Netanyahu at cyber conference.
(photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday announced a new cyber park in Beersheba dubbed Cyber- Spark.
“Beersheba will not only be the cyber capital of Israel but one of the most important places in the cybersecurity field in the world,” he said at the first international cybersecurity conference in Tel Aviv.
Israel is pouring resources into the city to promote its development, hoping that if the cybersecurity ventures take off, it will revitalize the country’s South.
The National Cyber Bureau and the chief scientist’s office have budgeted NIS 80 million, over two years, to support Israeli companies in the field.
The government has made the new technological park the cheapest in Israel tax-wise, and is subsidizing some companies’ salary offerings to the tune of 40 percent.
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev launched the world’s and Israel is in the process of moving many of its IDF facilities to the South.
The effects are already being felt.
On Monday, IBM Vice President Steven Mills announced that the company would be building a “center of excellence” at the tech park.
The announcement followed Sunday’s announcement by Lockheed Martin and EMC that they, too, would be investing $1m. there over two years.
“I think it’s phenomenal what they’re trying to do. I’ve never seen such a collaboration in the incubation of new technology,” Lockheed Martin, vice president of Global Solutions Robert Eastman, told The Jerusalem Post
on Monday. “Israel is one of the best when we look at cyberdefense, and it also is one of the best incubators of new technology and innovation.”
Lockheed Martin is vying for a contract to help Israel move and organize its military in new bases in the South.
Netanyahu said his focus on the $60b.-80b. global cybersecurity market, of which Israel already takes $5b.- 7b, was a natural fit for a tech-savvy country with security expertise.