Nearly $3 million earmarked for innovative Israeli tech for people with disabilities
Israel Innovation Authority and National Insurance Funds want to promote research and development of life-changing technologies
The Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) and the National Insurance funds issued a call for proposals on Sunday for the development of technologies for people with disabilities. Companies and non-profit organizations are eligible for funding of up to 85% of their R&D budget (65% for companies five years old or younger and 85% for non-profits) and up to NIS 900,000 (approximately $260,000) for a period of 12 months. The total funding for the project stands at $2.9 million.
The projects considered for funding will be evaluated according to the degree of their contribution to the target population, the organizations’ experience with the target population, the founder and development team’s background, the business model (including price accessibility for Israelis), and market size. The funding path focuses on several key areas, including: rehabilitative health, vision, hearing, cognitive abilities, communication, education, mobility, motor abilities, posture, and services related to sports and leisure.
The IIA noted that previous recipients of AidTech funds include EyeControl, incorporated as EyeFree Assisting Communication Ltd., which developed a convenient wearable solution that rests on the user’s head and with the help of voice activation operated through a speaker placed on the user’s jawbone can listen to menus and select their desired action by blinking, which is detected by the advanced headgear.
Naomi Krieger Carmy, IAA. Photo: IAA
“The increase in demand for assistive technology provides an opportunity for the Israeli innovation industry. Prior Israeli solutions have achieved global success,” said Naomi Krieger Carmy, head of the IIA’s Societal Challenges Division. “We are looking for the next Orcam and ReWalk, who will build innovative Israeli companies and make a real impact on the lives of people with disabilities.”
“Global innovation has brought about many changes, among them significant opportunities for people with disabilities. Cooperation between the National Insurance and the Israel Innovation Authority helps overcome the challenge of raising funds for the development of innovative assistive technologies. Increasing accessibility and usability of technology will promote independence for people with disabilities in the modern age,” said Itzik Sabato, the director of Israel’s National Insurance funds.
EyeControl's assistive wearable. Photo: Danny Levine