July 29th, 2018 – Following a meeting of the governing board of the Israel-India Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F) with the participation of representatives of the Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and the Israel Innovation Authority, the first four grant recipients of the Fund were announced. The Fund was launched in early 2018. Presenting the awards were the joint Chairpersons of the Fund, Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) in the Government of India, and Dr. Ami Appelbaum, Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Economy & Industry and Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority.
Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry, Eli Cohen: “We’re thrilled to see that the strategic relationship with India is bearing such significant fruit since the founding of this Fund. These grants constitute an important milestone in the continuation of the historic partnership between Israel and India."
The I4F Fund will grant $40 million over a period of five years to joint Israeli-Indian projects. It is one of the outcomes of the historic July 2017 visit of India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to Israel. The Call for Proposals under which the awards were made went out in January 2018 during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to New Delhi. India’s Department of Science & Technology (DST) and the Israel Innovation Authority are the respective funding agencies.
The projects receiving the grants are from all five eligible areas specified in the Call for Proposals: Agriculture, Energy, Healthcare, Information & Communication Technology (ICT), and Water:
- Bacsoft (Israel) and Energy Efficiency Services Limited (India). Energy efficiency in agricultural water pumping with smart groundwater management through monitoring and targeting aquifers.
The project entails: development of an innovative solution to achieve energy and water efficiency in villages through integration of:
o Improved groundwater level technology (IGWL)
o Water nexus technology to measure pump efficiency and parameters surrounding water through energy signatures.
o IOT platform with smart monitors for irrigation in agriculture
- Ubiqam Ltd. (Israel) and Frog Cellsat Limited (India)
Development of mobile interface solutions for the Indian market based on UBiFiX solutions.
The project entails: development of electronic systems for the cellular market to help mitigate interference in cellular networks, specifically in 4G networks, thereby improving network quality.
- Agrosolar Irrigation Systems Ltd. (Israel) and Vyoda Private Ltd. (India)
Autonomous water pumps for irrigation using solar energy.
The project entails: development of a solar energy-based water pump system that is cost effective and efficient and suitable for any type of well. The project aims at enhancing yields and decreasing operational and maintenance costs.
- Sanoculis Ltd (Israel) and Appasamy Ocular Devices (P) Ltd. (India)
Development and clinical evaluation of affordable surgical devices based on MIMS technology for treating glaucoma in India.
The project entails: development and integration of affordable, standalone MIMS device enabling more ophthalmologists to treat cataract patients’ glaucoma in one sitting, at lower costs.
At the award ceremony, Dr. Ami Appelbaum, Chief Scientist, Ministry of Economy & Industry and Chairman, Israel Innovation Authority said: “The highlight of this fund is creating a breakthrough tool that can assist Israeli entrepreneurs and industrialists in penetrating the Indian market. Emerging markets are priorities for us, and penetrating these markets could open up extensive business opportunities for Israeli entrepreneurs."
Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary of the Department of Science & Technology and the India Co-Chair, I4F Governing Board, stated that the I4F platform will enable the governments of India and Israel to catalyze joint research and development resulting in commercialization. This would take the industrial R&D and technological innovation partnership between India and Israel to a new level and serve as a role model for others.
Dr Arabinda Mitra, Scientific Secretary to the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, was delighted at the outcome of the Call for Proposals. He noted that “Each of the grantees will have a significant, positive impact on many of the national goals announced by the Government of India.”
Daniel Carmon, Ambassador of Israel to India, said, “The Fund is a unique platform aimed at increasing economic cooperation and boosting research and development between both countries. India is continually growing as a valued partner to Israel and the Fund can play an important role maximizing the talents of Israeli and Indian entrepreneurs, getting them to work together, and developing innovating technologies benefitting both sides.”
The second Call for Proposals was also announced today, scheduled to launch in August with a deadline of November 2018. The areas of focus will remain Agriculture, Energy, Healthcare, Information & Communication Technologies (ICT), and Water.