Science & Technology
- Written by Former President Shimon Peres Spokesperson
Ninth President of Israel and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shimon Peres is looking out for MENA youth and launching the Israeli Innovation Center
Peres is utilizing innovation as a tool to bring people from around the Middle East together to build peace
Peres "I implore our neighbors - Let us cooperate and create a startup region. Let us adopt the path of peace and innovation, which is always preferable to war and pain."
"Finally, I have one small request – Israel is a dream that came true. Permit me to continue to dream."
President of the State of Israel Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin: “The Innovation Center inaugurated this morning shall create a link between the past and the future. With one eye, it looks back to the accomplishments we have achieved, with its other eye, it looks ahead to the future, planning its next step.” "The nature of innovation is that it cannot stay put - innovation, too, should be innovated"
Prime Minister of the State of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu: “Innovation and Peace complement one another” “We will continue to be on the cutting edge”
This morning, 21.7, the Ninth President of Israel Shimon Peres launched the establishment of the Israeli Innovation Center together with President Reuven "Ruvi" Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, and leading figures from the Israeli innovation and high-tech industry.
The Israeli Innovation Center, located at the Peres Peace House in Jaffa, will be an educational hub and visitors' center, drawing guests from around the world to learn about Israel's historic achievements, absorb the core values of innovation, optimism and the pursuit of peace, and be inspired and empowered to positively impact their communities and the world.
Ninth President Peres, who heads the Peres Center for Peace and is leading the establishment of the Israeli Innovation Center said: "The Innovation Center that will be established here will showcase our national pride and will advance peace between people. It will highlight inventions already created as well as those yet to be developed in fields such as science, technology, medicine and healthcare, agriculture, and industry. This Center will, of course, showcase achievements of the past, but its primary focus will be on the path to the future .We will prove that innovation has no limits and no barriers. Innovation enables dialogue between nations and between people. It will enable all young people – Jews, Muslims and Christians –to engage in science and technology equally. Here we will emphasize that we can promote peace from childhood, and we will spark the imagination of every boy and girl and enrich their dreams."
Peres shared his perspective based on his personal experiences since the establishment of the State of Israel and its technological development and said: "All my life I have worked to ensure that Israel's future is based on science and technology as well as on an unwavering moral commitment. They called me a dreamer. But today, when I look at Israel, we all can see clearly that the greater the dream, the more spectacular the results. I am proud of our young people. They have created a new reality. They are gifted with independence, creativity, and Israeli chutzpah. They overcame the obstacles along the way and answered every challenge that appeared. Who would have believed that the entire world would one day use Israeli navigation software in their daily lives? Who would have believed that this stubborn and infertile land would produce an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, and that Israel would become self sufficient in water? Who would have believed that millions of people would utilize an Israeli developed stent implanted in damaged heart arteries allowing sick patients to breathe? Who would have predicted that we could give paralyzed individuals the ability to walk through robotic legs that were created in Israel? Our innovative spirit has been recognized the world over, and of course, my heart swells with pride when I see how many nations turn to the tiny State of Israel to learn from our bold innovations, to learn how to turn the impossible into the possible."
President of the State of Israel Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin said: "In Israel in 2016 it is impossible to talk about innovation without mentioning a man who is also a legend, a young man whose trademark is innovation, Shimon Peres, the Ninth President of the State of Israel. Young people want to devour the world. They have big dreams, visions of "Tikkun Olam". As the years pass, they succumb to reality and give up on their lofty dreams. But you, Shimon, are the opposite. You led the way in atomic research in Israel. Since then, your vision has become bolder, more innovative. Every dream that came true was, for you, just one more step toward the next destination. Shimon, in Israel today you are a leader of innovation, and it is impossible not to be envious. At almost 93 you are leading, creating and challenging yourself every year."
