What makes Israel with just eight million people, an innovation hub

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What makes Israel with just eight million people, an innovation hub

The presence of thousands of startups, and more engineers per capita than anywhere else in the world, makes Israel a natural hub for innovation.<br /><br /><br />
The presence of thousands of startups, and more engineers per capita than anywhere else in the world, makes Israel a natural hub for innovation.
The presence of thousands of startups, and more engineers per capita than anywhere else in the world, makes Israel a natural hub for innovation.Best known for defence- and – military-inspired technologies, entrepreneurs across the nation are now focussed on building the next generation of healthcare applications. Helped by government support, societal acceptance and the presence of large numbers of multinationals eager to buy innovative technology from startups, Israeli companies are building a wide range of products and services.Using artificial intelligence and digital technology, they are creating applications for diagnostics, tools for the visually, physically and mentally challenged as well as products that can improve farm output. “Many visually disabled people are old people who don’t care about smartphones,” said Yonatan Wexler, vice president for research and development at OrCam, a startup launched in 2010 by Amnon Shashua, a computer science professor at Hebrew University.Using technology developed by Shashua, Wexler and another faculty member, Shai Shalev-Shwartz, they have created a device that can be clipped onto spectacles, making it possible for a blind person to read, find an item, catch a bus or cross the road. “For us the issue of innovation is not a hobby. It is basically about who we are and what our economy is built on,” said Avi Hasson, chief scientist at the ministry of economy. “This was a country selling oranges to the world and not high tech. We have now decided to build our economy around the knowledge industries.” Currently half of all Israeli exports come from the technology industry.

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