Connecting the world through innovation
Global networks and knowledge flows are broadening innovation ecosystems’ borders, eroding and redrawing them, and contributing to the emergence of an international system of innovation.
Innovation has been used by humans for ages to cope with changes and discover new opportunities. Under the current paradigm, innovation is primarily used as a tool to foster competitive advantage and sustained growth (Source: UNFCCC). When applied to address climate change, social challenges, and digitalisation trends, however, it is anticipated to deliver transformative solutions.
Individual actors or territories in isolation will not be able to tackle our most pressing challenges, which are inherently complex and systemic. They demand action to foster and enable innovation ecosystems to develop across Europe – and go beyond. This requires a systemic approach that is inclusive and collaborative, involving diverse actors and institutions across multiple locations, maximising the value of innovation for all and ensuring equitable diffusion of its benefits.
How to ensure openness and cross-fertilisation between world-leading innovation hubs?
Innovation Without Borders (IWB) operates an independent international organization that acts as the bridge and local partner to the Israeli innovation & tech ecosystem for international representatives, established in 2017 in Tel Aviv.
The IWB Diplomatic Forum is a landing pad and innovation relations focal point to the Israeli innovation ecosystem for the international community of innovation managers/diplomats from over 50 Embassies based in Israel, who lead the economic and innovation relations between the countries. In addition, the forum is supported and trusted by leading Israeli innovation organizations from the public and private sectors.
Uniquely, the national innovation ecosystem has reached the tipping point where Tech and Innovation are the growth engines of the Israeli economy. It has successfully turned itself from a country exporting mainly oranges to one of the leading countries exporting innovation and technology services, hardware, software, and know-how.
Few examples of achievements that helped its positioning as a global innovation hub: Israel ranks first in R&D investment as percentage of GDP (4.95%), first in the number of venture capital investments per
capita, in the number of companies listed on Nasdaq (after the U.S. & China), and in high-tech employees concentration in startups per capita. Israel counts over 403 multinational entreprises’ R&D centers, around 7,100 Startups, and over $25 billion investments in tech in the year 2021. These numbers raise the question, why does every big global player wants to be part of it? Not because it is cheaper or easier to open an R&D center in Israel, but because of the human capital, talent, and know-how.
‘’It is all about the culture and people. Despite the country’s known challenges, Israel allows innovation to flourish. Since its establishment, people used to say that Israel was created on the famous saying that “necessity is the mother of invention”. That is an accurate baseline, yet, additionally, it has a few more essential “ingredients” (players and reasons) that have a vital role in creating the successful ‘innovation dish’. Some of the key factors of success are the universities, security and defence industry, governmental support, and immigration stimulating diversity. Notably, perhaps the one ingredient that connects them all is the Israeli culture, the ability to push forward, in any circumstances, to achieve its goals and mission successes – we call it the Chutzpah approach.’’Benny Shlick
Managing Director at IWB.
Acting as the local representative and venture partner for the business and innovation departments of global corporations and governments, IWB leads the global penetration of the vibrant Israeli innovation ecosystem. It supports international representatives with establishing partnerships, identifying needs, creating strategic alias, developing collaborations, and fostering business and investment opportunities to co-design and execute new innovative approaches and solutions with leading innovation and technology stakeholders:
VCs, Accelerators & Incubators, Startups, Corporates, Universities (TTO), R&D Centres, Government Entities, and more.