Thomas Jefferson University and the Israel Innovation Authority Partner on $1 Million Healthcare Innovation Competition


To improve healthcare-related technology solutions around the world, Thomas Jefferson University has partnered on an international project where four Israeli companies will receive a total of $1 million toward research and development from the Israel Innovation Authority.

The goal is to co-develop, test and pilot impactful technologies, products, services and devices within the rich environment that exists at Jefferson, which then would be translated to other sites and settings, said Zvi Grunwald, MD, the James D. Wentzler Professor and emeritus chair of anesthesiology at Sidney Kimmel Medical College. “We’re investing our know-how and sweat equity.”

The project and partnership are a result of the newly formed Jefferson Israel Center, said Dr. Grunwald, who serves as its executive director, and the University’s and Israel Innovation Authority’s mutual interest to source, develop, deploy and commercialize innovative technologies, products, services and devices within the healthcare sector.

For example, a national report by Brookings Institution on the commercial outcomes of downtown research universities recently ranked Jefferson 12th best overall and 8th for startups, and the 2019 Bloomberg Innovation Index named Israel the fifth most innovative economy in the world.

“Israel today is what Silicon Valley was in the late 1990s. It’s an ecosystem of innovation that has more technology startups per capita than anywhere in the world right now,” said Mark L. Tykocinski, MD, provost and executive vice president at Jefferson and the Anthony F. and Gertrude M. DePalma Dean of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College, at the announcement of the Jefferson Israel Center. “In an increasingly global academic ecosystem, the opportunities are unbounded for leveraging international institutional partnerships to innovate science and professional training, and in so doing, to give life to our vision for ‘redefining humanly possible.’”
Through the project, Jefferson will create a seamless process for Israeli companies to test their concepts in a living laboratory, as well as provide access to Jefferson clinical, service line, administrative and leadership staffs across a variety of care settings (i.e., inpatient, outpatient, ambulatory, urgent care, rehabilitation and community).

“We are delighted to collaborate with a leading academic and medical center such as Jefferson,” said Dr. Ami Appelbaum, chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority. “The combination of Israeli innovation and Jefferson’s clinical experience, expertise and facilities will enable the creation of cutting-edge solutions that will prove instrumental in laying the groundwork for the future of healthcare and providing superior personalized medical care.”

Applicants have until March 28, 2019, to submit their expression of interest. The winners will be announced in December 2019. For more info, contact or Read the full call for proposals here.