Research Foundations

Within a Decade: The Annual Research Fund Budget has Increased Threefold

The PBC’s Annual Budget for Investment in Research Funds between 2010-2019:

  • The budget for research funds has increased by a factor of 2.7: From 450 million shekels (2010) to 1.228 billion shekels (2019)
  • The National Science Fund budget has more than doubled: From 284 million shekels (2010) to 590 million shekels (2019)
  • The European R&D program has increased by a factor of 3.5: From 149 million shekels (2010) to 519 million shekels (2019)


Chair of the Planning and Budgeting Committee, Prof. Yaffa Zilbershats: “The Israeli higher education system’s strength depends first and foremost on the quality of its research. The enormous investments in the budget for the various research funds and the upgrading of the research infrastructures, in sums reaching billions of shekels, were intended to place Israel at the forefront of global science and permit researchers to focus on expanding basic and applied research.”


Unprecedented investment in research: New PBC data demonstrate that since the start of the decade, there has been a threefold increase in the annual budget for Israeli research funds. The budgetary increase is the result of the PBC’s policy that views these research funds as the backbone of basic competitive research whose reinforcement is essential and necessary in order to preserve the State of Israel’s international status. The budgetary supplements will enable, inter alia, an increase in the number of research grants, an increase in the amount of research grants and an improvement of their quality.

  • The most significant increase is expressed in the doubling of the National Science Fund budget from 284 million shekels (2010) to 590 million shekels (2019). The National Science Funds is incorporated as an association whose purpose is to “assess, select, and support proposals for basic research in the fields of the humanities and social science, life sciences and medicine, and exact sciences and technology by providing research grants for basic research proposals that will be selected through a competitive process and on the basis of scientific excellence and quality.”
  • Increasing the European R&D program by a factor of 3.5: From 149 million shekels (2010) to 519 million shekels (2019). Israel’s share in the European R&D programs was determined according to the ratio of the local GDP to the total European GDP (including Israel).
  • Since 2016, the PBC also finances the NSF-BSF research grant program: This is a prestigious program for scientific collaboration between Israeli and American researchers. The program distributes grants to a series of fields of research, including: Exact sciences, engineering and computer science (the STEM subjects), natural and life sciences, earth and environmental sciences, economics, psychology, etc. For Israeli researchers, this is a particularly important program that significantly increases opportunities for research in collaboration with the American scientific establishment, considered to be the leading scientific establishment in the world.


Dedicated Budget for the Flagship Research Program:

In addition to funding the above research funds, the PBC recently approved a multiyear investment (2019-2022) of approximately 430 million additional shekels to finance the flagship research program: Personalized medicine (NIS 100 million), quantum science and technology (NIS 200 million), and data science (NIS 150 million).

The PBC believes that a significant and consistent investment at the national level in developing these fields of research is expected to bring about a significant leap in Israel’s research abilities and its status at the forefront of global knowledge.