DNA laboratory 311.
(photo credit: iStockphoto)
Despite complaints about declining educational levels, the National Council for
Research and Development reported this week that Israel is among the leading
exporters of know-how and technology in the world.
The statement is
confirmed by released data from the Science and Technology Ministry – under
which the R&D Council operates – and the Central Bureau of Statistics. The
report also shows that in recent years, Israel has increased its investment in
binational cooperation on civilian R&D.
In 2010, Israeli companies
exported technological services, licensing agreements on technological
information, patents and the like for a total of $9.5 billion. This figure was
still 3.4 percent lower than in 2009 but constituted a 17% increase compared to
In 2008, technological R&D constituted 4.6% of the gross
domestic product – which is proportionately higher than in the US (0.6%),
Germany (1.5%) and the UK (1.7%). The world’s highest rate – at 14.3% – was in
The main exporters of these services and products were foreign
companies with branches here, mostly via R&D centers in computerization and
research and development, the council said. Most of this activity receives
investment from financial interests abroad, foreign governments and investors,
and by selling R&D abroad. The rate of foreign financing for R&D is
among the highest in the world – 29%, compared to 10.7% in the European
Prof. Yitzhak Ben-Yisrael, chairman of the council, said that
while Israel is dependent on financing by other countries to conduct its
R&D, such know-how is accomplished by Israelis working for foreign companies
with Israeli branches and sent abroad.
Nearly 800 Israelis and companies
have received grants totaling over 500 million euros in recent years.