Intel, which is celebrating its 50th year, and the Israel Consulate General to South India, which is celebrating the 70th year of Israel’s independence, have announced a collaboration to drive innovation and technology development by connecting startups and enterprises from both the countries.
While Israeli startups and enterprises are expected to launch their technology solutions in the Indian market, as part of the collaboration, Intel India will extend its Maker Lab facilities to some Israeli startups. Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB)’s Israel Centre will also play an active role in the partnership by conducting training for Israeli and Indian startups.
Speaking to Inc42, Nivruti Rai, country head, Intel India, said, “We are looking to enable the cloud and networking infrastructure in India on par with the global standards. As per the MoU, Israeli startups will be chosen for the Maker Lab incubation on the basis of whether or not they solve India-specific issues. Based on AI, 5G connectivity, and assisted-driving, the startups must solve the issues in the verticals of healthcare, agriculture, and road safety.”
“Intel India will shortlist 50-100 Israeli startups in the course of next three years,” she added.
Highlighting that after the US, Intel has the 2nd largest R&D centre in India, Nivruti explained, “We have been collaborating with the industry consortium, governments, startups, and academics. The mantra is simple — India grows, everyone grows.”
“By 2030, India aims to be a part of Big Three league — China, India, and the US. However, something is not right. Over 90% of our startups are failing. With this collaboration, what we will do is to help them get leveraged from the Israeli startups’ business models and their product development lifecycle. How do they identify and solve the issues? What’s their approach?” she said.
Explaining that India is a complex country and we need a plethora of solutions in short time, she said, “The collaboration will help us maximise the utilisation of our strength and talent with efficacy.”
Intel India will extend its Intel India Maker Lab facilities to Israeli startups to support the development of products and solutions. In addition, it will provide mentorship and connect Israeli startups to India’s market requirements and give them opportunities to test and deploy their solutions here.
In turn, the Israeli technology ecosystem, which has the strong business acumen, specifically with regard to new usage models and future technologies, will make its knowledge and technical capabilities available to the Indian startup ecosystem. This will be accomplished through training and workshops.
The collaboration also entails the involvement of academia through the Israel Centre at IIMB, which will provide its students, opportunities to engage with both the Indian and Israeli technology ecosystems. IIMB will also help conduct seminars and workshops for entrepreneurs from both countries.
IIMB professor Dr Abhay K Ojha told Inc42 that after its Japan Centre, the Israel Centre is the second country-focussed international centre launched by IIMB.
Reiterating how Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel — the first-ever visit by an Indian PM — boosted the bilateral relationship between the two countries, Dana Kursh, consulate general of Israel to South India, said, “This year marks Israel’s 70 years of ‘heritage of innovation’ and India has been a key partner on this exciting journey. The Consulate of Israel to South India’s mission is to strengthen Indo-Israeli bilateral and economic ties. Choosing to sign this MoU with Intel India as a highlight around Israel’s 70th independence day will bring us closer to achieving our mission.”
Intel has been operating in Israel since 1974, and has invested some $17 billion to date. The US semiconductor giant is also planning an additional $5 billion investment through 2020, to expand a chip manufacturing plant in Kiryat Gat. The firm employs some 11,000 workers in its manufacturing plant in Kiryat Gat and in its R&D centers in Jerusalem, Petah Tikva and Haifa. In addition, Intel employs some 1,000 workers at Mobileye, the Jerusalem-based auto technology firm that it acquired last year for a whopping $15.3 billion.
“We are honoured to be part of the collaboration that so intrinsically combines the values and strengths of India, Israel, and Intel to advance innovation through these two vibrant technological ecosystems,” she added.
In July 2017, during Modi’s visit to Israel, among other agreements, the two countries had launched a bilateral innovation challenge called the India-Israel Innovation Bridge for startups in both the countries.
The Bridge provides a tech platform to facilitate bilateral cooperation between Indian and Israeli startups, tech hubs, corporations, and other key innovation ecosystem players.
With the Intel India-Israel partnership, the technology transfer between the two startup ecosystems is expected to accelerate further.