NY State is Giving Out Hundreds of Robots as Companions for the Elderly

A new way to address the West’s ‘loneliness epidemic’

The state of New York will distribute robot companions to the homes of more than 800 older adults. The robots are not able to help with physical tasks, but function as more proactive versions of digital assistants like Siri or Alexa — engaging users in small talk, helping contact love ones, and keeping track of health goals like exercise and medication.

The scheme is being organized by the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA), and is intended to help address the growing problem of social isolation among the elderly. An estimated 14 million Americans over the age of 65 currently live alone, and this figure is projected to increase over the next decade as the boomer generation ages. Studies have suggested that long-term loneliness is as damaging to an individual’s health as smoking.

NYSOFA director Greg Olsen says the robots — named ElliQ and built by Israeli firm Intuition Robotics — could help tackle this growing health problem by encouraging independence among older adults living alone and providing companionship.

“Many features attracted us to ElliQ — that it is a proactive tool, remembers the interactions with the individual, focuses on health and wellness, stress reduction, sleep, hydration, etc,” Olsen told The Verge. “It focuses on what matters to individuals: memories, life validation, interactions with friends and families and promotes overall good health and well being.”

ElliQ consists of two parts attached to a single base. The first part is a lamp-like “face” with microphone and speakers, that lights up and swivels to face people it’s talking to. The second is a touchscreen tablet, used to display pictures, additional information, and conduct video calls. The unit has been deliberately design to appear more robotic than humanoid, in order to better focus attention on its conversational abilities.

Intuition Robotics’ claim is that ElliQ can project empathy and form bonds with users. The robot is supposed to remember key details about a user’s life, and shape its character to their own. It will crack more jokes if the user tends to laugh a lot, for example. Media reports suggest the robot can certainly endear itself to people (ElliQ has been in development for many years with Intuition Robotics conducting dozens of home trials to hone its functionality) but the real test will be widespread deployment.

Olsen says that NYSOFA case managers will identify individuals who might benefit from ElliQ based on a few criteria. “ElliQ is designed for people aged 75 and older, who have access to Wi-Fi, and are comfortable with tech equipment and who are isolated or lonely,” he tells The Verge. “Once individuals are identified as being in the target group, Intuition Robotics will work to provide installation and training.”

NYSOFA has bought some 800 ElliQ units from Intuition Robotics for an unknown price. The usual cost to hire the robot is a $250 upfront fee and then a $30 monthly service charge. NYSOFA says by buying the robots outright it will be able to relocate them more easily.

Deploying robots for elderly care is often controversial. Advocates say robots are a necessary tool, especially when humans aren’t available. Critics warn machines have the potential to dehumanize their users, and their deployment reflects the low value society places on older adults. Scientific studies suggest social robots do “appear to have the potential to improve the well-being of older adults,” but researchers say it’s hard to draw conclusions without wider trials. In New York state, a new experiment is just beginning.

Sheba Medical Center Signs Agreement With Australian Cancer Center

Israel’s Sheba Medical Center at Tel HaShomer and Australia’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Center announced on Monday that the two have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreement that will “foster new international research collaborations and opportunities for staff development.”

The MOU provides a framework for Peter MacCallum and Sheba Medical Center to jointly develop commercialization opportunities, an innovation hub in Melbourne modeled after Sheba’s ARC Innovation Center, research collaborations to grant the exchange of scientific materials for clinical trials, a six to 18-month clinical fellowship program, and a faculty researcher exchange.

Peter MacCallum Cancer Center is a cancer research, education, and treatment center and Australia’s only public health service solely dedicated to caring for people affected by cancer. Sheba Medical Center is the largest hospital and cancer center in Israel and the Middle East.

The MOU was formally signed by representatives of Peter Mac, Sheba Medical Center, and the Australian Friends of Sheba Medical Center.

Peter Mac Chief Executive Prof. Shelley Dolan welcomed the MOU as an “important step” in building Peter Mac’s network of international partnerships and strategic agreements, according to the announcement.

