France's Veolia Environment, the global leader in environmental services, is set to establish its first training and research center in Israel, to be built on the campus of the Ruppin Academic Center in Emek Hefer.
"We are currently in talks to open a dedicated training center for environmental studies at the campus of the Ruppin Academic Center," Henri Proglio, chairman and CEO of Veolia Environment, told The Jerusalem Post at the "Global Visions" conference organized by the Goren Capital Group in Tel Aviv on Tuesday night.
"We have had much trust in this country for years whatever the situation and we believe that this country has a tremendous opportunity to become a platform for skilled people."
The new training center, to be constructed in Emek Hefer, will play a major part in helping the company reach its goal of increasing its Israel workforce from the current 1,700 to 8,000 by 2013.
The Ruppin Academic Center declined comment.
Veolia Environment has established a number of training centers all over the world, including in Germany, Australia, China, Egypt, the UK, the Czech Republic and Sweden. Additionally, the company has working partnerships with technical schools and universities around the globe.
During his visit to Israel, Proglio will visit the Ruppin campus on Thursday as well as meet with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Shimon Peres.
"The CEO of Veolia told me that he expects the group to grow to a $100 billion company within eight years, while at the same time expressing the group's commitment to be part of the development of the energy sector in Israel," Peres said at the annual meeting of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce in Tel Aviv on Wednesday.
In May, Veolia announced that it would invest $1b. in Israel over the next five years, doubling its current investments here, in an effort to expand its activities in the country. Between 2010 and 2013 the company aims to generate annual turnover of NIS 5b. in Israel, a significant increase from the group's current NIS 1b. turnover.