Smart City Technologies in Israel: A Review of Cutting-Edge Technologies and Innovation Hubs

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Aug 2018
This discussion paper was developed by the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Division in collaboration with the Knowledge, Innovation and Communication Department (KIC). It was financed through the Cutting-Edge Knowledge Fund. Smart cities reveal the potential of innovative technologies to tackle tough and longstanding problems in cities and dramatically improve the way municipalities operate. Cities in Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries have a pressing need for solutions that can challenge existing problems while providing a solid return on investment. In recent years, Israel has developed a unique ecosystem approach toward its smart city technology, with a unique focus on collaboration between research institutes, local governments, and private entrepreneurs. This paper explains how the ecosystem developed and how it can benefit cities and residents. The paper starts by providing background information on the various drivers behind smart city innovation in Israel, including the information industry and government agencies. It then focuses on technologies developed in Israel, providing descriptions and a comprehensive analysis of cutting-edge solutions for smart cities developed by an ecosystem of companies, universities, governments, and startups. Later on, provides an overview of the research and development centers in Israel and the dynamics that fuel creative centers, focusing on the startup ecosystem, academic centers, and established IT companies.