“Engaging with leading hospitals and scientific institutes globally delivers new development opportunities for Peter Mac’s staff, grows our program of cutting-edge research, and supports our mission to provide world’s best cancer care to Australians,” said Prof Shelley Dolan, Peter Chief Executive of Peter Mac Cancer Center. “We are delighted to be working with an organization of the stature of Sheba Medical Center and look forward to the new collaborations and opportunities this MOU makes possible.”

“We believe that the future of medicine is dependent on collaboration, so we are thrilled to work with Peter Mac in trying to find innovative ways to combat cancer,” said Prof. Arnon Afek, deputy director general of Sheba Medical Center. “We believe that this is a win-win for both medical facilities that will most certainly benefit people, not just in Israel and Australia, but also around the world.” 

“This significant cooperation agreement with the acclaimed Peter MacCallum Cancer Center is aligned with Australian Friends of Sheba’s vision of promoting global health through collaboration with prime institutions in Australia,” said Avri Alfasi, chairman of the board of Australian Friends of Sheba Medical Center.

Israel: A flourishing Tech Sector and Consumer Market

Spend a day walking around Tel Aviv and you are guaranteed to spot a pair of Tasmania’s Blundstone boots on a busy sidewalk, a surfer on their way down to Gordon Beach sporting a Billabong wetsuit, or a packet of Arnott’s Tim Tams in any local supermarket. Despite relatively modest export figures, Australian brands enjoy sustained recognition and affection in Israel. This bodes well for Australian companies with an interest in entering the burgeoning Israeli market.

Israel’s GDP grew by 8.1 per cent in 2021, powered by its robust tech sector, rapid innovation and commercialisation of R&D. This was reflected in the momentum sustained through 2021 with a record year of investments (Israeli technology companies raised USD 26.6 billion last year) and more than 30 companies reached unicorn status.

Despite a modest population of 9.5 million, the Israeli market punches above its weight in consumption and spending. GDP per capita is currently US$44,000 and on an upwards trajectory. Increased disposable income has been accompanied by demand for new and innovative products. With a value of US$34 billion per year and an annual growth rate of six per cent, Israel’s food and beverage market presents opportunities for Australian companies that can offer a differentiated product in packaged food, nuts, health, organic and sustainable products, and non-alcoholic beverages. There is also growing appetite for personal care products, including cosmetics, skin care, and nutritional supplements – and Australian companies are making gains.

In addition to Blundstone, Arnott’s and Billabong, Australian companies servicing the Israeli market include Redback, Ryderwear, Everdure, KAS Australia and Uppercut Deluxe. Beyond consumer goods, medtech company Cochlear provides hearing devices, Northwood Exploration is developing the largest oil shale project in Israel, ANCA supplies tool and cutter grinders and investment firm Square Peg Capital provides funding to startups.

There is a clear appetite from both Israel and the broader region to attract more trade and investment from Australia. New trade relationships between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco will enable better connectivity within the region and for Australian exporters.

Israel has strong links to the United States, Europe, and Africa, so Australian companies must offer a unique product that can compete on price. We should play to our advantages: the Israeli market recognises Australia as being a producer of high-quality products and services which adhere to the strictest standards.

The Austrade team in Israel, based at the Australian Trade and Defence Office in West Jerusalem, is available to assist businesses navigate regulations, import procedures, kosher certification and freight costs. And business groups – such as the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce, the Israel-Australia Chamber of Commerce, and the Trans-Tasman Business Circle – regularly arrange delegations to Israel. With a bit of “chutzpah”, our Tim Tams will be in good Australian company in the Israeli market.


The Israel Lounge at RSA


RSA Conference is where the cybersecurity world comes together. For four days, you’ll gain insights, join conversations and experience solutions that could make a huge impact on your organization and your career. With so much change happening in our industry, we’re here to help you stay ahead of it all. We’re excited to be back in San Francisco, but a Digital Pass is also available for those who cannot attend live.

