Israeli government initiative will fund research


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A new Israeli government initiative will promote scientific research and keep top scientists from leaving the country.

The government has invested more than $100 million in the Israeli Centers of Research Excellence, or I-Core, program. It will establish at least 20 research centers in the next five years. The first four centers will open on Jan. 3, 2012.

“So that we can continue producing Nobel Prize winners, Israel has once again made academic research a national priority. The I-CORE program will significantly boost Israel’s research capabilities and enable our researchers to continue leading the way to discoveries that will impact the lives of people everywhere," said Manuel Trajtenberg, chairman of the I-CORE planning and budgeting committee.

The $360 million budget is expected to come one-third each from the government, participating research institutions and philanthropic funds.

Each researcher invited to participate in the program will receive a start-up grant and an annual research grant for five years.

The first four I-CORE facilities to be inaugurated next week will research: Renewable and Sustainable Energy, focusing on solar fuels; Molecular Medicine, focusing on genetic regulation of complex human diseases; Advanced Approaches to Cognitive Science, focusing on retrieved understanding; and Advanced Topics in Computer Science, focusing on algorithms.

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