The Ministry of Finance and OCS Promote of Research and Development in Israel's Life Sciences IndustryJan. 22, 2012 | Press Release
The Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor Issue a Request for Information (RFI) to International Corporations for the Promotion of Research and Development in Israel's Life Sciences Industry
The Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor have issued today a request for information (RFI) soliciting responses and comments on a new program for encouraging international corporations to promote research and development in Israel's life sciences industry and to invest in and provide professional support to Israeli companies in the sector.
According to the program which was formulated by the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Chief Scientist in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, the OCS will operate within the program two tracks, both aimed at increasing R&D activity of international corporations in the field of life sciences in Israel. Under the first track, the corporation will undertake to establish and operate a life sciences R&D center in Israel that will employ a minimum of 60 persons during a period of no less than five years. The establishment of a R&D center will entitle the corporation to government funding over a period of five years, in an amount of NIS 19 million if the center is set up in the center of the country, and in an amount of NIS 32 million if it is set up in the periphery.
Under the second track, the corporation will undertake to invest in projects of Israeli life science companies a minimum of $20 million over five years. The OCS will participate in up to 50% of the cost of the projects. Beyond the monetary investment, the corporation will be required to contribute to the Israeli companies' R&D activity through professional oversight, guidance in the management of the projects and exposure to the knowledge and work methods of the international corporation. The knowledge developed in this track will be the property of the Israeli companies.
The purpose of the program is to help Israeli life science companies meet some of the unique challenges that characterize the life sciences industry. The program supplements other steps taken by the government to promote this industry, which, for various reasons, has not developed and prospered in spite of Israel's proven strength in the sciences and known innovativeness. Among the steps already taken by the government are the establishment of a government life sciences venture capital fund and a dedicated biotechnology incubator as well as the designation of the life sciences as a preferred field for purposes of OCS funding programs.
The Chief Scientist in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, Mr. Avi Hasson, said: "Encouraging the involvement of leading international corporations in the life sciences industry is a central goal. The new program is intended to prepare the ground for the development of innovation and research in this industry in Israel, making them a key factor in its economic growth. The establishment of R&D centers by international corporations will create jobs and increase the sources of funding for this industry."
The Deputy Director of the Budget Department in the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Yonatan Regev, said: "The new program is intended to aid the development of the life sciences industry as an additional growth engine of the Israeli economy. Increasing the involvement of international companies in the performance of R&D in Israel will contribute to the realization of the country's relative advantages in the field of life sciences, by imparting skills and industrial knowledge at the highest level as well as boosting investments and employment in the sector."