Featuring 40 Israeli Cyber Companies

Company NameCompany DescriptionMain Sub-sectoral AffiliationMain Target industries
AirEyeAirEye Dome protects against airborne attacks launched against the organizational network. The platform monitors wireless communications in real time, automatically detecting and blocking any corporate security violations.Network SecurityHealthcare Providers, Retail, Financial Sector, Manufacturing
Astrix SecurityAstrix Security is focused on protecting the modern enterprise’s growing third-party app interconnectivity. By leveraging its specialized “attacker point of view,” the company has designed a novel zero-trust solution for addressing a leading cybersecurity threat to businesses’ critical systems.GRC and Vulnerability ManagementHealthcare Providers, Retail, E-commerce, Financial Sector
AuthomizeAuthomize continuously monitors your identities, access privileges, assets, and activities to secure all apps and cloud services. We enable organizations to mitigate IAM risk with unprecedented visibility and granular control across all apps and cloud services (IaaS, Saas, Data).Cloud and Infrastructure SecurityAutomotive, Aerospace, Aviation and Defense, Healthcare Providers, Critical Infrastructure (Energy, Water, Oil&Gas), Retail, E-commerce, Financial Sector, Software
Bright SecurityBright Security combines machine-learning algorithms and an offensive approach to application security testing (AST). We aim to eliminate the need for complex integration and usage, and handling false positives in the AST market. We developed NexPloit, an AI-based IAST tool that mirrors human’s critical-thinking process when looking for vulnerabilities.Application and Website SecurityHealthcare Providers, Critical Infrastructure (Energy, Water, Oil&Gas), Retail, Financial Sector
Canonic SecurityCanonic is a SaaS application security platform that continuously profiles apps and user accounts, identifies suspicious behavior and automatically reduces the SaaS attack surface. Our patent-pending App captures any add-on and integration behavior, providing access intelligence as well as threat and vulnerability insights.SaaS App SecurityHealthcare Providers, Retail, E-commerce, Financial Sector
CentraleyesCentraleyes is a next generation GRC platform that gives organizations an unparalleled understanding of their cyber risk and compliance. This platform provides the ability to analyze and react to growing risks and gaps in companies’ cyber vulnerability.GRC and Vulnerability ManagementHealthcare Providers, Financial Sector, Insurance, Higher Education
CommugenCommugen’s Cyber GRC automation platform helps security teams focus on protecting their organizations by simplifying work processes and eliminating 80% of redundant manual tasks. Our agile no-code platform automates control workflow, prioritizes vulnerabilities and visualizes risk posture for clear communication with stakeholders.GRC and Vulnerability ManagementHealthcare Providers, Critical Infrastructure (Energy, Water, Oil&Gas), Financial Sector, Highly regulated markets
ContinuityContinuity brings the industry’s ONLY vulnerability management solution for storage & backup systems, helping protect your most valuable data, and ensuring data recoverability in case of a breach. This provides complete visibility of security risks across storage & backup systems.Cloud and Infrastructure SecurityHealthcare Providers, Critical Infrastructure (Energy, Water, Oil&Gas), Retail, Financial Sector
CyberintCyberInt provides detection and response services to digital businesses in multiple industries. We provide end-to-end protection through a platform that acts as a global cyber analyst team managing: security operations center, threat hunting, deep investigations, real-time incident response, and cyber readiness assessments.Threat IntelligenceHealthcare Providers, Critical Infrastructure (Energy, Water, Oil&Gas), Retail, E-commerce, Financial Sector
CyberpionCyberpion has developed a platform that protects organizations from vulnerabilities in their external attack surface and digital supply chain. Once vulnerabilities and risks are discovered this platform actively prevents digital supply chain attacks.Cloud and Infrastructure SecurityAutomotive, Critical Infrastructure (Energy, Water, Oil&Gas), Retail, Financial Sector
