Aug. 31, 2015


BGU inaugurated The CDI - Center of Digital Innovation yesterday (Sunday). CDI is a non-profit research center to promote and develop digital medicine in Israel in partnership with a group of Israeli entrepreneurs. 

The CDI – Center for Digital Innovation will be located at the Gav Yam Advanced Technologies Park. Entrepreneurs involved include Ziv Ofek, founder of DBMotion that was recently sold to the US-based Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc;  Sharon Sasportas, former Head of Operations for the Planning Department of the IDF; and Boaz Gur-Lavie, former CFO of Abbott Informatics Division. Allscripts is a strategic partner. 

The initiative was created together with BGN Technologies Ltd. BGU's Technology Transfer Company and other local partners include Prof. Arie Moran, from the BGU Department of Physiology; Prof. Gideon Saar, head of cardiac surgery at Soroka University Medical Center and Dr. Sarab Abu-Rabia-Queder, senior lecturer at BGU’s Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research and a feminist activist. 

Paul Black, CEO of Allscripts announced the creation of their innovation laboratories, which will allow research to be conducted on the existing Allscripts platform, shortening the time from innovation to implementation. 

“This convergence is a new paradigm,” Ofek, referring to the CDI, told the international crowd at the event. We are here to “simplify the process – an idea that falls because of the small details is a shame.” 

“This is all part of the process to make Beer-Sheva Israel’s innovation center,” Avi Jacobowitz of Gav Yam declared. 

Pictured above from right to left: Sharon Sasportas, Ziv Ofek, Ruvik Danilovich, Prof. Rivka Carmi and Boaz Gur-Lavie.

BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi, CDI Chairman, welcomed the international guests.“It is particularly moving that people came from around the world to honor us with your presence here. We are the touchpoint to bring development to the Negev: We are partners here and as an investor we are serious about this project. Just as we are partners in the Advanced Technologies Park, and in the NIBN and now this model – we encourage unique models,” she said, “We are putting the person – the patient – in the center – a person’s health-education and welfare.”

“We promise to surprise you anew each time,” she concluded. 

Beer-Sheva Mayor Ruvik Danilovich pointed out that he has known Ofek for 20 years. Ofek is a BGU graduate and founded and created DBMotion in Beer-Sheva, where it is still based – now at the ATP. 

“What exactly is innovation? People really change the world are young. To see the future, to plan the future – it sounds pretentious but it is true – all the partners believe that we can make people’s lives better. It’s that simple. Innovation is the result of an idea, knowledge and the human potential. We are building an international center for knowledge,” the mayor declared. 

The non-profit center is expected to serve as a crossroads that will combine the cutting edge of scientific research in medicine, along with the entrepreneurial ecosystem approach that characterizes Israel.  The center will cooperate with strategic venture capital investors who wish to bring concepts to market, providing services to external entrepreneurs in need of infrastructure and expertise.

The International Advisory Committee includes leading experts in the field, including Charles N. ("Chip") Kahn III, President of the Federation of American Hospitals; Dr. David Bates, chosen by Modern Healthcare magazine as one of the hundred most influential people in American medicine; Dr. Richard Siegrist, a serial entrepreneur in the field of digital medicine and others.  

The CDI will also be part of the Digital Israel program, a government initiative to create a national agenda for information and communication technologies. One of the initiative’s other projects is laying fiber-optic cables for high speed internet access.