Thursday, December 22, 2005

Israel's Technology Industry

Israel has 135 engineers per 10,000 employees, compared with 70 in America, 65 in Japan, and 28 in Britain (see chart).
I had no idea that Israel was throwing down those kind of numbers. I also had no idea that the US was second on this list. I thought we were hurting in this department, but I guess not so much. I would have thought Singapore or South Korea or Japan would be kicking our butts. I guess not. I am surprised that Germany is not on the list. I wonder if they were included in the study.

I also didn't realize that in the US, engineers only make up .7% of all jobs. Would have thought it would be much higher. I think the US has a workforce of about 140 mil, so that would be around 1 million people.

Why does Israel have so many engineers? The article goes into it, but basically:
1) Government grants in the 70s (a joint American-Israeli initiative)
3) Government schemes to encourage Russian immigrants after the collapse of the Soviet Union
3) The army is mandatory and catalyzes the transformation of 18 year olds into engineers or scientists
4) Lack of land and resources steers entrepreneurs towards high technology
5) The culture promotes repeat entrepreneurs
Israel attracts twice the number of venture-capital (VC) investments as the whole of Europe, according to Ed Mlavsky, a veteran of the Israeli technology industry and the chairman and founder of Gemini, a big Israeli VC fund that was one of the investors in Saifun. In 2003, 55% of Israel's exports were high technology, compared with the OECD average of 26%.
Via The Economist (subscription required for this one)

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