Corporate Innovation Continuity Through COVID-19

Israeli perspective on innovation trends

Looking into the future, when the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are studied, companies will fall into three categories – those who reacted well, those whose actions were not successful, and those who stood by and waited for the storm to pass. While it is too early to judge which actions brought the best results, it is clear that those who chose to do nothing have missed both growth opportunities for their business and a chance to mitigate the risks of a shifting reality.

Over 350 Multinational Companies (MNCs) have established innovation and R&D centers in Israel prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. These large corporations decided that standing still while their competition innovates was not an option, and therefore opened their eyes to Israel in order to identify leading technological solutions. Many types of engagement are employed to harness open innovation. Investments, Joint Ventures (JVs), M&A, joint R&D and pilots are several ways available to MNCs to engage with startups, fellow MNCs or academic partners.

During the height of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we reached out to leaders and experts of innovation and R&D centers in Israel for some of the most prominent MNCs around the world. We wanted to see whether the global instability across business operations due to the pandemic hindered their innovation activities.

Our discussions proved that these individuals sought to find best-in-class solutions, especially during these times of uncertainty. Across the board, we heard that while innovation activities might have shifted to remote work platforms, they continued to support their business goals.

While all MNCs continue to focus on their core domains, we have seen the scope of many MNCs expand into five new key areas even for companies whose domain is distinctly different: remote production, support and automation, online sales and e-commerce, digital health, remote work and continuity of operations, and hygiene and sterilization.


Tal Chen
Partner, Corporate Finance TMT (M&A)
& Services to MNCs
Deloitte Catalyst, Tel-Aviv

Amit Harel
Partner, Services to MNCs
Deloitte Catalyst, Tel-Aviv

Uri Fishelson
Head of Technology Scouting
Senior Manager,
Deloitte Catalyst, Tel-Aviv

Batya Mor
Technology Scouting Consultant,
Deloitte Israel

Tali Haymann
Senior Consultant,
Deloitte Israel

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