CybersixgillCybersixgill developed advanced security algorithms to automatically monitor the dark web. The undetectable proprietary crawlers gather information on potential hackers and cyber criminals, leading to actionable intelligence prior to cyberattacks and sensitive data leaks.Cyber security Threat IntelligenceAerospace, Aviation and Defense, Healthcare Providers, Retail, Financial Sector, all
CynetCynet enables security teams to reach comprehensive, effective protection and visibility across endpoints, users, networks, SaaS, and cloud applications, regardless of their resources. The end-to-end XDR platform automates visibility, prevention, detection, correlation, investigation, and response through a single, unified platform.End Point SecurityHealthcare Providers, Retail, Transportation (Railway), Financial Sector
Dig SecurityDig provides full discovery, data context, detection and response capabilities for data stores in the public cloud. This unprecedented visibility is gained across clouds, deployment types and services – giving you a single pane of glass view into your cloud data estate.Data Protection Encryption and PrivacyHealthcare Providers, Retail, E-commerce, Financial Sector
Flow SecurityFlow secures data in application environments by continuously detecting all data-related risks for an improved data security posture. Our simple to use, intuitive solution allows for mapping application assets, discovering data-centric risks, and guiding through the remediation workflows based on contextual informationCloud and Infrastructure SecurityHealthcare Providers, E-commerce, Financial Sector
GytpolGYTpol identifies problems with group policy objects (GPOs). This comprehensive monitoring and interactive visualization system finds discrepancies between GPO definitions and actual policies applied to target servers, computers, and users. Main features include: compliance status, detailed error reporting, security threats and performance optimizationSecurity Configuration ManagementAerospace, Aviation and Defense, Healthcare Providers, Retail, Financial Sector
InfinidomeInfini Dome provides front-end cyber solutions that protect wireless communications from jamming attacks. Our GPS protection solutions defend the GPS systems at the heart of drones and other unmanned systems, vehicle fleets, critical networks, and defense applications.Wireless SecurityGNSS Security, Commercial and Military GPS anti-jammer / anti-spoofer
InfinipointOur cloud-based endpoint visibility and control platform enables enterprises to easily manage their assets and align them with IT and security policies and is designed for complex, heterogeneous, and constantly changing networks. We cover conventional endpoints, cloud, IoT and more and enable IT and security teams to see, query, and control everything.End Point SecurityEnterprise & Professional Services
IntezerIntezer helps security teams close skill gaps and speeds up incident response by automating processes for alert triage, incident response, and threat hunting. With our platform analysts can quickly identify malware families and extract artifacts for detection and hunting.Security AutomationCritical Infrastructure (Energy, Water, Oil&Gas), Retail, Financial Sector, Government , Manufacturing
KAZUARKAZUAR cyber specialists redesigned IT architecture to enable secure remote access to your organization’s most critical data. We provide your organization with state level security and a commercially convenient user experience. Our purpose-built laptop creates hardware isolated workspaces and enables access to the open (blue) workspace and secure (black) workspace.End Point SecurityAutomotive, Aerospace, Aviation and Defense, Healthcare Providers, Critical Infrastructure (Energy, Water, Oil&Gas), Manufacturing (electric cars, scientific components, chemicals); Federal / government and semi-government entities
KELAKELA offers proprietary cyber-intelligence solutions for enterprises and government agencies worldwide. Our automated technologies monitor a curated set of darknet sources that alert clients to targeted threats. Threats are analyzed and qualified by KELA’s analysts to ensure that the intelligence is 100% actionable.Cybercrime threat intelligenceAutomotive, Aerospace, Aviation and Defense, Critical Infrastructure (Energy, Water, Oil&Gas), Financial Sector
