Israeli startups across a range of sectors, from aeronautics and energy to digital health and cybersecurity, are a "natural fit" for businesses and institutions in Texas, the state's governor Greg Abbott has said during a trip to the Jewish state. “There is a connection between businesses in Israel and Texas that make both Israel and Texas far better,” Abbott said as he attended the Tel Aviv headquarters of Start-Up Nation Central, an Israel-based non-profit which connects Israeli innovators to those in need of solutions worldwide, and which facilitated the trip. “We’re proud to make that connection while we’re here,” he added. Israel is already a significant trade partner with Texas. In 2018 Texas exported $953.5 million of goods to Israel, making it the fourth largest state by exports to the Middle Eastern state. In the same year it imported $1.5 billion of goods from Israel, ranking third among the US states. Executive director of Start-Up Nation Wendy Singer briefed Abbott on Israel's innovation sector, referencing comments made by Israeli prime minister Levi Eshkol when he met US president Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s. “We both know the thrill of bringing life from a hard yet rewarding land,” Eshkol said. Among the innovations showcased at the meeting was Sheba Medical Center's Accelerate Redesign Collaborate (ARC) Innovation Center, led by Dr. Eyal Zimlechman, the center's Chief Innovation Officer. According to the center's website, ARC "will allow seamless integration between innovators, scientists, startups, high-level developers, large corporate companies, investors, and academia-all under one roof." The center has already partnered with more than 50 medical centers worldwide, and is seeking partnerships with the State of Texas. Abbott, who is paralyzed from the waist down and uses a wheelchair, expressed much interest in the center as a way of bringing down costs through innovation while delivering superior tailored healthcare. Start-Up Nation Central has also forged a partnership with the Texas-Israeli Technology Partnership, a Houston based non-profit facilitating technology innovation between the two locations, with particular focus on institutions within the Texas Medical Center, Abbott heard during the briefing. As a direct result of the partnership, a number of Israeli innovators have opened offices in Houston.The governor took the opportunity took endorse Start-Up Nation Central's 'Global Finder' platform, which maps innovation hubs worldwide, linking them in to a global audience. In conjunction with non-profit Houston Exponential, the center is rolling out Global Finder Texas to map the Houston tech sector. The aim is eventually to take the initiative state-wide. Cybersecurity firm IntSights was also of interest to the governor, who last week warned Texans that Iran could launch cyber-attacks following the killing of IRGC Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani by US forces in early January. “Following the US targeting of Soleimani, the Texas State agencies reported some 10,000 attacks per minute from Iran-based agencies. So our need for cyber solutions is not theoretical,” Abbott said. A senior aide to Abbott added that the current rate of cyber-attacks was significant, “more than normal,” he said.