Israel’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) is focusing on supporting start-ups, particularly those with dual-use technologies, in order to expedite defense tech advancement. Innofense, an innovation center, was established in 2019 by the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) within the MoD to connect start-ups with funding, providing scouting, exposure to commercial technology, and acceleration.
- The Ministry of Defense’s DDR&D established a program called Innofense, which has aided 43 companies in securing funding and accelerating their development. This is achieved through collaborations with venture capitalists and private sector entities.
- Israel’s broader Momentum strategy focuses on accelerating tech adoption in the areas of bioconvergence, lasers, AI, cyber, and air defenses. They are already developing laser air defenses and new armored vehicles, and are working on aircraft protection systems.
- The goal of DDR&D is to achieve technological independence, acting as a one-stop-shop from early basic research to full-scale development, all while maintaining technological superiority and a qualitative military edge.
- Collaboration with the US has been vital, with working groups established at various levels, which has resulted in a mutually beneficial relationship. The US benefits from Israel’s procurement agility while Israel benefits from the US’s economy of scale.
- Companies that participate in the Israeli Innofense innovation center receive around $50,000 and four months to produce a proof of concept and are not bound by any onerous regulations. They have opportunities to receive purchase orders, continue to develop their projects or secure funding from venture capitalists.