goal of improving patient outcomes, and processed at the point of image creation.”

To read the full article, click here.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israel Chemicals To Sell Fire Safety, Oil Additive Units For $1B]]> 2017-12-12T10:35:45Z 2017-12-12T10:11:39Z israel chemicals December 12, 2017 | Israel Chemicals (ICL),  a multinational chemical, metals, and fertilizer manufacturer that mines the Dead Sea for minerals, has entered an accord to sell the units of its fire safety and oil additives business for about $1 billion to New York-based investment firm SK Capital, the chemicals company announced last week. Both businesses are part of an ICL Specialty Solutions’ Advanced Additives business line, with locations in North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. According to reports, ICL is selling its units is looking to get itself out of a $3.3 million debt and generate funding for growth and innovation initiatives. The sale is expected to be completed in the first half of 2018. The ICL fire safety unit supplies chemicals and services to fight wildfires, while the ICL oil additives business manufactures lubrication oil additives, mining chemicals, and pesticides. In a filing to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, the units sold have brought $294 million in sales.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israeli Doctors Unveil New Research Into Cancer Testing, Alzheimer’s, IVF]]> 2017-12-12T08:43:09Z 2017-12-12T08:17:16Z Sheba Medical Center December 11, 2017 | Israel’s Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer hospital, the largest medical facility in the country, announced that three of its research doctors have unveiled new breakthroughs in cancer testing, Alzheimer’s disease indicators, and IVF treatment. The hospital said Dr. Damien Urban, head of the Oncology Department at the Cancer Center at Sheba Medical Center, has created the first Rapid Cancer Diagnostic Testing Center in Israel, which allows people to cut the long process of medical testing and bureaucracy to just two weeks. In the past, learning the nature of a cancerous growth could take as long as three months. As part of Sheba’s Neuroscience Division, Dr. Michal Schnaider Beeri is employing advanced tech to detect indications of early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Research and testing are currently being done with 1,5000 high-risk patients using “retinal amyloid technology.” And Dr. Ronit Machtinger, a senior physician in the IVF Unit of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, in the midst of intense research with counterparts at Harvard Medical School and Columbia University, has discovered that women undergoing IVF treatments can increase their chances of conceiving by significantly reducing their consumption of soft drinks. Located in Ramat Gan, just east of Tel Aviv, Sheba Medical Center is home to the largest percentage of clinical research in Israel being done in a single hospital.



NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israeli Video Platform Wibbitz Partners With Celeb News Website TMZ]]> 2017-12-12T08:05:41Z 2017-12-11T19:57:57Z wibbitz logoDecember 11, 2017 | Israeli video platform startup Wibbitz has signed a cooperation agreement with TMZ, the US celebrity news, gossip and entertainment site, the Israeli company announced this week. Wibbitz’s platform automatically converts text articles into short videos geared toward social media and the company says it works with over 500 publishers including Reuters, Forbes, Time Inc and Bloomberg. Wibbitz CEO Zohar Dayan says the technology is based on artificial intelligence, which connects to the publishers’ databases and “scans the articles to summarize the most interesting content,” according to a press statement. Wibbitz, founded in 2011 by Yotam Cohen and Zohar Dayan, has locations in Tel Aviv, New York, and Paris. TMZ is a celebrity news site that debuted in 2005, and has a readership of over 70 million unique visitors per month, according to a study by digital market intelligence and website traffic analytics company SimilarWeb.

Raz Tal and Ido Levy, NoCamels <![CDATA[5 Innovative Israeli Search-And-Rescue Technologies That Have Our Backs]]> 2017-12-11T11:59:41Z 2017-12-11T11:59:41Z When disasters strike, the first few hours of searching for and rescuing victims are critical. And when it comes to the thin line between life and death, using the most cutting edge technology can be what makes the difference. Israel has long been at the forefront of this technology and its responders are among the first to hit the ground when disasters occur.

In recent years, Israeli organizations like the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), Magen David Adom, and IsraAid have figured prominently in relief efforts following natural disasters worldwide, including the earthquakes in Haiti in 2010, Nepal in 2015, and Mexico this year as well as the Caribbean hurricanes of this past summer.

Israeli aid workers have a variety of resourceful solutions at hand — from sensors that work like X-ray vision, to high-tech aircraft, and even robots to quickly locate victims trapped under rubble. At the same time, Israel’s advanced first-aid techniques, like high-tech bandages and blood freezing, help workers treat victims as efficiently as possible.

SEE ALSO: Israeli Rescuers Search For Survivors After Devastating Earthquake

Although the IDF Home Front Command formally handles search and rescue (SAR) within Israel, Israeli entrepreneurs are often behind many of the life-saving technologies SAR teams employ.

Here are five Israeli technologies that are transforming search and rescue efforts, when every second counts.


Res-Q-Cell locates survivors trapped in wreckage by issuing signals that activate their cellular devices, even when cellular networks collapse. Res-Q-Cell, first introduced in 2016 by the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), works by sending a signal over an area of up to 100 square meters that activates cellular devices, detects their signals, identifies their owners, and precisely geo-locates them. The system is adaptable and can be installed on a number of platforms including commercial and military vehicles, drones, helicopters, and aerostats.

The technology was used for the first time in September 2016 to locate and recover victims of a collapsed four-story underground parking garage in Tel Aviv. Some 500 rescue workers, including Israeli soldiers from the Home Front Command Search and Rescue Unit, worked around the clock for six days to locate six missing construction workers, who all died in the collapse.

In an interview with The Times of Israel during rescue efforts, the head of the Jerusalem and Central District of the IDF Home Front Command, Colonel Ramtin Sabti, said Res-Q-Cell’s level of precision was phenomenally higher than cellular locators used up until then and could pinpoint a phone within a radius of less than a meter.

IAI has said the system, sold internationally, “can be tailored to specific areas or country requirements and is designed to work in different scenarios including natural disasters such as earthquakes, storms, floods, tsunamis…building fires, and terrorist attacks.”

Just another reason to keep your phone on you when you leave the house.

Xaver Sense Through the Wall System

The Israeli firm Camero-Tech, a world-leading company providing Sense-Through-The-Wall (STTW) solutions, developed the Xaver (Hebrew for “friend”) – a life-saving imaging system used by search-and-rescue teams all over the world.

Operators can deploy Camero’s Xaver family of scanners on solid walls to get a 3D outline of the objects behind it. The system uses an ultra-wideband radar to “see” through walls along with a “breath detection” mechanism to differentiate between static and moving objects.

The scanners come in a variety of sizes, each with its own unique features. The smallest is the Xaver100, a handheld device that provides real-time information on enclosed spaces for tactical decision-making. The biggest, the Xaver800, is designed for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions and is used by military and law enforcement agencies worldwide, according to the company.

Camero’s STTW technology was used by search-and-rescue teams this past September after Central Mexico’s deadly earthquake. The system was used by rescue workers to search through the rubble for trapped victims, and according to Camero-Tech founder and CEO Amir Beeri, helped rescue a number of people hit by the quake.

RT Aerostats Systems’ SkyStar

RT Aerostats Systems’ SkyStar family of surveillance balloons have a variety of important uses including surveillance, venue security, and search-and-rescue. The company was founded in 1996 by the former head of the IDF’s 8200 intelligence unit balloon department, Rami Shmueli, with an aim to produce simpler, more cost-effective military reconnaissance balloons.

Shmueli then expanded into the civilian sphere, developing and selling RT Aerostats surveillance balloons to at least 10 countries worldwide. Its systems are also used in Israel by the police and the military. Operators require only minimal training to use SkyStar aerostats and can transport larger ones via a pickup truck while the smaller ones fit in a backpack.

skystar rt aerostats systems surveillance balloon

RT’s Skystar aerostat was deployed in Mexico in September this year by RT’s American subsidiary company to help search for survivors in the aftermath the deadly earthquake, making it the second Israeli-developed technology on this list used to help search for survivors in that disaster

The company was also recently chosen as a provider for the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which coordinates responses to natural and man-made disasters.

Vayyar’s 3D sensor technology

Similar to Camero-tech but with a different technology and applications, the Yehud-based company Vayyar has developed sensors that can visually display and detect in 3D what lies behind barriers. From the ability to find victims on search-and-rescue operations to recognizing early breast cancer tumors, Vayyar’s X-Ray vision 3D sensors can literally change the way we see the world.

These sensors work together with antennae consistently sending out low-power radio frequency transmissions that travel through objects and even liquids, to create an accurate map of the environment. While radio frequency sensors such as MRI have been around for quite some time, Vayyar aims to make its technology accessible and low-cost. Everything in Vayyar’s system — the antennae that receive and transmit the signals, the compact sensors along with the algorithms that interpret the data — is priced at a fraction of the cost of MRI systems, x-rays and ultrasound machines, which run into the thousands.

The technology also has a host of other applications including in construction to detect structural problems or leakages; for robotic navigation and vision; food safety monitoring; home security and automation; and in-car monitoring.

Unmanned Search and Rescue Systems First Responders

The Israel-based Beeper Communications is working together with the US-based Mantaro Networks Inc to jointly develop Unmanned Search and Rescue Systems (USRS), after being awarded a $900,000 grant for the project last month by the BIRD Foundation – an American-Israeli organization that promotes industrial research and development in the US and Israel.

