Bilateral Industrial R&D Cooperation Programs
In pursuing international collaborative R&D opportunities for Israeli industry, two main program models are followed for bilateral activities:
· Independent bilateral funds, with each nation making an equal contribution;
· Parallel support arrangements whereby each nation is committed to funding R&D performed by the joint venture partner company from its own country in accordance with their respective laws and regulations.
Whether an actual fund, with an independent legal structure, or a "virtual fund" based on parallel support, the Bi-National industrial R&D support programs share similar characteristics and guidelines.
General characteristics of the international cooperation programs include the following:
Based on agreements reached between two governments, and offering a unique opportunity for international collaboration, the bilateral programs support commercially focused R&D projects between Israeli companies and foreign companies in all fields of technology, although the coordinating authorities may choose to emphasize or offer a preference to one or more technology field.
Grants to the partner companies are given up to 50% of the approved R&D project expenses plus regional incentives. Whether the grant is "conditional", i.e. that it must be repaid if the project results in actual commercial sales, is determined in accordance to the regulations of each country. As for Israeli companies, royalty payments of 3% - 5% of sales are required.
Neither equity in the companies nor intellectual property rights are taken by the governments in return for the grants. It is up to the company partners in the R&D projects to reach a commercial understanding as to the sharing and protection of IP, as well as fair and equitable contributions to the projects, use and access to the project's results, and marketing arrangements. A formal agreement between the company partners is required before the grant is provided. To initiate the project evaluation process, a letter of intent with regard to IP rights is required.
The bilateral programs are open to all industrial/commercial companies performing R&D, from start-ups to multi-nationals. Academic and research institutions, hospitals, and other non-profit entities may participate as sub-contractors.
The companies will be called upon to demonstrate that there are strong scientific, technological and commercial synergies and that the collaboration will be fruitful for both entities, as well as for the respective nations' economies.
The companies must have the technological, commercial and financial capabilities to successfully bring the new product to market.
To qualify, the joint R&D project must show that it is intended to develop a new product, process or application, or a technology based service, that is innovative and has significant global commercial potential. The project should be equally important for both sides.
Projects are evaluated on the basis of technological, commercial and financial parameters. In Israel, the professional evaluation is conducted by reviewers according to rigorous standards long practiced by the OCS. A parallel process takes place in the partner country. Projects are rated, ranked and submitted to the Coordinating Committee for review, comparison and approval. From the time of application until a decision is made typically takes about three months.
Calls for Proposals (Project Administration)
The Cooperating Authorities publish one or two calls for proposals annually, each one being open for 3 - 4 months.
MATIMOP, together with the cooperating authorities in the other country, will assist companies in finding appropriate partners. Forms are available for companies seeking assistance in finding a suitable partner.
Project Application Forms
Companies which already have partners may obtain a "pre-ruling" or initial assessment of the joint project by submitting an initial application form (subject to individual program procedures).
The full project application forms consist of a joint application form and respective funding application forms for review by the respective authorities.