Tech Nation

Ten Israeli startups launch in New York every month, 4G arrives in Israel and tech companies lead corporate R&D boom.

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New York skyline
New York skylineCredit: Reuters

10 Israeli startups launch in New York every month

Some 10 new Israeli companies set up shop in the New York City area every month, CNN Money reports, citing Israeli accountant Guy Franklin, who tracks Israeli startups in his spare time. Franklin, who operates the Israeli Mapped in NY website, estimates there are about 200 Israeli-founded startups in the metropolitan area – up from 60 when he started counting in 2013. Israeli startups have traditionally established a U.S. presence early in their development, but because Israel’s tech industry has mirrored the global technology industry’s move from hardware to consumer products, the need is even greater than in the past to be close to consumers, CNN said. “Israel is a small country from a consumer perspective,” explained Nili Shalev, economic minister to North America for the Government of Israel Economic Mission. “[Companies] need to be near the customers to adapt the product to the market needs.”

Mobile companies to offer 4G on existing frequencies

The Communications Ministry told Israel’s mobile operators on Sunday that they could begin offering so-called fourth generation, or 4G, services using frequencies that are already licensed for use. That means the companies will be able to begin rolling out Long-Term Evolution (LTE) services immediately, although different cities and services will only become available gradually. Partner Communications, which already has hundreds of LTE antennas in place, will be the first with LTE, followed by Cellcom Israel and Pelephone. “We are ensuring that investment in infrastructure will be such that services are the same in the outlying areas and center of the country,” said Communications Minister Gilad Erdan. Companies will be required to offer the service at no additional charge to their customers. A tender for new frequencies especially for 4G services will take place by the end of the year.

Corporate R&D jumped 13.4% in 2012, led by tech companies

Research and development spending by the corporate sector jumped 13.4% in 2012 to 39.6 billion shekels ($11.6 billion), the National Council for R&D in the Science and Technology Ministry reported this week. At 3.4% of gross domestic product, Israel corporate R&D is the highest among countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. It found that the number of full-time R&D personnel rose by 8.3% in 2012 from the previous year, to about 64,400. High-tech companies stepped up their spending 52%, but much of that growth was due to foreign R&D centers operating in Israel, it said. “We’ve made a rapid transition from R&D based mostly in academic institutions to one based on business R&D,” said Science Minister Jacob Perry. “This is the time to increase R&D spending in the universities.”

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