The companies are using the funds to develop robots that will serve alongside first responders, to fill in the “capability gaps” of human rescuers, the companies said in a press release.


An illustration of the Unmanned Search and Rescue System (USRS) being developed by Beeper Communications and Mantaro Networks, funded by a BIRD grant. Courtesy Beeper

Senior Vice President of Beeper Communications, Moshe Levinson, said in a statement in October that “in an age where man-made and natural disasters have become global phenomena, it is important to integrate the various responders and their agencies, to minimize casualties and damage to infrastructure and private property.”

The rationale is to “integrate the various responders and their agencies” as SAR activities today often require cooperation between different governments and institutions. Robots can give a more accurate “common operational picture” that rescuers can, in turn, use to more efficiently coordinate SAR efforts, he indicated.

Mantaro said it has already built a fully functional Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) that communicates through a Beeper cellular bonder, and which can be used in emergency situations.

SEE ALSO: Innovation Nation: Twelve Israeli Inventions That Are Changing The World

“This is, a real differentiator and advantage when thinking about the safety of a UGV operator” Mantaro CEO Jeremy Parsons said in a statement. “We have now proven an ability to use the bonder to send and receive rich, high bandwidth data to and from the UGV. This not only provides real-time operational views and information from the field to the command center, but also allows operation of the UGV from anywhere, further removing first responder personnel from harm’s way during uncertain and challenging situations. It was one of the primary initial goals of the project and we have validated this function quickly.”

The police departments of Baltimore and Houston have already expressed interest in the project.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israeli-Invented NASA Material Used In Surgery At Rambam Medical Center]]> 2017-12-11T11:18:34Z 2017-12-11T11:17:38Z Israeli surgeons at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa recently used material co-developed by an Israeli scientist for the American space agency NASA in two successful orthopedic operations, the hospital revealed on Sunday.

The material, a polymer-made ballast originally designed as a substitute for the steel in jet bearings, was first used three months ago in a hip replacement operation for a woman in her 60s who had suffered a hip fracture, and more recently in knee joint surgery on a woman in her late 40s. Both surgeries were overseen by Professor Doron Norman, the director of the Orthopedic Surgery Section at Rambam Health Care Campus and a lecturer at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, and performed by Dr. Daniel Levine.

SEE ALSO: Using Israeli Tech, Hadassah Surgeons Perform World’s First-Ever Dual Robotic Surgery

The polymeric ballast, according to its developers, is “self-shielding, high heat resistance, zero wear, high strength, and lightweight,” and resilient to loosening and cracking, making it ideal for the space industry but also for the medical world.

The polymer-based ballast, originally developed for NASA, used in orthopedic surgery at Rambam Medical Center in Israel. Photo by Piotr Felter

The polymer-based ballast, originally developed for NASA, used in orthopedic surgery at Rambam Medical Center in Israel. Photo by Piotr Felter

The material, known scientifically as MP1, was developed jointly by Alisa Buchman, the CTO of a Nahariya-based Israeli tech start-up focused on biomaterial applications called MMA Tech, and American Professor Rob Bryant, a polymer scientist who serves as a member of MMA Tech’s board of advisors.

It has a “superior combination of strength, toughness, wear, creep and fatigue resistance for the orthopedic field,” MMA tech says.

Dr. Levine said the use of the material was “still in the experimental stage, but on the face of it, it has properties that can give better results than existing materials.”

“One of the problems with existing implants is wear and tear,” he explained. “Over time patients will have to undergo repeat surgery and replace the implant due to loosening and cracking. The expectation of the new material is long-term durability and the possibility for patients to live with a better quality of life.”

The ballast was first used 12 years ago in human surgery as part of a clinical trial in New Zealand, and the material since been in used in 74 surgeries with excellent results, says Buchman.

“Our first recipient has been with the joint for 12 years without pain, and we are certainly encouraged by the results of the additional surgeries,” she said, adding that a referral to Rambam Medical Center to take part in further clinical research “was natural and we are happy about this partnership.” At least 13 more such surgeries are set to take place in Israel as part of the clinical study, according to MMA Tech.

SEE ALSO: Israeli Surgeons Perform Rare In-Utero Heart Operation To Save Fetus’ Life

Buchman also added that the scientific and medical communities across Europe have shown strong interest in the development of the material. MMA Tech, as a result of the successful operations, recently received a research grant by the European Commission of 1.5 million euros, or roughly $1.8 million, for continued development.

In addition to knee and hip joints, MP1 was adapted for dental implants and is currently being developed to replace nails and plates when treating fracture and fusion in trauma injuries.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Amdocs Partners With Businessman George Horesh To Build $350M Campus]]> 2017-12-11T10:12:07Z 2017-12-11T08:07:00Z amdocs logoDecember 11, 2017 | Israeli communications customer experience provider Amdocs is teaming up with Union Motors owner/founder George Horesh to buy back land from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries in Ra’anana in order to build a new Amdocs campus. Horesh sold the land to Teva two and a half years ago. Amdocs made the decision last September and on December 6, it announced it had signed a partnership agreement with the Union group in order to get the land back. The purchase of the land and construction of the campus is predicted to reach $350 million over 4-5 years, and Amdocs will finance the purchase. The land that will be purchased in the northern Ra’anana industrial zone is part of a giant area purchased by Horesh from Comverse in 2010. Teva then bought the land back in 2015 in order to build a new campus there but wound up in debt after the acquisition of Actavis for $34.7 billion at the end of the third quarter. In the end, Horesh has decided to exercise his refusal rights to buy it back. The deal will happen in the near the future, Globes reports. George Horesh is the owner and founder of Union Motors, the Toyota distributor in Israel and Lex Motors, the Lexus distributor in Israel. According to Globes, he also has holdings in real estate, energy, and technology. Amdocs was founded in 1982 but has been in its current offices since 1996. It recently extended its lease by 10 years but has an escape clause upon five years notice. The escape clause is valid until June 2022.

Simona Shemer, NoCamels <![CDATA[Two Israeli Startups In The Top 10 Of Deloitte’s EMEA Fast 500 List]]> 2017-12-10T13:02:38Z 2017-12-10T12:59:25Z Two Israeli companies, YouAppi and Yotpo, placed in the top ten of 500 companies featured in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA list, published Thursday by the London multinational Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. The list ranks the fastest-growing private and public companies in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, based on the percentage of their revenue growth over the past four years (2013-2016.)

YouAppi took 4th place with a stellar growth rate of 16,230 percent and Yotpo placed 6th with 8703 percent. The startups also respectively placed first and second on the Deloitte Israel Technology Fast 50.

SEE ALSO: Israeli Mobile Marketing Company YouAppi Leads Deloitte’s Fast 50 List

YouAppi is a US-Israeli startup providing a mobile ad platform that helps attract and retain new users on mobile by syncing up with more than 3,000 mobile apps and sites with analytics and predictive algorithms, powered by machine learning. According to a statement, CEO Moshe Vaknin credits the company’s international expansion as well as their the launch of a 360 Degree Growth Marketing Platform with their growth in revenue. Founded in 2011, YouAppi now has 10 locations around the world working with 470 global brands, and a platform used by over two billion people.

The Tel-Aviv based content marketing company Yotpo has a platform enabling brands to attract users through reviews, social integration and more, to drive traffic and conversions. Founded in 2011, the company says its revenues have quadrupled in the last 20 months and recently raised $51 million in a Series D funding round. The firm plans to add new features to its platform and increase their employees in offices around the world.

Three more Israeli companies were in the top 25 of the EMEA Fast 500. Those companies were project management system in 15th place with a growth percentage of 5, 878 percent, big data intelligence company Datorama Technologies in 18th place with a rate of 5,150 percent and private computer software company Redis Labs in 24th place with a growth rate of 3,728 percent.

All of the Israeli companies that made the Deloitte Israel Technology Fast 50 were eligible for the EMEA Fast 500. In total, 20 Israeli companies made the Fast 500 list, including major startups like mobile analytics and marketing firms AppsFlyer, cloud-based web development platform Wix, and driver assistance sensor developer Mobileye. According to information highlighted in a Technology Fast 500 infographic, more companies from Israel made the list than companies from Italy, Spain, Russia, Austria, and Iceland combined.

To be considered, companies must be working in one of six sectors including “hardware, software, communications, media, life sciences or clean technology,” according to Deloitte. They must “develop or own proprietary technology that contributes to a significant portion of the company’s operating revenues” or “manufacture a technology-related product, and/or devote a high percentage of effort to research and development technology.”

They must be headquartered in the Europe, Africa, or Middle East region with an active business for a minimum of four years and have operating revenues of at least $58,828 for 2013 and at least $941,240 for 2016.

SEE ALSO: Israeli Video Startup Magisto Leads Deloitte’s Fast50 Tech Ranking

First place in the Deloitte Fast 500 went to a UK online food delivery company Deliveroo, which skyrocketed above the rest with a growth percentage rate of 107,117 percent. This year’s EMEA ranking features winners from 18 countries with an average growth rate of 1,377 percent, up from 967 percent in 2016, according to Deloitte. Growth for individual companies ranged from 220 percent to 107,117 percent. The Deloitte Technology Fast 500 program is now in its 17th year and includes regional rankings for North America and Asia-Pacific, as well as the EMEA region.

