Israel and UAE announce collaboration to fight Covid-19 with AI
Wednesday, 08 July 2020
Sensors, lasers and artificial intelligence will be used for research to defeat the Covid-19 pandemic, in an agreement between Israeli defence firms and a state-related technology company from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
While both countries have stated that their joint efforts will not only benefit both countries but also serve the entire world, it has not yet been revealed what the projects will look like.
Like with many Arab nations, Israel does not currently have diplomatic ties with the UAE.
Their Covid-related cooperation has been deemed as a moment of great political significance by both countries, which will see the state-related Israeli companies Rafael and Israel Aerospace work side by side with the UAE’ technology company Group-42 (G42).
The cooperation is a new development in warming relations between Israel and the UAE, seeing that the UAE does not officially recognise Israel as a state. As a result, the countries have no official economic or public diplomatic relations.
The strained relations stems from the long and complex history of Israeli-Palestinian relations.
“Israel Aerospace Industries signed a historic cooperation agreement with the company Group 42 from Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the UAE,” the Israeli state-owned company told the Times of Israel.
“The coronavirus crosses continents, nations and religions, and we see the utmost importance in cooperating for breakthrough solutions. We’re proud to join with the company Group 42 from the UAE and hope it will lead to future cooperation between the two countries.”
For its part, artificial intelligence specialist G42 said that it looks forward to working together with Aerospace Industries and with advanced defence system developer Rafael.
“At G42, we embrace international cooperation as a way to develop new and innovative technological solutions for the public good. Our company is privileged to follow the lead and share resources and expertise with Rafael and IAI for such a significant cause.”
This has not been the first time that the UAE has participated in global joint efforts to combat the virus. Last month, the UAE also assisted China in launching the first advanced clinical trial of a Covid-19 vaccine.