Israel

Political, Tech Leaders Inaugurate the Peres Israeli Innovation Center

A group of political and technology leaders attended the inauguration of the Israeli Innovation Center at the Peres Center of Peace, The Times of Israel reported Thursday.

Among the high-profile dignitaries from the worlds of politics and technology included Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; China’s Vice President Wang Qishan; the founder of Chinese internet giant Alibaba, Jack Ma; former Google CEO and founder of the Innovation Endeavors hedge fund, Eric Schmidt; and Facebook Senior Vice President David Marcus. Israeli innovators who attended included Gil Shwed of Check Point Software Technologies, Mobileye CEO Amnon Shashua, IBM VP Aya Soffer.

Two years after his death, former Israeli President Shimon Peres made an appearance at the event as a hologram delivering a pre-recorded “spiritual will” to all those attending.

“My vision for the Israeli Innovation Center, established here within the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, is to serve as a window to the future. A place for dreams. A place that expresses the desire to leave the next generation with a better and brighter future,” Peres explained.

“The future is made of the dreams of today – we must continue to work on developing the vision of tomorrow, not simply on remembering the past. We have the power to create change and the opportunity to have an impact. A revolution against convention is necessary. It requires daring, dissatisfaction, and healthy and vibrant chutzpah.”

The former Israeli president explained that the goal of the Innovation Center was to “tell the extraordinary and inspiring story of the State of Israel as the ‘innovation nation.’” He said that he hoped that the center would serve as a place for “cooperation and coexistence between all sectors of Israeli society, and a link between Israel and the world.”

The Innovation Center, which takes up four floors in the Peres Center, highlights many of the key events that helped define Israel as the Startup Nation. The displays will include mockups of the most famous inventions, and holographic images of the entrepreneurs explaining their inventions.

One floor will be dedicated to current state-of-the-art technology and the startups addressing them.

[Photo: PeresCenter / YouTube]