Professor Eugene Kandel is stepping down as CEO of the Start-Up Nation Central organization. He will leave at the end of May after six years in the post. Kandel is a professor of economics and finance at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and for six years was head of the National Economic Council in the Prime Minister's Office.
The Start-Up Nation Central board, headed by chairperson Terry Kassel, will start looking for a replacement for Kandel, who will continue to serve as a senior adviser to the organization, and will at the same time be appointed to chair a new Policy and Research Institute that Start-Up Nation Central is setting up. The new institute will publish policy and strategy recommendations relating to technological innovation in Israel.
Paul Singer, founder of hedge fund Elliott Management and the main financer of Start-Up Nation Central, will be joint chairman of the new institute with Kandel. Its CEO will be Uri Gabai, currently co-general manager of Start-Up Nation Central and formerly Chief Strategy Officer and head of the strategy and economic division at the Israel Innovation Authority.
Start-Up Nation Central is a non-profit organization that promotes Israel's technology and innovation industry. Its formation was inspired by the best-selling book Start-Up Nation published in 2009 by Dan Senor and Saul Singer. Saul Singer's wife Wendy Singer, who is Senor's sister, still serves as executive director at Start-up Nation Central.
Following the recent changes, Start-Up Nation Central will have three arms: the organization itself, which will focus on building business ties between Israeli companies and the rest of the world; the Scale-Up Velocity organization (headed by Maty Zwaig), which acts to minimize growth constraints on the technology industry such as shortages of skilled human capital; and the new Policy and Research Institute.
In its announcement, Start-Up Nation Central said, "The new institute will deal in data gathering, in-depth analysis of the Israeli ecosystem, detailed policy recommendations, feasibility-study pilot schemes, and convening all the relevant players in Israel (in government, industry, academic institutions, and so on) around one table to promote continued strengthening of the most important sector of the Israeli economy. The institute will recruit analysts, researchers, and policy experts in technological innovation."
"In the competitive world that the post-coronavirus period dictates, the success of innovation hubs depends on long-term strategic policy," Kandel said. "The new institute will produce and support in-depth research and will develop practical policy recommendations for cultivating the continued growth of Israel's technological innovation sector and ensuring its financial strength. I am excited at the prospect of embarking on the new initiative together with my old colleague Uri Gabai. We expect to cooperate with the innovation sector, academic institutions, the government, and other global partners."
"Israel's innovation sector continues to mature and to contend with new challenges," said Gabai. "The institute will serve as an important resource and as a center of excellence for research and policy in this area. We will help the decision makers to deal with the challenges involved in maintaining a prosperous innovation sector with the aid of data, research, and policy recommendations that will yield benefits to the Israeli economy and to all sections of Israeli society."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on April 19, 2021
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