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A bright spot for the special U.S. – Israel relationship: Innovation

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The U.S.-Israel Innovation Index (USI3) (www.usistf.org) assesses innovation-related collaboration between the U.S. and 16 other competitive countries including Israel . The study measures the strength of the U.S. and these 16 countries’ cooperation in four areas — government, private sector and industry, human capital, and research and development.

Ann Liebschutz, Executive Director, U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Foundation recently visited Atlanta, along with her colleague Charles Swartz, Program Manager to present the findings of the recently released Innovation Index.  Hosted by the Peachtree Planning Corporation, over 50 attendees listened to the findings that the U.S.-Israel economic partnership ranks third in overall strength behind the U.S.-Switzerland and U.S.-Canada economic partnerships.

The successful economic partnership between the U.S. and Israel is the unsung story of the U.S.-Israel relationship.  The countries’ political and security dealings dominate the front page, but frequently lost is the story of the positive relationship in research and development and between innovators.

The USI3 measures innovation-related collaboration between the United States and Israel by tracking metrics measuring activities and relationships in the following primary categories:

  • Government: Indicators measure and analyze the extent of government-to-government treaties, funding, and diplomatic linkages related to scientific and technological activity.
  • Private Sector & Industry: Indicators measure knowledge-intensive industry commercialization and coordination; including investment patterns and trade relationships.
  • Human Capital: Indicators assess the degree of linkages in human capital in science and technology related fields; including educational exchanges and academic literature co-authorship.
  • Research & Development (R&D): Indicators assess bilateral activities between the U.S and Israel quantifying both input activities such as R&D spending and output metrics such as co-patents granted.

Metrics measuring cooperation in innovation-related activities offer a picture of the benefits of U.S.-Israel science and research cooperation. The value of the relationship is highlighted and better understood through comparisons to similar cooperation between the United States and other innovation inclined countries. To this end, the USI3 benchmarks the U.S.-Israel relationship against that between the U.S. and other competitive countries including Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Germany, South Korea, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Japan, Turkey, Russia, South Africa, Hong Kong, Canada, and Chile. It represents an original framework for evaluating bi-national scientific, technology, and business relationships that cross government, society, academia, and industry and provides a quantitative analysis that can be tracked year-on-year going forward.

In addition to the public presentation of the study findings, Ann Liebschutz and Charles Swartz attended a meeting of college and university senior R&D faculty convened by AICCSE.

USISTF is looking to actively engage academic institutions with interest in collaborative R&D with Israeli researchers and developing mechanisms for obtaining cooperative federal dollars in scientific areas of interest.  USISTF works closely with Israel’s Chief Scientist’s office, Ministry of Economy and is seeking to develop mechanisms to apply for cooperative federal dollars in scientific areas of interest. 

The U.S.-Israel Science & Technology Foundation (USISTF) is a Washington, DC based 501c3 non-profit organization founded by a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Israel Ministry of Economy with a mission of strengthening the scientific and R&D relationship of the U.S. and Israel to promote economic growth through innovation.

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