Israel's lack of public infrastructure spending excludes the country from being home to the top ten e-commerce business environments.
(photo credit: NIR ELIAS / REUTERS)
Ties in technology between the United Kingdom and Israel continue to strengthen, according to the UK Israel Tech Hub, which brokered 175 partnerships worth at least $114 million (NIS 410m.) in the past seven years.
The hub connects British companies seeking to procure the latest Israeli technology with local start-ups. It also helps Israeli companies that are seeking to expand and relocate some operations abroad – a necessary step when growing in size.
A number of British companies are relying on Israeli products in the fields of artificial intelligence, chatbots, blockchain and the “Internet of Things” – along with integrating Israeli expertise into planning for “smart cities” and “smart industries.”
To date, the 175 UK-Israel innovation partnerships have garnered a potential economic impact of $1.1 billion for the UK.
Only 54 of those deals have been publicly announced, with a total value of $114m. and an average deal size of $20.5m.
Major companies and organizations which have contracted Israeli tech firms for long-term services include banks HSBC and RBS, along with Britain’s fabled National Health Service (NHS).
Both HSBC and RBS are currently building innovation centers in Israel, and HSBC’s 6.4 million customers are protected by Israeli cybersecurity tools.
The NHS is participating in an Israeli accelerator program – named the UK Israel Dangoor Health Initiative – in which 84 companies have expressed interest joining.
“These new partnerships mean the UK is now a major destination for Israeli innovation, and Israeli innovation is now part of many areas of life in the UK,” said Britain’s Ambassador to Israel David Quarrey. “The hub has successfully connected the vibrant tech sectors in both countries throughout the years.”
Around 490 Israeli companies and 150 UK companies have worked with the hub in the last year alone.
Currently, the hub is helping broker 12 Israel-UK cybersecurity deals, along with backing initiatives in the Israeli-Arab sector, such as helping Rami Younes’s Haifa-based MindoLife close a $20m. deal.
The center’s lucrative track record hasn’t gone unnoticed, now catching the eye of policymakers back in London.
“The UK Israel Tech Hub has given aspiring British companies the opportunity to discover Israel’s world-leading innovative technology,” said UK Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Matt Hancock. “Through its success, we’re now expanding the scheme to create a global network of hubs, connecting digital dynamos across the world.”
The United Kingdom and Israel enjoy robust commercial ties, with more than $7b. in annual bilateral trade.
The UK-Israel hub was set up in 2011 and focuses on connecting companies in fields ranging from retail to insurance-tech, healthcare, mobility, education- tech and cybersecurity.