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Israel renews association with the European Union's research programme
Israel to contribute about 440 million to the Seventh Framework Programme's 50 billion budget
The European Union and Israel today renewed their science and technological co-operation, which includes giving Israeli researchers, universities and companies full access to the EU's 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7). It is estimated that Israel will contribute around 440 million to the overall FP7 budget, which is over 50 billion. With this agreement, Israeli researchers can participate in all calls for proposals under FP7 on an equal footing with researchers from the EU's Member States. The EU is now Israel's second biggest source of research funding.
"Israel's association to the Framework Programme has proved to be of mutual benefit for both sides over the last couple of years. Whereas the European Research Area will benefit from the renowned excellence of the Israeli research community, Israel will gain full access to the biggest research programme in the world," said EU Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik during the signing ceremony in Brussels. "Today's signature together with the signing of the other associating instruments with the EEA/EFTA States, the Enlargement Countries and Switzerland signifies the creation of a truly enlarged European Research Area which will allow scientists, universities and companies from 36 countries to conduct ambitious joint research projects over the next seven years."
For the European Union the agreement was signed by Commissioner Potočnik and Portuguese Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education, Mr José Mariano Gago; for Israel, by Mr. Ghaleb Majadele, Minister for Science, Culture and Sport.
About Israel and the EU research Programme
The European Union is now Israel's second biggest source of research funding after the Israel Science Foundation.
The Seventh Research Framework Programme is one of the biggest EU programmes with a budget of more than 50 billion Euros over a time span of 7 years (2007-2013). It allows for funding of collaborative research in strategic areas such as health, energy, information technologies, nanotechnology or transport. FP7 also stimulates the mobility of researchers through Marie-Curie grants. A new feature that will be open to Israeli scientists is the European Research Council, which will fund the best new ideas emerging from Europe's science community, regardless of thematic area and without the requirement for multinational partnerships.
Israel's contribution of about 440 million is based on its gross domestic product in relation to that of the EU. Through this association Israeli researchers will be eligible for participation and funding in FP7 on an equal footing with researchers from Member States. Representatives of Israel will participate as observers in FP7 implementing committees and bodies.
Israel is expected to play a crucial role in the FP7 programme. For example, it will be the only country outside of the EU associated with the 'Clean Sky' initiative, the major new public/private partnership proposed last month to radically improve the impact of air transport on the environment, with the goal of eliminating environmental pollution by reducing greenhouse gases. Israel will take part in this project through the Israel Aerospace Industries. Since December 2002 Israel had been associated to the Sixth Research Framework Programme (2002-2006) and has over that time constantly increased its participation and success rate. Under FP6, Israeli research bodies participated in over 600 research projects in consortia with their European counterparts. Israel's higher education institutes have been particularly strong participants making up more than 50% of all Israeli participants, followed by Israeli industry with 20% of participants. Israeli research entities have participated in all activities under FP6 and were strongest in the Information Society Technologies (IST).
For more information on FP7: http://ec.europa.eu/research/fp7/
For more information on international science and technology cooperation: http://www.ec.europa.eu/research/inco
For more information on Israeli R&D policies and performance:
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