Ben Gurion University teams with Mercedes on auto-tech


Students at the Israeli university are being asked to develop innovative ideas related to smart car technology.

Ben Gurion University of the Negev has launched a new Challenge platform this week in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz. The university's Bengis Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation in the Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management is asking students to find the “Next 100 Million" - defining just what constitutes the “100 million" is part of the challenge. All Israeli students from every field are invited to develop ideas over the next month.

Mercedes-Benz is challenging students to envision the “Next 100 Million," and whether it is about digitization, driving experience, the number of customers, hours of charging, or the number of hours driven by an autonomous car.

The Challenge innovation platform connects the competitors to real-world opportunities, and offers global organizations a way to present their current challenges and gain access to the new and innovative thinking of students from a variety of fields and backgrounds. The platform gives students practical experience tackling real-world challenges, which they can transform into important knowledge, tools and experience for the future.

Bengis Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation Director Yossi Shavit said, “In a data-driven world, it is hard to imagine that one person or a single research facility has all the solutions to the challenges a global organization faces. Sometimes, the solution may originate with the customer, other times from management, but more often than not, a fresh perspective is required. That is the Challenge Competition's guiding principle."

“The Bengis Center's mission is to create tools to teach entrepreneurship and connect students to cutting-edge innovation and original thinking. The Challenge platform joins our many projects and events designed to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship among students and faculty of Ben-Gurion University, as well as the wider public," said Bengis Center Chairman, Prof. Oded Lowengart.

Mercedes-Benz R&D Tel Aviv head of innovation Eyal Mayer observed that the Challenge seeks to uncover new and groundbreaking ideas, thus strengthening the bond between the brand and its customers. "We will consider integrating these ideas into our future technologies and business models."

Mayer added that the collaboration with BGU is part of the carmaker's strategy of creating an ecosystem of innovative and creative concepts that could become part of future products and technologies.

Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz runs 25 R&D centers worldwide, which work together synergistically to provide new products, services, technologies and ideas with the potential to change the future of the automotive industry and people's driving habits. The R&D Center recently opened in Israel is the newest addition to Daimler's worldwide R&D network, which has main centers in Germany, California, India and China that employ 16,000 people.

"Mercedes-Benz recently inaugurated its R&D Center in Israel and Ben-Gurion University is proud to be one of the first to collaborate," Mayer commented.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on December 26, 2017

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2017

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