Call for proposals for international collaboration on bio-convergence initiatives

  • By Editor
  • 08 27
  • 2020


Dr. Ami Appelbaum, Chief Scientist and the Chairman of the Board of Israel Innovation Authority (Credit: Israel Innovation Authority)


Johnny Kim (SNN, Jerusalem) - The Israel Innovation Authority, via the Korea - Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (KORIL-RDF), to fund joint projects in the field of bio-convergence, at a total sum of NIS 14 million The Israel Innovation Authority, via the Korea - Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (KORIL-RDF), is launching a call for proposals for collaboration between Korean and Israeli companies in the field of bio-convergence. This call for proposals will provide selected projects with grants of up to 50% of R&D expenses, at a total budget of NIS 14 million (≈ $4 million). 


Dr. Ami Appelbaum, Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority and Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Economy and Industry says, "In the past decade, we have witnessed technological breakthroughs in Israel and around the world in many areas, particularly engineering, analytics, artificial intelligence and healthcare. In Israel, many companies excel in their multidisciplinary capabilities, with the potential to position the Israeli ecosystem at the forefront of future healthcare developments. The Israel Innovation Authority has identified the field of bio-convergence as a strategic focus for the coming decade. In order to establish a leadership position in this field, international collaborations are required such as this one with Korea, a country with many leading resources in the fields of research and technology, to help advance this goal." 


Dr. Tae Hoon Choi, Chief Executive of KORIL-RDF (Credit: LinkedIn page)


According to Dr. Tae Hoon Choi, Chief Executive of KORIL-RDF, "Israel is a leader in the field of life sciences – evident in the number of Nobel Prize winners and leading research institutions in this field, such as the Weizmann Institute, and leading pharmaceutical companies, such as Teva. Korea has recently demonstrated the key capabilities of its healthcare system in its handling of the coronavirus, and has been recognized as one of the leaders in the development of advanced technologies in this area, in cooperation with leading hospitals and healthcare researchers. The advanced capabilities of both countries in the life sciences, ICT, electronics, engineering, medical equipment and beyond, have the potential to yield fruitful cooperation and significant technological breakthroughs in the field of bio-convergence which, as a multidisciplinary field, would contribute to the global healthcare system. Therefore, the Foundation has decided to provide increased support to joint projects in the field of bio-convergence." 


The call for proposals seeks groundbreaking ventures in one of the following areas of bio-convergence: • Nano Robotics for Bio-advanced Engineered Drug Delivery and Diagnostics Systems • Advanced Therapeutics Discovery Systems • Tissue Engineering – 3D Bio-Printing and Cyborg Tissues • Bio-electronics & Electroceuticals and Bio-sensors & Hybrid Devices 


Bio-convergence is one of the most significant emerging growth engines for Israeli high-tech. The Israel Innovation Authority, in cooperation with other entities both in Israel and abroad, is striving to develop this field and to create a competitive ecosystem to advance this field in Israel, to help the country maintain its technological leadership and its competitive advantage in the global market in years to come. 


In recent years, there has been a global revolution in medicine and healthcare. Technological breakthroughs are allowing an integration of fields which was previously impossible. The area of bio-convergence is a multidisciplinary convergence of medicine, biology, engineering and other advanced technologies (such as AI, computational physics, nano-technology, material science and advanced genetic engineering). Multidisciplinary research in Israel and around the world integrating engineering and biology has existed for many years in the academic world. However, in recent years, there has been a significant acceleration in this field, reflected in the establishment of research institutions and new models in various centers worldwide, with Korea among the leaders in this field. As the principle organization promoting R&D cooperation between the two countries, the Board of Directors of the Korea - Israel Industrial R&D Foundation ("KORIL-RDF") resolved in July to promote the field of bio-convergence as part of the Foundation's R&D support programs, and the call for proposals is the first step in that direction


"Leadership in groundbreaking bio-convergence technologies requires a combination of Israeli and international technological expertise in the fields of engineering and biology. To this end, the International Collaboration Division at the Israel Innovation Authority is utilizing a variety of tools in conjunction with leading global partners in this field. This includes Korea, with whom the Authority operates a bi-national foundation to support groundbreaking projects – which will also serve as platform to promote excellence in bio-convergence," says Avi Luvton, Acting Vice President, International Collaboration Division


Avi Luvton, Acting Vice President, International Collaboration Division (Credit: Israel Innovation Authority) 

The Korea - Israel Industrial R&D Foundation, established in 2001, has been active for 19 years promoting industrial cooperation between Korean and Israeli companies, and to date has approved over 170 joint projects valued at $50 million in total. Israeli and Korean companies that wish to collaborate and to co-develop groundbreaking technologies in any of the aforementioned areas of bio-convergence, are invited to jointly submit their proposal by email to the Foundation office and to the Israel Innovation Authority website by December 31st of this year. The Foundation will approve up to two projects with support of 50% of R&D expenses, amounting to up to NIS 7 million for each project. 


For more information about the call for proposals, see the Israel Innovation Authority website and the website of KORIL-RDF. 




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