(Formerly the Office of the Chief Scientist and MATIMOP)

UK and Israel Commit to Tech Partnership

The UK and Israel agreed on a plan to strengthen cooperation in numerous tech sectors, at the first UK Israel Tech Council.
The UK and Israel agreed on a plan to strengthen cooperation in numerous tech sectors, including water tech and life sciences, at the first UK Israel Tech Council meeting, held in London on March 15, 2012. The Council brought together top business leaders and officials from both countries to develop an ambitious strategy for creating the UK/Israel tech partnership.

The first annual meeting of the UK-Israel Tech Council was held in the historic Lancaster House in London, co-chaired by UK Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts and Israel’s Chief Scientist Avi Hasson.

The Council agreed on some key sectors for the two countries to focus on – sectors in which the UK and Israeli economies complement each other particularly well. These include digital, water tech, life sciences, creative industries and financial services. The Council also identified possible barriers to cooperation and considered ways of overcoming them, including regular Ministerial visits, sector-focused trade delegations in both directions, and a joint effort by both governments to stimulate collaboration.

The Council is comprised of 35 high-ranking business leaders and senior officials, including British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould; Haim Shani, non-executive chairman of the UK-Israel Technologies Hub (a former director general of the Israeli Finance Minister and former CEO of NICE Systems); Yossi Vardi, Israel’s leading entrepreneur; Israel Makov, Chairman of Given Imaging and Netafim Ltd; David Rowan, Editor of Wired magazine; as well as senior executives from Virgin Media, Google, Alcatel Lucent, Amadeus Capital, NICE Systems, Pitango Venture Capital and other leading corporations and investment funds.

Minister Willetts said after the meeting: “Israel has an impressive record of research and development and this should in turn be an important driver of UK economic growth. Today’s launch of the UK-Israel Tech Council was another key step in forging our partnership and bringing together our leading companies. Our ambition is to encourage Israeli entrepreneurs to go beyond the default option of partnering with the United States and also persuade British businesses to look seriously at what Israel has to offer.”

Israel’s Chief Scientist Avi Hasson said: "Research has shown that international cooperation in technology and innovation is an effective way of reaching economic growth and promoting job creation for both countries involved. I believe that the Israeli and British technological and scientific ecosystems are complementary. A joint effort by both the private and public sectors is required in order to remove existing barriers and make sure that we take advantage of the real partnership and cooperation that can be achieved in these areas, for the benefit of both countries. I hope that the first meeting of the council is just a first step on the way to a successful and long lasting platform for tech cooperation between our countries."

Partner, Index Ventures Saul Klein said: "Israel is a Silicon Valley for the rest of the world. There is an amazing opportunity to build bridges between Israel's technology ecosystem and the capital, customers and talent in the UK. It’s fantastic to see the support Ambassador Gould's ground breaking initiative is getting at the highest levels of both the UK & Israeli governments. It’s good news for everyone."

A Joint Call for Proposals for UK-Israeli projects in the field of water technology will be published in the coming weeks. For more information, click here.

Source: British Embassy in Israel & UK-Israel Technology Hub

Photos: Courtesy of the British Embassy Israel