Dr Orna Berry is Israel’s former chief scientist and an entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience in the science, technology and venture capital industries. She is known for her efforts to promote excellence, entrepreneurship and innovation in Israeli society.
Dr Berry’s early career had her working at a number of established tech companies and data communication start-ups. During this time she held high-level positions with IBM and Israeli computing network company Fibronics. In the late 1990s, Dr Berry was asked to take up the role of Chief Scientist of Israel, a position she held for three years until 2000. As the first woman to hold the Chief Scientist’s position in Israel, Dr Berry was a major advocate for research and development in the country. She managed an annual budget of $450m and provided grants to established corporations, start-up companies and funds. One of these funds was the Israeli Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation. This foundation is a matchmaking service between Israeli and American companies in the field of research and development. It helps to establish links between start-ups and other companies operating in the United States and Israel.
In the last 10 years, Dr Berry has become a Venture Partner at Gemini Israel Funds, a firm worth more than $700m. She also is the elected chairman of the Israel-Australia, New Zealand and Oceania Chamber of Commerce, which promotes bi-lateral trade between the two regions.