|Jerusalem, Brussels, December 6th, 2021 – Today the official agreement for Israel’s accession to the Horizon Europe programme was signed. This is the largest R&D programme in the world for scientific and industry collaborations, with a total budget of about 95.5 billion euros, and constitutes a major funding element in these fields. This is the ninth such programme implemented by the EU for research and development. Horizon Europe will take place over seven years, as did the previous Horizon 2020 programme.
Following Israel’s official accession local entities will be able to participate in any part of the European R&D programme on equal terms to those of EU member countries’ entities.
Israel has been participating in European R&D programmes for 25 years as an associated country. The programme fosters many scientific and economic benefits for both Israel and Europe. Israel’s participation in the programme will significantly contribute to scientific and technological research and knowledge industries, as well as commerce and the economy, and will promote Israeli industry while simultaneously creating opportunities for Israeli companies to branch out into European markets.
Furthermore, Israel’s accession to the programme is of comprehensive political importance to the relations between Israel and the European Union.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid: “Israel joining Horizon, a flagship programme in Israeli-EU relations, presents an important diplomatic achievement and another step in bringing us closer not only to the European Union as a whole but also to each one of the European countries. Israel has much to offer to the largest and most prominent R&D programme in the world and joining this programme today is yet another step in securing Israel’s position at the forefront of global research.”
Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Orit Farkash-Hacohen: “Israel’s joining the largest and most prestigious R&D programme in the world is a further example of the reputation Israel has gained across borders and continents. This is the 25th year that Israel has participated in this programme and is among the leading countries in number or grants given to its researchers and companies.
Throughout the previous Horizon programme thousands of Israeli researchers were awarded grants with a total value of about 1.3 billion euros. We believe that this time the total value will further increase.”
These spheres connect Israel to countries worldwide and reinforce our foreign relations. This agreement will enable our researchers to continue and advance groundbreaking research on internationally leading platforms.”
Finance Minister, Avigdor Lieberman: “The Horizon Europe programme is one of the world’s leading R&D programmes, and the flagship of Israeli-EU relations. This programme provides Israeli researchers and scientists access to uniquely comprehensive and prestigious grants while providing entrepreneurs and companies access to the European market. In doing so it greatly contributes to the quality of Israeli research while enhancing Israeli industry’s competitiveness. Therefore Israeli participation in Horizon Europe presents both a political and economic achievements.”
Dr. Ami Appelbaum, Chairman of the Innovation Authority and Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Directorate for European R&D at the Innovation Authority noted that: “Israel’s participation in EU R&D programs is a strategic asset for the Israeli economy more broadly, and for R&D institutions in particular. Assessment of the impact of Israel’s participation in the previous programme, Horizon 2020, found that the programme had a significant impact on Israeli academia and industry, whose entities and institutions received over 1.3 billion euros in grants. In academia, significant positive effects were identified in research quality, the strengthening of Israeli academia’s international reputation, and in ties between Israel’s academic community and the European research community. In industry, significant positive effects were identified in the quality of industrial R&D, market penetration to Europe and following expansion to additional international markets.”
He further added that “while science and technology evolve at an exponential rate, humanity is faced with numerous existential and moral challenges where Israeli academia and tech industry have a reputation to be world leading, therefore we will be able to contribute to the European efforts to find solutions to those challenges that will lead humanity towards a much better future.”
Yossi Mekori, Chairperson of the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education: “The European research programme is highly important and presents a significant leverage to promote Israeli research. I congratulate all those involved who were able to overcome numerous challenges in the efforts that led to the signing of the Horizon Europe agreement, following a series of agreements with Europe in which Israel has participated thus far. The European programs allow researchers in academic institutions in Israel to be part of the international research community and represent Israeli excellence. Israel secured the highest number of winning researchers in the ERC program, and I hope that this success will continue and further expand to additional programs.”
To date, throughout the previous Horizon 2020 European R&D programme – Israeli entities submitted about 15,000 funding applications, of which 2000 applications were awarded some 1,661 grants totaling at 1.28 billion euros.
Of the total applications 64% originated from academia and research facilities, 34% from industry participants and about 2% from public entities.
The most prominent programmes within the Horizon 2020 were the excellence grants for researchers (ERC), excellence grants for companies (EIC) and the Consortiums programme.
454 researchers were awarded ERC excellence grants totaling at 671 million euros. 309 companies were awarded a total of 180 million euros from the EIC programme, and 898 Israeli entities received a total of 427 million euros within the various Consortiums.