Israel launches three-year program to boost cyber industry

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The Israeli government said on Wednesday it is investing 90 million shekels ($24 million) to shore up the country’s cyber security industry as a global leader.

Under the three-year program companies dealing with high-risk research and development will be eligible to receive up to 5 million shekels a year. The program will also help fund pilot projects in Israel and abroad.

“Despite significant investment from VCs who have expressed faith in the local cyber market, many companies face challenges in finding suitable sites to test their technologies,” said Aharon Aharon, head of the Israel Innovation Authority.

“This new program solves this issue and will significantly accelerate companies’ growth and penetration into the global market,” he said.

Israel has about 5 percent of the global market share in cybersecurity, second to the United States, and 16 percent of worldwide investment in the cyber industry, according to government data.

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Tova Cohen