Archive For The “Israeli Tech” Category

Anti-Anxiety, Stress Proteins Discovered By Israeli Researchers

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Anti-Anxiety, Stress Proteins Discovered By Israeli Researchers

By Diane Israel

Anxiety and its kinfolk, namely fear and stress, are by definition traumatic experiences for which we would all like to rid ourselves, go hand-in-mind with the human condition. And while we cannot extract it like special forces from a hostile environment, we can do something almost as good.

Almost everyone would like to be happier. But what we often focus is on just that. Happiness. Meaning, when we project future happiness upon our being, rarely, if ever, do such musings consider how merely reducing those moments, those moments when we can’t think straight, might be another path to the same end.

An acquaintance of mine put it this way:

When you’re reacting instead of responding, your suffering some degree of an anxiety attack.

And while her words are true, and qualify as an important self-awareness tool to add to our personal psychology, more traumatic experiences call for scientific innovations like the recent breakthrough by Israeli researchers that addresses this problem head-on.

Many people have difficulties with turning off their response to stress factors. According to Weizmann Institute of Science researchers, they may be missing a special set of proteins.

A pounding heart, sweating palms, tense muscles and that metallic taste in your mouth is normal – when you perceive a threat to your existence, be it through anxiety, fear, or stress, each of which overlaps the other considerably.

It’s a typical anxiety response, one that often comes along with the “flight or fight” reaction generated by an adrenaline rush brought on by stress.

People who have a tough time turning that response off often have suffered a psychological trauma as the result of a frightening experience such as a missile attack or other type of physical threat. Such victims can develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Other conditions related to stress and anxiety include anorexia, depression and a myriad of anxiety disorders.

According to the findings of a new study led by Dr. Alon Chen at the Weizmann Institute’s Neurobiology Department, however, there is solid evidence that three related proteins are responsible for the body’s ability to turn off the stress response.

The research, which appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), found that urocortin proteins 1, 2, and 3 are crucial for returning the body to normal.

To identify how exactly this is done, Chen and his team tested the gene expression levels of genes involved in the stress response in a group of genetically engineered mice who were lacking the proteins, and a control group of mice.

The levels remained constant both during and after stress in the engineered mice, who were missing the proteins. In contrast, patterns of gene expression in the control mice showed significant change 24 hours after the stress.

In other words, without the urocortin system, the “return to normal” program could not be activated, and the stress genes continued to function.

“This may have implications for anxiety disorders, depression, anorexia and other conditions,” noted Dr. Chen. “The genetically engineered mice we created could be effective research models for these diseases.”

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Artificial Intelligence For The Vision Impaired Is Here

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Artificial Intelligence For The Vision Impaired Is Here

By Diane Israel

If you can see a faint or shadowy image, but can’t tell what it is due to visual impairment, now by simply pointing to it, MyEye1 will tell you what it is. It’s like having a seeing-eye dog that can speak to you in English, but it’s much smaller and doesn’t poop! The device wears pretty much like any set of eyeglasses.

Consider my friend Larry as a case-in-point. Twenty years ago, Larry developed Diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy affects blood vessels in the light-sensitive tissue called the retina that lines the back of the eye. It is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes and the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness among working-age adults.

While Larry and I were on a road trip through Northern Arizona last summer, we stopped for a bite to eat and to walk his dogs. While in the parking lot, Larry asked me if the tall, skinny object behind me was a tree or a telephone pole. That’s the extent of his visual capabilities. And there’s no medical procedure that has any promise of restoring his vision to reasonable standards.

Until now.

Artificial Intelligence Meets Artificial Vision: Introducing Orcam’s MyEye!

Now Larry, and those like him, can enrich their daily experiences and enjoy greater independence with OrCam.

Israeli tech is on the rise.

OrCam MyEye 1 is a breakthrough wearable artificial vision device designed to assist people who are blind, visually impaired, or have a reading disability. The intuitive, lightweight smart camera instantly and discreetly reads printed and digital text aloud – from any surface – and recognizes faces, products, and money notes, all in real time.



And now, with the release of MyEye 2.0, the benefits go far beyond MyEye1, including…

  • Read from any surface. Real-time identification of faces is seamlessly announced
  • Recognize known faces. Intuitively responds to simple hand gestures
  • Identify products. Identification of products, enabling an independent shopping experience.
  • Easy to use. Intuitively responds to simple hand gestures
About Orcam

OrCam was jointly founded in 2010 by Prof. Amnon Shashua and Mr. Ziv Aviram, who are also the co-founders of Mobileye, the collision avoidance system leader, and autonomous driving innovator. The original OrCam MyEye device was launched in 2015, and the next generation OrCam MyEye 2.0 was launched in 2017.

