Britain and Israeli Conclude
Industrial R&D Cooperation Agreement
(May 24, 1999)
On May 24, 1999, Britain and Israel agreed to establish a bilateral fund to support Anglo-Israeli industrial R&D cooperation. The two countries have pledged a combined $25 million to support science and technological research carried out jointly by companies in both nations. The fund will support any hi-tech projects that can be turned into a commercial application. The Britain-Israel Technology Agreement is the first R&D fund established between Britain and another country. The joint signing ceremony was held in Jerusalem and London via video-conference.
The accord was initiated to strengthen economic and commercial cooperation between the nations, particularly in the field of high technology. It should be noted that Israel already has a cooperative relationship with the European Union in the area of high-tech. The agreement with Britain is a breakthrough as it is Israels first technological alliance with a European country. The agreement calls for the fund to last for five years, at which time a decision will be made about its future.
This latest technology alliance will be run in the framework of an independent corporation, to be technically managed by a board of directors that includes representatives of the state and of industry from both countries. The Britain-Israel Technology agreement is loosely based on the accord behind the BIRD Foundation, Israels binational technological fund with the United States. In addition, Israel has two similar arrangements with Canada and Singapore.