The European Union and Israel have signed the Horizon 2020 cooperation agreement, enabling the Jewish state to join one of the largest scientific and research programs in the world.
According to the agreement, Israel will have the same access to Horizon 2020 as other EU member states, allowing Israeli researchers and innovators to participate at the start of research programs. Israel, in return, will contribute to the program’s budget-which is nearly $109 billion.
“Israel is a strong player in research and innovation and for this reason is an important partner for the EU to address societal challenges of common concern, such as aging, food safety, environment protection, or cleaner energy, and to strengthen the competitiveness of our industries,” European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, who attended the signing ceremony in Jerusalem along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said in a statement.
Israel has already cooperated with EU scientific and research programs for nearly 20 years, and its population has one of the world’s highest proportions of researchers.