Bill Ford, executive chairman of US automaker Ford Motor Company, officially opened the Ford Research Center in Tel Aviv on Wednesday to tap into Israel’s vast wealth of innovative mobility startups.
The new center, located in southern Tel Aviv, will serve as a research incubator that will “work with Ford’s research and development teams around the world to enhance the capabilities of Ford’s products by identifying technologies and startups in connectivity, sensors, vehicle interior monitoring and cyber protection,” the company said.S
The center will include a vehicle lab that will support programming tests and be available to Ford’s Israeli subsidiary SAIPS to continue its work in the automotive field.
Portions of this article were originally published in NoCamels.comS
“Opening the center is really important for us because young companies, young entrepreneurs don’t know how to access a company like Ford,” Ford told the crowd of industry insiders and startups in the research center located at the Adgar 360 tower. “By opening the center, we hope to alleviate those positions and make it easier for Israeli entrepreneurs not only to find us, but also to get to know us.”
Ford noted that it was the Israeli tech community’s ability to adapt to the rapidly changing automotive industry that really sold him on Israel.
“The ecosystem of startups I’ve seen here is just remarkable,” he added.
“No company can do it alone. No company should try to do it alone. We need partnerships,” he continued.
“We recognize the importance of being in one of the world’s leading innovation communities and ecosystems,” said Ford in a statement prior to the event. “This new center is not only an expansion of our existing Research and Innovation centers but provides an opportunity to join a growing innovation community in Israel.”
The center will work closely with SAIPS, the Israel-based computerized computing and vision imaging company, led by CEO and founder Udi Danino, who will also serve as the technical director of the new center. Ford acquired the company in 2016.
“The new research center in Israel will strengthen Ford’s effort to leverage the automotive expertise and technology accumulated in the company to develop solutions to present and future mobility challenges,” Danino said in a statement marking the launch. “Expanding Ford’s presence in Israel will enable us to identify quality technologies and collaborate with leading companies more quickly.”
The research center joins Ford’s other global research centers in Aachen, Germany, Nanjing, capital of China’s eastern Jiangsu province, and Dearborn, Michigan.