Renault-Nissan establishes technology innovation lab in Israel

Several leading companies competed for the prerogative of establishing a technology innovation lab in Israel, among them Renault-Nissan, which was among the top five chosen. 

The Israel Innovation Authority’s (IIA) “Technological Innovation Labs” Program has reached a new milestone this week as it selected the five franchise holders to operate the labs for a three-year pilot period.

The labs, funded by the IIA, will provide technological infrastructure and knowhow to entrepreneurs, including Renault-Nissan Alliance, to establish their proof of concept.

Throughout this period, the Authority will assist in funding the establishment of the labs’ technological infrastructure for the benefit of the entrepreneurs and their start-ups, with a budget of up to NIS 4 million.

The Authority will also cover ongoing operational costs of up to a half million shekels per year. The start-ups accepted to the labs will receive up to 85 percent of funding or NIS 1 million to establish their proof of concept.

The target audience for the program is entrepreneurs and startups, with innovative ideas in the relevant verticals, who are interested in getting a proof of concept and developing their idea into a product.

The program also focuses on attracting leading multinational corporations focused on adopting open innovation and in supporting startups through the labs by making unique technological infrastructure accessible, especially technological infrastructure, which is not currently available in Israel.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance will operate a technological lab established in the entrepreneurial complex in Tel Aviv’s Kiryat Atidim business center, focusing on smart urban mobility.

The other four companies are Merck-Flex, which researches innovation for electronic devices; Enel-Shikun & Binui Holdings Ltd. focusing on smart infrastructure of construction, transportation and energy; Ham-Let (Israel-Canada) Ltd., focusing on industrial data, and Frutarom, aimed at developing unique, functional raw materials for the food and beverage industries.

Aharon Aharon, CEO of the IIA, said the project “puts great emphasis on introducing innovation to the manufacturing industry. We received 16 outstanding proposals, indicating a real need that the program addresses.”

He further noted that the lab program will “serve as a platform for connecting the manufacturing industry with the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation for which Israel has become renowned. It will help give Israeli companies a competitive edge globally.”

Anya Eldan, IIA Vice President and head of the Start-Up Division, said that “the lab program enables the development of innovation ecosystems in a variety of fields in advanced manufacturing by leveraging the technological infrastructure and knowhow of large companies – in Israel and around the world – for the benefit of start-ups. The program joins our successful Technological Incubator Program at the Start-Up Division of the Israel Innovation Authority.”

Renault-Nissan, the largest carmaker in the world, is entering the race to build autonomous cars with a plan to introduce 10 models capable of temporarily relieving humans of their driving duties on highways and city streets.

The German automaker Porsche announced Thursday it will invest tens of millions of euros in Israeli automotive start-ups, following a trend by US automakers such as Ford and high-tech firms like Intel heavily investing in Israel’s emerging self-driving car market.

Israel is a top market for IT experts and engineers. Per capita there are more start-ups there than in any other country in the world,” said Lutz Meschke, deputy chairman and CEO of Porsche.

By: World Israel News Staff