Cabinet approves joint Israeli-UAE R&D investment fund for hi-tech industry

Over the past 10 years, NIS 300 million will be allocated by Israel and the UAE to encourage R&D in the hi-tech industry.

 Prime Minister Naftali Bennett meeting with the Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology to the UAE,  Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, December 13, 2021.  (photo credit: CHAIM TZACH/GPO)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett meeting with the Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology to the UAE, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, December 13, 2021.
(photo credit: CHAIM TZACH/GPO)

The cabinet approved the establishment of a bi-national industrial research and development fund with the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, which will support requests for joint operations between Israeli and Emirati companies.

The fund will provide a financial incentive to Israeli companies when it comes to R&D of new technological products or a substantial upgrade of existing technologies, as well as assistance in locating foreign technological partners.

The fund will enable access to international resources, knowledge, technology and infrastructure that do not exist in Israel. It will also enable assistance to Israeli companies through the recruitment of local partners, compliance with foreign regulations and the creation of marketing, economic or business advantages.

A budget of NIS 15 million will be allocated annually by Israel for 10 years, with the UAE matching the amount, totaling NIS 300 million over 10 years.

From the Israeli side, the fund will be led by the Foreign Ministry, the Science Ministry, the Innovation Authority, the Finance Ministry and the Economy Ministry. The initiative for the fund arose during Prime Minister Naftali Bennet's visit to Abu Dhabi last December.

 UAE CROWN PRINCE Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan meeting with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) leadership at the Dubai Airshow. (credit: Courtesy) UAE CROWN PRINCE Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan meeting with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) leadership at the Dubai Airshow. (credit: Courtesy)

"Israel and the UAE share a passion for developing advanced technologies that will improve the quality of human life, the environment and the economy," said Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Sunday.

"The bilateral R&D fund is the engine for initiating the move in the private sector, by encouraging companies, with an emphasis on SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), to come together, develop, manufacture and market innovative technological products at a regional and global level...High-tech is a strategic asset for the country and it is important to maintain and develop it."

Science and Technology Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen stated that she saw "great importance" in establishing the mutual investment fund.

"The United Arab Emirates has historically invested in energy, infrastructure and more, which is why the new fund will create a bridge that will facilitate Emirati investments in Israeli technology in these and other areas," said Farkash-Hacohen.