Media Advisory - Israel's Approach to Innovation Offers Lessons for Canada

TORONTO, May 9, 2017 /CNW/ - Israel is a world innovation leader, boasting world-class innovation skills, capabilities, and performance. The country's high level of business R&D spending is well known - outperforming OECD and jockeying with Korea for top spot in international comparisons. Similarly, Israel is a world leader in venture capital investment. With investment at 0.34 per cent as a share of GDP, Israel attracts nearly twice as much venture capital as the U.S. (0.17 per cent) and more than three times as much as Canada (0.1 per cent). While the amount of venture capital investment is impressive on its own, Israel's innovation success is largely the product of its unique culture and history, as well as strategic investments in people and technologies to serve national needs.

Based on research and a study tour, a new Conference Board of Canada report, Lessons Learned From a World Innovation Leader: Understanding Israel's Innovation Ecosystem, explains how Canada can learn from Israel's experiences. Recommendations include:

  • Identify a burning platform of our own: Necessity drives innovation in a range of sectors and Israel has structured its culture, defence sector, education system, and strategic partnerships to meet those necessities.
  • Identify niche areas in global value chains: Rather than trying to excel in everything, Israel identified areas where it could become a global leader based on its own history, context, and innovation trajectory.
  • Design programs and policy with firms at the centre: Israel focuses mainly on private-firm R&D and innovation capabilities, and less on public R&D. Unlike Canada, it favours direct support to companies over funneling resources through the academic system.
  • Take an ecosystem approach: The Israeli approach to innovation is an ecosystem approach - a powerful innovation policy lens that drives innovation, R&D, and start-up success.

Paul Preston, Director, Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, The Conference Board of Canada, will further discuss the findings of this report at the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2017: New Thinking for the Disruptive Age conference on May 10th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

When: May 10, 2017
Where: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 222 Bremner Blvd., Toronto, Ontario
Speakers include:

  • Leonard J. Brody, Business and Technology Visionary
  • Ted Graham, Head of Open Innovation, General Motors of Canada Company
  • Dr. Jay Liebowitz, Distinguished Chair of Applied Business and Finance, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, Queen's University
  • Susan Pahl, President, Shift Coaching Inc.
  • Paul Preston, Director, Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, The Conference Board of Canada
  • Dr. Michael E. Raynor, Director, Deloitte Services LP

For the full schedule and times visit:

Follow us on Twitter@Innovation_CBoC | @CBoC_Events | #STIP2017

Media Accreditation is required.


SOURCE Conference Board of Canada

For further information: or media accreditation, contact: Natasha Jamieson, Communications Coordinator, The Conference Board of Canada, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 307, E-mail:; or Juline Ranger, Director of Communications, The Conference Board of Canada, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 431, E-mail:


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