June 22, 2011 Jerusalem, Israel The Israeli Chairmanship of EUREKA, the largest pan-European network for market-oriented, industrial R&D and innovation, announced today in Jerusalem that since the start of Israel's Chairmanship year in July 2010, over 220 cooperative R&D projects have been approved and supported by the program, totalling 320 million Euros of investment. Assembled in Jerusalem for the fourth and final event held in Israel under the EUREKA Chairmanship year, EUREKA's national delegates, representing over 40 countries, approved a series of promising cooperative R&D projects in a variety of areas, including renewable energy, agrofood technology, biotechnology, physical and exact sciences, IT and electronics, industrial manufacturing, and more.
The gathering in Jerusalem included a special event and gala dinner hosted by Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Mr. Shalom Simhon and the Chairman of Israel's Chairmanship of EUREKA, Dr. Eli Opper. The event marked 25 years since the formation of the EUREKA program, and formally ended Israel's Chairmanship year and transferred power to the new chairman for 2011-2012, Hungary. At this celebratory event, the EUREKA Quarter Century Declaration has been adopted by high-level officials and EUREKA guests, all marking 25 years of achievements of the EUREKA Network in contributing to European innovation and R&D.
Dr. Eli Opper said: "This was the first year in which a EUREKA member country from outside of Europe was chosen to serve as Chairman of the Network. Now, with the completion of this successful and exciting year, I feel that Israel's reputation of being a nation of innovation and entrepreneurship has grown even greater, and we have met and exceeded all of the objectives we set for ourselves in July 2010. We are proud that the EUREKA Program continues on its path after our chairmanship year, equipped with better and richer tools, and having received further strength in realising its vision and goals. The Israeli economy and industry were reinforced by the Chairmanship of the Program and already we are seeing the results on the ground, and the overall positive impact of this year ".
Achievements of Israeli Chairmanship of EUREKA Year:
During the EUREKA meeting, EUREKA's decision-makers approved 29 innovative projects aimed at developing marketable products and solutions through the EUREKA program, totalling 39 million euros of investment. These projects add to more than 220 EUREKA and Eurostars - a joint initiative of EUREKA and the European Commission which supports small and medium-sized R&D intensive companies - projects that were approved since Israel took the leadership of EUREKA, totalling more than 300 million euros of private and public investment. 12 of the 29 projects approved this week have Israeli partners representing over 40% of the total. Remarkably, Israel is only one of 40 member countries in EUREKA but represents over one-quarter of the overall number of projects approved during the past year.
The EUREKA delegates gathered at four meetings during the course of the year held in several of Israel's major cities in order to promote industry, technology, R&D, and international cooperation through funding and partner-matching. These approved industrial projects match up partners from two or more member countries including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), large industry, and research institutes. Projects can be launched in virtually all industry fields and technological areas IT, manufacturing, water technologies, communications, biotechnology and energy, among others. EUREKA initiatives look to meet challenges such as climate change, energy security, and limited water resources.
The second meeting of the Chairmanship year, held in February in Eilat in cooperation with the Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy Conference, was focused on clean-tech, a technology sector that the Israeli Chairmanship had put as the top priority this year. The high focus on clean-tech was reflective of the commitment of EUREKA's member countries to deal with the large, critical challenges facing mankind today, including energy and the environment, climate change and security. In the spirit of promoting further innovation in clean technology, during the event EUREKA marked the launch of its new EUREKA Clean-Tech Action, a campaign focused on generating cooperative industrial R&D projects in the clean-tech sector. EUREKA currently has over 100 active clean-tech projects, at a cost of over 200 million Euros.
During the third meeting of the Chairmanship, held in April this year in Haifa and Nazareth, it was determined that EUREKA representatives will formally announce to the European Commission that the EUREKA Network will become the preferred aid program by European industry, for cooperation industrial R&D. The event also presented an opportunity to highlight cooperation between Jewish and Arab entrepreneurs from the Galilee, and served to greater encourage cooperation with minorities throughout Europe.
The events this week also follow the recently held 17th Inter-Parliamentary Conference, which took place in late May at the Israeli Knesset. With the participation of several ministers, leading Israeli and European policy-makers, industry representatives, funding bodies, and academics, the conference sessions explored how governments can more effectively support industrial innovation as a means for business generation in times of economic crisis. There was also a special welcome in the Knesset hall to European Parliamentarians from Mr. Meir Sheetrit, Chairman of the Knesset Committee on Science and Technology.
In early June, at an investors conference held in Jerusalem, EUREKA announced the launch of "E!nnoVest", a new search and match web tool for investors and companies, and the first pan-European EUREKA investment platform. This web-based instrument allows investors to identify highly-qualified and pre-screened companies from the EUREKA portfolio of innovative technology-based SMEs and start-ups.
|Contact: Piotr Pogorzelski|