Israel could be a world leader in personalized medicine, according to Aharon Aharon, the CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA), the government’s technology investment arm. Aharon spoke Tuesday at the conference Calcalist’s Forecasts 2020, held in Tel Aviv in collaboration with Bank Hapoalim and the Israeli Psagot Investment House.
“Israel has the ability to combine traditional medicine based on chemistry with medicine based on biological technologies“Said Aharon. “Israel has intellectual property, material, articles, researchers, people.” There is immense knowledge here in engineering, artificial intelligence, medical devices. ” The integration between all this is our mission for the next 10 years, ”he said, adding that the IIA is working on national plans to promote AI, 3D printing and personalized medicine.
According to IIA data, the local technology industry has seen total investments of between 7,000 and 8,000 million dollars in 2019. In the first three quarters of the year seven multinational research and development centers were opened in Israel, and local industry saw the existence of a combined value of 16,500 million dollars. “Those are the stocks that drive the economy,” said Aharon. Calling the technology industry a growth engine, he said 9% of all employees work in technology, up from 8.3% seen in the last decade. As local companies become more mature, they no longer employ only R&D people, but employees throughout the entire value chain, Aharon added. “13% of gross domestic product comes from that 9%, and 86% of all Israeli manufacturing comes from technology.”
For every 100 million NIS (approximately 29 million dollars) that IIA invests, 40 million NIS (approximately 11.5 million dollars) are returned to Israel as royalties, Aharon said, adding that there are more than 30 unicorns in Israel. “This creates a growth in the number of employees that are not R&D people. We have a shortage of developers. It is a good phenomenon that shows that the Israeli economy is maturing. ”