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Once again, Israel has been recognized as a leading force in the technology sector.

Israel continues to cement its status as a leader of global innovation, the United Nations’s Global Innovation Index for 2017 has found.

For the seventh consecutive year, Israel topped the innovation index’s category for the northern Africa and western Asia category. The Jewish state ranked 17th overall in the report’s group of high-income countries, improving its standing by four places from 2016.

“Israel has shown improvement in gross expenditure on R&D and ICT (information and communication technology) exports, while keeping its top spots worldwide in research, venture capital deals, GERD (gross domestic expenditure on R&D) performed by business, and research talent in business enterprise,” the report said.

The Global Innovation Index surveys 127 economies, gauging standards from patent filings to education spending, aiming to provide policy makers with a comprehensive view of innovative activity that increasingly drives economic and social growth.

The index’s 10th edition, titled “Innovation Feeding the World,” was released Wednesday. The findings—co-authored by the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization, Cornell University and the European Institute of Business Administration—noted a continued gap in innovative capacity between developed and developing nations, as well as “lackluster growth rates” for R&D activities on the government and corporate levels.

The GII 2017 focuses on innovation in agriculture and food systems. In the coming decades, the agriculture and food sector will face an enormous rise in global demand, increased competition for limited natural resources, and the effects of climate change. Innovation is key to sustaining the productivity growth required to meet this rising demand and to helping enhance the networks (“food systems”) that integrate sustainable food production, processing, distribution, consumption, and waste management.

By: JNS.org and United with Israel Staff