Government offers NIS 50 million to coronavirus-fighting startups
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Government offers NIS 50 million to coronavirus-fighting startups

Program headed by Israel Innovation Authority to provide grants to firms with potential technological solutions for combating pandemic

Luke Tress is a video journalist and tech reporter for the Times of Israel

An Israeli firefighter wearing protective clothes disinfects a bus station in the ultra-Orthodox town of Kiryat Ye'arim (Telz-Stone) after seventeen of the city's residents were found to have coronavirus, March 18, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
An Israeli firefighter wearing protective clothes disinfects a bus station in the ultra-Orthodox town of Kiryat Ye'arim (Telz-Stone) after seventeen of the city's residents were found to have coronavirus, March 18, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Several government offices are jointly providing NIS 50 million ($13 million) in grants to Israeli tech companies developing tools to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Their proposal calls for firms to submit plans to develop, test and implement systems, products or solutions for coping with the virus.

The Israel Innovation Authority, Health Ministry, and the Headquarters for the National Digital Israel Initiative, which is part of the Ministry of Social Equality, announced the funding on Tuesday.

The grants will go to firms with both research and development plans, and  demonstrated technological solutions, for the virus.

The grants “are immediately available for the high-tech industry: every company with a solution, whether it is in the proof of concept stage or a complete product that can be immediately installed at our health services,” said Minister of Economy and Industry Eli Cohen.

The proposal calls for solutions for diagnosing the illness, reducing its spread, expanding remote health care, developing antiviral products, aiding patients in quarantine, digitally monitoring the virus and assisting respiratory intensive care units, among other suggestions.

The grants will support up to 75% of research and development costs for a promising program with a three-to-12-month development plan.

The Innovation Authority, Economy Ministry and Manufacturers’ Association also called on manufacturing plants to submit plans for accelerating the production of equipment for fighting the virus.

The Israel Innovation Authority set the deadline for proposals for March 26.

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