Promoting Israel's Homeland Security Exports

An Interview with Ramzi Gabbay Chairman of the Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute


Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute (IEICI) chairman Ramzi Gabbay talks about the country's unique and innovative Homeland and Cyber security industry and the efforts being made by his organization to help companies expand overseas sales and penetrate new markets.

Q. How many companies are operating in this sector and what kind of products, systems, solutions, and services do they offer? Mr. Gabbay: Israel relies mostly on domestically developed solutions for its security. Over 350 exporting companies, members of the Israel's Export & International Cooperation Institute (IEICI) are offering products for the Homeland Security market. Key technologies include a wide range of perimeter and border surveillance, visible and invisible, as well as barriers used for border and perimeter protection and security solutions for critical infrastructures. In the cyber domain, Israeli specialist providers offer telecommunication and network security, financial processing and data security, communications surveillance, and a wide range of cyber security solutions. Specialized devices are provided for the inspection of vehicles and cargo. Israeli Safe City and Smart City solutions address a wide range of capabilities, from wide area surveillance to command and control and emergency response. A partial list of Israeli HLS capabilities includes protection against explosive devices, electronic jammers used to counter remotelyoperated explosive devices, and ballistic or special armor, used to protect personnel, vehicles and buildings from explosions, fragments and blast. Other solutions include systems for law enforcement and riot control solutions, as well as non-lethal measures, emergency management and preparedness and more.

Q. What are the competitive advantages of Israeli companies in Homeland and Cyber Security? Mr. Gabbay: Through the years Israel's security has been founded on innovative, cutting edge technologies, operationally proven methodologies and highly trained and skilled human resources. The technologies essential to Israel's security have evolved over three generations, addressing a broad spectrum of threats. As a nation facing constant threats, particularly on its military, transportation and critical infrastructure, from hostile nations and non-nation terrorist organizations, Israel must maintain a high level of vigilance, credible defense and effective security to survive and prosper. Israel's security relies mostly on domestically developed, matured and tested capabilities, maintaining a high level of security while ensuring high quality of life for its citizens.
These advantages are also driving Israel's security offerings in the international market, empowered by the knowhow, products and skill development employed for the nation's defense. These solutions also rely on the extensive operational experience gathered here, in countering terror and preparing for emergencies. Such capabilities, knowhow are shared with Israel's allies and partners throughout the world.

Q. In what areas is Israel particularly strong? Mr. Gabbay: Among the areas most significant to Israeli export in the Homeland Security market are Infrastructure & Border Security, Transportation security, in particular – securing aviation, maritime and metropolitan/mass transit systems. Command, control and communications has been a strong domain for Israeli companies, and these capabilities are currently applied to the field of homeland security. Other aspects include intelligence and information processing systems, cyber security.
Traditional counter terror and chemical, biological and emergency management and response (CBRNE) are also high on the Israeli exporters' agenda.

Q. How has this sector changed since 9/11?
Mr. Gabbay: 9/11 ignited a massive growth in the sector, in the US and abroad, as authorities began allocating significant funding in local, and federal budgets, to field, operate and maintain security systems and technologies. Analysts expect the global spending on homeland security to reach $344 billion in 2022, up from $178 billion in 2010, with the major growth segments being aviation security, communications, data and cyber security and counter terrorism.

Q. What countries are Israel's biggest customers in homeland security and where is there the best potential for growth? Mr. Gabbay: The most dominant homeland security market is the U.S. Outside the USA, large growth markets are evolving in Brazil, Mexico, Russia, India, Vietnam and South Korea.

Q. What is the Israel Export Inst. Homeland Security Department doing to promote exports in this sector? Mr. Gabbay: IEICI is providing a wide range of export-oriented services to Israeli companies. It also provides an entry point to the international business community and HLS customers, including governments and authorities' officials, by matchmaking between costumer needs and Israeli solutions and by helping to build successful joint ventures, strategic alliances, and trade partnerships. International delegations visiting Israel are often hosted by IEICI and introduced to local companies matching the visitors' areas of interest. In 2012, the focal point of this activity will be the 2nd Israel HLS Conference organized by IEICI. Hundreds of senior officials and executives from around the world have been invited to attend the conference, taking place November 11-14 in Tel Aviv. IEICI takes part in several international events, including the biennial Milipol Law Enforcement Expo in Paris (2013) and LAAD Security in Rio de Janeiro (2014). IEICI provides a toolset of services tailored for Israeli exporters, addressing different aspects of export oriented activities, from business information and marketing support, to operations and logistics.

Q. How do you see this sector changing in the coming years? What new areas of potential are there? Mr. Gabbay: In the past Israeli companies have been strong in the field of border and perimeter protection, information security and CBRNE. These fields continue to deliver sales volumes. In the future, unmanned systems will be added to current border and perimeter protection systems, driving more opportunities for Israeli expertise in this area. Information processing, command, control and communications, associated 'Smart City' programs are expected to rise as well. These programs are integrating complex data-intensive processing for effective command and control of emergency response in dense urban areas. A promising future field of activity is cyber security, in which many Israeli companies are involved.