BOOKLET SERIES

Israel

INNOVATION

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Israel's Story

Over 3,000 years ago, the Jewish people developed a thriving civilization and culture in Israel, their ancestral homeland.
Over time they were conquered by a series of aggressive foreign empires. While some Jews stayed in their cities and communities, most of them scattered across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
Although they flourished at times, for 1,900 years, Jews lived as
an oppressed minority, suffering expulsions, massacres, and
ultimately genocide.
They barely survived but never lost hope. They overcame.
They started a liberation movement, went back home to join those
who were already there, and built one of the most diverse and
creative nations the world has ever seen.

That nation is Israel, and this is the story of how its spirit of innovation helps people overcome challenges all over the world.

Commitment to Innovation

Innovation is part of Israel’s culture. Israeli startup guru Yossi Vardi explains, “This is a startup country, socially and culturally. It is in our heritage, our ethos. [T]he country is constantly renewing itself all the time.”

• Israel has more startup companies per capita than any other country.
• Israel has the fourth most companies listed on Nasdaq (after the U.S., Canada, and China).
• Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, IBM, and many others have opened research facilities in Israel to benefit from its innovation capabilities.
• Israelis have the third-highest number of university degrees per capita worldwide.
• Israel has the most scientists and technicians per capita in the world.
• Bloomberg rated Israel’s economy the seventh most innovative in the world.

Agriculture

Faced with an arid climate and a severe lack of natural resources, Israelis found creative ways to maximize their agricultural production while minimizing water usage.

• Israeli-developed drip irrigation is one of the most valued agricultural innovations of modern times. It conserves water and fertilizer while dramatically improving crop production and quality.
• Food tech is one of the fastest growing sectors in Israel, with over 300 startups helping to tackle the challenge of feeding the world’s growing population in a sustainable way.
• Israel treats 92 percent of its wastewater and reuses 75 percent in agriculture, the highest rate in the world.
• Israel is working in California, Oregon, Michigan, and countless countries around the world to help people overcome drought and make global water consumption more sustainable.

Israel innovation

Biotechnology & Medicine

Israeli innovations are saving lives and helping to overcome some of the most difficult challenges to global health.

• Israeli scientists created a DNA nanocomputer that detects cancer and releases drugs to treat it.
• Israel’s BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics has developed a novel stem cell therapy to help Parkinson’s patients restore their motor functions.
• Over 1,300 Israeli companies are leading worldwide innovation in the fields of medical devices, bioinformatics, medical technology, equipment, and imaging.
• Israeli startup Soapy is transforming the lives of children in India with off- grid, sun-powered hygiene stations that use water pulled from the air and precise soap-dispensing systems.
• Israel’s emergency bandage has saved the lives of countless soldiers and civilians, including U.S. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.
• Actor and paralysis research advocate Christopher Reeve called Israel “the world center” for paralysis studies.

Communications

Israel is a world leader in providing communication technologies, connecting people around the world.

• The Israeli company Comverse invented voicemail.
• Instant messaging and chat room technology were developed by four young Israelis.
• Israeli company Waze developed community-driven navigation software utilizing information sent by users to provide real-time traffic updates and more.
• Fixed broadband is available to 99 percent of all households in Israel.

Computing

Often called the “second Silicon Valley,” Israel provides research and development for some of the world’s largest high-tech companies.

• Intel’s Centrino chip, which powers wireless networks, including those at Internet cafes and hotels, was developed at Intel Israel.
• An Israeli scientist developed the mathematical calculations that enabled the Mars Opportunity and Spirit rovers to travel on Mars using solar energy.
• Most of Windows operating system was developed by Microsoft Israel.
• Israel is home to both Microsoft’s and Cisco’s only research-and-development facilities outside the U.S.
• Israeli company M-Systems invented the USB flash drive and was later bought by SanDisk.

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