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Israeli-UK Startup Raises Bar on Electric Vehicle Batteries

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Israeli-UK Startup Raises Bar on Electric Vehicle Batteries

As the COVID-19 pandemic shakes the global economy, the electric car sector continues to serve up a bright spot of expectation and innovation for a more sustainable future.

Norway hit the headlines in July, setting a world record as pure electric cars made up almost half of car sales in the country in the first half of 2020. Tesla, meanwhile, continues to cut prices for its electric cars and is snagging headlines for its rechargeable battery plans.

This article was originally posted by See Featured article: Artificial Intelligence.

Indeed, battery-powered vehicle innovation is gaining traction as oil demand plummets, according to a new UNCTAD report that highlights the growing importance of electric mobility and the main materials used to make rechargeable car batteries.

For smart 3D batteries startup Addionics, the Israeli-UK outfit which develops specialized rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles and other applications, this is prime time to show off its cost-effective, scalable, and game-changing battery structures.

Addionics is a startup keen on changing the dynamics of chemical reactions to improve battery performance, mileage, lifetime, safety, charging time and cost-effectiveness.

While others in the rechargeable battery sector are looking to new chemistries for batteries and cheaper materials, the Addionics scientists have come up with an out-of-the-box engineering approach that will enhance battery performance no matter the type of battery chemistry.

The company created a new way to store energy. It created a porous surface for electrodes that has a direct effect on how the cells behave. This smart 3D structure minimizes the internal resistance and improves mechanical longevity, thermal stability and other basic limitations and degradation factors in standard batteries.

“We believe there is a lot of room for improvement in batteries. All the focus is on the chemistry. We are taking a different approach,” says Dr. Moshiel Biton, Addionics CEO. “We can simulate how the architecture, the porous level, affects performance.”

If all goes as planned, the Addionics technology will transform the way we store and deliver energy and still have a positive effect on the environment. “We are reducing the cost of batteries by 10-15 percent by enabling higher energy density and a longer lifetime,” says Biton.

The startup is groundbreaking in its approach but wants to keep the integration into existing OEM battery assembly lines simple for easier adoption. The smart 3D metal structure for rechargeable batteries is considered a drop-in solution.

“We see that the industry is very traditional, so we want to offer a solution that will not change the chemistry or infrastructure or the supply chain. We want to offer minimum change but a maximum impact. We are taking existing technology and by better engineering, we can improve it and enhance it further,” Biton tells NoCamels.

The idea for changing the structure as opposed to the chemistry makeup came to Biton about seven years ago, after he heard about the battery defects in smartphones that was causing them to overheat and explode. At the time, Biton, a doctoral student at Imperial College London, decided to investigate and explore in real-time what the problem was.

He found that dendrites, needle-like structures that plague lithium batteries, were short-circuiting and causing the explosions.

Armed with a healthy dose of Israeli chutzpah, Biton turned to his then-teachers and asked them to join him on a mission to change the world of energy storage. Dr. Farid Tariq, co-founder and CSO, and Dr. Vladimir Yufit, co-founder and CTO, served as academic advisors before finally leaving their Imperial positions to cofound Addionics with Biton in 2018.

The young startup, with headquarters in both London and Tel Aviv, has already raised $6 million in funding, a combination of a round led by Next Gear Ventures and winning a $2.5 million grant as part of the prestigious Horizon2020 EU competition.

The Horizon2020 EU committee described Addionics’ innovation as “disruptive and potentially a game-change in the energy storage market. The timing is right, as there is a strong demand in the market for such solutions.”

Of course, Addionics is just one of many players in the competitive battery innovation sector. In Israel, battery materials innovation developer StoreDot , Phinergy and CENS recently enjoyed the media’s spotlight for advances in the electric vehicle space.

“We believe there is a lot of room for improvement in batteries. We want to see more innovation and more success stories in this domain. In the end, it is the reputation of Israel in the field,” says Biton.

The Addionics team likes to compare their technology to a horse race – with the battery chemistry innovators as the horses and their technology solution as the race itself.

“No matter what chemistry technology will win the electrification race, we will improve it even more. We are betting on the race, and not on the horse,” says Yufit in a press statement.

At the moment, Addionics focuses on the automotive market but also develops technology for other products such as consumer electronics, medical devices, grid energy storage, drones.

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Israel Welcomes All to the Micromobility Sector

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Israel Welcomes All to the Micromobility Sector

A pilot initiative that will change how cyclists and scooter riders – as well as delivery messengers, couriers, and residents — get around cities is winning international attention, even before its planned July launch.