A ceremony unveiling the top 500 companies took place in Paris on Thursday, December 7, 2017.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israel’s Sirin Labs, Known for $17,000 Smartphone, Signs Soccer Star Messi As Brand Ambassador]]> 2017-12-10T10:51:36Z 2017-12-10T10:33:06Z Sirin Labs, the startup partly founded by Israeli entrepreneurs that develops electronic goods for the blockchain era, has signed soccer star Lionel “Leo” Messi as a brand ambassador, the company said over the weekend.

The Switzerland-headquartered Sirin Labs, with London operations and an R&D center in Tel Aviv, was founded in 2013 by Israelis Tal Cohen and Moshe Hogeg, known for founding the VC firm Singulariteam and startups Yo and Mobli, which nabbed celebrity investors. Kazakh businessman Kenges Rakishev, also a co-founder, serves as company chairman.

SEE ALSO: $17,000 ‘Super-Secure’ Smartphone Solarin Will ‘Break The Rules,’ Says Founder Moshe Hogeg

Sirin Labs made international headlines last year for developing the “most secure smartphone in the world,” the $17,000 Solarin secured with blockchain and geared toward customers who place a premium on encrypted communication and security. More recently, it revealed the more wallet-friendly FINNEY Smartphone, an open-source, secure device with an in-house operating system, SirinOS, and with a target price of $999, as well as the Finney PC, an “all-in-one PC”, that runs on a fee-less blockchain, with a target price of $799. The devices “will feature a cold storage crypto wallet compatible with the most common cryptocurrencies [bitcoins, for example],” and enable “fast payments between the network peers without the need for mining (fee-less),” the company says.

SOLARIN smartphone by Sirin Labs

The $17,000 Solarin phone, released last year

The operating system will support crypto-related applications, in addition to crypto-wallets, such as “secure exchange access, encrypted communications, and a P2P resource sharing ecosystem for payment and apps,” according to a report in Finance Magnates. The network will be supported by the SRN token, Sirin’s crypto-currency, for which it is launching a crowdsale on December 12. Only SRN token holders will be able to purchase Finney products.

Now one of the most famous football stars, Messi is set to be the public face of the new venture, in the hopes he will bring blockchain awareness to his millions of fans and followers.

Messi took to Facebook over the weekend in a promotional post to say that he was “usually busy trying to decentralize defenses and after digging deeper into blockchain and decentralized systems,” was “excited to join Sirin Labs as an ambassador to make blockchain more friendly with their upcoming operating system for smartphones.” He included a photo of himself in front of a laptop which has the words Sirin OS on the screen.

¡Feliz de sumarme al proyecto de SIRIN LABS como embajador para hacer blockchain más accesible con su próximo sistema…

‎Posted by Leo Messi on‎ חמישי 7 דצמבר 2017

Hogeg, who serves as Sirin Labs’ co-CEO, posted a photo of himself and Messi on his social media on Friday, saying the FC Barcelona forward was “joining the blockchain revolution” and that the company was honored to partner up with him. The details of the deal to sign Messi to the startup were not disclosed.

“We are excited to have Lionel Messi, the best soccer player in the world as the global brand ambassador for Sirin Labs. We have identified the potential of blockchain technology and are developing SirinOS to improve the security and user-experience on the blockchain to encourage mass adoption,” Hogeg said in a statement on the weekend.

In an interview with Israeli TV on Thursday night, Hogeg said he had been “super excited” to meet with Messi and recruit him as the face of the company. “We chose Messi because he’s kind of an expert in decentralization; decentralizing [soccer] defenses and decentralizing systems is similar,” Hogeg said, adding that of course there was also the element of Messi’s star power and “his ability bring [the message] to a wider audience.”

Hogeg said the whole notion of blockchain and bitcoin was “very complex” and that what Sirin Labs was trying to do was transform the “current horrible user experience in this world [of blockchain] into a more simple process through [its] smartphones.”

The Israeli entrepreneur, who lectures worldwide on cryto-currences, blockchain and information systems, said he was able to approach Messi with the idea through one of the company’s advisors, Joan Laporta, a Spanish politician and former president of FC Barcelona.

SEE ALSO: The Birth Of A New Internet: How Blockchain Technology Is Changing The Way We Transact

Messi isn’t Hogeg’s only celebrity recruit. It seems the Beersheba-raised entrepreneur has an affinity for those who have reached stardom.

In 2010, when he founded the picture and video-sharing platform Mobli to rival Vine and Instagram, he was able to attract investments from celebrity actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Toney Maguire, US tennis star Serena Williams and Mexican businessman Carlos Slim, one of the wealthiest people in the world.

At the height of its popularity, Mobli had over 13 million users and had raised over $86 million in venture funds, including $60 million from Slim. In 2016, the company became inactive.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israeli Medical Cannabis Strains Win at Canadian Cannabis Awards]]> 2017-12-10T08:22:22Z 2017-12-10T08:01:40Z tikun olamDecember 10, 2017 | Cannabis strains from Tikun Olam, an Israeli brand recognized as the pioneer of modern medical cannabis for the past 10 years, took first place in three categories at the 2017 Canadian Cannabis Awards. The Eran Almog strain took first place for  Top High THC Flower. The Avidekel strain took first place for Top High CBD Flower and Top High CDB Oil. The Midnight strain took second place in Top Hybrid Flower. These strains are grown, processed, and distributed in Canada through a licensing agreement with MedReleaf, a company that was named Top Licensed Producer at the awards this year. Since 2010, Tikkun Olam products have been used in ongoing clinical trials in Israel’s regulated medical cannabis market. They have treated sufferers of medical conditions such as cancer, PTSD, AIDS, cerebral palsy, chronic pain and more. U.S. operations for Tikkun Olam were established in 2015 as T.O. global in a joint venture with Tikun Olam in Israel. There are similar partnerships in Canada, Australia, UK, and South Africa. Tikkun Olam’s mission is to educate the traditional medical community and its patients on the application of cannabis as a scientifically proven wellness product.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Mobileye Co-Founder Among ‘Recode 100’ List Of Innovators]]> 2017-12-07T19:33:54Z 2017-12-07T19:33:54Z mobileye-logoDecember 7, 2017 |Professor Amnon Shashua, the co-founder of the Israeli company Mobileye, a major player in the autonomous car industry which developed sensors for self-driving cars, and sold to Intel last year for over $15.3 billion, was named among 100 leaders in tech, business, and media “who mattered in 2017” on the first annual “The Recode 100” list. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos topped the list and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Apple’s Tim Cook and Elon Musk were among the top 10. Shashua came in at number 41, tied with Karl Iagnemma, a co-founder of nuTonomy, a self-driving startup. Shashua was named for recently proffering “one of the first mathematical models for safety standards for autonomous vehicles,” said Recode, a tech news site owned by Vox Media. Shashua founded Mobileye with Ziv Aviram in 1999 in Jerusalem. Mobileye was known for developing a warning system that alerts drivers of road hazards using software, cameras, and sensors. Since the acquisition, Shashua was named senior vice president at Intel Corporation, and serves as CEO and CTO of Mobileye, which maintains operations in Jerusalem.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israel’s Team8 Partners With Scotiabank For Cybersecurity Innovation]]> 2017-12-07T11:44:51Z 2017-12-07T11:44:51Z Team8 logoDecember 7, 2017 | Israeli cybersecurity think tank Team8, founded by veterans of the elite IDF intelligence unit 8200, has teamed up with leading Canadian multinational bank Scotiabank to “foster cybersecurity innovation,” the companies announced this week. The two plan to “exchange knowledge, insights, and methodologies,” they said in a press release. A bank executive will sit on Team8’s advisory board alongside executives and security officers of other global financial institutions. Scotiabank’s Chief Technology Officer Michael Zerbs said the bank was “looking forward to our partnership with Team8 to deepen our technology capabilities and know-how, which are foundational to Scotiabank’s digital transformation. He added that the “partnership will increase our access to Israel’s world-class cybersecurity and fraud prevention ecosystem.” Team8’s CEO and co-founder Nadav Zafrir says the company is “thrilled that Scotiabank will play a role in our unique company creation model to solve the big problems in cybersecurity… Their insights and experience bring incredible value to our approach.” Team8 recently announced that it was opening a new hub in New York City. The think tank and its companies, Illusive Networks, which develops deception tech to detect hacking attacks,  Claroty, which provides advanced solutions to secure critical infrastructure systems, and the Sygnia, a “military-grade cyber consulting and incident response company” will all base their US operations in the hub. R&D operations for all the companies will continue to be based in Israel, Team8 said in a statement last month.

Simona Shemer <![CDATA[Wix To Skip TV Advertising For 2018 Super Bowl]]> 2017-12-11T10:55:23Z 2017-12-07T09:42:10Z December 7, 2017 | Wix has advertised for the Super Bowl for the past three years, but this time, they have decided to move in a different direction. Instead of having their television commercial air during the game on February 4, 2018, the cloud-based web platform will push their focus towards digital ads, the company’s Chief Marketing Office Omer Shai told Calcalist. While Shai affirms that the company’s marketing budget has increased, they are spending the money differently and “adjusting where our audiences are.” Shai says that the company also has their own advertising agency in-house and can produce more of their own content. They also have been looking for web designers and developers who can be reached online rather than on television. Founded in 2006 by Avishai Abrahami, Nadav Abrahami, and Giora Kaplan, Wix has run ad campaigns using recognizable celebs like fashion model Karlie Kloss and Israeli breakout actress Gal Gadot.




