Under the spotlight: Tech innovation in Israel

Overseas opportunities

It is not just UK firms that have recognised the wealth of technical innovation that Israel has to offer. Storage giant EMC purchased XtremIO, an Israel-based flash storage player in May 2012, which is the sixth company the company has acquired there.

Dr. Orna Berry, corporate vice president and general manager of the EMC Centre of Excellence in Israel, pointed out to IT Pro her firm is not the only IT giant reaping the rewards of the country's vibrant technology scene.

Both Microsoft and Cisco have built their first R&D facilities outside the US in Israel and chipmaker Intel has several product development and manufacturing centres there, employing 7,000 local people.

"Israel comes second only to Silicon Valley in terms of the number of [technology] assets [based there]. The level of innovation, the disruption of the technology, and the risks that have been taken by entrepreneurs is very significant," said Berry.

Key areas for collaboration between the UK and Israel include research, science and medicine, she added, with both countries bringing complementary skills to the table.

"Israel can work on smaller problems with a very fast time to market and has very high efficiency, while in Britain you can take longer time and have higher scale," explained Berry.

"You can be first in the market with this kind of collaboration and have a high impact of placing yourself in a segment and then scaling it down."