Israel government to invest in transportation technology startups

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel’s government said on Wednesday it would invest 30 million shekels ($8.4 million) a year on a pilot program aimed at improving transportation and developing the country’s high-tech industry.

The program looks to promote companies that will impact the state of transportation in Israel and globally, the Israel Innovation Authority said in a statement.

The authority is working together with the Transportation Ministry and prime minister’s office on the initiative.

The program is intended for Israeli tech companies in the field of transportation. They will receive financial support of 20 to 50 percent for approved research and development expenses – with additional support of up to 75 percent of R&D expenses for projects that can demonstrate significant potential to streamline and improve transportation within Israel.

Companies will return their grants to the Israel Innovation Authority via royalties from sales only if an initiative has been commercialized.

($1 = 3.5674 shekels)

Reporting by Steven Scheer