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The Innovation Authority: Associations and Tracks: Biochips, Natural Language Processing and Bio-Convergence

The Innovation Authority has recently accelerated the issuance of the calling voices intended for academia and the high-tech industry. Here is what they published last month:

The Innovation Authority is organizing for the establishment of the IGBC2 association for the development of generic technologies for bio-chip applications

biological chip. From Pixabay
biological chip. From Pixabay

Researchers and companies working in the field will jointly develop generic technologies for diagnosis and treatment with the help of biochips, and will enable the accelerated and innovative development of a variety of applications that rely on flow control, optical, electrical, chemical and electrochemical sensing, the integration of biological systems and subsystems down to the molecular level and the interfaces that surround them in the world of information transmission, Cyber ​​and artificial intelligence

As part of the upcoming deadline (October 2020) for submitting proposals for new magnet associations, a group of researchers and companies from Israel and abroad is organizing, led by researchers from Bar-Ilan, Tel Aviv, Ben-Gurion and Technion universities, in preparation for submitting a proposal for the establishment of a "bio-chip" association that will deal with the development of capabilities Diagnostics of biological indicators with the help of chips that will be used in medical applications.

The association's vision: the development of generic technologies for diagnosis and treatment with the help of biochips, which will be accessible to the Israeli biomedical industry and will enable the accelerated and innovative development of a variety of applications based on flow control, optical, electrical, chemical and electrochemical sensing, the integration of biological systems and subsystems down to the molecular level and interfaces surrounding them in the world of information transfer, cyber and artificial intelligence.

As part of the association, a common model will be developed for the companies in the association, which will include the variety of technologies that will be developed. The association's activity will focus on groundbreaking developments and will rely as much as possible on existing infrastructure, for the purpose of demonstrating the capabilities that will be developed.

Key technologies:

  • Microfabrication of a micro/nanofluidic platform, including all generic components, i.e. micropumps, stirrers, fluid sampling and bioparticle manipulation.
  • Microfabrication of a generic electrochemical sensor.
  • Microfabrication of a generic low-frequency, RF, field-effect electric sensor based on nanoparticles.
  • Microfabrication of a generic sensor (i.e. illumination, biochemiluminescence, transmission, reflection, etc.) – micro platform and related technologies such as biomarkers and image recognition systems and algorithms.
  • Interface biological materials at the molecular level (i.e. proteins, DNA/RNA, metabolites, etc.) or at the tissue or organ levels.
  • Biochip-specific integrated circuits (BSIC) for signal interfaces, preprocessing, storage and communication.
  • Biochip data management – ​​managing all logistics functions at the biochip level, reducing the burden on the cloud, providing hardware and cyber security and DRM.
  • Efficient integration of the sampling, sensing, processing and communication units on a single chip.

Possible applications: Microfluidics, microbiological infection detection and monitoring systems, targeted drug delivery, biomarker detection and monitoring, wearable or implantable sensors and actuators.

Potential partners: companies from the medical industry, companies from the communications and cyber industry, companies that develop chips, Companies from the field of precision agriculture, companies from the pharmaceutical and food industry, research groups, end users, hospitals.

Association of Human Language Technology Companies in Hebrew and Arabic

The program's budget for the first 3 years: about NIS 7.5 million

The Innovation Authority, in collaboration with the National Digital Ministry, approved the establishment of an association of companies for human language technologies (NLP - Natural Language Processing), which will help promote the understanding of the Hebrew and Arabic languages ​​in computerized systems. Among the companies in the union: Raphael, Ginger Software, Melingo, AudioCodes and others.

Asher Biton, CEO of the National Digital Ministry: "The public sector deals with information in Hebrew and Arabic on a daily basis, most of which is not structured. One of the biggest challenges in the digitization of public services is to enable operational efficiency, available to the public at no cost, alongside high productivity"

Aviv Zaevi, VP of Technological Infrastructure at the Innovation Authority: "The union we established this week should allow the industry to lead the definitions of needs and help close technological gaps that will make it possible to make use of databases that are not structured in Hebrew and based on them to extract insights that will serve as leverage for products and services for Israeli companies"

The Association of Companies for Human Language Technologies (NLP), in which the Innovation Authority will invest approximately 7.5 million NIS in the next three years, was established in light of the low and insufficient quality of the recognition of the Hebrew and Arabic languages ​​in computerized systems of various types compared to the recognition of speech in other languages. The reason for the poor quality and the difficulty in development lies in the fact that Hebrew and Arabic are Semitic languages ​​that are challenging and more difficult to analyze, and thus the quality of understanding and recognition of human language in Hebrew and Arabic is lower and constitutes a barrier to the implementation and realization of advanced and quality services.

The purpose of the union will be to produce an R&D infrastructure that will allow an empirical basis not only for identifying the structural elements and models that make up the linguistic system, but also for mapping the way these systems are used. These are syntactic, semantic and morphological characteristics for R&D purposes in the field of natural language processing. In order to allow improvements as diverse and wide as possible, the corpora tagged in Hebrew and Arabic will be from diverse fields, including: news, archives, films, books, articles, customer service, transcribed radio and television broadcasts and more from various industry sectors.

