Israel grants $33 million to GE, Medtronic, Change Healthcare to boost R&D

FILE PHOTO: Israel's Economy Minister Eli Cohen works at his office in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem November 22, 2017. Picture taken November 22, 2017. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Three multinational companies have received an Israeli government grant of 120 million shekels ($33 million) aimed at boosting the presence of large companies and establishing Israel as a hub in biotechnology and medicine.

The grants are part of a new program to boost the field of digital health, inject new intellectual property in Israel, which is expected to generate significant future tax income, and establish a long-term presence for multinational firms.

The companies chosen to participate in the program are medical device firm Medtronic, GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric, and Change Healthcare, a supplier of digital health solutions.

The companies, which will receive their grants over six years, were selected to expand their research and development centers in Israel, the Israel Innovation Authority said.

“Expanding these R&D centers will help position Israel as a leading player in the field of biomedicine, while creating high quality jobs in the fields of engineering and manufacturing, generating additional exports worth billions of dollars,” Economy Minister Eli Cohen said.

($1 = 3.6426 shekels)

Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Tova Cohen