The Germany-Israel Innovation Bridge took place in Berlin this week. The seminar, a joint effort by the Israel trade mission to Berlin and BITKOM, Germany’s largest ICT organization, is one of a series of events marking 50 years of German-Israeli diplomatic relations.
German Deputy Minister of Economy, Matthias Machnig, Israel’s ambassador to Germany Yaakov Hadas-Handelsman and the trade attaché of the Israeli Ministry of Economy in Berlin, Hemdat Sagi all spoke at the event. The event also included lectures and panels featuring senior Israeli and German hi-tech executives, focusing on innovation and on points where the two economies intersect.
Notable participants included Uri Adoni, partner in JVP, one of Israel’s leading capital funds; Mickey Steiner, former CEO of SAP R&D center in Israel and today manager of the BETATEC (Berlin Tel Aviv Technology & Entrepreneurship Committee) initiative; and Heinrich Arnold, CEO of the innovation and R&D division of German communications giant Deutsche Telekom.
The event showcased success stories of Israeli startups in Germany, like UPCLOAD, which develops webcam body measurement software to make online shopping for clothes easier. The company was established by an Israeli entrepreneur with a German partner and today works with Germany’s largest companies. Another featured company is Times Twenty Five, a startup specializing in data visualization. The company has been active in Berlin for the past seven months and is currently in the process of establishing a German subsidiary. Among the companies working with Times Twenty Five are Cisco, Liberty Global and Lufthansa.
Some 150 participants from Israel and Germany attended the seminar, including representatives from ICT giants such as Axel Springer, IBM, Microsoft, Vodafone, Alcatel Lucent, Google, Samsung and others.
Director of the Israel Trade Center at the Embassy of Israel, Berlin Hemdat Sagi, said: “Germany has shown great interest in Israel from an innovation standpoint, on both business and governmental levels. Large companies like Deutsche Telekom, Merck and SAP are already conducting R&D activity in Israel, and the goal of our trade mission in Berlin is to get additional players to cooperate with Israeli companies and enjoy the interesting synergy that the Israeli market offers. ICT is a core field in the activities of the trade mission. We work on a daily basis to open doors for Israeli companies by organizing events and meetings with leading figures in the German economy. Therefore, it was only natural to team up with Germany’s largest ICT organization, BITKOM, to organize this flagship event marking 50 years of economic ties between the two countries.”
Another major event will take place in Israel on June 29th – the Germany-Israel Innovation Day. This event is being organized by the Israeli and German Ministries of Economy and is expected to draw numerous business delegations from Germany, led by German Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel. The Innovation Day will include different panels dedicated to core issues in the countries’ economic ties, networking events, sessions for investors and more. The event is being organized in cooperation with several industrial organizations in Israel, the Israel Export Institute, the Manufacturers’ Association of Israel and the Israel-Germany Trade Bureau.
According to the Foreign Trade Administration in the Israel Ministry of Economy, German-Israel trade in 2014 stood at $6.6 billion, a rise of 7% compared with 2013. In total, Israeli exports to Germany in 2014 reached $1.7 billion.
The Foreign Trade Administration at the Israeli Ministry of Economy is an authority entrusted with advancing Israel’s exports and international trade policy. It operates through its 41 trade missions throughout the world which assist Israeli exporters in finding opportunities for cooperation and business in the markets in which they operate.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)