Ben Eliezer 311.
(photo credit: Assaf Shila/Israel Sun)
Israel will this week officially assume the chairmanship of Eureka, the largest
industrial research and development program in the world.
difficult times of political turmoil, we are not getting free presents,”
Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said Monday at a press
conference in Tel Aviv. “The chairmanship [of Eureka] is another achievement for
Israel’s economy and technology. It will give us an opportunity to showcase
Israel in a different light.
“Everyone thinks we are dealing with the
flotilla incident day and night, but our real strength is R&D. Over
coming year, Europe will see a different Israel – not one of conflicts,
“Israel will be able to use its tenure as
chair to set the agenda for the European program and secure European
important ventures, such as the strengthening of priority fields
sciences, energy, water technologies, the environment, medical devices
homeland security,” he said. “Apart from the prestige, the chairmanship
enable us to maximize the country’s technology sector and
On Thursday, Ben-Eliezer is to visit Berlin, where Israel will
begin its one-year chairmanship of Eureka on July 1.
Eureka was created
as an intergovernmental initiative in 1985 and is a pan-European network
market-oriented, industrial R&D. It approves projects that total
billion per year. More than 40 percent of the companies that participate
Eureka program are small and medium-sized, including start-ups.
its Eureka chairmanship, Israel will host five major events with
of the 40 member countries, including the European Commission. They will
place in Tel Aviv, Eilat, Haifa, Jerusalem and Nazareth. Eureka will
its 25th anniversary under Israel’s chairmanship.
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It will take place in
Jerusalem under the auspices of President Shimon Peres.
Israel would work to add Egypt to the Eureka program as a way to advance
in the Middle East. He said Israel would also support Spain’s initiative
integrate Latin American countries into Eureka, in an effort to expand
“We will try to increase sources of funding
for Eureka projects from private investors, public funding and European
investment institutions,” Ben-Eliezer said.
Israel has become one of
Eureka’s most active participants, with Israeli R&D companies
10% of its projects, valued at about €100 million. Among the Israeli
taking part in the Eureka program are Elbit Systems, Telrad, Elsec and
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