In 2021, the Innovation Authority’s divisions implemented a wide range of measures aimed at advancing the growth of the Israeli innovation ecosystem. This chapter presents the main activity of the various divisions during 2021 and the way in which they translated the Authority’s policy into action and specific policy tools.
The Startup and Business Development Division supports early-stage entrepreneurs and startups in the ideation stage, and corporations interested in exposure to open innovation via partnership in technology incubators and innovation labs. The Division assists the ideation process – from development of an initial technology idea to a complete product – and in advancing the initiative with the aim of reaching advanced stages of capital raising and sales. Furthermore, the Division operates various support programs designed to encourage the market to join forces and advance the area of human capital by developing innovative programs and initiatives. To this end, the Division constitutes a source of government and public knowledge in the spheres of high-tech human capital.
The Division’s Incentive Programs:
Ideation (Tnufa) Program: The Ideation (Tnufa) program is intended for fledgling entrepreneurs who are interested in formulating and advancing an innovative technological concept to the initial R&D stage, in preparation for Proof of Concept (POC) and/or construction of an initial prototype. The program’s goal is to assist in the project’s technological POC and commercial applicability, thereby enabling it to raise private funding and/or recruit a business partner for further development. The program provides a maximum grant of up to 85% of the approved budget, with a maximum grant of NIS 100,000 for the initial 12 months period and a further NIS 100,000 for a second period (or up to double for innovative solutions in the field of Bio- Convergence).
Seed Program: The program is intended for startups in the seed stage that are developing technologies in fields with complex regulation and an extended timeframe until implementation, or technologies that are part of an evolving market. The support will be awarded to companies that have not raised more than NIS 5 million (before making their submission to the program) and that have already signed a memorandum of understanding with a venture capital investor experienced in high-risk investments who is interested in making an initial seed investment in the company. Find more details below.
Technological Incubators Programs: The program aims to support investment in technology companies in their early stages by creating a support system that will expedite their development of innovative technology ideas in their initial stages into advanced startup companies that are suitable for continued investment. The program also aims to encourage technology entrepreneurship and commercialization of groundbreaking technologies from research institutions to industry in complex and high-risk fields and to strengthen Israel’s technology innovation environment in the field of seed investment. The program is also intended to assist high-tech companies in unique and complex technological fields to formulate and test products, with technological POC, conducting pilot tests etc. The technological incubators, that provide support and assistance to early-stage initiatives, are located in and operated by local and international commercial companies and by venture capital investors with the ability to provide quality added value and support startups and fledgling entrepreneurs. The comprehensive support offered by the incubator includes technological and business guidance, connections to strategic partners, additional investors, and potential clients, a physical site and infrastructures, administrative services, legal advice, and financial services. No financial investment is required by the entrepreneur as part of the program – 85% of the budget is funded by the Authority (up to a maximum sum of NIS 3.5 million for up to two years, according to the type of project and geographical location of the incubator) and 15% is funded by the incubator operators.
Entrepreneurial Incubators in the Periphery Program: This program is aimed at promoting the development and strengthening of innovation systems, technological entrepreneurship, and employment in Israel’s geographical periphery via collaboration between specially designated incubators and higher education institutions, students, entrepreneurs, and startup companies. This collaboration is achieved via research activity, development, and commercialization of incubator companies that are based on local initiatives. As part of the program, a local project operating within the incubator will be entitled to a grant of 85% of the approved budget from the Innovation Authority, up to a maximum budget of NIS 1 million, and a grant of 60% from the Innovation Authority, up to a maximum budget of NIS 1 million for a second year of activity. No financial investment is required by the entrepreneur as part of the program – supplementary funding is provided by the incubator that can also assist with follow-on funding. The comprehensive support offered by the incubator includes technological and business guidance, connections to strategic partners, additional investors, and potential clients, a physical site and infrastructures, administrative services, legal advice, and financial services.
Technological Innovation Labs: This program is intended for entrepreneurs in the preliminary stages of a project, who need unique infrastructures and expertise to prove the feasibility of a technological idea. The program is also intended for corporations interested in collaborating with Israeli startups. The assistance to entrepreneurs is provided through innovation labs operated by the industry’s leading corporations via an open innovation model. The program enables startups to access unique technological infrastructures, market insights, and unique channels of marketing and expertise to which they currently lack access, with the aim of proving feasibility on the way to transforming a technological idea into a commercial product. The program provides a grant of up to 85% of the approved budget, up to a maximum grant of NIS 1 million for up to a year (and up to NIS 3 million for a period of up to two years in the Digital Health Sub-Program). A grant of up to 50% of the approved budget, up to a maximum sum of NIS 1 million will be awarded for a further period of 1 year (up to NIS 3 million for a period of up to two years in the Digital Health Sub-Program).
