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Yishai Frankel, Vice President of Intel: The industry should adopt the Google model to connect with academia and conduct basic research

Frankel said these things at the sixth conference of the Higher Education Council that convened yesterday in Ashkelon. Additional speakers from the industry: Attorney Karin Meir Rubinstein, CEO of IATI, and Chief Scientist Avi Hasson - both sought to strengthen the relationship despite the differences in views between the two parties 


Yishai Frankel Vice President of the New Technologies Group and General Manager of the Software Division
Yishai Frankel Vice President of the New Technologies Group and General Manager of the Software Division


Yishai Frankel, a member of the OT and vice president of the new technologies group at Intel Global, says that it is important to promote the relationship between industry and academia in research and development. "Until today we have not done enough". Frankel said these things at the sixth annual conference of the Council for Higher Education that convened yesterday in Ashkelon.

According to Frankel there are two narratives regarding the relationship between industry and academia. One is of Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page who were students at Stanford, the topic of their research was Internet search algorithms, and from that the company was born which is an example of a successful transfer of knowledge from academia to industry. Google still carries out basic research, some of it also with the participation of researchers from universities.

On the other hand, there is a conflicting narrative: that of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, who left school at an early stage. Gates still sees academia as a slow body and in industry he sees the catalyst.

In today's high-tech industry, both narratives exist - there are places where the connection between academia and industry is emphasized, and there are places where the disconnection is felt. We have no connection between the industry and the universities. There is an application arm in universities and research departments in companies but they don't really work together.

Examples such as Mobileye, Mazor Robotica and several other companies, which left academia and continue to work with it on research and development, are the exceptions. The more common model in the Israeli high-tech industry is that of Microsoft and Apple. The Google model is not seen enough. There are high-tech industries near the Technion and Tel Aviv University, but not many of the companies were founded on the basis of knowledge that spilled over from the universities into industry. The Chief Scientist has several tools that can make this possible, and there are additional initiatives. The main place to act is a significant increase in the level of doctoral students and post-doctoral students - especially in the field of high-tech.

"Cultivating this layer requires research infrastructures worthy of their name, the ability to allocate quality time to advanced research and funds that will allow people to stay in the academy. On the other hand, it is important for the academy to recognize the importance of the industry. This does not mean basic research. Basic research has its own pace of life, but in applied research it is very important that those researchers who are close to industry are not considered second class, not inferior and it is important that they receive recognition.

The cooperation between industry and academia is important to both parties, especially to academia and its continuous dialogue with the surrounding world. It is important to promote this cooperation. To date we have not done enough.


Attorney Karin Meir Rubinstein, CEO of the Israel Association for Advanced Industries (IATI), which unites the high-tech and biotech industries, also addresses the issue in the same session: "Israel is first in the world in investing in R&D per capita. Israel leads in the number of patents in biopharma and medical devices. Israel is also in a high place in the satisfaction of the executives with the links between academia and industry. Israel is above the OECD average in the rate of industry involvement in academic R&D, especially in the fields of biopharma. However, when I talked with the heads of academia and the high-tech industry, challenges arose: there is a structural difference between academia and industry in their worldview and priorities. Researchers versus industry. The researchers who strive for discovery, for innovation for research compared to the industry that goes for creativity which includes both innovation but also production and finding the solution to the problems to create an impact."

"There is a difficulty in extracting knowledge from the industry, while in biopharma the situation is much better because there is a close connection between the patent and the product, between the molecule and the drug. The universities are not involved enough in the value chain of the ecosystem in regards to entrepreneurship education, entrepreneurship culture. The technologies in academia are very early and the industry is not ready to take technologies at such an early stage and share in future profits. Here, too, the situation in biotech is better."

Suggestions for solutions? There is an overwhelming agreement in the industry that any change should come from the global leadership position and not from the fundamental change of the existing mechanisms and structures. The government has a significant role in strengthening the relationship between industry and academia, especially with regard to wider funding in the early stages of development and the maturation of ideas.

"The Innovation Authority, headed by Chief Scientist Avi Hasson, has a central role in closing the gap through the various arenas and especially through the infrastructure arena which is responsible for Magnet, Magneton and more. We at IATI have a role and help and synchronize the relationship."

"The large companies and the multinational companies should be more involved in the study content and in the use of developments at an early stage and share in the profits. The companies must go hand in hand with the universities as is the case in the US, Europe and Asia."

"In addition, the academy should be more involved in ecosystems by establishing companies, establishing accelerators, various investment bodies and collaborations between the academy and academic bodies abroad. Last week the I3 plan to establish an incubator for investment in primary technologies was announced under the leadership of Prof. Clifter, and the Technion's plan with Cornell that I wish we would see more and more such plans. Our goal here is to synchronize the connection and integration of industry, academia and government and we will continue to be available to the players in the ecosystem to create personal interactions between the researchers, the implementation companies, the government and the industry."


Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Economy and Industry and Chairman of the Authority for Innovation Avi Hasson: "In our eyes, academia has a central role in opening industry to the forefront of technological knowledge."

"In the future, every industry and not only the high-tech and biotech industry but also the traditional industry will become research-intensive and science-based. This means that we encounter questions that are difficult to solve through simple development, so friction, in a positive sense, between industry and academia is necessary if we want to see industry progress. This understanding is not only shared by me, but it is true, one must also understand the difficulties. There are inherent difficulties in the relationship between industry and academia."

"In Israel, universities have the duty to bridge this gap. We do not have applied research institutes such as Fernhauper and others that can form the bridge. The academy is the one that trains the manpower that then brings the knowledge to the industry."

"But the industry also needs to do a lot more to understand the importance, and know how to build within it the frameworks that will know how to take this knowledge which is not always the most attractive at first sight, they will certainly not provide income in the short term, but they should help the universities at the level of technological infrastructure."


"The scientist who has academic freedom in front of his eyes must cooperate with industry and society as a whole. (security, etc.) We help connect academia and industry through the arena of technological infrastructure. We built the nanotechnology centers where basic research is carried out above all, but they also provide services to industry - to technicians and engineers, not even researchers, and of course applied research shared by industry and academia. This is exactly the example of how you can achieve both goals at the same time."





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