Israel worked magic in cybersecurity. Can it do the same for climate tech?
Experts say Israel is late to the game but can still become a key player, as an opportunity worth many trillions may help save the planet; government seen moving in right direction.
In 1999, Prof. Isaac Ben-Israel, at the time the head of R&D at Israel’s Defense Ministry, wrote a letter to prime minister Ehud Barak warning that the nation’s rapid digitalization could quickly become a liability, since anything digital can be hacked. He recommended that Israel prepare a strategy to defend itself in the cybersphere.
As a result, a national body was established, charged with protecting critical infrastructures – power production, water supply, the health system and transportation. That was 20 years ago this month. At the same time, veterans of the army’s cybersecurity units spotted opportunities amid increased digitalization worldwide and set out to find solutions for the civilian world.
Today, Israel is a cybersecurity powerhouse, with exports of its products at around $10 billion, accounting for 10 percent of global cybersecurity exports, and with its startups in the field garnering over 40% of total global investments. The success of the cybersecurity industry grew out of the perfect alignment of government initiative — the designation of the field as strategically important for the nation’s safety and economy — and developments happening on the ground.
Now, with climate change looming as a global threat, The Times of Israel has pondered with experts whether Israel can work the same magic it did for cybersecurity to help the nation meet its climate goals and also, as it does so, make the world a better and safer place to live.
The answer is not straightforward: Israel is late to the climate game, but can still catch up, the experts said. The government is moving to make it a national priority, but whether these moves are serious will be determined by legislation and funding still to come.
To learn more, click the link below to read the full article as seen in The Times of Israel: