Israeli companies and researchers received 423 grants from Europe’s largest research and innovation program in 2018, the Israel Innovation Authority said in a statement.
This brings the total worth of grants given by Europe’s Horizon 2020 program to 742 million euros ($834 million), allocated to 1,062 Israeli projects and firms since the fund was set up in 2014. The Horizon 2020 program has made almost 80 billion euros of funds available over seven years, through 2020, to research programs by participant nations.
The EU Delegation to Israel, together with the Israel-Europe Research and Innovation Directorate (ISERD) and the Israel Innovation Authority, celebrated the scientific cooperation under the Horizon 2020 program with an awards ceremony on June 4 at the Peres Center for Research and Innovation in Jaffa.
Horizon 2020 is part of the EU’s efforts to boost international cooperation in research and innovation, a strategic priority for the union. It allows for tackling global societal challenges more effectively, creates business opportunities, and makes scientific diplomacy part Europe’s foreign policy, the statement said.
Israel has been a partner in the EU’s research and innovation framework programs since 1996 and was the first non-European country to join it. Over the years, the EU-Israel partnership has strengthened Israeli academic and industrial excellence, led to investments in research infrastructure, and enabled long-term, innovative research, the statement said.
The program has enabled Israeli companies, researchers, and innovators to gain access to European partners, to integrate into an extensive infrastructure of European research, and participate in flagship projects, including in the fields of quantum technologies, graphene and brain research.
Among the Israeli recipients of funding last year are the firm Vectorious, which is developing a miniature wireless heart implant that monitors heart function and sends data directly to healthcare providers; Optima Design Automation from Nazareth, which was granted some 2.5 million euros to continue development of its software platform for chip manufacturers to ensure the functional safety of chips used in autonomous cars; Jerusalem-based Triox Nano, which won a 2 million euro grant for the development of a new drug delivery platform that enables the injection of the active ingredient used in chemotherapy directly and only to the tumor area; and the PlaMOS project, led by Mellanox Technologies Ltd. and IBM’s Haifa Lab, which is developing an integrative platform that allows an eight-fold increase in the speed of optical transmitters and receivers used in datacenters.
“Winning a grant in the program is a sign of quality and excellence for both researchers and companies,” said Ami Appelbaum, chief scientist at the Israel Ministry of Economy and Industry and chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority, in the statement.
The deal over Israel’s participation in the Horizon 2020 research partnership program was initially held up over EU guidelines on funding for programs and companies in the Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
The sides eventually agreed that a clause would be added to the pact stating that Israel does not accept the EU’s definition of territory beyond the 1967 lines.