The Israeli Defense Ministry is set to collaborate with the privately-held organization Israel’s Homeland Security (iHLS), which closely covers matters of homeland security in Israel and across the world and runs conferences and security accelerators, to launch a new innovation center to promote the development of local security-focused startups and technologies. The announcement was made on Monday by iHLS.
The innovation center, dubbed INNOFENSE, is “an innovation program for technological projects in the civilian and security sector,” iHLS said in a post its website. The program will be designed to “strengthen the links” between civilian and defense markets in order to improve and advance them, through the collaborative development of technologies.
Get our weekly newsletter directly in your inbox!Sign up
The goal of the program is also for local startups to develop civilian tech that can be accessible to the Defense Ministry and the IDF for security purposes.
The program, in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure (MAFAT,) is being led by the Directorate of Defense Research and Development and the MOD Chief Economist and the Ministry of Defense Chief Economist Ze’ev Zilber.
It will be operated through the acceleration and mentorship programs offered by Israeli-founded global innovation platform SOSA and iHLS.
During the first stage of the program, several projects will be recruited for a six-month period. Each project will receive a NIS 200,000 ($57,552) grant in addition to support from the innovation center. A source told Israeli financial daily Globes that 10 projects will be chosen for a pilot trial, with five of those ventures operating in the offices of the iHLS accelerator in Tel Aviv’s Kiryat Atidim high-tech park and the other five in the offices of SOSA in south Tel Aviv.
INNOFENSE “will be the professional and technological home for every dual-use idea or innovation in the competitive civilian market,” said Brig.-Gen. (res.) Dr. Daniel Gold, the head of the Research and Development Directorate. “A professional supervision team, alongside a generous financial grant, will assist any startup venture that chooses to break down barriers as far and wide as possible. The fruits of the venture will benefit the various security bodies, alongside civilian economic and business success.”
Meital Keren Ben-Dov, founder and partner at iHLS said, “Israeli defense industries have been the ancestors of the Israeli innovation nation, growing the most advanced systems in the world. They, too, understand that this is not enough and that one should be updated and acknowledge that innovation grows also externally to the traditional frameworks.”
“We have no doubt that the Ministry of Defense’s program, coupled with the business capabilities, knowledge, and experience in the security innovation ecosystem, will bring about the creation of a promising and unique innovation center which will yield far-reaching achievements to Israeli innovation,” she adds.