Rivlin added: "The Innovation Center inaugurated this morning shall create a link between the past and the future. With one eye, it looks back to the accomplishments we have achieved, with its other eye, it looks ahead to the future, planning its next step. With its one hand it promotes science and technology, with the other, its vision for a model society. This is a winning combination that I am confident will accelerate and motivate continued creativity, innovation and empowerment."
Prime Minister of the State of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu said:
“We will continue to build upon our immense advantages, first and foremost our heritage, which always sought knowledge. We will ensure that our state will be vibrant, progressive, developed, inquisitive, operating in fields that no one has ever before considered, all while we help many people around the world, and we will remain on the cutting edge. Shimon, you have seen the way to get there.”
Peres has always been a dreamer, an optimist. From building the Israeli air force to developing the nuclear reactor, from the Oslo Accords to peace with Jordan and Egypt, he has been at the forefront of Israeli innovation, always in the pursuit of peace. The Israeli Innovation Center is yet another milestone along Peres' lifelong journey. With the goal of opening similar Innovation Centers in countries across the MENA region, Peres is dreaming big, but as he often says, "Our only mistake was not dreaming big enough".
A nation with more startups per capita, where "impossible" is not in the vocabulary, and where organizations like the Peres Center for Peace are ever searching for new avenues to promote peace, Israel has much to share with its neighbors in the region. And this Innovation Center will be the first step on the long path to building a startup region, an innovation region, a region of peace.
The Innovation Center itself will be made up of four floors that tell the story of Israel and its transformation into the Innovation Nation:
This full sensory journey begins at the entrance, where visitors will experience a large, kinetic art exhibit of interactive screens, and will be exposed to Israeli innovations that changed the face of the world. A unique digital library, the only one of its kind in the world, will provide visitors with the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers about Israeli innovations.
The story of Israel as a startup nation will be shared with visitors through exhibits based on cutting edge technology and information sharing, touch tables and an interactive game, illuminating historically significant events such as the Israeli Military Industry, the development of new agricultural methods, launching the first satellite into space, and more.
Visitors will learn about Israeli innovations that are used around world in fields such as medicine, water, food, agriculture, communication, and more, with a focus on inventions such as cherry tomatoes, Rewalk, Waze, ICQ, drip irrigation, USB flash drives, coronary stents, and more. Visitors will learn about Israeli inventors, the processes that led to their ideas becoming life-changing inventions, all with the goal of developing and enriching the next generation of inventors.
As Israel has been and continues to be a leader in innovation, the Innovation Center will devote a section to contemporary innovation and future technology, showcasing leading Israeli companies. This exhibition will allow every child or tourist to try thinking outside the box and finding creative solutions to the challenges of the future and the problems that lay in store around the world.
Finally, there will be a space for entrepreneurs and developers to meet, take courses, engage in hackathons, and become introduced to leading Israeli innovations that will serve as a tool for training the next generation of Israeli startup leaders. This will be offered in a variety of languages for individuals around the world through a digital platform. With educational components providing every child – Christian, Jewish, and Muslim alike – with the opportunity to learn about technology, persistence, and determination, the Center will fan the spark of creativity and bring each child into the global revolution of innovation, science, and technology. It will offer accelerators, tech hubs and workshops, courses on entrepreneurship, leadership, and the fundamentals for being a part of the tech world, and will teach young people how to reach for their dreams and never give up.
By using technology to build peace and shared-living, for the first time, there will be a safe space for thousands of Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians to innovate—together.
This Center is a deep source of pride for Peres, as he views the sharing of science with Israel's neighbors, the promotion of peace through innovation, as the most imperative initiative today.
At the age of 93, Peres is still looking to the future, and is just now launching the startup of a lifetime, an initiative that will reshape the way peacebuilding is viewed and conducted in the Middle East, a new phase on his lifelong quest for peace – peacebuilding through innovation.
- Written by Rambam Health Care Campus
Good News for Northern Israel: New Oncology Center Opens
The opening of this modern and spacious center marks another milestone in Rambam’s ambitious West Campus development plan, bringing state-of-the-art and secure healthcare in environmentally sustainable facilities to benefit the citizens of Northern Israel.
