The Office of the Chief Scientist has approved 12 research and development projects in its Tnufa program to assist seed phase start-up companies in their R&D activities. The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor said Sunday the Chief Scientist will cover NIS 1.24 million of the NIS 1.7m. budget required for the projects. Six of the projects are in the information field and the remainder in electronics, materials, biotech and consumer products. As part of the program, software giant Oracle agreed to fund local software start-up Orcanos as part of its commitment to boost its investments in local seed stage companies. Oracle said this month it would match the ministry dollar for dollar by investing "a few million dollars" in 10-15 Israeli companies this year.