This article was originally posted by See Featured article: Artificial Intelligence.

Bird, the shared electric scooter transportation company, and Trailze, the Israeli navigation tech startup that is remapping the urban grid, announced in mid-June that they’re collaborating on a pilot, the Bird Maps app, which will offer navigation specifically created for riders of human-scale vehicles to safely navigate urban streets.

“We looked for the need, not the solution,” Ronen Bitan, CEO at Trailze, tells NoCamels about his company’s groundbreaking navigation software. “Google maps is amazing for cars. But there’s a huge vacuum when it comes to city navigation for cyclists and scooter riders.”A Bird rider using the Bird Maps powered by Trailze. Photo: PRNewsfoto/Bird

Bird Maps is a free standalone app, available soon on iOS and Android, that will allow riders the opportunity to enter their destination information and get in return audio and visual turn-by-turn navigation.

“Our vision at Trailze is to make riding human-scale vehicles the easiest and safest option for all,” says Bitan. “We couldn’t be more excited to join forces with Bird, the Apple of the shared micromobility space, and use our unique navigation technology to revolutionize the way people move around in our cities.”

Indeed, how people and goods get around our cities is changing every day. New shared mobility options propose lower emissions, better safety, and enhanced affordability.

“With millions of people embracing shared electric micromobility and cities everywhere committing more resources to the development of bike and micromobility lanes, we wanted to ensure that riders could more easily navigate and utilize city infrastructure,” Patrick Studener, Head of Bird EMEA, said in a press statement.

Before COVID-19, electric scooters and electric bicycles were slowly gaining traction as the transportation mode of choice for inner city destinations the world over. Shared electric scooters are used in 626 cities, in 53 countries and have made over 300 million trips, according to an EY report.

During COVID-19, over 300 cities introduced plans for more than 2,600 additional kilometers of slow streets and temporary bike lanes. Among them, the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality recently approved a strategic plan to double the length of bike paths in the city from 140km to 300km by 2025.

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Boom at Intel Israel Continues

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Boom at Intel Israel Continues

Intel Israel nearly doubled its exports in the past year, increasing by $2.7 billion to reach $6.6 billion in 2019, a figure that represents 12.5 percent of Israel’s total high-tech exports for the year, according to the company’s newly published Corporate Responsibility Report for 2019-2020 (Hebrew). Intel Israel also indicated that over the course of 2019, it made $1.8 billion of local procurement in Israel, purchasing materials and services from Israeli suppliers (up from $1.5 billion in 2018.)As the largest private employer in the country, Intel Israel said it added nearly 1,000 jobs in 2019 and now employs 13,750 people across the country, including over 1,000 from Mobileye, the autonomous driving tech company Intel bought in 2017 for over $15 billion.

This article was originally posted by See Featured article: Artificial Intelligence.

Intel Israel also released a number of corporate commitments it hopes to meet over the next decade as part of Intel’s overall corporate responsibility strategy and goals published last month including collaborations in health and safety, pandemic preparedness, carbon-neutral computing, and increased inclusion of women and minorities in senior roles.

Intel Israel said it currently spends NIS 250 million ($72 million) with diversified businesses and will double this amount to NIS 700 million (approximately $200 million) by 2030. It also announced it was launching a new training program next month to support 100 Israeli businesses owned by women, minorities, or situated outside Israel’s central region where more business and tech activity occurs.

Currently, women make up 25 percent of Intel Israel’s workforce and it hopes to increase the rate of women in tech positions to 40 percent with continued scholarship offers and empowerment programs such as Boost Your Career. In addition, Intel Israel said it will launch a separate program called “AI for youth” as part of a global project to equip over 30 million people with AI skill. A pilot of the program will open in September in four towns and is set to expand later to additional schools across Israel.

Intel Israel is also embarking on a number of sustainable projects including a commitment to purchase 100 percent of the energy it uses from renewable sources, send zero waste to landfills, and advance rehabilitation of water sources through funding, publishing a call for proposals for such projects from external parties. Intel Israel says that currently, 50 percent of the electricity it consumes is generated via green technologies and hope to implement a circular economy strategy on 60 percent of the waste it generates.

“The goals to which Intel Israel has committed to in our Corporate Responsibility Report for 2019-2020 are very ambitious,” said Yaniv Garty, general manager of Intel Israel. “They reflect our strong ambition, willingness and need to take the lead in collaborations that will address the challenges no one can overcome alone.”

Bella Abrahams, director of corporate affairs at Intel Israel, said the publication of the report was “a special landmark” that recaps “a decade of unprecedented accomplishments we are proud of and ushers a new decade, in which we strive to stretch ourselves even higher.

