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January 1, 2014 10:36 pm

Israeli Government, Google Sign Collaboration Agreement to Modernize Bureaucracy

avatar by Joshua Levitt

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's Google Doodle. Source: P.M. Netanyahu / Facebook.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's Google Doodle. Source: P.M. Netanyahu / Facebook.

The Jewish State and internet search giant Google signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday to increase the implementation of its technology across government systems to improve responsiveness to citizens.

Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Google Israel CEO Meir Brand signed the framework agreement, according to a statement.

The Finance Ministry said, “The MOU was formulated as part of recognition of the importance of technology to access government information and services, to reduce the bureaucratic burden, to improve government services to citizens and businesses, and for economic growth.”

Initiatives to come from the collaboration are set to include “Meet the Government” encounters, a platform for Israeli start-up companies to better understand government policies and work plans, a scholarship program cooperation at Ben Gurion University for engineering, computer studies and public policy students to present innovative ideas and technologies for the public sector, and new data banks that can assist Google.

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In 2013, Google acquired Waze, an Israeli navigation app and traffic report start-up,  for $1.3 billion. Part of the profits from the Waze sale were donated to Israeli charities.

In December, Google also launched an Israeli start-up incubator, called Campus Tel Aviv, “a hub for entrepreneurs and developers located in the heart of the start-up nation” which will serve as “a space for developers and entrepreneurs to attend and organize events with speakers, mentors and other entrepreneurs.”

“The ongoing investment in Israel is proof of the extraordinary talent we have here, and we are committed to continue strengthening the Internet’s contribution to the Israeli economy and public,” Google Israel’s Brand said at its inauguration.

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