Simona Shemer, NoCamels <![CDATA[Israeli Textile Designer Reshapes Fashion Tech With 3D Pen For Kids]]> 2017-12-07T10:58:41Z 2017-12-07T09:32:37Z Three-dimensional technology is not new to the fashion world, as designers have experimented with 3D printers in recent years to create imaginative, high-fashion garments, but could the printers soon be replaced with a 3D pen originally conceived as a children’s toy?

Israeli textile designer Eden Saadon used precisely that “toy” – a 3D printing pen called the 3Doodler, currently retailing for under $50 on Amazon – as a design tool to create an entire collection of couture-style lace undergarments. The Shenkar design school graduate is credited with challenging traditional design techniques and taking fashion innovation to new depths, creating “fashion art” with intricate hand-tracings.

The lacy lingerie collection (created with black Flexy plastic, which comes with the pen), which include “delicate and volumetric lace items, based on classic textile design imagery (flora and fauna),” according to Saadon, has already earned her much acclaim, but the textile designer continues to call attention to the 3D design implement because of its eco-friendly, cost-effective and innovative nature.

“Innovation is something very important to me,” Saadon tells NoCamels, referencing the late Israeli president Shimon Peres’s oft-repeated sentiment that Jews and Israelis look for ways to make positive changes because they aren’t satisfied with the status quo. “The greatest contribution of Jews to the world is ‘dissatisfaction’ because it is the source of creativity,” he once said.

Saadon says she wants “to be a part of the amazing things happening here in Israel. I’m always looking around to see what we already have in our world in order to work it into my process.”

Engineering and design

Saadon didn’t start off as a designer. She was more focused on engineering and tech and almost studied electrical engineering at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. But a style tour with her mother that included a behind-the-scenes look at the Tel Aviv fashion world convinced her she wanted to move into textiles and she enrolled at the prestigious Shenkar College of Engineering, Design, and Art in Ramat Gan where she majored in weaving. It wasn’t until her fourth year at the distinguished design school that she realized engineering and design are quite similar and can go hand in hand.

SEE ALSO: The Future of Food? How New Israeli Tech Could Have You Eating Meals Made By A 3D Printer

Saadon says she happened upon the 3Doodler as she was working out what to do her final graduation project. She came across an Internet commercial featuring a child drawing a 3-dimensional model of the Eiffel Tower using the 3D pen. After learning how to produce fabric structures made of yarn using intricate weaving, knitting, and flatting techniques, the simplicity of the pen struck her, she says, and she ordered one.

Saadon’s first garment was a bra, she reveals, because even if she didn’t know at first what she was making, she felt it was easier to test her capabilities on a smaller garment that could be fully functional.

bra Saadon’s first garment using the 3Doodler pen was a bra. (Photo: Courtesy)

She eventually created her entire final project, 3DLace, a line of feminine lace undergarment items hand-made with yarn, using this 3D printing technique.

3Dlace eden saadon

The process

The process of creating a handmade, one-of-a-kind haute couture piece can be painstaking and time-consuming, though Saadon says she likes the detail of it. “You need a lot of patience,” she explains, noting that she can spend as much as 10 hours a day in the studio working on her garments. “You need to know what to do, how to paint, so you don’t make mistakes. I did a lot of experimenting to understand what parts need to be more flexible.”

Initially dissatisfied with the thin polymer plastic,  Flexy, that comes with the pen – which looks like a cross between a thick marker and a portable glue gun – Saadon experimented polymers called PLA and ABS, known in the field of 3D printing, to find material that would maintain functionality and shape, but still be somewhat flexible. She only realized that the Flexy was the best plastic for her creations with further experimentation. It allowed her to produce surfaces having textile qualities like draping, movement, flexibility, and lightness, even while drawing a 3D structure of varying density.

3doodler (Photo: Your Best Digs)

Saadon says she never really knows what she is creating until she is well into the process. “I start to design with materials and work with my hand before deciding what I will actually make — a dress, an accessory, a piece of clothing. The potential comes with my experimentation with plastic. There are no stitches so the garments are custom made based on Saadon’s personalization or a buyer’s interest.

Her lingerie collection includes floral shapes of plastic and materials that form webbing when draped over the body. Some are attached to nude tulle and mesh.

floral designs

models eden saadon 3D (Photo: Doron Sieradzki)  

She has also designed dresses with fish scales and fishtails to test the dense parts and loose parts of the fabric. According to Saadon, the fish tails fall away from the surface under the force of gravity due to the fabric’s more dense nature.

Presenting her projects to the world 

Saadon was in New York earlier this year to showcase her 3D designs at New York Fashion Tech Week and participate in New York Textile Month. In August, she was invited to present her work at the “Internet of Fashion” Meetup group on 5th Ave Microsoft store in Manhattan. Surprising her at the talk was Maxwell Bogue, the CEO of 3Doodler, who presented her with a 3D pen and invited her to the company offices.

According to Saadon, Bogue said his team at WobbleWorks, the company that makes the 3Doodler, came up with the 3D pen when they were making designs for children in a 3D printer and wanted the kids to have an easier way to draw freely and make their own creations. Later, Saadon says, the 3Doodler team made modifications to the pen after receiving feedback from adults who were using it.

SEE ALSO: Israeli Design Student Prints Brilliant Collection At Home

While Saadon’s pieces are novel in their own way, 3Doodler is aware that other fashion designers and artists are using the 3D pen for their own undertakings. Australian designer Erica Gray used ABS plastic in combination with the 3Doodler to create wearable art with skeletal and animal imagery for her futuristic Forms Organic series. Rachel Goldsmith used the 3Doodler for a collection of lamps and other fine art that was displayed in Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) design store windows.

eden saadon 3D model A model wearing Saadon’s 3D floral lace designs (Photos: Doron Sieradzki)

3D printer vs 3D pen 

Saadon shrugs off any comparisons to two Israeli designers who have made names for themselves through fashion collections created with a 3D printer,  Danit Peleg and Noa Raviv, also Shenkar graduates.

Peleg created the world’s first entirely 3D printed fashion collection for her final project and now has a customization platform on her website for customers to personalize and order their own 3D garments.

In 2014, Raviv created a 3D print collection by manipulating digital images using computer modeling software developed by Stratasys, an international leader in 3D printing with research and development facilities in Israel. Her work has also been displayed in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The biggest difference between Saadon and the two designers, Saadon explains, is that their work is computer-based. “I’m using tech but it’s the tool that I use. I work with my hands. I draw everything. They can repeat the designs that they do. The things that I’ve done, I can’t repeat them. They are more couture and handmade,” she explains.

danitpeleglibertejacket Danit Peleg Liberte Jacket was created through a 3D printer and a computer, not by hand. (Photo: Courtesy)

Following the success of her 3D lace collection, Saadon is now experimenting with new fabrics for different shapes and occasions, creating new flexible haute couture for bridalwear, swimwear, and shoes. She is also experimenting with the more advanced 3Doodler Pro, which can draw in metal, wood, nylon, and polycarbonate.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israel’s Viola Ventures Raises $100 Million For FinTech Fund]]> 2017-12-07T11:26:58Z 2017-12-07T09:05:45Z Viola logoDecember 7, 2017 | Israel-based Viola Ventures, the investment arm of Viola Group, has raised over $100 million, the company announced this week, for the creation of a dedicated FinTech investment fund, Viola FinTech. Some of the fund’s backers include Scotiabank, a Canadian bank with operations worldwide and Israel’s Bank Hapoalim. Founded in 2000, Viola Ventures invests in Israeli early-stage companies with “transformational ideas.” With close to three billion dollars under management, the group has invested in 200 tech companies. The fund will be run by Daniel Tsiddon, a former deputy CEO of Bank Leumi, who said it will provide financial institutions “with the optimal response to cope with the fast-changing environment. Viola FinTech accelerates the integration of innovative ideas into financial institutions while providing the necessary resources to FinTech companies as they scale to transform the financial sector.” Scotiabank’s Ignacio Deschamps says the bank is “delighted to partner with Viola Group to accelerate the bank’s digital transformation and find the most promising FinTech companies across the globe. He said the “partnership will allow us to access Israel’s innovation ecosystem, including well-established cybersecurity and anti-fraud expertise by leveraging Viola’s unique access to relevant companies and technologies.”