“As a company that attaches strong importance to transparency, the annual report serves the complete information of Intel Israel’s work. We look forward to continuing leading the Israeli high tech industry in technological innovation, as well as in impactful social initiatives,” she added.

Intel began operating in Israel in 1974 and has said that its investments in the Israeli economy have totaled over $35 billion since then.

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Israel’s Top Innovative Companies – FAST COMPANY

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Israel’s Top Innovative Companies – FAST COMPANY

Every year FAST COMPANY puts together its list of the top 400 innovative companies. Seven Israeli and Israeli-founded companies were among over 400 firms featured by US business magazine Fast Company on its annual “World’s Most Innovative Companies” for 2019.

The following excerpts were originally published by

The monthly publication’s editors and writers said they sought out groundbreaking businesses across 35 industries in every world region, listing the top 10 in 41 categories such as AI, Biotech, Branding, Health, Robotics, Food, Security, and Middle East, for a total of 410 organizations.

Fast Company also released its annual “50 Most Innovative Companies” but no Israeli firms made that list. In 2018, Israeli-founded navigational app Waze was featured in the top 50 alongside giants such as Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify, and Israel had its own category with 10 top startups. An additional 5 Israeli companies and startups were featured in other categories.

This year, Fast Company featured a Middle East category and named four Israeli startups to its list of 10 businesses in the region.

They are:

Sight Diagnostics

An Israel-founded company that develops lab-grade blood testing systems, and which recently raised $27.8 million for the technological and commercial expansion of diagnostics system OLO as well as regulatory efforts in the US and R&D.

OLO leverages AI with a revolutionary method to ‘digitize’ blood, allowing patients to receive blood test results within minutes at the point-of-care, and with just a finger-prick. The system takes detailed images of blood and then analyzes them with AI-driven computer vision algorithms. It was first deployed in African countries and India in 2014 to detect malaria.

Sight Diagnostics now says its technology offers Complete Blood Counts (CBCs) – the most prevalent blood test in the world, and plans to develop further applications.

Fast Company said Sight Diagnostics, No.1 in the Mideast category, was chosen “for accurately diagnosing illnesses from a few drops of blood.”

Vayyar Imaging

n Israeli company founded in 2011 that developed revolutionary technology that can “see” through objects, including liquids and human tissue, to deliver 3D images with a host of applications.

The tech is being used across industry sectors including automotive, construction, agriculture, smart homes, robotics and medical care.

Vayyar has also been named an innovative Israeli company to watch by a host of publications including WIRED, Business Insider, and the World Economic Forum.

Fast Company says Vayyar was selected “for making low-cost, 3-D-imaging technology to improve health and safety.”

NoCamels has reported that Vayyar’s sensor-based technology “can see through skin and tissue to detect cancer masses, look through walls and create a 3D image of hidden structural foundations; or, it can be used to create a smart home that tracks the location of persons needing care, as well as their vital signs as they move around the house.”

Last year, Vayyar launched what it called the “world’s most advanced millimeter-wave 3D imaging chip,” which provides a high-resolution, mobile, and cost-effective 3D imaging solution.

Innoviz Technologies

A leading Israel-based provider of solid-state LiDAR sensors and perception software for the future of autonomous cars.

Featured in fourth place in the Mideast category, Fast Company says Innoviz was selected “for helping autonomous cars see their surroundings.”

The company recently launched new offices across the world including in the US, China, Japan, and Germany, and opened new headquarters in the central Israeli city of Rosh Ha’ayin.

The new HQ , a 4,000-square meter facility, includes labs, garages for test vehicles, and other manufacturing capabilities.

Last month, Innoviz entered its newest strategic partnership with Harman International, a Samsung subsidiary that focuses on connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets

Last year, Innoviz entered an agreement to supply German auto giant BMW Group with its automotive-grade LiDAR InnovizOne and computer vision software for its autonomous vehicle production

Innoviz was founded in January 2016 by Keilaf, Oren Rosenzweig, Oren Buskila, and Amit Steinberg. The company has raised $82 million to date, including a $73 million Series B funding round in 2017, which included participation from Delphi Automotive and Magna International.


An environmental tech company founded in 2012 by marine ecologists Dr. Shimrit Perkol-Finkel and Dr. Ido Sella, that develops sustainable concrete for constructing ecologically active infrastructures in coastal and marine environments as well as in urban landscapes.

In 10th place in the Mideast category, Fast Company chose ECONcrete “for pouring concrete that stimulates biodiversity, reducing the ecological footprint of coastal projects.”

The company was recently featured in an episode of the popular web series Nas Daily.

