Thursday, September 4, 2014

Israel's Chief Scientist Eases Terms For High-Tech Grants

The Office of the Chief Scientist announced a series of benefits for Israeli high-tech companies that enjoy their services.

Among the benefits: the salary cap for R&D workers was updated so it is possible to pay up to NIS 30,000 per month from the Chief Scientist’s grant awarded to the company, instead of the current cap of NIS 25,000; an advance of 35% (instead of 25%) of the budget from moment grant is approved; monthly (instead of quarterly) indemnity for company expenses; an extension of the timelines for submitted various requests; authorizing royalty payment plans for troubled companies; a shortened application form for companies requesting a budget of up to NIS 1 million for innovation in traditional industries; and increasing the indemnity cap for patent-related expenses from NIS 120,000 to NIS 140,000.

These benefits do not increase the operating budget of the Office of the Chief Scientist, rather, they primarily give companies more operating freedom within their approved budgets, and reduce bureaucracy. According to Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett, the decision to award these benefits was due to signs of slowdown in the market, and this is to fuel the leading growth engines of the economy.

Chief Scientist Avi Hasson said, “We are facing a budgetary reality that is not simple: the budget is far from meeting the demand, and we are forced to refuse many good projects with real potential. Through regulatory flexibility and creating new unique tools to support growth, we are trying to overcome the erosion and the budget cuts.”

Source: Globes

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