Chief Scientists Eli Opper
Photo: Yotam Frum
Barring any unforeseen developments, the 2011 budget of the Office of the Chief Scientist in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor is expected to stand at NIS 900 million (about $231 million), marking a major reduction from this year's budget of NIS 1.35 billion ($350 million), Calcalist reported Wednesday.
The reduction is part of across-the-board budget cuts in Israel's government offices.
It was further reported that the Chief Scientist's Office failing to cope with the large amount of funding requests. Last year these requests totaled NIS 6.7 billion ($1.72 billion). The entire amount was already allocated before the year's final quarter.
It is estimated that funding requests for 2010 will reach a similar amount.
It should be noted that the Chief Scientist's Office's budget may be a few hundred million shekels larger than expected due to a few grants it may receive from the Treasury.
Despite the sharp budget cut, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor remains optimistic. "We are certain that the Treasury will find funding sources (for the Chief Scientist's Office) as it has in the past," it said in a statement.