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Israel Joins European Horizon R&D Program

(October 2021)

Israel has been participating in European R&D programs for 25 years as an associated country. Horizon Europe – which will take place over seven years, as did the previous Horizon 2020 program – is the biggest research and innovation program in the world, with a budget of some 95.5 billion euros (approximately $110 billion). In October 2021, after a year of long and intensive negotiations, the text of an agreement for Israel to join the progam was completed. Israel’s accession the Horizon program is a milestone in ties with the European Union and its member states.

The program fosters many scientific and economic benefits for both Israel and Europe. Israel’s participation in the program will significantly contribute to scientific and technological research and knowledge industries, as well as to commerce and the economy, and will promote Israeli industry while simultaneously creating opportunities for Israeli companies to enter European markets.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid said: “Israel joining Horizon Europe will lead to high-quality jobs, cutting-edge technologies, and the opening of new Israeli businesses. We are continuing to lead Israel to new heights in both business and technological innovation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to create economic and scientific opportunities for Israel. Israel joining Horizon is yet another step in our policy of connections, bringing us closer not only to the European Union as a whole but also to each of the countries of Europe on a bilateral level as well, and building a connection between the science and technology sectors in Israel and their European counterparts. This is yet another step in establishing Israel as a central player in one of the most important research and development programs in the world.”

Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Orit Farkash-Hacohen added: “We are happy to conclude negotiations for Israel’s accession to the important Horizon program. For the past 25 years, Israel has taken part in the European R&D program, which serves as a strategic platform for research and technological leadership in Israel. The conclusion of the negotiations ahead of Israel’s entry into the ninth program is a significant step for academia and industry. Israel will continue to bring scientific excellence and technological and creative innovation to Europe, in cooperation with Europe’s best researchers, knowledge, and infrastructure.”

“The Horizon program is one of the world’s leading R&D programs, combining excellent scientific research with entrepreneurship and technological innovation. Israel’s accession to the program reflects the importance that Israel grants to investment and support for R&D as the key for future economic growth,” said Minister of Finance Avigdor Lieberman

Yael Ravia-Zadok, Deputy Director General of Economic Diplomacy at the MFA, who led the political-diplomatic campaign said: “The completion of negotiations on Israel’s accession to the Horizon program, following a months-long political effort and the opening of the advanced quantum programs, is a significant political and professional milestone. This is important news for the science and innovation community in Israel, situating it on par with Europe’s leading research and industry institutions. It represents an expression of confidence by Europe in Israel’s assets in science, technology, and innovation, which will expand the potential for research and economic collaboration between Israel and EU countries. This achievement is shared by many partners, including the Innovation Authority, the Foreign Ministry and its embassies in Europe, the Council for Higher Education, the Ministries of Justice and Finance, the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology, the national quantum program, and Israel’s scientific community.”

Dr. Ami Appelbaum, Chairman of the Innovation Authority and Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Directorate for European R&D at the Innovation Authority, noted that Israel’s participation in EU R&D programs is a strategic asset for the Israeli economy more broadly, and for R&D institutions in particular. As part of the 2019 assessment of the impact of Israel’s participation in the previous program – Horizon 2020 – it was found that the program had a significant impact on Israeli academia and industry, whose entities and institutions received over 1.3 billion euros in grants within the framework of the eighth program. In academia, significant positive effects were identified in research quality, the strengthening of Israeli academia’s international reputation, and in ties between Israel’s academic community and the European research community. In industry, significant positive effects were identified in the areas of market penetration time, international market penetration, and potential future growth.

Source: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, (October 26, 2021)