Treasury to cut research and development funds by 20%

May 30, 2013 05:46
1 minute read.

The state must increase funds for research and development or the idea of Israel as a “‘start-up nation’ will be only in the past,” said Avi Hasson, chief scientist of the Economy and Trade Ministry, in a session of the Knesset Science and Technology Committee on Tuesday.

“If the country thought in the long-term, it would understand that it must invest more money at a time of economic crisis,” Hasson said. “Every shekel spent on research and development will come back seven times larger at least. It is the country’s main engine for improving the economy.”Dr. Benny Leshem, director of the medical research administration, added that if the planned per-capita R&D budget for 2013 is looked at, “we will discover that it comes out to only three shekels per citizen.”

Committee chairman MK Moshe Gafni said that compared to 2012, the Treasury plans to cut R&D this year by one-fifth.

“This is a catastrophe, it is unbelievable. The Treasury should at least promise that in the coming year, it will lead the ministry chief scientists with the same amount of R&D money as last year. If not, we will see the damage for many years.”

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