[IWAR] TECH govt investments

From: Michael Wilson (MWILSON/0005514706at_private)
Date: Thu Jan 08 1998 - 10:56:45 PST

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    A study in contrasts...  --MW
                 Israel to invest $1 billion in new high-tech companies
          Copyright ) 1998 Nando.net
          Copyright ) 1998 Reuters
       TEL AVIV (January 8, 1998 09:12 a.m. EST http://www.nando.net) - The
       Israeli government has initiated a plan to form a $1 billion fund to
       invest in high-tech start-ups, Finance Minister Yaacov Neeman said on
       "I fully believe the future of Israel's economy depends on the
       advancement of high tech," Neeman said at a conference on start-ups.
       The government itself will invest $100 million in the fund, and is
       talking to local and foreign investment banks about investing in and
       managing the fund. He did not say when it would be established.
       The fund would be the second undertaken by the Israeli government. The
       Yozma fund, which it formed in 1992 to support private sector venture
       capital funds and jump start the industry, was privatised in March 1997.
       In addition, the government supports high technology research and
       development through grants from the chief scientist's office and
       early-stage companies through state-sponsored incubators.
       The chief scientist, Orna Berry, has complained that requests for aid
       are far in excess of her budget.
       "I agree with those who say this isn't enough," Neeman said. "But I
       believe the government shouldn't take all the risk."
       The $1 billion fund will increase private sector investment in start-ups
       and reduce the pressure on the government's budget, he said.
                        France to help small firms with Internet
          Copyright ) 1998 Nando.net
          Copyright ) 1998 Reuters
       PARIS (January 8, 1998 07:48 a.m. EST http://www.nando.net) - France
       plans to devote $8.2 million this year to supporting Internet use by
       small and medium-sized companies, Secretary of State for Industry
       Christian Pierret said Thursday.
       Only 30 percent of small and medium-sized firms had Internet access in
       1996, and only 15 percent had plans to link their computers to the
       network, he said in the text of a speech to France's Internet society.
       That compared with 50 percent in Germany and 45 percent in the United
       "Small and medium-sized companies would profit greatly by using this
       tool," he said, noting that they were the country's main potential job

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