General Motors to open local R&D center

Government will provide financial grants for the project center, which will either entail 40% of the operation costs of the project center.

General Motors Corporation will establish a Research & Development center in Israel and employ engineers and academic researchers in various fields for GM projects following approval by the Chief Scientist Office at the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry. "The establishment of the project center will contribute and expand R&D activity in Israel and increase employment in peripheral areas of the country," said Chief Scientist Eli Opper. The government will provide financial grants for the project center, which will either entail 40 percent of the operation costs of the project center; 50% of the financing allocated by the project center for local partners; or the financing volume provided by the project center for local partners in the traditional industry located in national preference areas. Since the mid-1990s, GM has been active in Israel through investment in the development of automotive technologies in Israel via GM-UMIT, a joint venture with Universal Motors Israel Ltd. Through GM-UMIT, GM has supported a number of technology incubators over the past decade. GM-UMIT funds basic and industrial research, proof of concept, and projects in various development stages. In addition GM makes the largest amount of reciprocal procurements in Israel among vehicle manufacturers. The company made $102 million in reciprocal procurements in 2005, representing an increase of 32% over 2004.