When Haifa businessman Joseph Fishman (z”l) was treated for cancer at Rambam, he was both impressed by the caliber and dedication of the medical team, and dismayed by the conditions of the over-crowded and aging facilities. Mr. Fishman’s legacy, supported by his family and carried out by Rambam’s leadership, was to establish a new and modern center to benefit the hospital’s cancer patients and the medical staff responsible for their care.
On June 30th, the new Joseph Fishman Oncology Center at Rambam Health Care Campus officially opened its doors, ready to provide excellent, secure and dignified care for thousands of cancer patients from throughout Northern Israel. The Department of Outpatient Chemotherapy and the chemo-pharmacy were the first to move in. Other departments and units will move into the new facility over the coming months. Professor Rafi Beyar, Director of Rambam Health Care Campus, addressed Israel’s Minister of Health, Rabbi Yaakov Leizman, and the audience at the inauguration ceremony, emphasizing that, “cancer continues to be the most devastating illness we are contending with.” The nine-floor, 10,000 square meter structure will eventually house inpatient departments, ambulatory and treatment clinics, cutting-edge radiation treatment technologies, and a complementary medicine clinic. The facilities are designed to maximize comfort and privacy, and enable patients to be accompanied by a family member or friend at all stages of treatment. According to Professor Ron Apelboim, Director of the Division of Oncology, “this is the beginning of a new era for thousands of patients.”
As part of Rambam’s commitment to a healthy environment, the new center was built according to Israel’s most stringent “green building” standards. Already at the planning stage, factors such as the use of environmentally sustainable and energy saving materials were designed into the project. Four linear accelerators will be permanently installed in the Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital—assuring access to radiation therapy under the most challenging of circumstances.
After an investment of some $30 Million to build and open the Fishman Oncology Center, Rambam is still seeking funds for additional equipment acquisition, staffing, and related expenses.
Photo description: Outside view of the Joseph Fishman Oncology Center at Rambam.
Photo credit: Micky Koren.
- Written by Technion
NYC TECH LEADERS HONOR FIRST-EVER GRADUATES OF JACOBS TECHNION-CORNELL INSTITUTE
Israel’s Technion Becomes First Accredited International University to Grant Degrees in the U.S.
NYC Executive Director Julie Samuels, Israeli Consul General Ido Aharoni and others gathered last night to celebrate the inaugural graduating class of the Joan & Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute. The pre-graduation event at WeWork Bryant Park honored the globally diverse graduates receiving the MS in Information Systems with a concentration in Connective Media, a one-of-a-kind master’s program combining disciplines of technology, media, sociology and business.
The May 29 graduation ceremony at the Cornell University Ithaca, NY campus will include the Jacobs Institute — a partnership of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Cornell University — and will mark the first time an international university has ever granted an accredited degree for studies on U.S. soil. Graduates will receive two degrees, one from the Technion and one from Cornell. The Institute’s 12 Connective Media graduates, from six different countries, are now launching innovative startups and securing jobs at industry-leading companies across the world.
“These graduating entrepreneurs are armed with the knowledge and experience in areas that are vital to the City’s economic health, and the betterment of society as a whole,” said Professor Adam Shwartz, director of the Jacobs Institute. “We look forward with anticipation to the great things they will accomplish and their impact on the economy, as well as the startups they will launch in New York City and beyond.”
“Congratulations to all of the graduating Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute students,” said Technion President Peretz Lavie. “This remarkable group, and all it will accomplish, is a clear example of what can happen when innovation, excellence and a commitment to the improving the lives of people around the world come together.”
