German carmaker Volkswagen opened a Tel Aviv innovation center attended by Minister of Economy and Industry Eli Cohen to promote the development of autonomous vehicles, new mobility services and tailor-made solutions. The VW Group Campus in Tel Aviv will be a co-working space called Konnect, and will provide local partners and mobility based startups close and direct access to the Volkswagen Group including business collaborations as well as support in mentoring and consulting.
Volkswagen Group chief customer officer Peter Harris said, “I am a strong believer in the technological innovations being developed within the Israeli market and I am convinced that they can help us reach our goal of being one of the global market leaders in sustainable mobility. Konnect is another step in expanding our activities in Israel and will help our portfolio of brands engage with the Israeli start-up ecosystem.”
Volkswagen Group chief digital officer Johann Jungwirth added, "In our Volkswagen Group Campus Tel Aviv we will provide complementary innovative solutions in various fields, including Sensors, Simulation, Connectivity, Smart Navigation, Cyber Security, E-mobility and Big Data." Stephanie Reimann will serve as Konnect's managing director. Her team will work with the Group’s brands to conduct focused scouting activities within the Israeli market and identify, support and develop proof of concept projects with start-ups in various fields of mobility.
She said, “I am excited to be moving to Israel in order to head the new Volkswagen Group Campus Tel Aviv and I look forward to working with the Israeli startup ecosystem in order to identify cutting-edge technologies for our future mobility solutions. The mission of Konnect is to connect, foster and accelerate the high-tech initiatives of the Volkswagen Group brands in the future within the Israeli ecosystem. We will invite relevant companies to approach us and form a meaningful partnership with the Volkswagen Group and our strong brands.”
On Wednesday the Volkswagen Group will showcase Konnect's activities and services at the Ecomotion conference in Tel Aviv. As part of its activities in Israel, Konnect and Volkswagen are supporting 41 local startups with innovative business ideas connected to the future of mobility. Selected entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to present their ideas to a professional jury of VW experts who will choose one winning start-up. The winner will then spend six months at the “Gläserne Manufaktur” or Transparent Factory in Dresden and will benefit from professional mentorship and exposure to Volkswagen Brand development divisions and investors.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 22, 2018
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