Under the spotlight: Tech innovation in Israel


UK tech firms have been turning their attention to Israel for new investment opportunities for some time now, thanks in no small part to the country's entrepreneurial spirit and approach to innovation.

Speaking at last month's Innovate Israel event in central London, Daniel Taub, the Israeli Ambassador to the UK, described the country as a "start-up nation" with much to offer UK plc.

Israel's technological insights coupled with the UK's experience in building successful companies make for a great combination, claimed Taub.

"Trade between Israel and Britain already stands at 3.75 billion and the potential to build on that in the high-tech fields is enormously exciting," he added.

Israel comes second only to Silicon Valley in terms of the number of technology assets based there.

Government focus

Graham Evans, a Conservative MP, confirmed at a House of Commons debate last month that trade between UK and Israel had risen by more than 60 per cent, from 2.3 billion to more than 3.5 billion, during the past decade.

Israel has become one of the UK's key trading partners, exporting machinery, technology, and pharmaceuticals to the UK, he explained.

"A well-established and fully functioning democracy, a western legal system, the full infrastructure of transportation, communication and utilities and an educated and motivated population make the country [Israel] attractive to foreign investors and industry," he added.

The UK Government is keen to capitalise on this success and has been calling on firms to foster closer ties with the country for some time.

For example, a Government white paper, entitled Trade and Investment for Growth, published in February 2011, said a "stronger partnership between British and Israeli companies" would provide a welcome boost to the UK's strengths in "design, business growth and finance."

Kay Bruen, director of vendor consultancy firm Clipsham IT, specialises in helping overseas vendors establish themselves in the UK.

Recently, she has worked with three different Israeli companies, including: Insightix, My Single Point, and Vibesec, to help break their technologies in the UK.

"Israel is a hot-bed of new technologies and traditionally there's been a really, really strong vendor side of Israel," Bruen told IT Pro.

"They've got fantastic developers over there and they're very ambitious people. There's a lot of commercially successful vendors to come out of Israel, especially in the security market."