Advancing Technology Entrepreneurship in Haifa: This program is aimed at reinforcing and strengthening the city of Haifa’s status as a high-tech industry hub in the Israeli ecosystem and to advance technological innovation in the city. The program’s goal is to increase the number of startup companies and technological initiatives in Haifa, with emphasis on its Lower City neighborhood. The program encourages synergy and collaboration between principal city focal points such as City Hall, academia, industry, the business sector, and the non-profit sector, with the aim of bolstering urban infrastructures and the use of the city’s strategic assets, encouraging independence of entrepreneurial parties, and strengthening the Haifa entrepreneurial community while integrating populations such as ethnic minorities, Ultra-Orthodox, women and Israelis of Ethiopian descent.
Young Entrepreneurship Program: The Authority is working in conjunction with the Ministry of Education to promote an entrepreneurship incentive program that will constitute an efficient tool for encouraging and educating young people in business, scientific, and technological entrepreneurship. The participants in the program will gain practical experience in developing knowledge and products while utilizing Ministry of Education scientific and technological infrastructures such as ‘Eshkol’ (Cluster) and ‘Tapuah’ (Apple) science centers and science museums as part of their initiative to transform a technology idea into a product of economic value.
Human Capital Programs
Coding Bootcamps Program (34): In response to the shortage of skilled high-tech personnel, the Authority has been operating a program since 2018 that supports extra-academic courses (coding bootcamps) aimed at increasing the supply of programmers and data science graduates in Israel. These intensive and practical programs locate candidates with significant potential, provide them with the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge, and train them, in a relatively short period of time, for work in the high-tech industry as programmers and data scientists. The graduates can therefore make a real and immediate contribution to the company. The program’s goal is to increase the number of graduates acquiring relevant practical training who are placed in high-tech development jobs at salaries of over NIS 14,000 (within 15 months of completing the course). The bootcamps were chosen in a competitive procedure for a period of three years.
The Advanced Technology Studies Workshop (HaSadna) Program: The huge demand for experts in advanced technology professions requires innovative models for training experts in this field and for upgrading skilled professionals already employed in the high-tech industry. The Workshop Program focuses on support of a joint advanced training framework for engineers in high-tech companies, led by the industry, in advanced development professions. Proficiency in algorithmics in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become vital and relevant in almost every field of technology. The Innovation Authority’s initiative to assist high-tech companies in training their employees stems from the need for high-quality expert personnel and is aimed at enhancing the important activity taking place in academic institutions and providing training in further AI areas that are required by the industry.
High-Tech Specialization Program (42): In response to the challenge of recruiting inexperienced workers in the high-tech industry, this program offers grants to high-tech companies that create employee specialization programs. As part of these programs, new graduates with a university degree or a degree in practical engineering in technology professions (“juniors”) will be accepted and trained for entry-level development roles. The company will receive a grant of NIS 50,000 for every candidate they hire for a minimum of six months with a monthly salary of at least NIS 15,000 and who receives on-the-job training. The juniors’ training model will be adapted to each company’s specific needs and may be based on the company’s internal resources and/or external organizations and trainers.
Human Capital for High-Tech Fund (44): The Human Capital Fund is a unique program aimed at encouraging the creation of innovative solutions coming from the market, to expand entry routes to hightech employment and to upgrade or improve the existing high-tech human capital in R&D and growth positions (sales, marketing, finances, legal etc.) in the high-tech field.
The fund offers grants for budget requests according to the following rungs:
- For budget requests of up to NIS 1 million – 50%, 60%, or 70% of the approved budget.
- For budget requests of NIS 1 million -15 million – 30%, 40, or 50% of the approved budget, according to the committee’s decision.
Industry Training and Placement Program (45): As a response to the high-tech employment crisis that developed as the result of the Covid pandemic, the Innovation Authority, in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Economy and Industry, launched an emergency program to finance the immediate large-scale training and placement of workers in a variety of high-tech professions. The program offers grants to training entities and companies implementing a process that combines training for and placement in in-demand technology and business jobs. Preference will be given to requests that emphasize high-percentage placement, employers’ involvement in defining the training program, and the provision of practical specialization.
