Economics of National Security Program (ENS)

The ENS Program was launched at the end of 2003 as an intermural research program aimed to initiate, encourage and support academic research on the mutual links between economic conditions and national security. Its main goals are to provide in-depth analysis of the economic costs and consequences of the Israeli security situation, the contributions of security and defense expenditures to economic progress, and to estimate the resources allocated to Israel's defense. There are some 40 active participants in the program, with an additional 30 participating on an ad-hoc basis. Participants are drawn from economics and other departments in Israeli universities, research departments of national and government agencies, and current or former senior staff members of the government, defense sector and industry.

The ENS Program has held monthly meetings over the past three years in which ENS members presented and discussed their research, and heard lectures by external speakers, including senior figures in the Israeli defense sector and industries, and economic policy makers. The program circulated Calls for Proposals among academic researchers and graduate students to foster research on defense economics in Israel, and after a careful selection process funded some 40 of the submitted proposals over the past three years.

During the past two academic years the program held some 10 researchers meetings, attended by about 30 participants on average. External speakers at these ENS meetings included: Miko Gilat, CEO and owner of Soltam Industries on coping with ever-changing global defense markets; Prof. Avi Ben-Bassat on the committee he chaired for restructuring the military service in Israel; Colonel (Res.) Shmuel Gordon on his methodology for estimating military power; Uri Reychav, former Chief Systems Engineer at Rafael, on the process of converting Rafael to a corporation; Dan Inbar and Hemi Pecker on National Homeland Security policy; Karnit Flug, Head of the Research Department at the Bank of Israel, on the Brodet Committee Report for examining defense budgets in Israel; and Brigadier General (Res.) Dr. Shaul Chorev, former Assistant to the Minister of Defense on Technology Transfer from Defense R&D.

On December 2006 a conference marking three years of the ENS Program was held in Herzliya, with some 100 participants. Selected research projects by ENS members were presented, in addition to keynote presentations by Dan Meridor, chair of the Committee for Designing the Security Doctrine of Israel; Prof. Zvi Eckstein, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Israel; and Major General (Res.) Uzi Dayan. A special panel of experts with Dr. Nadine Baudot-Trajtenberg (Bank Hapoalim), Yaacov Lifshitz (former General Director of the Ministry of Finance and former Chairman of the Board of TAAS), and Uri Reychav (former Chief Systems Engineer at Rafael), concluded the conference.


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