Israel’s national expenditure on civilian R&D in 2017 was up by five percent compared to the previous year, amounting to almost $16 billion (NIS 57.8 billion), according to a report released this week by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).
The R&D expenditure accounts for 4.5 percent of GDP for 2017, up 0.1 points from 2016’s 4.4 percent, according to the report, and Israel is expected to keep its top spot among OECD countries for percentage of GDP for R&D national expenditure.
CBS reported that national expenditure on civilian R&D per capita in Israel in 2017 amounted to 1,752 dollars, mainly due to a high concentration of development centers of multinational companies in the country. According to a report late last year by Start-Up Nation Central, at least 87 multinational corporations from 18 countries have opened up R&D or innovation centers in Israel since 2014, a majority after acquiring an Israeli startup.
In the business sector, the R&D expenditure increased by 5.6 percent, following an increase of 9.5 percent in 2016, according to CBS.
In a separate report also released this week, CBS said that there was a decline in registered patents and scientific discoveries in 2017 compared with 2016, according to a survey of knowledge commercialization companies in Israel.
In 2017, approximately 1,070 invention disclosure reports were submitted by researchers in various universities and R&D institutions for examination by the commercialization companies, a decrease of 19 percent compared with the previous year, CBS reported.
Commercialization companies filed five percent fewer original patent applications – 604 in 2017, compared with 635 in 2016, and 660 original patent applications were approved in 2017, compared with 2016’s 813 in 2016, a decrease of 19 percent.