The Israel Innovation Authority, the government agency responsible for promoting technological innovation in Israel, headed by Dr. Ami Appelbaum, issued a notification yesterday concerning a halt in new grants for startup companies. "Because of the lack of a state budget for 2021, the Innovation Authority has still not received a budget framework for 2021, and therefore the Authority cannot at this stage approve the award of new grants," the notification states. It was sent to all the companies that have applied for grants.
The notification further states, "We expect that we shall receive an approved budge framework in February, and at that point we shall be able to decide about new applications and approve new grants."
The Innovation Authority states that it will be able to continue paying grants approved in 2020 from existing budgets. Companies can continue submitting grant applications, but they will not receive responses until the Authority's 2021 budget is approved. Since the beginning of 2020, a backlog of 188 applications that have not been considered has built up at the Innovation Authority.
This is not the first time that the absence of a state budget has caused delays in transferring grants to startups. Last year, the Innovation Authority did not receive a budget until April, and 817 grant applications were processed late. In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak last year, the Innovation Authority eventually received an enlarged budget of NIS 2.3 billion in order to operate a fast-track channel for grants for technology companies that had got into financial difficulties because of the pandemic.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 25, 2021
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