During a discussion in the science committee, Ofer Doron presented that in the absence of budgeting, a tender for the construction of the communication satellite was launched: "The planning teams have begun to disperse, the procurement has stopped and soon the entire activity will stop." A representative of the Ministry of Finance: "We are looking into the need for a larger budget even though the satellite is smaller than its predecessor." Chairman of the committee, MK Uri Makleb: "We cannot depend on foreign satellites, certainly not in times of emergency"
Ofer Doron, director of Bat Halal, said yesterday at the meeting of the Knesset's science committee that as things stand now, a foreign company will build Amos 8 and not the Aerospace Industry.
The meeting was also attended by Science Minister Ofir Akunis, who reported on the activities of his ministry (see below). The minister answered the question of the chairman of the committee, MK Makleb, regarding the future of the field of communication satellites in Israel, a field that suffered a severe blow with the explosion of the Amos 6 satellite. the explosion After we get the green light and know that there is money, we will bring it to the cabinet," MK Akunis noted.
MK Makleb: "We held discussions on the issue, we wrote to the Minister of Finance and stated that the issue of communication satellites should be a national task, this is a real need of the state. We cannot depend on foreign satellites, certainly not in times of emergency. Information that is sensitive to us and our communication services cannot be in the hands of foreigners, this is a national and public issue."
Ofer Doron, director of Bat Halal: "Seven months have passed since the committee published its conclusions, the satellites continue to travel around the world and do not wait for the State of Israel. We pay a lot of money for the lease of the satellite that replaces Amos 7. Unfortunately, an international tender has been issued for the satellite that will replace it - Amos 6, and whoever wins will be an international company, and this will close the gap on Israel's ability in communication satellites. We started dispersing the teams that worked on planning Amos 8, I believe that in the near future we will stop all activities on this issue. We have already stopped the procurement operations."
Michal Geva, Budget Division, Ministry of Finance: "The budget for space is 80 million NIS next year, a significant increase from the past. There is a willingness of the government with the various ministries, including defense, treasury and science, to put at least the same budget given to Amos 6. A bigger budget is needed even though the satellite is smaller and we are in discussions to understand this. There is also the issue of insurance for the previous satellite."
Peretz Vezan, Director General of the Ministry of Science: "The insurance issue is being examined, if funds are received of course they will be reduced from the costs, it is about 100 million NIS. You said that all the ministries agree to put in the same amounts, the question is whether the Treasury is willing to pay the same amount."
The chairman of the committee summarized the discussion: "The discussions also reflected the ministry's activity and assessment of the activity as well as things on the agenda. Emphasis should be placed on bureaucracy in the interest of young scientists, on the issue of space to which we will devote time and effort, budget issues for research and development and more. We will continue to accompany and assist as much as possible, as mentioned, the fact that we are a leading country in the field does not guarantee us the same future and we must not stop."
Minister of Science and Technology Ofir Akunis reported
The Science and Technology Committee held a discussion yesterday on the subject of 'The Minister of Science and Technology's presentation of his office's activities'. The chairman of the committee, MK Uri Makalev: "The minister's report comes close to the visit of the Prime Minister of India, where we were somewhat exposed to what Israel has to offer a country like India, a country of one billion and 300 thousand citizens, in my opinion it is a miracle. This is of course not the only country, as a committee we are exposed to the greatest connections and appreciation in the world, there is a great demand from parliaments in the world to meet with the committee and a great desire to learn from us. We have a double duty to maintain this, if we don't work and invest, we can quickly lose the lead and be left behind."
Minister of Science and Technology, MK Ofir Akunis: "This is my eighth appearance as Minister of Science before this committee, I think it is a world record. I act in this way to bring the ministry's activities to the public, something that unfortunately does not receive priority in the coverage of the general press and there is a lot to report."
At the beginning of his speech, the Minister of Science introduced the Aftaah Science Camp project, in which a record participation of 15,000 children in 144 municipalities, in all regions and in all sectors, was recorded this year: "We are working for accessible exposure and encouragement of excellence in the community in the fields of science and technology in a variety of projects, it cannot be concentrated in one and type one of a population. There is a focus on the Arab sector, the sector has not known such momentum since the establishment of the Ministry of Science. The children of Nazareth, Ariel, Ofra and Negev fields do not fall short of any other child in Israel. With such genius, Israel's future is guaranteed at every level."
MK Akunis presented that the science basket program, in which the ministry budgets the enrichment programs of local authorities in the fields of science and technology in the fields of science, will be budgeted in 2012 in 178 municipalities for a total of NIS 35 million, and the expectation for 2018 is for activity in 214 municipalities in total of NIS 45 million.
"In 2010 the ministry's budget was NIS 120 million, which is a shame, today we are approaching half a billion NIS. I am meeting with the Minister of Finance today, I will ask for an addition. The ministry's budget is not enough, it is increasing, but not enough to satisfy the needs of all Israeli citizens," Akonis added.
The Minister of Science also referred to the promotion of R&D in Israel and its ever-higher budget, to the scholarships designed to deal with the phenomenon of brain drain and claims of political isolation, and on the other hand presented bilateral agreements on almost all continents of the world and invitations to visits in this spirit to various destinations in the world.