The first Israeli Presidential Conference: Facing Tomorrow Conference last year opened with an exhibition of Tomorrow's Industries and this is a good tradition to follow, Israel Maimon, chairman of the steering committee of the second Presidential Conference on Facing Tomorrow, said on Tuesday.
The aim behind the exhibition in the capital is to highlight Israel's brain power in the fields of alternative energy, water technology, stem cells, advanced learning applications, anti-terror solutions and information and communications technology, he said.
Israel Export Institute chairman Avi Hefetz emphasized that this is a period of great challenge for industry and economy in general and for Israel in particular, and for this reason the IEI is organizing a series of events around the globe focusing on Israeli industry, with a view to boosting exports and enhancing the country's image.
"This exhibition is a true reflection of Israeli innovation and is indicative of Israel's potential," he said.
Dr. Shuki Gleitman, who chaired the exhibition committee, noted that Israel has made an enormous transition from agriculture to hi-tech and has chalked up amazing achievements.
Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, turning to President Shimon Peres, said that contrary to expectations, 1,000 people had come from abroad to participate in the conference.
"There cannot be a better tribute to you and to Israel's industry," he said, adding that Israel is a model for the world.
Commenting on numerous Israeli technological breakthroughs, Ben-Eliezer said that what is being done in Israel today is ample proof that "the future is now."
Israel has special expertise in homeland security, he said, observing wryly that this know-how derives from the country's geopolitical situation.
Ben-Eliezer also stressed the significance of the cooperation between academia and industry.
Looking around at the people responsible for Israel's technological progress, Peres said, "We made a mistake with the exhibition. We should have displayed the innovators instead of the exhibits and we should have given each of them a sign that reads, 'This is what I've done and this is what I'm going to do.'"