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. 2018-03-18T09:41:18Z NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Tel Aviv Outranks NY, London As 9th Most Expensive City In The World]]> 2018-03-18T09:16:22Z 2018-03-18T09:16:22Z


March 18, 2018 | Israeli finance and tech hub Tel Aviv outranked New York, Los Angeles and London as the ninth most expensive city in the world, according to the newest report by The Economist Intelligence Unit titled “Worldwide Cost of Living 2018.” Tel Aviv climbed to its ninth spot from 34 just five years ago. The report says that the shekel’s strong performance played a part in Tel Aviv’s climb to the top 10, but the city “also has some specific costs that drive up prices, notably those of buying, insuring and maintaining a car,” pushing transport costs 79 percent above New York prices. Tel Aviv is also the second most expensive city in which to buy alcohol, according to the survey. New York, which occupied the ninth spot in the 2017 survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, fell to number 13, due in part to a weakening dollar and Los Angeles ranked 14. London came in sixth in the 2016 report but fell from the top ten in 2017 and 2018. Singapore has maintained its top spot as the most expensive city in the world for the fifth consecutive year. Paris came in at number two in 2018, followed by Zurich, Hong Kong, Oslo, Geneva, Seoul and Copenhagen. Sydney closed out the top 10.

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Shoshanna Solomon, The Times of Israel <![CDATA[Israeli Researchers Develop Infrared Film That May Replace Costly Night-Vision Goggles]]> 2018-03-18T09:41:18Z 2018-03-18T08:40:24Z

This article was first published by The Times of Israel and is re-posted with permission.

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev say they have developed low-cost infrared sensors that can be used to create the world’s thinnest night-vision glasses as well as revolutionize smartphones and self-driving cars.

Prof. Gabby Sarusi, faculty member in the Unit of Electro-Optical Engineering and the Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, has developed a stamp-like device of which one side reads 1,500-nanometer infrared wavelengths, and converts them to images that are visible to the human eye on the other side of the stamp. This stamp — basically a film that is half a micron in thickness — is composed of nano-metric layers, nano-columns and metal foil, which transform infrared images into visible images.


The film can be put in front of normal glasses or telescopes, Sarusi said, transforming them into infrared devices. Or it can be placed onto simple vision sensors, transforming them into infrared sensors with the ability to see objects that the human eye cannot.

Ben-Gurion University researcher Prof. Gabby Sarusi explains the infrared sensor technology he developed. March 2018. Photo by NoCamels

Ben-Gurion University researcher Prof. Gabby Sarusi explains the infrared sensor technology he developed. March 2018. Photo by NoCamels

The technology could help replace the heavy night goggles used by soldiers with lightweight, low-power consumption glasses, he said. The technology relies upon nanotech and physics, with the only electronic component being a small battery, he said.

But there are wider and even more interesting applications to the technology, Sarusi said — for example, in the area of autonomous cars. Such a device could be used on sensors for autonomous cars to improve vision, by converting infrared light into visible light and allowing better vision in fog and darkness.

In addition, infrared sensors are not affected by sunlight, something that confuses today’s regular sensors.

An infrared sensor costs around $3,000, Sarusi said. A regular vision sensor used by autonomous cars costs $1-$2. So, by adding the nanotech layers, which cost around $5, Sarusi said, one can get an infrared sensor for about $7-$8.

To read the full article, click here

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israel’s PixCell Snags $3M European Commission Grant To Advance Blood Testing Tech]]> 2018-03-18T08:42:38Z 2018-03-15T11:50:42Z March 15, 2018 | Yokneam-based Israeli startup PixCell, which develops, manufactures, and markets portable medical diagnostic products for simple blood sampling and analysis, announced that it was awarded a 2.5 million Euro (approximately $3 million) grant to “accelerate commercialization of its product the HemoScreen.” The funding will serve to further test the product, the company said. The Hemoscreen is a portable blood analyzer that performs common test including a blood count with results within 5 minutes, PixCell says. The product is CE marked and expected to be FDA cleared during 2018.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israel First Country In The World To Approve Medical Cannabis Vaporizer]]> 2018-03-15T11:10:26Z 2018-03-15T11:07:07Z kanaboresearchMarch 15, 2018 | Israeli medical cannabis R&D company Kanabo Research announced yesterday that the Israeli Ministry of Health has granted its VapePod vaporizer product approval as a medical device, according to a statement. This move makes Israel the first country in the world to grant medical device to a vaporizer for the use of medical cannabis extracts and formulations. Kanabo has already begun pre-clinical trials of the company’s current mixtures to be used with the VapePod medical cannabis vaporizer for the treatment of sleep disorders. The results are impressive in early findings, and the combination will give medical cannabis patients the opportunity to receive more effective and accurate dosage and delivery methods of medical cannabis treatment. Kanabo is in the process of registering two patents dealing with their formulations of medical cannabis extracts for sleep disorders to be used with the approved VapePod vaporizer. The VapePod medical vaporizer allows the patients to inhale their medical cannabis, without the risks of smoking, which is currently the most common way for patients to consume medical cannabis. “This approval is a significant announcement for the medical cannabis patients in Israel who will be able to use the medical vaporizer for the first time,” said Avihu Tamir, co-founder and CEO of Kanabo Research, who also added that as medical cannabis patients move to vaporizer usage, his company is expected to reach $10 million in sales in the Israeli market.






NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israel Is 11th Happiest Nation In the World, For 5th Consecutive Year]]> 2018-03-15T10:40:09Z 2018-03-15T10:39:36Z For the fifth year in a row, Israel retained its spot as the 11th happiest country in the world, according to the annual “World Happiness Report 2018,” published on Wednesday.

The report ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels and, for the first time, also ranked 117 countries by the happiness of immigrants.


This year, Finland knocked Norway out its top spot in 2017, with Norway ranking second, followed by Denmark (3), Iceland (4) and Switzerland closing out the top five. The Netherlands came in 6th, Canada 7th, New Zealand 8th, followed by Sweden and Australia in the tenth spot. The US, in the 14th spot in 2017, fell to 18 this year.

The report has been released yearly since 2012 by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) at the United Nations. It is published ahead of the International Day Of Happiness marked on March 20th every year.

SEE ALSO: International Day of Happiness: What Top Israeli Studies Say About What Makes Us Happy

This year’s report focused heavily on immigration and migration with Israel coming in the 12th spot in happiness ranking for the foreign-born, based on surveys conducted between 2005-2017 and with a sample of 100 respondents.

World Happiness Report 2018's top 20 spots

World Happiness Report 2018’s top 20 spots

“A noteworthy finding is that Russia-born people in Israel evaluate their lives much more positively after migration but simultaneously experience adverse outcomes in terms of effect. These results are in line with the relatively high life evaluations but relatively low emotional well-being of Israel’s native population,” the report reads.

However, it also notes Israel as among the “least-accepting countries” of immigrants, alongside Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan.

Overall, the report says, “perhaps the most striking finding…is that a ranking of countries according to the happiness of their immigrant populations is almost exactly the same as for the rest of the population.”

Immigrant happiness, says the report, like that of the locally born, “depends on a range of features of the social fabric, extending far beyond the higher incomes traditionally thought to inspire and reward migration.”

“The countries with the happiest immigrants are not the richest countries, but instead the countries with a more balanced set of social and institutional supports for better lives,” it adds.

The survey is based on samples of 1,000 people per year averaged for 2015-2017 for the 156 countries surveyed by the Gallup World. Respondents are asked to make “a cognitive assessment of the quality of their lives on an 11-point ladder scale, with the bottom rung of the ladder (0) being the worst possible life for them and the top rung (10) being the best possible life,” also known as the Cantril ladder-of-life question.

Researchers then also measure the results against six variables: gross domestic product per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity/charitable giving, and perceived levels of government and corporate corruption.

In last place, in the 156th spot, was Burundi, preceded by the Central African Republic and South Sudan.

SEE ALSO: Five Israeli Startups That Aim To Make You Happier

The report ends with a warning on three emerging health problems that threaten happiness – obesity, the opioid crisis, and depression – with most of the evidence and discussion focused on the United States, “where the prevalence of all three problems has been growing faster and further than in most other countries.”

“The US is in the midst of a complex and worsening public-health crisis, involving epidemics of obesity, opioid addiction, and major depressive disorder that are all remarkable by global standards,” reads the report.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israel’s Effective Space Startup Will Launch Two ‘Space Drone’ Spacecraft In 2020]]> 2018-03-14T14:13:02Z 2018-03-14T14:11:34Z effective spaceMarch 14, 2018 | Israeli aerospace startup Effective Space Solutions and US-based global commercial launch services provider International Launch Services (ILS) announced Tuesday that they will launch two Effective Space “Space Drone” spacecraft into orbit in 2020, according to a statement from both companies. The spacecraft will be launched with the ILS Proton Breeze M Vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. “Launching our first two ‘Space Drone’ spacecraft into a geostationary orbit is part of our strong commitment to our first customer, meeting mission timeline and ensuring smooth transition into a life-extension service,” said Arie Halsband, founder and CEO of Effective Space. Each ‘Space Drone’ spacecraft is a 400-kilogram spacecraft that “has a universal, non-intrusive docking system to rendezvous and dock to the geostationary host satellite,” the statement says. The Israeli-founded company, now headquartered in the UK, was founded by Arie Halsband, the former general manager of the space division of Israel Aerospace Industries, in 2013. The company also has an R&D center in Tel Aviv. The startup signed a $100 million deal with a large communications satellite operator in January 2018, to prolong the life of two aging satellites. As part of the deal, Effective Space agreed to launch its two “Space Drone” spacecraft in 2020.


Dorian Barak and Zack Fagan <![CDATA[Mapping Israel’s Burgeoning Digital Health Ecosystem]]> 2018-03-14T11:56:40Z 2018-03-14T11:56:40Z This article is a guest post on NoCamels and has been contributed by a third party. NoCamels assumes no responsibility for the content, including facts, visuals and opinions presented by the author(s).

Dorian Barak is the founder and managing partner of Indigo Global, a boutique Israeli investment advisory firm focused on cross-border financing transactions, working with a broad array of investors, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. Zack Fagan is an associate at Indigo Global.

Alongside cybersecurity and telecommunications, Life Sciences has been at the forefront of the Israeli technology boom for many years, with over 50 successful exits since 2012 and more than 25 Israeli medical companies listed on NASDAQ. Boasting one of the world’s most advanced healthcare systems and the highest concentration of life science researchers and professionals per capita, the local ecosystem is continually finding new and innovative ways to treat and cure the most challenging medical conditions.


Today, driven by innovations in enabling technologies such as computer vision and smart sensors, as well as a shift in medical care towards patient centricity, the Israeli digital health sector is emerging as a bright spot of the broader healthcare industry. Although digital health is a relatively young field both in Israel and globally, it is actually one of Israel’s most rapidly growing industries and one that can have a profound impact on the world.

An illustrative photo of a doctor on a computer. Photo by Pixabay

What is Digital Health?

Broadly defined, digital health refers to technology-enabled healthcare based on the integration of AI, big data, computer vision, digital media, sensors and smart devices with traditional medicine. Utilizing these technologies, “Digital Health” enables the provision of remote healthcare, promotes data-driven diagnostics and treatment, increases efficiency and accuracy, and facilitates highly personalized medical care.

The industry has evolved and developed swiftly over the past few years due to the increased availability and robustness of supporting technologies. For example, the advent of the smartphone has enabled a revolution in the delivery of personalized healthcare. According to a report published by Transparency Market Research, the Global Digital Health Market is expected to exceed $500B by 2025, with a CAGR of 13.4% over that time.

SEE ALSO: How Israeli Digital Health Technologies Are Revolutionizing Healthcare And Reshaping Privacy Concerns

This growth has attracted the attention of VCs, corporates, and healthcare players alike, as companies in the industry raised a whopping $8 billion globally in 2016, with upwards of 200 new investors joining the fray. Private investment, alongside strong government support, has driven the emergence of digital health hubs around the world, from Silicon Valley to Boston, London, Berlin, Switzerland, and Israel.

The Rise of Digital Health in Israel

Israel’s digital health industry may still be in its infancy, but it is quickly maturing into one of the world’s leaders. According to a report published by Startup Nation Central, the number of digital health companies in Israel skyrocketed from 65 in 2005 to nearly 400 in 2016. Over the course of 2016, the industry saw a 27 percent increase in investment as well, reaching $183 million.

While remarkable, this growth is not surprising. It is well known that Israel excels in the development of technologies in the fields of IT, communications, mobile, vision, and data analytics – all core components of digital health technologies. This, combined with the high prevalence of digitalized health records in Israel and the enrollment of the entire population into only four health care “funds,” has served as a powerful enabler of digital health innovation.

The Israeli Digital Health Startup Map

In Israel and globally, digital health is driven not only by innovation in technology but also by a change in the philosophy of medical care. Gone are the days of “system” centric care that resulted in one-size-fits-all treatment with a generalized approach to care. The “new healthcare” is driven by increasing the efficiency, quality, and personalization of care within healthcare centers, while also shifting the care to the patient within their own homes.

SEE ALSO: Israeli Startup Aims To Bring Health Tech To The World’s Most Remote Areas

In order to show how this trend and the surge in new technologies is manifested in Israel, we built the below infographic mapping the Israeli digital health ecosystem. The infographic is not comprehensive, as there are hundreds of active companies in Israel, with new startups launching almost daily. But given the rapid evolution of the industry and its complexity, the infographic provides a useful snapshot that highlights the broad solutions that Israel’s digital health companies are beginning to deliver.

As digital health in Israel continues its rise and evolution, boosted by international interest and local support, we expect it to emerge into one of Israel’s most impactful and well-known tech sectors.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Baby Monitors, Security Cameras Among IoT Devices Too Easy To Hack, Say Israeli Researchers]]> 2018-03-13T12:22:17Z 2018-03-13T14:20:15Z Popular off-the-shelf IoT devices including baby monitors, home security cameras, and thermostats are easily breachable, according to an ongoing study by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev cyber researchers, who said they hacked into most of the devices in about 30 minutes.

The study, according to a university statement, is part of ongoing research into detecting vulnerabilities of devices and networks now found as part of “smart homes,” businesses and in the medical field. In January, BGU researchers warned that unpatched medical devices, such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines are too exposed to cyber threats and easily exploited.


