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The creation and development of advanced research infrastructures requires large budgets. In 1997, Professor Jacob Ziv, then President of the Academy, established TELEM, a voluntary forum intended to coordinate and pool resources among all the national agencies that could benefit from large research infrastructures.
The Forum is headed by a representative of the Academy – a role fulfilled, in recent years, by Academy Member Professor Shimon Ullman. Its members are the head of the Planning and Budgeting Committee of Israel’s Council for Higher Education; the head of the Israel Innovation Authority; the director-general of the Ministry of Science and Technology; the head of the Research and Development Division of the Ministry of Defense; and the deputy director of the Budget Department of the Ministry of Finance.
The Forum examines proposals for creating national research and development infrastructure and recommends suitable ways to pool resources from the budgets of the Forum’s participating agencies and other interested parties.
It also recommends bodies to be charged with implementing and auditing projects within the set budgetary frameworks.
Over the years, TELEM has initiated a string of scientific and technological projects, representing hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars in total, including the following:
Nanotechnology research and infrastructure – $231.5 million
Advanced photonics – $56 million
Second-generation broadband Internet communication initiative – $38 million
Brain research – $25 million
Particle accelerator for the Nahal Soreq SARAF nuclear research center – $25 million
Participation in the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) – $10 million
Establishing equipment centers for biotechnology R&D – $10 million
Stem cell R&D equipment – $10 million
Founding a national tissue bank – $8.9 million
Creating the basis for a national grid for shared computer resources –$2.6 million