Affectionately referred to as the ‘Start-up Nation’, Israel has upheld its reputation as the breeding ground for technological innovation for a number of decades. Indeed, Israel’s transition from a torpid agrarian economy to the palpitating tech superpower of today is nothing short of extraordinary. The pioneering, entrepreneurial spirit of this tiny country is the modern-day definition of a success story and something that we in the UK should not overlook.
This morning, I had the privilege to attend the Market Opening Ceremony organised by UK Israel Business at the London Stock Exchange. Amongst the attendees was Mark Regev, Israeli Ambassador to the UK, whose passionate speech highlighted to everyone the vast array of Israeli innovations that are changing the world and driving the future. Ambassador Regev declared: ‘I believe that there is so much that Israeli innovation can bring to the UK’. I could not agree more.
The sophisticated way in which Israeli tech companies continue to influence global markets rests not necessarily within their size, but within their astoundingly innovative concepts. From solar power to mobile chips, vehicle technology to advancements in augmented reality, USB sticks to laser keyboards, Waze to Check Point Software, Israeli companies continually succeed in introducing technologies and products that establish worldwide industry excellence.
From my brief conversations with a number of Israeli tech firms present at the opening ceremony, it became apparent that the shrewdness, drive and enthusiasm for technological excellence in Israel will continue to flourish.
According to data released by IVC Research Center in April of this year, within a 20-year period of 1997-2017, Israel has nurtured 16,000 high-tech companies, of which 8,000 are still operating. The Middle Eastern state is home to 505 cybersecurity companies, which have raised approximatively $5.6 billion – the list goes on. With an ever-impenetrable economy and a striking concentration of innovative people, this is a country from which the UK can become inspired and thrive too.
In line with Ambassador Regev’s words, the UK must not only recognise Israel’s reputation as a locus of innovation, but invest in it as much as possible. With Brexit on the horizon, there is arguably no better time for us to embrace the technology advances of Israel. Otherwise, we risk falling behind and side-lined once again.
Drew Salisbury is an Account Executive at The PR Office.