The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) opened the doors this week to a new office in Tel Aviv that will serve as the European Union organization’s local hub and as a bridge between the two tech ecosystems.
Over 200 people took part in the inauguration event on Monday, including Emanuele Giaufret, the EU’s ambassador to Israel, Nili Shalev, the managing director of the Israel-Europe Research & Innovation Directorate, and Rolf Nagel, a member of the EIT governing board.
The Tel Aviv hub is EIT’s third globally, following Silicon Valley and Beijing, and is led by EIT Health, a community of EU-backed health innovators who are present in the country through their Israeli partner the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology) and involves others in the EIT Community, including EIT Climate-KIC, EIT Food, and EIT Urban Mobility.
The Tel Aviv hub will expand the EIT Community’s presence and activities in the country, especially in the area of business support and entrepreneurial training, by exchanging know-how, collaborations and peer learning to better support both ecosystems.” Programs include “Connect and Experience,” which is focused on training in startup development, and “Disrupt Me,” which brings together EU and Israeli companies in a deep matchmaking process.
“Bringing together Israeli and European innovation is a perfect fit that is long overdue,” said Jan-Philipp Beck, EIT Health CEO, and one of the evening’s speakers. “Israel is an outstanding technological innovation and entrepreneurship powerhouse, and reviving their innovation partnership with Europe provides an excellent opportunity for the European market, with its leading medtech and biotech organizations. Above all, the partnership will ultimately benefit the 500 million Europeans.”
Giaufret, the EU ambassador to Israel said the launch of the hub “is yet another indication that European-Israeli cooperation in innovation is on the rise. Europe and Israel keep moving closer to each other, in innovation and research, to the benefit of our citizens.”
Shalev said the launch of the hub in the “‘Startup Nation’ marks a significant milestone and a great opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the research and innovation communities in Europe and in Israel in a wide range of technological fields.”
The Tel Aviv hub is located at Azrieli’s Sarona Tower and will reportedly run on a yearly budget of €700,000 ($776,000).