How strong is tech relationship between Israel and US?

A study reveals that the relationship between Israel and the United States is particularly close in the spheres of academic and human capital; innovation and patents; investments; and research and development.

al-monitor US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak with Amir Geva, head of the biomedical signal processing and pattern recognition lab at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, as they tour a technology expo at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, March 21, 2013. Photo by REUTERS/Jason Reed.

Topics covered

united states, us aid, technology, research, israel, investments, development, academics

Dec 9, 2013

A recently released study conducted by the US-Israel Science & Technology Foundation (USISTF) indicates that Israel has an especially close relationship with the United States in the sphere of technology, compared to other countries, and in this regard, it ranks Israel third in the world, after Switzerland and Canada. The USISTF was set up in the 1990s by a joint initiative of the [Yitzhak] Rabin and [Bill] Clinton governments, with the aim of promoting cooperation between the science industries in the two countries.

It further emerges from the study that the technology ties between the United States and Israel are strong and stable on all indices. Israel takes third place in the overall ranking of the 16 countries surveyed, preceded by Switzerland and Canada. Switzerland leads the list, with 131.05 points — this, by virtue of its pharmaceutical industry. Canada, the United States’ close neighbor, follows in second position, with a score of 100.50 points — only slightly higher than that won by Israel, which was ranked third, with 100 points (the basic ranking against which all scores were compared in the study).

The USISTF Innovation Index examined the extent of ties between the United States and Israel, and 15 other leading OECD [Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development] countries, from various technological aspects. The index examined the scope and intensity of these ties in terms of government relationships; human capital; the academe; innovation and patents; government and private investments; business partnerships; research and development; and more.

Other countries reviewed in the study scored points as follows [in the overall ranking]: Singapore: 85.6; Germany: 74.34; South Korea: 72.27; Sweden: 71.71; Finland: 67.19; Japan: 60.92; Brazil: 29.86; Turkey: 27.37; and Russia: 13.6. Chile, Hong Kong, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were also included in the study, but none of these made it to the top dozen leading countries.

First place in the category of tech relationships between governments

An analysis of [the scores achieved in] the various measurement categories examined in the study shows that Israel is a world leader in the category of tech relationships between governments — as reflected in fields such as government investments in research and development; [bilateral] agreements on scientific and technological collaboration; and mutual trade agreements. The high score achieved by Israel in this category may be attributed, in part at least, to the US aid funds to Israel's security technology industry. In this category, Israel leads over South Korea, the next country in the ranking, with a score higher by 25%.

In the category of human capital — which primarily measured academic ties, joint research ventures and immigration of [high-] tech professionals to the Unites States — Israel performs only mediocre, and is ranked after Canada, Switzerland, Finland and Sweden.

In the category of business sector contacts, Israel is ranked second, after Switzerland, while in the category of private investments in research and development, Israel is a world leader. Finally, in the category of research and development, Israel is also among the top on the list, ranked third after Switzerland and Singapore.

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