Start-Up Nation Central to launch an economic and policy research Institute focused on the Israeli innovation ecosystem
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New policy Institute to be led by CEO Uri Gabai and co-chaired by Prof. Eugene Kandel and philanthropist Paul Singer

April 19, 2021 (TEL AVIV) — Start-Up Nation Central today announced it will launch a new economic research and policy Institute focused on Israeli technological innovation.

The Institute’s work will focus on sustaining and advancing Israel’s high tech innovation ecosystem to ensure Israel’s long-term economic prosperity. The Institute will tackle challenges related to growth of the innovation economy and expand access to the benefits of Israel’s hi-tech ecosystem through empirical research and actionable policy recommendations. The team will collaborate with stakeholders in Israel and across the globe to identify and analyze trends, challenges, gaps and opportunities facing the hi-tech sector. Particular focus will be devoted to research and co-innovation generated by recent Israeli diplomatic breakthroughs.

The Institute will collaborate with the team at Start-Up Nation Central, an independent non-profit that connects business, government and NGO leaders from around the world with Israeli innovation. Start-Up Nation Central amplifies the efforts of Israeli innovators to access high-potential and previously inaccessible markets, through highly customized business engagements, and through Start-Up Nation Finder – an easy to use, up-to-date, free online platform for discovering and connecting with the thousands of relevant innovators.

Professor Eugene Kandel, who has served as Start-Up Nation Central’s CEO for the last six years, will serve as Co-Chairman of the new Institute. He will become Senior Advisor at Start-Up Nation Central. Philanthropist Paul Singer will serve as Co-Chairman of the Institute.

Kandel, a world-renowned economist, is a Professor of Economics and Finance at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and previously served for six years as chairman of the National Economic Council in the Israeli Prime Minister’s office.

Professor Kandel: “In an increasingly competitive post-COVID era, the success of innovation ecosystems depends on strategic, long-term policy. This new institute will engage in and support rigorous research and develop concrete policy recommendations, to foster the continued growth of Israel’s tech innovation sector and securing an economically resilient Israel. I am excited to establish this new initiative with my longtime colleague Uri Gabai. We look forward to collaborating with the innovation sector, academia, government officials, and other global partners.”

Uri Gabai, Co-General Manager of Start-Up Nation Central, will serve as founding CEO of the new institute. Prior to joining Start-Up Nation Central, Gabai was instrumental in building the Israel Innovation Authority as its VP of Strategy.

Uri Gabai: “As Israel’s innovation sector continues to mature and encounter new challenges, the Institute will be a critical resource serving as a center of excellence for research and policy. We will help decision-makers address the challenges of sustaining a thriving innovation sector by providing them with new data, research, and policy ideas for the benefit of the Israeli economy and all parts of Israeli society.”

Terry Kassel, Chair of the Start-Up Nation Central Board, said: “The last six years have proved the critical role the creativity and resourcefulness of Israeli entrepreneurs and innovators play in the Israeli economy. Eugene and Uri are well-positioned to build on their work at Start-Up Nation Central to generate policy and strategy recommendations that will benefit the Israeli ecosystem and ensure Israel’s place as the global leader in innovation. We are deeply grateful to Eugene for his leadership of SNC, and look forward to collaboration on the new Institute.”

Start-Up Nation Central will soon commence a search for Professor Kandel’s successor, led by Board Chair Terry Kassel.