Three more Israeli companies were featured in other categories, including:


An Israeli-developed baby monitor that uses computer vision, machine learning and advanced camera sensors to track a baby’s sleep cycle and development.

Nanit appeared in seventh place in the Data Science category “for helping babies – and parents – get more rest.”

Nanit says its product is the first smart monitor to merge computer vision with data-backed sleep science, to produce the most advanced and secure camera technology ever introduced to the home.

The company says its technology can be applied more widely “since tracking and understanding sleep patterns and anomalies can lead to early detection of other disease states like sleep apnea, seizures, autism and more.”

Nanit has ongoing partnerships with major universities and institutions including the Technion, Ben-Gurion University and the City University of New York to study the effects of infant sleep on the overall health of a baby and their family.

Last year, the company raised $14 million in a financing round led by one of Israel’s leading VC firms, Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP).

JVP chairman Dr. Erel Margalit said at the time that “Nanit takes the science of sleep one step forward and revolutionizes this field through computer vision and machine learning technology. Nanit’s unique home-based camera monitors and analyzes sleep patterns in real-time and updates parents on their children’s quality of sleep, something which directly affects their physical, mental and emotional development.”

Nanit was founded in 2016 in New York by Dr. Assaf Glazer, Tor Ivry, and Andrew Berman.


Israeli-founded Waze, sold to Google in 2013, featured in second place in Fast Company’s Transportation sector, down one spot from last year.

Founded in 2009 by Amir Shinar, Uri Levine, and Ehud Shabtai, the company, a social traffic and navigation platform that collects input from users to provide warnings of auto accidents and other disturbances on the road.

After experimenting with a carpool service since 2016, Waze officially rolled out Waze Carpool late last year in Israel and in the US.


A US-based corporate travel tech company founded by Israeli entrepreneurs Ariel Cohen and Ilan Twig, that recently raised $154 million in a Series C funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz.

TripActions placed eighth in the Travel category for “incorporating a user-experience mind-set into managing corporate travel.”

This startup, said Fast Company, “is shaking up the sleepy corporate travel world by making it easier than ever for companies to book and manage employee travel.”

Twig has said the company is “re-thinking the way that corporate travel is run and supported globally. With AI and machine learning, we’re able to deliver a truly customized traveler experience at scale, allowing us to reduce the time to book a trip from more than hour to a mere 6 minutes.”

“We’re also using this technology to deliver incredible support. Imagine a world where every travel headache –– whether that be a flight delay or a lost hotel room –– is taken care of before you even knew something was wrong. This is exactly what TripActions is able to offer to our customers today,” he added.

Learn more about Diane Israel. Also, see Diane Israel on LinkedIn.

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Mel Brooks Proves Prophetic: Jews Are In Outer Space

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Mel Brooks Proves Prophetic: Jews Are In Outer Space

Indelibly inked into my memory from early childhood is Mel Brook’s History of the World, Part 1 feature film whereby spacecraft shaped like the Star of David pervade our Galaxy (and beyond) with Brook’s own narration introducing “Jews in Outer Space.”

And now it’s happening less the whole Star of David thing…obviously.

The remainder of this post was originally reported and published by

The launch of Israel’s first voyage to the moon is upon us and giddiness over the possibilities of what a successful landing will mean for Israel – and the international space community – are growing by the minute.

Excitement abounds in Israel and on social media networks with people posting photos of themselves in a SpaceIL picture frame, sharing the hashtag #israeltothemoon, posing for selfies at a replica of the spacecraft in the Habima Square in Tel Aviv. The Tel Aviv Municipality lit up its city hall with lights reading, Tomorrow Israel Is Going To The Moon.

If all goes according to plan, the lunar lander Beresheet, whose name in Hebrew means “In the Beginning/Genesis,” will blast off aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 3:45 am Israel time on Friday.

Anticipation is high because if Beresheet completes its lunar mission on April 11, Israel will join superpowers China, Russia, and the United States in landing a spacecraft on the moon.

And that’s not the only amazing statistic. Beresheet is remarkable because almost everything about the unmanned spacecraft goes against convention.

Beresheet is set above a the communication satellite (the main passenger of the launch) It began as a dream by three young engineers and not a government program, making it the first privately funded space probe to shoot for the moon. It cost just $100 million to plan and develop, whereas other space missions in the past have run in the billions of dollars.

But as Israel has shown time and again, when it comes to technological prowess, size doesn’t matter.

Indeed, this small spacecraft has big hopes riding on it.

