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IATI asks government to designate tech and biomed companies as essential industries

Ahead of the second lockdown, tech umbrella group urges decision-makers to allow the industry to keep specialized facilities open

Hagar Ravet 11:5424.09.20
Israel Advanced Technology Industries (IATI), an umbrella organization of the tech and life science industries in Israel, issued on Thursday an urgent letter to the prime minister, the ministers of finance, health and sciences, the coronavirus czar and a series of government agencies asking the state to designate Israeli tech and biomed companies as essential industries.

 

The government on Thursday announced a new full lockdown in an attempt to stem the Covid-19 outbreak in the country beginning from this coming Friday until after the Jewish holiday season in mid-October. According to the outline that was brought before the government, only factories and services designated as essential will be able to continue operating during the closure.

 

 Karin Meir Rubenstein, the CEO and President of IATI. Photo: Yoram Reshef Karin Meir Rubenstein, the CEO and President of IATI. Photo: Yoram Reshef

“We wish to make clear that Israel’s advance industries are not a singular entity and each one of the companies has its own unique characteristics,” the letter read. “Most of the companies that are capable of operating employing a ‘work from home’ model are already doing so and will extend its practice as required by the government’s directives for the upcoming lockdown. There are, however, companies who possess production plants and unique activities that can only take place in dedicated facilities (such as chip manufacturers who require ‘clean rooms,’ tech companies that make use of advanced servers, life science companies that require daily access to laboratories or specialized medical equipment among others).”

 

“During the previous lockdown period, the tech industry was able to maintain the minimum requirements to sustain stable operations in factories and development centers. Naturally, the rest of the activities were transitioned to be done remotely, with any companies continuing to operate in such a manner even after the lockdown was lifted,” Karin Meir Rubenstein, the CEO and President of IATI told Calcalist. “The goal of the new lockdown, reducing infections and beating the pandemic, is completely understandable and it is one that we all share. That said, we need to enable the essential tech and biomed facilities to maintain operations in order to prevent harming the Israeli economy and maintain the advanced industries as the growth engine of the entire market.”