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Episode 4 – GYLP: Incubators and R&D Parks in the Desert: the model of Beersheba

Gav-Yam Negev is an advanced technology park based in Beersheba, Israel.  This park aims at becoming the country’s leading R&D center with high-tech complexes and offices of research, and office space.

Located next to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, incubators are able to partner and collaborate productively with the students. This partnership perfectly illustrates the synergy between academia, R&D, technology, and industry, facilitating a stimulating work of environment.

These actors are driven by the following goals:

  • Helping Israel become an R&D center leader.
  • Employment for tenants, the University’s technology students and veterans of the adjacent IDF’s Technology Campus.
  • Encouraging innovative technologies and implementing an advanced working environment of the highest quality.

The development of the Negev, with the city of Beersheba at its center, is a top priority for the Israeli government. Thus, the ministry established the Region Development Center (RDC) which focus its activity on the following areas:

  • Local economic planning, concentrating and creating databases to benefit investors and developers.
  • Creating programs for economic and employment development.
  • Removing hindrances and coordinating expedited work processes for developers and investors.
  • Coordinating development activities with the Ministry of Finance, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry for the Development of the Negev and Galilee, and other development agencies.
  • Providing marketing and investor support.

Recently at Beersheba’s incubator, SKEMA’s students had the chance to meet several influencers in the field of innovation.

Incubit Technology Ventures

According to Incubit Ventures, it is the first high-tech industry-backed incubator. Their goal is to invest in innovative startups with unique technologies in their early stage and to promote them to secure further growth and future investments. They are providing value to their portfolio companies thanks to their diverse businesses (technological experts, the capability to build a viable and risk-managed R&D plan, providing a wide network and a strong ecosystem, etc.)

BGN Technologies

According to BGN Technologies, they support the high-tech ecosystem within the Negev region through its ability to link the academic research and industrial advancement. BGN Technologies bring innovation in several fields (high-tech, biotechnology, materials, agriculture and environment) from the lab to the market, thanks to its track-record of over 100 startup companies, as well as partnerships in technology incubators and accelerators.

Deutsche Telekom Telecommunications Services Deutsche Telekom AG (DT)

According to Startup National, the company is a global leader in communication services and information technology. It operates in Israel in various areas, including partnering, venture investment, early-stage acceleration and financing, and research and development. Since 2004, DT has conducted the company’s research activities in the field of cyber security in the Telekom Innovation Laboratories (T-Labs) at Ben-Gurion University. In this way, Telekom Innovation Laboratories pools the know-how of Deutsche Telekom AG with the expertise of some of the world’s top research scientists at BGU.

XTRMX

It brings an entirely new interpretation into the market: a platform for real-time, simultaneous, many-to-many Data & media manipulation. Its co-founder Harel Ram has developed a way to manage the complexity of managing large-volume digital-content. In addition to be super-innovative, their solution is user-friendly because it enables users to concurrently manipulate their digital content, wherever they are, wherever the content is hosted.

The raison d’être of the Hub in Beersheba: The challenges faced by Israel

In 2012, American experts Michael Eisenstadt and David Pollock were talking about 1,000 cyber-attacks every minutes against Israel. As a result, it was an emergency to face this problem and to develop solutions. Firstly, the State has concentrated its forces on the military infrastructures, and, later, on the civil information systems.

The project of the Cyber-Park bring built in Beersheba, just next to Ben-Gurion University, which is one of the most famous universities in the field of cyber security, is not a hazard. According to Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, the goal of this project is to develop an ecosystem in which all the actors of the cyber can meet and exchange information easily and quickly. The creation of the Cyber-Park aims at gathering on the same geographic place all the stakeholders related to the cybersecurity in order to be as efficient and innovative as possible.

As a result, not only the cybersecurity industry in Israel is stimulated by the project of the Cyber-Park, but it also permits to the overall economic development of the region. Indeed, people from the young generation are invited to settle down in the South through the creation of malls and real estate projects. Originally, Beersheba was known to be less dynamic and attractive than the centre of the country.

As a result, the development of the South’s region permits to counter-attack real estate speculation in the center of the country.

Real estate prices increased by 72% the past seven years. Indeed, Israel has an urbanization rate of 92%, thus, development is happening really fast. There is also a high employment rate (average of 61% for 2017). Thus, the number of families is growing, and their needs are following the same trend (needs of school, houses, hobbies, etc.).

This context is favorable to a financial speculation in Tel Aviv. The government is trying to implement some action through financial aids, in order to keep families as workforce for companies and boost the dynamism of Tel Aviv.

The government planned to give promotion around 18,000 dollars for singles officers and 50,000 dollars for families, who accept to live at least 5 years in Beersheba or close to the city.

The government is also trying to boost the private sector. Since the beginning of 2017, the government granted funds during 3 years, equal to 20% of employees earnings, hired in companies established in Beersheba within cybersecurity sector.

Moreover, it’s important to highlight that the Israeli government implemented a “tax break” by the end of July 2014, to encourage companies to establish their business in Beersheba, and also measures to stimulate Israeli families to live in there.

Furthermore, regarding the development of the Negev, with the city of Beersheba at its center, is a top priority for the Israeli government. Thus, the ministry established the Region Development Center (RDC) which focus its activity on the following areas:

  • Local economic planning, concentrating and creating databases to benefit investors and developers.
  • Creating programs for economic and employment development.
  • Removing hindrances and coordinating expedited work processes for developers and investors.
  • Coordinating development activities with the Ministry of Finance, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry for the Development of the Negev and Galilee, and other development agencies.
  • Providing marketing and investor support.

The growing needs of the Israeli population are the result of a growing population.

As of today, the Israeli population is about 8,600,000. According to a study provided by the Israeli government, the population is supposed to be duplicated by 4 until 2050. it is mainly due to the actual fertility rate (3,1) is the highest among the OCDE countries, and the natality rate is about 21,2%.

Thus, the Israeli demographic situation seems to follow a rising trend. As we already said it, when population growth, their needs growth as well. All this existing dynamism has to pursue and raise its evolution in order to respond to their needs: infrastructure for schools, hospital, restaurant and bars etc.

In addition to be a leader in cyber-security, the mid-term objective through the creation of this hub in Be’er Sheva is to continue to incubate start-ups which are among the bests in the world, and to continue the development of the region in order to create employment and attract a young and active population.

The economic side isn’t the only item that motivate Israel for being a worldwide leader in the cyber security area. The diplomatic scope is also taken in account. According to Benjamin Netanyahu, economic collaboration allows creation of network and links between states by developing common interests. Thus, cooperation is considered as peace builders and gratitude. By contributing to the worldwide cyberspace security, and by developing partnerships all around the whole country (if available), this way the Israeli government faces isolation on the international scene.

Written by Jade Vachard and Jade André

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SKEMA Ventures is a business unit created by SKEMA Business School dedicated to entrepreneurship and innovation. Through a unique value chain, that encompasses teaching, coaching, incubation, and acceleration, SKEMA Ventures allows each SKEMA student and alumni to think, design, test and launch an entrepreneurial project in a global context, on six innovative territories on four continents, benefiting from the best of each local ecosystem. With SKEMA Ventures, GloCal entrepreneurship is born!
Watch this video to know more: https://youtu.be/OAYVo9wtWZM

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