Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Israel's R&D Capacity - a Promising Land

Israel presents a unique blend of Academic Excellence, Scientific Innovation and Entrepreneurial Experience in basic and applied research through to the various stages of product development.

Israel's seven universities as well as many colleges and government research centers are leading international academic institutions in such areas as computer science and engineering, electronics and the sciences.

High-tech prosperity has also been a consequence of successful government policy through a range of R&D incentives administered by the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor.

Expenditure on R&D in 2001 in Israel represents 4.5% of GDP compared to 1.6% in the UK, 2.3% in the US, 3.0% in Japan and 4.1% in Sweden.

Israel is especially strong in the early stage development of new projects and transforming innovative ideas into marketable products . This entrepreneurial spirit encompasses a wide range of advanced technology sectors from biotechnology and medical equipment to electronics and electro-optics, Information Technology and software, communications and Internet applications, aerospace and new materials, safety and security systems. Many commercial developments are spin-offs from the leading edge defense systems developed in Israel.

Many of the world's largest companies have established R&D centers in Israel amongst them Intel, IBM, Motorola, Applied Materials, BMC, Creo, Marvell, Cisco, HP and Nestlé.

Establishing scientific contacts with both the United States and Europe, Israel offers a scientific bridge for international cooperation.

In the Fifth EU Framework Programs, there were nearly 800 Israeli participations in various projects, which had a total value of €2 billion . This is part of the commitment by Israel's academic and business communities to international cooperation as the best way to achieve social, economic and scientific progress and understanding.

Israel's R&D Capacity - Everything that Counts

Academic Excellence

  • Israel has some of the world's finest universities, which excel in pioneering basic and applied research in medicine, the life sciences, agriculture, electronics, robotics, computer science, engineering, and energy as well as in emerging disciplines such as nanotechnologies.
  • Some 30% of the total R&D carried out in Israel (including the defense sector) and 45% of civilian R&D takes place at the country's universities, colleges and R&D centers.
  • About half of Israel's 220,000 students currently in academic programs are studying medicine, the sciences or engineering.

Unique Human Resources

  • Israel has 135 academically educated engineers and scientists per 10,000 population compared to 81 per 10,000 in the US.
  • There are nearly 70,000 scientists and engineers working in advanced technology industries.
  • There are 30,000 scientists and engineers engaged in academic research.
  • Immigrants from Russia imported unique knowledge from different areas of science.
  • Many scientists and engineers served as army officers and are used to real-time decision making under pressure, team coordination and flexible thinking.

Synergy Between Academia and Industry

  • Israel's universities work closely with industry. University researchers have a keen awareness of market needs and hands-on industrial experience. At the same time scientists and engineers in Israeli industry maintain their rigorous academic standards and openness to new ideas, directions and discoveries.
  • All seven universities have their own technology transfer companies, which take out thousands of new international patents each year.
  • Most Israeli universities have holdings in technological incubators for start-up companies and have ties with nearby high-tech industrial parks.
  • Many of the world's leading IT and medical equipment companies have set up R&D centers and laboratories in Israel either on or close to Israeli campuses amongst them INTEL, Motorola, Applied Materials.
  • Programs to promote projects in various disciplines and enhance contacts between academia and industry, like "MAGNET" , set up by the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, to form consortia of university research departments and advanced technology companies. Current consortia are investigating topics in biotechnology, communications, IT, solar energy and multi-disciplinary subjects including digital printing and medical imaging.

Last updated: 2014-07-18