A Basque delegation visits Israel to find out about its unique model for entrepreneurship and in support of startups
The objective of the mission, headed by Vice-Minister for Industry and Energy, Xabier Garmendia, is to learn more about a system that enables the creation of technology-based companies with high growth potential and ensures that a third of these companies work within the hi-tech industry
Israel boasts the world's highest expenditure in R&D as a percentage of its GDP
A Basque delegation headed by the Vice-Minister for Industry and Energy, Xabier Garmendia, and including members of the Industry Committee of the Vitoria Chamber of Commerce, is to visit Israel from Sunday to Tuesday in order to acquire first-hand knowledge of the operation of a model of entrepreneurship linked to the country's model for science and technology. The objective of the visit is to learn how to apply Israel's singular model of entrepreneurship and innovation in the Basque Country. The model, which is the only one of its kind anywhere in the world, has enabled a situation wherein the hi-tech industry now accounts for a third of the country's businesses (4000 of a total of approximately 12,000). Israel is the world leader in expenditure in R&D as a percentage of its GDP, amounting to around 4.5%; Japan invests a little over 3% of its GDP in R&D, while the equivalent figure for Germany and the United States is approximately 2.5%.
The visit will include tours of the different institutions that contribute to the funding and development of the Israeli entrepreneurship and technology model and will also feature a meeting with the Chief Scientist at the country's Ministry of Industry, a key figure who is responsible for implementing the Israeli Government's policies in support of industrial R&D. The delegation will also visit various R&D centres, universities, technology incubators and startups, companies associated with entrepreneurship and innovation, with the aim of learning about and examining examples of this unique model that is achieving remarkable success in terms of innovation and the creation of startups within the hi-tech industry.
Over 4000 Israeli companies are considered to be "hi-tech" companies, accounting for almost 80%, or more than 11 billion euros, of the country's exports.
A country like Israel, with a population of only 7.5 million, has been able to attract approximately 150 million euros of investment in risk capital, a similar figure to the equivalent amounts invested in the United Kingdom (population of 61 million) and in both France and Germany combined (population of 149 million).
Each year in Israel, over 300 million euros are invested in R&D, enabling support for over 1000 projects involving 600 different firms.
During their time in Israel, the delegates will also visit Matimop, a public, non-profit company created by two Israeli manufacturers' associations in order to promote the development of advanced technologies in Israel, build successful alliances and create startups. The Basque delegation will meet with researchers and also visit the offices of Thetime, an investment company focused on affording support for the development of new, young companies in the fields of telecommunications, the Internet and the media.
Bilbao, December the 9th 2011