The current research looked into 16 popular IoT devices from high-end and low-end manufacturers, according to the researchers at the Implementation Security and Side-Channel Attacks Lab at Cyber@BGU, the university’s cybersecurity research center. The findings were published in a paper titled “Opening Pandora’s Box: Effective Techniques for Reverse Engineering IoT Devices.”

In it, the researchers detailed serious security and design flaws they uncovered in the common devices by disassembling and reverse engineering them. Using “fault injection-based techniques (introducing faults to test code paths) for bypassing password protection,” the researchers were able to “recover device firmware and passwords,” and “discover several common design flaws which lead to previously unknown vulnerabilities.

A web camera. Pixabay

A web camera. Pixabay

Dr. Yossi Oren, a senior lecturer at BGU’s Department of Software and Information Systems Engineering and head of the Implementation Security and Side-Channel Attacks Lab at Cyber@BGU said, “It is truly frightening how easily a criminal, voyeur or pedophile can take over these devices.”

SEE ALSO: US-Israel Cybersecurity Firm Armis Warns Google, Amazon Of Airborne Cyber Attacks

“Using these devices in our lab, we were able to play loud music through a baby monitor, turn off a thermostat and turn on a camera remotely, much to the concern of our researchers who themselves use these products,” he added.

Omer Shwartz, a Ph.D. student and a member of Dr. Oren’s lab said “it only took 30 minutes to find passwords for most of the devices and some of them were found merely through a Google search of the brand.”

“Once hackers can access an IoT device, like a camera, they can create an entire network of these camera models controlled remotely,” he warned.

Alarming stories of hackers breaching baby monitors have made numerous headlines in recent years, terrifying parents all over the world. In 2015, parents in Washington reported that their 3-year-old son told them he was scared of a voice coming from the monitor. The hacker was allegedly speaking to the child in the night and had said at one point, “Wake up little boy, daddy’s looking for you.” He was able to remotely control the camera and was also tracking the parents’ movements, they said. In another incident, a mother in Cincinnati woke up to a stranger screaming, “Wake up, baby! Wake up, baby!” into the monitor as her then 10-month-old was fast asleep. Some hackers have played strange music for babies and toddlers, and there are websites live-streaming footage from hacked baby monitors and home web cameras.

A baby sleeping. Pixabay

A baby sleeping. Pixabay

“The increase in IoT technology popularity holds many benefits, but this surge of new, innovative and cheap devices reveals complex security and privacy challenges,” said Yael Mathov, a Masters student who also conducted the research. “We hope our findings will hold manufacturers more accountable and help alert both manufacturers and consumers to the dangers inherent in the widespread use of unsecured IoT devices.”

Dr. Oren urged manufacturers to “stop using easy, hard-coded passwords, to disable remote access capabilities, and to make it harder to get information from shared ports, like an audio jack which was proven vulnerable in other studies by Cyber@BGU researchers.

“It seems getting IoT products to market at an attractive price is often more important than securing them properly,” he said.

SEE ALSOHow Israeli Cybersecurity Startups Are Battling The World’s Riskiest Online Hacks

The researchers issued a number of tips for ensuring security, including researching each device to “determine if it has a default password and if so change it before installing,” using strong passwords with a minimum of 16 characters, not using the same passwords for different devices, updating software regularly, and buying IoT devices only from reputable manufacturers and vendors.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Behavioral Biometrics Startup BioCatch Raises $30M In Funding Round]]> 2018-03-15T10:15:42Z 2018-03-13T07:23:43Z March 13, 2018 | Israeli cybersecurity startup BioCatch, an award-winning company that tracks behavioral biometrics for fraud detection, announced that it raised $30 million in a financing round led by Maverick Ventures, with the participation of American Express Ventures, NexStar Partners, OurCrowd, and others. The round brings BioCatch’s total amount raised since its founding in 2011 to over $41 million. The company uses more than 2,000 parameters to track user behavior and has at least 56 registered or pending patents. BioCatch said in a statement that the funds will go toward pursuing markets beyond banks, including insurance, cryptocurrency, P2P payments, healthcare, and government organizations. The company says its vision is to “redefine digital identity and enable renewed trust in online interactions.” Newly appointed CEO Howard Edelstein said in a statement, “BioCatch helps to answer the question, ‘who are you’ in an online world where fraudsters operate with the legitimate credentials of others, making it very hard to distinguish them from authorized users.” Edelstein said the company takes pride “in the track record we have amassed and the role that we play as an integral part of our clients’ identity strategy. This strategy cuts across the digital ecosystem, from stopping fraud in real-time to preventing fake accounts from being opened in the first place, all while enabling a seamless user experience.”

Ido Levy, NoCamels <![CDATA[Israeli Startup Freezing Cancer In Its Tracks Now Tackling Kidney, Liver, Bone Tumors]]> 2018-03-13T09:10:16Z 2018-03-12T16:34:45Z Treating cancer is often a notoriously long and trying process, sometimes requiring a combination of surgery and radiation or chemotherapy. These treatments can go on for months or longer, and come with a number of devastating side effects.

Cancer researchers and medical technology companies over these past decades have worked to find forms of treatment that are less invasive but equally impactful. One Israeli biomedical company has envisioned a world where all it would take is a short doctor’s visit.


Since 2006, Caesarea-based IceCure Medical has advanced the concept of cryoablation, a process which uses extreme cold to freeze and destroy diseased tissue used by medical experts for years, to develop technology that would freeze cancer tumors. In 2012, using the company’s IceSense3 system, doctors treated benign breast cancer tumors in four patients during a clinical trial conducted in Kamogowa, Japan. The system had specifically been developed to treat fibroadenomas, which are the most common type of benign breast tumors, typically seen in young women aged 15 to 30.

This is how it works: After administering local anesthesia, a doctor pumps liquid nitrogen at -274F (-170C) through a needle guided by ultrasound scanning to freeze the tumor without affecting surrounding tissue. The whole procedure takes about 15 minutes, can be done in a doctor’s office, and is virtually painless and minimally invasive enough that it does not affect a patient’s daily life. IceCure says it can use its system to treat tumors the size of golf balls. Besides tackling cancer cells directly, cryoablation also stimulates the cells to attack the frozen area, “teaching” the immune to recognize cancer cells, the company says.

SEE ALSO: Israeli Company That Turns Tumors Into Ice Balls Now Sets Its Sight On Lung Cancer

IceCure CEO Eyal Shamir tells NoCamels that IceSense3 has focused mainly on benign and malignant breast tumors, but has also been working on applying the treatment to lung, kidney, liver, and bone tumors. In 2013, the company announced successful clinical trials on patients with malignant lung tumors in Japan. Shamir says that IceCure is currently working on an application for prostate cancer.

The IceCure System

“In Western countries, you have more and more cases of early stage, small, solid tumors…and everyone in the market is looking for a minimally invasive solution,” Shamir tells NoCamels. In an age of increased awareness, advances in medical screenings leading to early detection and intervention, invasive surgery remains the prevailing method of treating cancer, he notes.

Shamir explains that other existing treatments of tumors, like thermoablation – the heating of a tumor with radio waves or other means – can be painful, and that surgery and radiation can “kill patients” with their lasting side effects. IceCure, he says, provides the answer, as a minimally invasive solution that does not leave permanent damage. Neither does it necessitate the physical removal of a tumor from the body, as the body absorbs the dead cells over time.

“IceCure did not invent the cryoablation method, which has been known for over twenty years, but it is the most advanced product [of its kind] on the market,” Shamir continues. While other freezing technologies can reach temperatures as low as IceCure, they do so much more slowly and many cannot keep a stable freezing temperature, Shamir explains. IceCure not only reaches freezing temperatures four times faster, but can also keep a colder stable temperature for at least forty times longer, he says.

A screenshot of IceCure's tech at play.

A screenshot of IceCure’s tech at play.

“Our use of liquid nitrogen allows us to freeze much deeper, much faster, and much cheaper,” says Shamir. A 2017 study by the American Cancer Society found that the total cost of cancer in the US was about $88 billion in direct medical expenditures. Simplifying treatment to a short doctor’s visit would greatly help to reduce costs, IceCure says.

IceSense3 has FDA and CE approval as well as approval from various other local standards, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, and Mexico.

IceCure’s end users include mostly surgeons, and the company has an office in Collierville, Tennessee that works directly with doctors in the US. The company works through local distributors in other countries.

IceCure - Health News - Israel

Its biggest customers says Shamir, are the US and Japan and it is working to expand in the European and East Asian markets. IceCure often works with trade representatives and chambers of commerce to get acquainted with foreign markets, he says.

IceCure’s History

Founded in 2006, IceCure was part of an incubator hosted by the Israel Innovation Authority (then the Israel Chief Scientist Office) to find a minimally invasive alternative to treat cancer. It became a private company in 2008 before going public in 2011. During most of its years in operation, IceCure focused on research and development and its sales aspect is still in its early stages. Shamir became CEO in 2016, following the departure of previous CEO Hezi Himelfarb, who is now general manager and COO at robotic medical technology company Microbot Medical.

SEE ALSO: New Device Destroys Breast Tumors With Extreme Cold

As of 2011, IceCure is a publically traded company on the Tel Aviv stock exchange, with a market cap of almost NIS 31.5 million ($9.5 million). A majority of its shares (70 percent) are owned by Chinese investor Haixiang Lee, founder and managing partner at VI Ventures.

Simona Shemer <![CDATA[Spotify Officially Launches In Israel]]> 2018-03-12T15:47:52Z 2018-03-12T15:47:52Z spotifyMarch 12, 2018 | Spotify, the world’s most popular music streaming service, has officially launched in Israel today, according to a statement from the company. The platform allows you to browse and discover music, curate playlists, and build a music collection. The service, which offers a catalog of over 35 million Israeli and international songs, gives its users a choice of a free ad-supported service or an ad-free Premium subscription service for 19.90ILS ($5.70) a month. Spotify has partnered with the Israeli-founded GPS navigation company Waze to incorporate playlists into the app on both Android and iOS. It has also partnered with Israel’s Galgalatz radio to bring Israeli users playlists curated by hosts and editors from the station. Spotify has a personalization feature allowing fans to find music they love and discover new artists based on taste and listening patterns. This includes a Daily Mix series, Release Radar (new music based on artists followed and listened to most by the user) and Discover Weekly (a playlist based on the users’ unique listening habits. The Swedish-developed service was first developed in 2008, but currently has two billion playlists available for 159 million fans worldwide and following the Israeli launch, will be available in 62 markets worldwide.



NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Digital Health Center Launched In Downtown Haifa]]> 2018-03-12T14:56:49Z 2018-03-12T14:40:37Z ii2020March 12, 2018 | The city of Haifa has established a new, international digital health center in its downtown area, Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav announced in an inauguration ceremony, along with Jerusalem Venture Partners Chairman Erel Margalit and CEO of Berkshire Partners Brad Bloom, according to a statement from Israel Initiative 2020 (ii2020), Margalit’s vision to create a dynamic center of excellence in seven regions throughout Israel, including Haifa. The center is scheduled to open January 2019. It will serve as an innovation center, an academic accelerator for students, a platform for multinational companies, an investment-focused venture capital fund for Haifa, and an establishment for digital health-related activities, including a meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors in the field and a center for cooperation between academic institutions in Haifa and and research and medical centers throughout Israel. The center will work in cooperation with Haifa’s Technion — Israel Institute of Technology, the University of Haifa, and Rambam Hospital. “This is an exciting and important day for the economic development of the city, and what we have done in Beersheba with cyber is here in the field of digital medicine, One of the world’s leading medicine companies, the presence of multi-national companies and a flourishing entrepreneurial scene – combining these four elements together, around the digital health field can create thousands of jobs here.the digital medical district will become the focus of the city’s innovation. The city of Haifa has revolutionized the lower city, and I do not have a spade Let the lower city be the focus of all this,” said former MK Margalit at the ceremony. The center will be built in a historical building first built in the 1930s in a Bauhaus style by renowned architect Richard Kaufmann, will cover at least 1,100 square meters (over 11,840 feet). Margalit recently hosted last month’s Ecosystem Haifa 2018, a conference to focus on Haifa as a center of innovation and entrepreneurship as well as a global leader in digital health. Israel’s Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon opened the conference, announcing that the Ministry of Finance will be a full partner in the vision to transform the “lower city” area into a center of innovation of entrepreneurship in the field of digital health.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[OurCrowd Opens Office In London]]> 2018-03-13T09:55:11Z 2018-03-12T09:11:30Z ourcrowdMarch 12, 2018 | OurCrowd, the equity crowdfunding platform, announced Monday the opening of a new UK office located in Mayfair, London, according to a statement. This is the 10th location for OurCrowd, which was founded in Jerusalem and also has offices in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Singapore. The new office will be headed by its new Director of Investor Relations Lina White, who formerly worked at the multinational finance firm Goldman Sachs. White will manage OurCrowd activities, including the growing community of British investors. OurCrowd expects to add thousands of new UK investors and help Israeli startups enter the UK market. Founded in 2013 by Jon Medved, OurCrowd currently has almost 25,000 accredited investors from over 112 countries. It has raised over $650 million and invested in 145 portfolio companies and funds. The company predicts it will surpass $1 billion in assets under management, raised through equity crowdfunding from investors.



NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Defense Contractor Elbit To Buy Arms Maker IMI For $523M]]> 2018-03-12T10:38:33Z 2018-03-11T18:13:22Z elbitMarch 11, 2018 | Israel’s finance ministry announced on Sunday that the state-owned weapons manufacturer Israel Military Industries (IMI) would be sold to defense contractor Elbit Systems, for 1.8 billion shekels ($523 million). IMI is best known as the maker of the Uzi submachine gun and the Galil. Elbit will pay another 100 million ($29 million) depending if IMI overseas sales goals for the year. Under the terms of the agreement, IMI will close its Ramat Hasharon factories and relocate them to the Negev, in the Ramat Beka industrial zone south of Beersheba, The Times of Israel reported. The move is set to free up in-demand land for housing. Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said in a statement. “The agreement that was reached continues the Finance Ministry’s policy of clearing [industry] from high-demand areas for the public benefit. The move of the factories to the Negev will allow constructions of thousands of housing units in the heart of a high-demand area, while strengthening industry and employment in the Negev.”

Simona Shemer, NoCamels <![CDATA[People Of The Book: Tel Aviv Listed Among 10 Best Literary Cities In The World]]> 2018-03-11T18:08:28Z 2018-03-11T17:48:29Z Tel Aviv is already widely known as an innovative city, with its startup ecosystem among the world’s top 3, a “green” city, due to its numerous green initiatives for environmental sustainability, the “World’s Smartest City,” providing an array of digital services and technologies to city residents, and a White City, celebrating over 4,000 Bauhaus-style structures.