Programs to Promote Entrepreneurship and Seed-Stage Startups: These programs are intended to establish a supportive network for the creation and mentoring of new initiatives and entrepreneurs from the ideation stage, to create an innovation ecosystem that supports entrepreneurship, and to increase the number of investors at the pre-seed and seed stages. The programs also encourage entrepreneurship and increased numbers of initiatives and new companies from the seed stage via three sub-programs:
a. A program to establish angels’ clubs
b. A program to establish technology innovation centers and the possibility to include activity aimed at advancing high-tech employment
c. A program to establish technology accelerators
As part of the programs, grants will be given for up to NIS 900,000 per year, for the three years franchise of the angels’ club; NIS 2 million each year, for the five years franchise of establishing a technology innovation center; and a further NIS 1 million for each operational year, if the proposal includes activity aimed at advancing high-tech employment, and NIS 1 million per year for 2-4 years for the franchise of establishing a technology accelerator.
The Program to Advance Technological Innovation in Beersheba: This program is intended to create a high-tech hub in the Negev by advancing technology entrepreneurship and increasing the number of startup companies in Beersheba. Special emphasis will be given to the fields of activity with existing industrial mainstays that can serve as a focal point to attract companies: ICT (cyber, G5 communications, Artificial Intelligence, organizational software), industry and sustainability, and health. The program encourages the creation of synergy and collaboration between principal city focal points (City Hall, academia, industry, and the business sector), the bolstering of urban infrastructures with an emphasis on R&D infrastructures, the creation of large companies’ R&D and innovation centers, the strengthening of the Beersheba entrepreneurial community while integrating populations such as ethnic minorities, Ultra-Orthodox, women and Israelis of Ethiopian descent – including branding and marketing the city as a Negev high-tech hub and as a center of entrepreneurship and innovation. As part of this program, the Innovation Authority will award a grant of NIS 25 million for a period of 4 years.
The Technological Innovation Labs Program: A new technological innovation lab in the field of digital health began operation as part of the general technological innovation labs program. As part of this sub-program, the lab’s companies will receive a grant of up to 85% of the approved budget, up to a maximum grant of NIS 3 million for a period of up to two years, and a grant of up to 50% of the approved budget, up to a maximum sum of NIS 3 million for a further period of up to two years.
Human Capital Fund: 49 different programs were chosen as part of the first and second calls for proposals in the Human Capital for High-Tech Fund Program (44). Most of the programs focus on advancing sectors of the population currently under-represented in the industry – women, the Arab sector, the ultra-Orthodox sectThe programs receivedor, and residents of the periphery, as well as advanced technology training courses such as VLSI and sustainability.
The programs received total grants of NIS 54.2 million (state funds) and NIS 63.3 million (private funding) and will train 13,600 participants during the next two years. Furthermore, 5 operating entities were chosen to integrate new immigrants and returning Israeli citizens with R&D experience. Over the next two years, these entities will run programs to locate and sort relevant participants, provide them technology training and soft skills workshops, and place them in local high-tech companies.
Below is a summary of the programs selected in the second call for proposals:
|Type of Program
|No. of Programs
|Total No. of Trained Participants (in 2 years)
|Juniors and extra-academic training
|Training for under-represented populations
|Bringing human capital from overseas
|Training in advanced tech professions
The Division’s Performance in Numbers:
- 99 requests were submitted to the various incubator programs during the year, of which 85 were approved for total grants of NIS 150 million.
- 325 requests were submitted to the Tnufa (Ideation) Program of which 108 were approved for total grants of NIS 12 million.
- 28 requests were submitted to the Innovation Labs programs of which 22 were approved for total grants of NIS 14 million.
- 1 request was submitted to the Advancing Technology Entrepreneurship in Haifa program and a grant of NIS 7,500,000 was approved.
- As part of the Young Entrepreneurship Incentive Program, the ‘Unistream’ NGO, via a dedicated joint NIS 1.25 million budget from the Innovation Authority and the Ministry of Education, also operates technological entrepreneurship training programs for youths aged 14-18 in schools and designated centers around Israel, with an emphasis on the geographical and social periphery.
- One group consisting of the market’s leading companies operates as part of the Workshop (HaSadna) Program and trains the employees of the participating companies in Artificial Intelligence-related professions. The lecturers leading the programs are senior industry figures from the companies that are members in the operating group of companies alongside professional instructors, with the proposed syllabuses being submitted and approved by the Innovation Authority. 600 employees will be trained over a 3-year period that will receive investment of NIS 6 million representing a 66% funding ratio.
