The Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) announced on Friday that it will work jointly with the National Israel Digital Initiative at the Social Equality Ministry to establish a new innovation lab for digital health, issuing a call for proposals from startups and companies.
The lab will focus on pharmaceutical tech and artificial intelligence, the IIA said, with NIS 32 million ($9 million) in funding over the course of five years. The government’s tech funding arm invited companies to “join a competitive process” to form the lab.
The lab is part of the IIA’s BioConvergence program, which aims to create a leading health tech industry in Israel and around the world through the support and advancement of innovative solutions based on cutting-edge academic and industry research in biology and engineering.
“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. These areas are part of the strategic plan for Bioconvergence that the Israel Innovation Authority is leading,” said Aharon Aharon, CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority.
“Israeli startups and researchers are today a major innovation hub in digital healthcare and a productive center for developing global solutions. 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,” said Shai Spigelman, head of Digital Israel.
The innovation lab will receive financial support for the establishment of the tech infrastructure, which will include a computational lab and a wet lab with comprehensive equipment for biotechnology research and development, according to Spigelman. The financial support, to promote projects that will operate within it, will be at a rate of 33 percent (50 percent the lab will be established in the periphery of Israel) of NIS 6 million ($1.7 million), as well as financial support at a rate of 50 percent of the lab’s ongoing operating expenses of up to NIS 1 million ($278,535) per year for five years.
The Israel Innovation Authority will provide financial support for the lab’s startups projects, at 85 percent and a budget of up to NIS 3 million ($835,605,) up to 24 months for each project.