Israeli hi-tech to receive NIS 650 million ‘first aid’ injection

The Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) will inject NIS 650 million (approx. $180m.) into the Israeli hi-tech sector, including funds dedicated to researchers combating the coronavirus, after the Finance Ministry released funds frozen since the start of the year.

A total of NIS 600m. ($165m.) will be transferred to companies that have applied for R&D funding assistance from the IIA since the beginning of the year. A further NIS 50m. ($14m.) will be paid to companies working on coronavirus-related technologies.

Some 1,161 applications for funding have been submitted to the IIA since the start of 2020, but have not yet been reviewed due to the current absence of a government budget. The IIA says it will implement a fast-track procedure to review the applications prior to next week’s Passover holiday.

“It is well understood, even by the Finance Ministry, that the hi-tech industry in Israel holds the key to pulling us out of the economic crisis following the coronavirus pandemic,” said authority CEO Aharon Aharon.

“The high-tech industry is mainly based on private capital. Past experience shows that this funding source dwindles in times of crisis,” he said. “It is the government’s role, via the Israel Innovation Authority, to increase project funding at this time and allow good companies to successfully weather this crisis.”

Read More: Jerusalem Post