SEC2IL: Israel – the Mediterranean’s own Silicon Valley

Published on Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Israel is playing an increasingly strategic role in innovation, a fact confirmed by the Mind The Bridge report presented at the Enel Innovation Hub in Tel Aviv in May.

Our Group partnered the first edition of “Startup Europe Comes to Israel” (SECS2IL), organised by the Startup Europe Partnership: three days of meetings and workshops modelled around the successful (SEC2SV) (Startup Europe comes to Silicon Valley) format which brings together corporations, investors, entrepreneurs and policy-makers to discuss, debate and forge long-term partnerships.

The central event was European Innovation Day, hosted by our Innovation Hub, at which the Mind The Bridge Startup Europe Comes to Israel report was presented. Its findings highlighted the fact that Israel is quickly developing into the Silicon Valley, or rather “Silicon Wadi” of the Mediterranean. In fact, 32 corporations from nine European states currently have 41 tech research outposts in the Middle Eastern nation, half of which have opened since 2013. Of this group, seven have multiple presences that are a combination of R&D (Research and Development) and CVC (Corporate Venture Capital) or R&D and Lab outposts. That said, the only Italian representative so far is the Enel Innovation Hub in Tel Aviv. Its General Manager Eran Levy took part in the three-day event together with the CEO Enel Innovation Hubs Fabio Tentori.

“Large corporations are increasing their efforts to find innovation and disruptive technologies in the world’s most relevant technology hotspots,” commented Alberto Onetti, Chairman of Mind the Bridge and SEP Coordinator, “and in this search they are branching out to innovation ecosystems to engage with the technology and talent there.”

In addition to Silicon Valley, acknowledged in a previous report in September 2017 as the “innovation ecosystem par excellence,” Europe is now also seriously looking into Israel as an innovation powerhouse. The most active sectors are Engineering & Electronics, IT & Software, as well as Telecommunications and Biotech. According to the EU’s Ambassador to Israel, Emanuele Giaufret, this successful partnership has gradually built up over the last 20 years through joint investment in the European research and innovation programme.

Mind the Bridge also sent out a call with a deadline of 1 July to help unearth promising new startups. The initiative targets growing companies that wish to expand their business to the US by taking advantage of the support offered by the 2018 SEC2SV platform.

The key appointment for European startups that want to make the successful transition to the US market is, of course, the SEC2SV due to take place in Silicon Valley next September.

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