Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Abu Dhabi-based Group 42 announced the signature of two Memoranda of Understanding on 3 July, aimed at collaboration in R&D of effective methods of combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement came at almost the same time that Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) revealed a similar arrangement with the UAE company.

The virtual signing ceremony followed a discussion between the companies regarding methods of leveraging their varied respective expertise to develop cutting-edge solutions and medical initiatives to the benefit of their respective home nations and the wider world.

Peng Xiao, CEO of Group 42, commented “At G42, we embrace international cooperation as a way to create better and more effective technologies for the public good. The UAE has led by example in the global collaborative effort to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic, and our company is privileged to follow the lead and share resources and expertise with Rafael and IAI for such a significant cause.”

Ariel Karo, Rafael’s Executive VP for Marketing and Business Development, stated "This is a historic collaboration that was born out of a global crisis. As a technological leader, particularly in the field of [artificial intelligence], we are proud to offer our range of capabilities and knowhow to help in the fight against the COVID-19.”

G42 has been at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19 since its outbreak. Thanks to its expertise in AI-driven genomics, the company has recently announced a new partnership with the UK’s Oxford Nanopore Technologies for the joint development of an end-to-end detection solution to screen in mass and on demand, in an effort to support the re-opening of global economies. In the UAE, G42 is also operating the world’s first phase III clinical trial of a COVID-19 inactivated vaccine, under the supervision of the Abu Dhabi Department of Health.

With a legacy of over 72 years, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems is a national centre of R&D through its wide range of cutting-edge technologies. During the pandemic, Rafael has swiftly developed a range of solutions to help society continue to function. Some of these include robotic systems for hospitals, thermic sensors to remotely detect body temperature, a unique ‘splitter’ for ventilators to use on two patients simultaneously, a medical data streaming app, big data and AI technologies, and more. 

Remote body temperature detection for multiple targets is among the solutions developed by Rafael that may form the basis of more comprehensive medical initiatives in the context of the company’s collaboration with Group 42. (Image via Rafael)

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