The Jacobs Institute was established in 2013 with a $133 million gift from Dr. Irwin Mark Jacobs, founding chairman and CEO emeritus of Qualcomm, and his wife, Joan Klein Jacobs. It has quickly become a catalyst for global entrepreneurship and a driver of New York’s emerging tech ecosystem and local economy. The Jacobs Institute combines professors, research and resources from the Technion, a leading global research university, that was a vital factor in Israel’s emergence as the “Startup Nation,” and Cornell, a longtime leader in engineering and computer science, with a strong presence in New York City. The Jacobs Institute’s dual-degree program — accredited through Technion in Israel and Cornell in the U.S. — provides graduates with an international advantage and greater recognition in an increasingly global workforce.
The Connective Media graduate program was created by Jacobs Institute Professor Mor Naaman, whose Social Technologies Lab studies social technologies such as YouTube, Facebook and others, and creates new technologies to help people connect. Built as a strong technical degree, the Connective Media program is unique in expanding beyond tech and combines a wide array of human, business and social disciplines. The program challenges students to engage directly with industry leaders on new projects that can impact the world in significant ways, including creating startup concepts and companies. Connective Media students have worked directly with professionals at AOL, Microsoft, LinkedIn and more than a dozen other companies.
“These graduates have strong technical skills, but also skills and knowledge from the social sciences, business and design. Such set of skills is required to innovate and excel in the Connective Media landscape,” said Mor Naaman, Jacobs Institute professor and founder of the Connective Media program. “Their tech expertise, aimed towards the human and social aspects of media technologies, will be an asset to both established companies and startups, especially within communications and media spaces. These graduates are the next generation of this city’s CTOs, product chiefs, and tech leaders.”
The Jacobs Institute’s 12 inaugural graduates represent the global face of today’s tech industry and hail from the U.S., Canada, China, New Zealand, India, Indonesia, and Spain. Several graduates are already planning to begin careers at Facebook, Google, WeWork, Verizon and Bloomberg. Some will launch startup companies aimed at helping quadriplegics, transforming interactive education and changing other fields, and some will continue research partnerships with the Clinton Foundation and other major institutions.
“At the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute you have the opportunity to shape your education and to shape the courses,” said Shawn Bramson, one the inaugural Jacobs Institute graduates. “There’s an amazing entrepreneurial spirit here, reminiscent of the one I was immersed in while I was at the Technion, and an empowerment to apply what we’ve learned to make real social impact in the world.”
Photo Caption: Graduates with Professor Adam Shwartz, director of the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute (right) and Professor Mor Naaman, founder of the Connective Media program (left).
Photo : American Technion Society
- Written by RHCC Spokesperson
Medicine, the international language
Medical leaders from around the globe convened at RAMBAM Health Care Campus for its 13th Annual International Trauma Course
Twenty-six leading healthcare professionals representing 20 countries around the world recently came to Haifa to participate in RAMBAM Health Care Campus' ' prestigious Trauma Medicine Course. The purpose of the course is to share RAMBAM’s expertise in treating military and civilian trauma victims, and give participants the tools to develop systems capable of dealing with multiple-casualty events in their home countries.
Now in its 13th year, the course is offered in cooperation with MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation.
Participants in this year’s trauma course included high-level medical personnel from the Far East, Latin America, the US, and Europe. Among them were the Director of the Office for Emergency Medical Systems in Thailand, a senior medical officer from the UN serving in the Golan Heights, the president of the Vietnamese Nurses and Operating Room Nurses Associations, the Acting Director of the National Emergency Medical Services Center in Nepal, a head nurse from a military hospital in the Philippines, and the Director of the Resuscitation Team at the only pediatric hospital in Kenya, among others.
One of the many activities offered by RAMBAM’s Center for Trauma and Emergency Medicine Studies, the two-week international trauma course includes lectures, workshops, training activities, simulations, and tours of RAMBAM and other sites around the country.
According to Gila Hymes, Director of the Teaching Center for Trauma, Emergency, and Mass Casualty Situations, “We have taken our vast experience treating victims of war, terror and accidents, and are sharing it to benefit medical systems around the world. Medicine is an international language that we are using here at RAMBAM to help save lives around the world.”