- Over 6,300 allocations were approved as part of the Emergency Training and Placement Program (45). These were divided between development roles and technology and business roles that support development. The subsidized training programs will also be held in periphery areas and will be tailored to under-represented populations, with an emphasis on the ultra-Orthodox and Arab sectors, at a total budget of NIS 16 million. The training courses will be run by 29 training entities and 18 employers who will conduct the training and placement of the graduates. In addition, as part of this program, 5,600 workers were trained in the high-tech industry during 2021, with a third of these being in core roles and the remainder in supporting core roles- and business positions.
The Growth Division supports startups and companies in growth stages, mature companies, and R&D centers operating throughout Israel. The division helps to advance companies’ competition and technological leadership with the aim of increasing the pace of their growth and their potential.
The Division’s Programs:
R&D Fund: This program supports commercial companies currently developing new products or upgrading an existing technology. The program offers the largest financial incentive awarded by the State of Israel for Israeli corporations’ R&D activity and is offered to all sectors with the aim of strengthening and advancing the Israeli economy. The fund’s activity also includes designated programs to support startup companies owned by members of Israel’s minority populations and/or ultra-Orthodox and/or women and another designated program supporting breakthrough generic research and development in R&D-oriented companies.
Joint Government Support for High-Tech Technological Innovation (Pilots): This program allows technology companies to conduct R&D, including programs for operating pilot sites in a variety of innovation systems, including those with rigorous regulation and with governmental influence, while enhancing the perception of the economic value created in Israel. Collaborating with government entities via the incentive program increases their ability to strengthen innovation systems in fields under their responsibility, provides better access to regulation, state assets, and public infrastructures, and that ultimately improves the level of knowledge and professionalism of both the Innovation Authority and government in advancing these innovation systems for the benefit of the general public. This incentive program is intended to support research or development and to provide a response to market failures that exist in new and growing innovation systems, including those resulting from regulation and government impact. These market failures are characterized by high levels of technological risk, complex implementation, limited access to pilot testing sites, or difficulty in receiving regulatory approval. This program includes sub-programs specifically designated for various sectors such as health, transportation, environmental protection, the Government Companies Authority, agriculture, cyber, energy, internal affairs, teleprocessing, finance and securities, tourism, communications, internal security, space, etc.
Assistive Tech (“Ezer-Tech”): This program has been operating since 2011 and is the result of collaboration between the Innovation Authority and the National Insurance Institute funds. The program’s goal is to encourage R&D of industrial products that provide technological solutions for the disabled and thereby enabling them to integrate into society and the labor market. Assistive technologies possess the potential to generate dramatic change in the lives of people with disabilities and to enable them to conduct healthy, independent, and respectable lives enabling them to contribute in all spheres of life: employment, education, leisure etc.
Last year, the Innovation Authority expanded the scope of tailored initiatives focusing on fields with defined market failures and that without government support will endanger the continued leading position of Israeli high-tech. These projects are a concentrated and coordinated public-private effort that includes a critical mass of multi-sector pilot activity which includes, as needed, government entities, technology companies, regulators, testing sites, and implementation bodies, led by the Innovation Authority, that are aimed at generating a reality-changing development in a specific technology field in Israel. This is, in effect, a further facet of the Innovation Authority’s policy measures, the goal of which is to maximize an organization’s existing knowledge and tools and enable the Authority’s support to have the maximum possible influence in advancing Israeli technological innovation.
The Division’s Performance in Numbers:
- 95 requests were submitted to the Institutional Investment Programs,35 of which 93 were approved for secured investments totaling NIS 848.8 million.36
- 639 requests were submitted to the R&D Fund Program of which 274 were approved for grants totaling NIS 533 million.
- 157 requests were submitted to the Pilots Program of which 67 were approved for grants totaling NIS 69 million.
- 3 requests were submitted to Sub-Program (35) – Biotechnology and Medical R&D Centers. All 3 requests were approved for grants totaling NIS 26 million.
- 49 requests were submitted to the “Assistive-Tech” Program of which 14 were approved for grants totaling NIS 9 million.
The International Collaboration Division helps create a competitive advantage for Israeli companies via international collaborations in fields of research and innovation. The Division strives to facilitate access to knowledge, partnership in global research and innovation and market pilots, as well as collaboration with multinational corporations, public entities, and leading research institutions worldwide. The Division is responsible for the Innovation Authority’s global connections that advance research and innovation collaborations on strategic issues. Operating under the auspices of the Division is the ISERD (Israel-Europe Research & Innovation) Directorate responsible for Israel’s interface with the European R&D framework program.
