A new study by a top European institute has placed ‎Israel third in the ‎number of ‎artificial-intelligence startup companies. The ranking relates to the absolute number of companies in each country and not a relative figure, thereby making Israel’s achievement that much more commendable, considering its relatively small size.

The study proved that the Israeli government had achieved the goal it had set—to position Israel among the world’s top five global leaders in the field, Israel Hayom has learned.

In a review of the global artificial-intelligence ‎landscape, the Asgard Institute for scientific ‎research said Israel’s 362 artificial-intelligence ‎startups comprise 10 percent of all startups in this field, ‎earning the Jewish state a spot in the top three ‎world leaders in this area.

The United States dominates the field with 1,393 ‎AI startups, or 48 percent. China ‎ranked second, with 383 firms, making up 11 percent of all ‎artificial-intelligence research.‎

Britain ranked fourth with 245 startups, and Canada ‎rounded out the top five with 13 AI research firms. ‎

Israel’s national artificial-intelligence research ‎program seeks to promote national security, as well ‎as strengthening the local economy.‎

Israel’s 200-scientist strong program is headed by ‎Professor Eviatar Matania, who founded the National ‎Cyber Bureau in the Prime Minister’s Office, and ‎Professor‎ Isaac Ben-Israel, who chairs the Science ‎and Technology Ministry’s National Council for ‎Research and Development.‎

The study further found that geographically ‎speaking, Tel Aviv is the world’s third-largest hub ‎of artificial intelligence startup companies, as 189 ‎companies are headquartered there. ‎

This placed Tel Aviv ahead of New York, where only ‎‎180 AI firms are headquartered, and after London ‎‎(211) and San Francisco (598).‎

The artificial-intelligence race involves private ‎investors and corporate giants, as well as countries, ‎which together invest hundreds of billions of dollars ‎in such ventures. ‎

Leading global investors include Amazon, Google, Facebook, ‎billionaire Elon Musk and the Chinese government, ‎which recently announced plans to appropriate $150 billion ‎to artificial intelligence ‎research over the next three years with aim of becoming the world leader in ‎this field.‎