KOVRRKovrr provides insurers and reinsurers with transparent, real-time, data-driven insights into their affirmative and non-affirmative single, accumulated, and catastrophic cyber risk exposures. Our platform helps financially quantify and manage cyber risk by utilizing AI-powered predictive risk models that evolve in real time to reflect cyber threats.Cyber Risk Quantification (CRQ)Healthcare Providers, Critical Infrastructure (Energy, Water, Oil&Gas), Retail, Financial Sector
L7 DefenseL7 Defense helps organizations protect their infrastructure, applications, customers, employees, and partners against the growing risk of API-borne attacks. Ammune™, L7 Defense’s platform technology, is the only software product protecting APIs within the organization. The novel unsupervised learning AI removes the need for third party involvement.Application and Website SecurityHealthcare Providers, Retail, E-commerce, Financial Sector
odixOdix develops and markets advanced anti-malware tools based on its patented content disarm and reconstruction technology (TrueCDR) for preventative cyber security in enterprises of all sizes. This technology prevents malware infiltration into organizational networks by removing all malicious code from a wide range of file types.Cloud business applications securityCritical Infrastructure (Energy, Water, Oil&Gas), Ports and Fleets, Retail, Financial Sector
Orchestra GroupOrchestra Group developed a single proactive cross-vendor cybersecurity automation platform. Our integration platform is centered on the NIST Cybersecurity Framework’s Identify and Protect functions. The first version of the platform is focused on policy control of all devices, both legitimate and ghost.IoTHealthcare Providers, Critical Infrastructure (Energy, Water, Oil&Gas), Retail, Financial Sector
PanoraysPanorays offers an automated, comprehensive and easy-to-use third-party security platform that covers everything from inherent to residual risk, remediation and ongoing monitoring. We combine automated, dynamic security questionnaires with external attack surface assessments and business context to provide organizations with an accurate view of supplier cyber risk.GRC and Vulnerability ManagementHealthcare Providers, Critical Infrastructure (Energy, Water, Oil&Gas), Financial Sector
PenteraThe Pentera platform uses an algorithm to scan and challenge the entire attack surface, providing real-time security validation at scale. Our platform safely performs the actions of a malicious adversary — reconnaissance, sniffing, spoofing, cracking, malware injection and more. The platform requires no agents or pre-installationsSecurity Operations and OrchestrationHealthcare Providers, Critical Infrastructure (Energy, Water, Oil&Gas), Retail, Financial Sector
Perception PointPerception Point is a Prevention-as-a-Service company that prevents phishing, BEC, spam, malware, Zero-days, ATO, and other advanced attacks well before they reach end-users. We are the fastest and most accurate next-generation detection and response to any content-borne attack across email, web, and cloud collaboration channels.Email, Web Browser & Cloud Storage/Collaboration Channel SecurityCritical Infrastructure (Energy, Water, Oil&Gas), Retail, E-commerce, Financial Sector, We sell in every industry, we are a SaaS product.
Red AccessThe Red Access platform provides comprehensive coverage against browser-based exploits and threats, without disruption to companies’ existing infrastructure, browser preferences, or user experience.Web and Browsing SecurityHealthcare Providers, Retail, E-commerce, Financial Sector
ReflectizReflectiz helps businesses utilize digital applications without compromising security. The platform identifies and mitigates risks using a single, comprehensive SaaS solution. Our platform scans and monitors any online asset, creating a unique inventory within minutes.Application and Website SecurityHealthcare Providers, Retail, E-commerce, Financial Sector
ReposifyReposify’s external attack surface management (EASM) platform pinpoints unknown, exposed internet-facing assets so CISOs can best secure their digital perimeter. Its intelligent internet mapping technology takes all environments of an organizations’ digital footprint into account for full-spectrum perimeter security, with no agents or deployment required.Network SecurityHealthcare Providers, Retail, E-commerce, Financial Sector
