June 3, 2018 | The Israeli Ministry of Finance’s Government Companies Authority, a unit that oversees firms where the Israeli government has ownership stake, and the Israel Innovation Authority announced the launch of a new program that will allow Israeli startups to pilot their technology using the infrastucture in state-owned companies.
The new NIS 10 billion NIS (about $2.8 million) program will aim to help develop innovative technologies while also helping increase efficiency for the government-owned firms. Israeli government-owned companies include the Israel Postal Company, the Israel Electric Corporation, and Bituach Leumi, Israel’s national social security agency.
Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Eli Cohen said the establishment of the program will promote the development and growth of innovation systems and promote cooperation with government-owned companies and infrastructure. Pilot projects will have between 20 and 50 percent of R&D expenses covered by the program. The project provides “an additional incentive to companies to join the digital age,” said Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon. The innovative systems set up in these companies, he said, “will boost and improve their operations, make them more accessible to the public and upgrade their level of service.”
Israel Innovation Authority CEO Aharon Aharon said the program has a dual purpose: tech companies will have unprecedented access to government-run companies and a large infrastructure, and the companies themselves will
be given the opportunity to upgrade their systems and their performance. “We open the door to technology companies to conduct experiments that were not possible in the past, and create an opportunity to outline the future regulation of innovative and leading the entire economy,” he said.