Things can Only get Better

As readers of my weekly positive newsletter will know, there has been a huge surge in the volume of Israel’s medical discoveries, scientific advances, agricultural innovations, water technology and humanitarian activities recently.  Despite the chaos in many other countries, I believe that better times are on their way for the rest of the world.
Israel’s medical innovations are making a better life for everyone.  The announcement of Israel Technion’s plans to establish an International Center for Cardiovascular Innovation will lead to better ways to treat heart disease – the world’s leading cause of death.  For Israeli Danny Oberman, his 2013 cardiac “incident” led him to develop the GPS-based CathMaps plus - a better method for Android and iOS smartphone users to find the nearest catheterization lab and share their medical history with cardiologists.


Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has better knowledge than most of what visiting foreign Heads of State want from the Jewish State.  As he told delegates at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, their three requirements are “Israeli technology, Israeli technology and Israeli technology.”  For example, Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen cites as his model Israel''s success as a "start-up" nation brimming with high-tech innovation.  Finland has been purchasing millions of Euros of Israeli technology.  Similarly, relations between Israel and Cyprus have never been better, according to Cyprus’ Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulines.  There is good cooperation on security, energy, water management, science and technology.
Over 70 young Israeli entrepreneurs showed United Nations representatives better solutions for global problems at the Israeli Designed International Development (ID2) conference in Caesarea.  Innovations demonstrated included plants that give off light at night.  Meanwhile, Israel’s Evogene has launched PoinTar, a computationally based target discovery platform for generating better herbicides.  It identifies key molecules that can be chemically targeted to prevent weed growth.  Staying with agro technology, India’s Dr. Akhilesh Kumar came to work at Israel’s Vulcani Agricultural Research Institute in order to develop better strains of potatoes and solar-powered storage in order to feed India’s hungry population all year round.
Angola’s population will appreciate the better quality drinking water that will flow from fifty filtration systems to be supplied by Israel’s Amiad Water Systems. Amiad also just won one of Israel’s Outstanding Exporter awards.  California, in the grip of its most severe drought since 1977, will be far better off once it completes the Israeli-designed desalination plant near San Diego. Israel’s IDE Technologies is one of the main engineering contractors building the largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere.


Israel has been proficient recently in developing better battery technologies.  The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has boosted the power of sodium-ion batteries with a new type of anode.  Also Israel’s EnStorage received nearly 1 million dollars as a BIRD Foundation grant for its Hydrogen Bromide flow battery development.  Meanwhile Professor Doron Aurbach of Bar Ilan University won the prestigious 2014 International Battery Association Yeager Award for advancing battery technology, especially rechargeable magnesium batteries.
Israeli apps are currently rated better than ever.  Israeli cyber-security companies received eleven awards at the RSA Security Conference in San Francisco, including Votiro, which won gold in the “Innovations in Next Generation Security” category.  At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Israeli companies picked up five awards.  Israel’s PointGrab’s CamMe won “most innovative app” with EverythingMe one of five finalists.  Wibbitz won “best mobile publishing product or service” for its unique text-to-video technology.

There is just enough room to wish Mazel Tov to my friend, Tel Aviv Radio TLV1’s DJ Antithesis who has found his “better half” and is getting married this week.  There should be some great music at his wedding.  And Israel’s soccer fans will hope for better results from its national team with its favorable draw in the qualifying stages of the 2016 European Nations Cup.
I want to leave you with the knowledge that it is the dedication of the people of Israel that makes life better for everyone.  The staff at Israel’s Beit Issie Shapiro are bringing a better tomorrow to those born with both severe mental and physical disabilities. You would hardly believe that children like Roni, Eytan, Nevo and Liora could, for example, learn to use iPads to help them develop to their full potential.  You can also help Beit Issie and Eytan by sponsoring his dad in the London marathon. 


Finally two mature Israeli professors have been busy throughout their lives making a better world for all of us. Whilst at Israel’s Weizmann Institute, molecular geneticist Professor Michel Revel developed treatments for MS, ALS and diabetes.  Now at 75 years of age, he works at his own biotech company Kadimastem developing pluripotent stem cells as a regenerative medicine solution for all three diseases.  And I hope that you will find a new biography about renowned Israeli cardiac surgeon Professor Joseph Borman particularly heartwarming. “Open Hearts: A Memoir” describes how during the 1967 Six-Day War he saved the life of critically injured soldier Doron Lancet.  Doron eventually went on to lead the Israeli team that helped map the human genome to give us a better understanding of the causes of genetic diseases.
Are we on the way up? 
You’d better believe it!
Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing positive news stories about Israel.
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