The Future of the Israeli Hi-Tech Sector: Questions on My Mind

Questions

I have been thinking a lot about Israeli development recently, especially in the context of our hi-tech sector, which is one of our strongest national assets. Here are some of my thoughts.

The Israeli Hi-Tech Sector

  • What would it take to make Israel a hi-tech center?
  • What can we do to halt the brain drain of our best scientists, researchers, and academics?
  • What is Israel’s most transferable expertise; what could have the most impact on the world: software development, cell phone technology, electric energy, solar energy, biotech, agricultural technology, green innovations?
  • Currently it is the aspiration of Israeli hi-techs to become so successful and high profile that they are bought out by a large technological corporation, often in the US. What can we do to change this?Motherboard

Creating a Technological Oasis

  • How could we create a technological oasis like Silicon Valley in Israel?
  • How can we make the Negev more attractive as a technological center?
  • What can the Negev learn from Haifa about setting up successful centers of technology?
  • What would a technology center look like or have to have for people to be willing to come: high salaries, aesthetically pleasing, family oriented, good housing, reliable transportation to city centers?
  • What would be the most attractive features of such a technology oasis: a brain trust of Israeli and international peers acting as a hi-tech think tank; the best technological facilities in the world; secure investment by private donors guaranteed in the long term; an elite training camp for scientists from emerging technological hot spots; top of the line educational facilities for scientists’ children and desirable employment opportunities for spouses?
  • Who can we look to as models for those who have created a physical location for technological oases: the US, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, India?

Technology Partners

  • Who would be our best strategic partners in global technology? Should they come from developed technological economies or emerging?
  • Which nations have the best potential or capacity for technological advancement in the next two years, 5 years, 10 years? Why?
  • What can we use to forecast a nation’s technological future? Does it have to be a democracy? Will companies coming from near dictatorial governments ever be suitable partners?
  • How does access to the internet and web savvy among its citizens affect the process of a nation’s democratization?
  • How can we partner with emerging East Asian technologies to maximize our resources and theirs- for economic, political, and social gain?
  • Where do our neighbors from the Middle East fit in?

Israeli Arabs & The Middle East

  • How could Israeli Arabs become more technologically savvy and what would the consequences be?
  • What could Israel do to encourage or incentivize technological entrepreneurship among our Israeli Arab citizens?
  • What about Palestinians?
  • What would have to happen for our Middle Eastern neighbors to become more technologically aware: a decreased reliance on oil as the central economic factor; increasing democratic freedoms, such as freedom of speech; recognition of benefits derived from capitalist mentalities in the areas of entrepreneurship, etc?

Changing the Face of Jewish Investment in Israel

  • What would happen if instead of donating to Israeli foundations, Jewish organizations or those who supported Israel were to invest in the Israeli economy? Instead of giving to a foundation, they would invest in Israeli hi-tech or agriculture or business, thus supporting the development of the Israeli economy and “donating Jewish”?

(More insight into this here: “Guest Author Tsvi Bisk Asks, ‘What If One Billion Dollars a Year Were Used to Buy Israeli Alternative Energy Technology?'”)

Israeli Hi-Tech on YouTube

Take a look at a video from Hollyyyyyy, my favorite Israel YouTuber, on Israeli hi-tech (among other things).

Photo Credit

Photos sourced from the following: question marks, mother board– with thanks.

Links

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12 Responses to The Future of the Israeli Hi-Tech Sector: Questions on My Mind

  1. […] “The Future of the Israeli Hi-Tech Sector: Questions On My Mind” […]

  2. Gary Kulwin says:

    Hi, Maya –

    I just noticed this article in your blog (Jason Goodfriend’s Bronfman proposal article had a link to it). This is a very interesting topic to me, since I have been employed for most of the last decade as a computer programmer. Do you know if there is any sort of “International Network of Jewish Techies/Geeks/IT Professionals/Computer Scientists/Take Your Pick of Term”? I know that there are international associations for Jewish lawyers and government officials, and I’m guessing that there probably is one for medical professionals as well. It just makes sense, with so many Jewish pros employed in the field both in Israel and the Diaspora, that somebody would try to bring all of us together (maybe to try to answer some of the questions you raise above?).

    Considering that so many articles (on your blog, as well as many other Jewish media) touch on hi-tech both as a way to strengthen Jewish communal life and as a way to bolster the Israeli economy, it’s really somewhat surprising that there aren’t yet (to my limited knowledge, of course) any organizations or publications (on-line or in print) that exclusively deal with the intersection of Jewish life and modern technology.

    Actually, this sort of sounds like a pretty decent Bronfman contest proposal. Maybe I should submit this “big idea” in the 2009 edition of the contest? 🙂

    Kol Tuv, GK

  3. thenewjew says:

    Dear Gary,

    Glad you like it. This post is actually one that I hold dear. I would write a lot more about these ideas, but they get virtually no hits (I don’t know why).

    It’s funny you should ask about hi-tech, science, and technology consortia– really funny actually– because I just submitted a proposal yesterday to the PresenTense Institute for Creative Zionism having to do with improving the connectivity of those in the Israeli science and technology community with their counterparts in Jewish communities abroad (and vice versa).

    I am doing a lot of work on it now. At present, there seem to be organizations starting up that are just being born, barely more than ideas. I would be happy to keep you updated if you are interested. Would love to hear more of your ideas as well, so that if I do get to work more on this project, it will be as strong as possible.

    All the best,

    Maya

  4. Anonymous says:

    Excellent post. Keep it up!

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