“It was very difficult to raise money for this mission because it was really a mission impossible,” said South African-Israeli philanthropist Morris Kahn, the president of SpaceIL. “I didn’t realize it was impossible and the three engineers who started this project didn’t realize it was impossible, and the way we in Israel think, nothing is impossible. We dare to dream. And we really are making this dream come true.”

From a physical design point of view, Beresheet has been likened to a gold-colored robotic spider. It is roughly the size of a washing machine, reaching a height of 1.5 meters, about two meters in width, and weighing just 600 kilograms.

The design of the craft changed twice since its first inception in 2011 until the final touches were made last year.

The SpaceIL spacecraft was originally designed to meet regulations set out by the now-defunct Google Lunar X Prize competition, an international contest that challenged the world’s engineers to create and send the first private lander to the Moon. The SpaceIL crew chose to continue with the mission – with or without the prize money – and kept dimensions of their lunar lander to a minimum and with as low redundancy as possible.

A multi-disciplinary team of some 250 engineers, scientists, and computer scientists from the non-profit SpaceIL and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) designed, engineered and developed Beresheet. The actual building of the spacecraft from full-scale development took just four years.

“The navigation control system and the simulator were developed from scratch and they are very sophisticated,” Opher Doron, IAI’s Space Division General Manager, told a prelaunch press conference in Ramat Gan.

Doron tells NoCamels that the “main computer and computer chips, as well as other pieces of technology and the cameras, are Israeli-made.”

One of the main issues facing the SpaceIL and IAI team was how to land the spacecraft on the Moon without it breaking apart. So, they created four foldable landing legs with energy absorption mechanisms to ensure a soft landing.

“The structure is Israeli, the landing legs are Israeli, the main computer is Israeli, the design of the spacecraft is Israeli… most of the technologies onboard and the engineering is Israeli. It is an Israeli mission,” says Ido Anteby, CEO of the SpaceIL. “Of course, there are some parts of the sub-systems that come from vendors around the world. But almost all the technology onboard is Israeli.”

Indeed, Beresheet truly shows off Israel’s prominent technological and engineering innovation and expertise. It highlights the country’s aptitude in creative thinking, resourcefulness, and advance research.

“It was very exciting to work with SpaceIL on this project and also interesting from an engineering point of view. This was an inspiration,” Inbal Kreiss, Deputy General Manager, Space Division, IAI, tells NoCamels.

“It used to be that only superpowers had the ability to go and do things like land on the Moon, but lately there’s been so much flourishing of technology, which has been enhanced greatly by the computer revolution,” Phil Metzger, a planetary physicist at the University of Central Florida, told The Verge. “Now it’s within the range where small groups of people can build a lunar lander, which is super amazing.”

Israel’s tech expertise in space sciences is already world-renowned. The country is known for developing and manufacturing advanced technology solutions for satellites, unmanned and robotic systems, radars and more.

There is an Israeli-developed space-qualified CMOS (complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor) sensor aboard the Parker Solar Probe.

The country is a mecca for satellite development.

“Israel is blessed with human capital and brain power. We can create effective solutions that afterward become global standards. We want to change the game of satellites as flash drives did to floppy discs,” Raz Itzhaki Tamir, co-founder & CEO of NSL Comm and an expert on nano space technology, tells NoCamels.

Even NASA has taken interest in this little spacecraft. The space agency is allowing the Israeli team to use its Deep Space Network to communicate with Beresheet in deep space.

The spacecraft is built to withstand extreme environmental conditions during launch, in space, during landing and for its lunar stay. Yet, IAI and SpaceIL engineers noted at the prelaunch press conference that once on the moon, the spacecraft will only function for about two Earth days. In that time, Beresheet will take a selfie, gather imagery of the Moon, and transmit information back to the mission control room in IAI’s space facility in Yehud.

SpaceIL engineers hope the spacecraft will land in an area on the Moon known as Mare Serenitatis because this region is supposed to have some “magnetic anomalies” that the Israeli team hopes to analyze using an onboard magnetometer. SpaceIL is conducting a scientific experiment together with the Weizmann Institute of Science to take measurements of the Moon’s mysterious magnetic field.

On board, there’s also a time capsule and a nano-Bible microscopically etched on a small metal disc the size of a coin.

Landing a spacecraft on the moon will bring an extraordinary achievement in engineering and the country’s technological capabilities. SpaceIL hopes it will advance and promote science and research.

“It’s exciting,” says Doron. “It’s a great technological achievement.”

SpaceX will broadcast the historic launch live on its YouTube channel, and SpaceIL will simultaneously air on Facebook live video from inside the control room in Yehud.

Learn more about Diane Israel. Also, see Diane Israel on LinkedIn.

