As part of the National Bio-Convergence Program, the Israel Innovation Authority announced today a NIS 113 million tender for the establishment of a center that will provide research and development infrastructure for bio-devices based on bio-chips. The tender is directed at companies dedicated to developing key service infrastructure for companies that develop bio-devices such as environmental diagnostic sensors, smart implants for treatment and diagnostics, lab-on-chip and organ-on-chip technologies.
Bio-convergence represents the integration of biology and life sciences with engineering and software technologies. This rapidly expanding field holds immense promise across various sectors, including medicine, environment, climate, energy, agriculture, food, security, to name a few. Bio-convergence is expected to lead development and manufacturing in these sectors over the next few years.
"The field of bio-convergence has great potential to be a growth engine and a source of diversification for Israeli industry," said Dror Bin, CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority. "As a world leader in technology and innovation, it is crucial that Israel stays ahead in a constantly changing technological landscape and amidst fierce global competition. This tender is of great significance, not only in terms of the substantial budget, but also in its ability to promote this sector. Eventually, we are looking to establish a unique and internationally renowned center that will drive the Israeli ecosystem forward and foster the emergence of a new sector within the country's thriving high-tech industry."
The goals of the new center include:
•Provision of cutting-edge R&D services to industry players and researchers involved in bio-device development using unique equipment and knowhow.
•Offering prototype production services and small-scale series production capabilities.
•Cultivation of advanced knowledge and the provision of applicable solutions that will enable international competitiveness for industrial corporations, research institutions, and other entities operating in the bio-convergence field.
•Training and human capital development to nurture a skilled workforce capable of delivering exceptional services to industrial corporations and research institutions.
Israel possesses the ideal foundation to excel in the bio-convergence field and establish an innovative, competitive industry that will generate high returns to the local economy12. It features a unique combination of biotech with a strong and well-established high-tech industry. The country already boasts a robust high-tech sector, renowned for its software and data expertise, as well as leadership in engineering and exact sciences. Coupled with world-class research in life sciences which gained significant boost during the Covid-19 pandemic, as a leading facture in the field of medicine, particularly in data and informatics. In this respect, the Israel Innovation Authority identifies a substantial gap in multidisciplinary infrastructure that enable the combination of biology with engineering and software.
Bio-chips are revolutionary microdevices that combine biology, engineering, and microtechnology. These miniature chips integrate multiple laboratory functions onto a single platform, enabling efficient analysis of biological samples with minimal volumes. They offer precise fluid control and have transformed fields such as healthcare, diagnostics, and pharmaceutical research. Companies engaged in bio-devices based on bio-chips require knowledge in a wide range of sectors, which is very costly and thus a hindrance to the development process.
This tender therefore represents a pivotal step toward establishing Israel as a global leader in bio-convergence. Interested companies and organizations are encouraged to submit their funding requests to the Israel Innovation Authority and contribute to the advancement of this transformative industry.
This article was first published on 12 July by ISERD.