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null Iranian Tech Firms at Forefront of Battle Against Coronavirus
07:39

Iranian Tech Firms at Forefront of Battle Against Coronavirus

Iranian Technology-Based Firms (TBFs) have forged six research and development agreements with academic and research centers, as well as the vice presidential office, to work on possible COVID-19 vaccines.

Iranian technology ecosystem has moved to the frontier of those combating the novel coronavirus, by working on treatment and vaccination, the vice president for science and technology said.

Speaking to a local broadcasting channel on Sunday, Sorena Sattari said Iranian TBFs have forged six research and development agreements with academic and research centers, as well as the vice presidential office to produce an effective COVID-19 vaccine.

Over 76 treatment projects have been devised by Iranian medical specialists and researchers, the efficiency of which are currently being examined in laboratories. “As soon as the treatment strategies are scientifically approved and certified by the Health Ministry, they will be clinically applicable,” he said.

He said several studies have been conducted on the nature of COVID-19 in collaboration with the academia and tech firms to help develop health protective products.

 

Academia Step In

Joining the move, Tehran University of Medical Sciences is to offer financial support to anti-coronavirus projects developed by researchers and tech teams at the university.

According to the official, knowledge-based units are mainly active in producing health and medical products, including facemasks, gloves, test kits, medicine, ventilators and air purifiers.

Work is still underway to screen and detect innovative ideas developed by tech teams to expand the university’s role in strengthening the technology ecosystem to ward off COVID-19.

 

State Support

Besides the university, in mid-March, the government-backed Iran National Innovation Fund announced that it is planning to pay $119 million in loans to TBFs and tech firms to boost their operations.

According to INIF chairman, Ali Vahdat, some 200 firms expressed interest in receiving the fund, although the most eligible will be selected.

“The move is aimed at increasing the production of health protective items needed during the pandemic, including facemasks, hand sanitizers, alcohol-based disinfectants and medical air disinfectant machines, along with antibacterial fabrics and covers for hospital use,” he said.

To receive the loan and start production, the applicant TBF should be certified by all the institutions involved, including Iran’s Food and Drug Administration and Health Ministry.

Vahdat noted that the Vice Presidential Office for Science and Technology and Iran Nanotechnology Innovation Council have agreed to scrutinize the credentials of applicants and introduce the final list of eligible firms.

Referring to the spread of novel coronavirus in the country, Vahdat said the pandemic cannot be controlled without utilizing the potentials of the domestic 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.

 

Source: FINANCIAL TRIBUNE