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SAP Opens Accelerator Program in Tel Aviv

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SAP Opens Accelerator Program in Tel Aviv

German owned SAP, the global leader in enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, just made a big move in Israel, a startup accelerator to do just that; help tech startups get to market, and generate profits, faster.

The following excerpts were originally reported by

European multinational SAP SE is opening an accelerator program in Tel Aviv designed to support early-stage startups building innovative software, the software corporation said in a statement.

The 12-week program, dubbed SAP.iO Foundry, will start in July 2019 and will work with 10 startups “focused on deep technology and the intelligent enterprise to deliver incremental value to SAP’s customers,” the company said.

“The SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv represents the next phase of SAP’s commitment to Israel’s dynamic startup ecosystem,” said Ram Jambunathan, Managing Director of SAP.iO at the OurCrowd Summit in Jerusalem on Thursday. “We are excited to work with and help Israeli startups scale with our value proposition of curated mentorship, exposure to SAP data and technologies, and opportunities to meet and collaborate with SAP unparalleled, global base of enterprise customers.”

“Israel’s one-of-a-kind vibrant ecosystem is home to thousands of unique startups, several of which will enjoy and benefit from SAP Israels R&D Center’s professional tech expertise and the Foundry’s business know-how. We look forward to creating new exciting solutions and opportunities for SAP customers,” said Orna Kleinmann, MD of SAP Israel R&D Center & SVP Technology & Innovation Cloud Experience.

SAP also has accelerators in 6 strategic startup hubs, including Paris,
Berlin, Munich, New York City, San Francisco, and Tokyo. SAP says that since the SAP.iO Foundries were formally launched in early 2017, they have accelerated the growth of over 100 startups.

SAP first established its R&D center in Israel in 1998. The center leads SAP Cloud Platform development for the company, while also specializing in machine learning and user identity management. The center also leads strategic partnerships, startup acquisitions, and internal innovation initiatives.

Learn more about Diane Israel. Also, see Diane Israel on LinkedIn.

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Neurowellness: A New Way To Manage Stress

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Neurowellness: A New Way To Manage Stress

Move over mindfulness meditation. Neuroscience is now beginning to map what’s going on inside your brain when you’re feeling good, and not-so-good, to help promote mental and emotional wellness. It’s a logical augmentation of mindfulness meditation which has become very popular recently although it’s been around for thousands of years.

The remainder of this post was originally reported by

Brain researchers across the world are increasingly beginning to study the link between our body’s control center and emotional health. In recent years, neurological wellness (or neuro-wellness), an emerging field focused on emotional wellbeing, mood enhancements and innovation and technology, has also garnered attention.

“Because we’re living longer, our focus is starting to shift toward well-being,” Bill Gates wrote last month as part of a piece reflecting on technological breakthroughs for the MIT Technology Review. “I think the brilliant minds of the future will focus on more metaphysical questions: How do we make people happier? How do we create meaningful connections? How do we help everyone live a fulfilling life?”

Earlier this month, this question was one of the main focuses at the Fourth International BrainTech Conference in Tel Aviv, a two-day global meeting point for leading scientists, clinicians and entrepreneurs who engage in brain research and technology.

While the power of a positive mindset has been praised as key, there is emerging scientific backing for the thesis that mood is directly linked to the mental processes in our brain. Moshe Bar, director of the Leslie and Susan Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center at Bar-Ilan University, presented a study that found that optimistic people show better cognitive work on associations, creativity, memory and a broader scope of attention than those with a more depressed outlook. People with a positive mindset, he indicated, are better able to foresee what’s coming next and to minimize perceived uncertainty. Thus, improving the mood of individuals can prompt our brain to activate processes that will make us feel well.

The brain’s powerful capacities are well documented, but can the mind heal the body? Neuroscientists Dr. Talma Hendler, of Tel Aviv University, and Dr. Asya Rolls, of the Technion, are currently collaborating on a study on brain-body interaction. Their initial findings have shown that activating a neural mechanism in our brain’s reward system may boost the immune system.

Can technology support us emotionally? More and more entrepreneurs recognize the potential of such evidence for transforming our mind and body. Products for emotional wellness are currently flooding the market. But can technology really support us emotionally?

“Yes,” says Nichol Bradford, executive director and co-founder of The Transformative Technology Lab (USA), who believes that we are standing at the threshold of a new era of human flourishing. “I think there is a great deal of range and possibility in using technology to teach us how to relate to the way we feel. Emotions and self-regulation are trainable and teachable skills,” she tells NoCamels.

According to Bradford, transformative technologies for well-being will not only address mental health and happiness, they are also entering the future of workplaces, improving emotional intelligence and social skills. Ultimately, they will lead to enhanced mental and emotional capacity.