The Division’s Programs:
R&D With International Partners Incentive Program: This program provides support to Israeli companies working with foreign partners on commercialization-directed R&D projects to develop new technological products or to significantly upgrade an existing technology. The program also provides Israeli companies with an opportunity to work with foreign partners via a financial incentive that enables to share the risk in funding the project and helps with finding foreign technology partners.
Pilots with International Partners Program: This program supports Israeli companies’ technology pilot programs in different fields that will be conducted at overseas companies or that will be based on their capabilities, data, or information. The program grants Israeli companies an opportunity to test their technologies in real conditions via a financial incentive that enables to share the existing risk in funding the project and assistance with finding international sites for the pilots. Products submitted as part of this incentive program must be ready for testing (after proof of feasibility and development of most of the product) and without additional significant R&D content.
Bi-National Funds Incentive Program: This program provides support for Israeli companies collaborating with foreign companies in the US, India, Singapore, and Korea on R&D projects of new technology products or the significant upgrade of an existing technology. The program’s financial incentive, financed by the binational funds, enables to share the risk of funding the project and offers support in the search for foreign technology partners.
There are currently four bi-national funds:
- I4F – Israel-India
- BIRD – Israel-United States
- SIIRD – Israel-Singapore
- KORIL – Israel-Korea
The ISERD Directorate – European Program for Research and Innovation – Horizon Europe: The European Framework Program for Research and Innovation is the world’s largest platform for collaborations in this field, with a total budget of EUR 95.5 billion over 7 years. Israel is an associate member of the program and Israeli entities are entitled to submit requests for grants. ISERD – the Israel- Europe Research & Innovation Directorate – is responsible for advancing Israeli activity in the European research arena and aims to provide Israeli entities with access to the European Framework Program. The program provides direct funding for a vast range of sectors and entities according to calls for proposals, both via individual grants to outstanding researchers and to outstanding companies, and via grants to consortiums in fields of European preference. The program is intended for any organization or legal entity that would benefit from cooperation in international research, development, and innovation processes: companies, startups, corporations, research and academic institutions, government agencies, hospitals, municipalities, non-profit organizations, and others. The Horizon Europe program will implement the “Green Deal” policy that constitutes the European Commission’s roadmap for advancing UN goals of achieving climate sustainability by 2050. To this end, specific challenges are identified relating to climate change and damage to the environment. The strategy formulated in the Green Deal initiative outlines a program of significant economic and social changes in Europe that advance efficient utilization of resources and a transition to a circular and clean economy, conservation of biological diversity, reduction of environmental pollution, and use of research and innovation to adopt a sustainable, equitable, inclusive social change. As part of the program, 30 percent of the grants will be allocated to the Green Deal policy.
The central sub-programs intended for companies are:
Accelerator EIC: for small- and medium-sized groundbreaking companies. This program offers grants and equity investment proposals.
Consortiums Program: offers a grant for projects that answer calls for proposals in different fields. Consortiums will consist of at least three partners from three different countries, one of which must be a member country. The consortiums enable companies to collaborate with researchers.
Missions: the program defines five major missions in the fields of cancer, smart cities that are climate balanced, adaptation to climate change including social transformation, healthy oceans, seas and lakes, and healthy earth and food. The projects chosen will be ambitious and multi-disciplinary and will meet the criteria determined as part of that mission.
The program runs several sub-programs in fields of preference in which the Authority participates:
- The CHIPS Micro-Electronics Program
- The M-ERA.NET Program in materials science
- The MANUNET Program in advanced manufacturing
- The PRIMA Program for Mediterranean cooperation in fields of food and energy
- The QuantERA Program for research in the field of Quantum Technologies
- The Graphene Flagship for graphene and brain research
- The ICT AGRO Program for research in the field of precision agriculture
- The CHIST-ERA Program for collaborative research in ICT fields
The Division’s Performance in Numbers:
- 99 requests were submitted to the R&D and Pilots with International Partners Incentive Programs of which 48 were approved for a total of NIS 60 million.
- 114 requests were submitted to the first stage of a pilot program with 4 leading global health centers, 20 of which advanced to the second stage. Of these, 14 projects were approved for total support of NIS 8.6 million. The approved projects include innovative technologies for remote monitoring and control of patients, use of AI systems for issuing recommendations and supporting medical decisions, and software tools for streamlining cancer treatment.
- 51 requests were submitted to the Bi-National Funds Program of which 22 were approved for a total of NIS 47.3 million.
