Israeli Science Ministry will establish ‘Horizon Scanning’ department

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The Israeli government has approved the establishment of a new department within the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology. The novel department named ‘Horizon’ will search for future technological opportunities and risks for Israel, assessing global trends such as climate change, globalisation, demographics, and technological revolutions.

At the request of the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Technology, Gila Gamliel, the Israeli government has decided to transfer the ‘National Intelligence Directorate’ from the Prime Minister’s Office to the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Technology and reorganise it as a new department within the Ministry of Science. Dr Victor Israel, who served as the head of the National Intelligence Directorate, will lead the department.

Its role will be to anticipate challenges and opportunities in order to enable Israel to prepare and lead in areas that will become significant in the future. The department will research and support long-term plans and leverage advanced capabilities in artificial intelligence and big data processing in a unique technological laboratory. Additionally, it will establish and maintain connections with parallel ‘Horizon Scanning’ bodies worldwide and collaborate with intelligence agencies and academia in Israel.

‘Horizon scanning’ is a method from the field of futures studies. It aims to detect and assess developments that are currently still ‘beyond the horizon’ and therefore hardly noticeable, but which could have far-reaching effects in the future, at an early stage in order to develop options for action. This can also influence political decision-making.

The Minister of Innovation, Science, and Technology, Gila Gamliel, stated: ‘Israeli innovation is a critical national asset and a key factor in Israel’s resilience, especially in times of crisis. Integrating the ‘Horizon’ department will provide quality civilian intelligence to improve planning for the vital scientific and technological fields for Israel’s future.’

Source: Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology