Innovation-leader Israel finds medical, tech partners in Philly

Hadas Kuznits
April 26, 2018 - 3:00 pm
Medical research

While Israel accounts for just over .01 percent of the world population, the country is a leader when it comes to innovation. Perhaps that's why professionals here in Philadelphia are partnering with Israelis to come up with creative solutions to medical and technological problems.

From the creation of USB flash drives to mobile eye advanced driver assistants to the Waze navigation system, drugs for multiple sclorosis and Parkinson's disease, and so much more, Israel is a world leader in innovation.

"What we've decided to do is target five countries and regions that we're going to develop relationships with," said Mark Tykocinski, provost of Jefferson University. "Israel's one of them, and the reason we've targeted Israel is there's this incredible culture of innovation."

If you can dream it, chances are, Israeli scientists are working on it. 

"There's an upstart company that's developing ultrasound for therapeutic purposes which can focus on specific areas and regions in the brain," Tykocinski said.

But that's just one example out of many. What's the source of this creativity?

"Everybody talks about startup nation and the first thing they point to is the [mandatory] army service and the kind of human qualities and culture that that army service fosters, which favors innovation; but there's something that I think has been considerably overlooked, which is, there's incredible diversity in Israel's citizenry," Tykocinski said.

And that citizenry is made up not only of native-born residents, but also of immigrants, refugees and Jews from all around the globe.