The reception, attended by European ambassadors, Israeli government officials and Research & Innovation stakeholders, marked a quarter century of growing R&I ties that started when Israel became associated to the fourth EU Framework Programme for Research in 1996.
“Since then, about 5,000 research contracts were signed as part of our cooperation, more than 6,000 participants, and about 1,000 SMEs for 2.5 billion in total of EU funding for research and innovation to which Israel also was an outstanding financial contributor,” Signe Ratso, the Deputy Director-General for research and innovation at the European Commission, said in a recorded message screened at the event.
“Behind the numbers, the true value of our cooperation is in terms of shared concerns and common goals. We can mention projects in the area of biotechnology to fight climate changes, or new ways to ensure safe and drinkable fresh water, innovation in agriculture, safer transportation, new drugs discovery and better public health,” Ratso added.
EU Ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret noted in his remarks that Israel was one of the most successful non-EU participants in the union’s outgoing flagship R&I program Horizon 2020.
“Some 1,600 Israel-based projects received a total of 1.36 billion Euro in funding in the framework of Horizon 2020,” he said. “We value our partnership a great deal. Israel’s significant contributions to global science and innovation are indisputable. A number of Israeli world-class scientists have made outstanding contributions in numerous scientific areas.”
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Director-General Yael Ravia Zadok, who heads the ministry’s Economic Diplomacy division, stressed that Israel’s participation in European Framework Programmes such as Horizon 2020 has positively impacted all sides. “Israel has the opportunity to collaborate with one of the world’s scientific powerhouses, it gains access to a unique technological infrastructure and its companies collaborate with European partners in developing cutting-edge technologies,” she said.
Israeli participation in European R&I programmes “could be considered the flagship of the strategic partnership between Israel and the EU,” she added.
Shai-Lee Shpigelman, Director-General of the Israel Ministry of Science and Technology, also addressed the guests (the reception was held in line with Health Ministry regulations).
During the event, a new report about the presence of Israeli start-ups throughout Europe was presented. According to the report, more than 900 Israeli tech companies have a presence in the EU, employing together over 24,000 employees. An in-depth survey conducted for the report showed that 16 percent of Israeli start-ups in Europe have received funding from the European Union.
“This report is a strategic step in mapping the potential of European/Israeli innovation relations as it sets the foundation for more development and collaborations. The report serves as a tool for decision and policy makers, as well as different business players of both ecosystems to identify trends and the business potential between the two markets,” said Adi Barel, Managing Director at EIT Hub Israel from EIT Hub Israel, an outreach location of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.
“The report is part of EIT hub Israel's goal of supporting and building a bilateral ecosystem to deepen the connection and the opportunities in the fields of research and innovation between the two countries,” Barel added.
The EIT is a body of the European Union set up in 2008 to deliver innovation across Europe.
The report was commissioned by EIT Hub Israel and co-produced by CQ Global, a leading consultative search firm that specializes in helping Israeli companies find and locate talent across the globe, and the Israel-Europe R&D Directorate (ISERD), an inter-ministerial directorate promoting the participation of Israeli entities in the European Framework Programmes and in bilateral and multilateral research and innovation activities with European countries. A copy of the report is attached.
An interactive map of Israeli start-ups in the EU can be found here: https://ilstartupmap.eu/
Attached are photos from Thursday’s Tel Aviv event. Photo credit: Idan Canfi
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