See Facets of the Israeli Economy- The High-Tech Secto for a summary of Israel's hi-tech economy. The key factors in its success are the very high proportion of technical and scientific graduates,civilian spinoffs from indigeneous military tech (probably assisted by the US military),foreign direct investment,government partnerships with venture capital and the traditional entrepreneurial culture of Jews.
How can Ireland emulate Israel's success? First,Ireland could produce more high tech graduates by improving the quality of maths and science education in secondary schools. This requires recruitment of specialist maths teachers,possibly through retraining unemployed engineers,through incentivising existing maths teachers to improve their advanced maths teaching abilities,plus the provision of advanced science labs in a high proportion of schools.
Second,given that the government's venture capital funding has attracted few proposals from international venture capital funds,the IDA with its experience of attracting multinationals or a consultancy with marketing skills in vencap needs to get involved in the marketing effort.
Third,the leading universities should all offer specialist courses in entrepreneurship with an emphasis on export oriented hi-tech and technical services startups.
Fourth,universities need to collaborate with industry on R & D,although this should not crowd out the universities' function as providers of basic research.