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March 2, 2015 / 11 Adar , 5775
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Study: Israel Third Largest US Partner in Science and Technology

The U.S.-Israel Science & Technology Foundation (USISTF) has released the 2013 “U.S.-Israel Innovation Index” that ranked Israel third among 16 nations considered to be the strongest partners of innovation through science and technology with the United States, using four key indicators that included government relationships, human capital, industry cooperation, and research and development synergy.

Overall, Switzerland ranked highest scoring 131.05 points, which the organization attributes to the strength of the pharmaceutical industry. Canada scored 100.50, marginally stronger than Israel’s year one base line 100 point ranking, which the group attributes to the two countries sharing a relatively open border. Other countries ranked in the survey included: Singapore at 85.60; Germany at 74.34, South Korea at 72.27, Sweden at 71.71, Finland at 67.19, Japan at 60.92, Brazil at 29.86, Turkey at 27.37 and Russia at 13.60. Chile, Hong Kong, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates were also studied, but did not make the Top 12 list.

“The Innovation Index shows that Israel’s innovation relationship with the United States is balanced, broad-based, and consistently strong in most indicators. Tracking these results over time will allow us to monitor the performance of the relationship. It serves as a professional set of metrics which will allow us to observe if there are changes, and subsequently address any potential negative trend, and re-enforce the positives to ensure that it is,” said USISTF Executive Director Ann Liebschutz.

In summarizing the U.S.-Israel relationship in innovation, the study revealed that the relationships between the two governments were the strongest of those studied. However, in terms of sharing human capital, Israel is a mid-range performer trailing Canada, Switzerland, Finland and Sweden. In terms of private sector and industry relationships, Israel ranked second, behind Switzerland. Lastly, in research and development cooperation, the relative relationship between the countries is in the top tier, but lags behind Switzerland and Singapore.

“Israel is viewed as an R&D destination of choice among U.S. companies, while many Israel companies enter the U.S. market to find strategic partners, and subsequently expand to a large economic market,” she added. “Further, U.S.-Israel societal and cultural ties cover a large variety of non-scientific and non-technological elements of the relationship, which in turn, may further stimulate innovative interaction between the two countries in technology.”

The U.S.-Israel Innovation Index collects information on specific metrics, which individually provide insight into aspects of the collaborative relationship. The framework uses metrics that are normalized to assure an appropriate comparison among nations that have vastly different sizes, populations and economic output. Metrics are then aggregated into categories to provide a larger viewpoint and then the categories are combined into an overall score. Metrics and categorizes are not weighted in the index so that no one indicator is assigned an initial value greater than any other. Scores are derived directly from the underlying data. In order to create an index, the various data points need to be consistent and reflect a common standard or base value to facilitate comparisons. For simplicity, the index established the baseline at 100 that permits all other information to be expressed relative to this number.

The U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Foundation is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission of facilitating economic growth through innovation. USISTF carries out its mission by facilitating the creation of new R&D partnerships among U.S. public and private institutions. USISTF plays a central role in engaging and bringing together U.S. and Israeli partners to advance a wide range of technology areas to drive economic benefits for both nations.

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