Boosting innovative government in an innovative country

Israel is known as the ‘start-up nation’. Its private sector is one of the world’s most innovative and Internet-savvy. We’ve recently signed an agreement with the Israeli government to encourage adoption of pro-innovation public policies, from opening up public data sets to curbing unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles. The initiative aims to find ways that the Internet can improve public services and help consumers.

As part of these initiatives, Internet developers and government officials will come together regularly at our Tel Aviv Campus. At the first meeting, the two sides examined how technology can help to reduce the high cost of living in Israel. Government officials explained that they are advancing a new law to open up public data on retail prices and called on developers to create price comparison apps.

Amit Lang, Director General of the Ministry of Economy, talking at “Meet the Gov” event at Campus Tel Aviv

Five local startups presented their services and insights. Feex uses crowdsourcing to reduce management fees on financial products such as pension funds. My Supermarket lets consumers choose the cheapest option to order groceries online. Eloan encourages peer to peer loans. Madlan helps home buyers by showing how much an apartment was sold for, the average cost per meter in each neighborhood. Noknok gives people free calls anywhere with the same number even abroad.

These sessions were inspired by a Google-finance study called E-nnovate Israel. Researchers conducted 100 interviews with leading figures in the public, business, non-profit and academic sectors and concluded that government and private business need to work more closely together in order to promote innovation and economic growth.

Israel’s country manager, Meir Brand and Minister of Finance, Yair Lapid, sign the agreement
We hope that future sessions will be just as informative and useful for both the technology entrepreneurs and for officials. Both sides share the same ultimate goal - to use technology to ease interactions with government and improve lives.