Bradford calls this the “future of human possibilities” in which technology helps people develop their full potential. “The point is … to establish a new level of mental and emotional health.“

An example of this is TRIPP, a Los Angeles-based software company that developed a mood-on-demand platform powered by virtual reality. Like a combination of video games and meditation, “taking a ten-minute TRIPP” can puts users in a state of mindfulness by creating a deep immersive, brain-stimulating experience. CEO and co-founder Nanea Reeves believes that mental health is the market for VR. After launching their product for corporate wellness programs, the company’s goal is to enter the therapeutic market, where TRIPP could be used for treatments like addiction recovery, he tells NoCamels.

An Israeli product that has already been deployed in hundreds of clinics worldwide is Myndlift, a device for personalized neuro-therapies. When looking for ways to improve ADHD symptoms without medication, Myndlift CEO Aziz Kadan discovered the potential of neurofeedback. Combining a sensory headset with a training program, Myndlift responds to changing brainwave patterns and is able to change and balance brain activation. The devices were featured at the conference.

Meanwhile, NYX Technologies, a young Israeli neurotech startup, is developing a platform for sleep management and stress reduction. A headset reads a user’s brain patterns and adapts its function individually for falling asleep faster, getting into deeper sleep and waking up refreshed. Currently, the Haifa-based company is conducting beta tests.

Learn more about Diane Israel. Also, see Diane Israel on LinkedIn.

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McDonald’s Turns To Israeli-Tech To Customize Orders And Drive-thru

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McDonald’s Turns To Israeli-Tech To Customize Orders And Drive-thru

It’s been a long time since McDonald’s made a major acquisition. Twenty years actually, and their acquisition of Isreali-tech startup Dynamic Yield may be a shrewd move to buy the proprietary AI technology and keep it from their competitor’s reach.

What follows was excerpted and originally reported by

McDonald’s is set to acquire Israeli company Dynamic Yield, a market leader in customer personalization and decision logic technology, the two companies announced on Monday.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but TechCrunch reported that “a source with knowledge” said the agreement was valued at over $300 million and is McDonald’s largest acquisition in 20 years.

Founded in 2011 by Israeli entrepreneurs Liad Agmon and Omri Mendellevich, the New York-headquartered company’s AI-powered omnichannel personalization engine helps product managers, and engineers build personalization campaigns that deliver individualized experiences at every customer touchpoint (online, mobile apps, email, kiosks, IoT, and call centers).

Dynamic Yield says its platform’s data management capabilities “provide for a unified view of the customer, allowing the rapid and scalable creation of highly targeted digital interactions. The company has over 300 clients that have included IKEA, URBN Brands, and Stitch Fix.

McDonald’s said in a statement that it will use Dynamic Yield’s technology “to provide an even more personalized customer experience by varying outdoor digital Drive Thru menu displays to show food based on time of day, weather, current restaurant traffic and trending menu items.” The tech can also suggest and display additional items based on customer current selections.

“Dynamic Yield’s ability to meet McDonald’s customer needs, coupled with their commitment to grow capabilities around ever-changing consumer trends and evolving marketing technologies, allows for the continued advancement and elevation of the McDonald’s customer experience with technology and innovation,” the fast-food giant said in the statement.

Steve Easterbrook, president and CEO of McDonald’s Corporation, said “technology is a critical element of our Velocity Growth Plan, enhancing the experience for our customers by providing greater convenience on their terms. With this acquisition, we’re expanding both our ability to increase the role technology and data will play in our future and the speed with which we’ll be able to implement our vision of creating more personalized experiences for our customers.

Agmon, who serves as Dynamic Yield’s CEO said: “We started Dynamic Yield seven years ago with the premise that customer-centric brands must make personalization a core activity. We’re thrilled to be joining an iconic global brand such as McDonald’s and are excited to innovate in ways that have a real impact on people’s daily lives.”

According to the agreement, Dynamic Yield will remain a stand-alone company and employees will continue to operate out of its offices across the world, including Berlin, Singapore, Moscow, Paris, London, NY, and Tel Aviv. Dynamic Yield will also continue to serve their current, and attract future, clients.

McDonald’s said upon the completion of the deal, it will become sole owner of Dynamic Yield, and will continue to invest in the company’s “core personalization product and world-class teams.”

Dynamic Yield previously raised some $83 million from investors such as Viola Growth, an Israeli-based technology growth capital fund, Innovation Endeavors, Bessemer Venture Partners, Vertex Ventures Israel, and Union Tech Ventures.

Learn more about Diane Israel. Also, see Diane Israel on LinkedIn.

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