"From no high-tech jobs in the Negev, Beersheva is becoming a high-tech powerhouse in Israel," said Beersheva Mayor Rubik Danilovich at the press conference held by IDB Holding Corp. Ltd. (TASE:IDBH) unit Bayside Land Corp. Ltd.(Gav Yam) (TASE: BYSD1), the Beersheva Municipality, and Ben Gurion University of the Negev, to mark the inauguration of the city's high-tech park.
"The high-tech industry's center of gravity is moving to Beersheva, with the IDF C4I Corps and Military Intelligence Unit 8200, and IBM has announced that it will set up its cyber laboratory in the city, and it is no coincidence," added Danilovich. "In the US, you find Silicon Valley; we will be satisfied for Beersheva to be Silicon Wadi."
The Gav Yam Industrial Park Negev is owned by Bayside (56%), the Beersheva Municipality, and Ben Gurion University (22%), and KUD, a consortium of US and Japanese investors. The project will consist of 23 buildings and a commercial street with 192,000 square meters of main space plus parking lots on a 200-dunam (50-acre) site adjacent to the planned IDF C4I Corps campus, the north Beersheva train station, and Ben Gurion University. The site also has building rights for a hotel and congress center.
Bayside CEO Avi Jacobovitz said, "The park will be at least as successful as the Matam Park in Haifa, and even more so, because in Beersheva, the IDF's move to the Negev plays a role, as well as tax breaks that the government gives to businesses in the city."
Jacobovitz said that Bayside started construction of the first building in the new park in December 2011. The 17,000-square meter building has been wholly let, and was occupied in July 2013. Tenants include Ness Technologies Ltd., EMC Israel, Oracle Israel, and Deutsche Telekon Innovation Laboratories at Ben Gurion University. Construction of the second, 12,000-square meter, building has begun, space in it is being marketed, and it is due to be occupied in late 2014.
In July, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Beersheva the national cyber center, and instructed Prime Minister's Office director general Harel Locker and National Cyber Bureau director Dr. Eviatar Matania to draw up a five-year plan for civilian development in the Negev ahead of the IDF's move south.
Under the government decision to develop the Negev, the National Cyber Bureau was instructed to draw up a joint plan with the Beersheva Municipality to turn the city into a national cyber center to promote and concentrate R&D, industry, and human capital in the field. The proposal will include the IDF technology units that are moving to the city, Ben Gurion University's research and teaching infrastructures, and the industrial centers planned for it. The plan is a joint effort by the relevant government ministries and municipalities, the Council for Higher Education in Israel, and its Planning and Budget Committee.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 20, 2013
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