ResecReSec Technologies provides organizations protection from known and unknown (zero-day) file-based malware threats from email, removable devices, and file-transfer threat vectors. Our patented content disarm and reconstruction technology ensures safe delivery of threat-free files in real time, balancing security and usability.Gateway Security, Network Security, Email Security, Cloud SecurityHealthcare Providers, Critical Infrastructure (Energy, Water, Oil&Gas), Financial Sector, Telecommunications and Airlines
Sasa SoftwareSasa Software developed the GateScanner® modular solution that delivers extreme file sanitization to all content routes, providing government-grade security for enterprise email, managed file-shares, portable media importing and secure web download.Network SecurityAerospace, Aviation and Defense, Healthcare Providers, Critical Infrastructure (Energy, Water, Oil&Gas), Ports and Fleets, Financial Sector, Government
SemperisSemperis helps thwart ransomware attacks and strengthen hybrid Active Directory environments by offering the industry’s most comprehensive cybersecurity solutions for AD and Azure AD. Supported by a global incident response team, we prevent unwanted access to AD, capture AD changes that bypass security logs, automatically remediate malicious changes and more.Identity Threat Detection and ResponseCyber-First Active Directory Backup and Recovery, Hybrid AD protection, AD and Azure AD security, IoE/IoC discovery and monitoring, AD recovery, incident response
SepioSepio Systems provides rogue device mitigation solutions. The company is the developer of Sepio Prime, a SaaS solution for protecting organizations from hardware-based attacks and threats.Hardware Access ControlHealthcare Providers, Critical Infrastructure (Energy, Water, Oil&Gas), Financial Sector
SuridataSuridata.ai specializes in helping organizations gain visibility and obtain control over their sensitive data in unstructured repositories allowing organizations to protect, remove, or manage access to the data and comply with privacy regulations. Our learning AI requires no personnel training or advanced technical skills.Application and Website SecurityHealthcare Providers, E-commerce, Financial Sector, Technology
SygniaSygnia provides incident response and cyber security consulting services, helping organizations to contain and remediate attacks and proactively enhance their cyber resilience.Network Securitywe provide cyber security consulting services across all industries
TorqTorq is a no-code automation platform for security teams. Fortune 100 enterprises and cutting edge startups alike trust Torq to help them maximize their cybersecurity investments, respond to threats faster, and deliver protection at the speed of business.Security AutomationBanking, Financial Services, & Insurance, Critical Infrastructure, eCommerce/Retail, Enterprise, Government & Municipality, Healthcare, Integrators, Resellers, & Distributors, IT & Telecom, Manufacturing, Utilities
VicariusVicarius developed an autonomous vulnerability remediation platform helping teams protect their assets against software exploitation. The platform allows organizations to identify known and unknown vulnerabilities in real-time, automatically prioritize and remediate them using world-class patch management, patchless protection and configuration management.GRC and Vulnerability ManagementHealthcare Providers, Retail, E-commerce, Financial Sector
ZecOpsZecOps is a cybersecurity firm that automates threat analysis and digital forensics investigations, accelerating organization-wide disinfection. Our agentless platform learns from each attacker’s mistakes in order to fully disinfect the organization and eradicate that threat actor.Mobile SecurityAerospace, Aviation and Defense, Critical Infrastructure (Energy, Water, Oil&Gas), Financial Sector, Governments
Zero NetworksZero Networks is a patented platform that automatically takes every asset and restricts network access to exactly what is needed – applying protection for client, server, home, office, on-premises or in the cloud. Our platform deploys in minutes to automate segmentation for normal usage while applying MFA-based restrictions against privileged protocolsNetwork SecurityAgnostic

