Tapping into Israel’s innovation potential

ABB Technology Ventures participates in the Israel Industry 4.0 week to unlock value from Israel’s startup ecosystem.

Nearly three centuries ago, industries underwent a landmark transformation driven by steam engines and mechanization forming the First Industrial Revolution. Today, with improvements in multiple technologies, we are amid the Fourth Industrial Revolution characterized by pushing the boundaries of automation and making systems more intelligent and smarter.

For instance, Industry 4.0 is revolutionizing manufacturing altogether by allowing businesses to manufacture smaller lot sizes in a cost-efficient manner. Remaining at the center of this transformation, ABB is helping firms with control and configuration of production systems for any individual product design.

Dr. Bernhard Eschermann, CTO, ABB Industrial Automation
Dr. Bernhard Eschermann, CTO, ABB Industrial Automation

Companies across the world are increasingly investing in latest technologies to improve productivity and margins. The global market for Industry 4.0 technology is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of about 17 percent between 2019 and 2024, according to a report1 published in December by research firm Markets and Markets. The Industry 4.0 market is estimated to be valued at $156.6 billion by 2024.

Startups remain at the forefront of these new and emerging technologies, forming a prominent part of the digital transformation of industries. To further unlock the potential of Industry 4.0, ABB Technology Ventures (ATV) scouts for partners and invests in breakthrough technology startups. These collaborations cover a broad range of sectors including industrial IoT, AI, robotics, advanced manufacturing and cybersecurity, aligning with ABB’s goal to write the future of industry. 2020 marks a special year for ABB’s strategic venture capital arm as ATV is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Israel’s startups powering Industry 4.0

Israel has been ranked third globally, after the United States and China, in venture capital investments in Industry 4.0 startups, according to a report2 by Start-up Nation Central. This year, the Mediterranean country ranked sixth on the Bloomberg Innovation Index3 – a list based on analysis of dozens of criteria using several metrics, including research and development spending, manufacturing capability and concentration of high-tech public companies.

Israel is internationally recognized as a startup nation and has garnered significant interest from multinational firms. The country has seen a nearly 60 percent spike in the number of startups since 2014, according to Start-up Nation Central4. This year’s Israel Industry 4.0 week in Tel Aviv will witness a large gathering of Industry 4.0 professionals having insightful discussions on the thriving Industry 4.0 sector. ABB will be represented with several high-level speakers sharing their expertise on the journey from automated to autonomous production as well as how companies must adopt new technologies, cultures, and capabilities to unleash the era of Industry 4.0.

Erich Labuda, Head of Strategy, Business Development and Marketing, ABB, discussing how companies must adjust to thrive as Industry 4.0 evolves.
Erich Labuda, Head of Strategy, Business Development and Marketing, ABB, discussing how companies must adjust to thrive as Industry 4.0 evolves.

“The Israel Industry 4.0 week is a great opportunity to take Industry 4.0 ahead as it will bring together several companies, experts and innovators,” said Kurt Kaltenegger, head of ABB Technology Ventures. “Israel has a compelling presence of industrial technology startups that can potentially play an important role in digital transformation of industries. With several startups showing keen interest to collaborate with ABB, we are excited to take innovation to the next level”, Kaltenegger added.

ABB has already been long exploring the startup potential in the country through several ATV investments in Israeli startups. For example, ATV has invested in water monitoring solutions company TaKaDu and PointGrab, which offers smart building sensors for building occupant behavior and workplace analytics. In a latest move to advance into the Israeli startup ecosystem, ATV has invested in Israeli venture capital firm Grove Ventures to sharpen its focus on Industry 4.0 opportunities in the country and make the most of Israel’s innovation power. To ensure a close tie into the ecosystem, ATV’s investment activities in Israel are furthermore supported by Venture Partner Jacob Bryce.

“ABB has remained a steadfast partner in Israel’s development and has a long and proud history of technology leadership in the country,” said Ronen Aharon, Country Managing Director for ABB in Israel. From the first steam power station in Haifa more than eight decades ago through the national water-carrier network built in the 1960s, ABB continues to supply major industrial, transport and infrastructure projects with advanced automation and digital solutions.

ABB’s strong support towards innovation is reflected in ATV’s investments and partnerships. While ABB has introduced several external initiatives to bolster innovation, it also ensures continued focus on its internal leading-edge research and development activities.

[1] Report by Markets and Markets

[2] Report as quoted by Forbes

[3] Article by Bloomberg

[4] Blog by Start-up Nation Central

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