- 13,000 Israeli requests were submitted to the European R&D Horizon 2020 Program between 2014-2020. Of these, 1,666 grants totaling EUR 1.27 billion were approved (preliminary figures).1Final figures are expected only after the finalization of the winning companies’ funding agreements. Likewise, 2021 data has yet to be received. Furthermore, 5 Israeli requests were approved as part of the ECSEL Program in the field of micro-electronics for total grants of NIS 20 million.
- 209 Israeli companies submitted requests in 2021 to the EIC Accelerator Program for outstanding companies of which 16 Israeli companies were approved grants totaling EUR 37 million and equity proposals worth EUR 101.6 million.
The Technological Infrastructure Division is responsible for advancing the development of groundbreaking generic and pre-product technology, commercialization and transfer of knowledge from academia to industry, the establishment of R&D infrastructures, and for supporting the development of dual civilian-defense technologies. The Division’s programs are open to entrepreneurs, companies, and research institutions for individual or collaborative research.
The Division’s Programs:
MAGNET Consortiums Program: Consortiums of Israeli industrial companies and academic research groups working together to realize a common vision of groundbreaking pre-product technology research. The technology focuses on fields of importance on the global market in which Israeli industry has or may have a competitive advantage. The program enables the distribution of knowledge and cooperation between the consortium partners, which may be otherwise difficult to achieve. The program enables the formation of different consortiums for a period of 3 years, via broad-based partnership of industry entities, that are focused on a limited number of companies or those aiming to build an infrastructure of knowledge via research institutions that are directed by the industry.
Academic Knowledge Transfer Program: This program incentivizes biennial applied research with innovative technological feasibility originating in academia and its advancement to the stage at which an Israeli industrial company will adopt it to develop as a commercial product. The program’s goal is to bridge the knowledge gap between academia and the industry’s needs, with the option of leading a project to a stage where it attracts the interest of business entities and, ultimately, achieves a commercialization agreement with the research institution. The program allows the project research to be accompanied by a corporation that envisions its subsequent commercial potential. Adding a corporation to the consortium will therefore be allowed at all stages of the project, to increase its chances for commercialization in Israeli industry. This program includes 3 sub-programs: Knowledge Transfer with an Accompanying Corporation, Knowledge Transfer without a Corporation, and Preferred Pharma Research that allows for triennial activity. In addition, a technology-business expert will be allocated to approved projects via the Authority’s expert subject matter sub-contractors, in order to assist researchers in honing their scientific and business activity and to adapt it to market requirements. This benefit will be given to institutions that choose to add this expert (whether from the Authority’s list of experts or one proposed by the institution itself). Projects approved as part of this program that met the technology criteria and those stipulated by the committee, will be given the option of requesting further support for an “inclusive feasibility lab”. This activity will enable funding of an external service laboratory, will demonstrate compiling of technological development, and will yield value for the industry which will ultimately allow the project’s commercialization and transfer of knowledge to the industry.
Knowledge Commercialization Program: A program promoting cooperation between academic research groups and an Israeli industrial company, with the goal of proving technological feasibility of the preliminary academic research’s achievements. The program is intended to enable a company to absorb the knowledge developed by the academic institution and to adapt it to its needs for developing groundbreaking products. The program includes repetition of the research results, their validation, adaptations to industrial conditions, and industrial application. The program includes three biennial sub-programs – MAGNETON, Knowledge Import, and Continued MAGNET:
- MAGNETON and Knowledge Import – the R&D program will include the transfer of knowledge from one or more research institutes (Israeli or foreign respectively) to an Israeli industrial corporation, primarily via repetition of the research results, their validation, adaptations to industrial conditions, and industrial application.
- Continued MAGNET – continued joint R&D activity of an industrial corporation member in the consortium and a research institution on a selected project conducted in the consortium.
MEIMAD – Dual Military, Defense, and Commercial R&D Program: This incentive program is a joint venture of the Innovation Authority, Ministry of Finance, and the Defense Ministry’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure. The program supports the development of creative pre-product solutions for military needs and commercial markets. The program’s goal is to promote military and commercial R&D of dual use technologies, which on the one hand contribute to national security, and on the other hand possess commercial potential. This program includes three sub-programs: MEIMAD Academia (see Academic Knowledge Transfer above), MEIMAD Industry (see Knowledge Commercialization above), and MEIMAD Pre-Product – groundbreaking pre-product technology developments with dual-use potential (the project is for up to 2.5 years).
