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April 19, 2020 9:34 am

Amid Covid-19 Crisis, Israel to Establish Digital Health Tech Innovation Lab

avatar by CTech Staff

A paramedic adjusts his protective suit as he prepares outside a special polling station set up by Israel’s election committee so Israelis under home-quarantine, such as those who have recently travelled back to Israel from coronavirus hot spots can vote in Israel’s national election, in Ashkelon, Israel March 2, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Amir Cohen.

CTech – The Israel Innovation Authority is spearheading the formation of a new tech innovation lab to promote investments in the field of digital health with an emphasis on pharmatech and artificial intelligence. The government’s tech investment arm issued a call for proposals on Sunday, inviting companies to submit a proposal and join a competitive process to establish and operate the lab that aims to help Israel in the diagnosis and treatment of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and is funded to the tune of NIS 32 million (approximately $9 million).

“The current health challenges that have only intensified as a result of the recent crisis are a clear indication of a growing global need to find fast-paced, innovative solutions that integrate medical information processing, ICT technologies, and biology — areas where Israel has proven potencies,” Aharon Aharon, CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority said in the announcement. “The lab is a great opportunity to leverage these strengths, to set up companies that will develop innovative therapies and drugs, and to establish an Israeli industry that will address Israel’s and global health needs.”

This lab is part of the Israel Innovation Authority’s BioConvergence program, which aims to maintain Israel as a global leader in the health-tech industry through the support and advancement of solutions that combine the worlds of biology and engineering.

The total government support for the program will be NIS 32 million over a period of five years.

“Israeli start-ups and research centers make up an active innovation hub in the field of digital healthcare,” Shai-Lee Spigelman, head of Digital Israel, another of the project’s backers, said in the announcement. “We are happy to partner in promoting the establishment of this lab that can harness and leverage the knowledge and leadership of the Israeli industry to find innovative solutions and ventures that will help save lives.”

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