February 4th , 2014
USISTF briefed leading members of the Department of State’s, “Innovation Network” on the 2013 US-Israel Innovation Index. Invited to present by Lorraine Hariton, Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs, we had 18 leading officials across the bureaus. The Department of State provided tremendous feedback, detailing frequent conversations with country leaders wanting a bilateral S&T relationship like the US and Israel’s. While no blueprint, the USI3 gives a snapshot of how the relationship has formed in function and prosperity, allowing closer economic ties between our two countries.
Several comments stemmed from USISTF’s tracking of BRICS countries- including South Africa and Russia while omitting India, China, and Brazil. A challenge to the Index stems from acquiring data which is accurate and verifiable. With developing countries we did include, it was a challenge to obtain all the necessary information. Sam Howerton, from the Office of Science & Technology Cooperation, noted that the Index is useful to provide long term evaluation on effectiveness of programs but is important to normalize for data collection inconsistencies as data sets are made available during different months. Depending on the Index’s publication date, this could cause discrepancies on year over year data.
USISTF looks forward to presenting the 2015 findings of our biannual report.