R&D Infrastructure and Equipment Program: This program enables the establishment of R&D infrastructures needed by the industry for innovative and groundbreaking R&D. Government support for the establishment of infrastructures is required when a significant industry need arises for such infrastructure and when, for the following reasons, there is no economic justification for its establishment without government support: a. There is no such infrastructure in Israel and the need exists for significant knowledge and funding that would be uneconomic for a specific Israeli company. b. Accessibility to the exiting infrastructure overseas incurs high costs or does not conform to the needs of industrial users in Israel. c. The infrastructure and facilitating its accessibility will create fertile ground for building an ecosystem in this field in Israel. Establishing the infrastructure can be undertaken by a group of users, or by an industrial corporation, by buying infrastructure equipment to provide R&D services for industrial corporations to advance Israeli industry.
Applied Research in Industry Program: This program supports companies that invest large-scale budgets in research / preliminary development processes of groundbreaking technology. Among the emphases of the program:
- Innovative high-risk R&D – Engaging in high-risk research and the development of innovative technologies grants a company a significant advantage and allows it to penetrate new markets and to influence the growth of the Israeli economy.
- Attractive funding model – The program offers participation in risks inherent in the development process of a new technology, regardless of future profits or successes. The grant will be 55% of the program’s total budget approved by the research committee.
- Quality-Standard support – The support of the Innovation Authority, given only after a project undergoes comprehensive professional examination and evaluation, constitutes a quality standard for companies in the industry. This quality standard helps in recruiting investors at various stages of a company’s activity.
IGBT (Israel Biochip Technology Consortium): is a consortium of leading companies and researchers from the field of electronic chips and biochips. The consortium’s goal is to develop generic technological bricks aimed at creating an Israeli competitive technological advantage in the field of continuous medical monitoring of the human body, based on data measured by multiple sensors. The consortium integrates well with the Innovation Authority’s efforts to advance the field of bio-convergence as a significant growth engine of the Israeli economy.
Applied Research in the Industry: NOVA is a 28-year-old company with revenues of over USD 400 million and with more than 800 employees, of whom 400 are in Israel. The company submitted a request for support in developing a new metrology technology that will enable the early electrical characterization of the components built in the semiconductor industry’s assembly line. The product, that will be constructed using the technology will be innovative and will allow to conduct an electrical test at a significantly earlier stage than that possible today. No such product currently exists in the growing metrology market.
Knowledge Commercialization: CEVA is a company that develops advanced sound solutions to improve human-machine and interpersonal communication. The company submitted a request to the Knowledge Commercialization Program at Bar-Ilan University for a field that focuses on algorithms for Machine Learning and Deep Learning. The project pertains to the integration of new mechanisms in products’ software and hardware components (the bx- processor, ClearVox sound filter) to reduce noise and improve sound quality. The future products, in which the technology developed in this program will be incorporated, include communications and multimedia devices and others.
Applied Research in Academia: A study conducted by Prof. Malachi Noked from Bar-Ilan University on surface modifications aimed at creating innovative protection levels to improve the operation of rechargeable lithium batteries. The funded study will assist in the development of an innovative nanometric coating on the silicon anode of a next-generation lithium-ion battery and help enhance its performance by approximately 30%. This technology has commercialization potential with different companies in Israeli industry that have large needs on the local and global markets and can contribute significantly from a sustainability perspective.
MEIMAD Applied Research in Industry: Lurya Defense and Aerospace submitted a request to develop a ballistic helmet and a helmet for civilian purposes. The helmet combines soft and hard protection, connected via a spring switch, and has improved performance in protection from amor-piercing bullets and trauma wounds. This idea represents high-level functional and technological innovation on a global level. The company is also interested in developing a process for the 3D printing of boron carbide. (Boron carbide).
The Division’s Performance in Numbers:
- Work plans of 11 consortiums were approved during 2021 as part of the Consortiums Program, for grants totaling NIS 175 million (NIS 47 for new consortiums and NIS 128 million for follow-up programs). Furthermore, 5 projects were submitted to establish new consortiums during 2021 and received preliminary approval. The final decisions on these requests will be made during 2022.
- 21 new and follow-up requests were submitted to the MEIMAD Program of which 17 were approved for grants totaling NIS 12.5 million.
- In the R&D Infrastructures Program, a follow-up period was approved for the NLP Consortium and for the Smart Transportation Consortium totaling NIS 8.5 million. In addition, approval was given for the establishment of an R&D infrastructure in synthetic biology for grants totaling NIS 9.7 million for the first year of activity.
