The research committee of the Office of the Chief Scientist has approved 18 new projects for a total investment of NIS 40.6 million of which NIS 18.6m. would come from the Chief Scientist's budget, the Ministry of Industry Trade and Labor said Sunday. Seven of the projects were in the biotechnology and drug sector for a NIS 12.5m. investment; three were in the medical equipment area for an investment of NIS 7.6m.; four were in software for an NIS 8.4m. investment. The remainder, for a total investment of NIS 10.6m. were in other areas.