Israel joins EU’s flagship R&D programme

Israel officially joined the European Union’s largest research and innovation programme on Monday 6 December, opening the way for Israeli academics and companies to bid for billions of euros in research funding, writes Lazar Berman for The Times of Israel. The Horizon Europe programme will allocate €95.5 billion (US$108 billion) in grants from 2021 to 2027.

Formal talks with the EU on Israel’s association with the programme concluded on 9 October. Both sides completed their internal ratification processes in the ensuing weeks. The deal over Israel’s participation in the previous European research partnership programme was initially held up over EU guidelines on funding for programmes and companies in the Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The sides eventually agreed that a clause would be added to the Horizon 2020 pact stating that Israel does not accept the EU’s definition of territory beyond the 1967 lines.

The current Horizon Europe agreement will follow the same formula, the Foreign Ministry spokesman told The Times of Israel. However, the talks, which were expected to be wrapped up months ago, were held up over a number of other issues. The fact that three of the countries that received the most research funding from Horizon 2020 – Israel, the United Kingdom and Switzerland – are not in the EU led to changes in the financial arrangements with EU-associated non-member states like Israel.
Full report on The Times of Israel site