VILNIUS - Lithuania and Israel will provide 2 million –1 million euros each – in funding for joint projects involving companies from the two countries to develop new high value-added manufacturing and biotechnology products.
The value of a single project implemented by companies from both countries will be up to 1 million euros. Edvinas Nagulevicius, head of international programs at the Innovation Agency Lithuanian, says up to five Lithuanian and Israeli companies could benefit from such support.
"Projects can reach up to 500,000 euros in value (per country - BNS). Four or five companies, we do not expect more," he told a conference in Vilnius on Tuesday, adding that the final decision will be taken by the Israeli agency, and small and medium-sized enterprises will have to prove they are well prepared to use the provided financial support.
Uzi Bar-Sadeh, bilateral program manager for Europe at the Israeli Innovation Authority, said funding conditions for Lithuanian and Israeli companies will be slightly different as Lithuanian companies will receive up to 70 percent of the project's funding from the Israeli Innovation Authority and will not have to repay the grant. Meanwhile, Israeli companies will receive 50 to 80 percent and will have to repay the money, if the project is successful.
"If succeeded, they need to pay back, if not - we take the risk with them," Bar-Sadeh said.
The two agencies signed a cooperation agreement in early March, and now a visit of representatives of Lithuanian advanced manufacturing and biotechnology companies to Israel will be organized in May.