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14.03.2024 | ד אדר ב' התשפד

Impacting Medicine

Bar-Ilan, Sheba Medical Center and Bezalel win call for proposals to develop entrepreneurial health initiatives



Bar-Ilan University, Sheba Medical Center, and the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, have won a call for proposals published by the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology for the "Science Accelerators" program.  A sum of NIS 10 million will be invested in the program for the development of 24 global initiatives in the health field. Researchers, doctors and designers will develop projects in personalized medicine, digital medicine, preventive medicine and medical accessibility in the community. The winning institutions and the “Science Accelerators” program will invest NIS 350,000 in each project.

Prof. Yitshak Kreiss, Director General of Sheba Medical Center and Bar-Ilan University President Prof. Arie Zaban, in collaboration with Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem President Prof. Adi Stern, seek to deepen the connection between the clinical dimension, interdisciplinary research and design thinking to create innovative health initiatives from within the three institutions.

The collaboration formed as part of the “Science Accelerators” program will promote the establishment of start-up companies by faculty members and their partners abroad. Together they will develop solutions to complex problems faced by the health sector in Israel and abroad. The program will connect, educate and accompany the founders in idea developing processes, validating product-market compatibility, and raising capital for projects that combine clinical depth, scientific knowledge and design thinking. In this way, the program will accelerate and improve the transfer of knowledge from research to industry.

 The joint initiative of the winning institutions has been named 949, which is the distance in meters between Sheba Medical Center and Bar-Ilan University. The program will bring together the finest researchers, physicians and designers to establish and promote world-class health initiatives in partnerships that weave together knowledge, capabilities and resources of the institutions and their centers of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Each start-up venture will receive a budget of NIS 350,000 to be used for product validation in the global market and preparation for raising capital, with individual mentoring, field consulting, links to the global ecosystem and workspaces in the partners' entrepreneurship centers. The program begins with the initial formation of a team with complementary capabilities, continues with training that examines the team's commitment and flexibility, and ends with the founders' launch into the global market.

The 949 program will turn to physicians and researchers in various departments at Sheba, including brain research, oncology, genomics, and molecular genetics; Bar-Ilan University researchers in the faculties of life sciences, social sciences, exact sciences, engineering, medicine and law, with an emphasis on the fields of artificial intelligence, electrical engineering, bioinformatics, biophysics, bioengineering, neuroscience and psychology; and Bezalel researchers in the fields of art, design and architecture. The program will focus on the health and medical sector, with special emphasis on leading trends.

The program will be co-led by Ariel Sella, Managing Director of Bar-Ilan's UnBox entrepreneurship center; Lital Shnaiderman, Chief Business Officer at ARC - the innovation arm of Sheba Medical Center, and Eyal Fried, Director of Bezalel's 212 Innovation Lab.

Bar-Ilan University President Prof. Arie Zaban: "I thank the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology for advancing this program and for its trust which we have won together with our outstanding partners. Based on the experience of recent years in the entrepreneurship institutes of Bar-Ilan, Sheba and Bezalel, we believe that we have found a way to incubate significant projects that will transfer deep knowledge from our institutions to industry for the benefit of the State of Israel, its residents and humanity as a whole."