Israel: A Technology Power House

When E. F. Hutton talks, people listen.” So says the investment firm of E. F. Hutton, anyway. The company’s slogan made the point that it is so good at what it does that everyone wants to hear what it has to say.

In the field of technology, when Microsoft’s Bill Gates speaks, people listen. And Gates made this comment about techno-savvy Israel on his October 2005 visit there: “It’s no exaggeration to say that the kind of innovation going on in Israel is critical to the future of the technology business. So many great companies have been started here.”1

Israel, he said, “is a major player in the high tech world….We’re super satisfied with the contributions of our R&D [Research and Development] center in Haifa….The quality of people here is quite fantastic.”2

Equally fantastic is the fact that Israel at 60—a mere youngster on the world scene—has become such a key player at such a young age.

Said Michael Jablon, senior director of product marketing at Time Warner Cable: “The language of technology here [Israel] is so evolved that things happen faster.”3

Israel’s high-tech business community numbers more than 2,000 companies, with 200 to 300 startups every year, placing it behind the United States only.4 Furthermore, reports one source, ”Israel has the highest per capita ratio of scientific publications in the world by a large margin, as well as one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed.”5 And Israel leads the world in the percentage of scientists and technicians in the workforce.

These accomplishments would be impressive for any country. But for a nation as tiny as Israel that arose from the dirt of the desert and the ashes of the Holocaust and that deals daily with unrelentingly hostile neighbors, these accomplishments are nothing short of miraculous.

Here are but a few of Israel’s technological accomplishments.

  • Developed the cell phone for Motorola.
  • Developed Microsoft NT and XP operating systems.
  • Developed the Pentium 3 and 4 microprocessors.
  • Developed voice mail.
  • Is a leader in the field of homeland security and is involved worldwide in the areas of border control, airport security, seaport security, and public transportation. This expertise was used at the 2004 Olympics in Greece. Around 350 Israeli security companies export their products.
  • Is a world leader in fiber optics, electro-optic inspection systems for printed circuit boards, thermal-imaging night-vision systems, and electro-optics-based robotic manufacturing systems.
  • Has designed robots to polish diamonds, weld, and package all kinds of items.
  • Is well under way in creating artificial intelligence.
  • Fifty-five percent of Israel’s exports are technology based.6
  • Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) developed the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), a.k.a. the drone, during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The United States has used these in Iraq.7
  • Is currently building a GPS system for the human body.8
  • Developed an Internet firewall that today dominates the world market in Firewall and VPN.
  • Created Instant Messaging (IM), which affects millions of Internet users.
  • Developed a free lie-detector for Skype users (telephone over the Internet) to enable users to tell if the person on the other end is telling the truth.9
  • Israeli company Elbit Systems’ U.S.-based subsidiary, Kollsman Inc., is helping secure U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico with its electro-optical security solutions.10
  • Developed a lightweight but more protective helmet that does not give soldiers a headache. Frontline U.S. troops will reap the benefits of this advanced Israeli technology when they begin to wear the helmet developed by Rabintex Industries, a Herzliya-based company. 11

Hundreds more of these innovations can be found at www.Israel21c.net.

ENDNOTES
  1. “Bill Gates: Israel Is a High-tech Superpower,” Economic and Commercial Relations Department of the Embassy of Israel in Baku, Azerbaijan, December 2005 <baku.mfa.gov.il/mfm/Data/109384.pdf>.
  2. Ibid.
  3. “Telecommunications in Israel,” Interest in Israel, Israeli Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor <http://www. investinisrael.gov.il/NR/exeres/6918AB48-3E06- 4767-9F44E1B720C3D9A9.htm>.
  4. “Telecommunications: An International Powerhouse,” Israel Trade Commission <israeltrade.org.au/telecommunications2.html>.
  5. Good News From Israel, “Facts about the 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world’s population”<newsoftheday.com/israel/old/2003_07_01_index.html>.
  6. Richard Quest, “Israel a hub for high-tech advances,” June 15, 2006 <cnn.com/2006/TRAVEL/06/15/biztrav. israel.technology/index.html?iref=newssearch>.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Ibid.
  9. “Technology: A focus on Israeli institutions, businesses and people whose technology innovations are changing the way we live and work,” Israel21c  <web.israel21c.net/bin/en.jsp?enDispWho=Technology&enPage=BlankPage&enDisplay=view&enInfolet=moreArticle. jsp&enDispWhat=Zone&enZone=Technology&>.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Ibid.

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