Article - Science Based Industry
ISRAEL INDUSTRY CENTENARY
For several decades, from the end of the last century to World War II, industry in Eretz Israel was agriculture-oriented. It specialized in pumps for orchards and produced articles which could be used for treating basic agricultural products - to make flour from wheat, wine from grapes and oil from olives.
Jewish industry in the Holy Land started with Leon Stein's metal factory. Stein who is regarded as the pioneer of Jewish industry and the father of the local "industrial revolution", immigrated in 1887. It was in February 1888 that he built his metal factory in the Neveh Tsedek quarter of Tel Aviv, manufacturing filters for the pumps of wells dug in orchards. These filters he invented and developed himself. By the year 1906 he was employing 150 workers. The year 1988 therefore, marked the 100th anniversary of Jewish industry in Eretz Israel.
World War II cut off the Middle East and the British army in the area from their sources of supply and this gave added importance to local industry. No less than 500 new factories employing 60,000 Jewish workers were started up. They produced food, textiles, work tools, medicines, razor blades, electrical items and polished diamonds.
During the War of Independence in 1948 Jewish industry became part of the war effort. Already in the period of the Jewish Underground, it had produced weapon parts, ammunitions, building materials for fortifications, armor plating for vehicles, etc. In the fifties, industry played an important role in absorbing the flood of new immigrants and in dispersing the population - all this by utilizing the pool of labor.
At the beginning of the seventies, Israel developed a range of science-based industries. These industries, which require a high level of investment in research and development, could flourish because of the special conditions found in Israel - a country short in natural resources but able to compete on world markets by developing sophisticated products aimed at specific "market windows".
The government encourages research and development in these industries through a system of grants controlled by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and, in 1984, a law for the Encouragement of Research and Development was enacted.
The achievements of these science-based industries are the result of close collaboration between Israel's highly-skilled industrial manpower and the country's research institutions.
Special defense requirements have also played a significant role in the development of these industries.
This set of three stamps, issued to mark the centenary of Israel Industry, illustrates medical engineering - laser industries; genetic engineering development of drugs; computers in industry - CAD/CAM.
Today, Israel's achievements in those areas place it among the high-tech leaders of the developed world.
The emblem appearing on the tabs of the stamps was designed by Mr. Y. Cogot and symbolizes 100 years of Jewish Industry.