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Israeli government invests in AI and bioconvergence

The Economic Arrangements Bill being drafted by the Ministry of finance to accompany the state budget will include a NIS 900 million government investment program for technology development. Investment grants will be distributed bot to academic institutions and to businesses, and will be channeled to artificial intelligence and bio-convergence, that is, synergy between biology, computing and engineering in healthcare.

Government ministries have been working on this program for a long time, and the minister of finance in the new government, Bezalel Smotrich, has decided to adopt it and include it in the next budget. The investment in bio-convergence was recommended by a committee set up to examine the matter last year, while investment in AI has been on the agenda for longer. The program is a joint one between the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Science and Technology, Innovation, the Israel Innovation Authority, and the Ministry of Defense Directorate of Defense Research and Development (Mafat).

Israel seeks to be a among the global leaders in artificial intelligence and bio-convergence, hence the decision to promote investment in these areas in the framework of the upcoming budget. Each field will be allocated some NIS 430 million. Researchers and companies will be able to use grants under the program to set up research centers and laboratories, to buy research equipment, and to invest in recruitment and training.

Oren Dori