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Israel Offers Incentives to Launch Financial R&D Centers

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Thursday, September 9th, 2010

In order to encourage large financial services companies and international banks to set up financial R&D centers in Israel, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor have established a special incentives program.

The government will provide 40% of the plan’s total budget approved by the Office of the Chief Scientist in the first and second years, 30% in the third and fourth years, and 25% in the fifth year. Projects set up in Israel’sNorth and South will be eligible for higher government funding of 50% in the first and second years, 40% in the third and fourth years, and 35% in the fifth year.

The plan is part of the Relative Advantages Plan that will be managed by the Chief Scientist Office and aims to boost the development of an information-intensive financial services industry in Israel.

“This plan is designed to meet the world’s need for sophisticated analytical solutions that support the financial industry. Israel has quality manpower with advanced technological infrastructures and good quality higher education,” Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor director general Sharon Kedmi said.

To qualify, participating international financial companies have to commit to working in Israel for five years and employ at least 25 R&D employees in the first year, 50 employees in the second year, and 80 employees in the third and subsequent years. The companies also need to ensure that at least 90% of the employees at the financial R&D centers to be set up will be Israeli citizens.