Israeli innovation is a role model for the entire world. Delegations from around the globe frequent Israel on a regular basis to learn about the wonderful local innovation eco-system and to understand how a small country of only 8.5 million people has succeeded in becoming a world leader in this field. Pioneering Israeli technological innovation, the dimensions of which in relation to the total economy are exceptional, has justifiably earned us the name 'Start-up Nation'. Indeed, this is the very nature of Israeli society – innovative, entrepreneurial, and confident in its ability to lead and change the reality in which we live.
Israel was also a pioneer in realizing the importance of R&D and innovation to the country's prosperity. Already 45 years ago, with the establishment of the Chief Scientist's Bureau in the Ministry of Economy, we strove to promote cooperation between the government and the private sector with the objective of advancing R&D and innovation processes. This was undertaken out of an understanding that investment in innovation is the key to sustainable economic prosperity and to the creation of tremendous economic productivity and value. However, the value of innovation is not solely economic, but also exercises valuable diplomatic influence: for many other countries, Israel represents a primary target for potential collaborations in fields of science and technology.
The Innovation Report published each year by the Israel Innovation Authority has already become an honored tradition. It encompasses the range of achievements and challenges of innovation in Israel and signals the direction towards which we aspire. In so doing, the Authority is fulfilling its role as the body responsible both for advising on the formulation of innovation policy and for the efficient and high-quality implementation of this policy. This report details the Start-up Nation's achievements during the last year and the challenges we face in the future.
The Innovation Authority constitutes and important and central part of my Department's operations. I am convinced, that with the leadership of the Innovation Authority, the Ministry of Economy and Industry as a whole will meet the central challenges of the coming years as detailed in the report. Specifically, it is our intention that Israel maintains its position as a leader of technological innovation while simultaneously harnessing its resources for the benefit of Israeli industry in general and in the periphery in particular.
MK Eli Cohen,
Minister of Economy and Industry