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The Israeli government should allow tech companies to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

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Dror Bin had no grace for a day when he took the position of his predecessor Aharon Aharon as CEO of the Israeli Innovation Authority. At the same time as his appointment, authorities moved from the Ministry of Economy to the Ministry of Science. Until recently, the Ministry of Science was considered a minor, underfunded office. When Orit Farkash-Hacohen was appointed Minister of Science, she asked her to assign authority to her office. Authoritative staff now understand that the minister is a new game with a different style away from the center. of power. Dror Bin, Chief Executive Officer of the Israeli Innovation Authority. Photo: RAD

“If politics goes into the Israeli Innovation Authority, I wouldn’t be there. Politics wouldn’t be in control of me,” he said, after holding several positions in the tech industry. Bin who joined said. When he said this, Bin probably cast a big shadow on the authorities if the authorities were freed from political threats, a move to the Ministry of Science (now called the Ministry of Science and Technology Innovation). Acts that you would have known to be. The first evidence of this was an informal announcement that the authorities, Chair Ami Applebaum, would be replaced by a representative of the Ministry of Science as soon as the transition to the new ministry was completed.

Bin (54) has occupied all possible positions in Israel’s high tech. He entered his new position only after a representative of the authorities approached him and urged him to apply. Prior to that, he was a partner of consulting firm Shaldor, an independent partner of venture capital fund Viola, and held several senior positions at Converse, including Vice President of Global Sales and Vice President of Global Development. In his recent role, he managed the Zisapel brothers tech company RAD.

What made you decide to take on a role that many considered retirement?

“I didn’t start it, they approached me and asked me, and it fascinated me. There is a sense of mission to this position. At dinner on Friday night, the government did this. There are always complaints about not doing and not doing, so now I have the opportunity to do what I think. I feel it is an opportunity to do something I have never done to date. ”

Does that also mean getting out of the RAD incubator?

“In recent years, RAD has undergone major changes. In the past, innovation came from start-ups and large companies acquired SMEs. But in recent years, not only RAD, but also large companies have innovated. Therefore, few companies can be set up, few entrepreneurs go out to establish a company, and many companies start ventures within large companies.

Was this move accompanied by lower wages?

“Dramatic depression. If I hadn’t made enough money in the past, I wouldn’t have taken this job for money. Why would a sane person agree that he would receive such a reduction? Should be asked. ”

“Lower regulatory barriers”

Bin was founded by Abi Hasson, the second chief executive officer of the Innovation Authority and Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Economy, and led the move to build the authority as an independent statutory body. The authority’s first CEO was Aharon Aharon, former CEO of Apple Israel, who was able to solidify the authority’s stable and independent position. Minister of State for Science and Technology of Innovation Orit Farkash-Hacohen. Photo: Elad Malka

How do you move your innovation authority forward?

“Ahalon has done a great job. Today, Israeli tech faces a completely different challenge than when the authorities were established. Israel has historic opportunities. In the past, on its foundations. There was a pyramid where there were small start-ups. The goal was to be acquired and there were 5-10 big companies at the top. Not big companies but internationally such as Check Point, Mellanox, Teva Was a medium-sized company. It was rare in the past. In a year and a half, about 70 companies raised huge amounts of money, many started publicly and raised billions of dollars, 100 More than a company is becoming huge.

“We are becoming the center of Israeli giants. It’s good to have a lot of large multinational companies here, but for the Israeli economy to benefit Israeli high-tech, business centers are here. So there is employment diversity here and we will hire another person in terms of business and law for every engineer hired, “Bin said.

“This is where authority emerges. It’s not enough for businesses to raise money. There are barriers, and above all, human capital. Currently, we don’t have enough human capital to support growth. Increasingly marketing, support and technology staff. Soaring salaries and making international competition difficult. Leading to tens of thousands of job outsourcing. Dealing with large numbers of departures from companies that are not wealthy and cannot compete with large companies. , There was talk of a shortage of 10,000 people, but the actual number is much higher. ”

What can the authorities do about this?

“We need to work on policy. In the past, our main mission was to provide subsidies, but today we are dealing with many other things. In the field of human capital, from abroad. I will talk about three main issues: worker acceptance and worker placement. I don’t think the human capital problem can be solved in the short term. The shortage is so great that it can be reduced. , Can’t be solved. Ultimately, you need a big one. Companies based here. ”

Do you think the ultra-Orthodox will enter high tech in Israel?

