TechNation: Israel Drops to 22nd Place in World Innovation Index

Israel’s lowish score was mainly due to the fact that the GII index is heavily weighted toward government policies on innovation.

Hagai Frid

83% of startups enjoyed higher valuations in first half

Some 83% of all Israeli startup companies raising capital in the first half of the year did so at a higher valuation than in the previous round of fundraising, a highest level since 2008 and the onset of the global financial crisis, a surveyed released on Monday by the law firm Shibolet & Company. The share of startups raising money at lower valuations fell to just 10%, thelowest since 2008, the survey found. The rates were almost identical to those in  Silicon Valley, where rate of the up-rounds reached 83% and down-rounds dropped to 9%. Israel also saw a slight increase in the rate of series A rounds to 39% from 35%, while in Silicon Valley the rate actually dropped to 21%. “All these findings indicate a significant euphoria of funding for startups, the source of which probably originated with the Year of the Exits of 2014 and the first half of 2015,” Shibolet said. (Inbal Orpaz)

Israel drops to 22nd place in world innovation index

Israel captured a relatively low 22nd place in the 2015 Global Innovation Index, which ranks 141 countries based on 79 indicators. That marked a seven-point drop from 2014 and put Israel just behind France and ahead of Estonia and the Czech Republic. Israel’s lowish score was mainly due to the fact that the GII index is heavily weighted toward government policies on innovation. Israel ranked a low 26 in technology infrastructure, 51 on education and 29 on creative outputs, such as copyrights and trademarks. On research and development, it was ranked No. 1. The GII report, which is co-published by World Intellectual Property organization, Cornell University and INSEAD, did find that Israel made improvements in tariff rates, communications, computer and information services imports, and cultural and creative services exports.  (Nadan Feldman)

Two Israeli universities in top 100 most innovative 

Two Israeli universities made it on to the Reuters list of the world’s top 100 most innovative institutes of higher education. Tel Aviv University was ranked 75 and the Technion Israel Institute of Technology came right after at 76, according to the ranking released last week. Leading the Reuters Top 100 was Stanford University, located in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.  Half of Reuters Top 100 Innovative Universities are located in Canada, Europe or Asia. Japan accounted for nine of the 100, second only to the U.S. The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology was the only non-U.S. school to place in the top 10. Universities were rated by the number of academic papers and patent filings made by their faculty. (TheMarker Staff) 

Zoll buys Israeli medical-device maker Kyma 

Zoll Medical Corporation last week acquired Tel Aviv-based Kyma Medical Technologies, which develops technologies for measuring early signs of congestive heart failure. Zoll, a California company that makes medical devices, paid $35 million for the company, which has received European regulatory approval for its flagship Itsµ-Cor System but has not commenced sales. The µ-Cor System uses radio frequency-based technology to monitor fluid in the lungs, heart rate, respiration rate, activity and posture, which are analyzed using proprietary algorithms to determine vital signs trends. If needed, a notification is sent to the patient’s medical team. “We expect to leverage Kyma’s strong R&D capabilities as well as the broader research talent available in Israel,” said Jason T. Whiting, president of Zoll’s LifeVest unit. Elron Electronic Industries, a key shareholder in Kyma, said it expected to report a $7 million capital gain from the sale. (TheMarker Staff)