ISRAEL - Fifth in Global Per Capita Patents

Arno Froese

Israel has been one of the leading countries in the past eighteen years in terms of number of international patents filed via the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in relation to population size. The peak came in 2000, when Israel was ranked third in the world for patents filed per capita according to the country of the inventor, after Finland and Sweden. Today, Israel is fifth, after Japan, Sweden, Switzerland and South Korea. Finland has dropped to sixth. The data are from a new report by the National Council for Research and Development in the Ministry of Science and Technology.

The ranking of patents filed per capita according to the country of the inventor includes patents filed by international companies and universities where Israelis work. In the ranking of number of patents filed per capita according to the country of the filer (which could be an individual, an academic institution, or a commercial company), Israel was fourth in 2000 (after the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and Finland), and is currently ranked eighth (having been overtaken by Japan, South Korea, Denmark, and Germany). These are OECD figures, and for most of the years in question they do not include China.

Israel National Council for Research and Development chairperson Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz said, “Israel occupies a place of honor in patent registration in the world, but in order to preserve and strengthen the trend, we have to bolster the transfer of knowledge between higher education and industry, increase the number of researchers in research institutions, and strengthen information commercialization companies at the universities, which are such a fertile field for registering patents originating in Israel.”

Israelis are very inventive according to all of these measures, but the differences between the figures for patents with an Israeli inventor and patents with Israel ownership shows that Israelis are often inventors in the service of foreigners. According to the report, 30% of the Israeli patents are under foreign ownership. This is not necessarily a negative thing—foreign or international companies pay well for Israeli brains.

Israeli ownership of foreign inventions, on the other hand, amounted to 9.7% in 2015. This figure, which has been fairly stable over the past decade, is rather low by international comparison. Among other things, it reflects the low number of Israeli-owned multinational companies, compared with countries of similar size, such as Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, and Ireland which own relatively many international companies.

Minister of Science and Technology Ofir Akunis said, “Israeli brains are in great demand throughout the world. There is a good reason why global companies have established their research and development centers here. Support for bringing Israeli scientists back to Israel and fostering Israel’s scientific reserves starting at school edge will preserve Israel’s status in this area, too.”, 29 August 2018

Arno's commentary

What is noticeable in these statistics is that Europeans are no longer dominant, but Asian nations such as Japan and South Korea are included in the upper level. It is of interest that Israelis who file for patents are mostly working for global foreign corporations. The article states: “Most patents filed at the Israel Patent Office were by foreign concerns seeking to operate in Israel (88%); the remaining 12% were by Israelis.” Thus, internationalism is Israel’s strong arm. Facebook, for example, is the leading recipient of patents in Israel.

While Israel will experience—with the rest of the world—the Great Tribulation, the end is glorious. Psalm 126:2 reads: “Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them.” 

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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