Upping the Numbers
Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Mary C. Mattis
Chapter 6: Women in the Land of Milk, Honey and High Technology: The Israeli Case
Ronit Kark In the 1990s, Israel emerged as a leading center for technology start-ups and innovation. In the year 2000, near the peak of the high-tech boom, Israel had about 4000 high-tech ﬁrms and new ones were forming at the rate of about 500 start-ups per year (de Fontenay and Carmel, 2004). At this stage Israel had the highest number of engineers per capita in the world and the high-tech sector comprised 15 percent of Israel’s overall economy (Adams et al., 2003). The centrality of high technology to the Israeli economy can be seen in the fact that its exports in 2000 accounted for approximately onethird of the country’s total industrial exports (Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, 2002). Israel has the third (after the USA and Canada) highest number of companies listed in NASDAQ (Breznitz, 2005; Eidelman and Hazzan, 2005). As early as the 1960s and 1970s, large American companies, such as IBM and Motorola, ﬁrst made Israel into one of their leading development centers, while from the mid-1980s the number of international companies operating in the country has been growing. Alongside these, thousands of local start-ups were founded, some of which went on to become independent multinational ﬁrms that are traded on the NASDAQ and compete successfully with the global giants from the Silicon Valley (de Fontenay and Carmel, 2004; Teubal and Avnimelech, 2003). Since the early 1990s, high-tech industry has played a central role in the Israeli economy, while turning the whole country into what the industry calls...
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