Now it is furthering its reputation as a creative city, with a spot among the “10 of the Best Literary Cities” in the world by British online newspaper The Independent. In honor of World Book Day 2018, a one-day festival established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and designated in the United Kingdom and Ireland for the first Thursday in March. The publication put out a round-up of cities it deemed worthy of the title last week, with the Mediterranean metropolis joining international cities like Paris, Dublin, Sao Paolo, Los Angeles, Lagos, Saint Lucia, Johannesburg, and Seoul.


Though Israel is young, the country has a significant presence prolific and influential writers that have carved out a name for themselves, including authors and poets who have both resided in Tel Aviv and garnered international and local acclaim, winning top literary prizes and even having their homes historically preserved and streets named in their honor.

The Independent mentions Rachel Bluwstein (known as Rachel or Rachel the Poet) and Hayyim Nahman Bialik, whose Bauhaus-style home just off Tel Aviv’s Allenby Street is now a museum, as examples if Tel Aviv’s literary prowess.

bialik House

The Bialik House was poet Hayyim Nachman Bialik’s home from 1925 to 1933. Gellerj, Creative Commons

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai welcomed the placement on the list, saying in a statement that he was proud of the city’s achievements and that the municipality “places great emphasis on the city’s cultural field, encourages reading and literary writing, and will continue to act to make reading accessible to its residents.”

“Books shape the face of our world in two ways: the first is direct when a book brings about change and transforms the face of a country, the other is indirect – the books change our way of seeing the world,” he said.

Tel Aviv. Flickr

Tel Aviv. Flickr

Tel Aviv has over the years produced a variety of impressive literary figures in Israeli culture, many who have inhabited the city streets themselves and later had those streets and locations named after them. There’s Shai Agnon Street, named after the German-born Yiddish and Hebrew author, poet, and folklorist Shmuel Yosef Agnon, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1966 and lived in Jaffa and Jerusalem. There’s Ahad Ha’am Street, named after the Hebrew pen name of Asher Zvi Hirsch Ginsberg, known for writing essays on cultural and traditional Zionism.

Then, there’s Bialik Street of course, named for Hayyim Nahman Bialik, the poet whose works were so transformative in Israeli and Tel Avivian culture, that the Bialik Prize for Hebrew literature was established in 1933 in his honor and his home was converted into a museum on a street that now bears his name. It opened to the public in 2009 after undergoing many years of renovation and restoration. Along with ceramic art, it also houses archives of Bialik’s original work.

Bialik’s home is also part of a breathtaking plaza called Kikar Bialik, where parades, concerts, dancing, and other events still take place to this day.

Israel’s modern literary genius 

Though born in Jerusalem, David Grossman is currently one of Israel’s most lauded authors, having just won the 2018 Israel Prize for Literature, Israel’s highest literary honor. He was also announced the winner of the Man Booker International Prize of 2017 for his book “A Horse Walks Into A Bar,” becoming the first Israeli writer to win the award and beating out another cultural heavyweight, Amos Oz. Oz, who while writing extensively about the city of his birth, Jerusalem, also wrote with fondness about Tel Aviv. The city was featured in his memoir, the international bestseller “A Tale of Love and Darkness,” which was made into a movie starring and directed by Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman.

Currently living in Tel Aviv, Etgar Keret is an influential writer of contemporary Israeli literature who once told the Daily Beast that living in the “bubble of Tel Aviv” is “a strong point” for his works. He also said that the “strongest effect” the city has had on him has to do with its intensity. “When I think of Tel Aviv, it always felt to me like a short story,” he said, “Actually, in Israel, it’s funny because all the novelists basically have Jerusalem in their history, and Tel Aviv was always the city of poets. I think it’s something to do with the fact that it’s so condensed, you know, so in your face, so here and now, that it’s something I really feel in my stories.”

He later said that when he thinks of Tel Avivian writers, he thinks of Yoram Kaniuk but also loves the work of Yaakov Shabtai and David Avidan.

lending library

Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mayor Ron Huldai checks out the lending library at the beach. Courtesy.

Tel Aviv as a library city

Libraries play an important role in the modern literary life of the city, notes Miriam Pozner, Director of the Libraries Department of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality. “Urban libraries in Tel Aviv-Jaffa are also used as cultural centers: more than 2,000 cultural activities took place in various libraries and in the Beit Ariela Cultural Center throughout the year – story hours, plays, lectures and more which attracted about 80,000 participants.”

While Tel Aviv operates 22 public libraries, according to Pozner and the municipality, The Independent refers to the Tel Aviv beach as “unquestionably” the best place to read, saying that “it’s even better than cafe culture” thanks to the lending libraries to be found there — for free — in multiple languages. There are a total of nine lending libraries in Tel Aviv, including one on Rothschild Boulevard “which enables reading enthusiasts from Israel and abroad to enjoy good literature anywhere in the city,” Pozner said.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[WeWork Acquires Marketing, SEO Platform Conductor To ‘Humanize Marketing’]]> 2018-03-11T17:50:48Z 2018-03-11T11:46:28Z WeWorkMarch 11, 2018 | Shared workspace giant WeWork announced that it was acquiring marketing and SEO company Conductor for an undisclosed amount. Conductor, a content intelligence platform, was co-founded in 2008 by Seth Besmertnik, who serves as the company’s CEO and has known WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann, an Israeli-born entrepreneur, since they attended Baruch College together in New York. Besmertnik told TechCrunch that the two “kept reconnecting and reconnecting over the years.” The two companies are already customers of each other’s services and have been working together since 2016. WeWork said in a statement that Conductor is “capitalizing on a revolutionary change in marketing, one in which marketers attract customers through relevant, high-quality content online instead of depending on traditional ad-serving models to drive online acquisition,” and that “if a new approach, platform, or service has helped our fast-growing global business flourish, we want to share those learnings with our members and beyond.” Together, said Besmertnik in a Conductor statement, “we’re going to be building a marketing cloud to go after the enterprise market.” He added, “where WeWork provides businesses with the right physical presence, Conductor will enable companies to have the right digital presence.” Conductor will continue to operate as an independent business and Besmertnik will continue serving as CEO. The company says it serves over 1,000 brands around the world, including Citibank, Salesforce, and CVS, and has raised over $60 million in total funding since it was founded, according to Crunchbase.

Luke Tress, Times Of Israel <![CDATA[As ‘Day Zero’ looms, South Africa open to Israeli water tech, researcher says]]> 2018-03-18T07:40:05Z 2018-03-11T10:46:21Z This article was first published by The Times of Israel and is re-posted with permission.

Cape Town, South Africa, may soon be the world’s first major city to run out of water. On what the city has dubbed “Day Zero,” now slated for July 15, all homes and most businesses in the city of four million will be cut off from running water.

Despite longstanding animosity between Jerusalem and Pretoria, the ruling ANC party is open to help from the Jewish state, said Israeli researcher Dr. Clive Lipchin, who attended a water symposium in Johannesburg last month.


“Everyone is open to hearing solutions from whatever country it comes from,” said Lipchin, the director of the Center for Transboundary Water Management, Arava Institute, and lecturer in environment and conflict management at Tel Aviv University. “I was invited as an Israeli to sit at a panel. ANC government officials who addressed me from the audience said they were happy to look at Israel as a model,” Lipchin said.

drop of water

Efforts to conserve water and stave off the apocalyptic-sounding Day Zero are having some success, pushing back the expected date from April to mid-July, but there is a consensus that it is close to unavoidable, Lipchin said. Today, restaurants are using disposable plates and utensils, hotels are removing bath plugs from their rooms and filling their pools with seawater, and residents are recycling shower water to flush their toilets and using sanitizer to wash their hands instead of the sink. Several South African pop artists have released a playlist of two-minute songs for residents to time their showers and the city released an online calculator for residents to estimate their daily usage.

SEE ALSO: Desalination Nation: How Israel Is Helping The World Fight Water Shortage

When the day comes, Capetonians will have to wait at one of roughly 200 collection points around the city to receive their daily ration of 25 liters, or 6.5 gallons, of water per day. For comparison, the average American family uses about 300 gallons per day. Each collection point would service roughly 20,000 people daily, and it is unclear how security forces will maintain order and safety.

A perfect storm of drought, population growth and poor planning caused the crisis, said Lipchin, who grew up in South Africa. The area is in the midst of a three-year drought, likely influenced by climate change, and the population has nearly doubled in the last 10 years, further stressing the water supply. The city was also overly reliant on reservoirs fed by rainwater, instead of using aquifers or desalination, which made it vulnerable to drought.

To read the full article, click here

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Tel Aviv Startup Arbe Robotics Wins Berlin’s Tech.AD Award]]> 2018-03-11T14:36:24Z 2018-03-11T10:15:55Z arberobotics logoMarch 11, 2018 | Arbe Robotics, a company developing a high-resolution radar system to help vehicles detect and identify objects, is the winner of Berlin’s Automotive Tech.AD Award 2018, according to a statement from the Tel Aviv-based startup. Presented by we.CONECT, the award recognizes and honors exceptional projects. The company won for outstanding achievements in the autonomous driving industry, including being “the first to demonstrate ultra-high-resolution imaging radar.” Arbe Robotics founder and CEO Kobi Marenko said, “To be recognized as the winner by one of the leading automotive events is a true honor, and following the win, we will continue to develop and produce our revolutionary real-time 4D imaging radar.” Founded in 2015, Arbe Robotics’ 4D imaging technology provides ADAS, level 4, and 5 fully autonomous cars with high-resolution imaging radar that enables them to “see” the environment in any weather and lighting condition; from long, mid and short ranges in wide azimuth, elevation, range, and Doppler. The company raised an additional $9 million at the end of 2017 in a funding round led by equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd and O.G. Tech Ventures. They will also use the money to invest in their first customer support center in Silicon Valley.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Stanford, Israel’s Rambam Hospital To Cooperate On Medical Innovation, AI Research]]> 2018-03-11T09:43:40Z 2018-03-11T08:40:30Z March 11, 2018 | Stanford Medicine and Israel’s Rambam Health Care Campus announced over the weekend that they are establishing a cooperation agreement to work together on the future of medicine. They announced four areas of cooperations including “medical innovation, research in collaboration with Big Data and Machine Learning, cutting-edge drug development and trauma and emergency preparedness.” The agreement was reached following a Stanford Medicine-Rambam Symposium on “Planning for the Next Generation” last week. The two institutions discussed opportunities for partnerships during the two-day event. The institutions noted the budget gap – “Rambam, a hospital with 1,000 beds and 130,000 visits to the emergency room annually with a budget of $400 million versus Stanford, a 600-bed hospital with 60,000 visits to its emergency room annually and a budget of $7 billion a year” – with Rambam Director Prof. Rafi Beyar saying that “despite the enormous gap, Israel ranks much higher than the US in the quality of medicine.” Speakers from both institutions discussed the difficult challenges of their respective health systems in maintaining equitable health care, closing gaps, coping with the challenges of tomorrow’s health needs, as well as the heavy burdens on health care systems, Rambam said in a statement. “During the conference, we discussed precise, personalized health issues and the issue of health in Israel, including the complex relations in Israel between its local diverse population and with its neighbors,” Prof. Beyar said.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Bill To Legalize Cannabis Use Passes First Knesset Reading]]> 2018-03-08T21:35:05Z 2018-03-08T21:34:11Z March 8, 2018 | The Israeli Knesset this week unanimously passed (38-0) a first reading of a bill to legalize the use of marijuana. The bill, which focuses on enforcement, levying fines on those caught with marijuana, will go into effect in the next few months, according to Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who spearheaded the bill. First offenders will have to pay a NIS 1000 fine ($288), NIS 2000 ($577) if caught a second time, rehab and license revocation if it’s the third time and by the fourth time, criminal proceedings. Erdan was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying that the bill is meant to “reduce the harms of drug usage regularly but avoid as much as possible the criminal stigmatization of average citizens.” MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz), who chairs the Knesset Special Committee on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, said the bill was “far from perfect, but it is a foot in the door on the way to a policy of full legalization,” according to the Jerusalem Post. Marijuana is still considered a controlled substance, but Israel has been a pioneer in medical cannabis, with plans to push through reforms that would allow for the exports of marijuana plants to the tune of an estimated $1 billion in annual revenue. Last month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to suspend the reforms amid opposition by the Public Security Ministry which said it is afraid of “spillover” into the recreational market and which is demanding more funds (as well as a reported conversation with US President Donald Trump, whose administration is taking a hard-line against cannabis including its medical use.) The Israeli Health Ministry and the National Economic Council are currently reviewing the proposed reforms.

Simona Shemer, NoCamels <![CDATA[For Women’s Day, A Look At 5 Female-Led Initiatives In Israel Tackling The Gender Gap]]> 2018-03-08T12:48:54Z 2018-03-08T12:22:55Z Israel has one of the highest gender wage gaps in the Western world, with full-time female workers earning on average 35 percent less than their male peers, according to 2017 figures made available by the Central Bureau of Statistics, down from 68 percent in 2016. And in the high-tech field, a main force in the Israeli economy and where the salaries are higher than average, the gap widens to 45 percent.

The most substantial factor for this disparity, according to the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel, is that women on average work fewer hours than men in part because they are still considered main caregivers for children and parents. Another key factor, according to the report, “is that women are more likely to be employed in lower-wage occupations and industries.”


While Israeli women pursue advanced degrees at a higher rate than men, only about 30 percent of students in undergraduate and graduate programs in math, computer science, engineering and related fields, are female, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics. Just 35 percent of the Israeli high-tech workforce is made up of women and with less than 25 percent in key technology positions.

barr yaron

Barr Yaron, Data Scientist at Facebook Israel and founder of “Women In The Startup Nation.” Courtesy

But there are Israeli women out there looking to tackle this disparity, one initiative at a time.

Barr Yaron, an American-born data scientist at Facebook, said the first “eye-opening moment” that led her to take a good look at gender dynamics in tech was when she interned at the White House and asked to attend a TechGirls discussion for young women from North Africa and the Middle East interested in science and technology careers. When she met some girls from the Middle East, she was surprised by how discouraged they were to further their role in tech, as women.

“I remember one of the girls telling me, ‘My dad says robotics is for my brother, not for me,'” she tells NoCamels, “It was startling. It was a pivotal moment for me — to see how different societies look at tech differently.”

