Israel, which holds the rotating presidency of Eureka, a pan-European industrial network of 40 countries, will be part of more than one-third of the network’s R&D projects.

“In a global environment of ever-changing dynamics, innovation is the key to our survival and progress,” Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said Wednesday evening in Tel Aviv, at an event marking Israel’s presidency of the program.

“Innovation is the philosophy of 3,800 Israeli technology companies and eight Israeli Nobel Prize winners. We have turned into a competitive hi-tech economy open to international cooperation. Today, in the face of a global economic and financial crisis, our economy is still strong and healthy.”

The event is being held in Israel for the first time this week, under its Eureka chairmanship year for 2010- 2011. Eureka’s high-level group representatives and national project coordinators approved a series of cooperative R&D projects in a variety of areas, including renewable energy and advanced environmental technologies.

During Wednesday’s meeting in Tel Aviv, Eureka’s decision makers approved €51 million of investments in 56 projects submitted by Eureka member countries, which will collaborate to turn these R&D investments into viable technologies and products.

Out of the 56 projects, 17 have Israeli partners representing more than 30 percent of the total. Israel is the only non-European member country out of Eureka’s 40 members.

“It is quite an accomplishment that more than 30% of the projects considered and finally approved have Israeli partners,” said Israel Shamay, executive director of the Israeli Eureka Chairmanship Program. “This reflects Israel’s deep involvement in Eureka, right from the first meeting held in Tel Aviv. I believe that more Israeli firms will be involved in submitting proposals, as the level of exposure to advanced Israeli technologies will grow during our chairmanship year.”

Investments in the following fields were covered: electronics, IT and telecom; industrial technologies; renewable energy; biological sciences and technologies; chemistry, physical and exact sciences; and technologies for protecting man and the environment.

In the coming months, Eureka is planning to launch a Clean-Tech Initiative campaign aimed at encouraging project proposals focused on R&D cooperation in the clean-tech sector, renewable energy, environmental and water technologies.

Eureka was created as an intergovernmental initiative in 1985 and is a pan-European network for market-oriented, industrial R&D. It approves projects that total €1.5 billion per year.

More than 40% of the companies that participate in the Eureka program are small and medium-sized, including start-ups.


During its Eureka chairmanship, Israel will host five major events with representatives of the 40 member countries, including the European Commission. They will take place in Tel Aviv, Eilat, Haifa, Jerusalem and Nazareth. Eureka will celebrate its 25th anniversary under Israel’s chairmanship.

It will take place in Jerusalem under the auspices of President Shimon Peres.

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