What Australia can learn from Israel's tech industry

As the war in the Ukraine rages on and Covid is ‘still a thing’, it is more important than ever to consider Australia’s place in supply chains, diversification, the cost of oil and other inputs in our daily lives just to sustain our way of life.

We need to think more about how innovation in key areas such as agriculture and medicine, for example, are driven and how we in Western Australia can secure, partner, and create in this environment to ensure our own economic development.

A big part of this is looking at others who have succeeded in this space and going on a journey with them – and Israel is worth a closer look at as a nation that has been leading the innovation charge for many years. For me, my relationship with Israel started in the ag-tech space over 20 years ago.  

The WA government has made diversification a platform to create new economies for WA and Israel could be a great partner in both products and collaborative research to help achieve that outcome. 

With nine million people, Israel has more companies on the NASDAQ than almost any other country outside of North America.  Year-on-year it continues to attract R&D investment and find success with its start-up economy and enterprise, consistently ranking in the top two for the most innovative economies globally.  

Well over 400 multi-national companies of well-known brands have with their R&D centers in Israel. 

This small nation would geographically fit into the area from Yanchep to Mt Barker but has over 6,000 start-ups and adds a further 600 each year despite this.  

The result is what Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive John Cluer describes as ‘“a hi-tech commercialisation power-house and lab for the world and with all these companies located relatively closely in one unique country-wide tech park”.

Some of the inventions out of Israel that benefit people globally include the mobile phone, car navigation systems, life-saving drugs and medical devices, and even the cherry tomato.  

From an investment point of view, the 2021 calendar year was one of the most outstanding in Israel’s brief economic history.

It was the fastest fastest growing economy in the OECD, recording 8.1 per cent growth in 2021, with a 16.6 per cent GDP increase in the fourth quarter alone.

Israel’s tech firms saw exits jump 520 per cent in 2021 to $US81.2 billion in value. This shattered funding records in sectors ranging from cyber, med tech and agribusiness to space industries, security and fin tech.

Israel also accounts for some 8 per cent of global unicorns, despite representing just 0.1 per cent of the world’s population and that number is set to increase with 33 new unicorns in 2021.

Australia has many similarities with Israel as a relatively small population responsible for globally adopted inventions like the electric drill, the Cochlear implant and Wi-Fi technology.

In observing and working with partners like Israel, Australia – and its companies – can once again position itself as a global player in the innovation space.  

To help make connections with global innovation hubs like Israel, contact CGM Communications for assistance with investor relations, and trade and investment communications.


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