Janez Poto nik, the European Union's science and research commissioner, will make his first official visit to Israel this week. Israel has been a fully fledged member of the EU's research funding programs for the last decade, and both the EU and Israel have benefited from this partnership. During his visit, Poto nik will meet members of the government and attend a conference on Israel's participation in the EU's research program Seventh Framework Program (FP7) at Bar-Ilan University. He will also meet with representatives of the academic and business sectors and focus on ongoing negotiations to finalize Israel's association with FP7, as well as highlighting the importance of research as an element of the overall EU-Israel relationship. The promotion of further cooperation in science and technology is one of the joint priorities set down in the EU-Israel Action Plan now being implemented in the framework of the European Neighborhood Policy. Poto nik said before his departure for Israel that "Israeli research bodies have participated with their European colleagues in more than 500 projects funded by the Sixth Framework Program. I am looking forward to using this visit to talk to researchers and companies that have participated in previous programs, hear directly from them what they got out of their involvement and encourage their involvement in the Seventh Framework Program. I am very confident that Israel will be as active, reliable and effective a partner in the new program as it has been in the past." As an associated country within the EU's research framework program, Israel participates on the same footing as EU member states, even though it isn't one. Israel has done so very successfully in past programs, he said, particularly in information and communication technologies and life sciences. During his visit, Poto nik will express his confidence that the negotiations for Israeli participation in the FP7 will soon be concluded and that it will introduce several new elements that will be very interesting for Israeli researchers, such as the European Research Council's providing funding for frontier research. During his two days in Israel, starting Wednesday, Poto nik will visit examples of EU-Israel cooperation. He will also meet Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres; Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Eli Yishai; and acting minister of science, culture and sport Yuli Tamir. In the margins of an EU-Israel conference on science policy at Bar-Ilan, he will meet university president Prof. Moshe Kaveh.