Knesset Science Committee chairman MK Moshe Gafni said Monday that if the
Science, Technology and Space Ministry’s budget is not increased, he will see it
as a personal failure.
Gafni was speaking at a session attended by
Minister Yaakov Peri, who detailed his ministry’s operations.
stressed the major economic benefits of investing in scientific research and
The ministry has a very small staff, including only one
employee in the field of community involvement.
The budget, he added, is
relatively very small, even though the financial gains of scientific cooperation
and investment in infrastructure is high.
“We are losing the power of
engineering in this country” because of the shortage of professionals, the
science minister continued, saying that he intends to open two research
institutes that will link basic science and industry.
and Space Ministry director-general Bina Bar-On said that its budget is not
final for much of the year, making it difficult to plan over the long
MK Erel Margalit (Labor) stressed the need to invest in practical
multidisciplinary research in the periphery.
“Until now, we have invested
mostly in military research; the time has come to do so in civilian fields as
Gafni, of United Torah Judaism, said the Treasury acts like a
“cheapskate” when it comes to investing in long-term projects instead of urgent
“If the ministry’s budget remains the same by the time I leave my
post, I will see it as a personal failure. Next week we will finalize the bill
for natural gas royalties, and I intend to fight for investing a lot of it for
research and development. The status quo cannot continue.”
haredi MK noted the major damage resulting from the recent snow storm and
commented that “it’s amazing that such a developed country did not succeeded in
coping with it. Residents showed dedication and devotion, but the state must be
prepared, as we are liable to find ourselves in much more difficult situations.”
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