A new report from global innovation advisory firm Mind the Bridge  reveals that the gap is narrowing between the number of European corporate branches in Silicon Valley (California) and Silicon Wadi (Israel).
“Large corporations are increasing their efforts to find innovative and disruptive technologies in the world’s most relevant technology hotspots,” Mind the Bridge Chairman Alberto Onetti said. “Silicon Valley and Israel are the most obvious innovation destinations.”
Mind the Bridge counts 41 large companies from nine European countries with an innovation outpost in Israel and 60 in California but notes that the Israel is catching up quickly; the majority of those 41 opened in the past five years and especially in the past three.
Germany has the most corporations with an Israeli presence (13) followed by France (10), the UK (7) and Switzerland (4).
“The Swedish and Dutch increased their presence, now with 2 corporates each: Ericsson and Volvo, and Philips and Unilever respectively. Other countries with a single outpost include Italy, Finland, and the Czech Republic,” according to the report.
Also significant is that 60 percent of European outposts in Israel are R&D centers, compared to 19% in Silicon Valley. “This preference is a testament to the strength of the Israeli workforce and skills which make it so attractive for corporates looking for a non-European R&D Center.”
Automotive and engineering; electronics; IT and software; and life sciences/biotech are the most active of the 12 industries represented by the European corporate outposts in Israel – and not only in Tel Aviv but across the country.
The report was released in conjunction with the Startup Europe Comes to Israel  mission at the beginning of June, created and organized by Mind the Bridge and co-organized with the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.
“This report represents our effort to map these activities by European corporations in Israel by tracking their presence and observing how they increase, modify and diversify their activity. The ultimate goal is to provide benchmarks to corporate players that are considering scouting innovation and technology in the Startup Nation in a more structured way,” said Mind the Bridge CEO Marco Marinucci.