Other Israeli high tech initiatives

Meet the Shin Bet’s cyber warriors | “D.,” the head of one of the division’s branches, is 37, married and the father of four. He served in the IDF as part of the combined military/yeshiva program, studied computer science at Bar-Ilan University, worked at an international hi-tech company, and only then move to the Shin Bet. …

The Shin Bet’s growing team of cyber warriors – as of a year ago their numbers had grown from being in the single digits of the agency’s personnel to around a quarter of them – is competing against opponents who are ever more “agile, flexible in their methods of operation and diversified in their execution capabilities.” – Jerusalem Post 2018 http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Meet-the-Shin-Bets-cyber-warriors-540507

[I]n Tel Aviv, the youth breathe tech: kindergarten kids in some schools learn computer skills and robotics, talented 10th-graders learn to code and stop hacking, and university students dream of launching their own startup.

For a country that is just 60 years old and with a population of just 7.1 million, Israel boasts of having the most NASDAQ-listed companies outside America. It also has more high tech startups per capita in the entire world, at 5,500. …

There are various factors that have contributed to Israel’s rise in cybersecurity – like culture and mandatory military service – but one major driver is the government and its role in not just encouraging startups, but also financing them.

The Israel Innovation Authority for instance, is a government arm under the Ministry of Economy, that is responsible for encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship while stimulating economic growth.

Former Apple Israel chief and now head of the Innovation Authority Aharon Aharon, said the government spends 4% of its GDP on supporting startups.

“We invested about $500 million in 2017 on innovation and supporting companies. We have a professional evaluator to check out cyber companies applying for government funding,” he said,

“We invest in mobile, cyber, robotics, food tech, bug data, electronics, machine learning and more. We fund all technologies and at all stages of innovation, from startups to large companies.”

There are also the likes of Cybergym – half-owned by the Israeli government’s Israel Electric Company – a cyberdefense organization that trains companies and even governments around the world on how to protect themselves from cyber attacks.

Cybergym CEO and co-founder Ofir Hason said it counts the governments of Lithuania and Australia as some of its clients, and has managed training in Portugal, New York, Australia, and Japan, among others.” – RAPPLER 2018 https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/in-depth/195653-revenge-porn-hackers-cybercrime-cybersecurity-ph-israel

Jerusalem Startup City – OurCrowd TV 2018 https://youtu.be/l_XljKS_X5A

Jerusalem of tech: How the capital has given Tel Aviv a run for its start-up money | The sleepy capital is becoming a hi-tech hub to be reckoned with. – Jerusalem Post 2017 http://www.jpost.com/In-Jerusalem/Jerusalem-oftech-478258

How Jerusalem is seeking to become Israel’s new ‘start-up city’ | The Jerusalem Development Authority is committed to strengthening hi-tech in the capital. – Jerusalem Post 2016 http://www.jpost.com/Business-and-Innovation/Tech/Israels-Start-up-City-472958

Tiny IDF Unit Is Brains Behind Israeli Army Artificial Intelligence | The operational research unit of the Military Intelligence Unit — the software unit of the Israeli army’s J6/C4i Directorates Lotem Unit — doesn’t look like the kind of place where state-of-the art artificial intelligence is being put to work. …

But the unit is engaged in the same kind of AI work that the world’s biggest tech companies, like Google, Facebook and China’s Baidu are doing in a race to apply machine learning to such functions as self-driving cars, analysis of salespeople’s telephone pitches and cybersecurity — or to fight Israel’s next war more intelligently. – Haaretz 2017 https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/tiny-idf-unit-is-brains-behind-israeli-army-artificial-intelligence-1.5442911

The Israeli Army Unit That Recruits Teens With Autism | Many autistic soldiers who would otherwise be exempt from military service have found a place in Unit 9900, a selective intelligence squad where their heightened perceptual skills are an asset. – The Atlantic 2016 https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/01/israeli-army-autism/422850/

IDF prepares for its new high-tech home in southern Israel’s ‘Silicon Wadi’ | The IDF is gearing up for a major relocation to southern Israel, where it plans to create new environs replete with academia and high-tech firms, and to give a significant boost to the Be’er Sheva area.

We are following the vision of [Israel’s first Prime Minister David] Ben-Gurion. We are moving the best people to the Negev,” said Lt.-Col. Itai Sagi, who heads the branch responsible for establishing the IDF’s C4i (command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence) and Cyber Defense campus. “Next to me are the university and tech companies, with their own labs. We are creating a very significant ecosystem.” …

The ongoing effort to transform southern Israel into a technology hub has been described as “Silicon Wadi.” A three-way synergy between the private sector, the university and the IDF will presumably put Be’er Sheva on the map of competitive technological development, the military believes. – Jewish News Syndicate 2018 https://www.jns.org/idf-prepares-for-its-new-high-tech-home-in-southern-israels-silicon-wadi/