Evaluation of the Technological Incubator Program in Israel (and the Projects Operating Within It) - A Decade After its Establishment

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Shefer Daniel, Frenkel Amnon. Evaluation of the Technological Incubator Program in Israel (and the Projects Operating Within It) - A Decade After its Establishment Haifa Israel: Samuel Neaman Institute, 2002. https://neaman.org.il/EN/Evaluation-Technological-Incubator-Program-Israel-and-Projects-Operating-Within-It-Decade-fter-it-Establishment
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The research project was carried out under the Fifth Framework Program of the European Union. The main objective of the research was to examine the efficiency and adequacy of the Israeli Technological Incubators Program as a vehicle for fostering the growth of the High-Tech industry, and as a model for European countries in general and Italy in particular, to mimic. To achieve this objective an in-depth field survey was carried out with 21 managers of technological incubators and 109 initiators of new projects.

The Israeli Technological Incubator Program began operation in the early nineties in the wake of the influx of hundreds of thousands of new immigrants from the former Soviet Union. The aim of the program was to enable entrepreneurs with new promising ideas, but with no financial means and managerial skills to "fulfill their dreams". Between the years 1990-1993, 28 such incubators were established throughout the country and today 24 of them are still in operation.

The research thoroughly examined the extent of the program's success of the program. Success was measured by the rate of the projects that successfully graduated from the incubator; and their ability to attract financial support either while in the incubator, or upon leaving the incubator.

The research paid special attention to the spatial distribution of the incubators, their degree of specialization, and type of sponsorship they received. Special attention was given to the potential contribution of the program to regional economic development. We also investigated incubator managers' and project initiators' level of satisfaction regarding the incubator's operation.

Today, more than ten years since the initiation of the program we can conclude that the Israeli Technological Incubator Program is indeed a "success story". The program fulfilled a significant portion of its objectives. It provided a large number of scientists, both new immigrants and Israelis, with the opportunity to establish new high-tech start-ups upon their graduation from the incubator. The main advantage of the program is its ability to promote and support high-tech ideas that could not otherwise attract financial support on the free markets.

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