The OCS - Policies and Programs
The Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor (MOITAL) ,empowered by the Law for the Encouragement of Industrial Research & Development – 1984 (R&D Law), oversees all Government sponsored support of R&D in the Israeli industry. This broad spectrum support stimulates the development of innovative state of the art technologies, enhances the competitive power of the industry in the high-tech global market, creates employment opportunities and assists in redressing Israel 's balance of payments. In addition to its domestic activities, the OCS is involved in a myriad of bi- and multinational industrial R&D agreements.
The OCS annually supports hundreds of projects from incipient concepts within a pre-seed framework followed by support of incubator and start-up companies through autonomous industrial R&D enterprises. The support is directed toward the development of novel products based on new and innovative technologies throughout the entire industry, in well established as well as new companies and in both the high-tech and traditional sectors. This support also extends to a broad range of cooperative ventures with foreign commercial entities.
Successful technological development and marketing is a leading growth engine for modern world economies and is the result of extensive high risk investment in R&D. The Government's willingness to share in that risk goes a long way to ensure its ultimate successful implementation.
In the international arena, the OCS has vigorously pursued a number of avenues of involvement in cooperative industrial R&D with foreign entities both at the governmental and corporate levels. This is expressed by means of the following approaches:
1. Joint industrial R&D support foundations with the United States, Canada, South Korea and Singapore.
2. Numerous bilateral agreements between government R&D funding bodies in Israel and the partner country.
3. R&D cooperation programs with multi-national corporations such as Deutsche Telekom, IBM, Microsoft, Merck etc.
4. Active participation in the major EU R&D programs such as EUREKA and Fp7 .
The EU's EUREKA is a very large, market oriented program supporting and enabling industrial R&D. Its stated objective is to raise the productivity and competitiveness of Euro industry through technology with an emphasis on a specific technology or business area. There are 39 member countries (including the European Union) with an annual budget of 1.5 billion Euros. The OCS through its executive arm, MATIMOP, represents Israel in EUREKA .
Following Germany, Israel has been selected for the Chairmanship of Eureka for the 2010-2011 working year. This unprecedented move is testimony to the recognition of Israel's position in world science and technology.
The Seventh Framework Program for R&D of the European Union (Fp7) is even larger and more ambitious than EUREKA . It promotes trans-national cooperation involving universities, industry, research centers and public authorities. The activities will be concentrated in 10 distinct themes. In addition to the usual support for R&D it will be involved in:
1. Optimization and integration of technologies for industrial application.
2. Dissemination of technological information and methods.
3. Management of resources
4. Assess the economic and social impact resulting from new technologies.
5. Improve the welfare of all of its citizens.
Israel is the only non-European member and the Chief Scientist of MOITAL is the chairman of the steering committee of ISERD that represents Israel in the Fp7 . ISERD will have a central role in the program as the coordinator of the National Contact Points that provide information and assistance to potential participants as well as gathering feedback in the implementation of the program. Israel is slated to invest 500 million Euro for the duration of the program.
Dr. Opper's Welcoming Address for the Chief Scientist Conference 2010