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Loans for Tech Firms to Help Combat COVID-19

With COVID-19 outbreak distorting startup ecosystem’s prospects, Iran National Innovation Fund is extending a $119 million aid package to the sector.

Iran National Innovation Fund is planning to pay in loans to tech firms to help boost their operations. With the COVID-19 outbreak distorting Iran startup ecosystem’s prospects, the state fund is extending an aid package to the sector.

According to the chairman of INIF, Ali Vahdat, some firms expressed interest in receiving the fund, although the most eligible will be selected for financial help, the institution’s website reported. “The move is aimed at increasing the production of health-protective items useful during the pandemic, including N95 respirator and surgical masks, hand sanitizers, alcohol-based disinfectants, medical air disinfectant machines, antibacterial fabrics and covers for hospital use, as well as test kits along with simulators,” he said.

Dozens of Iranian startups and knowledge-based firms are active in the production of health care products and medical supplies. To receive the loan and start production, the applicant knowledge-based firms should be certified by all the institutions involved, including Iran’s Food and Drug Administration and Health Ministry. Referring to the spread of novel coronavirus in the country, Vahdat said the pandemic cannot be controlled without utilizing the potentials of tech ecosystem.

“The country’s knowledge-based economy, which has currently grown significantly, is being helped by young entrepreneurs and tech teams to withstand the negative effects of the disease,” he added. Officials say a rise in domestic production can help accelerate the replenishment of stocks.