Women2Women event

An event for Woman2Woman 8200. See if you can locate the founders somewhere in the middle. Courtesy.

This wasn’t the only circumstance that led Yaron, a Harvard graduate with Israeli parents, to come to Israel or to start a Facebook page devoted to women in tech from the Startup Nation, but it certainly fueled the fire. There were also other instances, including her own experience in male-dominated fields like competitive physics and questions from friends prior to her move, about the Israeli tech scene and whether women played a role.

Yaron came to Israel in 2016 after nabbing the data scientist position at Facebook Israel. She set out to find ways to highlight the impressive women in the Israeli tech field, for an international audience. Inspired by similar pages in Silicon Valley, the Women of Startup Nation was established in January 2017 with the first interview featuring Limor Lahiani, now the Principal Engineering & Ecosystem Engagement Lead at Microsoft Israel’s R&D Center. Coming full circle, Yaron recently interviewed Merav Davidson, the CTO of Microsoft Israel, for a post published a year later. In just over a year, Women of Startup Nation already has over 16,000 followers from around the world.

SEE ALSO: ‘Let’s Get To 51’: New Initiative Seeks To Get Women Their Fair Share Of The ‘Startup Nation’

Yaron is just one of several female leaders working to close the gender gap in the Israeli tech and science sectors by forming female-powered initiatives that are making an impact on Israeli society.

Women Yaron says she looks up to include those from IDF intelligence units — some of the same women who make up Woman2Woman (W2W) a community founded to help young women with potential for excellence by connecting them with influential female mentors in key positions.

keren herscovici

Keren Herscovici, Woman2Woman

The group was founded as part of the 8200 Alumni Association, a group of men and women who served in the IDF’s 8200 Israeli Intelligence Corps unit. The group is made up of three co-founders and managing directors, Keren Herscovici, Efrat Dayagi, and Noya Lempert, Efrat Vinker, the head of its mentoring program, and Yael Greenberger, head of marketing and business development. All are alumni of the 8200 unit who also have “day jobs.” Herscovici, for example, was a Valuation and Strategy Consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers when she helped found Woman2Woman three years ago and is currently a controller at Israeli cyber firm Check Point Software Technologies.

More than 50 percent of the soldiers in unit 8200 are women, but less than 15 percent of them go on to become CEOs and entrepreneurs, Herscovici tells NoCamels. Woman2Woman hopes to increase that percentage with its 3,000 members. While not all of them are unit 8200 alum, most of them had to go through a thorough application process to be part of the program, which only accepts a certain amount of new members every six months. According to Herscovici, over 500 women have already applied for the upcoming cycle.

“Women have made many changes in their career thanks to our community,” she says, “They have become much more influential in Israeli society. Our goal is to create this change through role models.”

Although she isn’t an 8200 alum, Woman2Woman counts Orna Berry, the former chief scientist of Israel, as one of the association’s key figures. She mentors young women at early stages of their career for the organization.

Female entrepreneurs close the gap in two languages 

Another group with almost 4,000 members giving talented women a platform for connection and mentorship is Yazamiyot (in Hebrew), the first Israeli women’s group supporting female entrepreneurs in every stage of their startup. The group, founded by serial entrepreneur Hila Ovil Brenner five years ago, was created on the basis that less than three percent of Israeli entrepreneurs are women and that as those numbers grow (and they will, Ovil Brenner says) those women need to support each other.

Hilla Ovil Brenner of Yazamiyot

Hilla Ovil Brenner , founder of Yazamiyot. Photo via Hilla Ovil Brenner on Facebook

Ovil Brenner doesn’t like to think of the low numbers. She prefers to think of the evolution of women in the workplace and the way things are changing.

SEE ALSO: ‘Let’s Get To 51’: New Initiative Seeks To Get Women Their Fair Share Of The Startup Nation

“I think that a lot of people are realizing that there is a problem. Now that they realize this, there are ways to help,” she tells NoCamels, referring to her current position as managing director of Barclays’ three-month accelerator, powered by Techstars, “For instance, I know at Barclays and Techstars, we put a lot of emphasis on bringing diversity, take as many women entrepreneurs as we can.”

Ovil Brenner believes awareness and action are key to changing the gender imbalance. Besides organizing meetups and events for Yazamiyot, Ovil Brenner has taken matters into her own hands, speaking at countless events, including this week when she appeared in a panel with a female majority (3 women, 2 men) during FinTech Week Tel Aviv 2018.

fintech week

Left to right: Techstars’ Hila Ovil Brenner, Citi Ventures’ Ornit Shahar and Qumra Capital’s Sivan Dahan on the “Following The Money…” panel during FinTech Week Tel Aviv 2018. Courtesy

“Israel has the highest number of female FinTech entrepreneurs per capita,” she tells NoCamels, “When you put an emphasis on that, things are going to be different.”

Ovil Brenner has also established Google Campus for moms, a flagship project with workshops aimed to fight the obstacles moms face when juggling businesses and children. While the program started in Israel three years ago, Google has taken it globally.

Miriam Lottner

Miriam Lottner. Photo by Rebecca Cigala

Following in the footsteps of Ovil Brenner’s Yazamiyot group is the English-language counterpart Israeli Women’s Entrepreneurs Network (IWEN) Facebook group Miriam Lottner, a co-founder and entrepreneur with a background in high-tech, says the group was created following an online conversation in Ima Kadima: Working & Career-Minded Moms, a 9,000-strong employment-based Facebook group for mothers who need advice, help, and support in the workplace and family life.

Some of the women from the group, who were small business owners, realized they could benefit from answers to questions specifically related to female entrepreneurs or women who owned their own business.

Lottner, the CEO and founder of her own burgeoning business Reveal Israel, says that women in the 1,300-member support network share information such as shipping costs and logistics, working with Amazon, how to become an Etsy seller, Israeli taxes, and loans. They even have a dedicated weekday when business owners can advertise their companies and products to the other members.

“We need to form a collective and support each other. It’s breathtaking to me. Here you have this huge network of women who said, ‘I’m going to be my own boss and I’m going to make a go at this.’ Especially as a woman in this country, there’s no safety net,” she says, adding that an advantage of having a group with other women is that they are “not competitive.”

Leading the way in science 

Meanwhile, in the science sector, eBay data scientist Kira Radinsky is leading a group of women studying science as a visiting professor at the Technion — Israel Institute of Technology. Radinsky, a computer scientist who started university at 15, earned her PhD at 26, and founded two startups on the side, is now also advising female PhD candidates in her role.

“I encourage them to go into science and engineering because if I can do it, they can do it as well,” she tells NoCamels, “I give them the same standards I hold for myself. I don’t treat them any differently.”

kira radinsky

eBay’s Director of Data Science Kira Radinsky says she never grew up feeling that she couldn’t reach her full potential in science because she was a woman. Courtesy.

Radinsky, who grew up around strong women with a math teacher mom and an aunt who is a software architect, says she was lucky enough to have never felt like being a woman was holding her back, but she also says that “the numbers speak for themselves,” referring to the statistics that less than 10 percent of women actually become computer science professors.

“The first time I even heard about the word ‘glass ceiling’ I was at a Microsoft conference in 2010,” she says, “I never grew up with the idea.”

Still, she understands why women feel that culturally and psychologically, Israeli society puts pressure on them to build their family first.

“We as a culture are still not ready to give them what they need. Being an entrepreneur requires [women] to go abroad, taking the risk of being away from their family, which culturally puts a burden on them,” she says.

SEE ALSO: Prodigy Dr. Kira Radinsky Talks To NoCamels About Her Award-Winning Software That Predicts The Future 

Radinsky, who has been married for eight years and is a mother to a one-year-old, says that she and her husband, the co-founder and CEO of SparkBeyond, take turns caring for the baby and take her along when they travel. She adds that they couldn’t do it without help and advises all families to seek assistance so that mothers won’t feel apprehensive about pursuing their careers.

“I still think we’re not there yet,” she says.

Radinsky says she hopes her daughter will grow up to reach her “full potential without anyone telling her there is nothing she can’t do.”

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Co-Founders Of Renewable Energy Tech Provider Win Israel Prize In Industry]]> 2018-03-08T10:29:43Z 2018-03-08T10:23:30Z ormat technologiesMarch 8, 2018 | Yehuda and Yehudit Bronicki, founders of Ormat Technologies, were announced as the recipients of the 2018 Israel Prize in industry. The husband and wife pair are the co-founders of the Israeli alternative and renewable energy technology provider. The prize committee congratulated the pair, writing, ““Yehuda Bronicki, a visionary, an inventor, born in Poland who survived the Holocaust and together with his wife, Dita Bronicki, one of the first businesswomen and female entrepreneurs in Israel – a pioneer in her field – jointly established the Ormat Group and made it a world leader in geothermal energy,” the Jerusalem Post reports. Founded in 1965 by the Bronickis, Ormat Technologies went public in 2004 and the Bronickis retired in 2014. The company provides renewable energy sources in the United States and around the world. The Israel Prize committee has faced some criticism for their choice of winners this year, as Yehudit Bronicki is the first and only female winner of the 2018 Israel Prize among the 11 winners that have been announced to date. The lack of female laureates have received disapproval from former MKs like Meirav Michaeli and Shelly Yechimovitch of the Zionist Union party. Two winners have yet to be announced.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israeli Medical Tech Startup Vectorious Raises $9.5M]]> 2018-03-07T15:25:58Z 2018-03-07T15:25:58Z March 7, 2018 | Israel’s Vectorious Medical Technologies, which developed a miniature implant for left-atrial monitoring to detect heart failure, announced that it raised $9.5 million in a Series B funding round led by Boston-based Broadview Ventures and China’s GEOC, with the participation of Israel-based investors, Globes reported. In November, Vectorious was one of 15 Israeli startups selected to present their tech to the Chinese market at the annual Israeli roadshow in China, an event organized by the Israel Innovation Authority in cooperation with the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology. The company said the funds will allow it to expand its workforce and conduct clinical trials. Vectorious Medical Technologies founded in 2011 by CEO Oren Goldstein.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israeli Cyber Firm Snyk Raises $7M In Series A Round]]> 2018-03-07T14:46:05Z 2018-03-07T14:45:26Z March 7, 2018 | Israeli cybersecurity company Snyk, which provides security solutions for vulnerabilities in open source libraries, announced that it raised $7 million in a Series A funding round led by Boldstart Ventures and Canaan Partners, with the participation of Heavybit, FundFire, Peter McKay, co-CEO of Veeam, and others. The latest round brings Snyk’s total amount raised to date to $10 million. McKay will join Snyk’s board of directors, the company said. Snyk plans to use the funds to “deploy additional product offerings that improve the secure usage of open source for developers,” a company statement read. “Security controls must adapt to the new pace open source and cloud dictate,” said Guy Podjarny, CEO and co-founder of Snyk Ltd. and author of “Securing Open Source Libraries. “Failing to do so is what led to the recent breaches at Equifax, Uber, and the Tesla cloud breach. We’re relying on strangers’ code to run the most sensitive aspect of our business, and do so at neck-breaking speed. Traditional security solutions simply cannot keep up. The platform is used by over 120,000 developers and has over 350,000 downloads per month, the company said.

Simona Shemer, NoCamels <![CDATA[Chinese, Israeli Business Leaders Urge More High-Tech Cooperation – And Patience]]> 2018-03-08T07:26:48Z 2018-03-07T14:17:29Z China, the world’s most populous country, may be a relatively minor player in the Israeli high-tech ecosystem, according to a study last month which found that Chinese investment makes up just 5 percent of the total activity, but a conference this week in Tel Aviv drew over 70 Chinese investors and business leaders who hailed the Sino-Israeli relationship and urged more cooperation in biotech, digital healthcare, and R&D.

A report in February by the Israel-based IVC Research Center said Chinese direct investment, mergers and acquisitions, and buyout activities in Israel, while on the rise (from 18 Chinese entities investing in Israeli startups in 2013 to 34 last year), were “still waiting for lift off.” The study said that despite the hype, Chinese activity in Israel was not yet significant.


The IVC report emphasized that while the Chinese market holds great potential for Israeli startup, “this market is extremely complex for Israeli high-tech companies, far more familiar with the US and European markets, where they face far fewer cultural and language barriers and more familiar business practices.”

The GoForIsrael 2018 event, organized by Cukierman & Co Investment House and Catalyst CEL Fund held this week at the Hilton Hotel in Tel Aviv, sought to mitigate some of these barriers by inviting top Chinese business figures and hosting a special panel discussion titled “Marketing strategies for Israeli companies in China.” The conference was also chaired by Ronnie Chan, Chairman of Hang Lang Properties, one of China’s biggest real-estate firms, the co-founder of philanthropy foundation Morningside, and “a pioneer of the Israeli-Chinese connection, who has contributed greatly to the strengthening of economic relations between the two countries,” Cukierman & Co. said in a statement.


The event also hosted key decision makers, business representatives, investors, venture capitalists, and leading entrepreneurs from Israel, the US, and Europe, with more than 1,000 participants in attendance. The keynote speech was given by former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon and panels on investing in Israeli companies across fields like biotech/pharma and digital healthcare and medical tech featured guests such as Yossi Vardi, a Chairman of International Technologies and a leading Israeli entrepreneurs, Yair Shamir, former minister of agriculture and Managing Partner of Catalyst Fund, David Braun, head of medical device company Merck Group, Nevo Alva, and the CEO of QR code startup Visualead, the first Israeli company to be acquired by Asian e-commerce giant Alibaba.

The “Marketing strategies for Israeli companies in China” featured Visualead CEO Nevo Alva, John Chan, managing director of China Everbright Limited, a Hong Kong-based financial services company, Sean Jiang, CEO of investment and banking firm Yafo Capital, Jimmy Jin, deputy general manager of Leaguer, a company out of southern China, as well as Haggai Ravid, CEO of Cukierman & Co. who has for the past three years been living in China’s eastern province of Jiangsu.

SEE ALSO: As China Hosts ‘Israel Culture Week’, A Look At The Growing Relationship Between The Asian Giant And The Startup Nation

Ravid noted that Israel has a lot to offer China and that while the Chinese have a strong e-commerce industry, in part because of their larger population, Israel has the upper hand in digital healthcare and is “one step ahead” in robotics and drone technology.

