London Mayor Boris Johnson tests Virtual Reality technology at Google Campus Tel Aviv event.
(photo credit: NIV ELIS)
Looking to strengthen economic ties between Tel Aviv and London, London Mayor Boris Johnson on Monday embarked on a tour of the city's high-tech highlights, giving particular focus to education technology.
“London is the natural tech partner for Israeli firms looking to expand," he said. "With access to a world class talent pool and a booming digital economy it is no surprise that Israeli tech companies are making London their home and choosing the London Stock Exchange as their international market for expansion.”
The mayor kicked off the day with a visit to the Tel Aviv Stock exchange, though he is competing with it to attract Israeli companies. Some 16 Israeli tech firms worth a combined combined market value of £3.7 billion (NIS 21.9 b) are presently listed on London Stock Exchange markets, and Johnson was not shy about wanting to attract more, especially for companies looking to expand to European markets.
London mayor bikes-Tel Aviv
In a meeting at Google Campus in Tel Aviv, British companies on the delegation mingled with Israeli start-ups. James Layfield, who runs a shared workspace called Central Working, said he was seeking to expand to Tel Aviv. Neil Small, the director of virtual reality architecture start-up Lucid, said he hoped to learn the Israeli market, and explore local technology.
Tel Aviv Global, a mayoral initiative to raise the city's international stature that has signed cooperation agreements with Berlin and Paris, was looking to create a similar arrangement with London.
But many of the companies had a particular focus on education. Codemonkey, an Israeli educational start-up that teaches kids computer programming through games, said it was hoping to expand to school systems in places like London. Another focusing on teaching empathy through virtual reality and other emerging technologies said technological ties between the two cities were helpful to developing their product.
Education technology accounts for just a few percentage points of the global tech market, but is projected to reach £129bn by 2025, according to a recent report by London & Partners and Edtech UK.