More than 420 Israeli companies and researchers that won a European Union Horizon 2020 grant last year were recognized at a recent awards ceremony in Jaffa.

Horizon 2020 – the largest research and innovation program in the world – selected 423 Israeli participants in 2018. To date, the long-running funding project has awarded grants totaling over €742 million to 1,062 Israeli projects.

Israel has been a partner in the EU’s research and innovation program since 1996 and was the first non-European country to join it. Over the years, the EU-Israel partnership has strengthened Israeli academic and industrial excellence, led to investments in research infrastructure and enabled long-term research.

One Israeli company that received funding in 2018 was Tel Aviv-based Vectorious Medical Technologies, which is developing a miniature wireless heart implant that monitors heart function, measures left atrial pressure and sends all data directly to the HMO or hospital. This groundbreaking development will allow physicians to make informed decisions and provide patients with better treatment based on real-time clinical data.

Another healthcare company to receive funding was Triox Nano from Jerusalem, which is developing a drug-delivery platform that combines material and DNA techniques to provide breast-cancer treatment that injects the active chemotherapy ingredient directly into the tumor.

On the ag-tech front, a joint project of the Agricultural Research Organization –Volcani Center and the company Fluence also received a grant toward a decision support approach for sustainable water reuse applications in agriculture. It aims to find holistic solutions for wastewater irrigation while ensuring environmental safety and health with minimal energy investment.

Other companies that received grants included Optima Design Automation  from Nazareth, which is developing a software platform for chip manufacturers to ensure functional safety of chips in autonomous cars.

Mellanox and IBM’s Haifa Lab also received funding to continue a joint project called PlaMOS, which is developing a powerful integrative platform that allows an eight-fold increase in the speed of optical transmitters and receivers used in datacenters.

Horizon 2020 enables Israeli companies and researchers to gain access to European partners, integrate into European research infrastructure and participate in flagship projects across various fields.

Israeli researchers have participated in Horizon 2020’s European Research Council, and Israeli universities and research institutes can be found among the top 10 organizations hosting ERC grantees around the world.

The Jaffa event, held by the EU Delegation to Israel, the Israel-Europe Research and Innovation Directorate (ISERD) and the Israel Innovation Authority, took place at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation.

ISERD director general Nili Shalev noted that the European Framework Program provides companies and researchers with numerous advantages besides the generous funding grants.

“The program places participants at the forefront of global research on issues of environmental and social importance. The program offers a wide range of opportunities and benefits,” she added.

It was a plastic-free event, as noted by EU Ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret.

“We hosted a ‘plastic-free’ ceremony and event to show support for a critical area where the EU has taken on global leadership. Policies promoting sustainability of the planet for future generations need to be supported with technologies, research, and innovative solutions, where EU-Israel cooperation can play a key role,” he noted.