2023 OurCrowd Global Investor Summit

The OurCrowd Global Investor Summit will take place in Jerusalem on February 15, 2023, once again bringing the entire startup ecosystem together. The Summit, which provides unique access to private companies you can invest in, is one of the premier events in the startup world and the biggest investor event in the Middle East, with 23,259 people registering from 183 countries in 2020. As Forbes reported, Summit Week in Israel was “the place to be.” 

The Summit provides exclusive exposure to cutting-edge technologies, the entrepreneurs behind them, and the corporate leaders deploying them. Dramatic plenary sessions are filled with the unexpected, breakout sessions aren’t just panels, and OurCrowd University teaches the essentials for successful investing. None of the outstanding speakers is paid or pays for onstage appearance – passion and expertise are the only criteria. VentureBeat reported: “Excellent content… and the quality of the attendees is exemplary.” 

Top investors, venture capitalists, innovation executives, entrepreneurs and journalists come to the heart of Startup Nation to get business done. The Summit is expected to draw hundreds of major business figures from the Gulf, reflecting the historic growth of commercial ties between Israel and its neighbors and OurCrowd’s leadership in regional cooperation. A week of surrounding events includes corporate meetups, VC forums, insider access to accelerators and labs, and opportunities for great food, drink, and networking with the global crowd. As one venture investor said, “Best conference I’ve ever been at. I’m sold on Israel. I’ll definitely be back next year.”  


Israel’s YO-Egg Raises $5M in Oversubscribed Round, Will Launch at US Restaurants

Israel’s YO-Egg has secured $5 million in an oversubscribed seed funding round led by Stray Dog Capital and NFX. The latter is a tech investor which has never previously invested in a food company.

Other investors included Surround Ventures and Secret Chord Ventures. YO-Egg will use the funding to increase production in preparation for its launch at US restaurants, with the ultimate aim of producing 50,000 plant-based eggs per day.

The company’s vegan poached and sunny-side-up eggs will soon be showcased at the National Restaurant Association trade show in Chicago, which will take place from May 21-24. By the end of 2022, the eggs are set to debut at restaurants in Greater Los Angeles.

In Israel, the plant-based eggs are already on the menu at some outlets, including a conventional breakfast chain. YO-Egg is also now working on other products such as hardboiled and scrambled eggs.

Whole plant-based eggs

While there are numerous companies producing plant-based egg alternatives, most offer powdered or liquid products. YO-Egg is one of very few to create a substitute for whole eggs, and the company claims its poached and sunny-side-up products are a market first.

Recent research found that the market for vegan eggs would be worth $3.3 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of around 8.3%. This growth is being driven by concerns about high cholesterol levels in eggs, as well as food safety issues.

“Our vision is to create the world’s largest egg company, not egg alternative company, and not the largest plant-based egg company, but the largest egg company without using chickens,” YO-Egg CEO Eran Groner told TechCrunch. “If we want to do that, we have to move as quickly as possible. That was the main reason why we wanted to raise venture capital.”

Robot Hives in Israel Kibbutz Hope to Keep Bees Buzzing

More than 70 percent of crops, including almost all fruits, vegetables, oilseeds, spices, coffee and cocoa are dependent on pollinators such as bees


They function as normal hives, but apiaries built at a kibbutz in Israel’s Galilee are decked out with high-tech artificial intelligence systems set to ensure longevity for these vital pollinators.

“There are two million bees here,” said Shlomki Frankin as he walks into a 12-square-metre container in Kibbutz Beit Haemek in northern Israel.

The 41-year-old told AFP that the hives feature a multi-purpose robot that does everything from monitor the bees to adjust the habitat and provide them with care.

– Artificial intelligence –

“Thanks to artificial intelligence, our software knows what the bees need,” she explained in the workshop where the hives are assembled.

If a problem comes up, the beekeeper is alerted through an application, allowing for intervention remotely via computer, or in person if necessary.

By the end of May, the startup hopes to be producing its own honey for the first time — the “first honey in the world made with artificial intelligence”, she enthused.

They “save a lot of time”, he continued, because they allow him to “do a lot of simple things remotely”.

Beewise is eyeing a foothold in the European market in two years.

– World Bee Day – 

“Sometimes, a beekeeper takes several months to realise there is a problem,” he told AFP, adding that “with the robot, beekeepers can deal with the problem in real-time, reducing the bees’ mortality rates”.

Shafir points in particular to the “decline in fields of flowers due to construction, which has reduced the sources and diversity of food for bees”.

“In Israel, between 20 and 30 percent of hives disappear every year,” the entomologist said.

More than 70 percent of crops, including almost all fruits, vegetables, oilseeds, spices, coffee and cocoa are dependent on pollinators.

