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Israel is recruiting cutting-edge defense R&D and industries to address the Coronavirus pandemic. Israel’s health and defense establishments asked the defense industries to help in the immediate manufacturing of medical ventilators, which due to their insufficient number may form the bottleneck in the emergency treatment of patients. 

At the same time, the DDR&D (MAFAT) in the Israel Ministry of Defense established an Interinstitutional and Multidisciplinary National Emergency Team for the development of technologies to combat the virus. The team is lead by Director of the DDR&D, Brig. Gen. (Res.), Dr. Dani Gold

According to Dr. Gold, “the brightest minds in the country, from all the various sectors, are committed and working around the clock in order to identify and develop the technological solutions that will contribute to the national effort to cope with the corona pandemic. We hope to share good news with the State of Israel, as soon as possible.”

The team is using advanced technology, both civilian and military, including big data, artificial intelligence, command and control systems, various sensors and mobile technology.

The focus will be on the quick diagnosis and early detection of virus carriers, prevention of virus transmission and subsequent infection of large portions of the population, medical monitoring and prevention of infection within hospitals, and manufacturing protective equipment for medical staff. 

According to the Ministry of Defense Spokesperson statement, the solutions being tested are aimed at achieving the following capabilities: 

  • Immediate diagnosis and detection of virus carriers from afar 
  • Use of mobile technology to map the routes of carriers (especially within hospitals and medical institutions), in order to isolate carriers and prevent the infection of medical staff and others 
  • Manufacturing protective equipment for medical staff, development and production of ventilators, sanitization of various surfaces and spaces, and more.

The emergency team, defined by Minister of Defense Naftali Bennett as an ‘elite unit’, includes experts from dozens of institutions including the Ministry of Health, National Security Council, Ministry of Finance, Prime Minister’s Office, IDF, Innovation Authority, various hospitals, defense industries, startup companies, think tanks and academic institutions.