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October 2, 2017 12:43 pm

Israel Innovation Authority Aims to Double High-Tech Workforce in 10 Years

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The world’s largest solar parabolic dish, in Israel, at the Ben-Gurion National Solar Energy Center (illustrative). Photo: David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons. – The Israel Innovation Authority released its 2017 annual report on Monday, detailing the government’s plans to double the country’s high-tech workforce during the next decade.

According to the report, Israel’s high-tech industry is experiencing “unprecedented success.” Yet at the same time, the Israeli economy risks grinding to a halt, and the so-called “start-up nation” is in danger of losing its coveted status as one of the world’s foremost high-tech innovators.

With this in mind, the Innovation Authority aims to boost Israel’s current 270,000 high-tech employees to more than half a million.

Israel is currently ranked first in the world in research and development (R&D) and venture capital investments as a percentage of gross domestic product, with more than 600 new start-up companies being founded in the country every year. The Jewish state is also home to more than 300 R&D centers belonging to tech giants such as Facebook, Microsoft, Intel, Google, IBM and Apple. Israel is also ranked second on the World Economic Forum’s innovation index.

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To boost high-tech employment, the Innovation Authority suggested further integrating certain sectors of Israeli society into the high-tech arena — namely, groups that are underrepresented in the field, including haredi Jews, Arabs and women.

The report also outlined methods for assisting local start-ups with growing into larger companies.

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