Course participants and organizers at the RAMBAM Health Care Campus.
Photo: Pioter Fliter, RHCC
Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology Officially Launch Global Cancer Research Initiative
Melanoma, Mesothelioma Are the Focus of First Joint Studies
Drug-carrying “nanoghosts” that battle melanoma and new treatments for malignant mesothelioma will be the focus of the first joint research projects led by NYU Langone Medical Center and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology under a groundbreaking research initiative supported by noted philanthropists and NYU Langone Trustees Laura and Isaac Perlmutter.
NYU Langone and its Perlmutter Cancer Center – which the Perlmutters named in 2014 with a separate gift of more than $50 million – and the Technion established the new partnership last year to advance global collaboration in cancer research and therapeutics. The joint program is positioned to attract additional, world-class support from institutions and individuals dedicated to eradicating cancer through focused and efficient research.
The first $3 million of the Perlmutters’ $9 million donation to the two institutions is earmarked to finance six joint research projects. Co-investigators on each project will receive a two-year, $500,000 grant—$250,000 for each site. The remaining $6 million is designated to establish a state-of-the-art research facility on the Technion campus in Israel to support these and other research projects, primarily in the emerging field of cancer metabolomics, the systematic study of the unique chemical fingerprints that cellular processes leave behind. These processes are both affected by, and can influence, a variety of human diseases, including cancer.
Examining a Novel Approach to Treat Metastatic Melanoma
In the first joint collaboration, NYU Langone and Technion researchers will test the ability of a nanotechnology based on stem cell “nanoghosts” to deliver to the brain a promising treatment for metastatic melanoma, skin cancer that has spread or metastasized, and is often incurable.
In earlier studies, researchers at the Technion took a stem cell, removed its contents, and then shaped a piece of the cell’s outer membrane into a vehicle to deliver treatments into the brain. The idea was to borrow the stem cell’s outer membrane ability to home in on cancer cells. As a fragment of the former stem cell’s membrane, the nanoghost encompasses particular mechanisms that slow it enough to traverse the barrier that filters blood flowing into the brain, and which keeps most drugs from entering.
The nanoghost’s cargo is a microRNA (miR), a stretch of genetic material that fine-tunes genetic messages by blocking the conversion of genes into proteins. First applied by NYU researchers to metastatic melanoma, miR-124a, in particular, blocks the expression of cancer-promoting genes. The joint team’s experiments will seek to determine the feasibility of encapsulating miR-124a in the nanoghost, and study how the vehicle reaches its target in mouse models of the disease.
“Our studies should provide important information on nanoghosts’ general value as drug and gene carriers to the brain, and create potential for new treatment approaches against brain tumors and metastases,” said Professor Marcelle Machluf, PhD, head of the Laboratory for Cancer Drug Delivery & Cell Based Technologies at the Technion, and inventor of the nanoghost with her colleagues there. “The difficulty of delivering agents to the brain represents a major impediment to improving outcomes in patients suffering from brain tumors. Our state-of-the-art nanovehicle promises safer, simpler and more clinically relevant treatments than existing vehicles, which are comprised of polymers or synthetic vesicles which largely lack the ability to enter the brain and to target evolving and changing pathologies.”
“It is much harder to secure funding for this type of high risk, high reward research,” said Eva Hernando-Monge, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Pathology at NYU Langone, a member of the Perlmutter Cancer Center, and leader of the NYU team that first identified miR-124 as a suppressor of the growth of brain metastases. “The Perlmutters’ generous gift gives us the ability to be bold.”
Like the stem cells they are based on, nanoghosts are invisible to the immune system, which means they could potentially be made from donated stem cells, expanded to large numbers in the lab, and not just from the patient’s own supply. In the future, this could enable the stockpiling of nanoghost treatments used off the shelf without fear of immune reactions to treatments based on “foreign” cells.
