General Motors set to open R&D center in Israel

The government will probably provide grants for the center, which will employ dozens of engineers and researchers.

Sources inform “Globes” that General Motors Corporation (NYSE:GM) is in advanced negotiations to establish an R&D center in Israel with an initial investment of tens of millions of dollars. The center is expected to employ dozens of engineers and researchers in various fields related to GM’s activities worldwide, including the development of alternative driving systems, vehicle electronics and communications systems, robotics, advanced materials, imaging systems, and safety.

The R&D center will probably be set up in Ra’anana and will have branches in outlying areas and development towns.

GM has been discussing the subject with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor’s Industrial Cooperation Authority. The government will probably provide grants for the R&D center, although their size, incentives, and features are not yet known. The company is currently negotiating the center’s location with the Office of the Chief Scientist and Ministry of Finance Budget Department. A GM delegation recently visited Israel to reach agreements on these issues.

GM has invested in the development of automotive technologies in Israel since the mid-1990s, through GM-UMI Technology (GM-UMIT), a joint venture with GM importer Universal Motors Israel Ltd. (UMI).

Through GM-UMIT, GM has invested in and supported a number of technology incubators over the past decade, and reviews dozens of research proposals every year in order to decide which have promising applications for the vehicle industry. GM-UMIT funds basic and industrial research, proof of concept, and projects in various development stages.

GM makes the largest amount of reciprocal procurements in Israel among vehicle manufacturers. The company made $102 million in reciprocal procurements in 2005, 32% more than in 2004. 16 Israeli companies currently supply GM with goods and services. Three of these companies had more than $2.5 million in sales to GM and twelve had more than $1 million each.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on August 13, 2007

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2007

Twitter Facebook Linkedin RSS Newsletters גלובס Israel Business Conference 2018