In December 2019, in keeping with its statutory obligation, The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities submitted to the Government of Israel and the Knesset its Triennial Report on the State of Israeli Science, reviewing the state of science, scholarship and basic research in Israel and offering recommendations for their advancement. Subsequently, in March 2020, Academy President Nili Cohen appointed a follow-up committee to track the implementation of the Report’s recommendations.
The follow-up committee was in contact with the bodies dealing with the fields touched upon by the recommendations of the Triennial Report. In the committee’s estimation, the budgetary uncertainty ensuing from the COVID-19 crisis and from the absence of an approved state budget has made it difficult to implement many of the Report’s recommendations, even when the relevant bodies were ready and willing to do so.
The committee’s conclusions may be summarized as follows:
- Israel must expand its investment in basic research if its scientific standing in the world is to be maintained and strengthened.
- Every effort should be made to shore up Israel’s international scientific collaborations – also by joining the Horizon Europe research and innovation framework program of the European Community.
- The requisite resources should be invested to execute the plan of the Council for Higher Education (Vatat) and the Israel Science Foundation for a significant expansion of the funding of research in the medical and biomedical fields, particularly for physician-scientists.
- To reinforce the international competitive status of Israeli science, investment in both existing and new national research laboratories and infrastructures must be increased.
- There is an urgent need for a strategy to advance the humanities in Israel and to implement the Triennial Report’s recommendations for supporting outstanding research in the humanities and social sciences.