“Bees and other pollinators have thrived for millions of years, ensuring food security and nutrition, and maintaining biodiversity and vibrant ecosystems,” FAO has said.

R&R Smith embrace TIPA’s compostable packaging for their in-demand organic apples

“We know that our customers want sustainable alternatives to single use plastic and we are extremely proud to introduce the first fully home-compostable package for our pre-packaged fruit. TIPA has provided the best solution for our produce, and we are pleased that our packaging now returns back to organic matter, making our products fully circular.”

Andrew Smith
Managing Director of R&R Smith

R&R Smith has been growing apples in Tasmania’s beautiful Huon Valley for four generations. They’re Australia’s first and largest suppliers of organic apples, and view the health of soil, plants and people as a holistic, continuous system. They don’t like waste, so they avoid it by turning their apples that don’t make it onto the shelves into one of Australia’s most awarded ciders: Willie Smith’s Organic Cider.

It makes perfect sense that they’ve decided to stock their PINK LADY and ROYAL GALA apples in TIPA’s compostable bags. R&R Smith chose TIPA due to its high regulatory certifications, ensuring authenticity and food safe processing from the orchard to the consumer. Their decision is also in accordance with Australia’s recent announcement to phase out all single-use plastics by the year 2025, and to reduce the amount of plastic used.

The bags R&R Smith selected are TIPA’s home compostable wicketed bags made from durable, transparent, and printable TIPA 302. Great for their apples, and for the environment.


Hebrew University Collabarating with Australia

The Zelman Cowen Academic Initiatives has launched a call for applications for scientific projects (including medical science), with a preference for projects that involved Hebrew University of Jerusalem Israel-Australian collaboration.

From an unexpectedly large number of applications, eight projects have been selected for funding up to AUD$150,000 each per annum over 2 years beginning in the middle of this year.

The Vice-President for International Affairs of the Hebrew University, Professor Oron Shagrir, welcomed the initiative: “We were taken by surprise, not by the quality of the applications for we know the quality of research here in Jerusalem, but by the breadth and diversity of the projects. It is a strong re-start to the long history of HUJI-Australian collaboration in science”.

Michael Dunkel, a trustee of the Sir Zelman Cowen Universities Fund and a director of Education Heritage Foundation, has played a leading role in this support of research and scholarship since the beginning of the SZCUF in 1978.

He said: “Israel and Australia are as far apart as nations can be, but we share challenges in medicine and agriculture and, in these projects, the safeguarding of coral reefs and the sustainable harvesting from the oceans. Several of the projects are at the forefront of medical science, dealing with human health, which is a concern in every country. The ZCAI Directors welcome this strong return of long-distance but common-problem collaborations”.

Professor Jonathan Stone, also a Director of the ZCAI noted that “There were 69 applications in total, all for joint Australian-Israeli projects in science. This indicates a huge potential for scientific  cooperation, despite the distance between the two nations”.

“We thought we might get half a dozen strong applications,” said Professor Stone “We were a bit overwhelmed, but impressed, by the number and quality of what came in”.

“Perhaps” he noted “we should not have been surprised. Both Australia and Israel have coral coasts, and two projects were in marine biology in the face of climate change – understanding coral adaptation and the function of the ocean’s role in absorbing greenhouse gases. Both nations have strong agricultural sectors, and two projects were in the sustainable management of crop pests, the fruit fly and the white fly, which spoils cassava crops. And four were in the field of medicine – human health is an issue in every country”.

The medical projects were also diverse – the fundamentals of foetal development, the challenge of oropharyngeal cancer, new detectors for the next generation of X-ray-based diagnostic imagers, and new ways of understanding and tracking pandemics, to strengthen management.

Zelman Cowen Academic Initiatives has been operating for only 12 months, Mr Dunkel noted. “The success of this initiative – of joint science projects – has been a great start to our work”.

May 11, 2022 by J-Wire Newsdesk