Scientist holding a chip

A Research and Entrepreneurial Powerhouse

Since its first university was founded in 1912 — three dozen years before the country was established — Israel has continued to tap into its greatest resource: brainpower. In a land that’s about the same size as New Jersey, with a population of less than 10 million, the ability to envision and develop pioneering ideas drives both the economy and academic excellence. 

This “people power” is the heart of Israel’s reputation as “the start-up nation” — an innovative global hub with an educated and highly skilled workforce, generous support from government and investors, and strong R&D capabilities — and a vibrant and growing scientific community whose doors are increasingly open to international researchers.

STEM Leadership

Israel is a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) powerhouse, thanks to the country’s higher education system and entrepreneurial mindset. The latter (there are more than 6,000 active start-ups in the country, predominantly in the high-tech sector) is, in part, a product of an inquisitive culture and an appetite for risk-taking. Known for both technical expertise and tenacity, as well as creativity and flexibility, Israel is ranked the third most innovative country in the world by the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index. Israel also ranked seventh among all countries in the per capita publication of scientific articles in high-impact journals from September 2020 to August 2021, according to the Nature Index.

Subject Matter Experts

Israeli universities perform extremely well in the subject-by-subject breakdown in the Shanghai Ranking’s 2022 Academic Ranking of World Universities. Out of more than 1,800 universities, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University rank at 24 and 37, respectively, in mathematics, while the Weizmann Institute of Science is also in the top 100 for math as well as biology, chemistry and physics. Technion–Israel Institute of Technology is ranked 22nd in aerospace engineering and is among the top 75 universities in chemistry.

Highly Cited Research 

Papers published by scientists at Israeli universities have a tremendous impact on their peers in the global research community. This can be seen in Israel’s rank in citations per document (out of 50 countries) in the following subjects between 1996 and 2021, according to the Scimago Journal & Country rankings:

  • Computer science: 4
  • Earth and planetary sciences: 5
  • Engineering: 6
  • Physics and astronomy: 7
  • Psychology: 7
  • Chemistry: 8
  • Social sciences: 9
  • Mathematics: 10
  • Neuroscience: 10
  • Material sciences: 11
  • Immunology and microbiology: 12
  • Medicine: 12

Photo credit

Scientist holding a chip
Boaz Perlstein

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