- The Authority’s Research Committee in the Applied Research in Industry Program discussed 22 requests for a total budget of NIS 82 million. Six new requests were approved for total grants of NIS 15.4 million and a further NIS 26.7 million was awarded to follow-up requests.
- 85 requests were submitted to the Knowledge Commercialization Program of which 58 were approved for total grants of NIS 48 million.
- 388 files were submitted to the Applied Research in Academia Program, with or without an accompanying corporation, including MEIMAD Academia, (205 new files of which 132 were approved) for total grants of NIS 107 million.
The Advanced Manufacturing Division assists companies from the manufacturing sector and factories interested in developing products and implementing innovative technologies. The Division strives to strengthen the manufacturing industry and enhance its competitiveness by applying R&D processes and innovation.
The Division’s Programs:
R&D Preparatory Program: The program aims to create an innovation-oriented change in companies from the manufacturing industry sectors, with the goal of enhancing the competitiveness of the participating companies. The program is operated as a complementary tool for the manufacturing industry and is intended to assist companies with the initial stages of R&D. The program offers companies without prior experience in R&D and in leading innovation processes, or companies that require focus and guidance with their R&D activities, the assistance of technology experts to bolster their R&D programs. The program provides various supportive tools including mapping and examination of possible R&D directions, testing of technological feasibility, resolution of engineering faults, improvements in the manufacturing process, and pre-manufacturing preparations for early-stage companies.
MOFET (R&D in the Manufacturing Industry): The MOFET Program leads technological R&D programs that have the potential to improve productivity of a company or factory, while at the same time creating technological differentiation that will achieve competitive advantages in the local and global markets. The MOFET Program is intended for industrial factories interested in implementing technological innovation processes by developing innovative products, improving and developing existing products, or developing and enhancing production processes. The program is for manufacture-oriented companies or companies preparing for manufacturing, and that meet the program criteria. As part of this program, a company may submit focused R&D programs including development of a new product, use of advanced materials, and development of an innovative production process.
Transition from Development to Production Program: This program aims to assist companies to successfully navigate the transition from development to production, with the aim of establishing production lines and factories in Israel using advanced technologies. The program constitutes a quantum leap for companies in developing a production process for advanced products, offers financial support, guidance, and assistance in removing obstacles during an early-stage company’s transition from product development to that of mass production. The program accepts requests in which two thirds of the budget is allocated to the development of production processes. The program is intended for companies and factories producing or preparing to produce in Israel and that are interested in developing innovative production processes or production processes for globally innovative products.
Breaking the Paradigm and Introducing R&D into the Manufacturing Industry: The manufacturing industry is entering the world of R&D, as can be seen by the 30% annual growth in the number of R&D submissions and approved grants. About 50% of the submissions in 2021 were from industry that had not previously engaged in R&D (plastics, metals, food, etc.). Over 50% of the companies are located in Development-A Zones. 180 companies submitted a first-time request for support in the MOFET and R&D Preparatory Programs.
Establishing Factories in Israel with Advanced Technology: Two new calls for proposals were issued in 2021 in the Transition from Development to Production Program, that enables companies to develop production processes while setting up the factory and to strengthen its production activity in Israel. This program provides ongoing support for companies that have completed the product development stage and are developing the production processes, in fields such as medical devices, pharmaceuticals, energy, alternative proteins, and others. To date, 70 companies have submitted requests as part of this program, 50 of which were approved for total grants of NIS 85 million. Of these, approximately 70% of the submissions were in the fields of medical devices, pharma, and energy. About 85% of the companies are early-stage companies (sales of up to US 10 million) with significant growth potential in Israel.
Collaboration with Government and Innovation-Promoting Entities: For the first time, the Advanced Manufacturing Division initiated collaboration during 2021 with the Defense Ministry’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure in order to advance dual R&D programs in the manufacturing industry. 22 requests were submitted as part of this program to develop new products and production processes for advanced technological products that represent innovation in both the civilian and military markets, and which enable Israeli manufacturing companies to compete globally. In addition, collaborations were formulated and extended with the Ministry of Economy and Industry, the Ministry of Construction and Housing, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Energy, and the Ministry of Health to advance R&D programs in manufacturing companies in various sectors.
The Division’s Performance in Numbers:
- 213 requests were submitted to the MOFET Program of which 145 were approved for grants totaling NIS 108 million.
- 90 requests were submitted to and approved by the R&D Preparatory Program for grants totaling NIS 6 million.
- 42 requests were submitted to the Transition from Development to Production Program of which 33 were approved for grants totaling NIS 57.5 million.