All of the panelists encouraged Israeli companies to slow things down and get to know their Chinese audience before they try to sell their product or test their tech in the region. This includes China’s recognized tech hubs like Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Beijing, but also lesser known areas like Foshan, which is known for its advanced manufacturing of ceramic tiles and furniture, It has the third largest GDP in all of China, about $ 180 billion on a population of only 7 million people, according to Chinese businessman Jimmy Jin.

Israeli companies need patience and local knowledge of their Chinese audience, Jin added.

Ravid concurred, saying that “the “process is not always rational” and that Israelis “don’t always know why they do things the way they do” but that the key is to understand Chinese policies and Chinese people, without competing with them. “Don’t compete with Chinese companies,” he says to “compete with Western companies but sell to China.”

nevo alva

Nevo Alva, CEO of Visualead. Twitter

China’s large population can sometimes work against Israel, Alva added. “If Baidu or Alibaba want to recruit talent, they have a choice from a market of over one billion people, so that even a small percentage of them are still larger than Israel’s starting point, a total of 8 million residents. It’s a matter of numbers,” he said.

Israel’s advantage, according to Alva, is in its ecosystem. “Small young companies do better in Israel. When it comes to small young companies, Israel is a better place than China for entrepreneurs to start and fail. Israel accepts the failure of a young entrepreneur,” he said. China’s strength in part is in its ability to tap into its consumers, Alva said. “In terms of consumer behavior, payments, mobile, etc, we [Israelis] are not there yet,” he said.

Alva, who has lived in Shanghai for two years, and has experienced the “inside” of the Chinese multinational e-commerce, retail, Internet, AI, and technology conglomerate known as Alibaba, says that people would be surprised to know that the company is “more of a startup than most Israeli companies.”

“It’s too entrepreneurial for its size,” he adds but says it “moves faster” than a lot of companies in Israel.

Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma is expected to visit Israel in early May. Since its investment in Visualead in 2015 and its announcement to acquire the startup late last year, Alibaba has also invested in four other Israeli startups and has reported its intention to establish a large research and development center in Israel.

China’s ‘untapped market’ 

The economic and diplomatic relationship between China and Israel has increased significantly in recent years, with the launching of the Israel-China Innovation Committee and the Israel-China Economic Task Force, and mutual trade which was estimated at $50 million in 1992 reaching over $11 billion in recent years, according to figures made available by the Israeli Foreign Ministry. China is Israel’s largest trade partner in Asia and Israel’s third largest global partner.

The Asian giant has also tapped into Israeli higher education by establishing partnerships with top Israeli universities that cater to the future of innovation in the Middle East.

Left to Right: Yair Shamir (Managing Partner, Catalyst CEL Fund), Ronnie Chan (Chairman, Hang Lung Properties), and Edouard Cukierman (Chairman, Cukierman & Co). Courtesy

In addition, China has been on the lookout for strong tech and R&D teams, which is a strength of the “Startup Nation.” At least seven Chinese multinational corporations have opened innovation and R&D centers in Israel over the past three years, according to Start-up Nation Central, including Chinese telecommunications company Huawei, which bought Israeli startup Hexatier for a reported $42 million in 2016.

In November, 10 Israeli startups were selected to participate in the Israel–China Accelerator, a six-month program where the startups receive in-depth training on the Chinese market and business matchmaking services toward potential investors, customers and strategic partners, as well as workspace in Beijing. The program is led by the Israeli Ministry of Economy in cooperation with China’s largest private equity fund, the Chinese Shengjing Group, and the business community DayDayUP.

The IVC report noted that even as “Chinese participation as investors in Israeli venture capital funds peaked in 2014 and has dropped considerably since then both in actual numbers of investors and actual dollar amounts,” the new accelerator “represents a small but significant change that could start a trend, which could have a long-term impact on the China Israel high-tech equation.”

SEE ALSO: With Strong Ties, Is Israel China’s Best Friend?

Dorian Barak, the co-founder of Indigo Gloval, an Israeli VC firm that works extensively with China, tells NoCamels that while “it’s true that China still lags behind the US as a source of equity for local startups, […] that’s not the only factor that matters.”

Former defense minister Moshe Ya'alon speaking at the GoForIsrael event in Tel Aviv, March 5, 2018.

Former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon speaking at the GoForIsrael event in Tel Aviv, March 5, 2018.

“China is unrivaled as a global manufacturer of technology products, many of which include Israeli components. Chinese companies collaborate with Israeli companies in many beneficial ways beyond investment,” he says noting that it was common for Chinese companies to seek out foreign counterparts, license technology, or buy components without actually investing. Look at the Israeli agritech sector which is very active in China. There have been relatively few investments but many licensing arrangements and implementation projects in mainland China.”

“Most Chinese companies that come here are searching for breakthrough technology capabilities, not investment returns. That’s important to the local ecosystem and can be a more enduring source of capital, especially in situations where a promising technology requires the continued and long-term commitment of a strategic investor. We see this as well in corporate venture capital from the West, which is an important counterweight to return-driven VC funds,” Barak adds

Ben Topor, a managing partner of the Technology, Media and Telecom department at Cukierman & Co. tells NoCamels that China is still a mystery, but there is a trend of growing business in China. “It’s an untapped market. We recognized the strategic role,” he says.

“Israel is what China needs,” says Topor, “We have the tech, entrepreneurs, agriculture, and cybersecurity.”

In a sign of strengthening efforts, a GoForIsrael Conference will be held for the first time in Foshan, China, in May.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Forbes Lists Top Tel Aviv Tech Startups To Watch In 2018]]> 2018-03-07T15:09:35Z 2018-03-07T11:37:50Z forbesMarch 7, 2018 | There are five significant Tel Aviv startups to watch in 2018, according to US business magazine Forbes, which recently came out with an article highlighting the Israeli companies. Forbes named autonomous drones startup Airobotics, medical imaging startup Zebra Medical Vision, online shopping game site Boom25, deep learning cybersecurity Deep Instinct, and project management tool as the five startups. Airobotics was recognized for the autonomous drones being created that can be used for surveillance and other industrial uses. The company was founded in 2014 by Meir Kliner and Ran Krauss and has raised $71 million to date, including a $32.5 million Series C round in September 2017. Zebra Medical Vision was recognized for its AI platform that reads medical scans to provide accurate medical image diagnoses and its partnership with Google to provide algorithms on Google Cloud at $1 per scan. The third company, Boom25, is “disrupting the popular cashback scene by gamifying online shopping,” according to Forbes. With its nontraditional cashback opportunities, Boom25 offers the 25th customer a full refund on his purchase for shopping through the site and almost 700 retailers have joined the site. Deep Instinct has applied deep learning to cybersecurity to develop a solution with predictive capabilities and claims its the first company to do so. The company was named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum., formerly DaPulse, has created a project management tool that transforms the team collaboration experience for teams of any size. It has raised $34.1million in funding so far and works with companies like McDonalds, Adidas, and Wix. The article also mentions Tel Aviv’s strong tech scene and startup ecosystem as a whole with access to angel investors, VCs, R&D, and even some tax benefits for digital businesses. Tel Aviv has a plethora of accelerators and incubators including 500 Startups and Samurai Incubate Israel. Tel Aviv has also gained the attention of digital publications like Forbes and the US-based tech news publisher TechCrunch, who announced last month that it will host a one-day conference focused on mobility in Tel Aviv this summer. Forbes announced in January that its international Forbes Under 30 Summit Global in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in May. Eight hundred people from the US, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa are expected to be at this event.


NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Cockroaches, Turtles And Worms: Israeli Scientists Develop Nature-Inspired Robots For Space, Search & Rescue, Surgery]]> 2018-03-08T21:02:57Z 2018-03-06T17:30:18Z Cockroaches may not evoke much more in most people than maybe fear, disgust and a need to make a run for the nearest sturdy shoe, but a group of Israeli researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev were inspired enough by the insect to build a robot designed with its leg and body movements in mind to serve in search and rescue operations.

Named STAR (“Sprawl-Tuned Autonomous Robot”), the robot is one of several being developed at the university’s Bio-Inspired And Medical Robotics Lab led by Dr. David Zarrouk in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The lab specializes in making robot prototypes with several applications including search and rescue, medical surgeries, space and even agriculture. The robots were showcased as part of a recent press tour of the four-year-old lab, nicknamed “Toys R Us.”


The six-legged robot prototypes all feature similar movements in which the wheels are angled away from the body, to allow it to tackle all types of obstacles. Like cockroaches, the robots can also flatten themselves to slide under narrow openings.

Unlike a cockroach though, if the robots are knocked on their backs they can invert their wheels to keep moving, and can be fitted with a ramp to mount cameras or lighting fixtures. These features can potentially save lives in search and rescue operations in collapsed buildings, Dr. Zarrouk explains.

A STAR robot built by the Bio-Inspired and Medical Robotics Lab at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

A STAR robot built by the Bio-Inspired and Medical Robotics Lab at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Another robot can climb vertically between two structures, walk horizontally between two walls and features a “turtle gait,” while a third, the RStar, is a smaller version of the STAR and is built for outdoor environments.

Dr. Zarrouk, an award-winning scientist who earned his PhD in Medical Robotics at the Technion, says that all the robots have simple designs and that the lab builds all its own hardware, using some 3D printing. Currently, the research team is “working on building intelligence into the robots” so they can move more autonomously.

The mechanics of the Search & Rescue robots, says Dr. Zarrouk, are patented as the lab looks for partners to take the innovation forward.

Dr. Zarrouk’s lab has also developed an innovative type of robotic arm that could be useful in outer space.

The Minimally Actuated Serial Robot, MASR, operates much like a traditional snake robot with many connected motors, except that it only uses two: one to travel along the structure and another to rotate the joint it needs to flex.

Dr. Zarrouk says the design is ideal for space applications because it is lightweight and could be used for missions like fix malfunctioning satellites, and for docking or refueling to increase satellite lifespan. “This unique minimalistic configuration, which can be applied to any serial robot with two or more links, reduces weight, size, and cost,” he says.

“The configuration of the MASR robot combines the best characteristics of existing robot technologies to achieve a high level of accuracy and control,” he says.”In addition, the ability to add or subtract up to four links in less than a minute makes it possible to target quick repairs in isolated sections.”

He adds that the robot is easy to operate and would likely have agriculture applications as well, like picking fruit. The lab is experimenting with adding motors to the robot to increase speed and exploring ways to apply their minimally actuated concept to walking robots.

Image: Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

MASR. Image: Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

In the medical field, Dr. Zarrouk lab has developed three types of robots built for use in surgeries and exams.

Building on the world-renown PillCam, developed by Israeli medical company Given Imaging which pioneered a non-invasive method of detecting disorders in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the lab researchers invented a self-propelled camera pill that moves inside the body. The original idea behind the innovation was to have patients ingest a pill-sized camera to allow physicians to visualize the esophagus, colon, and areas of the small intestine.

Dr. Zarrouk says that while the pill takes 6-8 hours to move through the body, the lab’s invention allows the battery-operated pill of 4cm with a speech of 1cm per second, to get to certain areas quicker and stop where physicians deem necessary. In surgeries, he explains, the camera pill can reach specific areas to facilitate incisions, and he envisions that the pill can also be used for targeted drug delivery.

While conceding that up to 40 groups and companies around the world are working on the same concept, Dr. Zarrouk says that none have yet succeeded in making the idea work in hospitals and that he hopes his team will be the first.

Another series of medical robots are the single actuator earthworm and inchworm, each with a single motor that coordinates the motion of the cells and clamps. They can move rather quickly, at 5cm per second, and are designed for movement through blood vessels.

The SAW robot, meanwhile, is a battery-powered device that uses wave-like motion to propel forward, climb and reverse. And it can even swim.

At 57 cm per second, it’s the lab’s fastest robot, and has medical, industrial and search and rescue purposes.

Dr. Zarrouk says he is working with medical doctors to further develop the robots while looking for funding to produce tiny versions of them.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israeli AI-Based Health Startup Medial EarlySign Raises $30M]]> 2018-03-07T15:10:48Z 2018-03-06T12:29:49Z March 6, 2018 | Israeli AI-based health startup Medial EarlySign announced that it raised $30 million in a recent funding round led by aMoon Fund, the investment arm of Check Point Software Technologies co-founder Marius Nacht. The company, founded in 2009, developed an algorithmic platform which uses blood results and other information from electronic health records to build clinical insights, helping health organizations with patient management. Horizon Ventures, based in Hong Kong, also participated in the funding round, as did Medial EarlySign co-founder and CTO Nir Kalkstein. Medial EarlySign CEO Ori Geva said the funding will be used to broaden the company’s solutions and expand clinical studies, Reuters reported. Last month, the company announced that it can predict which sufferers of diabetes will develop kidney dysfunction within a one-year time-frame using its predictive engines, or “Algomarkers.” The announcement came after the conclusion of a clinical data study based on Medial EarlySign’s tech which was able to identify at-risk patients by analyzing electronic health records including laboratory tests results, demographics, medication and diagnostic codes.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Leonardo DiCaprio Invests In Eco-Friendly Hotel Along Herzliya Marina]]> 2018-03-06T12:32:31Z 2018-03-06T11:24:10Z hagagMarch 6, 2018 | Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio has joined as a partner and invested in a green hotel to be built at the Herzliya Marina, the hotel’s real estate developers Hagag Group, announced Sunday in a statement, according to the Jerusalem Post. The hotel will be constructed according to US Green Building Council and be certified by its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. The hotel will be constructed according to the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Planning) standards of the US Green Building Council. The planned luxury hotel, to be designed by American architect David Rockwell, will have 180 suites in two six-floor buildings with a swimming pool. DiCaprio, a dedicated environmental activist, runs the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which promotes environmental awareness, supporting renewable energy, and tackling climate change issues. In January 2017, DiCaprio used Instagram to highlight an Israeli project aimed at building the world’s tallest solar thermal tower created by Megalim at the Ashalim solar complex in the Negev.

Simona Shemer, NoCamels <![CDATA[Israeli Doctors Develop Revolutionary Eye Drops That Could Replace Glasses]]> 2018-03-07T15:11:30Z 2018-03-05T17:19:53Z Israeli ophthalmologists at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem and Bar-Ilan University’s Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (BINA) revealed last month that they have successfully developed eyedrops that repair the corneas, improving near-sighted and far-sighted vision. These “nanodrops” were successfully tested on pigs’ corneas, according to the researchers, and are expected to be tested on humans in clinical trials later this year.

If proven successful on humans, the groundbreaking discovery could remove the need for eyeglasses. The nanodrops are made up of a synthetic nanoparticle solution, which helps correct cornea-related vision problems.


