Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Merck, and Teva, as well as the Israel Biotech Fund and Amazon Web Services (AWS), are teaming up to build an Innovation Lab and join the other existing labs as part of the Israel Innovation Authority's Innovation Lab Program, per an announcement by the officials.
Digital health and computational biology's importance
The Lab is scheduled to start operations in 2021. Once it is opened, it will be assisting new start-ups in producing innovative AI-based computational technologies for discovering personalized solutions and treatments. The startups will have the support of the lab partners and have access to the scientific know-how and leading experts.
Asher Bitton, Director-General of the National Digital Ministry, stated, "Digital health and computational biology are transforming both healthcare and the economy. We have only just recently become fully aware of the significance of these fields in the global race to develop the COVID-19 vaccines."
"I am thrilled with the establishment of the Innovation Lab, in collaboration with leading global pharma corporations. It will enable startups and researchers to cooperate with health organizations, advance groundbreaking studies, build unique data and knowledge bases, and develop innovative solutions to assist the healthcare system."
The group will build the Lab at the Rehovot Science Park and has been awarded a government budget of NIS 32 million (10 million dollars). Made up of contributions from partner companies and the Israeli fund, the budget is intended for the next five years.
Aharon Aharon, CEO of the Innovation Authority, stated, "This lab is part of the ‘Bio-convergence Strategy’ promoted by the Innovation Authority over the last year, aimed at establishing a successful, innovative ecosystem in the healthcare sector, which will serve as a proper basis for establishing innovative companies based on groundbreaking academic research performed in these areas in Israel. The expertise and vast experience of the lab partners will enable these companies to establish a significant, trailblazing industry in Israel."