2nd September 2016 Science and Innovation Network
How tech diplomacy drives the UK’s driverless industry
In 2011, the UK Government chose Israel as the first country where it launched a new model of commercial diplomacy focused on tech partnerships. Five years on, the UK Israel Tech Hub has made tremendous advances in promoting Britain’s role as a leading destination for innovation. We have enabled over 80 commercial partnerships between the two countries, affecting lives of millions of people and contributing to economic growth.
By introducing cutting-edge technology from Israel, people in the UK today benefit from enhanced utility services, better road safety and new healthcare innovations in hospitals and clinics, to name a few. We have also helped numerous British companies address their innovation challenges by helping them tap into Israeli innovation.
We’ve helped Velcourt, the UK’s largest farming company, evaluate Israeli technologies with potential to increase wheat yield and crop resilience. In fintech and cybersecurity, we’ve enabled The Royal Bank of Scotland to trial 13 Israeli solutions. And in April, we helped Dyson bring transparency about air quality information to its customers, thanks to a partnership we helped broker between Dyson and an Israeli air quality data analytics company called Breezometer.
One field we see tremendous opportunities for partnership is in intelligent mobility. The UK is one of the best places in the world for companies to develop their intelligent mobility businesses, thanks to its thriving automotive industry, research base, insurance sector, venture investment ecosystem, and regulatory regime. The strengths of Israel’s tech industry – particularly in cyber security, computer vision, and big data analytics – play well into the fast-growing intelligent mobility sector, estimated reach £900bn annually by 2025.
In this context, in May we proudly led TeXchange Mobility, a targeted programme tailored to foster business partnerships. Over 100 British companies were introduced to 15 of the most promising Israeli innovators in mobility and driverless technologies. We worked closely with major UK transport players, such as Jaguar Land Rover, Transport for London, Transport Systems Catapult and Institute for Engineering and Technology.
Next week, we will lead 6 Israeli companies to the UK to participate in the brokerage event surrounding the recently announced £30m Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Research & Development competition. Israeli companies are eager to partner with their British counterparts in this field, in recognition that the UK is positioning itself as a global leader in rolling out autonomous vehicles. While non-UK companies are not eligible for funding, they are welcome to contribute their expertise as part of a UK-led consortia.
By encouraging the best global talent and innovation to come to the UK and demonstrate their solutions, the UK is sending a message loud and clear that we are open for business.
The UK Israel tech relationship has never been stronger, and we believe that bringing together British and Israeli expertise in intelligent mobility can be a world-beating combination, transforming the way people and goods are transported. The UK Israel Tech Hub’s strong presence in Israel demonstrates that Britain is outward looking, embracing technology and open for business.