Both the countries will be contributing USD 20 million each to the fund over a period of five years.

Israel's Economic Minister Naftali Bennett, who visited India last year, announced the initiative saying it is aimed at consolidating and strengthening economic ties with strategic partners.

"The fund's jewel in the crown is the establishment of a tool to serve as a breakthrough for Israeli entrepreneurs and industrialists in entering the Indian market," Israel's Chief Scientist Avi Hasson said after discussions with Indian government representatives.

"Emerging markets are a priority for the office of the Chief Scientist and the government as a whole," he added.

T Ramaswami, Secretary to Government of India's Department of Science and Technology, is on a three-day visit to Israel to discuss about the creation of the fund.

"The R&D fund is being created with a view to commercialize them and to leverage innovation for economic collaboration," sources said here.

"This can be through jointly developed technologies or joint collaborations,” sources added.

The initiative to set up the fund was taken by Finance Ministers of the two countries but will be implemented through the office of the Chief Scientist of Israel and the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

"Increasing exports to the Indian market is an important part of Israel's strategy to diversify exports," said Yonatan Regev, Deputy Budget Director at Israel's Ministry of Finance, and added that the fund will help in contributing towards this goal.

The fund will help Israeli companies participate in large Indian government-led ventures, foster collaboration of Israeli and Indian companies in R&D projects and seek to adapt products developed in Israel for the Indian market, Israeli officials said.

The fund will be similar to the BIRD foundation between Israel and United States.

As per the BIRD model, any two companies, one registered in Israel and the other in US, may jointly apply for budgetary support as long as they have the combined capability and infrastructure to define, develop, manufacture, sell and support an innovative product or service.

(Agencies)

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