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HIT's "Booster" – HIT to Establish Applied Research Accelerator with Partners

HIT's "Booster" – HIT to Establish Applied Research Accelerator with Partners

A prestigious grant was awarded by the Ministry of Science to HIT, together with Ariel University and the Kaplan Medical Center, to promote applied projects and encourage entrepreneurship among researchers in academia. The grant also aims to provide a financial bridge between earlier stages of a project deemed as potentially commercially toward its further development.

Dr. Menny Kirma

Dr. Menny Kirma, who worked to establish this collaboration in his capacity as Director of Business Development and Academic-Industrial Relations at the Office of the Vice President for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Internationalism at HIT, remarks: "In receiving this grant, the Institute received recognition from some of the most respected scientific and industry opinion leaders in Israel, such as Prof. Avi Domb, Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Science and the panel of judges which included prominent Israeli figures in the commercialization of academic knowledge".

In response to an open call from the Ministry of Science, the 3 cooperating institutions were awarded a four-year grant to help overcome the inherent obstacles which currently exist for applied-entrepreneurial research initiatives. This is to be achieved by both strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystems on campuses while building on the synergy between the 3 partners.

In answer to the often-asked question as to why it is important for research institutions to focus on applied science, Dr. Kirma noted with satisfaction: “Recently, it is becoming increasingly clear that the role of academia cannot be limited to simply conferring diplomas and transferring knowledge to students. Indeed, academia must also play a key role as an engine of growth for innovation which, through its application, will generate new products for use by the public-at-large.

Much forethought was invested in building the collaborative partnership. HIT already has a joint grant program with Ariel university, and joining forces with the Kaplan Medical Center was considered the best way to maximize HIT’s multidisciplinary capabilities and effect a symbiosis between partners in diverse applied fields, such as bio-convergence, data science, engineering, cyber security, development of medical devices, apps, and more. Kaplan Medical Center will serve as the clinical arm of the Accelerator, and will support research that will begin, among other things, with the Department of Digital Medical Technologies at HIT, the only one of its kind in the country.

In doing so, the partnership effectively confirms and advances HIT’s vision as an institution committed to multidisciplinarity, harnessing the strengths of its capabilities in engineering, AI, science, design, management, instructional technologies and digital medicine to the applied research efforts.

Dr. Kirma: "The vision of the partnership is to build a bridge between academia and industry and create solutions for real market needs in Israel and abroad, at least some of which will mature into the establishment of innovative companies that will put a real, economically viable product on the shelf. I'm looking forward to working with HIT’s scientific community and significantly ramping up the applied-entrepreneurial momentum at the Institute".

Dr. Refael Barkan, Vice President of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Internationalization, and founder of the Digital Medical Technologies program, added that "This grant demonstrates industry and the Ministry of Science’s recognition of the Institute’s capabilities to innovate in emerging knowledge fields such as digital medicine".

Tali Malach Banaim, Head of ‘Future’, HIT’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center, sums up: "The accelerator to be established jointly with Ariel University and the Kaplan Medical Center will add a complementary and additional dimension to our Center at "Future", which in recent years has gained an outstanding reputation for winning prestigious national competitions".

Posted: 14/12/2021