Israel, Italy set up joint research laboratories

Neurology, solar, health sciences, and physics laboratories have been established.

A number of joint laboratories for Israeli and Italian research institutes have been founded, or are being founded now, in Israel. The laboratories are receiving funding from both countries. They are jointly owned, and Israeli and Italian researchers are working in them together under the aegis of both countries.

The laboratories were founded in spheres in which both countries are considered excellent, and to which they both give preference. A neurology and brain laboratory was established in Tel Aviv, a solar laboratory in Sde Boker, a health sciences laboratory at Ben Gurion University, and a physics and magnetism laboratory at the Weizman Institute. A joint outer space laboratory has also been founded. In addition to €500,000 from each country, the Tel Aviv laboratory has already raised more money from the European Union - evidence that the concept has succeeded.

The laboratories are one of the projects included in the Israel-Italy research and technology cooperation agreement. Israel and Italy are each allocating €3 million to the project, and the Israel Council for Higher Education Planning and Budgeting Committee is giving an additional €3 million, making the total annual budget €9 million.

"We think that Italy and Israel suit each other very well. Israel has innovation, excellent higher education, and also foreign financing. Italy has innovation, science, and also production, and access to the European market and the whole world," says former Italian scientific attache in the Italian embassy Stefano Boccaletti. "In Italy, we're special in the number of our small and medium-sized businesses, both family and non-family, which are suitable for the size of Israeli businesses. Furthermore, Italians and Israelis are two peoples who live in disorder; we're alike in that."

The program offers additional financing tools. The industrial cooperation agreement, for example, connects a company in Israel with a company or academic entity in Italy. The program, which lasts 12-24 months, is aimed at financing preindustrial development of new products. If a product is successful, the parties putting up the money receive royalties.

Another program is for basic research. This year, proposals in cyber research, water and land treatment, and personalized medicine will be accepted. The projects will be granted $50,000, and must raise the same amount of supplementary financing. The decision to include water and land in the program is related to the fact that these are the topics of the Expo Milano exhibition held each year and attended by 20 million people. In this case, the Israeli-Italian link is actress Moran Atias, the presenter of the Israel pavilion at the exhibition.

In addition, the Italian commercial section is taking part in 10 events in Israel bringing together Israeli and Italian experts, and is bringing delegations to events in Israel, such as the Israel Business Conference, Agrivest, and DLD. "The combination of Israel and Italy enables both countries to compete in certain fields with larger countries having well-budgeted research teams," Boccaletti said.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on March 3, 2015

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015

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