Bolstering Australia’s innovation sector was one of the key topics on the table when Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Christopher Pyne met with Israel’s Prime Minister, Mr Benjamin Netanyahu, in Jerusalem this week.
Mr Pyne said the meeting was timely, given the very recent release of the Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda.
The new Agenda includes a $36 million global innovation fund to create strategic links with key economies around the world.
A highlight of the fund are five “landing pads” for start-up entrepreneurs, one of which will be located in Tel Aviv.
“Israel has one of the highest concentrations of innovation and entrepreneurship in the world,” Mr Pyne said.
Mr Pyne hoped the talks with Prime Minister Netanyahu would help the Government “build a reinvigorated Australian economy based on innovation”.
Australia has many similarities with Israel, including its educated workforce and small population, he said.
“But when it comes to start-ups and commercialising research, we are failing to keep up.”
Mr Pyne said Australia values its educational and research ties with Israel.
“Israel has a remarkable rate of success in commercialising innovation and turning bright ideas into viable commercial outcomes,” he said.
During the visit Mr Pyne also met with representatives from world-leading Hebrew University and Israel’s number one venture capital firm, Jerusalem Venture Partners.
The transformation in Israel into a start-up innovative nation was a shining example to the rest of the world, he said.
“As Australia seeks to build a new economy based on innovation, ties with technologically advanced nations like Israel have never been more important,” Mr Pyne said.”
Mr Pyne said the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was renowned for its world-leading research and already had a strong relationship with Australia.
“Israel has one of the highest concentrations of innovation and entrepreneurship in the world – and it owes much of its success to institutions like the Hebrew University of Jerusalem,” Mr Pyne said.
“It’s Israel’s number one ranked university and an institution with a global reputation for outstanding research.”
The Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) is Israel’s top ranked venture capital firm with over $900 million under management.
Mr Pyne said the meeting provided an opportunity to discuss venture capital funding, cultivating flourishing technology hubs and building large scale venture funds.
“The Israeli venture capital sector (VC) has significantly more funds available, compared to Australia,” Mr Pyne said.
“Given the Government’s renewed focus on innovation, and the very recent release of our Innovation and Science Agenda, it’s been an opportune time to visit and learn from a nation that has enjoyed so much success in the innovation space.”