EMC, Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP)and BGN Technologies (the technology transfer company of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) announced today the creation of the CyberSpark Industry Initiative, a non-profit organizationthat will engage in the international promotionof the cyber center, which is based out of the Advanced Technologies Park in Beer-Sheva.

The CyberSpark Industry Initiative will serve as a coordinating body for joint cyber industry activities with government agencies, the IDF, the public and academia. The CyberSpark Industry Initiative will promote a multi-year business plan, which will leverage the significant potential in the Be'er Sheva  Cyber Parkfield of cyber technology in the area. The organization will brand and market the region as a globalcyber center, encourage joint academia-industry research studies, support the development of plans to recruit and develop human resources in the field and incentive plans to encourage other companies, both international and Israeli, to come to the region, among other things

Roni Zehavi, hi-tech entrepreneur and former pilot in the IAF, has been appointed Managing Director. The non-profit organization’sBoard of Directors will be comprised of representatives of the founding companies. A public board will be created comprised of key players in the Israeli economy, in the fields of education, government, academia, culture and technology.

EMC,  Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), and BGN Technologies are the first core of companies in the cyber center in Beer-Sheva. More cyber companies will join these companiesin the CyberSpark Initiativeand open offices in the Advanced Technologies Park in Beer-Sheva and other areas of the South.

Dr. Orna Berry, Corporate Vice President, Growth and Innovation, EMC Centers of Excellence EMEA and the US: “After forging the path as pioneers in the development of Beer-Sheva as an international hi-tech and cyber zone, it is clear to us that realizing the vision and the transition from words to deeds, requires an active high level of involvement on the part of local and international industry in the field. It is a complex and sensitive mission that integrates parties with different interests and needs that must be coordinated to ensure achievements and significant progress. Creating the CyberSpark Industry Initiative is a necessary process to implement the operational plan to promote the cyber campus in Beer-Sheva.”

 

(Left) Netta Cohen, CEO, BGN Technologies; Roni Zehavi, CyberSpark Industry Initiative; Ruvik Danilovich, Mayor of Be'er Sheva; Haim Kopans, Partner and CTO, JVP & JVP Labs; DR. Orna Berry, Corporate Vice-President for Growth and Innovation, EMC Centers of Excellence EMEA and the US; Prof. Rivka Carmi, President, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Dr. Eviatar Matania, Head, Israeli National Cyber Bureau; MK Erel Margalit, Head, Public Council, CyberSpark.Roni Zehavi, Managing Director, CyberSpark Industry Initiative: We will pursue two goals: the first, bringing more Israeli and international companies to the Negev and creating a broad and varied industrial infrastructure. The second, building a wider spectrum of national cyber expertise, from supporting technological education in high schools, by developing professional training tracks, to developing academic tracks, in accordance with the needs of the industry. Likewise, we will operate in varied ways to develop an appropriate work environment which will include the construction of a "smart city," a system of supplementary services and a foundation of advanced infrastructure which will be a fertile field for the realization of our vision of the Negev as a global cyber center.”

Yoav Tzruya, Partner, JVP Cyber Labs: “Over the last year, we experienced amazing entrepreneurial and innovative momentum in the field and invested in four innovative cyber companies in Beer-Sheva. Beer-Sheva and the South of Israel in general have the vast potential to be transformed into an international center of excellence, combining large multinational companies, startups, academia and significant governmental commitment. In order to realize that full potential, there is a need for significant coordination between the different parties to create a joint vision and ensure the necessary infrastructure, and to coordinate efforts that will enable breakthroughs for all of the parties involved. That is why we created the organization, along with our partners in the vision.”

Netta Cohen, BGN Technologies CEO:Ben-Gurion University is a significant and active player in developing the Negev. We operate to maximize opportunities for collaboration between business, governmental, and academic parties and the IDF as possible. The creationof the organizationis another layer of this sort of collaboration, which strengthens the momentum of rapid development of the region.”