Israeli Innovation: A Driving Force for Global Progress - Opinion

Israeli innovations have cast a significant impact on modern civilization, and have paved the way for the route of human development worldwide.

  Dr. Haim Ben Yaakov (photo credit: EURO-ASIAN JEWISH CONGRESS (EAJC))
Dr. Haim Ben Yaakov

The technological marvels emerging from Israel have undoubtedly not only propelled the growth of the Jewish state's economy but have also become an impetus for global progress at large. From the revolutionary Intel Pentium chip to the cutting-edge smartphone technology, flash storage innovation, and even portable X-ray machines, Israel's advancements have not only reshaped its own destiny but have also paved the way for the trajectory of human development worldwide. These are but a few instances of Israeli innovations that have cast a significant impact on modern civilization.

The rapid exchange of instant messages, the convenience of voice communication, and the ingenious technology developed by WaterGen to create water from thin air only provide a glimpse into the imaginative capacities of Israel. Furthermore, the agricultural sector has witnessed remarkable growth, boasting innovations like drip irrigation systems, locally adapted crop varieties, and vertical gardens that thrive even in the harshest desert conditions while conserving water resources.

The discoveries and inventions forged by Israeli researchers, disseminated and implemented globally by Israeli entrepreneurs, have not only fortified Israel's economy but have also offered tangible benefits to millions worldwide. Israel's willingness to generously share its insights underscores its commitment to advancing humanity as a whole.

The state should nurture such business and academic initiatives, thus paving the way for a novel hyper-ideal for the entire Jewish community – a community that, in relatively recent history, managed to transform monumental ideas into tangible achievements. Among these, the formulation of the Zionist concept and the establishment of a democratic Jewish state on ancestral land stand out. The Jewish people have demonstrated resilience by overcoming the tribulations of catastrophe, shielding themselves from neighboring military threats, reviving the Hebrew language, and cultivating a rejuvenated cultural landscape, illustrated through achievements in theater, cinema, literature, and various artistic domains.

These groundbreaking strides are a culmination of the efforts of thousands of students, graduates, and technical personnel who collaborate under their guidance and alongside them. Expanding the circle of those contributing to the high-tech ecosystem is imperative, echoing how the leaders of the Jewish people managed to engage even those who initially opposed the Zionism.

The influx of new repatriates and the connections with Jewish communities worldwide, acting as unifying conduits, have emerged as distinctive factors that, alongside various other elements, have paved the way for Israel's current economic prosperity. This intricate interplay has resulted in a unique economic ecosystem, propelling Israel's economic engine forward.

The modern generation of Israelis, including many recent repatriates, bring to their research and newly established companies all the positive traits symbolizing Israel: intellectual acumen, determination, creativity, demand, social responsibility, and of course, the unmistakable "chutzpah."

This collective zeal fosters collaboration between civil society and the government, enabling initiatives that seamlessly integrate repatriates.

A notable initiative in this regard is "Olimpact," founded by repatriates of different years, including Mike Prepelitsky, Lena Rogovin and Sasha Belenky. This initiative is designed to empower and support repatriate entrepreneurs and experienced professionals, considering their individual needs in Israel's tech ecosystem.

It embodies a contemporary form of Zionism.

Israel must continue to play a pivotal role as a key driver of global technological innovations. It should support its gifted scientists, researchers, and entrepreneurs on their path to excellence and discovery. However, this journey must be embarked upon with a deep understanding of the humanitarian issues that dominate the agenda in our nation and the world. Creating an environment conducive to establishing new companies and facilitating the professional and spiritual integration of new repatriates stands as the most effective approach to achieve these goals.

As I engage with Jewish communities across the globe, I'm struck by the pride and enthusiasm with which residents speak about Israel. They are willing and eager to build cultural, scientific, and business bridges between their host countries and the Israeli homeland. We, as Israelis, have yet to fully leverage the immense potential embedded in strengthening these connections and fully embracing the potential within new repatriates.

In this era marked by unprecedented geopolitical tensions and a global economic crisis, it's more crucial than ever to invest in cutting-edge research, sought-after business ideas, scientific innovation, and excellence.

New repatriates armed with fresh ideas and perspectives can serve as a vital factor in propelling development. This is crucial to ensure that Israel's dynamism and unique human potential, which make it an attractive hub for advanced and creative development, aren't lost.

Therefore, governmental leaders and institutions within Israeli society must make direct investments in Israel's most precious asset: its human capital – the entrepreneurs, innovators, and researchers who will pave the way for groundbreaking advancements in Israel's high-tech sectors in the coming years.

The writer is the Director general of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress.