Hosted by the European Innovation Hub EIT, the online event held on March 31st attracted representatives from 85 innovation organizations that operate in 25 countries
The Eilat Tech Center (ETC) is mentoring innovation centers in European Union member states on how to promote the growth of companies while being forced to work remotely due to the coronavirus.
The ETC, which is a subsidiary of Arieli Capital, has gained a reputation in Europe following the collaboration programs it initiated with European institutions. This includes the first joint Italian Israeli innovation program of its kind launched in January in Eilat for accelerating startups founded and backed by the Italian embassy and Intesa Sanpaolo, a leading Italian banking group. It also includes a cooperation program between the municipalities of Nice and Eilat for the advancement of a smart cities initiative for technology-based solutions for challenges facing cities.
As a result of the positive experience accumulated working with European companies and institutions at the Eilat hub, representatives of the European Innovation Hub in Israel made a request to the directors of ETC to hold online training sessions for innovation centers in the EU to assist them to transfer over to a digital work model, on the technological, business advancement and human resource management levels as well as for remotely promoting the growth of high-tech companies.
The invitation to attend the online event held on March 31st was widely received and participation was well beyond expectations. Representatives from 85 innovation organizations that operate in 25 countries took part, including those from Italy, Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Greece, Spain, Poland, Portugal, Finland, the Czech Republic, France, Cyprus, Croatia, Romania, Switzerland and from Israel. News about the conference got out beyond Europe and representatives from innovation centers in the U.S., Ghana and Mexico also signed up.
The participants represented innovation-related groups such as hubs, accelerators, work spaces, government bodies, academic institutions (including Oxford University) and companies specializing in online training and others. About half of the participants represented innovation groups in the field of health.
The online training session was led by Or Haviv, CEO of the Eilat Hub, and included a presentation of the principles and processes needed for remotely promoting the growth of companies. He also introduced the case study of Nanomnia, an Italian nanotech company that took part in the Eilat acceleration program that succeeded at the outset of the coronavirus crisis to finalize a $350,000 deal with an international agritech company.
Or Haviv, CEO of the Eilat Hub and a partner in Arieli Capital, said: “At a time when the whole world has changed its work patterns to remote based operations and when teams of companies are spread out around the world and working from home, the geographical distance of the Eilat Hub, as the most southern innovation ecosystem in Israel, turned into an advantage overnight. Our teams identified early on the importance of working remotely as an element of the model for promoting growth of industry in outlying regions. There is no doubt that the coronavirus crisis underscores the necessity of flexible business models that don’t depend on a specific place or time in order to allow the economy to function even with challenges like those presented by the coronavirus.”
Sharon Gindi, director of business development at ETC, said: “One of the most significant results of the coronavirus crisis is the strengthening of cooperation between countries in general and between high-tech organizations specifically. There is a worldwide understanding today of a shared fate and only strong cooperation and the transfer of knowhow will enable us to find solutions for problems of existence. Today high-tech is defined as a critical field and innovation in times of a crisis is a ‘science’ which is important to oversee, in order to create business opportunities, especially in the medical field.”
Main picture: Eilat Tech Center trains 85 organizations on how to remotely promote the growth of companies