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israeli-Made Spyware Used by Ethiopian Government To Track Dissidents]]> 2017-12-11T12:39:13Z 2017-12-07T07:58:06Z cyberbit logoDecember 7, 2017 | The Ethiopian government used Israeli-developed spyware to track and spy on Ethiopian dissidents living abroad during an espionage campaign that began in 2016, according to a new report by The Citizen Lab, a research facility at The University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs. The spyware, a commercial product known as PC Surveillance System (PSS) and posing as Adobe updates and plugins, was developed by Israel-based Cyberbit, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Elbit Systems, Israel’s international defense company. According to Citizen Lab, the campaign was aimed at supporters of the Oromo ethnic group, who make up Ethiopia’s largest ethnically based regional states, Oromia. Targets included the executive director of the US-based Ethiopian diaspora media outfit, the Oromia Media Network (OMN), who is a prominent Oromo activist, a PhD student in London who was a frequent guest on OMN, and a lawyer teaching at a US university who is also the founder of the Association of Oromo Public Defenders in Oromia. One of the writers of the Citizen Lab report was also a target on the malware during the course of the investigation, the research lab said. Cyberbit told Calcalist when asked for comment that the company’s “products aid the national security of countries in which they are sold, and state agencies in such countries are required to operate these products within the law.” It added that the company “does not operate its products, and like other Israeli and non-Israeli defense companies, it is not fully aware of the way its products are being used in covert by nature activities by intelligence and defense agencies.” Cyberbit said that the “intelligence and defense organizations buying the products are required to use them by law.”

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Clal Biotech: Neon Theraputics Raises $106M]]> 2017-12-06T13:27:41Z 2017-12-06T13:27:41Z December 6, 2017 | Israel’s umbrella organization of high-tech and life sciences industries Clal Biotechnology announced its US cancer vaccine developer company Neon Therapeutics, where it holds a 5 percent stake, has raised $106 million in a finance round. The company had already announced that it had raised $70 million in the round and later added $36 million to bring it to the current total. The company was already valued at $125 million prior to the round. While Neon says this round helps them further their journey towards IPO, according to a report in Globes, this is also good news for Clal because it will profit from the closing of the round. Clal currently holds 70 percent of shares from the immunotherapy company Vedantra Pharmaceuticals and Vedantra has signed a deal with Neon where it will develop technology used to improve anti-cancer vaccine responses. Clal has said that it has Nasdaq offerings for four of the companies it has recently invested in, including Israeli companies Gamida Cell and BioCancell in 2017. One of the participants in this funding round for Neon was Len Blavatnik’s American holding company Access Industries, who Globes reports indirectly controls Clal Biotech. Clal Biotechnology was founded in 1998 and is based out of Ramat Gan, Israel.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Mediterranean Diet Can Bust Body Fat, Reverse Artery Damage]]> 2017-12-06T11:18:29Z 2017-12-06T11:18:29Z The Mediterranean diet, already much-lauded by nutritionists and health experts for its benefits in reducing risks of heart disease and high cholesterol, has now been found to have a significant effect on how the body stores fat, including in the the liver and the heart.

A new Israeli study conducted by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), in collaboration with the Dimona Nuclear Research Center and Soroka University Medical Center in Israel, Harvard University and Leipzig University in Germany, has found that the diet — rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, olive oil, nuts and legumes — can help reduce the amount of fat deposits in the body, even when weight loss has leveled off.

SEE ALSO: Mediterranean Diet Is Better For Your Heart Than Taking Statins

The study, dubbed “Central MRI” followed 278 sedentary adults over an 18-month period in an isolated workplace, the Dimona Nuclear Research Center, BGU said in a statement. The participants were provided with a monitored but randomized lunch that was either low-fat or Mediterranean-low-carb (Med-LC), and with or without a moderate, supervised workout three times a week.

Researchers then used MRI imaging technology to monitor the effects on fat deposits. The scans were taken at the 6-month mark and at 18 months as the trial concluded.

In the study, published by the American Heart Association journal, Circulation, the Mediterranean-low-carb “was found to be significantly superior to a low-fat diet in decreasing some of the fat storage pools,” BGU said, including in the abdomen, the liver, the heart and the pancreas. However, fat deposits in the kidney and neck were only affected by weight loss.

BGU Professor Iris Shai, the lead researcher, said the use of MRIs provided a more complete picture than having participants step on a scale.

“Weighing patients or using blood tests to detect changes, has not, until now, given us accurate pictures, literally, of how different fat deposits are impacted disproportionately by diet and exercise,” Shai said in a statement. “These findings suggest that moderate exercise combined with a Mediterranean/low carb diet may help reduce the amount of some fat deposits even if you don’t lose significant weight as part of the effort.”

Salmon filets. Photo by Caroline Attwood on Unsplash

Salmon filets. Photo by Caroline Attwood on Unsplash

The study followed followed other research by Shai in 2008 and 2012, which found that the Mediterranean diet was essential to improving cardio-metabolic state and reversing carotid atherosclerosis, a blockage of one of the two major arteries caused by plaque, made up of cholesterol, fat, cellular waste, protein,
and calcium.

SEE ALSO: Diet Startup ‘DayTwo’ Creates Unique Personalized Diets By Checking Your… Gut Bacteria

The most recent study aimed to answer “whether internal body fat redistribution, rather than mild weight loss differences between the diets, may underline the significant health benefits attributed to Med-LC diets,” the researchers indicated.

Shai said the Central MRI study demonstrates that “improving nutritional quality and being physically active can improve cardio-metabolic risk markers through changes in visceral/ectopic fat deposits that are not reflected by changes in body weight alone,” and that “moderate, but persistent, weight loss may have dramatic beneficial effects on fat deposits related to diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.”

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israeli Researcher Wins Prize For Regenerative Medicine Research]]> 2017-12-06T09:01:49Z 2017-12-06T09:01:49Z regentis biomaterials logoDecember 6, 2017 | An Israeli researcher nabbed a prize worth close to $50,000 last month for his work on regenerative medicine research over the past 15 years at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Professor Dror Seliktar, who is also the co-founder and chief scientific officer of Regentis Biomaterials, a biomaterials company that develops tissue repair solutions, was awarded the Rita Levi Montalcini Award, established in 2015 by the Israeli government, at an event hosted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in November. The prize promotes “the exchange of scientific scholars between Italy and Israel with funds provided to an Italian researcher to work in Israel and an Israeli researcher to work in Italy,” according to a press release announcing the winner. The award is named after the famed Italian-Jewish scientist and Nobel laureate, honored for her work in neurobiology. Seliktar said receiving the award was “a great honor” and that he was “especially grateful for my collaboration with Tor Vergata University professor Sonia Melino, and look forward to continue researching regenerative medicine technologies in Italy.” He said the collaboration presented “an enormous opportunity to face global challenges while strengthening bonds between countries.” Regentis Biomaterials’ core technology is Gelrin, “a unique hydrogel matrix of polyethylene glycol diacrylate (PEG-DA) and denatured fibrinogen,” which Seliktar originally developed while serving as an associate professor in the faculty of biomedical engineering at the Technion.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Georgia University In Tbilisi Launches Israel Tech Hub]]> 2017-12-06T08:29:50Z 2017-12-06T08:29:50Z December 6, 2017 | Georgia’s Business and Technology University, a private university in Tbilisi, is set to open a new education center focused on Israeli technology. The new hub will train students and graduates and provide employment opportunities in Israel and in local Georgian industry. According to a report in the Georgian news agency Inter Press News, the project is at least partly funded by the Israeli government. The amount was not disclosed but is said to be several million. The hub hopes to complete training for roughly 100 students by next year. The university, located in an area dubbed “Silicon Valley Tbilisi,” held an event celebrating the launch of the project, attended by university and government officials in Georgia, the Israeli Ambassador to Georgia, Shabtai Tsur and the Honorary Consul of Georgia in Israel, Meni Benish. University Rector Mikheil Batiashvili said the “project and cooperation with the Israeli side is very important for the University of Business and Technology,” adding that graduates of the program are expected to be involved “in international level projects that provide high pay.” Benish said the project was an investment in the students who would later have the experience to play a major role in Georgia’s tech industry. “At the initial stage, the trained [students] will be remotely employed at companies in Israel. During the next year about 100 people will be trained,” Benish said according to the report.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Mobileye Unveils New EyeQ5 Chip]]> 2017-12-06T08:15:40Z 2017-12-06T08:15:40Z mobileye-logoDecember 6, 2017 | Mobileye, the Israeli tech company acquired by software solutions giant Intel in March, has unveiled its newest chip, the Mobileye EyeQ5 for autonomous vehicles, according to a statement from Intel. Earning its name EyeQ5 is the fifth chip of the EyeQ family and is the first to come out after the company’s acquisition by Intel. The chip is designed for autonomous vehicles Grade 4 and 5 (L4/5). While the first silicone chip comes out in 2018, it will be in full mass production by 2020. According to Intel’s CEO Brian Krznitz, Mobileye’s new chip offers higher deep learning performance efficiency. Intel expects the chip to deliver 2.4 DL TOPS per watt, which it claims is 2.4 times more efficient than what the Nvidia tech company claims for its new AI supercomputer, Xavier, designed for autonomous vehicles. TOPS (Tera Operations Per Second) is a recognized benchmark for measuring the performance of chips. As the percentage of TOPSWatt is higher, it produces higher efficiency because the chip produces less heat and is easier and cheaper, saving fuel and providing a greater driving efficiency and range. Mobileye develops vision-based advanced driver assistance systems to help prevent collisions. It was founded by Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram in 1999 and acquired by Intel earlier this year for $15.3 billion. The acquisition was completed in August 2017.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israeli Defense Tech Company IAI Opens Mexico Office]]> 2017-12-05T10:26:05Z 2017-12-05T10:26:05Z IAI logoDecember 5, 2017 | Israel’s military and commercial aerospace tech company IAI (Israel Aerospace Industries) announced that it opened a new representative office in Mexico. The launch was marked at an event attended by local Mexican officials and the Israeli ambassador to Mexico, Jonathan Peled, IAI said in a press release. IAI’s executive VP marketing, Eli Alfassi, said IAI “consider[s] Latin America, and specifically Mexico, as an important market, with significant potential, both in the defense and commercial markets.” He added that the new office in Mexico, “is aligned with IAI’s strategy to bring its technological solutions to the customer’s door, offering solutions that answer the customer’s precise needs, and providing real-time available and accessible services.” IAI indicated that Mexico’s arms imports grew by almost 200 percent in four years, between 2012 and 2016, “placing the country as the 2nd largest importer of defense systems in Latin America during this period.” IAI co-developed Israel’s world-famous Iron Dome anti-missile defense system as well as the Arrow III interceptor system for long-range missiles. According to the Israeli Space Agency, the Arrow III can also serve as an anti-satellite defense system. Earlier this year, an Arrow III battery shot down incoming Syrian anti-aircraft missile in the first reported use of the system. IAI also develops drones, satellites, naval systems, and radars for military and civilian use.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israeli Car Sensor Startup Raises $5.1M]]> 2017-12-05T09:29:11Z 2017-12-05T09:28:35Z guardian colorDecember 5, 2017 | Israeli car sensor company Guardian Optical Technologies has completed a $5.1 million Series A funding round. The round was led by Mirai Creation Fund, a subsidiary of Asian equity management company SPARX Group and Maniv Mobility, an Israeli auto and mobility-focused venture capital fund. Mirai Creation Fund, an investor in automotive giant Toyota, is investing in an Israeli company for the first time, according to a statement from Guardian. The Tel Aviv-based company, which develops sensors that will monitor a car’s interior, says it wants to invest the funding in research and development for its new automatic sensor system. The system combines video image recognition, in-depth mapping, motion detection. A statement from the company says according to their estimations, the senor could save car manufacturers as much as $200 million every year. Founded in 2014 by Gil Dotan and Gideon Carmon, Guardian has developed a 3D sensor that works with seatbelts, airbags and other safety systems to protect drivers and passengers. According to the company, it is also a solution to the problem of babies and pets forgotten in cars.

