Defense conversion, technology policy and R & D networks in the innovation system of Israel

Daniel Vekstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The historical context of the Israeli defense industry is reviewed to identify the circumstances conducive to the emergence of R & D networks through which major defense firms are pursuing defense conversion today. Technology policies, organizational strategies, and the institutionalization of a particular view of national security, have influenced the membership structures of these networks and allowed few rich firms rather than many industrial firms to gain access to an increased pool of advanced technological knowledge. The case of the largest defense firm in Israel is presented and the system of R & D networks within the MAGNET Program is described. The paper argues that Israel needs an explicit diffusion-oriented policy for technology as well as open networks to involve relevant stakeholders in the country (e.g. small firms, development organizations, and entrepreneurs). The paper details policy conclusions and emphasizes the feasibility to learn through networks, the need to recruit government leadership, to formulate and implement a coordinated policy for the management of the national innovation system, and above all, to expand the concept of national security so as to include social and economic aspects at individual and collective levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-629
Number of pages15
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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