In­ven­tor­swield their big ideas

The Jewish Chronicle - - World News -

to spot the haz­ardous pres­ence of wa­ter in­side fuel tanks in air­craft; and a prod­uct that en­ables small chil­dren and phys­i­cally chal­lenged peo­ple to put tooth­paste eas­ily on a tooth­brush.

“We are used to see­ing the ‘man­u­fac­tured in China’ la­bel. But if we had an ‘in­vented in’ la­bel, Is­rael would win a gold medal in that cat­e­gory,” in­sists Sch­naider, the founder and co-man­ager of the Is­rael Cen­tre for In­ven­tors by the Sch­naider Method.

A re­cent anal­y­sis ranked Is­rael third in the world in the num­ber of new tech­nol­ogy patents in re­la­tion to pop­u­la­tion. The coun­try is fa­mous for high-tech in­no­va­tions such as the USBkey, in­stant-mes­sag­ing soft­ware ICQ, and the cam­era-in-a-pill.

But all is not rosy, warns Tzahi Apeloig, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Dan David Foun­da­tion, which sup­ports in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy. “If the state will not help young en­trepreneurs move for­ward, noth­ing will ad­vance,” he says. Ac­cord­ing to Apeloig, “the ob­sta­cles are unimag­in­able. State bud­gets are mi­nor or non-ex­is­tent and the banks are huge hur­dles.”

“The state of Is­rael un­der­stands the needs of in­ven­tors, but sup­port can usu­ally be given for a fin­ished prod­uct through our min­istry,” coun­ters Shi­mon Yifrach, spe­cial eco­nomic ad­viser to the Min­is­ter of In­dus­try. “We have to con­nect the ex­ist­ing in­ven­tions to the ex­ist­ing in­dus­try.”

Sch­naider hopes that unit­ing in­ven­tors, in­dus­tri­al­ists and buy­ers can cre­ate a huge in­dus­try. “Jews all over the world should in­vest their money and con­nec­tions in fos­ter­ing hu­man cap­i­tal in Is­rael,” he says. “We need agri­cul­ture of brains.”

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