Technological incubators are support corporations that give fledgling entrepreneurs - veteran Israelis and new immigrants alike - an opportunity to develop their innovative technological ideas and set up new businesses in order to commercialize them.
The incubator program, created in 1991, is applied in all parts of the country under the guidance and with the support of the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Since then, the project has blossomed into the 27 technological incubators operating in Israel today, containing more than 200 projects in electronics and communication, software, medical devices, new materials and biotechnology.
The Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) is responsible for implementing the government's policy of encouraging and supporting industrial research and development in Israel. The OCS provides a variety of support programs that operate on an annual budget of about US $300 million. This is spent on about 1,000 projects undertaken by 500 companies. These programs have helped make Israel a major center of hi-tech entrepreneurship.
The main OCS' program (the R&D Fund) supports R&D projects of Israeli companies by offering conditional grants of up to 50% of the approved R&D expenditure. If the project is commercially successful, the company will be under an obligation to repay the grant by royalty payments.
How does it work?
The program nurtures novice entrepreneurs at the earliest stage of technological innovation, helps them implement their ideas by turning them into exportable commercial products and form productive business ventures in Israel.
By absorbing a large portion of the risk at this early stage, where commercial money plays a minor role, the technological incubators provide entrepreneurs with physical premises, financial resources, tools, professional guidance and administrative assistance - so that, during their stay in the incubator, they may turn their abstract ideas into products of proven feasibility, novelty and advantage that are sought in the international marketplace.
The entrepreneurs’ term of activity in the technological incubator considerably enhances their prospects of raising the financial investment they need, finding strategic partners and emerging from the incubator with businesses that can stand on their own two feet.
The technological incubators have become massive repositories of potential ideas for new high-tech venture companies in the future. It is well known that the incubator program is the No.1 manufacturer of startups in Israel today, establishing over 70 new startups each year.
Incubators Center for Technological Initiative
Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS)
5, Bank Israel St.
POBox 3166, Jerusalem 91036