Israel must invest more in R&D to sustain tech sector growth, report says

i24NEWS

3 min read
View of the cityscape in Tel Aviv, Israel, on December 12, 2020.
Moshe Shai/FLASH90View of the cityscape in Tel Aviv, Israel, on December 12, 2020.

'The continued growth of the Israeli high-tech industry in the face of global competition is at risk'

Israel’s technology industry – the Israeli economy’s flagship sector – is plagued by serious challenges, including a lack of diversity and a shortage of talent that could soon hinder its ability to compete, according to the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA).

In its “The State of High Tech 2022” report, the IIA said that such issues, along with a lack of sufficient government spending on research and development (R&D), could hold Israel back in the global sphere, The Times of Israel (ToI) reported.

“On the one hand, we are very much part of the ecosystem globally, and we are very well-positioned and compete effectively,” Sagi Dagan, vice president of the IIA’s Growth Division, said.

“On the other hand, we see a decline in the infrastructure [needed] for the future of high-tech. We need to make the right decisions for the future, and manage our risks,” Dagan told ToI.

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He added that Israel must consider what its tech ecosystem will look like in the next decade: “We do see threats,” he warned, such as Israel’s low investment in R&D and a decline in resources toward the innovation industry.

Dagan suggested that tech ecosystems in Paris, Berlin, and Boston were seeing more support, compared to Israel.

“The continued growth of the Israeli high-tech industry in the face of global competition is at risk,” the report read, according to ToI.

Israel allocates the least amount of investment into R&D of all OECD countries, at 9.6 percent in 2019, well below the average of 23.8 percent, the report stated.

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