Most Americans think of Israel as the cradle of civilization, a country stuck in the ancient past.

But what few of us realize is that, in addition to the historical landmarks, Israel also has the largest number of per-capita government and private sector investments in Research and Development and number of engineers in the world. Technology is one of Israel’s most developed sectors, hosting IBM, Microsoft, Intel and Motorola’s largest R&D facilities outside the United States.

Now, 75 of Israel’s leading creatives and innovators are traveling over 7,000 miles to join the throngs of attendees at this year’s SXSW during the music, film and interactive portions in a program they call “i: Made in Israel.” With a strong, identifiable presence at the conference, Americans can get a taste of the exciting developments happening in the technology and performing arts sectors of Tel Aviv.

Meetings, deals and demos will take place March 12 – 15 at the “Beachside Cafe” inside the SXSW Tradeshow. This “idea bar” will feature tables with full coffee service and an opportunity to meet with the 30 Israeli startups in attendance at the festival as well as listen to live music from the seven Israeli bands in attendance at SXSW.

The bands — which range from the metal-rock sounds ofI.U.D.M. to the Latin electronica of DJ Erez Ben Ishay to the singer/songwriter sound of Yael Kraus — will have additional unofficial showcases throughout the city during the festival, but will always be on the schedule at the “i: Made in Israel” events.

On Friday, March 16, “i: Made in Israel” will throw an official SXSW “Tel Aviv Beach Party” at Brush Park, across the street from the Convention Center. This is your chance to see full sets from the bands who will play throughout the day, and folks can relax under cabanas while stretching out on beach loungers. Beach-themed drinks and Israeli snacks and games will create the feel of bringing the Israeli culture to Austin.

Six Israeli companies will also partake in the Austin International Technology Summit at the Palm Door on Mar 10. Austin tech companies will meet with delegates from 12 different countries to discuss the use of technology in economic development. Besides Israel, representatives from France, Singapore, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, New Zealand, Spain, Brazil, Japan and Canada.