Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and representatives from the UK digital sector will officially launch the British Embassy High-Tech Hub in Israel, in a 300 people event planned for Thursday this week and followed by an official visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The dedicated High-Tech Hub team will promote UK economic growth by creating lasting partnerships between the UK and Israel in high-tech.
Ultimately, the UK-Israel High-Tech Hub will include six full time experts in the fields of digital, cleantech, biotech and the Arab Israeli high-tech community. On the Israeli side, the Hub will be led by Carmel Gerber, a former investment banker and entrepreneur who relocated from the US to Israel. The British co-chair of the UK-Israel High Tech Council will be David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science and its political appointment on the Israeli side is yet to be announced.
Activities of the UK-Israel High Tech Hub will include:
- Introducing Israeli technology to UK companies
- Identifying potential Israeli partners for UK companies and vice versa
- Help Israeli companies secure UK investments and gain access to UK’s capital markets
The next step in this partnership will involve a cross-pollination of both markets by bringing in key figures, startups and investors in the high tech industries of both countries. This will be a supplement to the great work already done by the local chamber of commerce of Israel in the UK.
“Britain is a natural partner for Israel in high tech. Israel is a phenomenal source of innovation with more start-ups per capita than anywhere else in the world. Given Israel’s small size, all Israeli companies need foreign partners – for capital, business and product development, and access to global markets. We are close; and we offer access to markets across the world. We have one of the biggest capital markets in the world; world-class professional services; globally significant customers; four out of the world’s top ten universities; and complementary strengths in high-tech. It is obvious to me that we can work together to achieve great things. Britain can help Israeli innovation go global.”
This initiative comes with the back wind of Britain’s effort to create a technology cluster in “Silicon Roundabout”, an effort to follow the success of the valley in East London. Downing 10 is working on multiple schemes to provide startups with access to investment and infrastructure in order to incentivize companies to to start their activity in the UK, rather than fleeing to the valley.