More concerns about Israeli high tech

Sver Ploscker is one of Israel’s leading economic journalists. So, when his latest column echoed my thoughts on Israeli high tech, I was very pleased but saddened in one breath.

Yes, sure, my ego was gently stroked. However, he was also indicating that not all is looking so rosy for the future of the power house of the Israeli economy.

Ploscker based his thoughts around an interview with Haim Shani, the director-general of the finance ministry. Now Shani is no ordinary bureaucrat. When he was convinced to join the civil service, he had to give up on his successful post as CEO of Nice Systems, one of Israel’s largest software houses.

 As Shani reports, high tech accounts for around 40% of Israel’s exports and 15% of its wealth. So, if something was to go wrong there, the country could be in trouble.

What seems to concern analysts is the “start” of the process. “Innovation”, that key buzz word, is no longer so paramount. Shani notes that less scientific degrees are being awarded. There is less local money available at seed stage. In fact he noted how more money is poured into real estate, locally and overseas, rather than into industry.

The discussionwas not totally pessimistic. However, the conclusion is clear. There is a clear need to evaluate quickly how to apply Israel’s many strengths and capabilities with changing global commercial trends.

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