Israeli, UAE technology firms pen historic deal on virus research

The historic agreement with the Abu-Dhabi based company is to develop breakthrough technology solutions for COVID-19.

By Associated Press and World Israel News

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Rafael signed a historic memorandum of understanding with Abu Dhabi-based Group42, a state-linked technology company specializing in artificial intelligence and cloud computing.

The collaboration between the two companies will cover research and development of solutions that may help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agreement was signed between IAI’s ELTA Group via a video conference call between the United Arab Emirates and Israel.

The deal, announced late Thursday, comes just weeks after the UAE warned Israel that proceeding with its planned extension of sovereignty would upend its efforts to improve ties with Arab states.

The UAE’s state-run WAM news agency reported that executives held a signing ceremony by video link between the two countries, which do not have diplomatic relations.

Rafael, one of Israel’s three largest defense companies, and IAI’s Elta subsidiary confirmed the agreement. Elta, which specializes in sensors, radars, electronic warfare and communication systems, said they would cooperate on research and technology focused on artificial intelligence, sensors and lasers.

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They said the collaboration would benefit not only the two countries, but the entire world as it grapples with the pandemic.