Start-Up Nation »
In recent years, Israel has been increasingly recognized as one of the world’s greatest innovation hubs and most dynamic economies. We have provided this backgrounder to summarize just a few of the remarkable trends that have led to Israel being referred to by experts as “the Start-Up Nation.”
- As of 2010, more than 3,000 start-ups have been launched in Israel. After the United States and Canada, Israel has more companies listed on the NASDAQ than any other country in the world.Israel is second only to the United States in venture capital funding.
- In May of 2010, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) unanimously voted to admit Israel as its 32nd member country. This decision was taken in light of Israel’s robust economic foundation – with the NY Times stating that Israel “has grown into a technological powerhouse with an annual per capita gross domestic product approaching $30,000, not far from Germany’s.” To see a CNN report on how Israel weathered the worldwide recession, click here.
- A number of leading technology firms have established offices or research centres in Israel, including Google, Yahoo, Motorola, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Intel, AT&T, and Hewlett-Packard. In fact, Israel has the highest concentration of tech firms in the world outside Silicon Valley.
- Israel has some of the highest per capita rates of engineers, PhDs, scientific papers, and patents in the world.
- Israel is a world leader in medical and biomedical advances. Key Israeli breakthroughs include pin-sized radioactive implants (known as anti-cancer “cluster bombs”), an ingestible capsule that takes internal x-rays, and a new blood test that enables doctors to detect cancer in 90% of patients – in addition to various vaccine and pharmaceutical patents.
- Israel is also a global leader in environmental technologies, and has the world’s highest rate of waste water recycling (around 70%). Israel might be the only country in the world in which its number of trees actually increased during the 20th Century (in total, the Jewish National Fund has planted some 240 million trees in Israel). Israel’s next big environmental project is currently underway: the installation of electric car charging stations throughout the country in accordance with the ground-breaking project Better Place.
- Through collaborative initiatives such as the Canada-Israel Industrial Research Development Foundation, joint projects have brought Canadian and Israeli experts together to conduct cutting-edge research in fields such as green technology, medicine, and agriculture – for the benefit of both countries.
- Since 1997, Canada and Israel have enjoyed a Free Trade Agreement that has doubled trade between the two countries (which totalled $1.4 Billion when the Agreement was modernized in 2010).
- In 2005, Ontario and Israel signed an MOU on industrial and technological development cooperation, for the purpose of expanding joint R & D projects. Resulting collaborative initiatives have focused on a range of areas – including brain and cancer research – and have involved various private sector firms and academic institutions like York University, Queen’s University, and Hebrew University (Jerusalem).
- In 2007, Québec renewed and expanded the Québec-Israel Cooperation Agreement, which strengthens ties in the fields of culture, education, science and technology, health, economics, and commerce. An additional agreement enhancing economic and technology cooperation was signed in 2008. As one example of the benefits of this relationship, in 2010 Bombardier – Québec’s world renowned transportation firm – signed a $185 Million contract to build rail coaches in Israel.
- In 2010, Manitoba and Israel signed agreements in the areas of commercial business development, agricultural research, and water technology – including collaboration between the University of Manitoba and Hebrew University. Since 2007, Manitoba and Israel have conducted a periodical joint symposium on water issues, studying matters of mutual expertise such as wetlands reclamation and waste water management.
- In 2011, Dalhousie University and Hebrew University – with the support of the Government of Nova Scotia – signed an MOU to advance joint research projects in medicine, oceanography, water management, and waste management.
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Israeli Start-Ups mapped