Israel Innovation Authority

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Israel Innovation Authority
Israel Innovation Authority
Israel Innovation Authority
רשות החדשנות
Organization overview
Formed1965 (1965) (as the Office of the Chief Scientist)
Preceding Organization
  • Office of the Chief Scientist
HeadquartersAirport city israel
Organization executive
  • Aharon Aharon, CEO
Parent OrganizationMinistry of Economy

The Israel Innovation Authority previously known as the Office of the Chief Scientist (Hebrew: לשכת המדען הראשי‎, romanizedlishkat Ha-madʿan ha-rashi) of Israel's Ministry of Economy is the support arm of the Israeli government, charged with fostering the development of industrial R&D within the State of Israel. The mission[1] of the Authority has been defined through the country's "Law for the Encouragement of Industrial Research and Development—1984" (The R&D Law) and its operations are facilitated through Israel's R&D Fund, as well as a variety of international programs, agreements and collaborations. Its mission is to assist the advancement of Israel's knowledge-based science and technology industries in order to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship while stimulating economic growth.

Legal aspects of agreements which may include R&D funding, as well as royalties, are governed under the Regulatory Framework of the Authority.[2]


The Office of the Chief Scientist was established in 1965. It was renamed the Israel Innovation Authority in 2016. The main aim of the department[3] is to increase economic empowerment within the civilian sector of the Israeli economy. Main activities include the funding of research and policy-making within its sphere of influence. The development and prominence of the OCS[4] was further strengthened by the development of the Venture Capital industry within Israel in the 1990s.


The Authority manages three distinct frameworks. The R&D[5] Fund (Tmura),[6] an Incubator Program[7] and the Magnet Program.[8] The OCS is responsible for Iserd[9][10] management within the European Union Framework as well as Matimop,[11][12] which governs international agreements partnerships in the USA, Canada and the rest of the world. The Magnet Program was established in 1994, and manages the partnership between academic and commercial R&D programs. Significant activities include facilitation of the transfer of knowledge between academia and commercial R&D companies. Under the auspices of the Magnet Program,[13] the NOFAR[14] program was established to provide support and funding in the field of biotechnology, nanotechnology and development of medical equipment.

Incubator programs[edit]

There are 24 incubators[15] in Israel funded by the Authority, with 22 of the incubators in the field of technology. All incubator programs are run as grants[15] that are repayable to the Authority on successful completion of the project. Each project in the Incubator Program lasts for up to two years. Grants are repayable to the Israeli government at a rate of 3-5% of royalties from revenue.

Support programs[edit]

A variety of ongoing support programs offered by the Authority provide financial and developmental resources to entrepreneurs and companies of all sizes and stages performing industrial R&D research within Israel. Other funds and support programs include: Heznek-Seed Fund,[16] Tnufa Program, Magneton Program and Nofar Program.

List of Chief Scientists[edit]

The following is a list of Chief Scientists of the Ministry of Economy (formerly referred to as the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor or the Ministry of Industry and Trade).

Name Term
Prof. (Brigadier General) Yitzchak Yaakov 1969–1977
Prof. Arie Lavie 1977–1983
Yigal Erlich 1984–1992
Dr. Yehoshua (Shuki) Gleitman 1993–1996
Dr. Orna Berry 1997–2000
Carmel Vernia 2000–2002
Dr. Eli Opper 2002–2010
Avi Hasson 2011–2016
Aharon Aharon 2016–Present


  1. ^ "The Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS)". Israel Association of Electronics & Software Industries.
  2. ^ Gil, Naama; Tepper, Raz (Jan 2014). "Underlying Legal and Regulatory Framework of Office of the Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry of the Economy". FBC Lawyers.
  3. ^ "Office of the Chief Scientist, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labour". EraWatch.
  4. ^ Trajtenberg, Manuel. "R&D Policy in Israel: An Overview and Reassessment" (PDF). Tel Aviv University. Tel Aviv University, NBER and CIAR.
  5. ^ "Tmura R&D Fund". EraWatch.
  6. ^ "Tmura - Official Site".
  7. ^ "Center of Incubators for Technological Initiative".
  8. ^ "Magnet - Official Website" (in Hebrew).
  9. ^ "ISERD – The Israel-Europe R&D Directorate for EU FP". EraWatch.
  10. ^ "ISERD - Official Website".
  11. ^ "Matimop - Official Website".
  12. ^ "MATIMOP – The Israeli Industry Center for R&D". European Alliance for Innovation.
  13. ^ "Magnet Program - PDF".
  14. ^ "NOFAR Program for applied academic research in Bio-technology and Nano-technology". Technion.
  15. ^ a b "Technological Incubators Program".
  16. ^ "R&D Funds - The Technological Incubators program". Israel Business Connection.

External links[edit]