In 2016, multinationals were responsible for nearly half of all expenditure on Israeli research and development, according to new data. Israel is host to hundreds of multinationals that have set up shop in the country seeking to tap the local talent pool, including Microsoft, Facebook, Alphabet, Apple, and Amazon.
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Multinationals have spent NIS 24.1 billion (around $6.6 billion) on research and development in Israel in 2016, up 8.7% from 2015, according to a report published by Israel’s government-run Central Bureau of Statistics Wednesday. Dollars spent by multinationals accounted for 46.2% of the overall R&D expenditure in the country in 2016, according to a report.
Israel currently has around 425 research and development outposts set up by multinationals, according to data by the Central Bureau of Statistics, and Start-Up Nation Central (SNC), a Tel Aviv-based non-profit.
According to the report, in 2016, multinationals employed 32,500 R&D professionals in Israel. Israeli startup executives took to social media in January, voicing disapproval of the recruitment tactics applied by multinationals locally, claiming that Amazon specifically has introduced new wage levels into the local market.
New multinationals setting up shop in Israel are not necessarily a boon for the local market, the head of Israel’s government innovation arm Aharon Aharon said in an August interview with Calcalist
"If you're asking me whether we should be happy if another giant like Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon decides to open a local operation, the answer is no," Aharon said.