In addition to this, the union will examine the possibility of adapting third-party tools (open source) and/or open source tools will be developed for testing and improving the quality of the understanding of the Hebrew and Arabic languages ​​by different computer systems. Through this infrastructure, it will be possible to improve and increase the quality of the various solutions for recognizing human language in Hebrew and Arabic languages. The infrastructure for checking the union will be built on a cloud and will enable secure sharing of the corpora and the running of a management system and algorithms for all partners in the union.

The group of users that will make use of the organization's products will consist of both union members, who come from different areas of Israeli industry, and they will make use of the infrastructure for the purpose of developing services, applications and software to improve customer service, management, knowledge, decision making and the implementation of advanced applications that require understanding of natural language in Hebrew and Arabic.

Among the companies and participants in the organization are companies that develop infrastructure solutions (research and development in the fields of language understanding and companies that develop algorithms that are used as building blocks for various applications in the field); And of course companies engaged in the development of services and products in the fields of language understanding. The potential consumers for products and services based on natural language recognition technologies come from a wide variety of sectors and services: high-tech, banking, insurance, communications, health, education, tourism, placement, government offices, security and intelligence systems, and more.

The participating companies in the union: Audiocodes, Raphael, Bank Hapoalim, Basis Technology, K-Dictionary, Infoneto, Ginger Software, Melingo, Intel as well as the websites YNET and Walla.

Unstructured content providers

  • Walla
  • Ynet
  • Corporation here
  • Galei Tzahal
  • Knesset Archives
  • dictation
  • National Center for Examinations and Assessment
  • Ministry of Health - Timna project
  • Maccabi Health Insurance Research Center
  • the land
  • Bank Hapoalim

Researchers from the academy:

  • French Reut Professor, Bar Ilan
  • Professor Alon Itai, Technion
  • Professor Shuli Vintner, University of Haifa
  • Efi Levy, Hebrew University
  • Shay Payne, between the areas of Herzliya

A call for international cooperation in my ventures Bio-Convergence

Nano robots cruise the bloodstream. Photo: shutterstock
Nano robots cruise the bloodstream. Photo: shutterstock

The Innovation Authority, through the Binational Fund of Israel and South Korea (KORIL-RDF), is launching a call for cooperation between Korean and Israeli companies in the field of Bio-Convergence. The Calling Voice will support the projects through support grants at a rate of up to 50% of the R&D expenses, and a budget of approximately 14 million NIS (4 million dollars) for the selected projects.

Dr. Ami Appleboom, Chairman of the Innovation Authority and Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Economy and Industry: "In the last decade, we have witnessed technological breakthroughs in many fields in Israel and the world, among which the fields of engineering, analytics, artificial intelligence and medicine stand out. In Israel, multidisciplinary ability is inherent in many companies, and this constitutes a potential to place the Israeli ecosystem at the forefront of the development of the medicine of the future. The field of bio-convergence has been designated as a strategic goal of the Authority for the next decade, and creating leadership in the field requires international collaborations such as South Korea, which has assets in the fields of research and technology to advance this goal."

The director of the international system at the Innovation Authority, Avi Lovton: "Leadership in breakthrough technologies in the field of bioconvergence requires a combination of Israeli and international technological excellence in the fields of engineering and biology. To this end, the International Division of the Innovation Authority operates in a variety of tools with partners in leading countries in the field, including South Korea, with whom the Authority operates a bi-national fund to finance groundbreaking projects, which will be used as a platform to support bio-convergence."

CEO of the Israel-Korea Binational Foundation (KORIL-RDF), Dr. Tae-hun Choi: "Israel is a leader in the field of life sciences - this can be seen in the number of Nobel Prizes it has won, leading research institutes in the field, such as the Weizmann Institute, and leading pharmaceutical companies such as Teva. Korea recently showed the capabilities of its health system in dealing with the corona virus, and was identified as one of the leading places for the development of advanced technologies in the field, in combination with leading hospitals and researchers in medicine.

The capabilities of the two countries in the fields of life sciences, ICT, electronics, engineering, medical equipment and more, can lead to cooperation and significant technological breakthroughs in the field of bioconvergence, and due to being a multidisciplinary field, it will contribute to the global health system. Therefore, the fund decided to provide increased support for cooperation programs in the field of bio-convergence".

The Calling Voice is looking for groundbreaking ventures in one of the following subfields of bio-convergence:

  • Nano robotics for drug delivery (Bio-Advanced Engineered Drug Delivery&Diagnostics Systems)
  • Advanced Therapeutics Discovery Systems
  • Tissue Engineering - 3D Bio-Printing & Cyborg Tissues
  • Bio-Electronics & Electroceuticals and Bio-Sensors & Hybrid Devices

The field of Bio-Convergence is one of the next significant growth engines of high-tech in Israel. The Innovation Authority, in collaboration with entities in Israel and abroad, is working to expand the canvas and create a competitive ecosystem that will support the promotion of this field in Israel, and will help Israel maintain technological progress and a competitive advantage in the international market in the years to come.