Simona Shemer, NoCamels <![CDATA[Israeli Pigs Behind Much Of Leading Research On Diabetes, Cancer And Trauma Injuries]]> 2017-12-06T10:45:21Z 2017-12-05T08:39:15Z Israel has long been recognized worldwide for its top-notch medical research and its numerous contributions to the fields of health, biotech, biomedical science, and bioengineering. It is less known for its pig breeding, let alone medical testing on swine.

But Lahav C.R.O., a medical research institute housed within Kibbutz Lahav in southern Israel, and formerly known as the Lahav Animal Research Institute, has been doing just that for over five decades.

The kibbutz, just north of Beersheba, was established in 1952 to settle the Negev desert and work the land, with members farming crops and livestock as their livelihood. But as the kibbutz movement began shifting away from socialist communal settlements to more profitable enterprises, Lahav set up the animal institute in 1963, a year after Israel passed a new law that allowed hog farming for scientific and medical research. Pigs are forbidden for consumption according to Jewish dietary laws, and Israel, being the Jewish state, had up until 1962 only allowed farmers in northern Israel, where there is a sizeable non-Jewish community, to breed the animals.

Today, Lahav C.R.O (Contract Research Organization), works jointly with universities, medical device companies, and pharmaceutical companies and has become one of Israel’s leading research centers focused on pigs, of which it has several thousand, and sheep.

SEE ALSO: Israeli Researchers Could End Animal Testing With Bionic Organs-On-Chip

Why pigs? 

Lahav C.R.O. conducts comprehensive research into a host of diseases and treatments including for diabetes, heart disease, skin diseases, pulmonary disease, cancer detection, and even trauma injuries. Ofer Doron, a manager of the institute for almost two decades, says the trauma research is important given the geo-political situation in the region. “No doubt that the reality of trauma and terrorism that surrounds us is a catalyst for our research on how to treat injuries of such a nature,” he tells NoCamels.

The institute’s findings are then shared with hospitals and research centers around the world.

According to Doron, pigs are a preferred animal model for medical research because their cardiovascular system, skin, and gastrointestinal regions resemble that of humans, therefore making them ideal for pre-clinical trials of new medical products and devices.

Doron is tight-lipped when it comes to specifics of the institute’s specific medical projects, as he says Lahav C.R.O signs non-disclosure agreements with the various hospitals and facilities it works with. But the Jewish Chronicle reported last month that some of the current projects include screening for colorectal cancer and developing a mechanical heart valve.

Doron becomes a tad touchy when asked about the animal’s perceived uncleanliness in Judaism and the ban, according to Jewish law, on raising unkosher animals.

“Our focus is saving lives,” he says, “And saving lives is a mitzvah in Judaism. We work with religious researchers. We have traditional Jews on staff who don’t eat pork. We have contractors who are religious and know what we are doing,” he says.

While it’s unknown how the pigs themselves got to the kibbutz, a 2010 BBC article reports kibbutz co-founder Eri Doron, Ofer’s father, said three hogs were given to early kibbutzniks as gifts, while his son simply says: “Pigs were always here.”

Kibbutz Lahav

Kibbutz Lahav (Photo: Stéphanie Gromann)

SEE ALSO: BGU Researchers Clear Barrier To Pig To Human Transplants In Type 1 Diabetes

Like all centers that focus on animal research, Lahav C.R.O. comes under fire by animal rights activists who abhor its work, but Doron says some of the confrontations have led to positive effects.

“We certainly believe in dialogue. I must admit that looking at the history, a lot of the involvement of different groups that oppose animal testing have brought up a lot of good changes to the welfare of animals and how these issues are being looked at. But wherever and whenever it’s on the extreme — I don’t think it has good results,” he says.

Doron is quick to note that all of the medical projects at the institute are approved by the National Ethics Committee of Israel. “We are not allowed to do anything without approval,” he adds.

While the Israeli government has come under renewed pressure to ban pig farming since the 1990s, the pork industry has grown steadily due to an increased appetite for pig product throughout the country.

Even Kibbutz Lahav uses their excess pigs (those that have been raised to provide organs for research only) for consumption. Pork in on the menu for Shabbat and holidays in the kibbutz.

Whether raised, served, or eaten, pigs are no doubt part of this kibbutz’s legacy.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[New Israeli Fund Partners With Waze Co-Founder To Invest In Startups]]> 2017-12-05T10:48:55Z 2017-12-05T08:09:53Z December 4, 2017 | Israeli-based company Ayalon Insurance and Halman-Aldubi Investment House have partnered with Israeli co-founder Uri Levine of the social navigation app Waze, to invest in companies of interest for a total sum of $25 million. Levine intends to invest in eight companies, including public transit app Moovit, pension financial analysis service FeeX, and more, which the fund will commit to, as well. The fund will also invest in Refundit, a new company by Levine. Though not specifically part of the fund, Levine will receive 20 percent of fund profits. Fund founders say that partnering with Levine will “enable them to skip over the selection process and present a ready portfolio,” Calcalist reported. This fund is one of five funds competing for government backing following a tender published by Israeli Ministry of Finance. Levine’s company Waze was bought by Google in 2013 in a $1.3 billion deal.

Times of Israel staff <![CDATA[Israeli Startup Develops Autonomous ‘Safety’ Drone]]> 2017-12-05T12:51:25Z 2017-12-04T13:42:26Z This article was first published by The Times of Israel and is re-posted with permission.

The new safety inspector is a robot, and it can fly.

The Modiin-based startup Percepto has just unveiled “Sparrow I,” an autonomous drone designed for aerial monitoring of complex industrial centers and environments where security is imperative, such as oil and gas refineries, power plants, shipping ports and sea terminals.

SEE ALSO: Delivering The Goods: Israel Leads The Way In Drone Innovation

Making use of machine vision and artificial intelligence, Percepto — specializing in on-site autonomous drone systems — hopes to market a product that can reduce costs for companies, including the need for on-site human pilots and operators.

“Sparrow I was designed specifically to operate in harsh industrial environments, a rarity in today’s drone landscape,” said Percepto CEO and co-founder Dor Abuhasira in a statement.

“Our goal was to make Sparrow I as useful as possible for our customers, providing them with an easy way to increase efficiency, minimize unexpected downtime and reduce risks to personnel. To achieve this goal, we developed Sparrow I to include permanent mounted sensors and a rechargeable battery, removing the need for any human intervention,” he said.

SEE ALSO: Israel’s Airobotics Is World’s First To Get Authorization To Fly Fully Autonomous Drones

This robot monitor will act autonomously, Percepto said, collecting data, analyzing it and transmitting “highly accurate and actionable information” to the customer when necessary.

