November 16, 2018

Brits in the Kibbutz, 3D Food Printer, And More – This Week from the Startup Nation

Another week, more great stories! Here are this week’s top 10 high-tech stories from Israel:

Printer, Can You Please Make Me A Low-Fat Burger with Fries?

Researchers at the Yissum Research Development Company, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said they have created a 3D printing technology that will be able to produce nutritious meals, for use in homes, restaurants and institutions, using nano-cellulose, a natural and edible calorie-free fiber. They have so far used their technology to “print” dough, but not a full meal.

Read more here. 

 

 

Israeli Startups Raised $1.44b in Q3

$1.44 billion was raised by 144 Israeli startups in the third quarter of 2017, up 14% from $1.27 billion in the preceding quarter of 2017, and up 54% from $933 million in the corresponding quarter of 2016, according to the latest report by IVC Research – ZAG – S&W. The number of deals, however, was down in the third quarter of 2017, at just over 140 deals.

The average financing round was $10 million in the third quarter of 2017, the highest amount in five years, compared with an average of $8 million and $6.7 million in the preceding quarter and corresponding quarter of 2017, respectively.

Read more here. 

 

 

China’s Haier Sets Up Innovation Hub in Tel Aviv

Haier Electronics Group Co., Ltd., China’s largest home appliance maker, has opened its first innovation center in Israel, in Tel Aviv, to scout for local technologies to create “smart-home” products for the Chinese firm and boost its global expansion.

The Haier Israel Innovation Center will focus on finding Israeli technologies for Haier product lines, and will be specifically looking at sensor technology, materials, chips, Internet of Things (IoT), smart homes, and energy innovation, Haier and the Start-Up Nation Central organization said in a joint statement late Monday.

Read more here. 

 

 

US Approves Cancer Gene Therapy from Israeli-Founded Co.

American regulators granted approval to a gene-altering therapy for treating patients suffering from lymphoma, the second-ever approval for a gene therapy procedure and one that could revolutionize how we fight cancer.

The drug, named Yescarta, was developed by the Israeli- founded company Kite Pharma and is expected to cost about $373,000 for each patient, likely generating $150 million-$250m. in sales next year.

Kite was purchased by Gilead Sciences in August for $11.9 billion, and Wednesday’s breakthrough may have helped with the acquisition.

Read more here. 

 

 

Can Cannabis Treat Asthma? Jerusalem Experts to Find Out

CIITECH, a UK-Israel cannabis biotech startup that seeks to develop and commercialize therapeutic cannabis products, said it would fund a research project together with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to find ways to use cannabis for the treatment of asthma.

CIITECH said the project would be undertaken by the Multidisciplinary Center on Cannabinoid Research of the Hebrew University, and would be led by Prof. Raphael Mechoulam, a pioneer in the field of cannabis research, and his colleague, Prof. Francesca Levi-Schaffer, who specializes in asthma research. The project was selected through a competition, from among a dozen other projects proposed on cannabis research, said CIITECH founder Clifton Flack.

Read more here. 

 

 

Face Recognition Ailment May Be Caused by Lack of Connectivity in Brain

A way to better diagnose a rare condition in which people are born with difficulty in recognizing faces – even their own – has been developed by scientists at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

The findings speed the development of imaging-based tools to diagnose congenital prosopagnosia (CP – from the Greek for “face” and “not knowing”). The same approach could also be used to investigate the basis of other neurodevelopmental disorders that are thought to involve abnormal communication within brain networks, including the much more common developmental dyslexia.

Read more here.  

 

 

Booking.com to Open an AI Innovation Center in Tel Aviv

Booking.com is opening an innovation center in Tel Aviv, CEO Gillian Tans announced Wednesday in a post on Linkedin. In her post, Ms. Tans said that the center will be dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. According to Ms. Tans, the company chose Tel Aviv due to the city’s status as “one of the most tech-forward markets in the world.”

Read more here. 

 

 

BBC Reality Show to Put Brits on an Israeli Kibbutz

The British TV network is recruiting 10 Jewish participants of various ages and backgrounds to fly over from the UK and spend two weeks volunteering on a kibbutz, an Israeli farming or manufacturing community founded on socialist principles. The volunteers and the BBC crews are to arrive in December and the program is to air sometime next year in coordination with Israel’s 70th Independence Day in May.

Read more here.

 

 

Israeli Smart Glass Developer Gauzy Turns Any Window into A Screen

The Israeli startup Gauzy envisions a world where you can peek through your fridge by turning your fridge door from opaque to transparent with the press of a button, block out or temper sunlight coming in from a window without fussing with curtains or blinds, and transform any glass windows or walls from transparent to opaque with just a click of a button.

As if that goal wasn’t lofty enough, the Tel Aviv-based company also aims to make the universe its canvas by potentially turning any such surface, like a window or a wall, into a screen. For lazy eating time, just turn that fridge door into a smart TV screen. Or turn your car window into a digital billboard for the outside world.

Read more here. 

 

 

10 Disruptive Israeli Companies that Can Wean the World Off Fossil Fuels

Could Israel be the country that finally puts fossil fuels to rest with the dinosaurs?

“When we talk about killing fossil fuels, Israel is not yet seen as tops in the world, as we are in water or cyber technologies. But in each related niche — solar energy, battery technologies and electric car components – there is tremendous respect for Israeli companies,” says clean-energy activist Yosef Abramowitz, aka “Kaptain Sunshine,” whose Energiya Global social development company is bringing solar power to Africa.

Two early solar-energy pioneers founded in Israel, BrightSource Energy and Ormat Technologies, are now headquartered in the United States with myriad international projects to their credit.

Read more here.