The majority of exporting companies in Israel are not equipped with the proper service systems necessary to collect competitive business market information, which is crucial for the identification of new business opportunities. "The lack in the ability of 60 percent of exporting companies to 'read the map' is badly damaging dozens of companies," said Yehiel Asia, director of the Israel Export Institute ahead of the Institute's annual conference on business intelligence this week. "The threat hanging over exporting companies as a result of the rapid changes in the world of marketing technology is necessitating companies to adopt a strategy and policy for the structured collection of business intelligence for "continued long-term growth." Out of the 200 exporting companies surveyed, about 40% have an assigned function for business intelligence mainly found among the medium-sized and large concerns. Among those companies, 70% had only one person dealing with business intelligence and information, while 23% had two people responsible for business information. Asia added that although exporting companies were excellent in the recognition of financial data, the majority didn't have sophisticated information and knowledge about their competitors' activities and operations, development of products and price levels or about mergers and acquisitions in their sector, as well as the competitors' production capability. For 2007, the Israel Export Institute, has set a goal for itself to be the central supplier of business opportunities and the information on competition and to assist in the localization and examination of these opportunities. As an example, Asia noted that the Institute was currently undertaking a report on the electronics sector to identify purchasing requests from companies in Scandinavia. Last year, the Israel Export Institute invested NIS 1.5 million into the purchase of new information sources, an increase of 10% over the previous year. In addition, the Israel Export Institute recently signed an agreement with the leading online business intelligence research firm Jupiter Research, which will offer start-up companies in the fields of, for example, Internet music and IPTV, research facilities at a cost of $1,730 for six months usage.