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The National Digital Program of the Government of Israel

Develop Digital-Based Industries

The State of Israel, the "Start-up Nation", promotes innovation, entrepreneurship and technological trends. The innovation industry in Israel has experienced decelerated growth in recent years, while other countries experienced significant growth.

To preserve Israel’s lead, the National Initiative will support the development of digital-based industries that serve as a growth engine for the Israeli economy and improve numerous areas of life.

In recent years the Israeli government undertook an extensive inter-sector endeavor to create an eco-system to support the cyber industry. This undertaking included a series of steps to establish Israel as a “cyber superpower”, among them investment in education, establishing research centers in universities and utilizing the experienced gained by professionals who served in the IDF intelligence and technology units, to grow this industry.

Similarly, great potential exists to create new national growth engines based on additional digital industries, for example, developing Fintech in Israel. This industry, which develops advanced digital solutions for the financial services field, is flourishing in recent years[49]. Regulatory involvement in this area, as well as an active domestic market and the unique advantages of the local ICT industry, can be leveraged with an emphasis on its existing expertise in fields relevant to the Fintech industry, such as cyber, Big Data, and the entrepreneurial and innovation culture that characterizes Israel – in order to transform Israel into a world leader in this field, to create new employment opportunities and to accelerate economic growth.

Thus, as part of the National Initiative, and in collaboration with the government, the private sector, academia, local government and the employment market, measures will be advanced that require inter-sector coordination in order to develop new national growth engines, by creating an ecosystem that supports additional digital industries such as health, finance, smart cities and IOT. These measures will include establishing national infrastructures and an enabling regulatory infrastructure - in the aim of positioning Israel as a global level “beta site” for innovative technologies, and as a world leader in additional ICT industry fields. These steps are expected to create jobs with high added value and accelerated economic growth.

Develop an e-Health industry and Establish it as a National Growth Engine
(in cooperation with the Prime Minister’s Office, the Health Ministry, Labor and Economy Ministry, Finance Ministry, Innovation Authority and the Council for Higher Education of Israel (CHE) and the Planning and Budgeting Committee within the CHE)
As part of the National Initiative, and headed by the Prime Minister’s Office, the Health Ministry and the Bureau for the development of the digital health industry (e-Health), an extensive government effort began to establish this industry as a national growth engine and transform Israel into a world leader in the field. The Big Data in Health project, based on the comprehensive databases that exist in Israel, is the basis for the initiative, harnessing all potential partners to the undertaking, including the private sector, academia, government hospitals and health funds. An analysis conducted by the Initiative Bureau showed that developing the e-Health industry in Israel has huge potential to increase the product base by about 10 billion NIS annually.  

Making Business Digital

The field of data-driven innovation, which deals with producing innovative products from data, has gained momentum the world over and has been shown to have significant value for economic growth, since the more companies make data-based decisions, the more successful they are. ​

Furthermore, use of the Internet and digital tools saves businesses money, time and resources. The potential to expand the use of ICT tools is particularly high among SMEs, as these tools give them operations and management capabilities that in the past were only available to large businesses. SMEs make up more than 99% of the business in Israel and create most new jobs in the economy[50]. The National Initiative will advance projects to raise awareness among business owners about the advantages of ICT tools, will offer dedicated training and will encourage and enable the provision of grants, incentives and financing solutions, so they can use data driven innovation and equip themselves with technological infrastructures.

Making business digital includes several components, from using computers and basic applications for business management (e.g. word processing, accounting software, etc.); through using the Internet to communicate with customers, suppliers and service providers, and to search for relevant and professional information; to adopting advanced-level digital solutions such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and e-invoices.

ICT training and Financing ICT Tools for SMEs
(led  by the Ministry of Economy and Industry)

In the coming years grants will be offered to SMEs in order to help them procure digital solutions to improve and streamline their business. Courses will be developed and integrated in training business owners to use basic and advanced ICT tools, as well as advanced uses of data.

 

Increase Digital Presence and Advance the Use of e-Commerce Platforms

E-Commerce enables businesses in the geographic periphery to reach customers throughout the country, and opens all businesses in Israel to the global market – creating unprecedented growth opportunities for these businesses. Businesses that were limited to the local market, mainly SMEs that have limited marketing and distribution resources, can now reach a wide audience owing to their increased presence on the Internet and the penetration of e-Commerce.

As part of the National Initiative, a series of initiatives will be advanced to encourage businesses to build and operate a website or a profile on social media as marketing tools and as a way to maintain contact with customers. It will also incentivize businesses to sell their products online. This will be achieved by helping businesses establish an e-Commerce platform and develop the necessary accompanying operations capabilities (such as payment clearing and delivery).  

Expand the Program to Promote e-Commerce among SMEs
(led by the Ministry of Economy and Industry)

As part of the program, which operates under the Small and Medium Enterprises Agency in the Ministry of Economy and Industry, and in cooperation with the Bureau, subsidized training courses and monetary grants, in the amount of 16,000 NIS per business, were provided up to now, to establish an e-commerce system that includes an online store, a delivery system and a payment clearing system. 

The program will be expanded, in the coming years, to include thousands of SMEs, mainly in national priority areas and in the periphery.

 

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