Israel named ‘innovation champion’ by leading trade organization CTA

The organization also praised Israel's role in the development of self-driving vehicles, notably thanks to Jerusalem-based Mobileye's world-leading computer vision capabilities.

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January 9, 2019 11:17
1 minute read.
Gary Shapiro

Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, speaks during a keynote address at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. January 8, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS/STEVE MARCUS)

 
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Israel has been named as one of 16 global “innovation champions” by leading American trade organization Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

The CTA rankings published on Tuesday evaluate countries according to their innovation friendliness based on 14 different categories, with “champions” typically outperforming other countries in terms of freedom, broadband, entrepreneurial activity, resiliency and self-driving vehicles.

First-time honorees Israel and Germany joined 14 other countries on the list announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, with Israel’s rise from “Innovation Leader” to “Innovation Champion” primarily due to its unrivaled expenditure on research and development and after producing four “unicorn” start-ups - companies worth at least $1 billion – in the last decade.

“These countries are world-class leaders in growing innovation,” CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro in a keynote address to conference attendees.

“When it comes to technology and policy, they value disruptive innovators. To be leaders in innovation, nations must drop protectionist rules and end barriers that limit them from creating the next great startups that will change the world for the better.”

CTA cited Israel’s unmatched 4.3% of GDP expenditure on research and development, highly-skilled workforce and the 47% of students graduating university with a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) degree as key factors in its innovation success.

The organization also praised Israel’s role in the development of self-driving vehicles, notably thanks to Jerusalem-based Mobileye’s world-leading computer vision capabilities.

Israel could yet improve its standard of innovation friendliness by permitting ride-sharing services in addition to existing carpooling services, reducing its top-level individual income tax rate and loosening regulations on recreational drone use. Finally, Israel’s mean download speed of fixed and mobile internet stands at just 7.6 megabits per second (Mbps), below the global 9.1 Mbps average.

Showcasing Israel’s status as the “Start-Up Nation,” dozens of Israeli start-ups have joined more than 180,000 hi-tech professionals at CES – the world’s largest technology gathering.

In addition to companies presenting independently or under the banner of venture capital firms, an unprecedented 22 Israeli companies from fields including cyber, mobility, consumer products and retail are presenting their latest innovations at the Israel Pavilion, sponsored by the Israel Export Institute and the Foreign Trade Administration of the Ministry of Economy and Industry.

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