Biotech NationSep. 14, 2016
By IATI Co-Chair Yaky Yanay - Pubished in The Jerusalem Post.
While the Israeli High-Tech industry is celebrated the world over, the biotech sector is finally stepping out of its big brother’s shadow and enjoying a significant success of its own. There are over 1,000 life science companies in Israel. They are developing and producing innovative products such as the Pill Cam and the ReWalk walking assistance system, which are just two examples of how Israeli biotechnology is changing the world. But in order to understand the industry, it is necessary to look at the major factors contributing to its success.
Much like high-tech, the biotech industry requires highly skilled people to innovate. The number of trained scientists and engineers is considered critical to the growth of these industries. Israel has more scientists and engineers per capita than any other country in the world, with 140 per 10,000 population as compared to the 83 per 10,000 in the U.S., the next on the list. Israel also has one of the world’s highest per capita ratios of scientists in life sciences, with one out of every three Israeli scientists specialized in life sciences. These numbers translate into real innovation. Israel is one of the world leaders in biopharma patents and medical patents per capita. While innovation is key, more is needed to grow an industry: entrepreneurs, capital and government support.