REHOVOT, Israel - March 19, 1998 - Approximately $600 million worth of products emanating from research at the Weizmann Institute of Science were sold by Israeli and non-Israeli companies in 1997. Israeli companies were responsible for half of these sales, mainly for export. These figures derive from a survey conducted by the Tel Aviv-based accounting firm Kost Levary & Forer, a member of Ernst & Young International.
The survey, whose aim was to examine the effect of Weizmann Institute research on Israel's economy, revealed that 19 Israeli start-up companies, mainly developing products for export, have been established directly as a result of Institute research. Yeda Research and Development Co. Ltd., the Institute's technology transfer arm, was a partner in the establishment of 14 of these companies.
In addition to the above-mentioned 19 start-ups, numerous other Israeli companies received licenses to develop and sell products originating at least partly from Institute research. Taken together, all companies so licensed employed some 5,300 people in 1997, among them approximately 1,000 new immigrants and more than 100 graduates of the Weizmann Institute's Feinberg Graduate School.
Approximately 31 years ago, the Institute initiated and participated in the establishment of the first park for advanced industries in Israel, Kiryat Weizmann. Today, some 70 companies operate in that park. Many of them have links with the Institute and develop products that originated from Weizmann Institute research. In 1997, the total aggregate sales of these companies amounted to approximately $500 million.
The Institute also developed the concept of technological "incubators" and helped establish the first such incubator in Israel. Today, 12 young high-tech companies are active within the Kiryat Weizmann Incubator for Technological Entrepreneurship, which is assisted by the Institute, and nine companies have already left this Incubator and operate independently. Most of these companies work on projects resulting from the ideas of new immigrant scientists and engineers.
"This current state of affairs is a testimony to the fact that the investment in scientific research, such as that carried out at the Weizmann Institute of Science, contributes greatly to the growth of economic activity in the fields of investment and high-tech export," says accountant Yitzhak Forer, summarizing the survey's results. "Every dollar invested in scientific research helps to create industrial activities worth several dollars. In other words, from the point of view of Israel's economy, long-term investment in scientific research is an engine which drives the entire market."
The Weizmann Institute of Science is a major center of scientific research and graduate study located in Rehovot, Israel.