Our keynote presentation was given by RCON member and past-president, Roger Gower.
 
Roger recently went on a trip to Israel which he called a “start-up” nation. 
 
The New Zealand travel group consisted of 54 people from various backgrounds. 
 
He explained that many of the impressions that we have of Israel from the news weren’t correct.  It felt like a safe and open environment where peoples of all cultures mixed freely.  Roger visited a number of sites including the Wailing Wall and the Holocaust Museum.  He visited the city of Beersheba which, in the war, was a turning point to formation of state of Israel and created a lot of good will by the actions of Australia and New Zealand troops.
 
Israel is great at generating start-ups.  They spend 3.5% of GDP on R&D compared to .5% in NZ.  NZ is OECD laggard.  Roger pointed out that the government and small business are in-line or over the OECD averages for R&D.  The main issue is spending by businesses over 250 people. 
 
Israel has a highly developed ecosystem for innovation. They have 18 incubators to fund start-ups that are too risky for regular investment.  Each incubator has 8 companies in each ( 4 companies per annum for 2 years).  The attitude is the generated IP can be the win even of the business fails.
 
Roger has provided some photos as follows
 
Roger at the West Wall (The Wailing Wall) East Jerusalem

The route the mounted rifles too to attack and over run the fort at Tel el Saba (Beersheba) in 1918. 
 

The narrative board at Te el Saba (Be'er Sheva or Beersheba)  
 
 
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