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Israel Ranks Fifth in Bloomberg Innovation Index

February 8, 2015

“The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.  I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’”  (Genesis 12:1–3)

Israel has risen dramatically to 5th place on Bloomberg’s Innovation Index, which each year compares nations on such measures as research and development performance, technical education, number of patents held and other marks of technological performance.  

Last year it ranked 30th.

Israel-high rise-pedestrians

Professor Kaufman Street in Tel Aviv, Israel

One area in which the country did especially well is in the research and development category, where Israel ranks second in GDP expenditure on research.  It also performed well in percentage of the labor force with advanced degrees and number of research professionals per million population ranking fourth on both indices.

Countries were ranked in six areas including R&D, manufacturing, gross number of high-tech companies, number of students in post-secondary education programs, the number of PhDs working in R&D, and the number of patents per capita.

Israel outranked France, Singapore, and the UK, as well as the United States which ranked sixth.  In overall innovation, education and R&D, the first-ranked country was South Korea, followed by Japan, Germany, and Finland.

The giant electronic firm Samsung, which spearheads many research-intensive companies in the nation, is the probable cause for Korea’s number one ranking.

While Israel ranked in second place on research and development, it ranked 21 in manufacturing.  The low ranking reflects the lack of translating innovative ideas and applications into locally produced products; instead, most are manufacturing abroad.  (Times of Israel)


Solar panels on a shopping mall in Beit Shemesh, Israel.

One possible explanation as to what is holding the economy back even with such impressive technology and innovation coming out of Israel is the known difficulty of doing business here.  Although this is not measured in the Bloomberg study, one survey reports that the country ranks an unimpressive 40th in the 2015 World Bank Ease of Doing Business index.  (JPost) 

Still, for a country of eight million, Israel is showing itself to be a worthy international competitor and contributor.

Some of the more impressive products developed in Israel include drip irrigation systems that are used to enhance agriculture in arid lands and are extensively employed in the developing African states and the world; solar energy panels; the computer chip designed by Israelis but manufactured by Intel in Israel and other countries; devices like the ReWalk robotic exoskeleton that helps paraplegics to walk again; as well as devices that “smell” cancerhelp the blind to see, extract fresh water from the air, create alternative fuel, an all natural method of preserving produce for months, instead of days—and countless others.


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