Dr. David Smadja, a research associate at BINA and the Head of the Ophthalmology Research Unit at Shaare Zedek who led the team of ophthalmologists, made the announcement at Shaare Zedek’s second annual research conference last month. He said the nanodrops could “revolutionize ophthalmological and optometry treatments of patients with myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and other refractory conditions,” The Jerusalem Post reported. According to Dr. Smadja, the drops could eventually replace multifocal lenses, and allow people to see objects from different distances.

SEE ALSO: Just Blink: New Device Detects Disease Through Eye Movement

“This is a new concept for correcting refractory problems,” Smadja added.

Smadja did not say how often the eye drops needed to be implemented to fix corneas or replace glasses. It was also unclear what additional work was needed before moving on to clinical trials on humans.

A research abstract of the experiment on pigs analyzed the refractive errors of 10 pig eyes before and after the introduction of the “nanodrops,” and the results “have shown promising potential for a revolutionary alternative non-invasive correction of refractive errors.”


If the clinical testing on humans is successful, potential patients will be able to use a smartphone app to “measure their eye refraction at home, create a laser pattern, and then ‘laser corneal stamping’ of an optical pattern onto the corneal surface of their eyes,” The Jerusalem Post reports.

SEE ALSO: Will The Blind See? Israeli Startup Might Be The First To Make It Happen

Smadja worked with Professor Zeev Zalevsky of Bar Ilan’s Kofkin Faculty of Engineering and Professor Jean-Paul Lellouche of Department of Chemistry the BIU Institute for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials, along with other experts from the Shaare Zedek Medical Center, to develop the eye drops.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israel’s Zebra Medical Announces New Al-Based Algorithm To Detect Brain Bleeds]]> 2018-03-05T23:31:53Z 2018-03-05T16:41:26Z March 5, 2018 | Israeli medical imaging startup Zebra Medical Vision announced that it has received CE regulatory approval for its newest algorithm to detect cranial hemorrhaging of different kinds. It is the newest addition to the company’s existing 11 artificial intelligence-based algorithms that can detect diseases such as breast cancer,  vertebral fractures, emphysema, osteoporosis, fatty liver, and aneurysms. The algorithms are trained to identify the visual symptoms for a different disease by using thousands of medical scans that had already been diagnosed and labeled, and, when fed a new medical scan, can recognize visual cues that indicate whether the disease is present. In October, the Tel Aviv-based startup announced that in order to make its service, called the AI1 or All-in-1 Imaging Analytics Package, more available by offering access to hospitals and medical professionals for $1 per scan, and later partnered with Google to provide its sophisticated algorithms on Google Cloud. The new algorithm broadens Zebra’s AI1 package, which according to a press release, has already analyzed more than 1 million scans across the world. Zebra Medical Vision co-founder and CEO Elad Benjamin said the company was “excited to announce our first acute care algorithm with the potential to help radiologists better manage their workload, and properly prioritize urgent cases over others.” Benjamin said that over the next few months, Zebra plans to release “several more high impact algorithms on our path to provide a versatile AI based automated radiology assistant.”

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israeli AI-Powered Pathology System Startup Nucleai Raises $5M In Seed Round]]> 2018-03-05T16:14:48Z 2018-03-05T14:03:23Z nucleai March 5, 2018 | Israeli startup Nucleai, which is currently developing an artificial intelligence-based system that assists pathologists in the diagnosis of diseases like cancer in a more efficient manner, today announced a $5 million seed round, according to a statement. The round was led by Israeli-based VC funds Vertex Ventures Israel and Grove Ventures as well as private investors Brian Cooper, founder of Retalix, and serial entrepreneur Nir Kalkstein, co-founder of Final and Medial Early Sign. “We are excited to partner with Nucleai’s impressive and experienced entrepreneurial team”, said Emanuel Timor, General Partner at Vertex. “Nucleai will dramatically improve the accuracy and efficiency of pathologists.  We believe that Nucleai has the vision and ability to leverage recent breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence technologies and become the global leader in digital pathology.” Clinical pathology is a medical specialty which diagnoses a disease based on laboratory analysis of bodily fluids or tissues and cells. Today, most diseases are diagnosed by pathologists. Nucleai is a company that works to “improve the efficiency of pathologists, therefore shortening the patient’s wait time for a diagnosis and reducing fatal errors,” according to the statement. The company was founded in 2017 by Avi Veidman, Eliron Amir, and Lotan Chorev, who are the firm’s current CEO, CTO, and VP of R&D, respectively. All three served together in the elite technological unit 9900 of the Israeli intelligence corps, specializing in computer vision. “Utilizing Artificial intelligence in the pathology domain holds great potential—state of the art technology has allowed us to obtain results that until recently, were considered impossible. We recently presented our results to a number of pathologists and their responses were enthusiastic,” said Veidman.  “We have teamed excellent investors and partners who are embarking with us on a challenging journey to improve patient care and save lives.” Nucleai also develops solutions for prostate, breast and gastrointestinal-related diseases. They plan to use their funds to recruit experienced machine learning researchers to speed up development.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Check Point CEO Wins First Israel Prize In High-Tech]]> 2018-03-05T06:31:52Z 2018-03-05T06:31:52Z March 5, 2018 | Check Point CEO Gil Shwed was announced as the recipient of the first-ever Israel Prize for innovation and high-tech. Shwed is the co-founder of the Israeli cybersecurity giant. The new category for the prestigious prize was introduced this year by Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who took to Twitter to congratulate Shwed. “Gil Shwed is a Startup National pioneer,” Bennett wrote. “His story is the story of Israeli high-tech. As a graduate of the 8200 IDF intelligence unit who founded Check Point, he blazed the trail and served as an inspiration for me and for thousands of Israeli high-tech entrepreneurs.” Israel Innovation Authority Chief Aharon Aharon said in a statement that “no one was more deserving than Gil Shwed to be the first to win the prize.” Founded in 1993 by Schwed, Marius Nacht and Shlomo Kramer, Check Point went public in 1996. Considered one of the world’s leading cybersecurity companies, Check Point provides solutions that protect customers from cyber attacks, including malware and other types of threats. Shwed was quoted by Globes as saying he was “moved” to receive the prize, “especially in an area so greatly associated with our country and Israeli society. The prize may have been given to me, but all the Check Point employees in the past 25 years deserve it.” He added, “Israel is a wonder, and our industry, the high-tech industry, is turning the spirit of innovation here into products that are improving the world and changing the lives of everyone in the world, regardless of where they live.”

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[‘Vegan Capital’ Of Tel Aviv Hosts 5th Annual Vegan Congress]]> 2018-03-05T06:27:42Z 2018-03-04T11:15:59Z vegan congressMarch 4, 2018 | Tel Aviv will be hosting the fifth annual Vegan Congress this week from March 8 to 9. Since 2014, Vegan Friendly Israel, a non-profit organization working to make the vegan lifestyle more accessible to Israelis, has put together lectures by local and international vegan activists for the event. This year’s international speakers include Australia’s James Aspey, who kept silent for a year to raise awareness on animal cruelty, author, and international activist Nick Cooney, former president of Mercy For Animals, and Joey Carbstrong, a celebrity vegan activist from Australia with thousands of followers on YouTube and Instagram. This year’s Vegan Congress is expected to have at least 1,500 participants, similar to last year’s event. Israel has become a popular destination for vegans due to numerous vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants, especially in Tel Aviv, which is home to 400 vegan and vegan-friendly kitchens. Late last year, the city was crowned “vegan capital of the world” by British online newspaper The Independent.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[L’HIGHim: Medical Cannabis Firm Inks $110M Deal, As Future Of Exports Still Uncertain]]> 2018-03-04T11:50:15Z 2018-03-04T09:56:26Z One of Israel’s biggest medical cannabis firms, Medivie Therapeutic, which develops medical and consumer products based on the marijuana plant, announced that it has signed a deal worth $110 million to grow and export medical cannabis to an unnamed foreign investor over a four-year period.

In a press statement on Sunday, the company, listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, said that according to the agreement, it will provide 10 hectares of land “in Israel or in another country to be used for the purpose of growing, producing and exporting medical cannabis” for the unnamed international investor. Medivie says it’s the largest cannabis deal in Israel.


Medivie Therapeutic and other Israeli medical cannabis firms, as well as cannabis farmers, are waiting for the Israeli government to give the green light for reforms that would allow the legal export of the plants, an initiative expected to bring in some $1 billion worth of annual sales, according to government estimates. Last month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to suspend the reforms amid opposition by the Public Security Ministry which said it is afraid of “spillover” into the recreational market (as well as a reported conversation with US President Donald Trump, whose administration is taking a hard-line against cannabis including its medical use.)

Medivie CEO Menachem Cohen tells NoCamels that despite the suspension, he expects the government to follow through on the venture.

“We see this [decision] as a slight delay, not a full stop. Everyone knows the potential. Bibi knows the potential,” of allowing the exports,” Cohen says using Netanyahu’s Israeli moniker.

SEE ALSO: Israel’s Cannabis Farmers Plan Day In Court Over Freeze On Medical Marijuana Exports

Cohen rebuffed a suggestion that the announcement of the deal, still in its final stages, was an attempt to nudge the government forward, telling NoCamels that he fully believes the government will move ahead with the planned reforms.

But, Cohen tells NoCamels, he has a contingency plan if the government should decide against the initiative, “and it’s a great one.”

“We have a collaboration with Germany as well as another European country,” he says, and the company would look at other options if needed.

An illustrative photo of a marijuana plant. Pixabay

In the statement, Cohen said his company was proud to announce “historic deal for the Israeli medical cannabis sector which reflects the status of the Israeli cannabis industry worldwide and the great value of its products,” but that Medivie “is in contact with several bodies in Europe regarding growth and export of medical cannabis, and will not hesitate to transfer its activity and knowledge to other countries if export from the State of Israel will be prevented.”

“We are a Zionist company and we want to do this business in Israel, for Israel,’ he tells NoCamels, “but we also have a Plan B and we will do our business outside [Israel] worse comes to worse.”

Cohen would not identify the buyer but tells NoCamels that it is “a very serious company with financial dealings in Jerusalem, and when they realized the potential [of getting into the medical cannabis industry] things moved very quickly.”

According to the agreement, Medivie will transfer 50 percent of the medical cannabis produced on the land up to a maximum of 50 tons per year. Medivie currently holds 20 hectares of agricultural land and land use certificates for a period of 24 years.

Cohen tells NoCamels that the parties are currently in a period of due diligence and that should no export approval from Israel be finalized within a year, or if Medivie is unable to realize the growth, production, and export of medical cannabis in European countries.

“The Israeli government must set a clear export policy as soon as possible, in order to realize the tremendous economic potential that exists in the cannabis market,” Cohen said in the press statement.

SEE ALSO: Israel Sees Booming Demand From Farmers To Grow Cannabis

Cohen says he attended a number of Knesset committees on the issue in recent months, including the one last month by the Special Committee on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, “with high-up officials in the government, and really everyone supports [the initiative for] exports, even the police.”

The Public Security Ministry, which oversees the police, has demanded a higher budget to secure the medical cannabis industry which Cohen and others agree is an appropriate request. “They’re not against it, they just want more money,” says Cohen.

In November, Medivie received a $2.1 million investment by Dutch cannabis breeder Barney’s Farm,  , a global leader in the cannabis seed and genetics industry. According to their agreement, Medivie may use the Barney’s Farm logo and brand to promote the marketing and sales of products.

Urvashi Verma, The Times of Israel <![CDATA[Now You Can Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch, Instead Of Culling Them]]> 2018-03-04T08:19:47Z 2018-03-04T08:07:33Z This article was first published by The Times of Israel and is re-posted with permission.

Each year more than seven billion fluffy little yellow chicks worldwide are tossed into a grinder or gassed to death less than 24 hours after hatching because they are of no use to egg producers.

Now, an Israeli startup, eggXYt, has developed technology that can detect their gender before hatching, saving the egg industry nearly $2 billion per year and eliminating the senseless killing.

“These birds will be hatched to their death. This a man-made problem which started hundreds of years ago when humans started selecting eggs for consumption,” says Yehuda Elram, co-founder and CEO of eggXYt.

The killing of male chicks, known as chick culling, is standard practice in all industrialized hatcheries and has haunted animal rights organizations and egg producers for many years, said Elram.

Farmers have been artificially boosting the growth of two kinds of chickens, the so-called “broilers” and “layers.” The broilers are chickens that can grow to 2.5 kilos (5.5 pounds) and are meant to be consumed as meat because of their size. Layer chickens grow to only 400 grams (1 pound), and female layers produce 100 more eggs each year than do broilers.

SEE ALSO: Not Chickening Out: Israel’s Novatrans Could Save 7 Billion Male Chicks From Unnecessary Slaughter

While female layer chickens are valuable to egg producers because they can lay many eggs over a lifetime, male layer chicks don’t produce eggs nor do they have enough meat on their bodies for eating. So theyare killed immediately after hatching, explained Elram.

To read the full article, click here.

Simona Shemer, NoCamels <![CDATA[7 Innovative Israeli Startups Bringing AI, Gaming To Education]]> 2018-03-04T08:23:46Z 2018-03-01T14:14:20Z Israel has one of the most educated populations in the world, with 47 percent of 25-34-year-olds holding a tertiary degree, according to an “Education At a Glance” report last year by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an 35-member economic organization creating policies to improve economic and social well-being around the world. This month, the OECD also ranked Israel as the 3rd most educated country in adult education of 10 listed countries, above South Korea, United Kingdom, and the United States.

The same organization has noted that Israel spends less than the average OECD member country on primary and secondary education, leading to lower quality of education overall. Israel also has one of the lowest rates of labor productivity and highest rates of poverty in the developed world, according to a recent study by the Shoresh Institution for Socioeconomic Research.


To combat this, Israel has embarked on a number of policies meant to improve the education system, including reducing inequality among the ultra-Orthodox and Arab communities, as well as approving a 70 million shekel initiative last summer to improve English proficiency in schools.

As the “Startup Nation,” innovation also plays a key role. MindCET, an organization that brings together educators and entrepreneurs to develop groundbreaking tech in education, has been working in this space since 2012 to find education tech (EdTech) startups, tapping into gaming, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, to transform the Israeli learning environment.

