Founded in 1909 on sand dunes outside the ancient port of the city of Jaffa, Tel Aviv-Yafo is the business, financial and commercial hub of Israel's economy and the heart of its booming high-tech industry. Tel Aviv-Yafo has a unique economy thanks to a large concentration of start-up companies in fields such as the media arts, making it one of the world's leading “start-up cities”. Home to most of Israel’s artistic institutions, Tel Aviv is the country’s cultural centre.
A number of factors have contributed to turning Tel Aviv into a centre of creativity, among them the city’s open attitude as well as its physical layout, enjoyable surroundings and civic support mechanisms and policies. The city’s technology ecosystem generates many technology-focused events, with hundreds of “meetups”, conferences, “hackathons”, competitions and other media arts gatherings every year. These events provide platforms for exchanging ideas, networking and collaboration. In turn, the “start-up ecosystem” attracts ever more talent and creative energy, pulling in investors, companies and capital from Israel and abroad. Young, creative entrepreneurs, particularly from the field of digital innovation, students and artists are drawn to the city for the commercial, educational and cultural opportunities it offers as well as for the opportunity to be surrounded by fellow members of the creative sector.
Currently, the city is pursuing a strategy to position itself as a global centre of technology and innovation. The initiative involves collaborations between academic, research and development centres, leading technology companies, the young creative sector, cultural centres and artists along with the local and national governments.
As a Creative City of Media Arts, Tel Aviv envisages:
- learning from other cities’ experiences in channelling the resources generated by the technology and creative sectors to ensure that all segments of society benefit from the creation of a better, fairer and more sustainable future;
- sharing the city’s ideas and experiences in fostering entrepreneurship and creativity with other cities working to develop their own creative ecosystems; and
- offering the UCCN direct access to the city’s advances in technology with a view to applying them to civic, social and artistic objectives.