Israel has emerged on the global innovation scene as the new “Start Up Nation”, a high-technology paradise.
Points for thought from the Ambrosetti Club Innovation and Technology Community.
Israel is the country with the greatest number of start-ups per square kilometer in the world. And it is also the country in the world that attracts more risk capital for high-tech start-ups. Israel has more companies quoted on NASDAQ than any other country, apart from the United States.
Thanks to these “firsts”, the country has emerged on the global innovation scene as the new “Start Up Nation”, a high-technology paradise.
Over the years we have met may Israeli experts: Ora Dar, Head of of Life Sciences Sector, Israel Innovation Authority; Peretz Lavie, President of the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology; Yossi Matias, VP Google Search and Managing Director, Israel R&D Center; Eyal Shimoni, VP of Technology at Strauss Group and Board Member of the FoodTech incubator in Israel; Nava Swersky Sofer,Co-Chairperson of NanoIsrael; Manuel Trajtenberg, Chairman, Planning & Budgeting Committee of the Council For Higher Education and former Chief Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister.
Each of them has helped us to better understand the “Israel phenomenon”, a complex and richly-faceted phenomenon with a number of truly unique aspects, such as the role of the army, the development of military technologies and their applications to civilian life; compulsory military service as a precondition for the development of technological and managerial skills, and a contact network for young Israelis; or the spirit that distinguishes the entire country, comprised of talent, tenacity, mission, risk-taking, and a very unusual way of accepting failure … In a word: “Chutzpa”, a powerful mix of audacity, creativity and initiative.
But alongside these peculiar elements, there are others to be kept in mind: fundamental ingredients of a winning ecosystem for innovation.
First of all, the Vision so masterfully outlined by Shimon Peres, who always put innovation, science and technology at the center, because of his iron-clad belief that scientific and technological development is the basis for the social and economic progress of the country.
Clear and effective governance, and public policy aimed at supporting it.
An active integrated system of collaboration between universities and innovation.
An example is T3, the technology transfer office of Technion – Israel Institute of Technology:
A dynamic financial system that is open to risk.
Extraordinary international openness.
Last but not least, its entrepreneurial culture, which has become a deep-rooted part of people’s DNA, so much so that Ora Dar says “The entrepreneurial spirit is in the blood”.