Shlomi Kofman joined the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) in January 2023 as Vice President of its International Division and Head of International Collaborations. An independent publicly funded agency, it was created to provide tools and funding platforms for local and international innovation ecosystems.
Israel’s tech sector is its most valuable export accounting for over half of total exports and 15% of GDP and over 530 multinationals have an R&D presence or tech scouting arm there. Per capita, Israel produces the world’s most startups (nearly 9,000) and unicorn companies (valued at over US$1 billion) than any other country, making it not only the Start-Up Nation, but the Scale-Up Nation. Moreover, Israel leads the world in patent applications, information and communication technology services, and technology exports.
Kofman’s role at IIA is to promote the Israeli tech industry to new markets and its collaborations with overseas entities including research facilities, hospitals, universities, and multinationals interested in joint R&D ventures and pilots with Israeli companies. He also heads up the European Research and Innovation Directorate (ISERD), a partnership between the Israel Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology, the Council for Higher Education, and the IIA.
Starting out as an electronics engineer in Israel’s high-tech industry with Orbot in South Korea and ECI Telecom (now Ribbon Communications), Kofman changed careers joining Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructure and Foreign Affairs as Director of International Affairs. He was also an advisor to the Speaker of the Israeli Parliament. Before joining IIA he enjoyed a successful 25-year career with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs holding senior consular and diplomatic positions in China and the US.