New Approach to Mesothelioma
The second joint project will investigate whether an enzyme called heparanase can be used to diagnose and treat mesothelioma, a rare cancer that develops in the mesothelium, the protective lining of the lungs and other internal organs of the body. Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), the most common form of the disease, often occurs after exposure to asbestos and is resistant to most therapies.
Heparanase was first identified as a treatment target in 2004 by a team led by Israel Vlodavsky, PhD, one of the project’s co-investigators and professor at the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine. Past studies found that patients with high levels of this enzyme in their tumors have lower survival rates after surgery, and that related tumors in mice respond to treatment with heparanase-inhibiting compounds.
The enzyme breaks up molecular chains of heparan sulfate, a building block of the scaffolds that give organs shape and support. Cancer cells use the enzyme to break down tissue barriers around a growing tumor, providing new pathways for the cancer to spread and for the building of blood vessels that supply tumors. In addition, breaking up extracellular matrices releases pro-growth proteins stored there to further drive disease. Furthermore, the joint team has developed the novel theory that heparanase secreted by tumor cells primes local microenvironments in a “vicious” cycle where inflammation and tumor growth drive each other.
The co-investigators at NYU Langone -- led by Harvey I. Pass, MD, the Stephen E. Banner Professor of Thoracic Surgery and vice chair for research, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, at NYU Langone, also a member of its Perlmutter Cancer Center -- will use tissue samples from its Thoracic Oncology Archives to validate Dr. Vlodavsky’s findings in hopes of eventually evaluating the treatment potential of heparanase-inhibiting compounds in mesothelioma clinical trials. Dr. Pass has been collecting tissue samples from his surgical patients since 1989, when he was head of thoracic oncology at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The collection now houses frozen specimens from more than 350 mesothelioma patients.
“This project, supported through the generosity of the Perlmutters, enables us to collaborate with one of the world’s leading experts on the role of heparanase in cancer, and is crucial in developing new strategies,” Dr. Pass says. "We hope that these experiments can be translated into applications for ongoing funding from the NCI, and enable Phase I trials with new therapeutics that influence heparanase pathways.”
“Our collaboration represents the first attempt to focus on heparanase as a major risk factor in mesothelioma and a valid target for the development of heparanase-inhibiting drugs,” Dr. Vlodavsky says. “In fact, applying a potent inhibitor of the heparanase enzyme we have already demonstrated a most prominent inhibition of tumor progression in mouse models of human mesothelioma, resulting in a pronounced extension of mouse survival. This joint effort provides an opportunity to make important strides in both our fundamental understanding of mesothelioma and in translating this knowledge into therapeutics.”
About The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is a major source of the innovation and brainpower that drives the Israeli economy, and a key to Israel’s renowned as the world’s “Start-Up Nation.” Its three Nobel Prize winners exemplify academic excellence. Technion people, ideas and inventions make immeasurable contributions to the world including life-saving medicine, sustainable energy, computer science, water conservation and nanotechnology. The Joan and Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute is a vital component of Cornell Tech, and a model for graduate applied science education that is expected to transform New York City’s economy.
About NYU Langone Medical Center
NYU Langone Medical Center, a world-class, patient-centered, integrated academic medical center, is one of the nation’s premier centers for excellence in clinical care, biomedical research, and medical education. Located in the heart of Manhattan, NYU Langone is composed of four hospitals—Tisch Hospital, its flagship acute care facility; Rusk Rehabilitation; the Hospital for Joint Diseases, the Medical Center’s dedicated inpatient orthopaedic hospital; and Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital, a comprehensive pediatric hospital supporting a full array of children’s health services across the Medical Center—plus the NYU School of Medicine, which since 1841 has trained thousands of physicians and scientists who have helped to shape the course of medical history. The Medical Center’s tri-fold mission to serve, teach, and discover is achieved 365 days a year through the seamless integration of a culture devoted to excellence in patient care, education, and research. For more information, go to www.NYULMC.org, and interact with us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.