“For now, I think so. There is a super-orthodox employment model within the community. I don’t like it much because I prefer integration over separation, but it works. But the Holy Grail works in our industry. Integration in. Still found a model that resonates with them. We need to act to have a high-tech and ultra-Orthodox group. When there is an urgent need for people, they too Entering the world. The industry is important Our job is not to give up until it happens. If we give up, there will be two national scenarios, high-tech and the rest of Israel. ”

Do you think the goal of 15% of Israelis employed in the high-tech sector of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is realistic?

“There is no limit to the high-tech potential of Israel. Due to the lack of human capital, it is hard to say that this is a realistic goal to be achieved within five years. There is a great danger that the opposite will happen. Yes .. Israeli high-tech workforce is increasing by 6% each year, and to maintain this pace it would need to increase by about 12% in five years, which is five years compared to the current 330,000. You need to train an additional 150,000 workers in. You can train your workforce here, not in Israel or India, and achieve a comfortable regulated environment. Reach 15% of the high-tech population. There is a possibility that it can be done.

This issue is also very relevant to the undervalued population: the unification of ultra-Orthodox, Arabs and women. If you want to increase human capital, you have to reach a population that is not represented by high tech. Most soon, they are reaching out to women who are already in the center of the country and available, and also to the ultra-Orthodox and Arabs. Over the next five years, a dedicated plan for Arab society has been created with a budget of 250 million NIS ($ 78 million). There are programs that combine employment and entrepreneurship in Arab society. This is the first time Israel has invested so much in the integration of Arabs. I don’t want two countries to be here. One is a prosperous tech nation and the other is left behind. ”

Don’t you think there are already high-tech nations and other parts of Israel?

“Maybe more serious and I’m very worried. Many tech companies are reaching out to people who aren’t related to tech. People who sell office equipment, lawyers, consulting firms. There are many companies, and tech We don’t want to get out of Israel. We need to increase the number of people who will benefit from it. The ongoing current trend of rising wages, the chronic shortage of human capital, and the ongoing Increasing hostility has left the industry away from the rest of the country. ”

So what is the link between the high-tech industry and Israel?

“The government must wake up and jump to this unique opportunity. It may change the face of our economy forever. If we do it right, Israel will within five years. It can be the center of the world of big companies. We must not miss this opportunity, as the government does not necessarily mean money now that the high-tech industry has reached its peak. The government needs to reduce barriers, support training and allow technology. Companies that work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including weekends and holidays for major global companies.

“Another thing we want to make a big difference is the local introduction of technology developed in Israel. It is a crazy situation that Israeli technology in various fields is not used here due to regulation. That is us. It’s ridiculous The economy hasn’t benefited from its own technology. At this point, it’s not happening because of regulation and conservatism. This wall needs to be removed to enable regulation. What enables the use of these new technologies will grow the local economy.

“Watch out for China”

The United States is afraid of cooperation between Israel and China, as evidenced by the frequent visits of high-ranking government officials to Israel. Both Israeli high-tech industry and authorities have encouraged Israeli companies to work in China in the past, encouraging cooperation and investment.

Should Israel’s tech industry focus on or be afraid of China?

CEOs of all companies have to consider for themselves. At the authorities level, we are not actively working on China. Like many countries, we collaborate there. We have no plans to promote new things beyond the current situation, but companies that have decided that it is important to work in China and are seeking our help will be happy to help.

However, China is a kind of mystery, so be careful. After closing the center in China, we established the Beer Sheva Center in RAD. Working there and succeeding there is very complicated. I think India is a big opportunity compared to China. India is an emerging country that is highly relevant to the Israeli economy because of its language and culture. There are many business opportunities there. It’s a huge market and has the smartest people in the world. A market that loves technology very much. ”

How realistic is the problem of bringing foreign workers to Israel?

“It’s very realistic. You can bring workers here for a year or two. Both new immigrants and foreign professionals. I don’t want cheap programmers. They are India. We need professionals, high value workers. ”

Are there any areas that authorities don’t want to invest in?

“We don’t invest where there is a private market. If we have investors and markets, we don’t need to. Invest in innovative, high-risk areas that take a very long time to market. Private funds don’t invest in ventures. It will take 10 years to move forward, and that’s our place.

Sources

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2/ https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3917701,00.html

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