Evaluating the NOFAR Program

A study to evaluate the NOFAR program was financed jointly by the Samuel Neaman institute and the MAGNET administration and is planned to take place mostly during 2010.

The NOFAR program was conceived as part of the implementation of the recommendations made by the "Monitor Report," and stresses the need to establish a fund to support the development of inventions in the fields of biotechnology and nanotechnology that have a commercial potential in universities, so as to increase the chances of successful transfer of the technology from the academy to industry. The program helps build a bridge between the basic research and the applied research at the stage at which industry has not yet recognized the idea as having a commercial potential.

The program allows research groups in the academy to continue with the execution of an applied research program that is no longer entitled to the support of competitive research funds, intending to promote basic research, and to bring the idea to a maturity level that enables industrial actors to show an interest in it and decide whether they are willing to invest in its development.

The main goals of this research are to analyze the contribution of those involved in the NOFAR program and examine the factors that influence success or failure, according to the data collected in about 130 NOFAR studies conducted over recent years. The methodology chosen is based on attitude surveys (questionnaires) and selected case studies, to be conducted among the representatives of the involved organizations: Researchers from the academy, representatives of the relevant firms (industry), professional analyzers and application companies. The results of the empiric analysis, together with the materials collected during the interviews will assist the formulation of operative recommendations and conclusions that will help decision makers with regard to future NOFAR studies and the NOFAR program in general.

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