A new 30 million shekel-a-year pilot program promotes companies that will improve transportation in Israel and around the world and take it into the future.

Israel announced on Wednesday the launch of a new pilot program to promote Israeli companies working to improve transportation and to develop Israel’s hi-tech industry through technological innovation in the field of traffic systems and transportation infrastructure.

Technological spheres within the pilot program include autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, smart vehicles, ride-sharing and carpooling models, monitoring technologies and processing of traffic data, innovative methods of operating transportation services, reducing traffic congestion and collisions, minimizing the use of oil and encouraging use of public transportation.

The program also seeks to develop and implement innovative technologies and paradigms that will improve the state of transportation and develop Israel’s world-leading innovation industry while making transportation systems more efficient in Israel and around the world.

Minister of Transportation Yisrael Katz stated that his ministry will “continue to spearhead the effort to make the State of Israel a hub of innovation for the future of transportation and smart technology.”

Minister of Economy and Industry Eli Cohen noted that “while Israel’s innovation ecosystem has become a global role model, this has yet to seep into Israel’s own transportation system, which will continue to face significant challenges for the near future. This revolutionary program is an important step towards connecting the success of Israel’s hi-tech industry with the transportation industry.”

The program is intended for Israeli tech companies in the field of transportation. They will receive financial support of 20-50 percent for approved Research and Development expenses, with additional support of up to 75 percent of R&D expenses for projects that can demonstrate significant potential to streamline and improve transportation within Israel.

The program will help offset the risks involved in R&D, without taking a stake in future profits. Companies will return their grants to the Israel Innovation Authority via royalties from sales only if an initiative has been commercialized.