BGN Technologies, EMC and Jerusalem Venture Partners Form New CyberSpark Industry Initiative, a Nonprofit Company


nanotechnologyBGN Technologies, the technology transfer company of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), EMC Corporation and Jerusalem Venture Partners recently announced the CyberSpark Industry Initiative, which will serve as a coordinating body for joint cyber industry activities with government agencies, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) and academia.

The innovative public/private cyber center established in Beersheva, Israel, with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev will forge a new economic path for the region, according to spokespersons.  The initiative will promote and market the region as a global cyber center, encourage joint academia-industry research studies, support the development of plans to recruit and develop human resources in the field, and create incentive plans to encourage other companies, both international and Israeli, to establish a presence in the region.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is a central component of the new CyberSpark initiative, a complete ecosystem with all the components for global leadership in the cyber field.  It is the only complex of its type in the world that is a government-academic-industry partnership and includes Fortune 500 companies and cyber-incubators, academic researchers and educational facilities, as well as national government and security agencies.

Roni Zehavi, high-tech entrepreneur and Israel Air Force test pilot has been appointed managing director.  The company’s board of directors will be comprised of representatives of the founding companies and a public board will be created comprised of key players in the Israeli economy in the fields of education, government, academia, culture, and technology.

Netta Cohen, chief executive officer of BGN Technologies said, “BGU is a significant and active player in developing the Negev.  The collaboration will strengthen the momentum of rapid development of the region.  Seven years from now, there will be 11,000 people working in the cyber and high-tech industries in Beersheva.”

“Government-private sector collaboration could turn Beersheva into a new region of excellence in Israel and position it internationally, as well,” says MK Erel Margalit. who oversees the public board and is the founder of JVP.

“The combination of the IDF moving South and the technology units moving to a campus adjacent to BGU, and the enlisting of the private companies in the cyber park to promote and develop the region will be an opportunity to create thousands of jobs and a new economic story for the South in general and Beer-Sheva in particular,” said Margalit.

According to Dr. Orna Berry, vice president for growth and innovation for EMC’s Centers of Excellence, “After forging the path as pioneers in the development of Beersheva as an international high-tech and cyber zone, it is clear to us that realizing the vision and the transition from words to deeds requires an active high level of involvement on the part of local and international industry in the field.  Creating the joint company is a necessary process to implement the operational plan to promote the cyber campus in Beersheva.”

“We don’t want it to be the best place for cyber security in Israel; we want it to be the best place for cyber security in the world,” added Margalit.
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