The Startup Nation has been built on risk-taking by entrepreneurs and in the Life Sciences industry especially the risk is significantly greater compared to other sectors such as ICT, observes Dr. Ami Appelbaum, Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority and Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Economy and Industry.
"The risks are higher," he says, "because in Medical Devices and especially Biopharmaceuticals, the development process is complex, costly, and time-consuming with no guarantee that the product or molecule will ever be approved, or that once commercialized, will be successful."
Israel Innovation Authority's unique practical tools and financing platforms are designed not only to share in the high risks of development processes but also to try and keep successful products in Israel.
Life Sciences - a major growth engine
"Life Science is one of Israel's major potential growth engines" says Dr. Appelbaum. "In addition to Medical Devices and Biopharmaceuticals, in recent years we have seen the emergence of a great interest worldwide in digital healthcare. Israel has a significant advantage in this area. Not only because of our world renowned academia and experienced entrepreneurs, but also because Israel has an advance health system with extensive health data, where 98% of the population have 20 year old detailed electronic medical record."
In March, the Israeli government allocated a budget of NIS 922 million ($260 million) to an ambitious digital healthcare program – an opportunity not only to improve the healthcare system, but also provide a boost for Israeli companies developing digital healthcare technologies as well as enable predictive, preventive and personalized medicines.
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