MindCET, with headquarters in the southern Israeli desert town of Yeruham and a branch in Tel Aviv, runs a variety of EdTech-related programs including entrepreneurship programs and community dialogues for teachers, an R&D-based entrepreneurial program, in cooperation with Microsoft and the Hebrew University, for EdTech developers, and a “new market” program for mature startups. The organization also hosts the Global EdTech Startup Awards (GESA), an international competition for startups in the field.

SEE ALSO: Israeli High-Tech Method Revolutionizing Education?

But it’s MindCET’s five-month accelerator program that holds the most acclaim. Each year, MindCET selects a number of early-stage EdTech startups to take part in the program, in which founders and teams meet weekly for lectures and workshops with mentors, investors, entrepreneurs, tech experts, and customers to discuss their next steps. MindCET has so far accelerated six cohorts of EdTech.

mindcet edtech startups

Members of the seven startups in the MindCET accelerator Demo Day, February 27, 2018. Courtesy

The latest group of seven startups was featured at an event called Demo Day this week at the Rise Tel Aviv complex, where representatives gave four-minute pitches to a captivated audience and a panel of tech experts, startup founders, venture capitalists, including Moshik Mor from EdTech startup entrepreneurial platform EDVantage, and KamaTech founder and CEO Moshe Friedman, as well as the Israel Innovation Authority’s VP for the Startup Division, Anya Eldan.

Eldan tells NoCamels that the education system is in dire need of transformation. “We expect to see a disruption outside the traditional learning system,” she says, “We want to do what we can to help promote this accelerator as education goes through this disruption.”

anya eldan avi warshavsky

The Israeli Innovation Authority’s VP, Startup Division Anya Eldan speaks with MindCET CEO Avi Warshavsky before the start of the Demo Day pitches. Eliran Avital.

Here are the seven startups that presented their EdTech products at the MindCET Demo Day #6:

1. Storyball

Imagine going on an adventure where a smart toy (in this case, a ball based on a motion console with a speaker and an app) gives you a mission and gets you to accomplish it through voice commands. This is essentially what CEO Chen Lev wants Storyball to storyballbecome, telling NoCamels the goal is to eventually get publishers to create their own customized Storyball skins based on well-known characters like Harry Potter or a Disney princess. In the mean time, the AI-and-machine-learning powered device bridges the physical and digital worlds by encouraging children to go outdoors or exercise by offering an interactive game through role play.

Lev says he wants to “bring content to the world in a new way” and likes that “EdTech is open to learning through experience.” Storyball currently comes in three characters, or skins, according to Lev, including Agent I.O, Pepper The Bear, and Angie, a rock-and-roll star. Lev said the company plans to go through production in China and then set up a campaign on a crowdfunding platform like Kickstarter or Indiegogo to sell the balls starting in April or May this year. Last month, Storyball won first place at the Global EdTech Startup Awards (GESA), besting 650 startups in 70 countries.

2. Mathika

“If you are strong in math, we will make you stronger. If you are weak in math, we will make you stronger,” CEO and co-founder of Mathika, Eyal Dessou Tzafir said during the presentation for the company, the only math-focused EdTech startup in the program. This self-funded company, which creates game-based math learning environments for students through its platform, empowering them to become self-learners is looking “to expand to the world,” Dessou Tzafir tells NoCamels.

Because the focus is on math, language is not a barrier, he says, adding that he uses social media to connect with many people showing interest in the product, particularly in India and South Africa. Mathika, he says wants to partner with teachers and allow them to create their own videos around math. The company has developed a pilot program in four Israeli schools, including Kehila School in Tel Aviv and Amirim, a Bedouin school in Beersheba.

3. Texti

Texti is an AI service that teaches English grammar, reading, and vocabulary in a trendy way — through pop culture. The startup creates unique and effective tasks for learning the language, based on the personal interests of the student and highlighting their favorite movies, music, and sports. The platform can be integrated with any English training platform. The company says its vision is to “use AI to its full potential in the language learning field.” Texti is headed by CEO Eyal Chloe Rosen, an entrepreneur who also has a background in UX, design, and the building and creating of software.

4. ELA (E-Learning Analytics)

Worldwide revenue for game-based learning products are predicted to surge to $7.3 billion by 2021, according to an e-learning market trends report from Docebo, an international learning management system (LMS). It’s important to know if those e-learning products are effective for the user, said Lee Hadar, Chief Marketing Officer of ELA, a BI and analytics tool that integrates with any digital educational content to perform innovative user and behavior analysis. This behavior analysis provides unique insights into the learner’s performance, strengths, and weaknesses, motivation, and trends. Parents, educational content creators and educators will find ELA’s diagnostic BI can improve the educational value of their products, CMO Lee Hadar said during her pitch at the Demo Day.

5. Agree Online

This innovative startup created a digital platform to help kids and teens resolve conflicts with the guidance of their classmates and peers, who serve as young moderators. The advisers offer parties (the children in conflict) possible solutions to their quarrel and vote for solutions offered by other advisers. Parties review suggestions and choose the solution they think are best. Moving forward, they negotiate the problem in chat, with the help of a young moderator until they reach a solution that mutually beneficial for all parties. Examples of conflicts currently being moderated on the platform include a disagreement between brothers about which movie to go see, a communication breakdown between friends and a hurtful comment between teammates on a Whatsapp group they are both part of.

The startup says it has a hand in helping to prevent cyberbullying, by trying to resolve digital conflicts before they escalate.

The Agree Online platform is being piloted in 10 Israeli schools in seven cities. Cities include Petah Tikva, Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv, Beersheva, Ramla and Givatayim.

Agree Online was co-founded by Brig. Gen. Itai Brun, an author, and former head of the IDF’s Israel Defense Intelligence (IDI) Analysis Division and the first director of the IDF’s DADO Center for Interdisciplinary Military Studies, as well as an Associate of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC). Co-founder Rachelly Ashwall is a certified mediator and an experienced conflict resolution teacher who just earned her doctorate in conflict resolution. Agree Online co-founder and VP of Business Development Miki Haimovich has 10 years of experience in marketing, product, and business development roles in international markets.

6. Gamify

Gamify is interactive platform that teaches technology, entrepreneurship, and collaborative coding, allowing children as young as five to create recreational and educational mobile games quickly and easily. This approach makes software development accessible for all and gives kids new ways to express creativity. The platform was actually developed with a large group of kids, CEO Aviram Mizrahi told the crowd at the MindCET event.

SEE ALSO: Israeli STEM Leadership Program Aims To Curb The Brain Drain

In addition, the games have an integrated chat feature so that kids can easily connect and collaborate. They also have access to virtual coins based on the amount of players using the game. These virtual coins can be used to buy real gadgets in online stores or assets to improve their game. The company has set up a pilot program in 20 Israeli schools and after-school programs, and over 5,000 games have so far been created by kids, Mizrahi said. Gamify recently changed its name from Let’s Get Startup


7. CoQua.Labs

While many of the EdTech startups presenting at the Demo Day event focused on children and teenagers, CoQua.Labs is a platform geared towards adult education — universities, publishers and massive open online courses (MOOCs.) The platform provides analyses of individual content consumption to create a personal learning profile for each learner. That information is then used to rate each learning experience and optimize content for future learners at every stage. CEO Yatir Davidovich said online content creators can optimize and personalize for students without surveys or questions, creating more effective learning experiences, reducing dropouts, cutting costs and increasing revenue.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Sheba Medical Center To Build New Nuclear Medicine Facility]]> 2018-03-01T10:21:55Z 2018-03-01T10:20:03Z Sheba Medical CenterMarch 1, 2018 | Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer Hospital, Israel’s largest medical facility, announced this week that it is planning to build a new center for nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, which can be used for diagnosing and treating a host of diseases including a number of cancers, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. The hospital said in a press release that it has submitted a permit application for the 2,000-square meter, three-floor diagnostic and research center. The center will house a cyclotron, a nuclear reactor which will produce small quantities of nuclear isotopes for use in molecular imaging, in the basement floor, the hospital said. Nuclear isotopes are used in the detection of cellular changes which “will allow medical professionals to offer a personalized approach to diagnosis and therapy through earlier diagnosis and assessment of treatment efficacy,” the hospital statement read. The construction of the center is being funded by Roman Abramovich, the Russian billionaire businessman who owns stakes in steel giant Evraz, Norilsk Nickel and the UK soccer team Chelsea. Abramovich donated $20 million for the project, and has so far given Sheba a total of $57 million for various other initiatives, including to the Sheba Cancer and Cancer Research Centers, the Pediatric Middle East Congenital Heart Center and the Sheba Heart Center, the hospital said. Sheba’s Director-General Professor Yitshak Kreiss said in a statement, “Thanks to this generous donation made by Mr. Abramovich, we will be able to further our research in the field of nuclear imaging which will enhance our ability to make early diagnoses and offer a personalized medicine approach to our patients.”

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israeli, US Astronomers Discover First Signs Of Dark Matter While Searching For Earliest Stars]]> 2018-03-01T10:08:33Z 2018-03-01T09:35:27Z Israeli and American scientists revealed this week that they have found the first, direct signs of the existence of dark matter, believed to make up some 80 percent of the mass of the universe. The matter does not emit light or energy and is considered one of the greatest mysteries in physics.

The discovery was made while the scientists, a team of astronomers led by Professor Judd Bowman of Arizona State University, were attempting to detect the earliest stars in the universe through radio wave signals.


The findings were published in science magazine Nature this week, by Professor Rennan Barkana, the head of the Department of Astrophysics at Tel Aviv University’s School of Physics and Astronomy. The signal picked up by the astronomers, recorded by a novel radio telescope called EDGES, dates to 180 million years after the Big Bang, according to a TAU statement.

An illustrative photo of the galaxy. Pexels

An illustrative photo of the galaxy. Pexels

“Professor Bowman and his colleagues reported the detection of a radio wave signal at a frequency of 78 megahertz. The width of the observed profile is largely consistent with expectations, but they also found it had a larger amplitude (corresponding to deeper absorption) than predicted, indicating that the primordial gas was colder than expected,” the statement read.

SEE ALSO: Missions To ‘Mars’ And The Moon: Israel’s Space Sector Is Reaching For The Stars

“I realized that this surprising signal indicates the presence of two actors: the first stars, and dark matter,” Professor Barkana said. “The first stars in the universe turned on the radio signal, while the dark matter collided with the ordinary matter and cooled it down. Extra-cold material naturally explains the strong radio signal.”

Based on the radio signal, Professor Barkana said that, unlike previous beliefs by physicists that dark matter particles would be heavy, the discovery indicates that they are no heavier than several proton masses, low-mass particles. “This insight alone has the potential to reorient the search for dark matter,” he said.

The professor added that “dark matter is the key to unlocking the mystery of what the universe is made of.”

SEE ALSO: Israeli Medical Space Lab Successfully Arrives At International Space Station

“We know quite a bit about the chemical elements that make up the earth, the sun and other stars, but most of the matter in the universe is invisible and known as ‘dark matter.’ The existence of dark matter is inferred from its strong gravity, but we have no idea what kind of substance it is. To solve it, we must travel back in time. Astronomers can see back in time, since it takes light time to reach us. We see the sun as it was eight minutes ago, while the immensely distant first stars in the universe appear to us on earth as they were billions of years in the past,” said Barkana.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israel Police, BGU Launch New AI, Cyber Center To Develop Crime-Fighting Tools]]> 2018-03-01T08:22:13Z 2018-03-01T08:22:13Z March 1, 2018 | Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Israel Police have launched a new initiative to develop crime-fighting tools for law enforcement using artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and Big Data. According to a statement by the university, BGU researchers will work alongside police officers to develop these tool in the newly inaugurated Center for Computational Criminology. Israel Police Chief Roni Alsheikh said, “The Israel Police’s Cyber Unit, which was created to lead the national effort to combat cybercrime, will be collaborating with BGU’s cybersecurity experts to constantly improve the police’s enforcement and prevention capabilities, by staying at the cutting edge of technological developments in the field.” Prof. Lior Rokach, head of the new Center, Chair of the Department of Software and Information Systems Engineering, and a leading expert on artificial intelligence said, “The last, most significant scientific breakthrough to change law enforcement was DNA testing. Today, we are on the threshold of the next big breakthrough: analyzing big data to discover hidden patterns to predict and prevent crime. The AI revolution of the past few years will prove to be even more significant than DNA testing for law enforcement, providing them with unprecedented investigative tools and new sources of evidence.” BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi said at the launch, “BGU is a recognized international leader in cybersecurity, IoT and Big Data research…The Center will bring together academic research expertise and the world of law enforcement to prevent crime in cyberspace and in general.”

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israeli AR Startup Edgybees Raises $5.5 Million In Seed Round]]> 2018-02-28T15:22:29Z 2018-02-28T14:11:16Z edgybeesFebruary 28, 2018 | Israeli startup Edgybees, whose First Response app used augmented reality to help emergency teams respond to the Northern California wildfires and post-hurricane flooding in Florida, announced Wednesday that it has completed a $5.5 million seed round led by Motorola Solutions Venture Capital and Verizon Ventures. VC companies OurCrowd, 8VC, NFX, and Aspect Ventures also participated in the round. Edgybees technology enables augmented reality (AR) on high-speed platforms like drones and cars. Its technology was first applied to an AR racing game for drones, released in conjunction with drone leader DJI in early 2017. Later that year, Edgybees released First Response, a drone-flying app being used by emergency responders to orient themselves in confusing environments and to better track rapidly evolving circumstances. The drone flying app was first used by officials operating in the Florida Keys in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, where they leveraged mapping overlays to identify distress calls in flooded areas. First Response was most recently used by local authorities in the Northern California fires last October. “What started as technology powering a racing game is now saving lives around the world. The overwhelming response by commercial and industrial drone users looking to leverage AR, and partner with us in the fields of fire, public safety, and search & rescue has been amazing, and we can’t wait to expand the next set of drone applications into new markets,” Edgybees co-founder and CEO Adam Kaplan said in a statement.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israeli Digital Forensics Firm Can Now Hack Into Almost Any Cellphone, Tablet]]> 2018-02-28T13:48:20Z 2018-02-28T13:48:20Z The Israeli digital forensics firm Cellebrite claims it now has the ability to unlock almost any phone on the market, including iPhones installed with the latest software said to be of top-notch security, as well as tablets like iPads.

