Google chairman Eric Schmidt provided a vote of support toward Israel on Sunday, praising its "culture of entrepreneurship" amidst several high-profile attempts to lob global boycotts against the Jewish state.
"Israel is booming in terms of entrepreneurship because you have a culture to challenge authority and to question everything," Schmidt said, in a speech to hundreds of students and researchers at the Weizmann Institute. "You're not going by the rules."
"The impact of the Israelis on science and technology is immense, so that's why I'm here and why I'm investing here," he added.
In the modern world, he noted, as the economy grows, there is a need for innovation and the establishment of new companies.
"For this to happen, a country must invest in several areas: education, high-speed connection to the Internet, an open immigration policy that will enable leading minds to move between countries, as well as an environment that encourages entrepreneurship," Schmidt said.
He turned to the researchers and urged them to think big.
"You have to make big bets," he said. "If you are building something, try to solve problems for the whole world." He gave as examples some of Google's developments, such as contact lenses that can detect blood glucose levels and help people who suffer from diabetes, and autonomous cars without drivers.
"1.2 million people die each year in road accidents," he stated. "Anything you can do to reduce that would be enormous."
"In the coming years, many people will move to big cities and the current transport infrastructure that exists cannot endure the influx," he continued. "9% of the city is occupied by cars, whether driving or parked."
"Then there is also a strong economic need for a car without a driver," he added. "I am convinced that if our grandchildren will see an old movie in which an actor sits behind the wheel and drives himself, they will laugh. They will ask: how did they have time to drive?"
Encryption as protection
Schmidt also addressed the question of how to maintain privacy and security in a world where information flows freely.
"Technically, you can protect your information by using different types of encryption," he said.
Eric Schmidt (60) is one of the leaders of the global technology industry. In 2001, he joined Google as CEO, when it was still relatively small, at the request of the founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. He served In this capacity until 2011 – and by that time, Google had become a giant and Internet technology worldwide. In 2011, was replaced by Page and was moved to the position of chairman. His fortune is now estimated at $ 9 billion.
Schmidt is currently on a short visit to Israel, according to Yediot Aharonot. He is accompanied on his visit by Yossi Matias, Vice for Engineering and Chief Executive for Research and Development of Google Israel.