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April 12, 2020 9:19 am

Israel Awards NIS 22 Million in Grants to Corona-Fighting Startups

avatar by Meir Orbach / CTech

Israeli police stand guard at the entrance to the town of Bnei Brak, as they enforce a lockdown of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish town badly affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), April 3, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Ilan Rosenberg.

CTech – The Israel Innovation Authority (IIA), the government’s tech investment arm, last week approved NIS 22 million (approximately $6 million) in grants for 35 coronavirus (Covid-19) fighting startups and companies. The IIA, Israel’s Ministry of Health, and the Ministry for Social Equality announced on March 17 the allocation of NIS 50 million (approximately $13 million) in grants to be allocated to companies submitting research and development plans, proofs-of-concept, products, and technological solutions that address the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Ami Appelbaum, chairman of the board of the IAA and chief scientist at the Ministry of Economics and Industry, his team received more than 750 applications. “The committee chose to support a wide range of projects dealing with the challenges of coronavirus because the fight against the pandemic needs to be waged on multiple fronts,” Appelbaum told Calcalist.

Among the companies to have received the grants were: NEAT Applied Technologies, which produces sensors and remote monitoring solutions that can help with the managing of flow, pressure, and volume of patients; Ezmems, which develops smart plastic sensors for ventilators; and NanoScent, which offers a scent recognition service that can help detect people with coronavirus symptoms.

Additional grants are expected to be handed out during the coming week. The second deadline for the call for proposals (CFP) for projects dealing with the challenges posed by the coronavirus was last Tuesday (April 7) and applicants were told responses are expected within 10 days of the deadline. “The goal of these CFPs is to accelerate the process of going from proposal to implementation of technologies that can treat and combat coronavirus,” said Appelbaum. “A strong emphasis has been put on the proposals that can combat the crisis immediately with a quick time to market, or promising partnerships that will ensure the functional continuity of the Israeli economy.”

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