The Petah Tikva-based company, which made international headlines in 2016 for helping US authorities crack the iPhone used by the terrorist who perpetrated the 2015 San Bernardino, California shooting, published a document last month on its website detailing “Unlocking & Extraction Services” for a number of devices. This includes “Apple iOS devices and operating systems, including iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, iPad Pro and iPod touch, running iOS 5 to iOS 11,” and “Google Android devices, including Samsung Galaxy and Galaxy Note devices; and other popular devices from Alcatel, Google Nexus, HTC, Huawei, LG, Motorola, ZTE, and more.” The discovery was first reported by Forbes.


“Cellebrite Advanced Unlocking Services is the industry’s only solution for overcoming many types of complex locks on market-leading devices. This can determine or disable the PIN, pattern, password screen locks or passcodes on the latest Apple iOS and Google Android devices,” the company writes in the document.

Cellebrite did not make major announcements as to its alleged breakthrough capabilities, but Forbes reported that two sources said the company has been advertising them to law enforcement agencies and “private forensics folk” across the world.

Forensics specialists, Cellebrite writes, can launch a request to unlock a device after which it is delivered to a “Cellebrite Forensic Labs where trained specialists perform the unlocking and/or extraction service using carefully controlled techniques that ensure the forensic integrity of the data.

An illustrative photo of an iPhone. Photo by Oliur Rahman on Unsplash

An illustrative photo of an iPhone. Photo by Oliur Rahman on Unsplash

Devices are usually processed and returned within 10 business days to its “originating agency,” according to Cellebrite. Forbes reports that such a service can be quite cost-effective, with a price tag of “as little as $1,500 per unlock.” Given that exposing a single iPhone vulnerability comes with a prize of $1 million, that is cheap.

SEE ALSO: Israeli Company Cellebrite Said To Help FBI Crack Terrorist’s iPhone

“I’d be zero-percent surprised if Cellebrite had a zero-day [exploit] that allowed them to unlock iPhones with physical access,” Patrick Wardle, chief research officer at Digita Security, told Threatpost, a cybersecurity news site, in reference to a vulnerability that is previously unknown and therefore can be exploited immediately, allowing little or no time to counter-act.

“These guys clearly have the skills, and there is also a huge financial motivation to find such bugs,” he added.

In its report, Forbes said that an iPhone X belonging to an alleged arms trafficker “was successfully raided for data by the Department for Homeland Security back in November 2017, most likely with Cellebrite technology,” according to a warrant obtained by the magazine. The warrant did not detail what information was gleaned from the device but did mention that the specialist who obtained the information “received specific training in cellular extraction through Cellebrite.”

Security experts say Cellebrite’s capabilities, and those of other similar companies, pose privacy concerns for Apple and other customers and raise a number of issues related to civil rights and due process. They also prompt questions on the links between tech firms and government and law agencies on matters of data privacy and access.

Adam Schwartz, an attorney with Electronic Frontier Foundation told Forbes that “…the government really needs to get a warrant before it searches our phones. It’s all the more true when we see the ever-expanding power of governments to get into those phones.”

“Cellebrite’s techniques clearly pose privacy concerns for Apple customers, but there are also underlying issues around the private forensics contractors doing business with them,” David Pearson, Principal Threat Researcher at Awake Security, told ThreatPost.

An Android smartphone. Pexels

An Android smartphone. Pexels

Apple’s iOS 11 became available for download in September 2017, which the company advertised as a “major leap forward in security for mobile devices.” Apple has called for customers to upgrade their software and told Threatpost in a comment that its “most recent iteration of iOS (11.2.6) ensures customers have the latest protections.”

Apple has been adding layers of security to its devices with each new release, culminating in the standoff in 2015-2016 with the FBI, whose agents wanted the tech giant to help unlock the iPhone 5C of Syed Rizwan Farook, who along with his wife Tashfeen Malik, gunned down 14 people in San Bernardino and injured 22. Apple had refused to unlock the iPhone, citing privacy concerns, a move that prompted extensive public debate on whether the government should gain access to the personal information of its citizens (Farook was an American citizen).

Cellebrite then stepped in to unlock the phone, which authorities believed contained information important for their investigation into the shooting.

Cellebrite’s technology has garnered interest from government agencies across the world. Last summer, Australia’s Immigration Department and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority were just two of the latest agencies to confirm that they had bought the Israeli company’s phone-hacking technology.

The company provides a number of digital intelligence services to forensic specialists in the law enforcement, military, intelligence, and corporate security fields in more than 100 countries.

SEE ALSO: US States Looking To Legalize Israeli Textalyzer That Checks For Texting And Driving

Last year, it rolled out a device plug-in meant to reveal whether drivers were on their phones at the times of collisions and accidents, which also raised privacy concerns. Dubbed the “breathalyzer for texting,” or “textalyzer,” Cellebrite said the plug-in can detect the data without necessarily retrieving specific content. Law enforcement agencies in the US were seeking the device and the technology, which would force drivers to submit to the test to determine whether they were distracted by their phones. This information usually requires a warrant to obtain, a process which can take weeks, sometimes months.

The device generated controversy and has been met with resistance by privacy advocates, who argue that it is too intrusive and can lead to privacy violations as police officers would be exposed to sensitive personal data such as text messages, contacts, and call logs – even when deleted.

Cellebrite, founded in 1999, is headquartered in Petah Tikva and operates five additional offices around the world, with a total of 500 employees. In 2007, Cellebrite was acquired by Japanese manufacturing giant Sun Corp. for $17.5 million and has since been its wholly owned subsidiary.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Israel Aerospace Industries Partners With Global Accelerator Starburst]]> 2018-02-28T14:52:21Z 2018-02-28T12:09:35Z IAI logoFebruary 28, 2018 | Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), a developer and manufacturer of military and commercial aerospace technology, announced this week that it was partnering with Starburst, a global accelerator focused on aerospace and defense sectors. IAI will participate in selecting startups that meet its criteria for the accelerator. Additionally, overseas startups already participating in the accelerator will present technologies pre-selected by IAI. “The model will enable IAI to identify innovative technologies that can contribute to its current and future growth engines and technological roadmap and maintain its position as a technological spearhead, through technical collaboration and equity investments in the forefront of aerospace technology,” an IAI statement said, adding that the IAI-Starburst collaboration is “the first step in realizing IAI’s objectives to become a significant technological player and strategic partner for startups in the aerospace & defense fields, by offering technological and business expertise, technology validation, mentoring and access to such startups’ potential markets.” The Paris-based Starburst accelerator has a presence on three continents with offices in London, Munich, Singapore, Paris, Montreal, and San Francisco. It is comprised of 300 startup companies and 26 companies, including Boeing and GE Aviation, the statement said. In one of their first collaborations, Starburst will bring its first 2018 selection committee to Israel to hear pitches from 10 startups from Israel and abroad at the Aerospace Shark Tank on March 7 in Tel Aviv. Founded in 1953, IAI is Israel’s largest aerospace and defense company, specializing in developing and manufacturing advanced, state-of-the-art systems for air, space, sea, land, cyber, and homeland security.

NoCamels Team <![CDATA[Over 10 Foreign Stock Exchanges ‘Show Interest’ In Buying TASE Stake]]> 2018-02-28T11:28:58Z 2018-02-28T11:28:58Z tel aviv stock exchangeFebruary 28, 2018 | Over 10 foreign stock exchanges have “shown interest” in buying a stake in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), a source close to the exchange told Reuters Tuesday. “More than 10 exchanges have signed nondisclosure agreements,” the source said but did not provide any further details. Last September, the TASE became a for-profit exchange and offered “to buy out its shareholders to list on its own bourse in 2019 at a value of about $150 million,” Reuters reported. CEO Itai Ben-Zeev said this month “TASE has commitments from member banks to buy back 71.7 percent of their shares, a stake that will be sold to a large foreign exchange as a strategic partner ahead of going public, according to Reuters. Member banks would hold a 22 percent stake in TASE. TASE has until April 18 to accept this share buyback offer, where it can buy back its shares from the member banks


Ido Levy, NoCamels <![CDATA[Israeli Startup Aims To Bring Health Tech To The World’s Most Remote Areas]]> 2018-02-28T15:19:00Z 2018-02-27T17:01:51Z Over 3 billion people of the world’s population of 7.6 billion live in rural areas, 90 percent of them in Asia and Africa, according to United Nations estimates. The two continents have the most lower and middle-income countries (LMIC), which the World Bank defines as states with a GNI (Gross National Income) per capita of $1,005 or less and between $1,006 and $3,955, respectively.

One of the major challenges many of these countries face is access to healthcare, where hard-to-reach rural areas bear the brunt of the inequality. In some cases, even where health clinics are relatively accessible, they often offer lower quality care compared to those in urban areas.

While the UN, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other international bodies have called for better policies and funding to drive change in access to healthcare, innovation also has its role. One Israeli startup is stepping up to the plate to bring high-quality digital health tools to the less developed areas of the world, with the motto “where you live shouldn’t determine whether you live.”


Engineering for All (EfA) has developed a small, portable device, RevDx, that can perform automated blood tests, diagnostics, and data analytics on the spot, a kind of hand-held hospital to assist under-equipped medical workers and technicians.

EfA co-founder and CEO Yoel Ezra tells NoCamels that the idea behind RevDx, which is still in development, is to create “the first programmable lab-on-hand,” a hand-held gadget that can run sophisticated diagnostics. EfA is currently working on a prototype that will be able to diagnose illnesses and run imaging on blood samples inserted into the device via a disposable kit. The prototype will specialize in blood count and parasite (such as malaria) diagnostics.

A RevDx prototype. Courtesy

A RevDx prototype. Courtesy

“Today, when people in, say, India or Africa or an area with deadly infectious diseases [come in] with a fever, they don’t really know if it’s because of parasites like malaria or something else that may need antibiotics [for],” Ezra explains. “In more than fifty percent of the cases, they just use unnecessary antibiotics or unnecessary anti-malaria [medicine].”

SEE ALSO: How Israeli Digital Health Technologies Are Revolutionizing Healthcare

RevDx is meant to solve this problem, he says, alongside its other two purposes to eradicate malaria and bring innovative healthcare solutions to rural areas.

The device won EfA the startup competition last month at the DigitalHealth.Il Conference in Tel Aviv, an annual event that brings together biotech startups, entrepreneurs, investors and leading players in the global digital health landscape.

Another Israeli startup that bears some resemblance to EfA and which also presented at the conference was Tytocare, a telehealth company that developed hand-held medical check-up devices, profiled by NoCamels last week. Tytocare’s devices don’t do bloodwork, unlike EfA’s, but can examine the ears, throat, heart, lung, abdomen, and skin, and measure heart rate and temperature so a doctor can issue a diagnosis remotely. Founded in 2012, it has so far raised $45 million and has partnered with 25 health systems in the US, where it is looking to expand.

India, Africa, then Latin America and maybe even the US

EfA for its part intends to focus initially on India and Africa, before expanding into Latin America, Ezra tells NoCamels. Ezra was part of a delegation to India in August organized by the Pears Challenge, an Israeli non-profit that also had a hand in organizing the India-Israel Innovation Challenge (as part of the India-Israel Innovation Bridge) in which 18 startups from Israel and India partner for solutions in the spheres of agriculture, water technology, and digital health, areas where India faces unique challenges due to its size and demographics. These startups were part of a delegation to India last month led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

EfA, says Ezra, plans to reach rural and remote places in these areas through a B2B-B2C-B2G business model (B for business, C for citizen, and G for government). EfA intends to provide its product to private clinics and health organizations, which will use it for health services to citizens. These organizations will then work with governments to aggregate epidemiological data and improve service administration. Ezra says that, already, some government representatives, health organizations like the Malaria Consortium, and several international organizations have expressed interest in the RevDx system.

Women and children at a healthcare center in Ivory Coast. EC/ECHO/Anouk Delafortrie via Flickr

He tells NoCamels that, in the long term, EfA hopes to reach rural areas even in the West, especially in the US, where 20 percent of Americans live in areas with relatively limited access to health facilities. Not to mention that some 30 million don’t have health insurance and therefore restrict medical visits to mainly emergency situations.

Affordability is also important to EfA, as Ezra says he wants EfA to be “a portfolio product company with high-end and still affordable health technology solutions.” In fact, the World Health Organization says that about six percent of people in LMIC are “tipped into or pushed further into extreme poverty because of health spending,” making affordability a particularly important issue.

Ezra says EfA has a “roadmap” for RevDx’s future application with plans to upgrade the device’s software to run diagnostics for various kinds of illnesses and on blood as well as urine samples to make RevDx into an adaptable platform.

“In five years from now, I see RevDx applied in different markets and several solutions based on this platform,” Ezra tells NoCamels, “In ten years, I see more products other than RevDx, not only in diagnostics,” he says.

Looking to Developing Countries

Ezra says his background in the Israel Defense Forces helped shape the idea behind Efa. He served in the Israeli military for 23 years, becoming the commander of a small technological operations unit that was dubbed the “Q Lab” (in reference to James Bond) by visiting American special forces. Ezra says the diversity of expertise he encountered there – from materials science to engineering to image processing to chemistry – convinced him that “there is no limit to what you can do with technology; it is a matter of what you do with it,” and that unit’s small size gave it a “startup” feel. During his service, he was awarded the Prime Minister Award for special technological operation achievement.

After leaving the IDF, Ezra says he decided to pursue his childhood dream to work in the health field, though he “knew nothing” about biology at the time. Intending to learn “from the ground,” he joined the US healthcare technology firms Medtronics and later Edwards Lifesciences, where he helped develop heart valve replacements, and also studied heart valve replacement surgery.

A blood draw in Ghana. US Army Africa

A blood draw in Ghana. US Army Africa

In 2015, Ezra began to feel that, although his work was benefitting healthcare in developed countries, not enough was being done for places with less access. So at his own expense, Ezra traveled through Africa, going to rural clinics to find out more about their needs. “Like in special operations,” Ezra says, “you, first of all, collect data.”

SEE ALSO: Concerned Israeli Dad Brings Us At-Home Check-Up Devices To Replace Tedious Doctor Trips

Back in Israel, he made contact with the Pears Challenge, and TechForGood, an Israeli non-profit that provides investment and mentoring for startups in this field, and after receiving the Israel Innovation Authority’s “Tnufa” Grant for startups in 2016, he founded EfA together with Eli Mor, EfA’s COO. The two then began working with EfA’s medical advisor, Dr. Ami Neuberger, an infectious disease specialist, on a RevDx prototype.

EfA has so far funded the prototype’s development mostly through the grant as well as Ezra’s personal contributions and is now seeking private investors in Israel and Europe. Ezra says that once the prototype is finalized, EfA will begin seeking investment from non-profits.