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After Bleeding-Edge Cyber Conference, IBM and Cisco Announce Major Investments In Israeli Cyber-Security Hub

Analysts charting out 2014 had already predicted last November that the coming year will be a breakout one for Israeli IPO’s. The country has long benefited from an upward innovation spiral, where human capital attracts the attention of major corporations and those corporations provide the infrastructure for Israeli workers to innovate. The Times of Israel reported yesterday that Israel is set to travel a little higher along that spiral:

IBM and Cisco became the latest multinationals to announce major investments in Israel’s new cyber-security technology park in Beersheba. IBM said it would work with Ben Gurion University to establish what it called a Center of Excellence for Security and Protection of Infrastructure and Assets, where students and workers will learn cyber-security skills to ensure the safety of the digital future, the company said. The new project “reinforces IBM’s commitment to accelerate innovation that meets the industry’s most pressing long term business requirements,” said Steve Mills, senior vice present and group executive, IBM Software & Systems.

Mills had spoken at Israel’s Cybertech 2014 exposition, which ran last in Tel Aviv and showcased a range of Israeli startups. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had given opening remarks at the same conference, outlining five factors – Israel’s military needs, academic institutions, talent concentration, knowledge culture, and effectiveness demands – that drove the country’s cyber innovation.

Netanyahu also gestured toward the creation of a national cyber bureau:

The Bureau, said Dr. Eviatar Matania, who heads the organization, has a three-fold purpose: To set cyber-defense policy for the country’s institutions, to develop legislation and procedures for government and private enterprise cyber-security, and “to turn Israel into a global cyber incubator. We have a great ecosystem in Israel, and a great deal of talent. We see the establishment of the Bureau as an important step for Israel and the international community, something that will help us and the rest of the world.”

The U.S. delegation to the conference included over 50 people from the White House, the Department of Homeland Security, and NASA. Military officials arrived from Brazil, Mexico, Italy, and the Netherlands, alongside political representatives from South Korea and Mexico. Colombia, Ghana, Nigeria, and Canada sent corporate representatives.

[Photo: IsraeliPM / YouTube ]