Israeli R&D exports set records

In 2010, Israeli companies exported technological services, licensing agreements, patents, etc. for a total of $9.5 billion.

DNA laboratory 311 (photo credit: iStockphoto)
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 2007.
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 Ireland.
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 Union.
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.