Beersheba to become the capital of Israel’s high-tech industry

Published on Tuesday, 10 September 2013 by Webmaster

Beersheba to become the capital of Israel’s high-tech industry
Herzliya, Tel Aviv, and Ra’anana are the places most Israelis think of as the country’s high-tech centers, but that perception is likely to change in the coming years. Beersheba is set to become the country’s new tech center, and last week, the center of that center – the Beersheba Advanced Technologies Park (ATP) – was officially inaugurated, in a gala ceremony featuring top figures from government, business, and academia.

The park's establishment is so significant, said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that "it will change the history of the State of Israel" and of Beersheba. Speaking on September 3 at the official opening of the park, which will eventually include almost two dozen buildings with 190,000 square meters of office and shopping space, Netanyahu said that Israel was launching "the economic anchor that will turn Beersheba into a national and international center for cybernetics and cyber security."

ATP is actually not the first high-tech "industrial zone" in Beersheba; it was preceded by Ben Gurion Universty, which has a large tech development program of its own, and is working with companies like Deutsche Telekom on R&D. Speaking at the event, Ben Gurion President Rivka Carmi said "the opening of the Advanced Technologies Park (ATP) in Beersheba will be remembered as the turning point in the development of the Negev. We have always been at the geographical heart of Israel. Now we are on our way to becoming the true center for innovation and growth."

While there will be a variety of companies and technologies at the ATP, the emphasis will be on cybersecurity development. Building of the ATP was completed this summer, and the first companies to move in — among them Deutsche Telekom, and EMC² RSA — have established cybersecurity R&D labs. Three more cybersecurity R&D labs and incubators — operated by Elbit, Oracle, and Jerusalem Venture Partners — will be set up in the coming months. In addition to industry, the government's National Cyber Bureau is set to move to the ATP.

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