The Israel Innovation Authority, which is responsible for the country’s innovation policy, is an independent and impartial public entity that operates for the benefit of the Israeli innovation ecosystem and Israeli economy as a whole.
Its role is to nurture and develop Israeli innovation resources, while creating and strengthening the infrastructure and framework needed to support the entire knowledge industry.
As such, the Israel Innovation Authority advises the government and Parliament ("Knesset") committees regarding innovation policy in Israel and furthermore monitors and analyzes the dynamic changes taking place throughout the innovation environments in Israel and abroad. The Authority creates cooperation with counterpart agencies to promote technological innovation in the Israeli industry and economy.
An innovation ecosystem is a complex economic system that changes very rapidly. In order to serve our clients in the best possible way, we constantly strive to adapt our support tools to the changing demands and challenges of the hi-tech industry in Israel. Accordingly, we design and operate a variety of dedicated programs for private sector companies, promoting unique initiatives that translate policy into practical tools for the industry. This ensures the continuous development of the Authority's operational scope, along with the expansion and strengthening of technological research and development in Israel.
The Authority's vision is to create economic prosperity through innovation.
This vision is divided into two complementary goals: maintaining Israel's position at the forefront of global innovation and elevating the entire economy through technological innovation. This vision is the only business plan relevant to the Israeli economy, which is relatively small and far from major markets. Despite these drawbacks, Israel enjoys a vibrant entrepreneurial culture, strong technological infrastructure and highly skilled human capital, allowing it to grow on the basis of innovation.
Objectives and functions:
- Responsibility for developing the innovation infrastructure in Israel: Developing the hi-tech industry, while utilizing and expanding the existing technological and scientific infrastructure and human resources in Israel.
- Maintaining Israel's international status as the “Startup Nation”: Creating jobs in the industry and incorporating scientific and technological personnel, as well as creating returns for the economy and encouraging growth.
- Distribution of grants and financial support for innovative-technological R&D: Increasing productivity and promoting technological innovation across all of Israel's industrial sectors, as well as improving Israel’s economic status through production and export of R&D intensive hi-tech products
- Connecting the Israeli economy with the global innovation industry: Initiating and establishing international agreements with countries and multinational corporations to advance the goals of the R&D Law relating to international cooperation in R&D and innovation.
- Promoting and encouraging programs, policies, laws and government reforms, as well as promoting major moves with public and private collaboration.
The Israel Innovation Authority's structure:
In order to achieve the above-mentioned objectives, the Israel Innovation Authority has adopted an internal structure designed to enable: task and client orientation, concentration of knowledge and tools under a single entity, enlargement of the offered toolbox, and expansion of the scope of activities beyond R&D. This strategic approach is advanced through a number of innovation divisions each focused on a specific target audience, for the purpose of developing and delivering dedicated solutions to their associated challenges.
The innovation divisions include:
Startup Division, Growth Division, Technological Infrastructure Division, Advanced Manufacturing Division, International Collaboration Division, and Societal Challenges Division. These divisions pave a variety of customized paths for entrepreneurs and companies to promote, implement and realize their innovative R&D ideas at various stages.
The Startup Division offers unique tools to support the early development stages of technological initiatives. These tools assist entrepreneurs and startup companies in developing their innovative technological concepts at the pre-seed or initial R&D stages, transform their ideas into reality and reach significant fundable milestones.
The Startup Division incentive programs are designed for the following target audiences:
- Entrepreneurs with an innovative technological idea.
- Early stage startup companies.
The Growth Division operates a wide range of incentive programs that promote technological innovation of mature and growth companies. This division contributes to the promotion and preservation of competitiveness and technological leadership of companies, as well as the increase of their growth rates and potential.
- Hi-tech companies in sales or pre-sale growth stages.
- Mature hi-tech companies that utilize growth channels based on technological innovation and/or seek assistance in funding innovative R&D.
The Technological Infrastructure Division focuses on collaboration between industry and academia to produce advanced technologies and innovative products. The incentive programs offered by this division promote cooperation, exchange of knowledge and experience, and development of generic groundbreaking knowledge by an integrated group of researchers from academia and industry. These incentive programs seek to strengthen the long-term technological advantages of Israeli industry in the face of fierce international competition.
- University researchers interested in transforming their discoveries into products.
- Academic research institutions looking for new and practical research directions for the industry.
- Industrial corporations interested in developing innovative products.
The Advanced Manufacturing Division focuses on promoting the implementation of R&D and innovation processes in companies in the manufacturing sector, in order to strengthen their competitiveness in the global arena and improve productivity across a variety of industrial sectors. The programs offered by this division boost manufacturing-oriented industries and encourage the owners of mainly small and medium-sized factories and plants to develop products, technologies and manufacturing processes to realize these goals.
The Advanced Manufacturing Division incentive programs are designed for the following target audiences:
- Israeli industrial enterprises whose main activity is in its essence manufacturing, and that operate in the low- and medium-low-technology sectors.
- Israeli industrial enterprises that have at least one active production line, as well as distinctive characteristics of a manufacturing-oriented industrial company – high rate of production operations, low rate of R&D activity, low level of R&D infrastructure, lack of significant intellectual property, etc.
The Societal Challenges Division focuses on improving productivity through technological innovation in the public sector and social organizations. This division is also responsible for R&D aimed at dealing with social and environmental challenges, including the diversification of the population employed in the hi-tech industry and the creation of appropriate technological solutions for disadvantaged populations in Israel and abroad.
The Societal Challenges Division programs are designed for the following target audiences:
· Companies and non-profit organizations interested in developing technological solutions for populations with special needs.
- Companies and non-profit organizations interested in developing technological solutions for populations facing social and environmental challenges.
- Entrepreneurs interested in developing innovative products and services that will address public sector challenges.
The International Collaboration Division is responsible for creating bridges to new international markets, building platforms for cooperation in innovative R&D, and attracting strategic foreign stakeholders to Israel, all while creating competitive advantages for the Israeli industry in the global market. These initiatives are made possible through an array of bilateral cooperation agreements and bi-national funds that support joint R&D and industrial projects between international partners.
Since the above-mentioned activities are relevant to other divisions of the Authority, target audiences of other divisions can also benefit from the array of programs, tools and international connections available through the International Collaboration Division.
The International Collaboration Division acts as a bridge between economies and business cultures, and its activities are directed at both Israeli and foreign clients, as follows:
- Foreign clients: R&D companies, multinational corporations, foreign investors, etc.
- Israeli clients:
- Israeli entrepreneurs and companies that are looking for comprehensive assistance in penetrating foreign markets.
- Academic institutions, NGOs, local authorities and hospitals that wish to join research consortiums, research groups and other similar platforms.
- Israeli government on whose behalf the Authority operates a variety of cooperation agreements with foreign governments and funding bodies abroad.
- Foreign governments and foreign funding agencies seeking to establish cooperation agreements with the Israeli government (on whose behalf the Authority operates).