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Middle East: Bosch invests in Israel, opens local research office

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First Silicon Valley, now Silicon Wadi.

The Bosch Group has established a research and technology office in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Its associates aim to work more closely with scientific institutions and universities and, at an early stage, to identify innovative start-ups working in fields such as machine learning (deep learning), robotics, cybersecurity, connectivity, and the internet of things (IoT).

There are thousands of start-ups in Israel, most of them in Tel Aviv and its environs.

With more than 400,000 inhabitants, Israel’s second largest city is also the country’s business and economic hub.

Many companies and research institutes have offices there.

“Pioneering spirit, world-class universities, and creative ideas – they’re all here. It’s just the right environment for groundbreaking innovations, and thus for Bosch as well,” says CEO Denner.

“The country has a lot of scientific and technological potential in many areas that are important for our company’s future, and we want to take advantage of that.”

Denner is especially enthusiastic about the innovative strength of this small country with its roughly nine million inhabitants.

“Israel is a highly developed business location. Relative to its population, no other country is as innovative,” he says.

“Few cities can match Tel Aviv for the number of start-ups set up there. Lots of things are possible here.”

Investing in start-ups

Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH (RBVC) also has an office in Tel Aviv.

The company provides capital to start-ups from the technology sector, whether in the form of direct investment or indirectly via investment funds.

Based in Stuttgart, RBVC has made €420 million (US$475.85 million) available for start-ups. Currently, the Bosch Group’s venture capital subsidiary has investments in 30 companies worldwide, five of them Israeli start-ups.

“For us, RBVC is an early warning system. It prevents us from being taken unawares by new, groundbreaking technologies that can completely disrupt a market,” Denner says.

By investing in promising start-ups, RBVC gives Bosch early access to disruptive innovations. Through open innovation, it fosters collaboration between the company and start-ups.