In recent years, a revolution has been taking place in the field of medicine and health in the world, and recent technological breakthroughs make it possible to create connections and combinations of fields that were not possible before. The field of bio-convergence is an interdisciplinary combination of medicine and biology with engineering and other advanced technologies (such as AI, computational physics, nanotechnology, materials science and advanced genetic engineering).

Multidisciplinary research that combines engineering with biology has existed for many years in academia in the world and in Israel. However, in recent years there has been an acceleration in the field which is reflected in the establishment of research institutions and new models in various centers around the world, one of the leaders in the field being South Korea.

As the main arm for cooperation between the countries, the Board of Directors of the Binational Foundation of Israel and South Korea decided last July to promote the field of bio-convergence as part of the foundation's R&D support programs, and this call constitutes the first swallow. The Korea Israel Industrial R&D Foundation ("KORIL-RDF") which was established in 2001, has been working for 19 years in promoting industrial cooperation between South Korean and Israeli companies and has so far approved over 170 joint projects in a total amount of approximately 50 million dollar.

Israeli and South Korean companies that wish to cooperate and jointly develop a breakthrough technology in one of the aforementioned bio-convergence subfields are invited to submit an application by both companies together, via email to the offices of the foundation and the membership system of the Innovation Authority by December 31 of this year.

The fund will approve up to two projects with the support of 50% of the R&D expenses in the amount of up to NIS 7 million per project. More details about the reading voice are available On the website of the Innovation Authority and on the website of the Binational Foundation of Israel and South Korea.

The Ministry of Energy and the Innovation Authority have invested approximately 12 million NIS in financing programs and projects in the field of energy

Establishing new renewable energy projects and operating them are cheaper today in the US than producing energy from existing facilities that are based on coal and nuclear energy. Photo: Antonio Garcia, Unsplash.
The establishment of new renewable energy projects and their operation are cheaper today in the US than producing energy from existing facilities that are based on coal and nuclear energy. Photo: Antonio Garcia, Unsplash.

The Ministry of Energy and the Innovation Authority, in cooperation with the Directorate of Smart Transportation in the Prime Minister's Office, are cooperating for the first time and these days are publishing two calls to action in the field of energy with a total investment of approximately NIS 12 million. As part of the first plans, the ministries will invest approximately NIS 10 million to promote projects and develop innovation in the energy sector, oil substitutes, water and natural resources. As part of the second program, the Ministry of Energy and the Authority are investing approximately NIS 2 million in financing first-of-its-kind research and development programs to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency in the manufacturing industry.

As part of the first call for investment in the promotion of projects and the development of innovation in the energy sector, commercial or semi-commercial pilot facilities will be established in the fields of energy, oil substitutes, water and natural resources, when the projects that will receive funding will be selected as part of a call and according to scores awarded to them based on the established criteria, including impact On the energy sector, technological feasibility and entrepreneurship with business experience and a clear commercialization path.

 The second call is published for production plants in the manufacturing industry, which will be able to win a grant at a rate of between 30% and 70% of the development expenses of technology in the fields of energy. The factories are invited to submit applications for assistance to finance programs of research and development and technological innovation, which will deal with the development of products, materials, technologies and innovative production processes. As part of the program, support will be provided for the development or implementation of technologies, products and processes by the manufacturing industry, which promote renewable energy and energy efficiency, water saving or wastewater treatment, and more.

 This investment by the Ministry of Energy and the Innovation Authority underpins the decision of the Minister of Energy, Dr. Yuval Steinitz, to increase the goals of the use of renewable energies in the State of Israel from 17% to 30% by the year 2030.

 Dr. Gideon Friedman, the acting chief scientist at the Ministry of Energy: "I am happy about the cooperation between the Innovation Authority and the Ministry of Energy, which leverages the expertise of each of the partners. The world is undergoing dramatic and rapid changes for the use of clean energy sources. The voice calling for pilots in the energy sector will lead to the rapid commercialization of innovative energy technologies in order to bring Israel global leadership in this field, and to develop an advanced energy sector in Israel. The purpose of the second calling voice is to encourage innovation in the manufacturing industry, increase its productivity and improve its competitiveness. This can be achieved while moving to clean and sustainable energy and water technologies. This way we will earn twice, we will be able to meet the goals of reducing emissions and pollution, and we will improve the performance of the manufacturing industry."

Sagi Dagan, Deputy Director of the Innovation Authority: "Due to the importance of the energy fields to the economy and the economic potential inherent in energy technologies, the Innovation Authority promotes both experimental development and demonstration of energy technologies in Israel and the adoption of innovation in the energy sector. In this way we bring about the construction of a relative advantage for the Israeli energy sector based on Israeli technological innovation. In addition, as in collaborations with other government ministries, this move will also accelerate advanced regulatory activity and government policy to adopt innovation in the energy sector, which is essential for the prosperity of the Israeli energy economy."

 Dr. Malka Nir, Head of Advanced Manufacturing, Innovation Authority: "Energy efficiency and the use of renewable resources lead to improved productivity in industry worldwide. This is an opportunity to promote the factories' competitiveness and lower production costs. At the same time, to encourage an environmental economy that works to accelerate innovation in the fields of energy in factories in Israel."

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