To read the full article, click here.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israeli Researchers Win UK Discovery Award]]> 2017-12-04T12:26:14Z 2017-12-04T12:24:18Z discovery awardsDecember 4, 2017 | A group of Israeli researchers from Haifa’s Bnai Zion Medical Center and the Technion, calling themselves Team Prismatix, have won a Discovery Award for promising developments in rapid diagnostics for antibiotic resistance. Team Prismatix is a collaboration between Professor Ester Segal’s research group at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology department of biotechnology and food engineering and clinicians from Haifa’s Bnai Zion Medical Center. Discovery Awards are UK seed grants helping teams and individuals develop ideas to for solutions to combat antibiotic resistance for the Longitude Prize, a challenge worth £10 million ($13.4 million). The program is run by UK innovation foundation Nesta and Innovate UK as a partner in funding. Thirteen teams from countries such as India, Israel, Australia, Belgium, Holland, the USA, and the UK receive awards between £10,000 and £25,000 (between $13,000 and $34,000.) The technology developed by Team Prismatix determines antibiotic resistance in less than three hours. Bacteria are grown on small photonic silicon chips, using minimal volumes, according to the ACS Nano journal where the findings were published. Leading researcher and Technion PhD student Heidi Leonard said in a statement that “by measuring how light reflects off the surface of those bio-chips, we can determine whether bacteria are growing or dying in the presence of certain antibiotics.” Other researchers on the team include graduate Liran Holtzman; Dr. Ofer Nativ, chairman of urology at Bnai Zion; Dr. Sarel Halachmi, vice chairman of urology at Bnai Zion; and Prof. Leigh Canham from the University of Birmingham, England.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Microsoft Israel Leases Herzliya Pituah Campus]]> 2017-12-04T08:46:54Z 2017-12-04T08:45:33Z microsoft logoDecember 4, 2017 | Microsoft has leased a new campus in Herzliya Pituah. The software corporation has rented a building currently under construction from the Israel Canada group, Tidhar Group, and Acro Real Estate. A report to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange by Israel Canada says the building will have 44,000 square meters in space on 10 floors with 4,000 square meters per floor and 875 stores and storage rooms. Microsoft will rent the building and adjust it to a finishing level. The company is expected to move its office, currently spread among several buildings in Herzliya Pituah to the new campus. Rent will be a little more than $15 million a year. The three owners who first bought the land in May 2016 paid a little more than $57 million. Microsoft Israel is said to rent the building for office space over the next 15 years, according to a report published by Globes in December 2016.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Mazor Robotics CEO Suspected Of Insider Trading]]> 2017-12-04T08:29:08Z 2017-12-04T06:47:47Z mazor roboticsDecember 4, 2017 | Mazor Robotics CEO Ori Hadomi has been the subject of questioning during an ongoing investigation by the Israel Securities Authority, which claims it has reason to believe insider trading took place around the time of a May 2016 agreement with medical device maker Medtronic. At the time, the deal was that Medtronic received control of the distribution of Mazor’s spinal surgery systems in the United States. In September, the two companies announced Medtronic would have global control of the distribution. They would also invest an additional $40 million in Mazor, bringing the company’s total investment to $74 million. In May 2017, the Israel Securities Authority raided offices of Mazor after a substantial suspicion arose that information was leaked to associates prior to the public announcement, leading them to buy Mazor securities before everyone else. Senior executives were questioned in the raid and it has now become apparent that Hadomi was also questioned in the investigation as a suspect. Investors were told of the investigation in June 2017. No formal indictments have been submitted so far. If Hadomi was to be found guilty, it would likely severely damage Mazor’s image and business. So far, the Caesarea-based surgical robotics company has not been hurt by the investigation, as Globes reports that since the agreement, its share price has “soared by almost 400 percent.” The strategic agreement combined with the significant rise in the company’s share price and revenue have made it one of Israel’s most successful medical device companies ever, according to Globes. Founder in 2001, Mazor Robotics develops and manufactures robotic guidance systems for brain and spine surgery.

Simona Shemer, NoCamels <![CDATA[Israeli Mobile Marketing Platform YouAppi Leads Deloitte’s Fast 50 List]]> 2017-12-06T20:36:02Z 2017-12-03T17:46:21Z Startups YouAppi, Yotpo,, Datorama Technologies, and Redis Labs are at the top of the Deloitte Israel Technology Fast 50 list for 2017, published Thursday by the Israeli division of the London multinational Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. The list ranks the fastest-growing private and public companies based on the percentage of their revenue growth over the past four years (2013-2016.)

Deloitte says the prestigious ranking honors technological innovation, business growth, and an Israeli entrepreneurial spirit.

To be considered, companies must be working within sectors such as “hardware, software, communications, media, life sciences or clean technology,” according to Deloitte. They must “develop or own proprietary technology that contributes to a significant portion of the company’s operating revenues,” “manufacture a technology-related product, and/or devote a high percentage of effort to research and development technology.”

SEE ALSO: Israeli Video Startup Magisto Leads Deloitte’s Fast50 Tech Ranking

They must also be headquartered in Israel with an active business for a minimum of four years and have operating revenues of at least $65,138 for 2013 and at least $886,684 for 2016.

All of the companies that made the Fast 50 list will be eligible for the “EMEA Fast 500” (Europe, Middle East and Africa) which will be announced on December 7, 2017 in a ceremony in Paris. Last year, 28 of the 50 Israeli companies entered the EMEA Fast 500. Video marketing platform Magisto was in the top 10. In 2014, content discovery company Taboola placed second of 500.

Here are the top five Israeli companies on the Deloitte Fast 50 list.


YouAppi, a US-Israel startup helping companies reach users through mobile ads and analytics, was way ahead of the group with a 16,230 percent growth in four years. Founded in 2011, this company provides a platform for companies who want to attract and retain new users on mobile. Their mobile ad platform syncs up with more than 3,000 mobile apps and sites with analytics and predictive algorithms which are powered by machine learning. With 10 locations around the world and a platform used by over two billion people, YouAppi aims to streamline the mobile media buying of their users.


Tel Aviv-based content marketing company Yotpo developed a platform which enables brands to attract users through reviews, rich media, and social Q&A in order to drive traffic and increase conversions. The company, which recently raised $51 million in a Series D funding round, reported an 8,703 percent four-year growth. Though it was founded in 2011, the company said its revenues have quadrupled in the last 20 months. To date, Yotpo has raised $101 million including the latest round. The company is planning updates and new features, and some global expansion including a second office in the US and more employees for the offices in New York, Tel Aviv, and London.

Yotpo TLV

The team at Yotpo (Photo: Courtesy)

The team management service, formerly known as dapulse, came in third place with a 5,878 percent growth in four years. The company, which is an SaaS (software as a service) project management solution provider, was founded in 2012 and began as an internal tool for the Wix cloud-based web development platform. It only launched as an independent startup in February 2014. The company announced its name change in November as a “broader commitment to spark a dialogue on how to improve working together as humans,” a statement said.


This team changed its name from dapulse to in November (Photo: Courtesy)


Datorama, an SaaS AI-powered big data management platform for advertisers and ad agencies, was founded in 2012 and reported a four-year growth of 5,150 percent. The global marketing data intelligence and analytics company has set up the world’s first marketing data center for publishers, platforms, agencies, and enterprises. This software-as-a-service platform gives marketing professionals the ability to connect all of their data sources to form a single source. The company has a global presence, with 16 offices around the world.

SEE ALSO: Israeli Cloud Company CTERA Networks Makes Deloitte’s Fast 500 EMEA

Redis Labs 

Redis Labs, home of the open source Redis and the commercial provider Redis Enterprise, is the “world’s most popular in-memory data structure server, often used as a database, a cache and a message broker,” the company claims. It is available as a service in public, private, and hybrid clouds and as downloadable software, powering mobile, social, e-commerce, and other applications. In August 2017, the cloud technology startup raised $44 million in a Series D funding round led by Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing firm. The company’s total funding is $86 million to date. It has reported a four-year growth of 3,728 percent.

Other companies that made Deloitte’s list include in 18th place with a 261 percent growth and the automotive chipmaker Mobileye, acquired by Intel, with a 371 percent growth in 17th place.

Times of Israel staff <![CDATA[Using Blockchain, Israel’s ‘Zim’ Eyes Sea Change In Musty Shipping Sector]]> 2017-12-03T11:07:09Z 2017-12-03T11:05:45Z This article was first published by The Times of Israel and was re-posted with permission.

Haifa-based shipping giant Zim Integrated Shipping Services believes it is about to revolutionize the maritime shipping industry, bringing the blockchain technology to a market that is still tied to 17th century codes and customs.

The shipper has successfully experimented with a blockchain-based “paperless trade tool,” allowing the secure exchange of original documents, the company announced on Monday. The pilot program, calling for an electronic bill of lading — the key instrument of global shipping control — was completed through a collaboration with US firm Sparx Logistics and Israeli startup Wave Ltd. This represents the first test of its kind for an ocean-based shipping company.

The test consisted of three containers being shipped from China to Canada, with US-based Sparx shipping the containers, and Wave having developed the blockchain application.

Zim developed the solution after “a long market analysis,” the company said in a statement, and is convinced that “Blockchain technology and the Wave application can be the solution that will drive the trade to the digital era.”

The firm’s new CEO, Eli Glickman, said in a statement that he was “proud that Zim leads the way in introducing Blockchain technology to the shipping world.”

