After the success of previous EIF Study Visits for MEPs to the ICT start-up, scale-up and innovation ecosystems of Silicon Valley, London, Berlin and Milan, and upon initiative of MEPs Pilar del Castillo (EIF Chair), Lambert van Nistelrooij (EIF Programming Committee co-chair) and Michal Boni, between 28th and 31st of October 2018 a EIF MEP delegation visited Israel.
This programme aimed at offering an extraordinary hands-on experience of today’s state-of-the-art technologies, of top-level research & development sites with a reflection on Europe’s potential, of its collaboration with Israel, and on the role of policy-makers. The MEPs who participated in the delegation were: Pilar del Castillo (EIF Chair), Lambert van Nistelrooij (EIF Programming Committee co-chair), Angelika Niebler (EIF Steering Committee member) and Franc Bogovic (EIF Member).
The delegation was welcomed by the EU Ambassador to Israel, Emanuele Giaufret, who offered a private briefing on the EU-Israel political status quo. The meeting was followed by a welcome reception during which the world-famous Israeli startup ecosystem was presented:
The first part of Day 1 included meetings with the Israeli Hi-tech Association and the Manufacturers Association, followed by a discussion on "Open Innovability" at the Enel Innovation Hub. Then, the MEPs exchanged views on "innovation" with the Israel Innovation Authority and the Israel-Europe R&D Directorate and on "cybersecurity" with Symantec. The final point on the agenda of the day was a meeting with WiX, startup community leaders and entrepreneurs:
The day started with a "fintech" breakfast debate with Mastercard, Start-up Nation Central and three innovative start-ups (Jifiti, Rewire, Endor) and was followed by a meeting at the The Floor, a "Fintech Innovation Center". Our deep-dive into innovation ecosystems continued with a visit at the Ben-Gurion University campus, where we had the opportunity to meet representatives of the DT Innovation Labs, BGN Technologies, Dell EMC Cyber Solutions Group and the national CERT (Computer Emergency Reponse Team):
Watch below our MEPs' main takeaways from the Study Visit to Israel: