If the Middle East were peaceful, would we have Kinect?
A few months ago, the Centre for Israeli and Jewish Affairs here in Toronto contacted me to ask if I would be interested in being part of a journalist delegation to Israel, to tour the country’s technology sector. I’ve had my eye on Israel for several years now, since working on Sex, Bombs and Burgers and learning that much of the country’s economic success over the past few decades has been the result of a meshing between technology and the military. So of course, I agreed.
A group of us are spending this week visiting tech schools, organizations, entrepreneurs and companies around Israel, from the research and development labs of large multinationals such as Intel and Motorola to smaller startups such as Mobli and Conduit. I’ll be sure to write up some of my experiences, this week if I have the time, or next week at the latest.
The numbers on Israel’s technology sector are impressive. Israel has more venture capital investments per capita than any nation on earth, including the United States, and boasts the most non-U.S. companies listed on the Nasdaq after China. It’s ranked fourth in the world in scientific activity, in terms of scientific publications per million citizens, and has some of the highest levels of R&D investment globally. Indeed, Intel and Microsoft opened their first non-U.S. R&D centres in the country.
On the military side, Israel is third in the world in terms of per capita spending, behind only the United Arab Emirates and the U.S. Looking to future tech, it is the second biggest spender on military robots, such as unmanned aerial and ground robots, after the United States. Read the rest of this entry »