“Promoting innovation and technology in our industry is an integral part of Zim’s vision,” said the shipper’s chief information officer, Eyal Ben-Amram.

To read the full article, click here.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Video Marketing Platform Innovid Acquires Data Company Taykey]]> 2017-12-03T08:53:41Z 2017-12-03T08:53:41Z innovidDecember 3, 2017 | Online video marketing platform Innovid has announced it will buy New York-based data intelligence company Taykey. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Both companies have Israeli founders and deal with the video ad industry. As part of the acquisition, Innovid would have access to Taykey’s technology, big data platform, and 14 web content analysis patents. Taykey’s product development team will also be joining Innovid. Innovid also said the deal would allow its company to provide clients with new data on video engagement including the analysis of the ads within their web and social media content.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israel May Need To Adjust Corporate Tax Rate]]> 2017-12-03T07:53:31Z 2017-12-03T07:53:31Z financeDecember 3, 2017 | Israel may have to adjust its corporate tax rate, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon told a local politics show on Saturday in response to a tax cut approved by the U.S. Senate. The corporate tax rate is already being reduced from 24 to 23 percent, but a lower rate in the U.S. for Israeli companies could persuade those companies to move there permanently, according to a report in Reuters. Kahlon told the Israeli politics program that there are many implications for companies who move to the U.S. and so Israel has to make adjustments. Many Israeli high-tech companies have operations in the United States but research and development centers in Israel. U.S. President Donald Trump says the U.S. tax overhaul could cut the corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent, once both the Senate and the House of Representatives match their respective versions of the bill. Israel’s technology industry makes up about 14 percent of the country’s economic output and 10 percent of its workforce.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israeli AgTech Resolution Backed By 141 Countries At UN]]> 2017-11-30T13:10:33Z 2017-11-30T13:10:33Z United Nations logo

November 30, 2017 | An Israeli resolution focused on using agriculture technology for sustainable development was approved this week at United Nations Second Committee, also known as the Economic and Financial Committee, by 141 countries and co-sponsored by 117 of them. It was the highest number of co-sponsors to date for any Israeli resolution, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. The only country to vote against the initiative was Syria; the rest of the Arab bloc — 34 countries — abstained. Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said “Israel is proud to work with our friends around the world in promoting cutting-edge solutions to some of the world’s oldest agricultural challenges. This is an issue that should bring all of us together.”

NoCamels <![CDATA[Waze Introduces New Features Including Navigation For Motorcyclists]]> 2017-11-30T11:51:28Z 2017-11-30T11:02:03Z November 30, 2017 | Israeli-founded social traffic and navigation platform Waze has launched a new feature for motorcyclists. The navigation mode is available for Android and iOS users. Waze now has motorcycle drive times and is optimized to include roads that are optimal for both cars and motorcycles. Drivers can now receive recommendations based on data from those riding motorcycles. This will include time estimations and route suggestions (including narrow roads specifically for motorcyclists.) Waze has also introduced new features that include a new voice command that allows users to start hands-free control by saying the phrase “Ok Waze.” This mode is available for English-speaking users in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Ireland, and New Zealand. A third feature introduced by Waze is a carpool mode suggesting navigation options for carpool lanes. This feature is only available in the US and Canada. Waze was bought by Google in 2013 for approximately $1 billion. It was founded by Amir Shinar, Uri Levine, and Ehud Shabtai in 2008.


Simona Shemer, NoCamels <![CDATA[Amputees Control 3D Avatars By Visualizing Missing Limbs In New Israeli Study]]> 2017-11-30T08:06:26Z 2017-11-30T08:06:26Z In early 2017, almost two years after an accident led to an amputation below his shoulder, an Israeli man controlled a 3D avatar by visualizing the movement of his missing arm to propel the avatar forward on a virtual path. This achievement is one of the advances in brain-computer interface (BCI), a mind-reading technology that allows a user to control an external device with brain activity only, and the focus of a new study launched by a team of researchers from Israel’s Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC), Bar Ilan University, the Weizmann Institute of Science, and the Sheba Tel Hashomer Hospital.

The research project allowed a group of subjects, some of whom lost an arm, to navigate a virtual avatar using recorded brain patterns. The data was registered in real-time using an fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) scanner and subjects used motor execution (moving fingers and toes) in order to guess what was moved while researchers like IDC PhD student Ori Cohen and Dr. Doron Friedman, head of the IDC’s Advanced Virtuality Lab (AVL), looked at their brain patterns.

The research team looked at the brain activity of seven subjects, four of whom had not had an amputation, and three who had had an arm removed at least 18 months to two years earlier. The researchers wanted to compare the brain patterns of the amputee subjects to that of the non-amputee control group to determine if there was an obvious difference in performance.

As they laid in the fMRI scanner, subjects were shown a 3D avatar with a path ahead of it on a screen. Each subject was given 40 auditory directions (left, right, forward, etc) to follow in order to move the avatar along the path through their own thought process.

avatar virtual path

The subject’s avatar is seen standing at the beginning of the 3D virtual path.

“As a group, our amputee subjects lost their ability to control their arm,” Cohen tells NoCamels, “We didn’t know what happened to the motor regions in the brain after amputation. We showed that there is adequate representation of motor activation for high-level BCI control. i.e., the amputee subject exhibited high performance while controlling a virtual avatar (navigating a path, while collecting discs, as fast as possible and as many as they can) using their missing arm (and other limbs.)”

SEE ALSO: Israeli Scientists Discover The Brain Mechanism Behind Successful Multitasking

According to Cohen and Dr. Friedman, who also spoke to NoCamels about the experiment, the performances of the amputees were almost on par with the performances of those in the control group, which had no amputations.

Surprisingly, all subjects reported suffering from phantom pains, according to Friedman. One subject even said it was easier for him to use the missing arm than the existing arm for BCI because when he was using the intact limb, he had to keep moving his fingers for a relatively long duration, which grew tiring. The missing limb, on the other hand, would get stuck and keep activating without getting tired.

Results showed that the dominant arm was stronger than the non-dominant one for all subjects, but as expected, the amputated arm was weaker than the intact one in some cases, because the motor skills extended beyond the motoric area of the brain. The people who had amputations were mostly able to do just as well with their missing arm as with the arm that was intact.

“Our biggest contribution,” says Cohen, “is that we show that regardless of the plasticity in the brain, it is possible to use motor representation for complex tasks.” In other words, even after the brain has changed its “wiring” through something like BCI, it is possible to use a representation of the missing arm in the brain.

“The big picture shows that [the subjects] are almost at the same level, and still using the missing arm in the brain,” Cohen explained when the team presented their research at the 8th International IEEE EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering in Shanghai, China in June 2017.

To Cohen’s knowledge, this is the first time researchers have shown that there is an adequate representation of motor activation for high-level BCI control.

Cohen, Friedman, and the team of researchers were nominated for the annual BCI Award in 2017 for their study. The Award was created to recognize outstanding and innovate research in the field of brain-computer interfaces. Only 12 projects were nominated for the award worldwide. While they didn’t win, Friedman said it was a huge honor to be nominated, because the award is one of the top accolades in BCI research.

SEE ALSO: Controlling An Avatar With Your Brain? Israeli Lab Is Trying

The robot study 

The team uses the findings from their first study for another study where they are testing how an amputee would embody a humanoid robot and control it, through BCI. Friedman, Cohen, and other researchers, only some of whom had taken part in the first study, researched this option — the ability to use the BCI system for navigation tasks through a large humanoid robot.

Here, as part of a study to dissolve the boundary between the human body and a surrogate robotic representation, subjects were asked to operate an HRP-4 humanoid robot inside a room and direct the robot’s body as if it was their own. Various tests also meant to look at motor imagery and visual categories. The subject directs the robot’s arm toward one of three objects placed on a table and when the correct item has been selected, the subject navigates the robot towards the experimenter in order to stimulate delivery of the object. The subject was located in Israel and the robot was located in France, with the geographic split only made due to the availability of facilities.

The researchers said it may have been the first study of its kind.

To read the study of brain-computer interface control of an avatar using missing hand representation in amputees, click here.

Photo and Video: Courtesy

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Florida Governor To Arrive In Israel On Trade Mission]]> 2017-11-30T12:50:50Z 2017-11-30T07:51:00Z rick scott logoNovember 30, 2017 | Florida Governor Rick Scott is expected to arrive in Israel on Friday on a trade mission with a delegation of businesspeople and education leaders of approximately 70 people. According to a release from the governor’s office this week cited by Florida media, the mission will include economic development meetings with Israeli business leaders, a recognition of Israel’s national carrier El Al’s recently launched direct flights from Miami to Tel Aviv, which the governor’s office said will continue to support tourism and economic development in Florida, and the “signings of multiple agreements between Florida and Israeli universities and economic development organizations to support continued partnerships, research opportunities and job creation.” The delegation will also honor the Florida-Israel Memorandum of Understanding Agreement between Space Florida and Israel, established after the governor’s previous trade mission to Israel in 2011. The MOU promotes research, development, and aerospace and technology projects. Scott said in a statement by his office that “working with international partners like Israel is critical to strengthening Florida as a global destination for trade and to ensuring that our economy will continue to grow for years to come.”