While ties between Israel and Massachusetts have been strong for many years, the recent Bay State’s Economic Development Mission to Israel likely had an additional impact on the economic relations. Given that statistics in 2015 showed that 200+ Israeli-founded businesses brought the Commonwealth over $9 billion and had jobs for over 9,000 individuals.
At the four day event, Governor Charlie Baker brought a delegation of leaders statewide representing a variety of industries including: academia, non-profits and governmental. There were briefings, forums, site visits, summits and more during which time the people from each country were able to discuss the possibility of a new cybersecurity liaison between Cyberspark (the venture between the Israel National Cyber Bureau, the Beer-Sheva Municipality, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and leading companies in the cyber-security industry) and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (the public agency seeking to support a vibrant, growing economy in the region).
The dual-relationship is exceedingly vital on both sides. According to Baker: “Israel has about a 20-year head start in the cybersecurity space…and because we boast an innovation ecosystem of unparalleled density, there is no better place in the world for you to expand, and grow to scale, than Massachusetts.” And for Israel, should an agreement be signed (a matter also on the agenda at the event, between Baker and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu), the benefits would be a bolstering of commercial, economic, industrial and technological interests, given the invariable following of collective research and expansion efforts. As Israel’s Chief Scientist for the Ministry of Economy, Avi Hasson explained: “The Israel-Massachusetts ongoing partnership is an essential pillar in R&D collaboration. I am assured both industries, from Israel and Massachusetts, will benefit.”