An Evolutionary Interpretation and Assessment of Israel’s Innovation Policy |

An Evolutionary Interpretation and Assessment of Israel’s Innovation Policy


The talk takes on overall assessment of Israel's Innovation Policy with a focus on the 1969-2000 period, stating with the creation of the Office of the Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Industry and Trade (OCS) in 1969 till the final emergence of a highly successful, ICT-oriented high tech cluster towards the end of the 1990s. The focus lies on the Horizontal Direct Support to BERD Program and on the VC-targated, Yozma Program. The combination of the two was critical for the evidential emergence of the above mentioned entrepreneurial system.

Despite Israel's undoubted success in its Innovation Policy (clearly buttressed as it was by its strong emphasis on the Science, Technology and Higher Education which started in the pre-State days), there are two important conclusions to the analysis. First the Grants to BERD program was strongly biased against non High Tech, a situation which only quite recently has been officially recognized and measures taken in a belated attempt to tailor new programs to the real needs of those industries. The outcome of this gap was probably a lower rate of growth of the economy as a whole, as well as being less inclusive than what it could have been otherwise.

The second conclusion is that the above failure to effectively consider clear Market Failures reflects a structural weakness in the strategic component to Innovation Policy (a system failure, derived, among other things, from the failure to identify and specify a full set of relevant strategic priorities in Science, Technology and Innovation).

It is clear that overcoming this weakness should be a central or the central direction of action of Israel's Innovation Policy for the next decade.

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Prof. Morris Teubal, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

Wednesday, 30 May 2012
12.15 p.m. - 1.30 p.m.

Seminar Room 3-4
Level 3, Manasseh Meyer
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
469C Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 259772

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