The Office of the Chief Scientist has approved 17 new research and development projects to be funded by its R&D Fund, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor said Sunday. The Chief Scientists office will cover NIS 16.2 million of the combined NIS 36.1m. R&D budget for the projects, the ministry said. Four of the projects are in the medical device field, two in chemical research, four in software, four in traditional industry and the remaining three in various other areas. Chief Scientist Eli Ofer said the ministry intends to increase its investment in traditional industry R&D from NIS 107m. last year to NIS 120m. in 2007 and to reach NIS 500m. by 2010.