Liron Rose.

Israel needs to formulate a cross-ministerial strategy to assist the tech sector

"Israel's technological advantage isn't assured. We must adopt a proactive approach, similar to tech companies striving for continuous innovation," writes Liron Rose

Over 100 days have passed since the October 7th disaster, and the beginning of the difficult and complex war. Slowly, it has become clear to many in the public and the government that the pre-distater status quo cannot persist in the current form. While there's a consensus on the need for significant changes in the defense of villages along the border, decision-makers must look way beyond. Mismanagement isn't limited to security alone. Almost every sector in Israel lacks a long-term strategy. Why is this strategic? Because Israel's security resilience is intertwined with its economic resilience. The high-tech sector stands out as a crucial contributor to this resilience.
Israeli high-tech drives the Israeli economy, enabling growth even amidst the unprecedented challenges we face. The high-tech sector has consistently been a pillar of Israel's prosperity and resilience, both in peacetime and during conflicts. Official data indicates that the high-tech sector comprises approximately 10-15% of all jobs and a much larger share of the GDP, all thanks to its productivity.
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לירון רוז משקיע אנג'ל
לירון רוז משקיע אנג'ל
Liron Rose.
(Photo: Eyal Merilos)
Apart from the Innovation Authority under the Ministry of Economy, none of the recent governments has recognized high-technology as a strategic asset for bolstering Israel's future economic resilience. There's a lack of genuine groundwork and strategic planning to envision the growth trajectory for Israel and its high-tech sector.
In recent years, the Innovation Authority has spearheaded significant initiatives, including funding startups, diversifying the industry, training and placement programs, establishing R&D centers, and integrating advanced technologies into the economy. While these efforts are commendable, there's room for enhancement. A national strategy for the high-tech industry should offer clear directives and allocate resources, fostering a unified vision across all government branches to maximize impact.
Our government requires an overarching body, accountable to all ministries, to devise and implement a long-term strategy. This aligns with the recommendations from the State Comptroller's 2020 report titled "Ensuring Israel's Technological Advantage and Innovation."
Such a body would provide strategic direction, with the Innovation Authority and government ministries executing the plans. While collaboration has been increasing, a dedicated body is essential to ensure coordinated efforts, mitigating potential power struggles among politicians.
Israel faces formidable challenges necessitating a dedicated strategic entity to champion high-tech and technological progress. This includes advancing artificial intelligence education, integrating it across Israeli educational institutions, ministries, and sectors. Additionally, this body would be tasked with budget allocation, ensuring adequate funding across government departments. AI is merely one frontier; we must prepare for other technological revolutions, such as quantum computing, poised to revolutionize our computational infrastructure.
Israel's technological advantage isn't assured. We must adopt a proactive approach, similar to tech companies striving for continuous innovation. Notably, the high-tech industry's growth owes much to the defense sector, initially fostering expertise in areas like cybersecurity and software development for national security. However, these talents have since served broader civilian applications. A strategic entity can streamline these initiatives, ensuring a cohesive approach befitting a nation poised to lead for decades.
Liron Rose is a serial entrepreneur, investor, and author of "Entrepreneurship and Investments at Eye Level."