NEW YORK (May. 7)
Top executives of Fortune 500 companies view Israel as a growing technological power and a role model for U.S. business, a new study reveals. According to Research and Forecasts, the New York-based firm which conducted the research, Israel’s emergence as a center for technological development demonstrates a significant shift among business leaders away from the U.S. and Europe as a breeding ground for new ideas and technology.
The executives cited Japan and Israel as the top nations in stimulating research and development efforts among individual companies and entire industries and noted that both countries have policies which encourage cooperative efforts between industry, universities and the government.
The survey was conducted in connection with the Jerusalem Economic Conference, an international forum on high technology industries to be held next month in Israel. Israel Pickol, Economic Minister for the Israeli government in the United States, stated that the research has important implications for the United States.
“A majority of America’s business leaders believe that the United States has not done enough to encourage industries to move forward vigorously in the areas of research and development and research, he said.” They look to other countries to find short term solutions to product development today and long term solutions to surviving in an increasingly competitive world economy in the future.”
SOME FINDINGS OF THE SURVEY
The survey found that although the executives believe that industry/university cooperation is likely to increase both here and in Europe, the American executives are ambivalent in their attitudes toward government participation in industrial research and development.
Forty-three percent of the sample indicated they would not want to see governments become more involved in the funding of research and development while slightly over half (53%) said they would welcome increased government application in research and development. In contrast, 66 percent believe that corporate support of university research in the U.S. will increase in the near future and 42 percent think that corporations abroad will follow the same trend.
ISRAEL HAS FAVORABLE CLIMATE FOR R AND D
Despite their own reticence to build closer industry/government ties, the executives saw Israel’s strategy of encouraging these alliances as a model for U.S. business. Thus, while Israel was not perceived as a leader in electronics, executives who responded to additional questions noted that the unique environment for research and development in Israel creates a climate where tremendous growth in a short period is extremely likely.
Pickol noted that the choices of Japan and Israel as international leaders in stimulating industrial research and development reflect the success of this strategy and its benefits to industry. “The purpose of the Jerusalem Economic Conference is to study these components to enable industries to remain viable and competitive in a fast-paced, everchanging technological environment,” he said.