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Australia is looking at Israel's incredible startup scene to see what they can learn

Tel Aviv Skyline. Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

Assistant Minister for Innovation Wyatt Roy is currently touring Israel, trying to unearth secrets of the country’s “startup miracle”.

There is a lot to learn from. Israel has one of the world’s highest concentrations of startups in the world and is a global leader in research and development.

This World Bank chart shows the amount spent on research and development as a percentage of GDP. Israel is at 4%, around double the global average. The latest data for Australia showed a research spend of 2.4% of GDP.

Israeli research is so vaunted, that a study conducted by the city of Tel Aviv shows there are more than 298 “foreign research and development” centres in Israel, collectively employing more than 58,000 people.

On top of this, the more than 3000 Israeli startups employ almost 20,000 people. And the entire hi-tech industry employs 300,000 people. This is in a country with a population of just 8.4 million.

By comparison, a Price Waterhouse Coopers report found Australia had only 1500 startups, despite having nearly three times the population.

Israel Startup map

You can see the density of Israel’s startup scene in this map:

While there activity across the entire country, the highest concentration is in Tel Aviv. And as well as startups, the map also includes more than 62 accelerators, 40 co-working spaces, 60 “tech-community” spaces, and almost 70 investors in a country with just 8.4 million people.

The total number of startups is growing at almost 40% year-on-year for Tel Aviv, and 26% for Israel as a whole.

They’re also successful. Data from CBInsights shows a steady increase in the amount of big, venture capital-backed exits by Israeli companies.

The valuations are impressive too, with Google acquiring Waze for $US966 million, Cisco snapping up INtucell for $475 million, and Wix going public for $601 million.

So in terms of the tech industry, Israel has enjoyed some incredible success. And one part of the Australian tech ecosystem is starting to catch up, as the venture capital industry gains momentum.

To find out what else Australia can learn from Israel, Business Insider will be talking to Murray Hurps from Fishburners when he returns from his trip with assistant minister Roy.

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