Emirati, Israeli firms team up for COVID-19 research

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Abu Dhabi | The Emirati company APEX National Investment has announced the signing of a trade agreement with the Israeli TeraGroup to develop research on the new coronavirus, the official WAM agency reported on Sunday.

The deal is the first between firms from the two countries since the announcement Thursday of a normalization of relations between the wealthy Gulf country and Israel, which has been hailed by Western capitals but decried by the Palestinians.

Even before the normalization was announced, two leading Israeli defense companies reported on July 3 an agreement with an Emirati company to collaborate on the development of a non-invasive screening test and “in a few minutes ”for the new coronavirus.

Israel’s largest aerospace and defense firm Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), state-owned, and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, also a state-owned company, had signed a memorandum of understanding with Group 42, a private technology firm based in Abu Dhabi, during a ceremony by video conference.

The new agreement was signed late Saturday in Abu Dhabi by the heads of the two firms, Khalifa Youssef Khouri, for APEX National Investment, and Oren Sadiv, for TeraGroup, in the presence of Emirati and Israeli officials and media representatives, WAM said. .

“We are delighted with this cooperation with TeraGroup,” Mr. Khouri said on occasion. Israeli Oren Sadiv said he was “delighted” with the agreement and hoped “to achieve its objectives which will benefit everyone economically”.

According to the WAM agency, the agreement aims to conduct and improve research and studies relating to COVID-19, including on a rapid test.

APEX National Investment is an investment firm with particular focus on the healthcare sector while TeraGroup is described as a research firm focused on developing a rapid and safe test for COVID-19.

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