National Council for R&D, Ministry of Science, Israel
The main organisation charged with the role of building and maintaining national R&D policy in Israel is the National Council for Civilian R&D (NCRD), operating under the auspices of the Minister of Science Culture and Sport. The NCRD is a prestigious body due to the professional status of its members. In a series of decisions between the years 2000 and 2002, culminating in the National Council for Civilian R&D Law of 2002, the Israeli government has specified a comprehensive R&D policy that encompasses all civilian R&D activities. This policy was expressed through the establishment of the NCRD, which is comprised of 15 members, all leading figures in Israel’s research and business communities. The mission of the NCRD is:
To advise the government of Israel with regard to the organization and regulation of civilian research and development, and with regard to the allocation of budgets for its enhancement.
To recommend to the government guidelines for a comprehensive national policy, annual as well as long-term, in the area of civilian research and development.
To recommend to the government fields of national priority in the area of civilian research and development.
To recommend to the government the establishment of needed scientific infrastructure, and the implementation of scientific and technological projects of national priority.
To recommend to the government and other relevant authorities in the area of governmental research and development, including the establishment of government research institutes, and also to make recommendations for the appointment of chief scientists in government ministries, and the appointment of heads of governmental research institutes.
Prof. Oded Abramsky is the head of the NCRD since November 2007. Prof. Abramsky headed Hadassah’s Department of Neurology for 17 years and chaired Hadassah’s Agnes Ginges Center for Human Neurogenetics. Among his many positions, he also served as Dean of the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Medicine, Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Health and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation. A retired colonel in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Prof. Abramsky served as Assistant Head of Research and Development for the IDF and the Ministry of Defense.
Ms. Frieda Sofer, General Secretary of the NCRD since May 2005, is in charge of daily operations of the NCCRD, including all administrative and financial affairs. In her lengthy and rich career in the Israeli Civil Service, starting in 1964, Ms. Sofer has held a number of other senior positions in Israeli government institutions that are directly involved in R&D policy making. These positions include senior positions as Director Budgeting, Administration & Human Resources in the Ministry of Science in the period 1989 – 1996 and Senior Vice President Budgeting, Administration & Human Resources and Acting Director General in the Ministry of Science in the period 1997 – 2005.
In addition to the senior positions in the NCRD and Ministry of Science, Ms. Sofer held a large number of other, science-administration related positions as well, including representative of the Ministry of Science in the Israeli Space Agency. Ms. Frieda Sofer will function as the TARGET Coordinator.
Mr. Shlomo Herskovic is in charge of the establishment of a national system of R&D statistics and indicators at the NCCRD since January 2008. Previously, Mr. Herskovic held a number of other senior positions at the Israel Council for Higher Education (CHE) between 1990 and 2007, including Deputy Director-General for Planning & Information of the CHE. Prior to joining the CHE, Mr. Herskovic held senior positions at the Ministry of Science between 1974 and 1990, including being the Acting Head, Division of International Scientific Relations and Head of the R&D Economics Division. Mr. Herskovic holds a B.A. and M.A. in Economics from Wayne State University in the USA.
Professor Morris Teubal is the former head of the Industrial Development Policy Group and a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was a member of the Magnet Committee in charge of Technology Infrastructure policy in Israel; was sent as a policy evaluator by the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank to several Latin American countries; and in 1993 he participated as a member of the OECD Mission to Mexico as an Industrial and Technology Policy Expert. He participated in the research project entitled “National and Innovation Systems and European Integration” which was conducted under the Targeted Socio-Economic Research Program (TSER) of the EU. His last book (1996) was “Technology Infrastructure Policy (TIP): an International Perspective” (with D. Forray, M. Justman, and E.Zuscovitch-Kluwer Publishers). In addition to his books, he is author of several research and scholarly articles in leading journals. As a member of the European IFISE project he studied the development of the venture capital industry in Israel. Prof. Teubal, is recognized as a world expert to R&D policies and his recent research activities are focused on Targeted R&D policies and will act as an in-house consultant to the NCCRD in this project.