Chief Scientist’s Office to Move Out of Jerusalem, Contrary to Law

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Avi Hasson, Economy and Industry Ministry’s chief scientist.
Avi Hasson, Economy and Industry Ministry’s chief scientist.Credit: Eyal Toueg

The National Authority for Technological Innovation, which has replaced the Office of the Chief Scientist in the Economy Ministry, will move out of Jerusalem, contrary to the law and the government’s statement about keeping its offices and units in the capital, Haaretz has learned.

The authority was established in January this year, following an amendment to the Law for Encouragement of Research and Development in Industry – 1984 (the “R&D Law”).

The amendment stipulates explicitly that the authority will be located in Jerusalem. However, a few weeks ago the Economy Ministry signed a three-year lease for a building in Airport City in Lod for the authority’s offices.

Relocating the Chief Scientist’s Office and its staff is seen as a blow to the capital’s economy and to its workers, who live in Jerusalem. The office will be joining numerous other government units located outside Jerusalem.

Members of the Hitorerut Movement in Jerusalem said about 100 government units are located outside the capital, contrary to the law. In 2007 the cabinet decided to move all its units to Jerusalem. However, in 2014 it postponed the decision’s implementation to 2019.

Recently Likud politicians have blasted the new broadcasting corporation for planning to begin its broadcasts outside Jerusalem.

The Economy Ministry said, “in view of the shortage of available assets in Jerusalem and the estimated time it would take to find a suitable building, it was decided to lease a building for three years. At the same time as leasing the temporary building, a program for the authority’s permanent structure in Jerusalem has been approved, with the aim of promoting its location and suitability to the authority.”

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