Israel Joins EU’s New Research and Innovation Program Horizon 2020
Israel will be associated to Horizon 2020, the new EU research and innovation program, under an agreement signed on Sunday in the presence of visiting European Commission’s President José Manuel Barroso and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The agreement will boost cooperation between Israeli and EU researchers and innovators and will enable hi-tech companies and research institutes in Israel to join the EU program.
Under the terms of the agreement, Israel will have the same access to the program as EU Member States and other Associated Countries and in return, it will contribute to the Horizon 2020 budget.
The signing of the agreement was preceded by lengthy negotiations as Israel was opposed to EU measures published in July 2013 forbidding funding and financial dealings with settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem from January this year. The two sides finally reached a compromise last November under which the EU would add a provision to the agreement about the end of research funding for institutions in the West Bank, while Israel would include a statement in an appendix that it does not recognize Brussels’ July measures.
According to a European Commission release, Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation program with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.
Israel has been associated to EU research and innovation programs since 1996. During the last 2007-13 program, Israeli public and private institutions contributed their scientific expertise to over 1,500 projects.