Hadasit, the Hadassah University Medical Center’s technology transfer company, has launched an incubator for joint Jewish-Arab biomedical ventures in northern Israel entitled WAYS—an acronym based on the names of its founders.
WAYS was created by Yaron Bar-Ilan, an entrepreneur who will serve as its Chief Executive Officer; Dr. Yaron Lev-Or, a biotechnology entrepreneur; Prof. Yaron Ilan, head of Internal Department B at Hadassah; and Wafa Laham, an Arab businesswoman from Nazareth. Supported by a group of investors and business people from the region, WAYS initially aims to support 12 biotechnology projects with a grant of $500,000-$1,000,000 each.
In addition to joint Jewish-Arab biotechnology ventures, WAYS will foster entrepreneurship among new immigrants and outstanding teenagers from the region. It is expected that 7.5 million shekels will be invested in WAYS over the next five years. Several million dollars have already been pledged to WAYS from social organizations.
WAYS will help its portfolio companies become commercial companies, based in the Jezreel Valley and Lower Galilee. It will encourage young Arab physicians and new immigrants in northern Israel to become entrepreneurs while providing a professional response to the various challenges they face.
Hadasit Chief Executive Officer Dr. Einat Zisman notes, “WAYS is a unique first-of-its kind-venture to foster life sciences and drug development companies through social activity from different sectors of the population. Hadassah is proud to be part of this pioneering initiative.”