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Lt. Col. (Res) David Alkaher, Ph.D

CTO and Innovation Expert





Innovation Alchemist, CTO, Mentor,
Systems Engineer, Academic Researcher, Maker, Strategist,  DeepTech Expert, Ph.D.·.

About Me

My name is David Alkaher, a retired Lt. Col. from the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). 

Got my Ph.D. from Tel-aviv university in the field of mechanical engineering and robotics (specializing in Optimal Control, Differential Games, Optimization and AI). I have an M.Sc in the field of Aeronautics and Space (specializing in Missile Guidance and Control), and a B.Sc in the field of electrical engineering (specializing in computer networks and communications), both M.Sc and B.Sc are from the Technion.

I have founded the Defense College for Innovation, Intrapreneurship & Transformation and the Innovation and Corporate Defense Research Institute. I have also founded the 1st innovation center and incubation program within the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), and led innovation development within the Israeli Air Force's (IAF) Materiel Directorate as a CTO. Highly experienced with managing interdisciplinary teams, international projects and ventures, developing R&D processes, and implementing mechanisms for accelerating rapid force design within organizations.

The values ​​that guide me are challenge-oriented actions, creating partnerships based on mutual respect, honesty, integrity, friendships and camaraderie, dipped in humor and joie de vivre.

My Strengths: Multidisciplinary, strategic development of units and organizations; managing strategic-plans and groundbreaking System of Systems (SoS) and cutting-edge technology projects; leading entrepreneurial development teams; Managing lean-startup and rapid force design projects; demonstrating high level systems-engineering capabilities; training and mentoring entrepreneurial teams; leading academic and field studies in the areas of engineering, technology and corporate & defense innovation; developing leadership and excellence programs.

Management & Technology Experience - Through my 20 years of professional experience, I’ve been inspired to change and uplevel standards for the well-being of organizations and communities. I’ve led over 50 operationally and technologically complex initiatives from their early phases to their project-delivery phase, managing budgets, ranging from $500,000 to $100 million. During my time in the IMOD DDR&D I have worked with various local and global industries and partners, such as Lockheed Martin, IBM, and Microsoft. During my time as the CTO of the IAF's electronic, IT and technology directorate (Unit 108), I led over 1300 cross-organization people and more than 200 inter-organization intrapreneurs, including coordinating between internal & external teams, and local & international stakeholders (governments, think-tanks, and industry innovation leaders). There, I led organizational strategic roadmaps and partnerships while executing the delivery of those technological products, services, and infrastructures. 

Policy & Strategy - For the past 10 years, I've led the innovation transformation efforts for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) from theory, policy, strategy, research, education, to practice. My deep policy insights stem from my work as an evidence-based academic and practitioner in the fields of science, engineering, and governance. In 2021 I have joined the CMI division, a policy oriented organization within the IDF's chief of staffs, there I led and composed the IDF's official Innovation Strategy; In partnership with the Israeli Innovation Authority and the ISQ, I incorporated within the IDF international standards and policies (such as ISO 56002:2019, ISO 9001:2015, OECD’s Oslo Manual for Innovation); According to which, the innovation policy of any organization must align with its directive (vision, mission, and goals), and be audited to ensure its relevance contribution and effectiveness of its outcomes.

Practical Innovation - My activities in the practical field of innovation included founding and establishing inter-organizational platforms and mechanism. These included: led and managed, alongside Dr. Yossi Vardi, 20 national and international innovation & technology oriented conferences; Co-founded the 1st IMIC, a multi-lateral international innovation conference; founded the 1st innovation center and incubation program within the IDF in 2018 (accelerating in-house initiatives for risk-reduced, ready-to-launch projects, mentoring, and leading 15 successful deep-tech startup teams in less than 3 years, including the rapid development of Ambovent 1690.108, open-source ventilation solution); founded an innovation college in 2021 (300 graduates in its first year); founded a corporate-defense innovation think-tank in 2022; published the book ‘Alchemy - Innovation for Transformation’.

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Work Experience

April 2021 - April 2023

July 2017 - April 2021

August 2014 - July 2017

August 2013 - August 2014

August 2011 - August 2014

July 2007 - August 2011 

April 2003 - July 2007

Commander of the Defense College for Innovation, Intrapreneurship & Transformationת Combat Methods & Innovation Division

Founder of the College, as well as the Innovation and Corporate Defense Research Institute, Commander of the General-Staff Excellence and Leadership Program, which includes an MBA with specialization in innovation management and Intrapreneurship; also co-founded the 1st International Military Innovation Conference (IMIC); and led the IDF innovation strategy.

 Head of CTO & Innovation Area, Electronic and IT Unit 108, IAF

Founder of the 1st innovation center and incubation program within the IDF; led intrapreneurial deep-tech initiatives in the fields of: drones & robotics, simulators, IOT, electronic warfare, artificial int. and BI, monitoring and impact analysis systems, decision support systems, debriefing systems, Image processing algorithms; led the IAF strategy for rapid force design.

Head of Integrated Training-systems & Simulation Technologies Section, System Engineering Department, IAF

Led the development and maintenance of seven different simulators and training systems; Led the IAF strategy and doctrine for cloud-based integrated and interoperable training systems.

One year, full time paid academic sabatical, where i was sent by the IAF as part of my doctoral studies to research the scientific aspects of artificial intelligence and robotics for practical aviation applications.

During that time i conducted 7 reserach studies, three of which were later published in the 'Journal of Guidance Control and Dynamics' (2014, 2016, 2018). The results of the afformentioned researched studies were later published in a book: 'Decision Support System for Medium Range Air Combats', Doctorial Thesis Proceedings, 321 pages, 2017, Tel Aviv University.

Commander of the Operational NCW Center, Central Control Unit, IAF

Founder of the 1st IDF Network-centric warfare techno-operational center, focusing on functionality continuity efforts and on real-time digital resources management. Led the IAF strategy and doctrine for network-centric warfare and operative network command.

Head of Interoperability & IT Technologies Section, System Engineering Department, IAF

Member of the founding core of the C4I branch, Led R&D projects in partnership with the IMOD DDR&D , managed the development of IT-based interoperability C2 systems and infrastructures; led the IAF doctrine for NCW monitoring, control and impact analysis.

Head of Missiles & Munitions Section, IMOD DDR&D

Long-term guidance of international industries and the IAF; leading $100 million headquarter program; leading deep-tech R&D projects, led multi-year demonstration programs; official IMOD liaison to the JSF F-35 (Lockheed Martin) Israeli weapon system integration partnership.

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