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The state of Israel’s high-tech

*Challenged by a unique environment – top heavy on terrorism and war, but low on natural resources and rainfall – Israel has bolstered its do-or-die state of mind, with defiance of odds, risk-taking, frontier, pioneering, optimism, patriotism, can-do and out-of-the-box mentality. This has yielded a robust flow of game-changing commercial, defense and dual-use technologies.


*These game-changing technologies include the world’s smallest (0.99mm) pill-size video medical camera, MobilEye AI car safety, Waze navigation, the Pressure Bandage, the “Arrow”, “Iron Dome” and “David Sling” missile defense systems, land-sea-air UAVs and mini, small and mid-size space vehicles. Also, the cherry tomato, drip irrigation system, SupPlant autonomous irrigation system, solar water heaters, Intel’s microprocessors, Microsoft’s anti-virus and Windows XP and NT, the USB flash drive Disk-on-Key, Firewall against malware and the ICQ instant messenger. In addition, there are the Israeli developed Watergen water from thin air, GrainPro Cocoons for African grain farmers, biological pest control, Laser keyboard, Voice-over Internet protocol, Face ID, Babylon computer translation, WeCU airport security, Rewalk for paraplegics, OrCam for the visually-impaired, etc.

*These Israeli developed technologies have been shared with the US, in particular, and the world, in general, enhancing global standard of living, communications, medicine, health, agriculture, irrigation, software technologies, cyber security, national security and homeland security.

*Israel is one of the leading global high-tech hubs along with the Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Boston, Austin, Raleigh, Durham, Bangalore, Stockholm, Helsinki and London.

*Some 400 foreign corporations – mostly from the US – have established research and development centers in Israel, leveraging its brain power and challenging experiences. For example, John Deere and Monsanto agricultural tech; General Electric, Johnson & Johnson and Philips medical tech; Pfizer, Bayer and Merck pharmaceuticals; Texas Instruments, Intel, Applied materials, AMD, Marvell, Nvidia and Qualcomm semiconductors; General Motors, Ford Motor, Honda, Mercedes Benz and Skoda automotive; Microsoft, Oracle, McAfee, Autodesk and PTC software; Sony, Siemens, Samsung and LG electronics; AT&T telecommunications, Vonage and Fujitsu communications; IBM, HP and Dell computer tech; eBay, Google, Facebook, Yahoo and PayPal internet; Intuit, Citigroup, Mastercard, Visa and Barclays financial services; Motorola and Nokia telecom; Xerox and Hewlett Packard information tech;, PepsiCo food processing, Mitsubishi international trade, CA Technologies business-to-business, Sears retail, ASML photolithography, etc.

*According to PitchBook Financial Data, In 2022, Israel ($506 per capita) was second to Singapore ($695) in attracting venture capital investment per capita (including Warren Buffett’s Berkshire-Hathaway), compared to the US ($357), Switzerland ($273), Finland ($232), the UK ($190), the UAE ($168), Sweden ($157), Canada ($117) and France ($104).

*And, according to Deloitte, “Israel is the world leader for the number of start-ups per capita.”

*Israel leads the world in its research and development manpower per capita: 140 Israelis (per 10,000) and 85 Americans (per 10,000) are ahead of the rest of the world.

*Israel is second to the US in terms of scientific publications per capita.

*Israel’s high-tech sector has played a key role in the transformation of Israel into a unique force and dollar-multiplier for the US. It has provided to the US game-changing commercial and defense technologies, which have enhanced the US economy and defense, bolstering its global technological edge.

Israel’s high-tech competitive edge

*Israel’s high-tech workforce benefits from an annual flow of Jewish immigrants (Aliyah), who are trained in Israel, the US, Russia, Europe, Latin America and Australia, who join the Israeli graduates from institutions of higher learning.

*Israel’s high-tech workforce absorbs veterans of the elite high-tech units of the Israel Defense Force, many of them scouted by the military among 10th and 11th graders, who are at the top of their class.

*Israel’s military service trains high school graduates to make life and death decisions, be quick on their feet, innovate and improvise.

*Israel’s commercial and military high-tech benefits from the intense, speedy and informal interaction and integrated synergy among the research, academic, military, commercial and defense sectors.

*Israel’s robust demography – which leads the Free World with three births per Jewish woman and an unprecedented momentum of secular fertility – provides a tailwind for Israel’s economy.

*According to the World Bank, 5.4% of Israel’s GDP is dedicated to research and development, the highest in the world, ahead of South Korea (4.81%), Sweden (3.53%), Belgium (3.48%), the US (3.45%), Japan (3.26%), Austria (3.20%), Switzerland (3.15%), Germany (3.14%), Denmark (2.96%), the OECD (2.96%), Finland (2.94%), Iceland (2.47%), France (2.35%), the Netherlands (2.9%), Norway (2.28%), Slovenia (2.15%), the Czeck Republic (1.9%), Singapore 1.89%), Australia (1.83%), the UK (1.71%) and Canada (1.7%).

*Israel’s economy has surged dramatically in 1988-2022:

*Against the backdrop of the aforementioned information, Israel constitutes a unique case, which benefits from the law of increasing returns. Israel’s ongoing wars against terrorism and conventional military forces have been bumps on the road to unprecedented growth.

*According to George Gilder, the author of The Israel Test and a high-tech guru: “Israel is the global master of microchip design, network algorithms and medical instruments…water recycling and desalinization…missile defense, robotic warfare, and UAVs…. US defense and prosperity increasingly depend on the ever-growing economic and technological power of Israel. If we stand together, we can deter or defeat any foe…. We need Israel as much as it needs us.”


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Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger is consultant to Israel’s Cabinet members and Israeli legislators, and lecturer in the U.S., Canada and Israel on Israel’s unique contributions to American interests, the foundations of U.S.-Israel relations, the Iranian threat, and Jewish-Arab issues.