French automotive tech firm Faurecia launched a new innovation office focused on cybersecurity in Tel Aviv on Thursday.
Faurecia is considered a top automotive parts supplier, especially in interior seatings and systems and emission control tech. Its clients include big names in the auto industry such as Volkswagen Group, Renault-Nissan, Ford, BMW, Daimler, Toyota, Hyundai-Kia, and Jaguar Land Rover.
Faurecia has some 300 sites including 35 R&D centers across the world, and employs over 120,000 people in 37 countries.
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The company said Tel Aviv was the “best-in-class in the cybersecurity field” and that the inauguration of the new center was part of its “ongoing strategy to build up innovation ecosystems.” Faurecia’s other tech outposts are located in Silicon Valley, Toronto, and Shenzen.
Faurecia said it will develop its cybersecurity expertise “through collaboration with local startups and major innovation clusters giving access to emerging trends and new technologies,” which will also enable the company to “propose complete end-to-end solutions integrated into the vehicle, securing the software, data and cloud connectivity.”
“The Israeli ecosystem is leading innovation and the development of solutions in cybersecurity,” said Faurecia CEO Patrick Koller in a statement. “By working with a broad ecosystem, we are better placed to offer leading-edge technology for the security of our products and systems.”
Faurecia said that currently, some 60 dedicated cybersecurity experts are “working to prevent, detect and control cybersecurity issues” and the newly established Tel Aviv outfit “will contribute to reinforce the overall strategy.”
This summer, Faurecia was among a group of investors to put up $21 million in funding in Guardknox, an Israeli connected car cybersecurity startup.
Israel is a widely recognized cybersecurity powerhouse, with over 450 active cybersecurity companies and startups as of 2018. It is also home to the second-largest number of cybersecurity deals globally in recent years, second only to the US, according to a 2018 report compiled by New York data firm CB Insights. Last year, Israeli cybersecurity ventures raised more than $1 billion in equity investment, setting a new record and marking a 47 percent increase from 2017, according to a report on Israel’s cyber sector published earlier this year by Start-Up Nation Central (SNC).