Diamond Exchange to set up startup incubator


The new center for diamond and jewelry technologies will be with a consortium including Brinks, and China's Pantheon Pacific.

The Ramat Gan Diamond Exchange is bidding in an Israel Innovation Authority tender for a franchise to establish its own technology incubator with startups developing technology to be used primarily in the diamond sector.

The aim of the innovation center, to be called Diamond Tech, is to nurture Israeli and foreign startups in the early stages of product development. The Diamond Exchange announced that it planned to use the innovation center to promote startups developing new technologies useful to the diamond industry and jewelers, but also for robotics; software and hardware; medical, financial and retail technologies; and space technologies.

As part of this plan, the Diamond Exchange announced that it was cooperating with UK company I Hennig & Co. and Israeli company Sarin Technologies Ltd. (SGX:SGD), both of which are developing technologies for the diamond industry.

Also slated to take part in the venture are the World Jewellery Confederation, the Brinks delivery security company, the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, and Israeli fund Plus Ventures. The Diamond Exchange said that all of these concerns have signed a memorandum of understanding for a strategic partnership in the new venture.

Another prominent concern involved in the venture is Chinese fund Pantheon Pacific, believed to manage $1.2 billion in assets. The fund previously invested sums ranging from $25 million to $120 million in various companies. Sources involved in the new venture said that the Chinese fund is deviating from its usual practice in this case by investing in startups, due to its great interest in ecommerce and robotics.

Diamond Exchange president Yoram Dvash said, "We have made a strategic decision to establish an innovation center, recognizing that the diamond industry must develop technologically in order to compete with centers having an abundance of cheap labor. Israel is regarded as a global leader in these matters, which makes it an ideal place for leading the global diamond industry in new technological directions. We are encouraged by the involvement of global partners providing backing for the venture's success."

Sarin CEO David Block added, "Sarin is looking forward to participating in this new and important venture, which will be an important tool in the development of Israeli diamond technologies." I Hennig managing director Arik Sela welcomed the venture, saying, "We believe that the diamond industry can profit from the development of new technologies, and the innovation center that we are planning to establish has the right conditions for success."

Sources inform "Globes" that the Diamond Exchange intends to establish the planned innovation center even if it does not win the Israel Innovation Authority franchise.

Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on June 22, 2017

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

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