Sherwin Pomerantz
Sherwin Pomerantz

Israel’s amazing world rankings

It is nothing short of amazing that a small, young country with just over 8 million people in existence for only 69 years can rank so high on so many international comparative indices.  Talk about punching above one’s weight, Israel is a prime example.

For example, the World Economic Forum’s 2016-2017 Global Competitiveness Report ranked Israel as the 2nd best place for innovation in the world after Switzerland.

A recent ranking of universities worldwide by MIT, found that Israel’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is #1 in the world among universities that support innovation.

Last week, the New York-based data firm CB Insights, issued a report that shows that Israel has the second highest concentration of cyber-defense companies in the world after the United States.

Cyber-defense companies in the report covered a range of subsectors including quantum, encryption, deception security, automobile security, Internet of Things security, cyber insurance, mobile security, autonomous systems, critical infrastructure security and predictive intelligence.  The CB report identified the top 30 companies worldwide which included three Israeli firms, Argus (automobile security), Illusive Networks (cyber protection using deception technology) and Indegy (protection of critical infrastructure from cyber-attacks).  Between them they have raised $78 million from investors, including Microsoft Ventures and Bessemer Ventures.

Israel also holds a worldwide leadership position in the digital health sector.  The sector in Israel grew significantly in 2016, both in terms of funding and the number of companies, with investments jumping almost 30% to $183 million in 2016 over 2015, according to a report released by the nonprofit organization Start-Up Nation Central.

Personal health tools and health analytics accounted for over 70% of deal volume in 2015 and 2016 within the overall digital health sector.  The health analytics subsector, focused on companies that collect and analyze data to solve medical problems for businesses and consumers, received the most funding in the past two years: $84 million in 2015, 59% of total investments, and $58 million in 2016, 32% of total investments.

Considerable funding in 2016 also reached the clinical workflow subsector, which includes companies that enable hospitals, clinics, labs, and other healthcare stakeholders to work more efficiently.  This sector received investments of $55 million, or 30% of total investments. The wearables & sensors subsector also received $46 million, or 25% of total investments, in 2016.

The report went on to state: “Israel’s unique capabilities in information, communication, mobile, and cyber technologies, together with more than 25 years of expertise in implementing health IT, electronic medical records, and business analytics, offers Israel the opportunity to become a truly influential player in the global digital health arena.”

Indeed, Israel has made great strides as a small, young country, not to mention the fact that it operates in one of the most politically volatile regions in the world with a host of nearby countries sworn to its destruction.  Israel’s accomplishments to date prove that size, age, location and other classification criteria do not determine a country’s level of success or advancement.  They also highlight the fact that Israel has developed innovative and entrepreneurial strengths with the capability of greatly impacting the global economy.

All of us who live here need to take great pride in these accomplishments and celebrate them.

About the Author
Sherwin Pomerantz is a native New Yorker, who lived and worked in Chicago for 20 years before coming to Israel in 1984. An industrial engineer with advanced degrees in mechanical engineering and business, he is President of Atid EDI Ltd., a 29 year old Jerusalem-based economic development consulting firm which, among other things, represents the regional trade and investment interests of a number of US states, regional entities and Invest Hong Kong. A past national president of the Association of Americans & Canadians in Israel, he is also Chairperson of the Israel Board of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and a Board Member of the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce. His articles have appeared in various publications in Israel and the US.